A US concertmaster plays Kaddish for the Covid dead

A US concertmaster plays Kaddish for the Covid dead


norman lebrecht

May 15, 2020

This is Nurit Bar-Josef, concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

Nurit tells us she decided to ‘put together this short video of Ravel’s Kaddish, to commemorate those we have lost to this pandemic’.

It’s a beautiful thought, wonderfully played.

The pianist is Efi Hackmey, co-artistic director of the Chiarina Chamber players. Suitably distanced, across the city.



  • Fabulous playing and musicianship.

  • Exquisite intonation

  • engineers_unite says:

    I can’t watch any more of this rubbish or here any more of the miserable BBC talking
    “Infection-hospital-so-sorry-hospital-infection-hospital” like a vinyl record with a stuck needle.

    And now we get another double dose on Lebrecht’s pages.

    Why can’t they commemorate those lost to the 2017-2018 flu epidemic?

    (USA resulted in an estimated 959,000 hospitalizations and 61,099 [60-80000] deaths.)
    Not a single whine or moan about that was there now, and they were quite real.

    Or let’s moan about road deaths shall we?
    1.35 Million per year.

    USA to date Covid 1,476,201 hospitalizations 88,086 deaths, but most of the stats are faked,-

    because the real number of infections is some 20-80x higher than declared (meaning a substantial part of the population has had this chi-com flu without symptoms,-

    and the actual “deaths” are more than 90% due to other factors like age and being obese/serious other health conditions, such as diabetes,heart disease- of which up to 45% of the western population suffer.

    YES we know that.
    All of us do.

    Faking the figures means medicare get loaded with 39000USD each time they declare death due to COVID instead of 5000USD like they would have got in 2018.

    The government also get carte blanche to raid the pension funds & raise taxes.

    Let’s get a handle on all this shall we cos I smell BS, and it’s not getting better by the day.

    A new article on WUWT today.

    “Around the world, both state and local governments looked at wildly exaggerated computer model projections of millions of virus deaths, declared a “State Of Emergency”, and foolishly pulled the wheels off of their own economies.

    This has caused pain, suffering, and loss that far exceeds anything that the virus might do.

    The virus hardly affects anyone—it has killed a maximum of 0.1% of the population in the very worst-hit locations. One-tenth of one measly percent.

    Ah, I hear you saying, but that’s just deaths. What about hospitalizations? Glad you asked. Hospitalizations in the worst-hit areas have been about three times that, about a third of one percent of the population. Still not even one percent.

    But on the other hand, more than thirty million workers in the US are unemployed. That’s about twenty percent of the number of full and part-time employees. And that job loss affects the entire household, not just the workers.

    And that doesn’t count the loss of life from increased suicides and from delayed medical diagnosis and procedures.
    Nor does it count the fact that some 20% of the lost jobs are not expected to return. And we have calls to mental-health hotlines skyrocketing, and domestic violence through the roof.
    In a most ironic outcome, we have hospitals and doctors going bankrupt, and thousands of nurses being furloughed, because “non-essential” medical procedures are forbidden. Then there are the huge financial losses, both to the economy and to the government.

    And in a beautifully circular process, we have trillions and trillions of dollars borrowed by the government to try to offset some of the damages that the government just caused … these lockdowns are far, far more destructive than the virus.

    The virus damage is short-lived, but we and our children will be paying for decades for our stupidity in killing the economy.”



    YOU are all being manipulated and lied to.

    • pete the psychologist says:

      Make sure your tin-foil hat is secured snugly to your troubled head, and you’ll be just fine.

    • Bruce says:

      You don’t care about road deaths, influenza deaths, or any other kind of deaths, in the US or anywhere else. Shut up.

    • Saxon Broken says:


      However you dress it up, lots of people have died of Covid-19. And the health care system in Italy, Spain and New York lost control of the situation. The same looks on the point of happening in Sao Paolo. It really isn’t a made up plot.

      But, once the virus is under control, as it is in Europe, we do need to start relaxing the lockdown and slowly getting back to normal. The virus isn’t going away and we can’t rely on a vaccine, so we are going to have to learn to live with it. [Not nice, I know, but the other options are even worse.]

  • Linda Porter says:

    This makes me realize that there has been no national remembrance or memorial to the many thousands that have died of COVID-19 in the past few months. If there is some kind of national concert to mark their passing, this piece would be a wonderful addition. So moving. I hope some musicians will gather together to organize a memorial concert. It would be a great comfort maybe to the families that have been unable to mourn properly.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Beautifully done. According to the always reliable internet she plays a G.B. Guadagnini.

  • Tovay Schein says:

    But what about the dead who didn’t want to hear it? Do they get a choice in the matter?

    • engineers_unite says:

      NO,- they got no choice they were in the old people’s homes.
      Exactly the places the inept cretins in government said they would make a “priority to protect”.

      Intelligent people think a little more about it all, not make up entertainment for computers screens, not get adulation from 1000s.

      “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
      (A genius who refused honorary degrees and all forms of adulation).

  • Eliza G says:

    Perhaps he could play something for all the people who have died because they could not access medical treatment during the “lockdown”, and another piece for all those who will die as a result of the economic disaster about the engulf us all. Both these totals will unquestionably dwarf the relatively meagre number killed by covid-19.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      It would be an interesting analysis, but the point of the lockdown was to stop the healthcare system being overwhelmed. Most people would argue many more people would have died without any kind of lockdown.

      However, once it has become clear that the healthcare system has things under control, then the other effects of the lockdown need to be understood, and we need to (cautiously at first, and step-by-step) come out of the lockdown.

  • Michael Fine says:

    Beautiful and touching.

  • MomeRath says:

    Nothwithstanding the untethered rantings of “engineers_unite”, thank you both for this achingly poignant eulogy to those who have succumbed to this horrible epidemic.

  • Brinton says:

    Beautifully played and touching. Bravi Nurit and Efi!

  • Edgar Self says:

    Beautiful. What is the significance of “Bar-” in Israeli names, such as the excellent lamented pianist David Bar-Ilan, friend of Bibi’s and former editor of The Jerusalem Post? The last musician-editor of a periodical I can think of was robert Schumann, but there surely have been others?

    • Bernard Caplan says:

      Alan Rusbidridger, former editor of the Guardian, is a pianist & wrote a memoir of his time trying to learn to play Chopin’s Ballade No.1. The title is PLAY IT AGAIN AN AMATEUR AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE.
      BTW This Ballade was superbly performed last Sunday by Boris Giltberg on the Gramophone Magazine’s Lockdown online concert.

    • To Self

      “Jews have historically used Hebrew patronymic names. In the Jewish patronymic system the first name is followed by either ben- or bat- (“son of” and “daughter of”, respectively), and then the father’s name. (Bar-, “son of” in Aramaic, is also seen).” Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Bnei Mitzvah, Doa Mitzvah.

  • Edgar Self says:

    thanks you, Helene Kamioner, for explaining Jewish patronymics. I was hoping that was it.

    And thank you, Bernard Caplan, for Alan Rusbridger and Chopin’s G-minor Ballade, a key piece and lifelong fascination. I first heard it from Rubinstein in the film “I’ve Always Loved You” with Marie Ouspenskaya and Philip Dorn, for which Rubinstein played on the sound-track several works he hadn’t then recorded. Then Josef Hofmann, Cortot, Moiseiwitsch, Sofronitzki, tephen Hough, and all the rest. A magical piece, as impossible for many professionals as it is for amateurs.