2009-08-07 / Front Page

World Famous Cantor, Composer and Pianist Extraordinaire Meir Finkelstein at Beth Judah for 'Awesome Artist Adventure'

Submitted by Hazzan Alan Smolen Congregation Beth Judah

For its 2nd Annual Summer Scholar Spectacular, Beth Judah brings our community Hazzan Meir Finkelstein for an Artistin Residence weekend it affectionately dubs "Awesome Artist Adventure" August 14- 16.

Meir Finkelstein Meir Finkelstein Sharing his clarion tenor voice, cuttingedge compositions and expertise in Jewish and general music with us, Hazzan Finkelstein will present an all-encompassing program. He will be part of "Beth Judah Alive!" at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug.14. At dinner following, Meir will address the subject of "What is Nusah (traditional music modes)? Why is it Important?" On Saturday morning, Aug. 15 at 9 a.m.services, Hazzan Finkelstein will engage us in the topic of "Shabbat Morning - Are We Saying Anything New with Text, Music and Format?" Following his presentation and Q & A, Meir will lead the Musaf service with piano accompaniment, a first in Beth Judah's history.

Born in Israel and raised in England, at the tender age of 14 Meir became the youngest cantor in Europe when he accepted a position at a small synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland. At 18, Meir became cantor at London's prestigious Golders Green Synagogue. Hazzan Finkelstein is truly the "Ultra-Hazzan," combining a traditional background in Jewish studies and hazzanut with an outstanding music education at the Royal College of Music (London) where he graduated with honors in voice, composition and piano.

Currently, Meir is the cantor of Cong. Shaarey Zedek, in Detroit's suburban Southfield, MI. Not only has he composed over 200 works for the synagogue, combining (and when necessary abandoning) traditional modes with contemporary styles, but Meir has also composed and arranged music for television and movies ("Dallas," "Falcon Crest" and "Movie of the Week"), working with the likes of Steven Spielberg. Hazzan Finkelstein's music is sung in congregations throughout North America and the world, many of them becoming classics, but his most beloved and well-known is his setting for "L'Dor va Dor." In 2007, Meir debuted his Passover Rock Musical, "Matzah Do About Nothing," and also a new cantata for Jerusalem's 40th reunification anniversary, "I Won't Forget You O Jerusalem."

Meir will also be the featured artist at the Cantors Assembly concert, presented this year by the Delaware Valley and N.J. Regions at Beth Judah (Sun., Aug. 16 at 7 p.m.).

For $100 per person, Orchestrators will receive Friday dinner, Saturday kiddush, Sunday concert reserved seating and program listings. For $75 per person, Composers will receive Friday dinner, Saturday kiddush, Sunday concert general admission and program listings. Friday dinner alone is $22 per person.

Cong. Beth Judah is located at 700 N. Swarthmore Ave., Ventnor. For reservations, please visit our office or call 822-7116 ext. 101. Visit us on the web at www.BethJudah.org.

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