« Randy Herman, Alicia Svigals, in benefit for Israeli Children, NYC, Nov 2 | Main | Massel-Tov, Giengen an der Brenz, Germany, 3 Nov »

Kristallnacht commemorated w/music of Sulzer and Lewandowski, NYC, Nov 3

Kristallnacht Commemorated with the Glorious Music of Salomon Sulzer and Louis Lewandowski

Congregation Rodeph Sholom’s Senior Cantor, Rebecca Garfein, and Cantorial Intern, Jennifer Strauss-Klein will commemorate Kristallnacht—the Night of Broken Glass, with the music of renowned Viennese Cantor, Salomon Sulzer and Berlin composer, Louis Lewandowski at 6p.m., Friday, November 3, 2006 during Shabbat services. Guest Cantor, Dr. Bruce Ruben, newly appointed Director of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s School of Sacred Music will also participate in this special service. Rodeph Sholom’s Organist, Dr. John Schuder and augmented professional choir, will accompany the cantors. This event is free of charge and the entire community is invited to attend. Rodeph Sholom is located at 7 West 83rd Street (off Central Park West.)

For more information, please call (212) 362-8800, extension 1337.

Born in 1804, Sulzer is credited with being the first to modernize the cantorate and one of the earliest composers to westernize synagogue music. With Sulzer, the title of “Cantor” was born out of a desire to be accepted and understood by 19th century society. In fact, Sulzer was very much a part of modern musical circles. His closest friend and occasional collaborator was composer Franz Schubert. The influence of 19th century music is clearly heard in Sulzer’s synagogue compositions. As a Cantor, Sulzer was very successful at creating a musical bridge between the “old world” and the newly enlightened world.

Throughout Europe, Louis Lewandowski assisted numerous Cantors in his day, the most famous being the celebrated Solomon Sulzer, who also composed for the Austrian and German synagogues. Lewandowski was the first composer to write for synagogues using organ and large choirs.

Cantor Rebecca Garfein, mezzo-soprano, is the Senior Cantor of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City and is the first female Cantor to hold this position in the history of the congregation.

Cantor Garfein has appeared in concerts throughout the United States, Israel and Europe and at Carnegie Hall with Mandy Patinkin and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Recently she debuted her new album at Carnegie Hall entitled, “Golden Chants in America...Commemorating 350 years of Jewish Music, 1654-2004.” “Golden Chants in America” is the first U.S. recording to feature Jewish music spanning 350 years of life in America. Cantor Garfein’s other solo CD is a live recording from the 1997 Jewish Festival in Berlin entitled, “Sacred Chants of the Contemporary Synagogue.”

A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Cantor Garfein graduated cum laude from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music with a degree in vocal performance and opera. In 1993, she received her Master’s Degree in Sacred Music and Cantorial Investiture from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).

Cantor Bruce L. Ruben, Ph.D., baritone, is the Director of the School of Sacred Music (SSM) at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). He has taught Jewish history courses at HUC-JIR and the history of Jewish music at The Julliard School. For the past fifteen years, he has served as an adjunct professor of history at Hunter College, where he has taught courses on World History, Modern Jewish History, and the Holocaust. Since 1982, he has served as the Cantor of Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City, where he has organized special music programs with professional and volunteer choirs, written as well as commissioned and premiered new works by leading composers, taught adult education courses on the history of Jewish music, history, and liturgy, and developed innovative services for increased congregational participation. He has fostered interfaith relations as a leader in the Yorkville Christian-Jewish Council, and has been active for many years in community activities at a neighborhood senior citizen center.

Originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin, Jennifer Strauss-Klein, soprano, is a third-year cantorial student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999, and her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD in 2001. Jennifer continued to study at Peabody in the Graduate Performance Diploma program and also attended Baltimore Hebrew University in the Master of Arts in Jewish Studies program, where she won the Sidney Breitbart Prize in Jewish Philosophy. She currently serves as the Cantorial Intern of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan. She and her husband Nick Strauss-Klein welcomed a son, Henry, in March 2006.

For more information, please call (212) 362-8800, extension 1337.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)