Who needs singers when a clarinet steals the show?

Who needs singers when a clarinet steals the show?


norman lebrecht

June 08, 2017

I got taken to a concert of cantorial music last night in Tel Aviv’s Heichal Hatarbut. Not my usual choice of music, but the hall was packed and the four cantors were pretty good.

The orchestra was the Symphonette Ra’anana, described by the compere as ‘one of the best in Israel, in the world, even.’

Not sure about that, but my eye kept being drawn to the clarinet player, sitting in the middle of the last row. Her enthusiasm for the music was uncontained – not just when she played but, more evident still, when she had nothing to do and could sway with the rhythm and mouth some of the words.

Her playing, too, was top-notch.

I believe her name is Michal Beit Halachmi, and here she is in klezmer action.




  • Uzi Shalev says:

    Well deserved!!!

  • esfir ross says:

    Symphoniette Ra’anana can be a very good orchestra. The players’re forcefully retired from Israel Phillarmonie orchestra. The best retired musicians.

  • Richard Carlisle says:

    She totally ignites the orchestra … a grand experience for them and certainly for me … as good — as memorable — as the clarinet in union with Klezmer can get.

    My heartfelt thanks for this one, Norman.

  • Eva says:

    My former student. Michal Beit Ha Lachmi.
    She is not only an exceptional musician and clarinetist but ….
    one of those rare personalities that truly still cares for society and the human condition.
    May she always have the spirit to fight for the good of mankind and for the truth in music.
    Check out her Facebook and you will understand http://www.evawassermanmargolis.com

    • Richard Carlisle says:

      Eva, thanks for your supplement … how enlightening, fulfilling just knowing of the existence of a brilliant light of culture and pure humanity.

      How fortunate you were to add to her abilities.