The Zemel Choir’s Past Performances
A Chanukah Celebration – The Zemel Choir at Belsize Square Synagogue -December 9th 2012
Time flies, and the Zemel Choir’s annual concert at Belsize Square Synagogue will soon be with us. The choir has been particularly busy since the last concert, performing at the inaugural Louis Lewandowski Festival in Berlin and hosting its own International Jewish Choral Festival in London in June. Following such energetic internationalism we are now returning to one of our favourite musical homes. This year we will be ringing the changes Jewish-style, with a Chanukah concert instead of our usual performance for Kristallnacht. Come and join us for festive fun and a programme of beautiful and contrasting music. We will be performing Five Hebrew Love Songs by Eric Whitacre, a grammy-award-winning composer/conductor who wrote these gentle and thought-provoking pieces to words written by his Israeli wife, soprano Hila Plitmann. We will also be performing one of the classics of British choral music, the humorous and riotously catchy Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo, written by Michael Flanders (of Flanders and Swann) and émigré composer Joseph Horovitz. In addition there will be a new melody for Maoz Tsur, a cheekily irreverent medley of Chanukah songs, an evocative piece by Cecilia McDowell that was warmly received by audiences at the Zemel Choir’s International Jewish Choral Festival in June, and the unusual sound of Jewish gospel music.
For this concert the Zemel Choir is joined by the acclaimed Jewish barbershop quartet, bOYbershop, which regularly entertains audiences with its eclectic mix of Jewish music, classic close harmony and new arrangements. We are also joined by the enthusiastic singers of the Youth Choir of Belsize Square Synagogue. Expect humorous close harmony and enthusiastic singing, with new arrangements and something for everyone. And if you don’t like music, you can always come to eat doughnuts. So join us on December 9th and help us to usher in Chanukah with song.
The Zemel Choir’s International Jewish Choral Festival
Gala Concert – Sunday June 17th 2012
It is 2012, and London is looking forward to the impending Olympics. First, though, Londoners had the opportunity to savour another cultural milestone: the first Zemel Choir International Jewish Choral Festival. While some Londoners are worrying about impending travel chaos, and others are saddened by their failure to procure athletics tickets, many more embraced the spirit of international cooperation and extended a welcome to visitors from overseas. On Sunday 17th June some 500 people enjoyed a unique opportunity to hear choirs from across Europe singing their favourite music in harmony. Also in attendance was the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the Mayor of Barnet.
The Zemel Choir’s International Jewish Choral Festival was officially linked to the Olympics through the Cultural Olympiad and the Inspire programme, and featured performances by choirs from France, Italy and Austria, alongside Britain’s very own Zemel Choir. Four days of activities culminated in a gala concert at West London Synagogue, one of Central London’s most beautiful venues. The concert included music never before heard in Great Britain, as well as favourite songs performed by a choir of over 120 singers. This event was unique in the history of British Jewish choral music, and was attended by both long-term fans and new audience members.
The Zemel Choir is proud of its international reputation as one of the world’s finest mixed-voice Jewish choirs. Under the Musical Direction of Benjamin Wolf, Zemel’s wide ranging repertoire embraces all the traditional Jewish cultures, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Yiddish and Israeli. It has recently performed in Strasbourg and Berlin, and plans to visit the USA in 2013. It has forged links with other Jewish choirs from three different continents, while its performances in the UK have included the Mayor of London’s Holocaust Memorial Service and the BBC’s Songs of Praise. For its 2012 Festival it was joined by the Vienna Jewish Choir, the Coro Hakol of Rome and the Zamir Choir of Paris. Whether you are bored by the Olympics or thrilled at the thought of watching Usain Bolt, this was an opportunity to get into the spirit of 2012 and experience the rich cultural fabric of contemporary London, without the travel chaos!
The Zamir Choir, Paris
Conductor-Albert Benzaquen; President-Arlette Ghidalia
The Zamir Choir is a non-profit-making association founded in 1980. It consists of 40 amateur choristers from various Jewish but mainly sephardi communities. The Musical Director, Albert Benzaquen, is a qualified teacher of piano and studied at “L’ecole normale de musique de Paris”, under the well-known music professor, Cesar Geoffroy. Our repertoire principally consists of Israeli songs as well as Yiddish, Ladino and Jewish melodies including extracts from psalms and religious songs. The choir has given concerts in some of the famous concert halls of Paris, such as: le Casino de Paris, auditorium de la Sorbonne, le Palais des Congres, le theatre de la Bruyre ou l’Olympia as well as in some French cities: Nimes, Chablis, Bayonne, Troyes Pau, Biarritz. The Zamir Choir has also participated in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2007 in the Zimrya, (the Annual International Jewish Choral Festival) in Jerusalem. For further information please contact: Albert Benzaquen, tel. +33 147937261, Arlette Ghidalia +33 672795292 (mobile).
Associazione Coro Ha-Kol
Musical Director-Andrea Orlando; Piano-Antonio Cama
The Coro Ha-Kol (meaning “The Voice”) was founded in December 1993 on the initiative of singers at the Great Synagogue of Rome, alongside other lovers of Jewish music. They recognised the need to rediscover and publicise the beauty of Jewish music to audiences both within and beyond the synagogue. At the same time they wished to preserve and conserve the musical and liturgical heritage of the Community of Rome, one of the oldest in Europe, which has had an uninterrupted presence in the city of Rome for more than two thousand years. Over the years, the choir’s repertoire has been gradually enriched by the works of composers who lived between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as by music of the Sephardi (Spanish-Portuguese) and Ashkenazi (East European) traditions. Recently, the choir has also performed contemporary music, and this has included not only liturgical music but also music inspired by Jewish life. The choir is formed of amateur singers (Soprano,Contralto, Tenor and Bass) and is directed by Maestro Andrea Orlando. In addition to performing in its entirety, the choir has also recently formed a Chamber Choir which performs the music of Salamone Rossi.
The choir has performed at many events, including public concerts, alongside members of other faiths, believing in the free interchange of different cultures. Among these we remember in particular:
-A concert held in October 1999 in the Aula Nervi of the Vatican under the auspices of the Interfaith Assembly, and entitled ‘The collaboration of many religions at the cusp of the third millennium’, and a subsequent ceremony held in St Peter’s Square in the presence of Pope John-Paul II and broadcast worldwide by RAI 2.
-Concerts held in December 2002 at the Music Conservatory of Tel Aviv and the YMCA Concert Hall of Jerusalem under the auspices of the International Festival of Liturgical Music 2003.
-Participation at the ‘Two Worlds Festival’ of Spoleto on the 13th July 2004 in a concert entitled ‘Mystical Time’;
-Participation at the International Holy Music Festival for prayer 2007 [Castel di Lama (Ascoli Piceno)]
- A concert at the Great Synagogue of Rome with Emil Zrihan, cantor of the Ashkelon Synagogue of Tel Aviv (2008)
-Participation at Tehillim, ‘Homage to Steve Reich’ (Auditorium Parco della Musica 2008)
-A Latin concert as part of the festival entitled ‘Peace, Shalom, Salam - three religions together’ (April 2008)
-A concert at the Tempio Valdese (Rome) entitled ‘One voice - Jews and Blacks remember the Holocaust’, together with the gospel choir The Session Voices on the occasion of the Day of Remembrance (27th January 2011)
-A concert at the Auditorium Parco della Musica (Sala Petrassi) organised by Keren Kayemet le Israel (the Jewish National Fund) for the reforestation of Mount Carmel in Israel following a devastating fire (May 2011). In addition, between September 2002 and January 2006, the Coro Ha-Kol appeared several times on the RAI programme “Uno mattina”, commemorating important events such as the first anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, the sixtieth anniversary of the deporation of the Jews from the Ghetto of Rome, the Jewish Passover, the celebrations of the centenary of the construction of the Synagogue of Rome and the European Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust. In the course of its existence, the Associazione Coro Ha-Kol has released three CDs, respectively ‘Canti Liturgici Ebraici’ [Jewish Liturgy] (2001) , ‘Canti di Scola Tempio’ (2006) and ‘Chatan ve Kallah - il matrimonio ebraico a Roma [The Jewish Wedding in Rome] in February 2010.
Coro da Camera Ha-Kol
The Ha-Kol Chamber Choir was created in 2010 explicitly for the performance of music by Salamone Rossi, a seven-teenth-century Jewish composer who wrote in the characteristic style of the Italian Renaissance. Salamone Rossi is important because he composed Jewish liturgical music in contrapuntal style which can sit side by side with the works of famous Church composers such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso, Andrea Gabrieli and Claudio Monteverdi. The Ha-Kol Chamber Choir wishes to preserve and disseminate the music of this great composer of Renaissance Jewish music. The group is formed of ten singers, all amateurs, who sing in four-part harmony.
The Vienna Jewish Choir
Musical Director-Roman Grinberg
The Vienna Jewish Choir has been an important contributor to Jewish music and cultural exchange in Vienna since 1989. With a growing repertoire of Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ladino songs, arranged by the renowned musician and conductor Roman Grinberg, it plays a vital part in the aim to make Jewish culture an integral part of life in Vienna again. With members from more than ten countries - men and women, Jewish and non-Jewish, amateur and professional - it is also a symbol for openness, tolerance, and a shared vision of mutual respect. Over twenty years ago, the Vienna Jewish Choir, founded by Dr. Timothy Smolka, started with only eight members. Today, it unites 50 active singers and a history of numerous international appearances, such as Germany, Britain, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, The Ukraine, and Japan.
Every year, we sing several concerts in Vienna, Austria, but we also bring the spirit of Yiddish music to other cities, countries, and continents. Our travels brought us as far as Florida in 2008, where an audience of over 1000 people enjoyed the songs from “the old world”. As part of a tour through the Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania
in 2005, we sang a series of concerts in towns formerly famous for their Jewish populations, such as Czernovits, Beltz, and Kluj. In 2011, we participated in competitions in a lively exchange with other choirs from around the world in Krakow and Barcelona. Our Fourth CD will be produced in 2012. The concerts of the Vienna Jewish Choir have also become an anchor for the cultural life of the city in our home town, Vienna. Each year, our gala concert in the famous “Wiener Konzerthaus” is sold out, as well as other concerts that we sing for “Jiddischer Kulturherbst” and “J.dische Kulturwoche”. Additionally, we spread the joy of Jewish music with our three CDs (10 Jahre Wiener J.discher Chor, Ose Shalom (with ORF), and A Bisele Mazl); one of them was produced by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), which also made two documentaries about the choir and its members. A fourth CD is currently being planned. Our conductor/director Roman Grinberg is committed to Jewish music. Born into a family of musicians in Beltz, Moldova, he grew up with Yiddish as his mother tongue. After a few years in Israel, the family moved to Vienna, where Grinberg studied at the conservatory. With his band “Frejlech”, he’s a very well booked musician for Jewish festivities. As a soloist, he successfully writes and performs music for the many theatres in Vienna and abroad and is also an active member in, the international Klezmer music scene, participating at festivals. Grinberg transposes all the music into contemporary arrangements for the Vienna Jewish Choir and leads us through all our rehearsals and concerts.
Concert in Maidenhead at Norden Farm on 4th March
Zemel Goes on Tour to France
THE ZEMEL CHOIR (LONDRES)
Le plus grand chœur juif mixte de Grande-Bretagne
Le cantor Robert Brody
Direction Benjamin Wolf
Chants liturgiques et traditionnels ashkénazes et sépharades : oeuvres de Salomon Sulzer, Louis Lewandowski, Itaï Daniel…
Fondé en 1955, le Zemel Choir est considéré comme l’une des chorales juives les plus expérimentées au monde.
Son répertoire embrasse toutes les cultures juives traditionnelles, ashkénaze, sépharade, yiddish et israélienne.
Le Zemel Choir s’est souvent produit à la BBC (radio et télévision) notamment pour la transmission en direct de Kaddish à Terezin de la cathédrale de Cantorbéry en 1986, ou dans le cadre de la commémoration de la Shoah en Janvier 2005, en participant sur BBC1 à Songs of Praise, the Holocaust Remembered.
Il a voyagé aux Etats-Unis, au Canada, en Israël, en Europe de l’ouest et de l’est.
En 1993, il a participé à la cérémonie commémorative polonaise de la Shoah à Varsovie et Treblinka, pour commémorer le 50e anniversaire du soulèvement du ghetto de Varsovie.
Au festival choral Zimriyah de 1996 à Jérusalem, il a été invité à chanter à la cérémonie d’ouverture, diffusée en direct sur Radio Israël, et en octobre 2001, il a effectué une tournée en République tchèque et en Hongrie. Le chœur a régulièrement commandé des œuvres nouvelles à des compositeurs contemporains et a enregistré de nombreux CD.
Le Zemel choir a déjà chanté en France, notamment avec les Polyphonies Hébraïques de Strasbourg.
Il doit sa réputation au professionnalisme de son équipe et à une implication forte des choristes.
Le chœur ne se réunit pas seulement pour chanter, mais aussi pour constituer un groupe chaleureux et amical.
Recent Concert at the Radlett Centre 20th February 2011
Concert at Belsize Sq. Synagogue on 14th Nov 2010.
Additional Photos are available to view here
Please e-mail here for more information
Recent 2010 Celebrate With Song Concert At JFS
The ever-popular Celebrate With Song event that took place on the 6th June was a sellout, bringing mixed-voice choral music with a Jewish connection to new singers and new audiences. In the past four years Zemel have sung plainchant, Baroque cantatas, swinging American tunes and some of the best in British Jewish music. This year-it was Showtime. We sang music by Jewish composers written for the stage – from opera to operetta, Yiddish theatre to musicals. We performed music by some of the classics – Gerhswin, Weill and friends – and Yiddish theatre numbers such as Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen. We were joined in concert by Celebrate With Song workshop attendees and by the Alyth Youth Choir. With nearly 400 people in the audience, we were delighted to be supported by Jacs and Bnei Brith who used this event to raise money for Charity
Concert at Harrow Arts Centre on the 31st January
Hallelujah – Songs of Praise and Joy
Attendance nearly 300 people
Click here for more photos from the Concert
promoted by Spiro Ark
What is in a word? In the case of one, famous word – Hallelujah– we can hear the expression of praise, joy and happiness, and it is no surprise that it has been used by composers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, for many centuries. Using this word as an inspiration, the Zemel Choir presents an eclectic concert focussed on the expression of joy in music. That one word – Hallelujah– appears in works by both Jewish and non-Jewish composers, including Lewandowski, Bruckner, Boyce and Monteverdi, while the choir will also perform settings of psalms of praise by Palestrina, Freed, Carlbach and Sulzer. Praise for the land of Israel is heard in works by Copland and others, while we will also perform some old favourites by Machtenberg, Zilberts and Kurt Weill. You can also hear boisterous settings of folk-songs and Yiddish theatre tunes, and a choral setting of a well known song by Leonard Cohen. An opportunity to savour music from different ages and environments, and to hear some uplifting music, Jewish-style.
Click here for more photos from the Concert
Concert at Belsize Square
The Zemel Choir had a “full house” on 8th November at a memorable concert called Shir L’Shabbat where we performed a selection of serious and light hearted liturgical music in celebration of Shabbat
Click here for photos of the concert
The repertoire included a specially-compiled Sacred Service with music by
Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Bloch, Weill, Schalit and others…
and was conducted by Benjamin Wolf, with organist Michael Cayton
with soloists Marc Finer, Eliot Alderman and Benjamin Cahn
…and settings of Adon Olam spanning four hundred years
“Just a quick note to say thanks for a marvellous concert last night. I could listen to Adon Olam all night so I loved it - in fact I’d be happy to hear the whole thing again. And thanks for limiting the applause, which can slow it down, especially when there are so many pieces and ensuring that it ended reasonably early .I persuaded my husband to come for the first time in many years - and he enjoyed it so it looks like you’ve got another supporter”
Celebrate With Song 2009
Click here for more photos of our summer concert
Click here to read a review of the concert by Malcolm Miller
The Zemel Choir along with members of the City of London Choir performing the Chichester Psalms
Israel Concert Tour, 15th to 22nd March 2009 -Ra’anana, Karmiel, Rishon-le-Tzion
Under our Musical Director Benjamin Wolf and with cantor Robert Brody, we sang synagogue music by 19th century composers Lewandowski and Sulzer, works by Israeli composers such as Gil Aldema and Yehezkel Braun, American music by Copland and Tom Lehrer, liturgical and folk music by British composers, and lighter numbers by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. To see the media coverage generated around the Tour click here.
Sunday 9 November, 2008 - ENTENTE CORDIALE with the Polyphonies Hébraïques de Strasbourg
Belsize Square Synagogue, London
Sunday 6 July 2008 Charity Concert in aid of the Gidon Posner Memorial Fund
West London Synagogue-Special performances by The Zemel Choir and the Galron choir from Kfar Saba, Israel.
Sunday 15th June 2008 ‘Celebrate With Song’-10 Centuries of Jewish Choral Music
St. John’s Smith Square-A mass celebration of mixed-voice Jewish choral music, For media coverage click here
Wednesday 7 May 2008-A Selection of Israeli and Liturgical Music’
Celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut at Edgware and District Reform Synagogue
25th November 2007-Concert in Bournemouth.
Sunday 11th November 2007 -‘Liturgy to Latkes, A Choral Extravaganza’
Belsize Square Synagogue
Sunday 21st October 2007-‘Jewish Songs of Harmony and Reflection’
Victoria and Albert Museum
Sunday, 17th June 2007’ Celebrate with Song’
St John’s, Smith Square-for media coverage click here
Edgware and District Reform Synagogue
Sunday 26th November, 2006 ‘A concert featuring music for Chanukah, sung in Hebrew, Ladino and English’
Victoria and Albert Museum
Sunday 26 November 2006 ‘A new shofar fanfare to celebrate 350 years of British Jewish music’
Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room-Special performance of “King Ahaz” by Alman
Sunday 12th November, 2006 ‘Cantors and Choristers’
Belsize Square Synagogue
Sunday July 2, 2006 ‘An Evening of Jewish Music’
Belsize Square Synagogue
Sunday June 18, 2006, Sternberg Centre, Finchley
Sunday March 5, 2006
Sunday 27th November, 2005
Victoria and Albert Museum.
St John’s, Smith Square
Sunday 10th July, 2005 ‘Festival of Jewish Choirs’
South Bank Centre
Sunday 5th June, 7.30pm, 2005 ‘A concert for Yom Yerushalayim’
Wimbledon & District Synagogue
Sunday 27th February, 2005
Nottingham Hebrew Congregation
Sunday 23rd January, 2005 BBC Songs of Praise
Special broadcast as part of the annual Holocaust Day commemorations.
2004 Royal Festival Hall
2003 Brighton Jewish Festival.
2003 Limmud, Nottingham
2003 Brighton Jewish Festival
2001 “Sunday Worship” for Holocaust Memorial Day - BBC Radio 4
1996 Zimriyah Opening Concert broadcast - Israel National Radio
1993 East European Tour broadcast on BBC World Service
1990 “Expressions of Reconciliation & Hope” broadcast on TV from York Minster
1987 “Home on Sunday” with Yehudi Menuhin - BBC TV
1987 “Music of a People” with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Stanley Black - BBC Radio 2
1986 Kaddish for Terezin (World premiere) broadcast on TV & radio from Canterbury Cathedral
1981 Canadian Radio broadcast
1980 “Come Sunday” - Southern Television
1969 “Let The People Sing” Songs of Praise - BBC TV
1965 International Llangollen Eisteddfod - BBC TV us 1965 Music for the film “Cast a Giant Shadow” starring Kirk Douglas
1965 “Hallelujah” - ABC Television
1962 International Llangollen Eisteddfod Celebration Concert br
2007 15th-17th April, - Radio Judaica, Brussels, Aula Hall, Strasbourg University, The Great Synagogue, Luxembourg
2001 Prague, Decin, Uhrineves and Budapest
1996 Israel - Zimriyah in Jerusalem
1993 Eastern Europe - Warsaw, Cracow, Vilnius, Minsk
1988 Israel - Arad, Givat Brenner, G’derot, Zimriyah in Jerusalem 1987 North America - White Plains NY, Rochester NY, Toronto, New York, Springfield MA, Pittsfield MA 1984 Europe - Amsterdam, The Hague, Luxembourg, Geneva, Zurich 1981 North America - New York, Montreal, Toronto, Catskills 1977 Israel - Zimriyah in Jerusalem 1967 Israel - Zimriyah in Jerusalem 1961 Israel - Zimriyah in Jerusalem 1958 Israel - Zimriyah in Jerusalem
1988 Israel - Arad, Givat Brenner, G’derot, Zimriyah in Jerusalem
1987 North America - White Plains NY, Rochester NY, Toronto, New York, Springfield MA, Pittsfield MA
1984 Europe - Amsterdam, The Hague, Luxembourg, Geneva, Zurich
1981 North America - New York, Montreal, Toronto, Catskills
1977 Israel - Zimriyah in Jerusalem
1967 Israel - Zimriyah in Jerusalem
1961 Israel - Zimriyah in Jerusalem
1958 Israel - Zimriyah in Jerusalem