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World-Renowned Klezmer Musicians to Present a Special Evening of Yiddish Music at Carleton

October 3, 2011
By Alex Korsunsky '12

Acclaimed German musician Kartsten Troyke and Trio Spreefalter will present a performance of traditional Yiddish Klezmer music in the Carleton College Skinner Memorial Chapel on Thursday, Oct. 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. This concert is free and open to the public.

Based in Berlin, Troyke is one of the most well-known singers and interpreters of Yiddish songs in Europe. His concert performance with Trio Spreefalter is preceded on Wednesday, Oct. 5 with a presentation entitled “Brush up on your Yiddish” at 4:30 p.m. in the Language & Dining Center (LDC) room 104. And on Friday, Oct. 7, Troyke will speak about “Klezmer in Germany” at 4:30 p.m. in the Carleton College Gould Library Athenaeum.

Originally, the word "klezmer,” from the Yiddish language, meant simply "musician.” Today, it has come to characterize the style of secular music played by Ashkenazi Jews for joyful celebrations such as weddings. Klezmer music is intended to replicate the human voice, including sounds of crying, wailing and laughing. It is generally the violin's job to do this imitation. Often, a Klezmer band will include a fiddle, a bass or cello, a clarinet and a drum. Secondary instruments include hammered dulcimers and accordion.

A singer, song-writer, and actor known for his husky voice, Troyke has been performing on stage since 1982. Although he has worked in radio dramas, voice acting (dubbing), and stage plays, Troyke is perhaps best known as an ambassador of Yiddish song, and has toured extensively in Europe, Israel, and the United States. In 2006, two documentaries films – Yiddish Soul and Concert Yiddish Soul – featured Troyke. More information on the artist can be found at www.karsten-troyke.de/english/.

Troyke has 11 albums to his credit, in addition to many collaborations with other artists. His albums include Yiddish Anders (1992), the recipient of much praise from German music critics, and Jidische Vergessene Lieder (1997), which contained previously unpublished songs by Sara Bialas Tenenberg, Troyke’s Yiddish-language mentor. His varied works also include an album of Yiddish tango music, Tango Oyf Yiddish (2006), and most recently Unser war die Nacht (2011).

This event is sponsored by the Departments of German and Russian at Carleton College and is made possible by the Christopher U. Light Lectureship series. For more information or disability accommodations, call the music events hotline at (507) 222-4350 or contact ghong@carleton.edu. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.  

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