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"New Cantorial Voices" with Yoel Kohn and Judith Berkson

November 15, 2018 - 7:30pm
Campbell Recital Hall
541 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

Free and open to the public

Building on the success of the concert given by Yanky and Shulem Lemmer last Winter, the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, the Music Department and Slavic Studies at Stanford present another evening of Jewish liturgical music.  

Yoel Kohn is a virtuoso singer and an expert on "Golden Age" cantorial music of the early 20th century. He is the son of a renowned Satmar Chassidic prayer leader, and brings this cultural perspective to his pursuit of artistry while pursuing a path outside of his birth community. Here is a video of Yoel singing for a crowd of Chassidic fans, from whom he still receives invitations to perform:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ7VxrG-3Ww   

Judith Berkson is a brilliant singer, a wonderful interpreter of lider, and an avant-garde composer who has collaborated with artists including Kronos Quartet and Anthony Coleman. Unlike contemporary cantors trained in the liberal movement seminary schools, Berkson’s interest in cantorial music is primarily driven by a revivalist interest in classic Jewish records from the early 20th century, putting her in the company of cantorial revivalists who are predominantly ultra-Orthodox men. Here is a clip of Judith from a recent performance at the Center for Jewish History in New York: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADA9uQKeC1g

These two very different voices addressing the same classic cantorial music canon offer a striking view into contemporary approaches to Jewish liturgical sound. 

Jeremiah Lockwood, musician and PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Education Concentration in Jewish Studies, will accompany Yoel Kohn and lead a Q and A session after the concert.

Event Sponsor: 
Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Department of Music, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures