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Joshua R. Jacobson

Joshua R. JacobsonJOSHUA R. JACOBSON (1948 – ), one of the foremost authorities on Jewish choral music, is professor of music and director of choral activities at Northeastern University and visiting professor of Jewish music at Hebrew College. He also is founder and artistic director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, a musical and educational organization dedicated to raising awareness of the breadth and beauty of Jewish culture through performances, recordings, symposia, publications and musical commissions. Zamir’s repertoire includes Jewish liturgical pieces, major classical works, music of the Holocaust, newly commissioned compositions, and Israeli, Yiddish and Ladino folksongs. Mr. Jacobson’s published compositions and arrangements have been performed throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Europe and Israel.

Mr. Jacobson has conducted workshops on choral music for various groups, including the American Choral Directors Association, the American Conference of Cantors and the Zimriyah International Choral Festival. He also has served as guest conductor for a number of ensembles, including the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Boston Lyric Opera Company. He has given lectures on various aspects of music for a number of organizations, including the pre-Symphony lectures sponsored by the Friends of the New England Conservatory, and he has written articles on various aspects of choral music. His book Chanting the Hebrew Bible: The Art of Cantillation, published by the Jewish Publication Society in 2002, is considered one of the definitive sources in the field.

Mr. Jacobson holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Harvard College, a master’s in choral conducting from the New England Conservatory and a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Cincinnati. In 1989, he spent four weeks in Yugoslavia as a distinguished professor under the auspices of the Fulbright program. In 1994, he was awarded the Benjamin Shevach Award for Distinguished Achievement in Jewish Educational Leadership from Hebrew College. In 2004, the Cantors Assembly presented him with its prestigious Kavod Award.


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