Klezmer Music Ensemble: Jewish Orchestras

Abe Katzman Bessarabian Orchestra
Photo: Abe Katzman Bessarabian Orchestra
Thursday, April 25, 2024

7:30 PM (Eastern)
Maltz Performing Arts Center, Silver Hall
Reserve complimentary ticket(s) below or call the box office at 216.368.6062.

Watch the performance live >>


View/download the full program on this page.

The mass influx of Eastern European Jewish immigrants to America from 1880-1920 created a new market for the burgeoning US recording industry. Catered specifically to the newly arrived immigrants, recordings of traditional Yiddish instrumental and vocal music satiated the nostalgia of the old world and reaffirmed cultural traditions. Jewish bandleaders organized Jewish Orchestras, that resembled the Jewish kapelyes (ensembles) that performed for weddings and Jewish cultural events in Eastern Europe, to record music from der alter heym (the old country). The Jewish Orchestras consisted of working American Jewish musicians, recent immigrants, and virtuoso soloists. The recording of traditional Jewish instrumental music was not strictly an American phenomenon. Recording companies in Eastern Europe (Syrena Rekord Company) had also featured Jewish orchestras and smaller Jewish folk and chamber ensembles as early as the advent of recorded music. A great majority of these European and American recordings, originally produced on 78 rpm shellac and vinyl records have survived to this day and have been reissued and digitized for klezmer music collections and anthologies.


  • STEVEN GREENMAN, director


This performance is part of the Silver Hall Concert Series at the Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple-Tifereth Israel, which showcases the Case Western Reserve University Department of Music as well as local Cleveland ensembles and highlights the cultural diversity and depth of talent coursing through this city. These events are free with parking included, but registration is required. 

Safety Protocols: University Health and Counseling Services is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our campus community. Find the most current guidelines and resources on the (UH&CS) COVID Information page.

Photo: Abe Katzman Bessarabian Orchestra

Klezmer Concert Poster (April 25, 2024)