Hot News August 2004

Daniels Jazz lesson with 2 Students

Richard Lesser with 2 Students

Klezmer lesson with Feidman

Helmut Eisel and Ms Katz Klezmer lesson

Student and Ilan Schul in lesson

Student in Cuper lesson

Cuper lesson

Cuper session with student

Eisel ensemble class

Student with Giora Feidman with Bass Clarinet

Breakfast with Feidman team

2 Students on break

Clarinet Choir rehearsal

Clarinet Quintet coaching

Philippe Cuper trying Wurlitzer Bassett A Clarinet

Bar Sela Festival briefing for participants

First lunch at Festival with friends and Eddie Daniels and spouse

Eddie Daniels and Giora Feidman meeting

Feidman Festival Introduction

Michal Beit-Halachmi Festival briefing

Feidman and Helmut Eisel Klezmer Introduction

Mike Getzin, Abbie, Eddie Daniels and Deborah Daniels

Feidman and Philippe Cuper Introduction

Giora Feidman demonstrating concept of Klezmer

Artist circle with friends at Festival

29 August 2004 

Clarinet & Klezmer in the Galilee Music Festival with Giora Feidman - Israel

Safed and Tel Aviv, Israel

Klezmer- a universal musical form and way of life, expressing our inborn desire to create music and dance

          One of the most comprehensive Clarinet Festivals to date was held in Safed, a Holy City in Israel known as an origin of Kabbala (Jewish Mysticism) and connected to Klezmer Jewish folk music which originated in Eastern Europe and has its connections in Israel.  The seven days (22-29 August) was comprehensive in substantial training with lessons exceeding 14 hours a day, Master Classes, Clarinet Choir rehearsals and ensemble rehearsals with students, five Potpourri concerts held at the outdoor courtyard at the Sariah Center lasting 2 ½-3 hours each night, for audiences numbering in the thousands, and including performances by faculty and students alike in high powered performances.   The most special aspect of this festival was the emphasis on the Klezmer approach to playing as focused by Giora Feidman, the Director of this event, and by exposure all week the hope that the concept takes root in the students. In addition to this aspect, the festival included broad coverage of Classical and Jazz as taught and performed by such luminaries as Philippe Cuper, Solo Clarinetist in the Paris Opera,  Eddie Daniels, Jazz great from the USA, Ilan Schul, Head of Clarinet at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, Sarah Elbaz, Director of the Student Clarinet Choir, Orit Orbach, noted Klezmer Clarinetist, Helmut Eisel, acclaimed Klezmer Klarinettist from Berlin and Assistant to Mr Feidman, Taisir Eliyas, Chair of the Department of Oriental Music at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, who gave a complete overview seminar about Jewish Ethnomusicology and roots of the Klezmer germ and its historical roots.  Orit Orbach gave a talk about the psychology related to performance stage fright, Richard Lesser, retired Solo Clarinetist of the Israel Philharmonic talked about style and fundamentals. 

        The very first day included briefings about the program given by the Safed Administration team, an evening introduction by Giora Feidman introducing the concepts to consider with playing and faculty introductions and a view of the upcoming week.  Students attending included many from Israel, Europe, Canada, and the USA.  Many were artist high potential as the concerts revealed all week. 

Feidman at Courtyard

Feidman ensemble

Philippe Cuper & Bass in Benny's Gig

Ms Katz performing Lutolowski's Dance Preludes

Eisel/Katz Klezmer

Clarinet ensemble

Klezmer gang

Clarinet Quartet

Clarinet Quartet augmented

Daniels and Feidman

Eisel duo with guitar

Ilan Schul soloist

Philippe Cuper soloist

Eddie Daniels, Philippe Cuper and Giora Feidman

Feidman & Klezmer soloists

Israel horn demonstration

Rabbai Berlin in Synagogue

Mr Bar Sela - Klezmer Clarinetist

Giora Feidman discussing Jewish tradition

Rabbai in Jewish service

Safed Israel

Safed hills

Cafe along Old Town Safed

Safed City walking Street

Walking Tour thru Safed


         The Sariah evening concerts were fully loaded with music from all 3 styles (Classic, Jazz, Klezmer) mixed on the concerts and were spontaneous and formal. Players unaccustomed to performing in a Klezmer style found themselves almost converted and actively participating.  Mr Feidman and friends performed at full strength every night, along with Eddie Daniels and combo, almost putting the musical scene on fire.  Culmination climaxed each night past 11 PM leaving everyone spent but wired on the musical highs of the night.  All repeated for 5 days in Safed.  Israel Radio covered many of the events were recorded for Middle East and European broadcast including the Master Classes and the Finale Gala Concert in Tel Aviv.  After the first concert, past 11:30 PM, a walking tour was led by Mr Feidman to several Synagogues inside the Holy City where many of the Kabbala and Klezmer histories were founded.  This served to point out the traditions and riches of the Jewish faith and history.

Gala Klezmer ensemble

Clarinet Choir in Gala

Orlowsky Klezmer Trio

Klezmer Band in Gala Hall

Philippe Cuper and Clarinet Quartet

Klezmer Group at gala

Philippe Cuper soloist

Eddie Daniels Jazz at Gala

Daniels Jazz Combo

Giora Feidman speaking at Gala

Feidman Finale Group

Finale Group

Gala rehearsal with Daniels, Schul

Feidman and Klezmer Clarinetist David Orlowsky

Feidman Performing Gala


       The Gala Finale, held 29 August in Tel Aviv at the Golda Mier Performing Arts Center Opera House, was the culmination of this Festival, sold out and highly charged with great performances by all participating.  The mix of Classical performance, Jazz with Eddie Daniels, and Klezmer with numerous groups including unknowns and Feidman, peaked with a standing ovation and encores. Credits and more were given to all performers on stage feeling part of a uniquely historic event unfolding.  This Festival was the finest of its kind held this year anywhere given the artist/student tri-Classic/Jazz/Klezmer fusion.  Feidman is known as the ‘King of Klezmer’, but that can be extended to that of the ‘Prophet’ of Clarinet Klezmer, unmatchable by anyone for the totality of the soul.

Beit-Halachmi and Philippe Cuper Duo

Ensemble with Feidman

Michal Beit-Halachmi in conference

Mosaic Concerto rehearsal

Helmut Eisel- Beit-Halachmi Klezmer duo


        What makes this event so special, no less the historical roots in Safed, Israel, are the people who made it happen at the Safed Foundation, Hanan Bar Sela,  Abbie Rosner,  Michal Beit-Halachmi, who was a major icon in logistically holding all the parts together dealing with scheduling continuity, student issues,  including breaking up Klezmer sessions and rehearsals at 2 am in the Ascent Hostel and living on 2-3 hours sleep per night after over 14 hours of daily activity, performing on stage with faculty including Mr Cuper, Klezmer ensembles, Klezmer performing with Helmut Eisel, noted luminary from Berlin, Germany, and assisting Mr Feidman in preparation rehearsals of a new work premiered at the Gala Concert (covered on the World Premiere Page), all as a volunteer dedicated to the positive outcome. 

      As summarized above, this is a Festival of prime importance for players who want to ‘get out of their clarinet box’ and learn through this intensive training concepts and humanities that will surely make them better artistic musicians, with a faculty that is almost untouchable.  Security issues in Israel are, contrary to media reports, not an issue, as this country is safer than most US cities in security protection.  This may be the new holy place for the Clarinetist.


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Revised: October 13, 2007