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Lessons: Study with Master Klezmer Musicians

Klezmer Music Foundation connects you to professional klezmer musicians with decades of teaching and performing experience to share with you. Meet some of the Instructors:

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Alex Koffman

Violinist, Composer, Band Director

Alex was born in Minsk, USSR in a musical family where his grandfather taught him Jewish folk music.  Alex received his Master’s Degree from the Conservatory of Minsk, and, when drafted into the Red Army, conducted a military orchestra. After immigrating to America in 1990, Alex studied with Albert Igolnikov of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He then joined Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and soon became its violinist, Musical Director, and arranger.


Alex’s creative arrangements and compositions combine the traditional klezmer style with classical, jazz and contemporary influences. Since the 1990s, Alex has recorded five CDs and performed across the world with Maxwell Street, with highlights including Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Theatre in London, and the Vienna Mozart Hall. In 2008, Alex was the featured soloist in the world premiere of “Klezmer Rhapsody'' by Ilya Levinson, which he reprised in Symphony Center in 2014 with Chicago Sinfonietta.  In 2015, Alex was a featured performer in Lyric Opera of the first klezmer opera, “The Property.” In 2019, Alex was Musical Director of "The Dybbuk," an original setting of a folktale, at DePaul Theatre School. As an educator, Alex teaches klezmer musicians of all ages and levels, Alex conducts three grassroots synagogue bands and mentors young musicians in the Junior Klezmer Orchestra. 


In 2019, Alex was featured as a soloist and teacher at “Litvak Klezmer Festival,” Minsk’s International Jewish music festival.   In 2020, during the Covid-19 Pandemic, Alex was selected as a soloist in a virtual worldwide event, “Beregovski's Musical Treasures: 35 Klezmer Fiddlers: 12 Countries, 158 Nigunim.”  


Alex’s other musical credits include the Chicago Music Consortium, the David Rothstein Orchestra, the Bill Porter Orchestra, the Steppenwolf Theater, and movie and commercial soundtracks.  

Contact (847) 675-4800 or email us at for more information or to sign up for lessons. Or, click the button below to send us a message:

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We also can connect you with master klezmer musicians for instruction on: clarinet, piano, trombone, trumpet, drums and more.

Click here to contact us for more info.

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