Hankus Netsky

Music Director, Saxophone, Piano, Arrangements

Hankus Netsky is chair of New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation Department and Founder and Director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band. He is also musical director and arranger for Eternal Echoes, Itzhak Perlman's cantorial, Hassidic, and Yiddish music collaboration, featuring cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot (Sony Masterworks). His most recent project with Mr. Perlman, Rejoice, aired on PBS’s Great Performances in 2014. He has composed extensively for film, theater, and television, collaborated closely with such artists as Robin Williams, Joel Grey, and Theodore Bikel, and, since 1996, with Itzhak Perlman. He has produced ten recordings by the Klezmer Conservatory Band, co-wrote the musicals Shlemiel the First, produced by the American Repertory Theatre, and The King of Second Avenue, produced in 2015 by the New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, MA. Mr. Netsky has also composed the music for numerous films, including Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem, released in the summer of 2014. He received degrees from New England Conservatory in composition and his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University. He is the recipient of a 2013 Forward Fifty award, a New England Conservatory Outstanding Alumni award, the Yosl Mlotek award for the perpetuation of Yiddish Culture, and NEC’s Louis Krasner and Lawrence Lesser awards for Excellence in Teaching. He has taught at McGill University, Hampshire College, Wesleyan University, and Hebrew College. Mr. Netsky’s essays have been published by the University of California Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, University of Scranton Press, Hips Roads, and the University Press of America; Temple University Press published his book, Klezmer, Music and Community in 20th Century Jewish Philadelphia in 2015. He makes his San Francisco Symphony debut at this performance.

(January 2019)