13. 05. 2024 - Media library News

Recording of the concert “Golden Times” (20.03.)


On March 20, 2023, the “Brooklyn Cantors” Yanky Lemmer, Shimmy Miller and Yoel Kohn were guests at Villa Seligmann under the direction of Dr. Jeremiah Lockwood. Accompanied by a string quartet, they presented sounds from the “golden age” of cantorial music in the 20th century in a unique concert.

The complete recording of the concert can now be viewed on the Villa Seligmann YouTube channel.


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The Brooklyn Cantors

In today’s Brooklyn, there’s a remarkable music revival bubbling away in secret from the eyes of most music fans. It takes place in communities in Williamsburg and Borough Park, and the main performers are young Hasidic singers. In the separatist Orthodox community, the older forms of Jewish music have been largely replaced by pop music, which sounds very much like what you hear on the radio. The texts that are sung to, however, are Yiddish or Hebrew texts with religious content, mostly also Jewish prayer texts.

A small but lively group of young singers have made the style of cantorial music from before the Second World War their preferred art form, performing pieces recorded almost a century ago. While some of these singers grew up in families with older cantors from whom they could learn, other artists only discovered this music through old records. In an environment that may seem to outsiders like a discouragement to self-expression, these artists immerse themselves in the past. From this they develop their own expressive style.