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Zamir South of the Border: 
A Sizzling Concert of Music from Latin America
Now available on CD!
The Zamir Chorale of Boston's Artistic Director Josh Jacobson takes you "South of the Border" with music from Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina. Our newest CD, which includes songs from our performance at Temple Emanuel in Newton in June, features Israeli adaptations of popular South American tunes and dances, as well as some of the most exciting choral songs by Latin American composers. With the collaboration of the Tucan Trio and Cantor Elias Rosemberg, you will be guaranteed a sizzling songfest! 

BUY NOW!                        LISTEN!
Zamir perform the world premiere of 
Jeremiah Klarman's "Yah Ribon Alam."

Fun Fotos
FALL 2015 
Dear Friends of Zamir,
Shana Tova, 5776! New Year's greetings to you as we embark on another season of music making, with three singers who have just joined the Zamir family and two returning members. In this issue, Artistic Director Josh Jacobson offers a preview our 47th concert season, including "Divine Majesty" on November 17, featuring glorious and, in some cases, rarely heard synagogue music from different centuries.
In each issue of E-Notes, Artistic Director Joshua Jacobson offers his unique insights and experiences as a world-renowned scholar, composer, conductor, and influential teacher of Jewish music.
On June 6, 2001, Michael Manning wrote in the Boston Globe,
Josh Jacobson
"The Zamir Chorale of Boston has long taken seriously the mission to air the unheard." And one year later, June 11, 2002, Richard Dyer
wrote in the Globe, "Since 1969 Joshua Jacobson and the Zamir Chorale have been exploring the Jewish musical heritage for a large and loyal public. ... [M]ore often than not the Zamir Chorale performs works that music lovers would be unlikely to hear anywhere else."

This year our audiences will again have the opportunity to hear music that they won't hear anywhere else. On November 17, we will present "Divine Majesty: A Glorious Revival of 19th-Century Synagogue Music." This music is awesome, in the very real sense of awe-inspiring. Our program will include the ceremonial music for the Torah service as interpreted by the great 19th-century masters of synagogue music Louis Lewandowski, Salomon Sulzer, and Samuel Naumbourg. It's music of a splendid grandeur that we hardly hear anymore in the synagogue. And, by the way, it's extraordinarily beautiful. Generously underwritten by an anonymous donor in memory of Mary Wolfman Epstein and Cantor Barney Mould, the program will be augmented with slides and contextualizing narration.
Zamir's Andrews Sisters, from left: Debbie West,
Susan Rubin, Deborah Melkin 
For many of us, Yiddish music makes us think of the sentimental folk songs of our grandparents' generation. And there are some great ones: humorous songs like "Der Rebbe Elimelekh," tender love songs such as "Papir Iz Dokh Vais," and rousing solidarity songs such as "Alle Brider." Out of the Yiddish theater came hundreds of beautiful songs, some of which even crossed over into the all-American hit parade. "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" was the number-one song in America in 1937, but it started out as a song in Sholom Secunda's 1932 musical play, Men Ken Lebn Nor Men Lost Nisht. And Joan Baez made "Dona Dona" famous in her 1960 eponymous album, but it originated in Secunda's 1940 Yiddish musical, Esterke. And there are "classical" settings of Yiddish texts, including the art songs of Lazar Weiner, the choral works of Leo Low and Simon Sargon, and the modernist creations of David Lang. You'll hear all that and more at our concert December 24 at Temple Emanuel in Newton. We're calling it "A Sho In Gan Eden" (An Hour in Paradise).
One of my favorite composers passed
Josh Jacobson and Yehezkel Braun
Josh Jacobson with Yehezkel Braun
away just over a year ago. Yehezkel Braun was born in Breslau, Germany, in 1922 and was brought to the land of Israel when he was just two years old. The soundscape of the Eastern Mediterranean served as Braun's inspiration for many hundreds of inspiring compositions: arrangements of traditional Jewish melodies; symphonies; chamber music; scores for film, television, and theater; and songs, both classical and popular. For his efforts, in 2001, Braun was awarded his country's highest honor, the Israel Prize. Zamir has been singing Braun's music since 1973, when we were on tour in Israel and learned his beautiful setting of the Song of Songs, Chapter 3.
I first got to know Yehezkel in 1982. I was writing my doctoral thesis, in part, about his music, and he consented to be interviewed. Yehezkel was teaching at Brandeis University that year. I soon discovered that this man was as sweet as his music. 

That year, Zamir was privileged to be part of a concert of Yehezkel's music at Brandeis University. I still remember conducting a charming piece with the unlikely title of "The Rules for Blowing the Shofar." Since then we have performed one or more of Yehezkel's wonderful choral pieces nearly every season, including many pieces that he composed for us. On June 5, 2016 (and repeated on June 6), we will return to Brandeis to perform a tribute concert dedicated to the sweet music of this sweet man.

We hope you will join us at these and many other concerts this season to hear programs that you would be unlikely to hear anywhere else.
Tuesday, November 17, 7:30 pm, "Divine Majesty: A Glorious Revival of 19th-century Synagogue Music," Temple Shalom, 175 Temple St, Newton: Cantor Peter Halpern joins the Chorale for this special concert, including works by the great masters Lewandowski, Sulzer, and Naumbourg. Relive the grandeur of the Opening of the Holy Ark and bask in the mellifluous melodies of Returning the Torahs. Free admission, voluntary donation encouraged. Due to limited seating, reservations are required. "Divine Majesty" is made possible by an anonymous underwriter in memory of Mary Wolfman Epstein and Cantor Barney Mould.

Sunday, December 6, 4 pm, "A Light Through the Ages," Central Reform Temple, 15 Newbury St, Boston: Zamir is delighted to return for this special celebration of the first night of Hanukkah. The Chorale will perform in the cantata "A Light Through the Ages," text by Rabbi Howard A. Berman, which weaves a chronicle of the celebration of the holiday in many times and places over the centuries. A candlelighting ceremony concludes the afternoon. Free and open to the public. For details, go to alightthroughtheages.org. 

Thursday, December 24, 7:30 pm,
Elias Rosemberg and Zamir at HH 2011
Cantor Elias Rosemberg sings with Zamir at Hanukkah Happens, Temple Emanuel, Newton
Hanukkah Happens XXVI: "A Sho In Gan Eden," Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward St, Newton: Zamir's popular annual concert, with soloist Cantor Elias Rosemberg, features an all-Yiddish program, some of it well known (by a few people), reviving a language that used to be spoken by millions of Jews, and presenting some avant-garde settings that fuse new music with old words. Join the generation that is rediscovering Yiddish language, culture and music. For information, contact Temple Emanuel.
As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far. Shana Tova and sweetest wishes for the new year. 
Barbara Gaffin             Deborah Sosin
Managing Director         Editor, E-Notes