Pete Rushefsky

Pete Rushefsky is a leading performer, composer and teacher of the tsimbl (cimbalom), the traditional hammered dulcimer of klezmer music; he is the developer of Concert Form Klezmer, a performance system that draws upon Near Eastern and Central Asian classical musics.

He serves as executive director of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, which has worked to preserve and present immigrant performing arts traditions in New York City since 1968. He has performed internationally at major venues and festivals such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Town Hall and Symphony Space, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris’s Cité de la Musique, Cleveland's Severance Hall, Krakow’s Jewish Culture Festival, Vienna’s KlezMore Festival, Fürth’s (Germany) International Klezmer Festival and Toronto’s Ashkenaz Festival.

He has concertized and recorded with classical violinist Itzhak Perlman and with many of Jewish music’s leading performers, including Klezmatics fiddler Lisa Gutkin, Steven Greenman, Joel Rubin, Cantor Yitzchok Meir Helfgott, Andy Statman, Klezmer Conservatory Band, Alicia Svigals, Michael Alpert, Adrianne Greenbaum, Alan Bern and Jake Shulman-Ment.

A popular instructor of klezmer who has taught at institutes and camps across North America and Europe, Rushefsky is the author of a pioneering instructional book on adapting the American five-string banjo for klezmer, as well as a book on klezmer performance for hammered dulcimer. He frequently publishes and lectures on ethnic music in America.

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