The Four Cups: A Celebration of Passover

The Four Cups: A Celebration of Passover

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 1:00pm
Pictured: Klezmer Conservatory Band founder ï»¿Hankus Netsky

Credit: Courtesy of

This inspiring musical program explores the great variety of music that emerged from the Passover traditions like the four cups of wine drunk during the Seder.

Every springtime, Jews gather to retell the story of their flight from Egypt. Perhaps the longest-running yearly cultural event in the history of humankind, The Four Cups: A Celebration of Passover is one that has inspired many different musical traditions. The Four Cups: A Celebration of Passover airs Monday, April 6, 2015 at 1 p.m. on Classical 91.5.

Violinist Itzhak Perlman, Klezmer Conservatory Band founder Hankus Netsky, and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot of Manhattan’s Park Avenue Synagogue take us through the music and the traditions with historical recordings and chant.

Hankus Netsky, a multi-instrumentalist and composer, is an instructor in jazz and contemporary improvisation at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he has taught for twenty-three years (serving ten years as chairman of Jazz Studies). He is founder and director of the internationally renowned Yiddish music ensemble Klezmer Conservatory Band, and serves as research director of the Klezmer Conservatory Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to research in and perpetuation of Yiddish music. Mr. Netsky has taught Yiddish Music at Hebrew College, New England Conservatory, and Wesleyan University, and lectures extensively on the subject in the US., Canada, and Europe.

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to the irrepressible joy of making music, which he communicates.  In January 2009, Mr. Perlman was honored to take part in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing with clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Gabriela Montero, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.  In December 2003, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts granted Mr. Perlman a Kennedy Center Honor celebrating his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of our nation.  In May 2007, he performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House.

Admired for his incredible range, Chief Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot is beloved and revered as one of the greatest and most important cantorial voices of the 21st century. He enthralls audiences the world over with his passion and unbounded joy in bringing sacred Jewish music and opera classics to life. Holding his first concert for the first time at age 23, Helfgot immediately took the world of cantorial song by storm with his powerful  renditions of three renowned classics—Zibert's "Mimkomcha," Kwartin's "Tiher Rabbi Yishmael," and Rosenblatt's "Ad Hena." His  magnificent and soulful voice has reigned supreme and captivated the  international stage ever since. Cantor Helfgot appears regularly in concerts, as well as  serving as guest cantor for communities around the globe—from New York to  Beijing, from South Africa to Italy, from Russia to Australia. He leaves  audiences spellbound with his masterful renditions of classics by Rosenblatt,  Koussevitzky, Kwartin, Sirota, and Hershman, transporting audiences back to the Golden Era of Chazzanut.