Five cantors from around the country will perform in “One People, One Heritage,” B’nai Jeshurun Congregation’s annual spring concert at 7 p.m. June 8 at the synagogue in Pepper Pike.
B’nai Jeshurun Cantor Aaron Shifman, who will host the free concert and perform, said while each cantor is a very talented singer, each has had a different path of arrival and has a distinct singing style.
“We’re looking to bring a very diverse program,” he said. “Everyone brings something that I’m hoping will resonate with the crowd at large. Each one will highlight a smattering of his cultural heritage. It’s really an opportunity to get a broad view of the talent that is out there nationwide.”
Joining Shifman as singers will be Cantor David Feuer of West Palm Beach, Fla.; Cantor Itzhak Zhrebker of Dallas; and Cantor Bryan Zive of Denver. Cantor Daniel Gildar, a Cleveland native who lives in Philadelphia, will accompany all of the cantors on piano.
“Danny (Gildar) is the premier piano accompanist in the world for cantorial music,” Shifman said. “He knows the music better than the cantors most of the time. He’s also an excellent cantor in his own right. I’ve had him sing in years past (in the spring concert).”
In a telephone interview from Lakewood, N.J., where he was giving a voice lesson, Gildar said Shifman has studied voice under him by phone for more than 10 years.
“I come every time he has a cantorial concert,” Gildar said. “I’m looking forward to it. I don’t get a chance to come to Cleveland very often.”
A 1963 graduate of Cleveland Heights High School, Gildar grew up in the Kinsman neighborhood of Cleveland and University Heights. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he majored in piano, theory and voice.
Gildar said he was a “chazan” at synagogues for many years and now focuses on performing and teaching. He’s a member of the Cantorial Council of America and is its official accompanist at annual conventions.
“They will do a wide variety of music (at the spring concert) – traditional cantorial, some operatic music, some contemporary Jewish music and Broadway,” Gildar said. “It will be very interesting.”
Feuer, a native of Argentina, has been the cantor and music director at Temple Emanu-El in Palm Beach, Fla., since 1986. He founded and was director of the Israeli group, Rinah, considered the top Jewish ensemble in Argentina.
Zhrebker, a native of Russia, has been cantor of Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas since 1996. He has a full operatic voice and has mastered verismo and belle canto techniques.
Zive has been cantor of Temple Sinai in Denver since 2009. A graduate of The Ohio State University in Columbus, he served Temple Israel in Columbus for six years as cantorial soloist. He’s a versatile composer, Shifman said.
“This concert will run the full gamut of the four of us (performing) together to duets to solo,” he said. “From a musical standpoint, there will be a little bit of everything. I feel people will really be entertained. In this day and age, there are not too many opportunities to hear this kind of a show.”
Shifman said he has put on at least one concert each year at B’nai Jeshurun since 1999. He selects the performers, and Barry Leubitz, the synagogue’s music chair, comes up with a title or theme that reflects the music.
The concert should run about two hours, including an intermission. It is underwritten by the Daniel and Ethel Hamburger Fund, of which Harold and Sandy Levine are the trustees.
WHAT: “One People, One Heritage,” annual spring concert hosted by Cantor Aaron Shifman
WHEN: June 8 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: B’nai Jeshurun Congregation, 27501 Fairmount Blvd., Pepper Pike
INFO: Call 216-831-6555