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David Lefkowitz

David LefkowitzDAVID LEFKOWITZ has been senior cantor at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City since 1976 and will be retiring after 33 years of service. He has commissioned and premiered hundreds of compositions and arranged and composed a large collection of his own works. His focus always has been to pass on to this generation the grand musical tradition of the past while simultaneously encouraging and embracing contemporary synagogue music. Highly acclaimed for his clear lyric tenor voice, Cantor Lefkowitz has performed internationally.

Cantor Lefkowitz’s recent honors include the David Putterman Award from the Cantors Assembly (May 2003) for Lifetime Achievement in the Cantorate and a 2003-2004 appointment to the Rabbinical Assembly Law Committee. In 2001, the Goethe Institute featured Cantor Lefkowitz in St. Petersburg, Russia, in a presentation of Kurt Weill’s Jewish lieder at the International Film Festival’s premiere of a Kurt Weill documentary film. In 2002, Lefkowitz participated in the 10th Anniversary Music Festival at the Europaisches Zentrum fur Judische Musik in Hanover, Germany — both as cantorial concert artist and as academic scholar.

In honor of Cantor Lefkowitz’s 25th anniversary at Park Avenue Synagogue in 2001, a compilation CD titled Song and Celebration was released, highlighting Cantor Lefkowitz’s diverse repertoire. He has composed prolifically and has rescued and edited rarely heard and important synagogue works from many periods and styles. He received his professional training at the University of Pittsburgh, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Juilliard School. He is a past president of the American Society for Jewish Music, vice president and music director of the David Nowakowsky Foundation, and faculty member of the School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College.


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