International Cantorial Symposium: Session 1, Thurs. July 23rd

Presented by a Non-Profit Corporation: Capitol Opera 


Cantor Nathan Goldman, Stuttgart, Germany

Cantor Sholom Rappaport, England

Cantor G’daliah Alexander, England

Cantor David Presler, Delray Beach, FL / Jerusalem






Topics Discussed:

1 - Exploring the pathways and possibilities of expanding learning and appreciation of the Art of the Cantor.


2 - Apprehension of the Art of the Cantor

  • It is a lifelong endeavor to be a Master Cantor

  • Learning Hazzonus happens by listening to recordings as well as reading music.


3. Goals and Ideas

Music Literacy -

Developing Youth Choirs specifically for the purpose, role and task of supporting the Cantor during the Davening. Indeed, the art of Hazzonus is greatly enhanced by having a Choir. It provides a “happening” with preparation, rehearsals, and the support of friends and family. The music delights of hearing the harmonic changes to support the melodic improvisations of a knowledgeable Cantor or Ba’al Tfillah is best experienced when there is a Choir joining the Cantor.


3B: The idea was presented to develop a curriculum in Jewish Day Schools to support the Cantor on Shabbat, possibly from grade 4 to 12. This could be an after-school program, or as an elective.


The challenge is to transform the Synagogues where congregants will begin to enjoy the process of T’fillah through the beauty and Hiddur Mitzvah of a spectacular Davening.


Grassroots, this can happen in one city and then another. The development of choirs in Schools is also of benefit to the Hazzanim, as they will become more intertwined with the families and communities, and the salary for teaching would hopefully and eventually augment their positions financially.


3C: The Government will be approached to support such endeavors as well as linking with non-profit organizations and institutions that see the benefit of developing such a program.

4. The development of a Doctoral program in the Art of Cantorial Music and Choral Conducting. The students in the program will develop new repertoire, orchestrate, notate and organize Cantorial sheet music, and work with the Youth Choirs as part of their dissertation.

4B. The apprehension of newer selections for the candidate from the Golden Age repertoire, to be sung in recital and Synagogue.

4C. Candidates will actively seek out opportunities to spread the joy of Hazzanut and the learning of it's essence, style, modes, vocal knowledge and harmony.

The joy experienced by getting together and sharing the excitement of ideas was terrific, and I believe this is the start of something big! If you would like to take part in these symposiums, please submit an application at