Mesmeric Klezmer

It is reported that the St Andrew’s Music Festival got off to a highly successful start last Sunday, the 13th of November, with a concert given by the leading world music couple, Merlin and Polina Shepherd.

A packed audience in St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church is said have been transfixed for two hours by the sheer virtuosity and musicianship of the former’s clarinet playing and the latter’s “astonishingly beautiful singing voice.”

After the concert, Polina wrote: “This was my first performance in Sheffield and I found the audience to be attentive, supportive and a wonderful listening crowd. I would be happy to return at any point, as there is clearly a need and a love of Yiddish music.

“Many thanks for bringing us to the city and to a wonderful venue.”

Merlin added: “It was fantastic to come back to city where Klezmer first took off in the UK. Having been involved at the start of it all, it’s wonderful to feel the hunger and interest in all things Klezmer and Yiddish oriented, still shining here.”

An exhibition alongside the concert mapped the progress of how the Klezmer wave began in Sheffield in the 1980s and there will be more of Merlin and Polina Shepherd when they return to the city next March, the 29th, in the Sheffield University Concert Season.

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