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Alba Challah

Alba Challah

Alba Challah were a delight. The recital was fun, varied, lively and the musicianship was excellent. Our audience appreciated the personal introductions to each piece, and it was great to see the band clearly enjoying their performance. The noisy applause after each piece showed how much our audience enjoyed the show, and an encore was well-deserved and well-received.

Linlithgow Arts Guild, April 2023

...a charming and delightful group of young men ...excellent and entertaining performance...a great evening's entertainment... freshness and enthusiasm... undisputed talents... memorable evening... delightful evenning... one of the very best evenings of entertainment we have had in a long time... very talented musicians... special quality.... their own distinctive way.... variety of items ...

The Osprey Music Society, Boat of Garten, December 2022

Large Ensemble (six or more performers)


  • Ruaridh Bakke - clarinet
  • Masha Zhuravlova - violin
  • Josiah Duhlstine - cello
  • Isidor ten Hooven - bass guitar
  • Michael O'Rourke - percussion
  • Duncan Ritchie - accordion


to include:

Ot Azoi, "That’s the way" (traditional Klezmer)

Nokh a Glezele Vayn, “another glass of wine” (traditional Klezmer) 

Saint-Saëns' Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah, arr Ruaridh Bakke

Set of three tunes - "Escorting the parents of the Bride and Groom," Moldovian Hora, Odessa Bulgarish 

Toby Murena, "Indifférence" (French gypsy-jazz waltz) 

Kaval Sviri (Bulgarian folk song), arr Michael O’Rourke

Galatas, Mames Babegenush, arr Michael O’Rourke


So much more than just a klezmer band!

Klezmer music originated in the 'shtetl' (villages) and the Jewish ghettos of Eastern Europe, where itinerant Jewish troubadours, known as 'klezmorim', performed at joyful events, particularly weddings, since the early middle ages. It was inspired by secular melodies, popular dances, Jewish liturgy as well as by the simple and often wordless melodies, intended by orthodox Jews for approaching God in a kind of ecstatic communion. In (mutual) contact with Slavonic, Greek, Turkish, Gypsy and, later, American jazz musicians, using typical scales, tempo and rhythm changes, slight dissonance and a touch of improvisation, the 'klezmorim' acquired the ability to evoke all kinds of emotions, through a very diversified music. With its artistic copiousness and its distinctive sound, Klezmer music is unique, easily recognizable and widely appreciated, both by 'ethnic insiders' and by larger audiences, all around the world. Klezmer music is also an invitation to dance and is nowadays going through a real revival.

This sextet of young musicians, trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, sound as if they've been playing together for years. They have arranged some pieces to suit their combination of instruments and alternately get your toes tapping and your eyes watering!