About us

Spontaneity and authenticity

A melody will never sound the same twice with The Klezmer Society. The wealth of variations and embellishments is endless and the musicians encourage each other to discover together how the music will sound here and now.

No arrangements or ready-made solutions, but spontaneity and authenticity are the cement of this tight ensemble.

Exciting own compositions are cleverly combined with the beautiful melodies from the shtetls: the Jewish Anatevka villages from ancient Eastern Europe. In its 10-year existence, the ensemble achieved major successes at home and abroad.

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It doesn't get more Yiddish than this

With The Klezmer Society homesickness and happiness go hand in hand. The result is a profound and festive music. Life as the greatest good, it doesn’t get any more Yiddish than this!

The ensemble feels the pleasant need to share all this with the public. As far as we are concerned, audience and ensemble belong together inseparably.

For more than 13 years, an engaged klezmer-society has emerged, in which listeners and musicians have become one.

Bridge between past and present

The Klezmer Society presents profound and at the same time festive programs, with a link to the past and the present. When an important Amsterdam tree is cut down, the band composes and plays ‘the Anne Frank Tree’ a few months later, with a live intro played on the carillon of the Westerkerk.

When the father of violinist Bert Vos passed away, the composition ‘Sam’s Forshpil’ followed. Erica Roozendaal wrote Ibernitsn, a piece of music made from recycled musical material. We celebrated Jewish and Arab music together with Syrian refugees in Zaandam and during Rosh Hashana we played a New Year’s concert several times.

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Universal themes expressed

At first sight, a performance by The Klezmer Society may seem like an immersion in another world. But, when you close your eyes and imagine yourself in an old Jewish village, you find out that that world and ours are less different than you might think.

Love, joy, pain, sorrow: these are universal themes that The Klezmer Society gives a voice to. The pieces are surrounded by beautiful and sometimes (according to good Jewish custom) funny texts. The ensemble has an enormous drive to share all this with the audience.

Stichting Shtetl

The Klezmer Society is supported by the Shtetl Foundation. The Shtetl Foundation endorses the Culture Governance Code.

  • Chairman: Bert Vos (violinist and band leader The Klezmer Society)
  • Secretary: Manon Veenendaal (Director National Music Instrument Fund)
  • Treasurer: Mirjam van Praag (Chair of the Executive Board, VU University Amsterdam)