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Father and Son: Klezmer Insights

Posted by Roberta Levine on May 17, 2016

PSO Brings Music for the Spirit to the JCC

The JCC’s Katz Theater will be the site of a special Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music for the Spirit event – Father and Son: Klezmer Insights on Wednesday, June 15.

Noah Bendix-Balgley, the former Concertmaster of the PSO, will share a behind-the-scenes look at Klezmer in anticipation of the June 17-19 world premiere of his new violin concerto, Fidl-Fantazye: A Klezmer Concerto. He will be joined by his father, Yiddish and international folk dance expert Erik Bendix, for a presentation that will include music and dance.

Klezmer, a tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe, is soulful improvisational music, usually featuring violin or clarinet — instruments that would have been accessible in the Old Country. Klezmer evolved from dance tunes and instrumental pieces for weddings and other celebrations. Moving and expressive, Klezmer in the New World has continued to evolve, drawing on American influences of jazz and blues.

Klezmer, of course, is not new to the JCC, which has been the site of many concerts by renowned Klezmer bands and of one of my favorite clarinetists, the transcendant David Krakauer, through the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival.

The appearance of Bendix-Balgley in Pittsburgh is a special treat. Now First Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, he was much loved during his tenure as Concertmaster of the PSO (2011-2015).

Bendix-Balgley is a fabulous violinist who exudes warmth and emotion. We hope you’ll get a chance to enjoy him perform.

Note: Tickets for the Music for the Spirit program are sold out, but you still have a chance to see him in action. The Pittsburgh Symphony’s BNY Mellon Grand Classics concert weekend June 17, 18 & 19 features Noah and the world premiere of Fidl-Fantazye: A Klezmer Concerto, for violin and orchestra. Use promo code JCCNOAH when purchasing tickets and save up to 35%.

Also, this Sunday, May 22 at 2 pm, you can take part in a unique concert experience to celebrate the orchestra from afar! The PSO embarked on their 2016 European Tour this week and Sunday they will be performing at Berlin’s historic Philharmonie and the performance will be screened LIVE via satellite onto the big screen at Heinz Hall. It’s FREE to attend this PSO “away game” screening, but reservations are required. Reserve your general admission ticket online or call the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900; please note that a service charge will be applied for reservations made online.

(Featured Image provided by PSO)

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