These young cantors, all rising stars in the American Jewish music scene, are brought together in Amsterdam’s revered 17th century Portuguese Synagogue for a concert of Jewish sacred and secular music arranged for orchestra and choir.
The New York Cantors, all serving synagogues in New York, are: Brooklyn- born Yaakov (Yanky) Lemmer, Head Cantor of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York City; Azi Schwartz, a native of Israel and Cantor at New York’s Park Avenue Synagogue; Netanel Hershtik, Cantor at The Hampton Synagogue, Westhampton Beach, New York; and Chaim Dovid Berson, chief cantor at the prestigious Kehilath Jeshurun Synagogue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Each presentation of this concert features three of these outstanding cantorial stars.
Some of the most beautiful songs in the Jewish musical history are prayers sung by cantors during shabbat services. For this concert these ancient songs have been given splendid new arrangements by the accomplished Dutch composer/arranger Bob Zimmerman. The program also includes favorite secular songs evoking memories of Jewish tradition and its rich musical culture, as well as music with a nod to Broadway.
Maestro Jules van Hessen and his 33-piece orchestra and 8-voice male choir support the concert recorded under a thousand live candles in one of the most architecturally important synagogues in the world.
The New York Cantors concert reprises an earlier project for PBS in The Portuguese Synagogue, Cantors, A Faith in Song. That ground-breaking recording became a popular staple of PBS station programming for Jewish holidays and fund-raising drives for years following its premiere in 2003.