The Zamir Chorale of Boston recently returned from its third appearance at the annual Louis Lewandowski Festival in Berlin. Created in 2011 by Nils Busch-Petersen, a lawyer, politician, and chief executive of The Retail Associates of Berlin, the festival celebrates the majestic music of the great 19th-century composer and music director of the Oranienburgerstrasse synagogue in Berlin. This year’s festival, which focused on synagogue composers from Southern Germany, featured choirs from Israel and Serbia, as well as Boston and Berlin. The highlight of the festival was the first performance in more than 80 years of Hugo Adler’s 1934 cantata, Balak und Bilam. More than just a concert tour, this was a mission to revive Jewish culture in Germany.
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While Zamir's 50th anniversary is behind us, our golden year initiatives are not! Be sure to check out jewishchoralemusic.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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