The New York Cantors

by | Feb 16, 2018 | What’s Happening

Premieres Sunday, March 11, 8 pm on WHRO TV 15

Three young cantors, all rising stars in the 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 concert will be broadcast on WHRO TV as a Pledge program.

The New York Cantors are Brooklyn-born Yaakov (Yanky) Lemmer, 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; and Netanel Hershtik, cantor at The Hampton Synagogue, Westhampton Beach, N. Y., also Israeli-born.

Some of the most beautiful songs in Jewish musical history are prayers sung by cantors during Shabbat services. For this concert, these ancient songs are given new arrangements by the accomplished Dutch composer-arranger Bob Zimmerman. The program also includes favorite secular songs evoking memories of Jewish tradition and rich musical culture, as well as music with a nod to Broadway.

Maestro Jules van Hessen and his 33-piece orchestra and eight-voice male choir support the cantors, recorded under 1,000 glowing candles in one of the most architecturally important synagogues in the world.

The New York Cantors concert reprises an earlier project for PBS, Cantors, A Faith in Song, a groundbreaking special also recorded in Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue that became a popular offering for Jewish holidays for years following its premiere in 2003. One of the cantors in that earlier concert was Naftali Hershtik, father of one of The New York Cantors, Netanel Hershtik.