Forty Years Ago at PAS - Cantor David Lefkowitz and the Park Avenue Synagogue Chorale Inaugural Concert


May 19, 1977

On the one-year anniversary of his arrival at Park Avenue Synagogue, Cantor David Lefkowitz presented the Inaugural Concert of the PAS Chorale accompanied by a full symphony orchestra conducted by Abraham Kaplan. The 70-member chorus, formed in December 1976, was led by Mr. Kaplan, an Israeli-born conductor-composer who was Director of PAS Choral Activities. Together with four soloists and the Chorale, Cantor Lefkowitz performed classical liturgical works and newly-arranged compositions to a capacity audience in the synagogue’s sanctuary. The concert was the third event in a series that included “Great Liturgical Classics Revisited” (March 12, 1977) and “Highlights of Contemporary Jewish Liturgy” (April 22, 1977). The May concert included compositions by Jacob Lefkowitz, Eugene Cines, Max Janowski, and Abraham Kaplan, as well as historic works by Schubert and Handel. A highlight of the program was a choral version of “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” by Naomi Shemer, which became popular after the Six-Day War in 1967 and was performed, on this occasion, on the tenth anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

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