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Temple Gates of Prayer’s Cantor’s Concert
New Voices of an Ancient Tradition

About the Concert:
This live, virtual program featured Jewish, classical and popular songs featuring outstanding young artists from North America and Israel. 

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NEW VOICES OF AN ANCIENT TRADITION
---PROGRAM---

    Principal  Accompanist—Alex Ruvinstein                       Technical Producer—Jordan Sarf
Welcome & Introduction—Hazzan Moshe Bear

                                              The Hazzan’s Haven: Golden Age Jewels
                         Ad Heino                                                                                           Rosenblatt     
                                                                            N
athaniel Bear
                         Hodu (Ps. 118:1-4)                                                                            Rosenblatt                                                                                                          Benjamin Sokol
                         
Hallelu et Adonai (Ps. 117)                                                                Chagy                                   
                                                                             Emma Maier

                         Mai Ko-Mashma-Lon                                                                         Folk/Rosner     
                         
Kol Nidrei                                                                                          Traditional                          
                                                                            Samuel Rosner

Greetings & History—Susan Smith, Concert Committee Co-Chair

                                              Cantor’s Corner: Contemporary Traditions
                          May the Words                                                                                  Schiller
                          
Azam’rah                                                                                           Schiller                                 
                                                                               Emma Maier
                         
Oseh Shalom                                                                                      Schiller        
                                                                      Emma Maier, Maya Behiri
                         
Ki Eilekha                                                                                            Shirona                   
                                                                              Samuel Rosner

HaZamir Shalom—Vivian Lazar, National Director, HaZamir, the International Jewish Teen Choir

                                                              Now, It’s Time for a Break!
                          Blah, Blah, Blah! (Nice Work If You Can Get It!)                                  Gershwin                           
                                                                               Samuel Rosner
                          
Poisoning Pigeons in the Park                                                             Lehrer                            
                                                                               Benjamin Sokol

Congregational Kesher to Israel—Alan Wasserman, President, Temple Gates of Prayer

                                Israel, the Spiritual Heart & Home of Temple Gates of Prayer
                           Chorshat HaEkalyptus                                                                         Shemer            
                                                                              Benjamin Sokol
                           
Bo                                                                                                        Kleinstein
                           
Derekh Arukah                                                                                     Oshrat     
                                                                                 Maya Behiri

Last Bows (Almost)—Lana Kagan, Concert Committee Co-Chair

                                                     Bouquets of Theater and Art Songs
                            An Chloe                                                                                              Mozart    
                                                                                 Maya Behiri
                            
Se vuol ballare (Le Nozze di Figaro)                                                    Mozart         
                                                                               Benjamin Sokol
                            
Ah, lève-toi, Soleil! (Romeo et Juliette)                                                Gounod            
                                                                                Nathaniel Bear
                           
They Say It’s Wonderful (Annie Get Your Gun)                                     Berlin  
                                                                                 Emma Maier
                            
Maria (West Side Story)                                                                       Bernstein/Sondheim     
                                                                                 Nathaniel Bear
                            
You’ll Never Walk Alone (Carousel)                                                      Rogers/Hammerstein 
                                                                               
Benjamin Sokol

Acknowledgements & Farewell—Hazzan Moshe Bear

                                                         In the End, We’re All Just Family
                             Father and Son                                                                                    Stevens               
                                                               Hazzan Moshe Bear, Nathaniel Bear
                             
Sunrise, Sunset/Sabbath Prayer (Fiddler on the Roof)                         Bock/Harnick
                                   N
athaniel Bear, Maya Behiri, Emma Maier, Samuel Rosner, Benjamin Sokol

TGP Cantor’s Concert Committee
Susan Smith and Lana Kagan, Co-chairs
Hazzan Moshe Bear
Martin Hirsch, Roman Okner, Jordan Sarf,
 Alan Wasserman, Bonnie Panzok
Jacob Rubin, Dina Yakar

About the Performers:

NATHANIEL BEAR, tenor, from Melville, NY is currently pursuing his Masters of   Music degree at Northwestern University, after finishing his undergraduate   studies at the Eastman School of Music. His first operatic role as Prologue in   Eastman Opera theater’s 2016 production of Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the   Screw was followed by a performance as Strephon in Gilbert and Sullivan’s   Iolanthe, with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the role of Gerard in   Eastman Opera Theater’s production of Philip Glass’s Les Enfants Terribles. In   the fall of 2018, he sang the role of Alfred in Oswego Opera’s production of Die   Fledermaus. Nathaniel recently took part in Northwestern Opera Theater’s   virtual Zoom production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte as Ferrando. Nathaniel’s   experience as a classical vocalist began with his singing numerous solos with   HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir, in performances at Lincoln   Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Opera House.

He has been a professional chorister for the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation, Temple Beth Shalom in Roslyn, NY, Temple Beth-El in Rochester, NY, and is the youngest singer to be chosen for the famed Hampton Synagogue Choir, under the baton of Maestro Izchak Haimov. He also studies classic, cantorial recitative with Hazzan Jacob Mendelson. The son of two cantors, Nathaniel performed many times in his parents’ annual synagogue cantor’s concerts, and is committed to the advancement of Jewish music, including cantorial recitative, Jewish choral music, and new works by Jewish composers.

MAYA BEHIRI was born in Israel and, when she was five years old, relocated to   the US with her family. Maya has loved music ever since she was a young girl.   The first steps in her musical career started in eighth grade, when she joined   HaZamir, the International Jewish Teen Choir. In her five years as a chorister and   its elite Chamber Choir member, Maya was a soloist in the organization’s   annual performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan   Opera Stage all in New York City. She takes her musical development very       seriously. While in high school, she was admitted to the vocal performance   division of the prestigious, pre-college division music program at the   Manhattan School of Music. She was also an active member of her high school choral and drama programs.

 In 2018 Maya returned to Israel as a lone soldier and continued to pursue music even in the army. As a Sergeant, Maya served as a soloist in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Army Band. She performed in many IDF and official State of Israel ceremonies, including appearances before the IDF Chief of Staff, the Prime Minister of Israel, and the President of Israel. She recently completed her army service and is now preparing to continue her music studies at Tel Aviv University.

 EMMA REBECCA MAIER, is a rising fourth year cantorial student in the  Debbie   Friedman Shcool of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR in New York City. She was born   and raised in Los Angeles, California, and now resides in Brooklyn, NY. When   Emma became a bat mitzvah, she felt called to become a cantor. She has since   dedicated herself to creating sacred experiences and to nurturing community   through the power of music and the rich Jewish tradition. Emma later earned a   B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.

 She has served as a cantorial soloist in Los Angeles at both Wiltshire Boulevard   Temple and Sinai Temple and has spent the past two years as the cantorial   intern at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY. Next year, Emma will serve   as the Cantorial Intern at the Village Temple in Manhattan. She has also worked as an intern at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, studying and researching ritual and the relationship between American and Israeli Jewry.

She was honored to perform as a soloist at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall with HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir and its Alumni Ensemble, and at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, the National Library of Israel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Emma has also been privileged to see the wonder of Judaism through her students’ eyes as a b’nei mitzvah and religious school tutor at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope and Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains. She looks forward eagerly to the full unfolding of her cantorate.

 SAMUEL ROSNER is a 23-year old tenor and composer, presently enrolled in   the Dual Degree program between Harvard College and the New England   Conservatory of Music, studying Linguistics and Vocal Performance. As a   performer, Samuel specializes in both in opera and concert works. His previous   opera roles include Tamino (Die Zauberflote), Le Prince Charmant (Cendrillon),   Chevalier de la Force (Dialogue of the Carmelites), Alfred (Die Fledermaus),   Évandre (Alceste), as well as Tom Rakewell in selections from The Rake’s   Progress. His concert repertoire includes the tenor solos in Bach’s Mass in B-   minor, Handel’s Messiah, Shostakovich’s From Jewish Folk Poetry, and during   his time as a Songfest Colburn Fellow, Bach’s BWV 61 cantata, under the baton   of John Harbison. This summer Samuel will be a Young Artist at Opera Neo in   San Diego, performing as Don Curzio/Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, as well as various arias with orchestra and opera scenes. Previously he studied at Juilliard’s pre-college program and performed as a soloist in the Metropolitan Opera’s Children’s Chorus.

As a composer Samuel has written vocal, instrumental, chamber, choral, and electroacoustic works, as well as numerous film scores. He has the distinction of being the first and youngest member of HaZamir: the International Jewish Teen Choir to be awarded its annual composition commission.  His works have been premiered at venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Juilliard and performed throughout the U.S., as well as in France, Austria, Canada, and Israel. As a teenager appearing on NPR’s From the Top program, he performed his own settings of Hebrew Holocaust poems by Hannah Szenes. Most recently his score for Jeff Liu’s ‘After Life’ was screened for the film festival IFFBoston, a festival which has previously screened Oscar-winning films such as Moonlight and Parasite. Samuel has also received composition awards from the ASCAP Foundation’s Irving Caesar Fund and from the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

 BENJAMIN SOKOL, Jewish-American bass-baritone, is a Junior at Manhattan     School of Music, studying in the studio of world-renowned bass-baritone   James Morris. At MSM Benjamin has worked with several vocal coaches,   including   Andrew King, Dura Jun, Shane Schag, and Kenneth Merrill and with   the conductors Ronald Oliver, Kent Tritle, and Leonard Slatkin. Growing up in   the Boston area, he studied voice with Bonnie Pomfret and Stacie Pirozzi. As   a young singer, he won multiple awards, i.e. The Schmidt Competition’s   Encouragement Award, and semi-finalist in the Boston NATS competition. In  2020 Benjamin was the MSM Alexandra Hunt Endowed Vocal Scholarship recipientand was selectedas a Young Artist at Songfest Online. This summer he will Milnes VOICE programs participant in Orlando, FL and will be a member of the Sherrill Milnes Voice studio in Savannah, GA.

Benjamin’s musical capabilities range from musical theater to art song to opera to chazzonus. (Hazzan Jacob Mendelson is a cantorial coach of his.) He is also an experienced choral singer with three years of performances with the Manhattan School of Music Symphonic and Chamber Choruses. He is also a soloist and singer in Zamir Choral and Zamir Noded, following a five-year commitment as Chamber Choir member and soloist with HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir, conducted by Matthew Lazar. Benjamin has performed at the Gordon Center in Baltimore, Temple Emanuel and Central Synagogue in  NYC, the Florida Film Festival, Downtown Crossing in Boston, Zimriyah in Akko, Israel, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, David Geffen Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

Currently He serves as the High Holiday Cantor at Congregation Agudas Israel in Newburgh, NY, and aspires to enjoy careers in both the cantorate and in opera. When he’s not at school, he lives in Westbury, NY with his parents Drs. Francene and Rav-Hazzan Scott Sokol, his brother Sam, and his grandmothers.

ALEX RUVINSTEIN is a Russian-American pianist. He won the XXVIII International Competition in Salerno, Italy (1995) as part of the four-hands duo with O. Gurevich. He is a winner of the prestigious Ibla International Piano Competition in Rugasa, Italy (1996) in the solo and four-hands duo divisions, the National Ukrainian Piano Competition for college graduates in Kiev, Ukraine (1985), and other local and regional piano competitions, which he entered in his student years.

Born above the Arctic Circle in Polarny, Russia in 1966, Alex began his musical studies at the age of five. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Uman State College of Music, under the tutelage of Professor Viktor Patricio, his Master’s degree at Gnesin Academy in Moscow (1992) under Professor Vera Nosina, and his Doctorate in Piano with Professor Naum Starkmann at the Maimonides State Academy in Russia (1995). Then Alex continued to work at the school as Professor of Piano and as an accompanist for cellists and singers.

Emigrating to the U.S. in 1998, Alex made his American debut at the Union County Art Center in New Jersey. Since then, he has concertized in various halls from Connecticut to Kansas. His solo and chamber music performances include recitals at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Greater Princeton Steinway Society, NY Public Library Concert Series, The United Nations Concert Hall, the Bechstein Piano Centre, and the National Opera Center in Manhattan. Alex is the pianist of the Memling Ensemble, directed by Metropolitan Opera violist Vincent Lionti. He has appeared on Russian and Ukranian television and now serves as the Music Director of the award-winning TLB music studio in New York and as the accompanist at Temple Sinai in Stamford, CT. He lives in Riverdale, NY with his wife Yelena and their sons Michael, David, and Anthony.  

HAZZAN MOSHE (MARTIN) BEAR, who hails from Pensacola, FL studied at Vanderbilt University and George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, TN before moving to New York City to pursue a career in the cantorate. After continuing his studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Academy for Jewish Religion (from which he received his hazzanic ordination), he went on to serve as cantor of the South Huntington Jewish Center (Melville, NY), Dix Hills Jewish Center (Dix Hill, NY), and Temple Gates of Prayer-Congregation Shaarai Tefillah (Flushing, NY), his current pulpit. Long active in the Cantors Assembly, Hazzan Bear has been a member of its Executive council and was a long-term chairman of its Metropolitan Region. For several years he was the director of the Long Island chapter of HaZamir, the International Jewish Teen Choir. He has also  concertized through North America, Europe, and Israel, appearing at the Warsaw Opera House,  Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall,  and the Metropolitan Opera House.

Under the instruction of the great Yiddish singer Mascha Benya, Cantor Bear developed a specialty in the performance of Yiddish artsong and was the first singer to perform a program of Yiddish music at Ellis Island. For twenty-five years he has served as the Peysach Chazzn of the Yiddish Artists and Friends-Actors Club in Manhattan. In addition to Jewish music television appearances, Cantor Bear has performed often at Cantors Assembly gatherings and missions, including the one to Poland and Israel in 2010, and is featured in the acclaimed documentary of that trip 100 Voices: A Journey Home. As part of a 30-year legacy promoting concerts of Jewish music, he produced in 2018 a mega-concert of Yiddish song for the Cantors Assembly, its first performance live-streamed across the globe.

He counts as his mentors in the cantorial arena the world-renowned Hazzanim Jacob Mendelson, Faith Steinsnyder, and Joseph Levine. Hazzan Bear has been a Jewish educator for over fifty years for all age groups and considers this aspect of the profession to be most gratifying for him. He believes, however, that his finest opus remains his two children Mia and Nathaniel and is eternally thankful for the privilege of giving a life of service to the Jewish people.

Sun, June 13 2021 3 Tammuz 5781