Cantors and Music Center

Azi Schwartz

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Cantor Azi Schwartz is a world-renowned vocal performer and recording artist whose music reaches both Jewish and interfaith audiences internationally. His craft of Jewish liturgical music has been described as emotionally moving, spiritually uplifting, and artistically dynamic.

Azi grew up in a traditional community in Israel. His grandfather, also a cantor, inspired Azi to pursue his passion and inclination for singing and music. After graduating from the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute and studying under the top cantors in the world, Azi continued studying music, earning a Masters in Classical Singing and Conducting from Mannes School of Music in New York.

Since 2009, Azi serves as cantor at Park Avenue Synagogue, the largest Conservative community in NYC and the flagship of Jewish liturgical music in North America. Following distinguished predecessors, including Cantor David Lefkowitz, Cantor Schwartz creates, records, and publishes new liturgical music, as well as hosts world-class guest artists for concerts and worship.

Passionate to bring Jewish liturgy to the broader world, Azi has performed at Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, Madison Square Garden, the US Capitol Rotunda, and the Israeli Knesset. In 2018, Azi was featured in a PBS special titled “The New York Cantors,” which brought cantorial music to millions of viewers across the US and in Europe. During Pope Francis’s visit to New York in October 2015, Cantor Schwartz represented the Jewish people at the multi-religious service at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. He played the role of the cantor in Richard Gere's movie Norman, and performs in concerts and interfaith missions around the world. Azi has an astounding online following. He has released nine studio albums containing traditional and newly commissioned Jewish liturgical music.

Dedicated to cultivating the next generation of cantors, Azi serves on faculty of all major cantorial schools, and serves as Treasurer for the Cantors’ Assembly, the largest professional organization for cantors.

Park Avenue Synagogue is honored to have Cantor Azi Schwartz, his wife Dr. Noa Schwartz, and their four children in our community.

Rachel Brook

Assistant Cantor
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Cantor Rachel Brook joined the Park Avenue Synagogue community in July 2015. Prior to her arrival at PAS, Rachel worked as the Music Educator for Youth and Family at B’nai Jeshurun; she is featured, along with several of her compositions, on their Young Family album, Bim Bam at BJ. Previously, she served as the Hazzan Sheni at Temple Beth Ami in Rockville, Maryland and as the High Holy Day Cantor at Temple Israel of Greater Miami.

A devotee of Jewish choral music, Cantor Brook has served as the conductor of Shir Chadash: The Brooklyn Jewish Community Chorus and of the Westchester chapter of HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir. She has been on the faculty of the North American Jewish Choral Festival as Conductor of the Youth Choir. She has been a service leader and educator at synagogues throughout the NYC area and at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where she curated and taught the Yeshiva’s first course on Building Singing Communities.

Rachel Brook has sung at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center. She has performed with the Zamir Chorale, recorded with Kirtan Rabbi, and sung opera and concert roles throughout the USA, Italy, and Bulgaria.

Rachel received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Indiana University and her Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy with Distinction from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She was invested as a Hazzan at the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of JTS in May 2016.

Cantor Brook is married to Matt Holman. Together with their two children, they are proud to be part of the Park Avenue community.

Colin Fowler

Music Director
Colin Fowler began his musical study at the age of 5 in Kansas City and went on to study at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy. He continued his education at The Juilliard School, where he received his Bachelor of Music in 2003 and his Master of Music in 2005. While at Juilliard, he studied piano with Abbey Simon, organ with Gerre Hancock and Paul Jacobs, harpsichord with Lionel Party, and conducting with James dePriest and Judith Clurman. A versatile musician and conductor, Fowler works in many areas of the music scene in New York City. He is a veteran of numerous Broadway shows, most recently performing in the Tony Award winning musical Jersey Boys. As a classical soloist and collaborative artist, he has performed and recorded with many world renowned musicians and ensembles, including Deborah Voigt and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He began to collaborate with the Mark Morris Dance Group in 2005 and has since then performed over 45 pieces with the company on almost every keyboard instrument possible, including the harmonium and toy piano, and has conducted performances of Mozart Dances, Acis and Galatea, and The Hard Nut. Hailed by the New York Times as 'invaluable' and 'central to Morris' music', he was appointed music director in 2013. A seasoned church musician, Fowler is currently the organist at Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue. He has previously led choirs and services in NYC at Trinity Wall Street and St Thomas Church, among others. He led services at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue from 2006-2010, and joined the music staff at Park Avenue Synagogue in 2012 taking over from McNeil Robinson. He was appointed Music Director in 2016.

Joshua Rosenberg

Principal Music Educator
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Joshua Rosenberg joined the PAS staff in August 2017. Josh grew up in Bethesda, MD and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education. He is currently working toward his Master of Music in Music Education at Boston University (January 2018). While working as an elementary general music teacher in Montgomery County public schools (MD), he also served as cantorial soloist for Congregation Or Chadash (Damascus, MD), songleader for the DCJCC, and music specialist for Temple Rodef Shalom (Falls Church, VA). Last year, he accompanied his wife to Jerusalem, where he studied Hebrew, performed with the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir, and volunteered with the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus. He is tremendously excited to bring his passion for music teaching to PAS and looks forward to fantastic music-making.

Arielle Green

Cantorial Intern
Arielle Green joined the Park Avenue Synagogue community as cantorial intern in July 2018. A third-year cantorial student at The Jewish Theological Seminary, Arielle is thrilled to be part of the team in such a vibrant community.

Arielle grew up in Fairfax, VA, as an active member of her synagogue, Agudas Achim Congregation, where PAS former Assistant Rabbi Steven Rein is now rabbi. She has been involved in various Jewish camps as a camper, counselor, song leader, and environmental and Jewish educator, including Camp Louise in Cascade, MD, Capital Camps and Retreat Center in Waynesboro, PA, and most recently, Camp Ramah in Northern California.

Arielle graduated from the University of Rochester with a double major in music and environmental science. She founded the first Jewish a cappella group at the University of Rochester, Roc Hakol, and was very involved in Hillel and in the Rochester Jewish community. Last year, Arielle served as the cantorial intern of North Suburban Beth El Synagogue in Highland Park, IL, where she participated in High Holiday services and community events.

Arielle is having a great year at PAS.