Internationally acclaimed clarinetist David Krakauer redefines the notion of a concert artist. Known for his mastery of myriad styles, he occupies the unique position of being one of the world’s leading exponents of Eastern European Jewish klezmer music, and at the same time is a major voice in classical music. As one of the foremost musicians of the vital new wave of klezmer, David Krakauer tours the globe with his celebrated Klezmer Madness! ensemble. While firmly rooted in traditional klezmer folk tunes, the band “hurls the tradition of klezmer music into the rock era” (Jon Pareles, The New York Times).
In addition to his annual European tours to major international festivals and jazz clubs, recent seasons brought Krakauer and his band to the Library of Congress, Stanford Lively Arts, San Francisco Performances, the Krannert Center, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, the Venice Biennale, Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, BBC Proms, Saalfelden Jazz Festival, Transmusicales de Rennes, La Cigale, New Morning in Paris, and many others. His newest project, The Big Picture, re-imagines familiar themes by such renowned film music composers as John Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, Randy Newman, Wojciech Kilar and Vangelis, and interprets melodic gems by the likes of Sidney Bechet, Sergei Prokofiev, Mel Brooks, Ralph Burns, John Kander & Fred Ebb and Jerry Bock that have appeared in popular films.
In addition, Krakauer is in demand worldwide as a guest soloist with the finest ensembles including the Emerson, Orion and Kronos String Quartets, as well as orchestras including the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Detroit Symphony, the Weimar Staatskapelle, the Phoenix Symphony, the Dresdener Philharmonie, and the Seattle Symphony. Krakauer’s discography contains some of the most important klezmer recordings of the past decade including six CDs under his own name: two on John Zorn's Tzadik Label and four on Label Bleu; plus collaborations with the Klezmatics, Itzak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet/Osvaldo Golijov and Socalled. Abraham Inc’s "Tweet-Tweet" on his own label, Table Pounding Records (and Label Bleu in Europe) was released in early 2010.
Composers who have written major pieces for him include David del Tredici, Paul Moravec, Ofer Ben-Amots, Jean Philippe Calvin, George Tsontakis, Anthony Coleman and Wlad Marhulets.
David Krakauer is on the clarinet and chamber music faculties of Mannes College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, NYU and the Bard College Conservatory of Music. His unique sound can be heard as soloist in Danny Elfman's score for the film "Taking Woodstock" and throughout "The Tango Lesson".