Vocals, Guitar, Accordion, Violin
Michael Alpert has been a pioneering figure in the renaissance of East European Jewish music and Yiddish culture since the 1970s and is recipient of a 2015 National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is known for award-winning performances and recordings with Brave Old World, David Krakauer, Itzhak Perlman, Theodore Bikel, Daniel Kahn, Frank London, and others. A native Yiddish speaker adept in the traditional style of prewar East European generations, Mr. Alpert is also an innovator in Yiddish song, with original compositions on social and political themes. He was musical director of the Emmy- and Rose d’Orwinning PBS special Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler's House. An important link to Old World Jewish musicians, Mr. Alpert has documented Jewish music and dance throughout the globe, is a leading teacher and scholar of the Yiddish cultural arts, playing a central role in the transmission of Ashkenazic music and dance to younger generations. A longtime research associate of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, he is currently a senior research fellow at NYC’s Center for Traditional Music and Dance, and he has taught at Oxford, Columbia, Indiana University, and the New England Conservatory of Music. He is married to the literary scholar Emily Finer. This performance marks his San Francisco Symphony debut.