Alan Bern

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Alan Bern (born 1955), born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, is the musical director of Brave Old World, and remains one of the leading lights in the teaching and revival of Yiddish music in the United States, Canada, and Europe since the early 1980s.[1]


He has an M.A. in Philosophy from Tufts University and in 2006 he received his D.M.A. in Composition from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. He plays the piano and the accordion.

He has played with the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Andy Statman, the Klezmatics, Kapelye, Theodore Bikel, and many others. Currently he is part of a duo with accordionist Guy Klucevsek,[2] a trio with trumpeter Paul Brody and guitarist Michael Rodach, a quartet "Brave Old World",[3] with Michael Alpert, Kurt Bjorling and Stuart Brotman,[4] and a septet with Aaron Alexander, Paul Brody, Alex Kontorovich, Cesar Lerner, Martin Lillich, and Marcelo Moguilevsky.

Since the 1990s he has been consultant and/or faculty at many international festivals and workshops of Yiddish music,[5][6] and he is currently the Program Director of Yiddish Summer Weimar.[7]

His contributions to Yiddish music have been cited in important books on the revival of Jewish music, such as American Klezmer by Mark Slobin,[8] The Essential Klezmer by Seth Rogovoy,[9] and Virtually Jewish by Ruth Ellen Gruber.[10]

With the Yiddish revival/New Jewish Music ensemble Brave Old World, he has appeared with Itzhak Perlman in the Emmy Award-winning film In the Fiddler's House, which in 1995 was broadcast throughout America on PBS, and has contributed to the two spin-off CDs, In the Fiddler's House 1 and 2.[11] He has also appeared on television on ZDF and ARTE.


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