General Info


Contact Us

Founders & VIPs

Concert Archive

Thank you to all of our donors and especially to the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation and to the
A. Lindsay and Olive B. O'Connor Foundation for your generous support which makes this concert possible.

Admission is by suggested donation at the door. There are no pre-concert ticket sales or seat reservations. Click here for more details.


August 18, 2013

Big Galut(e)

Join us on Sunday, August 18 at 3PM at the Cyr Center in Stamford for the fifth concert of our 27th Season, featuring a rousing klezmer performance by Big Galut(e). Klezmer is a Jewish tradition of mainly dance and celebration music that originated in Eastern Europe. As immigrants from that region settled in the United States klezmer further evolved under the influence of American jazz.

Some may remember a klezmer concert during the 1999 Friends of Music season, featuring clarinetist Robin Seletsky and her previous group, the Catskill Klezmorim. After years of being hounded for an encore, Ms. Seletsky has graciously agreed to treat us all to a performance with her new group of associates.

Big Galut(e) was formed in Cooperstown in 2010 at the Glimmerglass Festival, where the artists play in the orchestra. Their unusual combination of instruments and performances that include folk, art and popular music is are further enhanced by their classical virtuosity.

Clarinetist Robin Seletsky and violinist Sasha Margolis each grew up in musical households and learned traditional klezmer melodies from their fathers, and the group is a natural progression of that shared history.

The Yiddish or Hebrew word galute or galoot has entered the vernacular as a term — usually used affectionately — for a big, clumsy, not-too-smart person. According to the group’s Web site, “In Hebrew, Galut [also] means diaspora, the wide world of places where Jewish people settled, over thousands of years, on every continent: in short, a big place.”

photo of Big Galut(e)

Big Galut(e) (left to right): Mark Rubinstein, accordion & piano; Robin Seletsky, clarinet; Michael Leopold, lute; Richard Sosinsky, double bass and Sasha Margolis, violin.

True to this wider definition, Big Galut(e) travels the globe to share their music and their humor. Their performances generally include jokes told both in Yiddish and in English and “original comic songs.”

These five talented musicians have widely varied musical backgrounds that include klezmer, classical, jazz and popular music, with international- and Grammy-nominated performances. Their combined efforts promise a musically exciting and fun afternoon as we celebrate life on a glorious Catskill late summer day, in a place that for decades epitomized the joy of summer and the relief from the heat and drudgery of city life in the green hills of Delaware County.

Click here or on the photo above to read more about the artists of Big Galut(e), or for more information about the group and to hear examples of their work, please visit their Web site at

All selections will be announced from the stage. The program will consist of lively klezmer instrumentals, Middle Eastern/Levantine dances, short chamber works by the Jewish Baroque composer Salamone Rossi and traditional Yiddish songs.


© 2004 - 2014 Friends of Music of Stamford NY, Inc. — All Rights Reserved