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Klezmerata Fiorentina is a quartet comprised of principal players of one of the leading Italian operatic and symphonic orchestras, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, (www.maggiofiorentino.com/en/home/ In 2005, the violinist and violist Igor Polesitsky, clarinetist Riccardo Crocilla, accordionist and bassoonist Francesco Furlanich, and double bass player Riccardo Donati formed the ensemble to explore new ways of creative, unwritten elaboration of authentic Yiddish folk material, the musical heritage of the group’s founder, Igor Polesitsky.
Old traditional melodies, collected in the early twentieth century through the groundbreaking fieldwork of a handful of pioneering ethnomusicologists, are seen in their full emotional complexity and interpreted by Klezmerata as the living voice of a now vanished, European Yiddish civilization.
Since the group’s debut in 2005 at the Progetto Martha Argerich Festival in Lugano, Switzerland, Klezmerata Fiorentina has appeared on some of the world’s most prestigious stages. Of special note are their performances at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, the official residence of the President of the Republic of Italy, at the Great Hall of Congresses in the Kremlin, Moscow’s Dom Musyki, the Rachmaninov Hall of Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic society, Società di Quartetto in Milan, Amici della Musica in Florence, the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, the Italian Festival delle Nazioni, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Natalia Gutman’s Kreuth Festival in Germany, the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto, the Chutzpah! Festival in Vancouver, the Telavi Festival in the Republic of Georgia, the Summertime Festival in Jurmala (Latvia), etc. The Italian state broadcasting company RAI, as well as Canadian, Slovenian and Russian television networks, have devoted a number of specials to the group.
Klezmerata Fiorentina’s work has attracted the attention and support of some of the world’s foremost classical music personalities. Zubin Mehta described the ensemble’s art as the “…perfect expression of both joy and sorrow. It is not just great entertainment, it is great music making!”