The Conservatory Chamber Orchestra performed excerpts from George Bizet’s opera “The Pearl Fishers”

The Academy Conservatory’s Chamber Orchestra, with stage direction by Ari Teperberg and conducted by Michael Klinghoffer, presented excerpts from Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers”. “The Pearl Fishers” is the story of two soul mates, Nadir and Zorga when their strong friendship is damaged by their deep passion for the same woman, Leila, a priestess of Brahma and who must abstain from men. The contrast and similarity of the men’s friendship and Nadir and Leila’s strong love form the dramatic and musical kernel of the opera.

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The Convervatory Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Michael Klinghoffer, on concert tour of Oslo, Norway, cooperates with the orchestra of a local conservatory

The Conservatory Orchestra at JAMD

The Chamber Orchestra of the Academy Conservatory, conducted by Michael Klinghoffer, travelled to Oslo to meet with the youth orchestra of the prestigious Barratt Due Music School. Three concerts took place in the course of the week: one at the Oslo Jewish Museum, one for students of the Marienlyst School of the Arts and a festive final concert. The concerts were attended by representatives of the Israeli Embassy in Oslo, members of the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and other notable people. The program included Haydn’s Symphony no.101 (Clock), Joseph Achron’s Hebrew Melody for Violin and Orchestra and a work composed specifically for the event by Vladimir Shkolnik – “Orchestral Games”. The latter work was performed jointly by both orchestras and conducted by Michael Klinghoffer. In addition, both orchestras joined to play Grieg’s Symphonic Dance no.4 and “Finlandia” by Sibelius under the baton of the Norwegian conductor Alf Ardal. Soloists in the “Hebrew Melody” were Inbal Sela (16) a pupil of Sophie Pikovsky of the Academy Conservatory, Alfred Wang (15) from Oslo and violin teacher and conductor Sigyn Fossness of the hosting orchestra. Continue reading

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Youth yodeling – Georges Bizet: The Pearl Fishers

From Jerusalem Post – April 26, 2013 (p.22-23)

Youth yodeling By BARRY DAVIS

Teenagers from the Conservatory Orchestra of the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance learn about friendship, people and music from Georges Bizet’s ‘The Pearl Fishers.’
According to Dr. Michael Klinghoffer, Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers), Georges Bizet’s opera about two men’s long-standing friendship and how it is rocked by romantic rivalry, is a perfect choice for his orchestra.
Michael Klinghoffer
Klinghoffer should know, and he will demonstrate as such when he takes the conductor’s podium at four performances of excerpts from the opera on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The ensemble in question is the Conservatory Orchestra of the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance, which comprises a bunch of junior high and high school-aged musicians, and which Klinghoffer has been lovingly nurturing for close to four years.

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Perfection

To Chi-pin and Kai-ya*

I was never attracted to perfection. I always felt that perfection was for the Gods while we are just humans. I found much joy in exploring the works of Handel and Haydn, which may not be as perfect compared to Bach and Mozart but have great moments of innovation and discovery. Still, in our education we are taught to work to achieve perfection.

Gary Karr told me once: “In the practice room, there is no compromise. But once you set your foot on the stage, there is already a compromise”. In the practice room we seek perfection but in real life, there is no such thing. Continue reading

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Friday

Do we really say what we mean? Do we really mean what we say?

The music in our speech and our body language carry additional information that is not delivered in the text we speak. Cultural differences might also be the cause of misunderstanding: a joke that may be acceptable and even funny for a teacher to tell in one country, might be considered an insult to the student in another country.
In our global village, we are more and more in touch with people from different parts of the world therefore we have to be much more sensitive and also much more willing to forgive.
Chances are that if we are honest and speak straight forward we will be better understood. Continue reading

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Failing

To David Murray

Last August at the Bass 2012 convention in Copenhagen, the double bass virtuoso and teacher David Murray successfully preformed the famous double bass piece called Failing by Tom Johnson. In this piece, the bass player is reading a text while playing a melody on the bass. The task gets more and more difficult and the player is expected to fail in attempt to complete the task. In case he succeeds, like David Murray, he then fails to live up to the expectations. Here is a link to a wonderful performance by Gary Karr, David Murray’s teacher (and, of course, my teacher as well). Continue reading

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The Pearl Fishers

This season, the JCCO together with soloists from JAMD will be performing highlights from George Bizet‘s Opera, The Pearl Fishers. This Opera, written before Carmen, contains some of the most beautiful and touching music that Bizet has written.

The story is rather simple: Nadir and Zurga are childhood friends. Both are brave pearl fishers who risk their lives diving for pearls. They fall in love with the same woman, Leila, but they both vow that Continue reading

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The Quest

I love teaching The History Of Western Music class. This course is a one year survey for students who major in other areas such as jazz or classical Arab music. I somehow feel that I have more freedom, and instead of trying to cover a great deal of material, I try to focus on interesting issues that might have some significance in my student’s lives as musicians and artists. Lately we explored renaissance madrigals and tried to learn through them about the period as well as about the text – music relationship.

In class we discussed the connection between music and poetry through various examples of Madrigals. It has been said that “the Renaissance created the Artist”. Artist rather than Artisan. Craft is very easy to see but art, although many times noticeable, is hard to define. Innovation is the first thing that comes to one’s mind concerning art. Yet, when one thinks of Mozart in relation to Haydn, it is hard to know who was more innovative.

The first thing that helps me make the distinction is very subjective: I can be easily impressed by craft, but it is art that touches me. Continue reading

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Teachers: An Endangered Species

The last video in the DriveADoubleBass series went on the air.

I have received many nice comments and I am very grateful to those people who took the time to tell me what they have learned and say they wish it weren’t the last one.

This is all happening while I am preparing for my video conference lecture on December 1st. I will be in Jerusalem speaking to a group in Helsinki.

Last June, when I was at the Harvard Management and Leadership in Education seminar, this topic of distance learning and on-line classes was one of the more controversial topics. What will become of us teachers? Are we going to turn into an endangered species in ten years? An extinct species in twenty? Will people learn how to play the double bass by watching my videos rather than attending lessons? Continue reading

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Safe Zone

To Ryoko Baba

Music has always been a part of man’s life. In ancient times, even before anyone spoke about the importance of music education, old nations and tribes made music. It was not due to the abundant publication of papers and dissertations, all pointing out the influence of music education on the cognitive abilities of the child and thus on his or her achievements in school. Music has always been a part of man’s social life. It was there in religious ceremonies as well as in other occasions. It had been there long before researchers have spoken about the influence of music education on the social skills of the child.

I have asked many music teachers what were the most important values they were hoping to pass on to their students. Many of them gave similar answers: Continue reading

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