Giora Feidman – Klezmer Clarinetist

The Fellowship  |  January 13, 2021

Giora Feidman
Giora Feidman

Born in Buenos Aires in 1936 to a Jewish family that escaped Nazi persecution in Europe, Giora Feidman has klezmer music in his blood. Feidman’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all played klezmer music – a traditional Jewish style of instrumental music featuring instruments that mimic the laughter and weeping of the human voice – in the shtetls of Eastern Europe. Giora kept this tradition alive as a brilliant clarinet player from a young age.

After beginning his career in Argentina, Giora Feidman made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), where he became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s youngest ever clarinetist, a role he played for 20 years. In the decades since, Feidman has played with orchestras and groups across the globe. His solo clarinet playing also featured in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Holocaust film, Schindler’s List, the soundtrack of which won seven Academy Awards.

Each year, Giora Feidman presents his “Clarinet and Klezmer in the Galilee” masterclass seminar, teaching the Holy Land’s young musicians the ancient klezmer music of God’s people, as well as more contemporary Jewish folk music, such as the above song written by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, “The Singing Rabbi” who founded Moshav Mevo Modiin, a community helped by Fellowship friends after 2019’s deadly wildfires.