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Jewish Childhood - Michele Zukovsky, Clarinet - Fifty Years With The L.A. Philharmonic
Monday, 28 October 2013 21:22

As I flip through THE CLARINET, vol. 39, No. 3, June 2012, I see a tribute to my cousin Michele. I see early photos of Michele with her father Kalman Bloch, one of her with the Los Feliz Clarinet Quartet, Michele at the Weber Concert Trio at Aspen. She was 17. Other photos for the 40s when we were kids together, Michele at one of my early birthday parties. Michele in one with her brother Gregory, towering over him as he plays his violin, she her clarinet. Another photo taken with Zubin Mehta, Michele and her father in 2008, and an early photo of the clarinetists of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, 1975.

I remember when Michele went out with my cousin Mike (the other side of the family) for his Senior Prom. In the early years I remember her mother Frances, down at Venice Beach, painting the old Jews sitting on the park bench in front of the bakery where I used to go with my first partner. We would get this wonderful cheesecake about 4 inches high and light as a feather. We would run into Frances on many a Saturday or Sunday, engage in conversation. Talk about my parents, and her kids. Michele's brother Gregory Bloch died in 1989.

Each time I visit Los Angeles, Michele and I try to get together. She is usually so busy with rehearsals and concerts, teaching master students and visiting with her grandchildren that our time together is short and precious. Every once in a while Michele and I are able to catch a short telephone conversation.

It's hard to believe someone being with one employer fifty years much less even 20 or 15. When I talk with Michele about this, she tells me she loves the work. She seems to be able to keep up with all of it. All I can say, is she is a role model. All the tributes to her in the article in THE CLARINET bear witness to the respect of her associates, many of who knew both Michele and her father Kalman.

I would love to find the Gershwin RHAPSODY IN BLUE beginning intro solo by Michele when Herbie Hancock played with the L.A. Phil. Much as I have tried, I can't find the recording with Michele's beginning. When I asked her to send it to me, she instead sent me Mozart, saying, "This is better." I have attached it here so you can begin to experience the magnificent sound of a clarinetist known throughout the world, and my cousin in Mozart. Click here: ? MICHELE ZUKOVSKY CLARINETIST: MOZART CLARINET QUINTET - Part 4 LIVE FROM ARMENIA - YouTube

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