Yiddish Song, Instrumental and Dance
Michael Alpert has been a transformative figure in the renaissance of East European Jewish klezmer music and Yiddish culture since the 1970s, and is a National Heritage Fellow of the United States – the nation’s highest honor in the traditional and heritage arts. Multi-instrumentalist, singer, ethnographer, scholar and educator, he is internationally known for award-winning performances and recordings with Brave Old World, Itzhak Perlman, Andy Statman, Daniel Kahn, Socalled and many others. A native Yiddish speaker and bridge to pre-WWI East European Jewish musicians, Alpert is a foremost traditional Yiddish singer and composer of new Yiddish songs but also renowned as a dancer, fiddler, guitarist and much more. With broad knowledge of the musics and languages of Europe and the Americas, he has been both instrumental and vocal in transmitting East European Jewish culture to new generations. Alpert was Musical Director of the Emmy-winning PBS Great Performances special Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler's House and is featured in film and media worldwide. He is translator and co-editor of Soviet Jewish ethnomusicologist Moyshe Beregovsky’s Jewish Instrumental Folk Music, and his own fieldwork recordings reside at the US Library of Congress. Hailing from both California and New England, he is now tri-coastal, at home on the coast of Scotland with literary scholar Emily Finer and two mist-shrouded cats.