ECA Voice of the Cantor
By European Cantors
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ECA Voice of the Cantor May 16, 2021
Voice of the Cantor Episode 10 - Cantor Gideon Zelermyer
ECA Director Alex Klein interviews Gideon Zelermyer, Cantor at Montreal’s prestigious Congregation Shaar Hashomayim who has performed around the world as a featured soloist and with the Shaar Hashomayim choir, receiving widespread critical acclaim. Recorded live on 9th February 2022.
Voice of the Cantor Episode 9 - Cantor Alberto Mizrahi
ECA Director Alex Klein interviews Alberto Mizrahi, Hazzan Emeritus at Anshe Emet Synagogue, Chicago, US. One of the world’s leading interpreters of Jewish music who has thrilled audiences worldwide on the pulpit, in recitals, symphony and opera. Recorded live on 26th January 2022.
Voice of the Cantor Episode 8 - Rabbi Cantor Lionel Rosenfeld
ECA Director Alex Klein interviews Rabbi Cantor Lionel Rosenfeld. Rav Lionel is erstwhile senior rabbi at London's Western Marble Arch Synagogue and fifth generation scion of Jerusalem Rabbonim and Cantors. He is deeply respected for his composition of new and exciting Jewish music and as performer at major events around the globe, including with the world-famous Shabbaton Choir. Recorded live on 12th January 2022.
Voice of the Cantor Series 2 Programme 7 - Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray
Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray, much respected cantorate teacher and internationally acclaimed recording and concert artist, who has served as cantor and director of music for synagogues across the United States, talks to European Cantors Association director Alex Klein. Recorded live on 5th January 2022.
Voice of the Cantor Series 2 Programme 6 - Cantor Faith Steinsnyder
Cantor Faith Steinsnyder, much respected cantorate teacher and internationally acclaimed recording and concert artist, who has served as cantor and director of music for synagogues across the United States, talks to European Cantors Association director Alex Klein. Recorded live on 22nd December 2021.
Voice of the Cantor Series 2 Programme 5 - Alex Klein
In a 'something different' mode for the mid-season programme, Rabbi Yossi Binstock, Chazan at St Johns Wood Synagogue interviews Alex Klein, Director of the European Cantors Association and legendary UK impresario. Recorded live on 8th December 2021.
Voice of the Cantor Series 2 Programme 4 - Rabbi Cantor Michael Plaskow
Rabbi Cantor Michael Plaskow MBE, Emeritus Chazan of London's Woodside Park and Freeman of the City of London talks to European Cantors Association director Alex Klein.
Recorded live on 24th November 2021.
Voice of the Cantor Series 2 Programme 3 - Cantor Moshe Dubiner
Cantor Moshe Dubiner, Legendary UK Chazan now in his seventh decade of professional practice, talks to European Cantors Association director Alex Klein.
Recorded live on 10th November 2021.
Voice of the Cantor 2 - Episode 2 : Cantor Jacob Mendelson
Internationally renowned Cantor Jacob Mendelson of New York features in the second programme of the second series of our Voice of the Cantor talking about his remarkable career, in conversation with European Cantors Association director Alex Klein. Recorded live on 27th October 2021.
Voice of the Cantor 2 - Episode 1 : Cantor Beny Maissner
Internationally renowned Cantor Beny Maissner of Toronto opens the second series of our Voice of the Cantor talking about his remarkable career in conversation with European Cantors Association director Alex Klein. Recorded live on 13th October 2021.
International Launch Of The Encyclopaedia of British Jewish Cantors, Chazanim, Ministers and Synagogue Musicians: their history and culture.
The European Cantors Association launched Michael Jolles’s Encyclopaedia of British Jewish Cantors, Chazanim, Ministers and Synagogue Musicians: their history and culture on October 6th.
This book is a major contribution to the knowledge of cantors and ministers who have served British Jewish communities in a musical capacity over the centuries from 1656 to the present day. After ten years of dedicated research, Dr Michael Jolles has produced a remarkable volume of material never assembled in one place before. It includes much information that is not available in any other publication.
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 10 : Cantorial Art, Into The Future I : The Rise Of The Female Cantor
Opportunities for women to enter the cantorate are relatively recent
in its 200+ year history.
While women in the cantorate are more established now in progressive communities in the United States, what are the opportunities and challenges for cantors in such synagogues in the UK, Europe and Israel in the coming years, in a societal framework of greater diversity and inclusion? with:
Cantor Jaclyn Chernett
European Academy for Jewish Liturgy
Cantor Zöe Jacobs
Finchley Reform Synagogue, London
Cantor Tamara Wolfson
Alyth Reform Synagogue, London
Shani Ben Or
Jerusalem and New York
Cantor Daniel Singer
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, NYC
Moderator Russell Grossman
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 9 : Cantorial Art, Into The Future I : Renaissance In Europe
In the penultimate session in our series, we look at the resurgence of cantorial art in Europe in new or revived communities since the Holocaust, a renaissance which has established since the end of the Cold War and the creation of the European Union.
What challenges have the cantors in these communities faced and how have they dealt with them. What challenges and opportunities remain?
Our panel includes distinguished cantors, including from “new” communities across Europe.
Chief Cantor Shmuel Barzilai
Viennese City Temple
Cantor Assaf Levitin
Ex- Hanover Liberal Jewish Community
Cantor Nathan Goldman
IRGW Stuttgart Synagogue
Cantor Daniel Rudas
Dohany Synagogue Budapest
Cantor Bryan Wood
Alt Neu Shul Prague
Moderator Hirsh Cashdan
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 8 : Who Needs A Shul Choir?
European Jewry has had a choral tradition for 200 years. But has the conventional choir outlived its usefulness?
Do we need a new agreed model for congregational singing?
If we keep our choirs, should they be community assets or staffed by professionals (or a mix)?
What role has the choir in keeping old traditions going and teaching new music? Or should we just experience Jewish choral music on the concert stage?
In this international session, Choir directors from around the world offer their views. With:
Benjamin Wolf Musical Director, Belsize Square Synagogue, UK
Alexander Tsaliuk Artistic Director, Moscow Male Jewish Choir, Russia
Ruti Worrall Choir Director, Menorah Synagogue, Cheshire, UK
Evelyn Green Musical Director, Johannesburg Jewish Male Choir, South Africa
Alan Freedman Musical Director, The London Cantorial Singers, UK
Moderator Daniel Tunkel
Recorded live on 9th June 2021 / 29th Sivvan 5781
This event was held jointly with the Cantors Assembly.
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 7b : Who Needs Nusach Part II
What do we mean by Nusach and wherein lies its importance?
Is this centuries-old tradition, the immutable structure for the music of prayer? Or is the melody of the synagogue more changeable and less constant than we think?
Is it OK to use modern Israeli or Yeshivah tunes instead? Or even secular songs ?
Nusach Part II examines these issues from a North American perspective with a wholly North American panel. Is this any different from that of the Minhag Anglia communities? Are North American synagogues more or less demanding of change and are the influences and infiltrations at all different?
Should we fight against these influences or accept them as inevitable and welcome them?
Our panel was:
Cantor Hinda Eisen Labovitz
Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Writer and retired choirmaster, Toronto
Cantor Jacob Mendelson
Eminent cantor and international performer
Cantor Gideon Zelermyer
Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, Montreal
Moderator Hirsh Cashdan
This event was held jointly with the Cantors Assembly
Recorded live on 2nd June 2021, 22nd Sivvan 5781
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 7a : Who Needs Nusach? Part I
What do we mean by Nusach and wherein lies its importance? Is this centuries-old tradition, the immutable structure for the music of prayer?
Or is the melody of the synagogue more changeable and less constant than we think? Is it OK to use modern Israeli or Yeshivah tunes instead?
Or even secular songs ?
In Nusach Part I, we join a panel of Cantors and Rabbis from around the world inured in the British Commonwealth tradition (Minhag Anglia) to discuss this.
Cantor Asher Hainovitz, Yeshurun Synagogue, Jerusalem
Rabbi Cantor Geoffrey Shisler, Teacher and Rabbi/Cantor(retired)
Charles Heller, Writer and retired choirmaster Toronto
Rabbi Benjy Rickman, Holy Law Synagogue, Manchester UK
Moderator Hirsh Cashdan
Recorded Live on 26th May 2021; Sivvan 15th 5781
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 6 : The Sephardi Cantor - How Similar, How Different?
In 'Voice of the Cantor' the series to date has primarily considered the cantor as the chief singer of the Ashkenazi synagogue.
But Sephardi and Oriental communities have their cantors and leaders too. Their roles and styles are sometimes quite similar to those of the traditional Ashkenazi cantor, but often very different as well.
What are the core similarities and differences? What can cantors (and rabbis and communities) in the two wings of Judaism learn from each other. More specifically, what are Sephardi communities doing to preserve and communicate their heritage?
Our panel included Ashkenazim who serve Sephardi communities and Sephardim who serve Ashkenazi communities, for what was a colourful cross-cultural discussion. This session featured:
Cantor Eliot Alderman : Freelance Synagogue Musician, UK
Cantor Aaron Bensoussan : Freelance Hazzan, Toronto
Rabbi Jeff Berger : Wembley Sephardi Community, London, UK
Hazzan Dr. Ramón Tasat : Shirat HaNefesh Cong., Maryland, US
Moderator Daniel Tunkel
Recorded Live on 12th May 2021, 1st Sivvan 5781
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 5 : The Carlebach Conundrum
In “The Carlebach Conundrum” we examine the issues presented by the type of music used in services in the genre of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, focusing on the phenomenon of the music, which might be described as neo-Hasidic or 'easy singing music'.
Leaving aside any view as to the subjective musical merits of Carlebach’s own compositions, we simply note that the man started something, which others have continued and developed upon. Why did this happen? We wanted to explore the degree to which music like Carlebach’s has become the ‘new tradition’, and what this sort of music brings to a service (or what it takes away).
with Cantor Asher Hainovitz, Yeshurun Synagogue, Jerusalem
Rabbi Yossi Binstock, St John’s Wood Synagogue, London
Rabbi Michael Wolk, Temple Israel, Charlotte NC, USA
Cantor Yehuda Marx, Heaton Park Synagogue, Manchester UK
Alex Klein Director, European Cantors Association
Moderator Russell Grossman
Recorded live on 28 April 2021, 16 Iyyar 5781
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 4 : The Challenge Of Modern Orthodox For The Cantorate
Does the Modern Orthodox agenda leave room for the conventional cantor?
A discussion with
Michael Goldstein, President, United Synagogue UK
Cantor / Minister Alby Chait, United Hebrew Congregation, Leeds UK
Cantor Steven Leas, Central Synagogue, London UK
Rabbi Cantor Danny Bergson, St Annes Hebrew Congregation, St Annes UK
Cantor Adam Caplan, Prestwich Hebrew Congregation, Manchester UK
Moderator Hirsh Cashdan
Recorded live on 14th April 2021, 2nd Iyyar 5781
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 3 : Passover In Pandemic
How have we adapted after a year of the modern plague?
Three experienced ministers from UK orthodox communities talk with ECA's Hirsh Cashdan about the special challenges of the pandemic for their communities and how they have negotiated a second 'Passover in Pandemic'.
Recorded live on 31st March 2021.
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 2 : Crossing The Pond
Three experienced cantors Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky (Orthodox, NYC); Cantor Jason Green (Conservative, Ottawa); and Rabbi Cantor Gershon Silins (London), who've practised in UK and North America discuss, if the nusach's the same and the music's similar, what's different for them and their congregations working either side of the Atlantic? In conversation with ECA's Russell Grossman
Voice of the Cantor - Episode 1 : Dudu Fisher 'Never On A Friday'
As a curtain-raiser for European Cantors Association's innovative programme Voice of the Cantor, we presented internationally renowned cantor and star of the musical theatre, Dudu Fisher, in conversation with the ECA’s Director Alex Klein, exploring his amazing trajectory and how he has managed to balance a career on the bimah and the stage. This event was held in conjunction with the Cantors Assembly and recorded live on Wednesday March 3rd 2021.