Handel Cantata – Della Guerra Amarosa
The second song of my jury recital is performed in memory of Yakov Kreizberg. Yakov, my accompanist was a fellow Michigan student who was a Russian Jew studying to be a conductor. Having your friends, family and faculty in attendance were daunting in itself. So, I can honestly say that his support for me during the recital was the only way I got through it.
Years have passed since then and, when I googled his name a while ago, I found out he’d become one of the top three conductors in the world. He replaced the legendary Herbert Von Karajan at the Berlin Philharmonic. So I reached out to him, and we briefly relived some very nostalgic moments from school. Yakov was an incredible musician. Yakov earned high respect among opera singers around the world. A musician who was known for his ability to understand the individual needs of the singers he was coaching. Yakov put that knowledge into his conducting so the orchestra he was leading supported the singers in the best way.
I say “was” because when I looked up the correct spelling of his name for this post, I was shocked to discover he died of cancer on March 15th, 2011. The news of his death hit especially close to home since we shared the exact same birthday. But, not only the same birthday, but he died from the very same cancer I had at the very same time.
So I post this recording in memory of Yakov Kreizberg, and though I am far from perfect in it (but I didn’t drop a beat), I can tell you it was one of the greatest moments of my life to have been accompanied by this world-class musician.