Giora Feidman was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where his Bessarabian Jewish parents immigrated to escape persecution. Feidman comes from a family of klezmer musicians. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather made music for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and holiday celebrations in the shtetls of Eastern Europe. Feidman married Ora Bat-Chaim, his personal manager, in 1975.
Feidman playing a lucite clarinet in Jerusalem, 2006
Feidman began his career in Buenos Aires as a member of the Teatro Colón Symphony Orchestra. Two years later he immigrated to Israel to become the youngest clarinetist ever to play with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a member of the orchestra for over 20 years. In the early 1970s he began his solo career. He has performed with the Berliner Symphoniker, the Kronos Quartet, the Polish Chamber Philarmonic, the Munich Chamber Philarmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Radio Orchestra. In 1974 the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned composer Misha Segal to write a concerto for clarinet and orchestra for Giora Feidman. The one movement piece, which was based on an original Nigun, premiered that same year.