Piotr Gajewski leads National Philharmonic

Music has always been an important part of Jewish culture,” said Piotr Gajewski, conductor and founder of the Montgomery County-based National Philharmonic. The Warsaw-born maestro founded the orchestra in the mid-1980s as the Montgomery Chamber Orchestra with an eye toward bringing a world-class musical organization to Montgomery County. In succeeding years the group evolved and… Read More

Israeli violinist’s career on the rise

Israeli-born violinist Netanel Draiblate, concertmaster to “three-and-a-half” orchestras in the region, has seen his solo career blossom of late. Draiblate, who makes his home in Odenton, serves as concertmaster to the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Forest Symphony and the project-based experimental PostClassical Ensemble. In a typical year, Draiblate performs one… Read More

Chanukah kicks off with concerts Baltimore and Washington areas have some rockin’ holiday shows

Chanukah is a complicated holiday for many. While its more recognizable symbols and rituals have to do with the miracle of the oil, Chanukah’s story is also that of a military victory. “We’re celebrating two separate things … so it’s kind of schizophrenic,” said Beth El Congregation Cantor Thom King. “The main reason the oil… Read More

Singer, actor, activist Theodore Bikel dies at 91

Theodore Bikel, an actor and folk singer who was recognized in 1997 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, has died at 91. Bikel, who won fame playing Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” doing more performances of the role than any other actor, died of natural causes on Tuesday… Read More

Celebrating Shabbat and the Grateful Dead What a long, strange trip it’s been

The American-born resident of Kfar Maimon, a religious moshav in southern Israel, Eliovson is an ordained rabbi, though an unconventional- looking one in brightly colored pants, fedora and purple T-shirt with the Grateful Dead’s famed dancing bear logo on it. A father of five, Eliovson is also the founder of JamShalom, a “grassroots movement bringing spiritual connection… Read More

Hungarian music has audience dancing in the aisles

Hungarian music can get even the most staid audience out of their seats, stomping their feet, clapping their hands and nodding their heads in joyous celebration. It took a while to warm up the crowd at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue last Thursday evening, but eventually people were dancing in the aisles as if they… Read More