Benjamin Wolf

 

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MUSICAL DIRECTORS

 

The Zemel Choir’s Musical Director-Benjamin Wolf

Benjamin Wolf  works as a conductor, pianist, composer, singer and academic. Heis Musical Director of the Zemel Choir, the Wallace Ensemble and the Royal FreeMusic Society, Choirmaster of Belsize Square Synagogue and a regular conductor of the Quorum Chamber Choir. Performances with the Zemel Choir have included Holocaust memorial services for the Mayor of London, concerts at theSouth Bank and St John’s Smith Square, a broadcast for the BBC’s Songs of Praise and tours to Europe, Israel and the USA. Activities with the Wallace Ensemble have included performances at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, while the professional choir of Belsize Square Synagogue has been featured on documentaries for BBC radio and television. Recent performances include a Kristallnacht commemoration service at Westminster Abbey and a visitto the 2013 International Louis Lewandowski Festival in Berlin with the Belsize Square Choirs. As composer, he has written music for the concert hall and the stage, including works using the texts and modes of Ancient Greek (performed in London and Oxford), a piano concerto (performed in 2003) and a cello concerto commissioned for the 70th anniversary of Belsize Square synagogue. He has written a number of pieces for the Zemel Choir. He performed his latest originalwork, Cocaine Overture, at the Chichester Festival in June 2013, and new orchestrationsof Lewandowski’s concert music at Belsize Square in October 2013. Aspianist, he works as both accompanist and solo recitalist, while his singing is primarily focussed on performances with his own Jewish barbershop quartet, bOYbershop, for which he has written a number of arrangements and original compositions, including comic songs The Only Jewish Cowgirl and Fifty Shades of Hay. Following the award of a PhD in 2010, he has worked as a visiting lecturerat Royal Holloway and Bristol University. In 2011 he was appointed as Lecturer in Music at Regent’s University, London, where he teaches both academic courses and runs the newly formed choirs of the Regent’s School of Drama, Film and Media. He has given conference papers in the UK and America, and was on the organising team for a conference at the IMR in January2013 (focussing on music in twentieth-century Britain). In 2014 he will be visiting the conference of the North American British Music Studies Association in Las Vegas. He has also worked as a researcher on a Royal Holloway project investigatingthe use of music to accompany silent films, while an article based on his PhD research appeared in The Musical Times in December 2013.

 

 

 

The Zemel Choir’s Assistant Musical Director-Franklyn Gellnick

 

Franklyn graduated in 1991 with first-class honours in Music from the University of Kent at Canterbury, and gained his doctorate in 1998 under the supervision of  Cambridge musicologist Sister Thomas More with a thesis entitled, The Disposition of the Tritone in Gregorian Chant. 

Publications include entries in The New Grove Dictionary of Music; articles on jazz harmony in Music Teacher; a pop song, Our Faith in Life; a setting of Kedusha in the MRJ Anthology; and Moody Prawn Blues, in ABRSM’s Grade 3 Piano syllabus, 2015-16. 

He has been a synagogue musician since the age of fifteen - principally at FPS and HRS - and more recently a church and crematorium organist. Other freelance experience includes recording and theatre sessions on bass guitar, and, in 2015, a film credit as organist in Stephen Fry’s The Hippopotamus. 

Since 1999 Franklyn has worked for ABRSM as a jazz, classical and theory examiner; as a national conference presenter, syllabus consultant, and examiner-trainer; and has examined extensively in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Cyprus.  

Franklyn has also adjudicated numerous school and county music festivals in the UK and New Zealand. 

He is crazy about cats.