Lincoln Center Hosts Worldwide Celebration of Cantorial Music Renewal

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The “Jewish Placido Domingo” to perform at historic Lincoln Center celebration of the rebirth of Jewish Cantorial music, accompanied by the New York Philharmonic and the Yuval choir from Israel.

To the surprise of experts who claimed that Jewish Cantorial music died along with Yiddish Theater, ticket sales for the upcoming Cantorial concert “Helfgot Sings Koussevitzky” have gone through the roof. The concert will be held in New York’s Lincoln Center on December 18, yet within days of the initial announcement only a few dozen tickets remain available for sale.

The historic concert celebrates the re-emergence of what is affectionately known as “Jewish Soul” music. It pays tribute to the heart-stirring liturgical phenomenon that has become one of the fastest-growing trends in musical entertainment among young Jewish Americans today.

The three-hour concert will feature Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, accompanied by the New York Philharmonic and conducted by Maestro Mordechai Sobol of the Yuval Symphony Orchestra of Israel. According to Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky, event producer and founder of Cantors World, this is the first time in history that a single cantor will carry the night before a packed Avery Fisher Hall. “The enormous interest in this concert is an acknowledgment of the recent surge of public interest in Cantorial music, as well as the nearly super-human talent of Cantor Helfgot."

Cantor Helfgot is indisputably the greatest Jewish cantor in the world today. Some refer to him as the “Jewish Placido Domingo.” He has served in some of the greatest synagogues of the world and presently serves as head cantor at the Park East Synagogue in New York City. He performs regularly to sold-out concerts around the globe and has been called by critics “the reincarnation of cantors Rosenblatt, Koussevitzky, and Kwartin rolled into one,” referring to the “three greats” of the past century. For this event, he will be accompanied by the Yuval choir and will draw upon works that span some 200 years of Jewish Cantorial prayers and liturgy.

Cantorial music has been part of Jewish heritage and tradition for hundreds of years. Recently, it has attracted the attention of celebrities such as Jackie Mason, Alan Dershowitz, Steven Spielberg, Senator Joseph Lieberman, and Elie Wiesel. Today, a talented cantor can vastly increase the attendance at synagogue services, and Cantorial concerts sell out regularly.

“For me, it’s remarkable to see very secular Jews sitting right next to ultra-orthodox hassidim, both wiping away tears after being moved by a Cantorial rendition during one of our concerts,” relates Charlie Bernhaut, one of the founders of Cantors World. “There isn’t a single genre of Jewish music today that draws such interest from every stripe and segment, bringing them together to share and experience their heritage.”

Cantors World was founded several years ago to channel and guide the emerging renewal of traditional Cantorial music. The organization has sponsored dozens of concerts and weekend retreats around the world, all of which have met with astounding success and sold out houses. Cantor Rogosnitzky serves as cantor of the Jewish Center in Manhattan. Charlie Bernhaut hosted the radio program "Two hours of Jewish Soul" for over 18 years.

Tickets range from $36 to $180. For reservations and additional information, contact Cantors World at 718-851-3226, or visit


1. Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot

2. Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky and Charlie Bernhaut, founders of Cantors World.

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Zalman Goldstein
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