8th Annual European Cantors Convention, London
Monday 17 June 6.30pm - Thursday 20 June, 6.30pm 2013
Central (Great Portland Street) Synagogue, 40 Hallam Street, London, W1N 6NW
Guest cantors - Biographies
Cantor Yechezkel Klang
Cantor Yechezkel Klang who was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY in a harmonious musical setting. His father Rabbi Eliyahu Klang is a chazan and composer of note, and strains of Modzits and Rosenblatt were the musical background of his childhood. After serving as chazan on the High Holidays for over two decades, Yechezkel began appearing on the cantorial concert stage, while completing his studies of chazanut and music with Cantor Naftali Herstik at the Tel-Aviv Cantorial Institute, and some of the foremost teachers of our time: Cantors Noach Schall, Mordechai Sobol and Maestro Eli Jaffe. Immediately recognized as an unusual talent and voice of rare quality, Yechezkel has performed at concerts of Jewish liturgical music around the globe, delivering stirring performances with a dazzling repertoire of cantorial music, Jewish folk songs, opera arias, and Chassidic melodies. Chazan Klang's forte, however, remains at the synagogue pulpit. Skillfully combining traditional nusach and Chasidic melodies with musical versatility, he creates a prayer atmosphere reminiscent of the cantors of old. Yechezkel's song is always genuine and heartfelt. His rich lyric tenor and precise coloratura are convincing in their sincerity, and bring out the soul of the music. Yechezkel Klang teaches cantorial arts and vocal technique at the Petach Tikva Cantorial School and privately at his Jerusalem studio.
Cantor Sol Zim
Composer, practitioner and teacher extraordinaire, Sol Zim is one of the most dynamic and innovative personalities in Jewish Music today. He is a graduate of Yeshivah University, the Jewish Theological Seminary Cantorial Institute, Brooklyn College (BA), and New York University (MA). He received an honorary doctorate of music from the Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as the Max Wohlberg Award for composition from the Cantor's Assembly. Sol studied voice and operatic roles with Kurt Baum and other operatic coaches of the NY Metropolitan Opera Company. He performed many of these roles on stage. To develop his cantorial art/technique and to fine-tune his artistry of Jewish song, he studied privately with cantor Moshe Koussevitsky and Shalom Secunda. Sol was offered contracts with the Vienna State Opera and the Israeli Opera but he decided to devote his life to the furtherance of Jewish music.
Zim is professor of Jewish music at the "Academy for Jewish Religion" Cantorial School in New York City. He also lectures extensively, nationally and internationally, at other cantorial schools and is a frequent "scholar/composer in residence" for many Jewish organizations and synagogues across the globe. By highlighting a children's choir in most of his concert performances, Zim is responsible for the formation of hundreds of Youth Choruses in Synagogues and schools throughout the world. After all, Sol says;"Children are our Future - today's Jewish children are tomorrow's Jewish leaders"
Zim is celebrated for his distinctive compositions and has written hundreds of popular melodies and arrangements (i.e. L'dor Vador, Adon Olam, Kad'shenu, Sim Shalom, Avinu Shebashamayim, etc.), which are sung in congregations the world over. His 25 recordings feature Yiddish, Israeli, Chassidic, Broadway, opera and pop music. Most of his recordings contain original material and they include music for all ages. His 13 books of original music are used throughout the world by cantors, rabbis and educators and his "anthologies" have become leading guides and textbooks for cantorial study. Sol's "Avinu Shebashamayim" is sung in synagogues and concerts throughout the world and has virtually become a second national anthem in the state of Israel. He believes the cantor cannot merely sing and daven 'to' a congregation - he says "we must involve our people in prayer and daven together with them to heighten and illuminate the spirit in our congregations". Sol is truly the pioneer of congregational participatory music and all his songs, melodies and cantorial chants reflect this ideology and always create a spiritual connection.