Many thanks to Steve Justa, our concert photographer. Posted with his permission.
Sunday June 11, 2017, 7 o’clock PM
The Massry Center for the Arts at the College of Saint Rose
With guest artist Cantor Meir Finkelstein
Meir was born in Israel, the son of the late Cantor Zvi Finkelstein. The family emigrated to England when Zvi accepted a cantorial position in London. Meir showed outstanding musical abilities, and at an early age began accompanying his father and older brother, Aryeh, at services. The boys and their father recorded two albums of original liturgical music which were released in the USA under the Mercury label.
At the tender age of 14, Meir became the youngest cantor in Europe when he accepted a post at a synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland. At 18, Meir became Cantor at London’s prestigious Golders Green Synagogue. During this time, he also attended the Royal College of Music on a scholarship, graduating with top honors in Singing, Piano and Composition. In 1974, Meir emigrated to Wilmette, Illinois, when Beth Hillel Congregation discovered his musical talent and engaged him as their cantor.
In 1982 Meir became Cantor of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California, which he served for 18 years. During this time, he also enjoyed a successful career as a Hollywood composer/arranger. Meir scored numerous television shows including episodes of “Dallas” and “Falcon Crest” as well as many TV movies of the week. He collaborated with Steven Spielberg, composing music for the Visual History Foundation’s award-winning documentary, “Survivors of the Holocaust” for which he was nominated for a Cable Ace Award.
Meir is one of the best-documented composers of contemporary Jewish music. He has composed over 150 settings for the liturgy, and Meir’s compositions are sung all over the world, his most famous settings being “L’Dor Vador” and “V’al Kulam”. On November 6, 2010, the American Conference of Cantors performed his “Modim / V’al Kulam” compositions in Rome, Italy in front of Pope Benedict. In 1987, he composed a Jewish Requiem, “Nishmat Tzedek,” which has been performed in various cities throughout the United States. Three years later, he premiered his large-scale cantata “Liberation” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. Written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, it featured the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, many well-known soloists, and the entire evening’s performance was hosted by Billy Crystal.
After the live performance, Meir recorded a CD of “Liberation” with the Israel Philharmonic. More recently, he performed the work with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yoel Levi. In 2007, Meir debuted his Passover Seder rock musical, “Matzah Do About Nothing”. He also composed a new cantata featuring both Jewish and gospel choirs entitled, “I Won’t Forget You O Jerusalem”. Over the years, his colleagues have commissioned Meir to compose many original compositions. Additionally, he has produced and arranged numerous recordings for them.
Meir possesses a beautiful lyric tenor voice, and has taught and mentored many young cantors. He is also an authority on the History of Jewish Liturgy, and he has lectured as a Scholar in Residence at synagogues throughout the country. Meir believes in physical fitness and healthy eating, and when not working out he enjoys a good game of golf. He has been the cantor at Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston for three years. Meir is married to Monica and they have two children, Noah aged 17 and Emily aged 16.
Steve Justa’s photos from our 2016 annual concert, posted with his permission.
Sunday May 22, 2016, 7:30PM
The Linda – WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio.
339 Central Avenue, Albany, NY.
With guest artist Cantor Elías Rosemberg
For ticket information, download the flyer here.
Cantor Elías Rosemberg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He comes from a family of musicians. His grandfather was a Hazzan and his father was a clarinetist in a Klezmer band. In 1988 at the age of 18, Elías started to work as a Hazzan at Chaim Weitzman community in San Martin, Buenos Aires, Argentina. By 1991 he studied at Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano and in 1994 he obtained the degree of Hazzan and Singing Professor.
Elías studied music theory and harmony at Manuel de Falla School of Music and took voice lessons with many professors. Elías completed a 5 year program in Pathology, Audiology & Speech therapy at the School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires. He has been heard in many concerts and weddings in the Buenos Aires area. He has appeared several times on TV and radio programs. He is featured on several recordings.
In December 1998 he won the vocal contest: “Argentina sings for Israel” organized by the Israeli Embassy in Argentina.
He served as a Hazzan at Lamroth Hakol Synagogue from 1990 to 2000, where he was a Bar Mitzvah teacher, baal koreh, voice teacher of the choir and founder and director of the School of Hazzanim for Teenagers.
In July 2000, Elías moved to the United States, where he worked as Baal Koreh and Hazzan at multiple synagogues. Since 2007 he has been Hazzan at Temple Emanuel in Newton, MA.
Since coming to the United States, Elías has continued to receive honors and recognition for his talent as a great singer and as a gifted Hazzan. His repertoire includes Cantorial, Israeli, Yiddish, and Ladino, as well as Opera and Broadway selections. True to his Argentinean roots, he also enjoys singing Tango. In February 2002 he was appointed to sing the memorial prayer at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC at the Cantors Assembly Convention.
In addition to his Cantorial duties at Temple Emanuel, Cantor Rosemberg performs regularly with The Bostonian Opera and Concert Ensemble and the Zamir Chorale of Boston. Hazzan Rosemberg is currently the New England Region Chair for the Cantors Assembly and also serves on the national Executive Council of the same organization. He is the immediate past president of the New England Board of Cantors and has served on the faculty of the Cantor-Educator program at Hebrew College as a Cantorial Coach. He is featured on two Cantors Assembly CDs: “Encore” and “The Spirit of Jewish World Music” and released his own second CD: “My Beloved Prayers and Songs”.
Cantor Rosemberg and his wife Dr. Lorena Lerner are the proud parents of sons Michael and David.
Here are the photos from our 2015 annual concert, “Modern Traditions – A Salute to Contemporary Jewish Music” with guest artist Noah Aronson. Many thanks to Stephen Justa for the concert photography!