" Klezmer is an interpretation of art and life based not solely on Jewish folklore, but rather on a cosmopolitan divergence of musical genres" Giora Feidman 

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Helmut Eisel

The Art of Clarinet Klezmer Improvisation

Helmut Eisel


From the world of mathematics to the realm of music, from Germany to Israel, from classic to Klezmer, the journey of Helmut Eisel through the Clarinet Klezmer is quite unique.

Born In Germany in 1955 he graduated in Mathematics in 1985 and began to work as business consultant.

Those days Giora Feidman, the famous clarinet Klezmer player, was conducting masters classes in Germany and Helmut Eisel began to take part to them.

Soon he became Giora Feidman's assistant and then he was at a crossroad, having to choose between a business career or a full time job playing clarinet. Fortunately for us he chose the musical career and since then, he dedicated himself entirely to music. Since 1993 he is conducting workshops "Klezmer Improvisation" in Germany and each summer in Tsfat (Safed-Israel) at Clarinet and Klezmer in Galilee's Seminars and Masters Classes.

Helmut Eisel founded several orchestras and ensembles, a clarinet quartet,"Helmut Eisel Clarinet Funtet", a duo "Clarinet Stories", a solo program, a quintet "Helmut Eisel and Band", and his trio, "Helmut Eisel and JEM" (JEM are the initials of the three founders of the group Herbert Jagst, Helmut Eisel und Michael Marx; Jagst, the double bass player deceased in 2000, Stefan Engelmann took over his place) .

He is also performing with Marina Baranova, a classical Ukrainian pianist, and they are playing masterpieces by Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Bela Bartok together with traditional Klezmer melodies. The chemistry between Helmut and Marina is absolute, their virtuosity is phenomenal still full of sensibility, emotion and expressiveness.This exceptional chamber music duo program is called "Impromptu".

During one of the Clarinet and Klezmer in the Galilee workshops Helmut jammed with some talented youg musicians and together they founded the "Klezmer All Star Clarinet Gang" (David Orlowsky Clarinet, Avi Avital Mandolin, Michal Beit Halachmi Bass Clarinet, Moran Katz Clarinet, Stefan Engelmann Bass...).

Helmut is performing all around Germany and Europe as well as in Israel where he has been awarded by The Israel Music Society for his contribution to the Klezmer music.

Helmut Eisel is also a composer, he wrote film scores, theater music and appeared on numerous radio and TV shows. He composed a symphonic fairy tale "Naftule and the King" for symphonic orchestra and Klezmer trio.

He played together with Giora Feidman an original composition dedicated to the musicians slaughtered during the Holocaust at Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem.

Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Dave Tarras , Naftule Brandwein, W-C Handy, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Sidney Bechet, Giora Feidman ... and Helmut Eisel.

Helmut is the worthy heir and successor of all those prestigious musicians of all horizons, Classical, Jazz, Klezmer, like Giora Feidman he is crossing the borders.

Each of his performances is quite unique, his ability to invent and to improvize is infinite, always imagining new incredible sounds, new harmonies, new paths to emotion, stirring the soul, reaching the inner voice. His fingers are running on the clarinet, the air is blowing through the mouthpiece, from silence, almost inaudible pianissimo to a roaring fortissimo, from altissimo to lower register, the audience is ecstatic, deeply moved by the power of his music.

Helmut Eisel  is not playing Klezmer, he is Klezmer.

Helmut Eisel is a genuine Klezmer, a musician who shares his rare talent and donates it to us.


Helmut Eisel Tsfat (Safed) Klezmer festival

 Helmut Eisel  in Israel before a concert at the Tsfat Klezmer Festival





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Giora Feidman
"We have one Torah, one shofar, one flag, and the expression of all that is the nigun, any nigun. It's not a song, it's an energy which results from an interpretation of the faith."




"Long live Giora, his clarinet and his music! He builds bridges between generations, cultures and classes, and he does it with perfect artistry!" Leonard Bernstein