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Arts & Culture

Alexander Fiterstein: Preserving Jewish Folk Music Through Chamber Music:

photo of Alexander Fiterstein
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

For clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein playing an instrument was like reading, writing, and arithmetic: it was a requirement, not a hobby. His parents insisted he play the piano from a young age, and many of his early memories revolve around music.

Fiterstein remembers listening to the family record collection and becoming fascinated with the clarinet sounds in Beethoven’s symphonies. After years of taking piano lessons, he decided to pick up a second instrument, and while nobody was looking, he fell in love with the clarinet. A graduate of the Juilliard, Fiterstein is now a world-renowned clarinetist who splits his time between touring the world, recording albums, and serving as the chair of winds and professor of clarinet at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He also runs the Zimro Project, an ensemble dedicated to incorporating Jewish art music into chamber music programs, a project inspired by his family’s early move from the Soviet-controlled Belarus to Israel in search of a better life. Fiterstein performs with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle on Sunday, March 24 at 3 p.m. at Carolina Theatre of Durham. They will present “A Program of Pure Delights” featuring Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.

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