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For many centuries, the world of professional music making had been an exclusively male bastion in Western civilization. Female composers and public performers were a rarity in Europe and America, and it was nearly impossible for them to have their works published or heard on concert stages. Kol ishah – the voice of a woman – was suppressed. Now we are presenting kolot nashim – the voices of many women, restoring them to their deserved position.
“Kolot Nashim,” a year-long program celebrating the many roles of women in Jewish music, is dedicated to the memory of Linda Plaut, the City of Newton’s longtime Director of Cultural Affairs and founder of the Newton Festival of the Arts. Part I, which was held in November (watch here), was hosted by Josh Jacobson and Lidiya Yankovskaya. The event commemorated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote and paid tribute to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Part II of “Kolot Nashim” is hosted by Josh Jacobson and Amy Lieberman and includes interviews with composers Achinoam Nini (aka Noa), with a new performance of her and Mira Awad’s “There Must Be Another Way”; Benjie Ellen Schiller, with a performance of her “Harninu” (Psalm 81); Elena Kats-Chernin (Sydney, Australia), with a US premiere performance of her Psalm 23; and Kirsten and Ken Lampl (Canberra, Australia), with a performance of their “Dirshu.”
Zamir has always been about community. A community of expression. A community of exploration. A community of tradition and innovation. And while we cannot see you in concert, we will bring you music videos and programs that we hope will bring you some relief and perhaps even joy.
During the 2020-21 season we have been posting weekly messages with music that will “delight the soul.” We also featured monthly "Zoominars"on various musical topics taught by members of the Zamir musical staff and guests. Recorded sessions can be viewed here.
WATCH "Kolot Nashim: Jewish Music by Women Conductors," a year-long program celebrating the many roles of women in Jewish music. The first major production was streamed on YouTube Premiere on November 17, 2020. It featured Artistic Director Josh Jacobson and Zamir alumna Lidiya Yankovskaya as co-hosts, interviews with composers Nurit Hirsh, Alice Parker and Meira Warshauer with video performances of their works, including the world premiere virtual performance of Warshauer’s “Place These Words.”
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Protect yourself and your community while helping Zamir raise funds by purchasing a face mask! Zamir masks sell for $12 a piece or $50 for a package of five. You can arrange to pick up your mask(s) in Newton, MA, or have it/them shipped to you (free shipping for one; $6 for five).
The masks are washable and reusable tri-layer (2 polyester, 1 foam) non-medical mask. Three slots make it adjustable for any adult face. Excess material can easily be trimmed for a stretchable, breathable custom fit. Not for use in surgical/clinical settings where significant exposure to liquid, bodily/hazardous fluids, or high airborne infection risk may be expected; around high intensity heat sources or flammable gas. No warranties are made that the mask prevents infection/transmission of virus/disease. Complies with Prop 65. 13" L x 4 3/4" H x 3/32" H.
While Zamir's 50th anniversary is behind us, our golden year initiatives are not! Be sure to check out jewishchoralmusic.com, a new comprehensive resource website for anyone looking for choral music from a wide variety of Jewish traditions and experiences. Choral conductors, singers, and musical leaders from around the world now have access to music representing a wide spectrum of styles, eras, voicings, nationalities, languages, and levels. Visitors may use the site's resources to read articles, books, and blogs; review programming suggestions; buy sheet music; listen to podcasts and recordings; and much more. Read this feature from Chorus America's The Voice.
Zamir also created a first-ever international Jewish virtual choir of Louis Lewandowski’s “Halleluyoh.” With 150 participants from all over the world, we hope that this production will inspire and expose countless music lovers to 19th-century German synagogue music, in general, and in particular, the famous German Jewish composer. Watch it now!
Performing on concert stages throughout North America, Europe, and Israel, the award-winning Zamir Chorale of Boston awakens audiences to the exotic rhythms of the Middle East to the majestic anthems of 19th-century European synagogues, from the romances of Spain to the chants of Yemen, and from contemporary American jazz to the much-loved Yiddish tunes of Jewish musical theater.
Founded in 1969 by Joshua Jacobson, one of the world’s leading authorities on Jewish choral music, the Zamir Chorale of Boston’s “music with a mission” brings the joy of Jewish music to audiences that transcend age, religious and ethnic background. Zamir sets the bar for musical excellence.
JOSHUA R. JACOBSON, founder and director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, holds a Bachelors degree in Music from Harvard College, a Masters in Choral Conducting from the New England Conservatory, a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati, and a Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa from Hebrew College. He served 45 years as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Northeastern University, including nine years as Music Department Chairman and six years as the Bernard Stotsky Professor of Jewish Cultural Studies. He is also Visiting Professor and Senior Consultant in the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College.
Prof. Jacobson has guest conducted a number of ensembles, including the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Bulgarian National Symphony and Chorus, the New England Conservatory Orchestra and the Boston Lyric Opera Company. He has guest lectured and taught workshops for schools, synagogues, festivals and conventions throughout North America and in Israel, Germany and Australia. He has also written articles on various aspects of choral music, and compositions and arrangements that have been published and performed by choirs around the world. In 1989 he spent four weeks in Yugoslavia as a Distinguished Professor under the auspices of the Fulbright program. In 1994 Hebrew College awarded him the Benjamin Shevach Award for Distinguished Achievement in Jewish Educational Leadership, in 2004 the Cantors Assembly presented him with its prestigious “Kavod Award,” and in 2016 Choral Arts New England presented him the Alfred Nash Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award. And in June, 2018, Prof. Jacobson received the Distinguished Service Award from Chorus America at its national convention in Chicago.
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