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Azi Schwartz joined the Park Avenue Synagogue clergy in 2009. He follows distinguished predecessors, including Cantor David Putterman and Cantor David Lefkowitz, whose musical leadership established Park Avenue Synagogue as the flagship of Jewish liturgical music in the United States.
Born and raised in Israel, Cantor Azi Schwartz has sung with prestigious orchestras and choirs around the world. He has performed in the United Nations’ General Assembly Hall, the United States Capitol Rotunda, and the Knesset, as well as in the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv accompanied by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rykestrasse Synagogue in Berlin accompanied by the RIAS Kammerchor.
Cantor Schwartz earned a master in music (M.Mus) from the Mannes School of Music in New York City, where he majored in voice and conducting. He is a graduate of the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute and also studied classical music at The Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. Prior to embarking on his professional musical career, Azi graduated from the Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva and completed his military service as a soloist in the Israeli Defense Forces Rabbinical Troupe.
Azi has served as Cantor of the Palm Beach Synagogue in Florida, Cantor and Choir Conductor of the Park East Synagogue in New York City, Cantor of Heichal Meir Synagogue in Tel Aviv and Assistant Cantor of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. His singing and conducting repertoire includes classical music, Israeli music, Jewish music and original works. He has released four solo albums in addition to participating in several other recordings.
Azi is married to Dr. Noa Schwartz, and they have two sons, Jonathan and Daniel.
Click here to hear Cantor Schwartz's music.
Shiree Kidron joined the Park Avenue Synagogue clergy as Assistant Cantor in July, 2011.
Born in Haifa, Israel, Shiree studied classical music and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in music from The Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. She came to the U.S. to study opera and earned a Master in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where her performances won praise from the New York Times. Shiree has performed worldwide, including at Carnegie Hall and at venues in other U.S. cities, and in Rome, Ukraine and Israel. She has won numerous awards performing recitals and Operas with orchestras and musical ensembles.
Shiree has led services for synagogues in the New York metropolitan area (Sutton Place Synagogue; Temple Sha’arey Tefillah , Bedford; Temple Beth Israel, Vineland, NJ) and has taught Hebrew and tefillot in addition to training B'nei Mitzvah students at Rodeph Sholom School in NYC and at Temple Beth El in Huntington . She is a participant in the CICA, the Cantorial Intern Program of the Cantors Assembly, a program that prepares qualified congregational leaders become members of the CA.
In addition to her cantorial skills, Shiree is a versatile performer of Jewish folk, classical and world music. She is the vocalist of the Sheba Ensemble, a female Jewish group that focuses on original music and traditional melodies in Ladino, Hebrew, English and Yiddish. This group released an album in 2010.