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Robert Applebaum

Robert ApplebaumROBERT (“BOB”) APPLEBAUM (1941 – ) began composing choral music for the Jewish liturgy in 1980. Since then he has written three complete Sabbath services, including one for choir and jazz trio. He also has composed choral settings of many psalms as well as non-secular texts. E.C. Schirmer, Opus Music and Transcontinental Music publish several of these pieces.

Professional, community and children’s choirs throughout the country have performed Mr. Applebaum’s music. Since 1999 his music has had frequent performance at the annual Zamir Foundation North American Choral Festival and has been featured on many programs of the New York City women’s a cappella ensemble SHE. In 2000, the Chicago Children’s Choir performed his setting of V’ahavta at the White House.

Many Chicago-area ensembles have premiered his music: the Chicago Children’s Choir, Kol Zimrah, Hazmir Chicago, the New Trier High School Winter Festival Choir, Coriolis, the Music Institute Chorale, Chicago a cappella and the choir of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation of Evanston.

Recent commissions include works for Chicago a cappella, the Children’s Cantate (Orland Park, Illinois), Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Libertyville, Illinois), the Unitarian Universalist Society (Iowa City, Iowa) and Congregation Beth Elohim (Acton, Massachusetts).

Two of his Chanukah songs have been included on the 2002 Chicago a cappella album Holidays a cappella Live! Three of his settings of Shakespeare texts are included on Chicago a cappella’s acclaimed 2005 Çedille release Shall I Compare Thee?

As a jazz pianist, Mr. Applebaum has three albums to his credit: Hora and Blue (with the Modern Klezmer Quartet, on the Global Village label, 1993), The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree (jazz piano duos with his son, Mark Applebaum, on the Innova label, 2002) and Friday Night Jazz Service (2007).

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