By January 23, 2019 0 Comments Read More →

LA Phil – Itzhak Perlman ‘In the Fiddler’s House’

Part of Colburn Celebrity 2 Series.

Perlman and Netsky’s In the Fiddler’s House was a Jewish Gem of a Jam! This one night only performance was a combination of ethnic soul and get-up-and dance Hava Nagila. In fact, through the marvelous fusion of sounds and genres, I believe I did hear a bar or two of the infamous Jewish wedding staple. The exquisite and internationally loved reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman in collaboration with Hankus Netsky, rocked the house with a concert that was uniquely personal and intimate. Netsky, founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, an internationally renowned Yiddish music ensemble is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and ethnomusicologist.

In 1995, Perlman released his album In the Fiddler’s House a collection of traditional klezmer. Bringing this live to an audience was evidently a joy to Perlman – he was beaming from inside out. Introducing songs that he played at both his daughter and son’s weddings was very heartwarming.

Netsky, the program’s music director took us on a journey back in time from the shtetls of Eastern Europe where klezmer originated and was performed at happy events, especially weddings since the early middle age. Netsky was energetic as he bobbed on stage from playing the piano to saxophone and conducting — all wonderfully.

Today, you can not mention klezmer without Andy Statman, known for his wide range of ethnic music, and fusing bluegrass, klezmer and jazz. He is a master on the mandolin and one of the evenings highlights was a duet with Perlman which was electrifying, Tate Mama Tantz — a fusion of violin and mandolin that blended superbly. Statman was a Grammy Awards nominee in the Best Country Instrumental Performance category for his rendition of Bill Monroe’s “Rawhide”.

Another highlight was the soulful rendition of Shalom Aleichem (or Waltz for Ari). A traditional Jewish song to bring forth angels on the eve of the Sabbath. From this intimate rendition, Perlman and Netsky transitioned into songs you would hear at a Jewish wedding. I could lip-read Perlman’s “loud” when he turned to Andy Statman (seated next to him). The audience was instructed to stand, clap along and dance in the aisle – and they did!

Andy Statman

Hankus Netsky









On stage were musicians Michael Alpert (vocals/accordion/guitar/violin), Lorin Sklamberg (vocals/accordion), Judy Bressler (vocals/percussion), and Frank London (trumpet).

Members of the Brave Old World and Klezmer Conservatory Band include Ilene Stahl (clarinet), Mark Berney (trumpet), Mark Hamilton (trombone), Jim Guttmann (bass), Grantley Smith (drums), Pete Rushefsky (bass clarinet/tsimbl).

It was a great evening of ethnic inclusiveness that one can surmise its importance to Perlman and Netsky. Keeping the old traditions alive and accessible to new audiences is indeed valuable and obligatory to avoid extinction. It was a treat for fans to see the beloved Perlman celebrating his roots on stage through music.

This concert was on January 20, 2019 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

More Information on LA Phil

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