Cleveland-based Israeli-American clarinetist Amitai Vardi will play “The Klezmer’s Wedding,” Srul Irving Glick’s musical portrait of Hebraic life, in a 3 p.m. performance at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood. He will be accompanied by the BlueWater Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Meyer’s direction.
Also on the program, entitled “Meditations and Serenades: A Celebration of Jewish Musicality,” is Norman Dello Joio’s “Meditations on Ecclesiastes,” an invigorating interpretation of Old Testament verses that will include vocals by Cantor Kathryn Wolfe Sebo. Rounding out the concert is Dvorak’s “Serenade for Strings.” The event is presented with support from the Israel Arts Connection, a program of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.
Vardi, an orchestral and chamber musician as well as an avid featured soloist, performed the North American premiere of “The Klezmer’s Wedding” in 2004 at the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
“It’s a really fun piece for clarinet and string orchestra,” said Vardi, 41, an Orange resident. “I’m a classically trained musician, but klezmer has always been a part of my upbringing.”
The musician grew up in Israel and began his studies at age 10 with Eva Wasserman Margolis in Tel Aviv. After moving to the United States, he made his solo debut at age 16 with the Madison Symphony Orchestra as a first-place winner of the Steenbock Young Artist Competition. Vardi received his Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., where he studied with renowned Israeli clarinetist Eli Eban, and his Master of Music degree at Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland as a student of Franklin Cohen.
He stayed in Cleveland and has served as adjunct faculty teaching both clarinet and chamber music at the University of Akron in Akron from 2008-12 and substituted with The Cleveland Orchestra on bass clarinet for most of the 2014-15 season while pursuing his post-graduate studies with Yehuda Gilad in Los Angeles as well as numerous performance opportunities.
Vardi is on the faculty of Kent State University in Kent.
His wife, Diana, is a violinist with the BlueWater Chamber Orchestra in Cleveland and will join him for the concert.