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Matthew Lazar

Matthew LazarMATTHEW LAZAR (1947 – ) is a leading force of the Jewish choral movement in North America today. He is founder and director of the Zamir Choral Foundation and has created the North American Jewish Choral Festival; Hazamir: The International Jewish High School Choir; the National Jewish Chorale; the SELAH Vocal Ensemble; the Mantua Singers; and SHIRAH, the largest independent Jewish choral society in the United States. He has directed the Zamir Chorale since 1972.

Maestro Lazar has been acknowledged by the New York Times for his vision and leadership in presenting the music of Salamone Rossi in the first festival and conference of this great master’s music. Mr. Lazar also has been praised by the Chicago Tribune as an “expert director” for a program he conducted for the Chicago Symphony’s World Music Series. He has prepared choruses for Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini and Daniel Barenboim, and he has appeared as guest conductor of the El Paso Symphony, the Milwaukee Chamber Symphony, the Ra’anana Symphony and at the Ravinia Music Festival. For three decades, he has been presenting programs at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and other major concert halls in the United States and Israel. In 2008, Mr. Lazar conducted the American Symphony Orchestra at Lincoln Center in a program of 20th century American Jewish music, as well as the New York premiere of Charles Osborne’s Souls on Fire, also at Lincoln Center with chorus, orchestra and Leonard Nimoy narrating. He appears regularly with the great cantors of our generation.

Mr. Lazar has served on the faculties of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary and is a frequent lecturer and scholar-in-residence in communities and universities across the United States. His recordings include Birthday of the World (I & II) and A Taste of Eternity (I & II) with the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble and several Chante Mystique recordings, including Songs for Jerusalem, which features a special narration by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

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