The mountains and valleys of Romania, Bessarabia, and neighboring Moldavia provided the environment where the nascent art of klezmer developed in the nineteenth century. Jewish, Romanian, Gypsy, Ukrainian, Greek and Turkish musicians each contributed their share in the development of a style which became a Jewish creation par excellence. The renaissance of klezmer and Eastern European Jewish culture in recent years gave new life to the klezmer style, and the rise of world music has provided the impetus for new crossover genres. Emil Kroitor, composer and accordionist, and Arkady Goldenshtein, clarinetist, were steeped in the Moldavian tradition since childhood. Arkady immigrated to Israel in 1990 and Emil in 1993. While Arkady knew of Emil's reputation as an accordionist and composer in the Old Country, they did not meet until they were both in Israel. Arkady's band needed a substitute accordionist, and Emil was called in for the gig. The klezmer music of Kroitor and Goldenshtein brings us back to the roots of klezmer. This is true folklore in a modern setting. The exciting asymmetrical rhythms are familiar to musicians from the folk collections of Bartok. Melodic lines move from instrument to instrument, and there is never a dull moment. The musicians: Emil Kroitor was born in Cahul in southern Moldova in 1947. He studied in musical schools from childhood, and completed his musical education at the Kishenev University of the Arts, specializing in accordion and the conducting of folk orchestras. Well-known as a composer, virtuoso accordionist and arranger in his native country, he immigrated to Israel in 1993. Kroitor has taken part in many international folk festivals in Canada, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, France, and other countries. His versatile music output includes compositions and arrangements in a number of different styles, including Moldavian, Balkan and Jewish. His strong attraction to folk music is an inheritance from his father, who was a singer of Jewish songs. In Israel he performs frequently as a klezmer musician, and has recorded with many well-known Israeli artists. Arkady Goldenshtein was born in Mogilev-Podolsk on the border of Ukraine and Moldova in 1963 and grew up in Moldova. He has lived in Israel since 1990. Goldenshtein has played klezmer on the clarinet since childhood, and performed regularly in affairs of the Jewish community during the Communist era, which was in those days a somewhat risky venture. He has participated in many festivals in Israel and abroad, most recently the KlezKanada Festival and has toured in England and Germany. His ensembles have been awarded prizes at the Safed and Raanana Klezmer Festivals in Israel. He currently conducts the Haifa Klezmer Orchestra, and teaches clarinet in conservatories and in the public school system.
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