Today is August 17th, 2017 -

Temple Sinai

50 Sewall Avenue
Brookline, MA 02446
Phone: (617) 277-5888

Passover Music Festival History

History of the Passover Music Festival

When the Israelites emerged from the Red Sea, Miriam and Moses led them in joyous song. Drawing on that aspect of history, Founding Rabbi Beryl D. Cohon and Music Director Evelyn Borofsky Roskin initiated Temple Sinai’s Annual Passover Music Festival. Music Director Delores Fox Corley carried on the tradition by presenting Passover-related programs including performances of major oratorios on Jewish themes, with chorus, orchestra and soloists. In 1969, Samuel Adler was commissioned to compose the oratorio From Out of Bondage, which he conducted at the Temple. Under the continuing guidance of Music Director Mark Kagan and Chairpersons Fred and Jane Wanger, a wide array of programs have been presented over the years, including: Misha Alexandrovitch: the Russian Tenor and Cantor; The Western Wind from New York; Boston’s Klezmer Conservatory Band; Bloch’s Sacred Service with the Brookline Chorus; Sholem Aleichem, a musical directed by Mary Wolfman; Voice of the Turtle; and retrospectives of the music of Broadway by Jewish American composers, featuring Boston singers Nancy Armstrong and Robert Honeysucker. In 2000, the Passover Music Festival celebrated its fiftieth year by commissioning Israeli composer Yehezkel Braun to write a large piece based upon nine of the Psalms from the Shirei Hama’alot. The new work Shirei Ma’alot, commemorating Temple Sinai’s sixtieth anniversary, was premiered by the Temple Sinai Quartet and organist Nancy Granert on April 28, 2000, with the composer attending.

In more recent years, the Connecticut based group The Klezical Tradition Klezmer Ensemble has performed and, in 2004, a program entitled Marking Milestones with Music honored Rabbi Frank Waldorf’s 30 years of service to Temple Sinai and Temple member Jules Eskin’s 40 years as principal cellist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Jules, his wife, Boston Symphony violinist Aza Raykhtsaum, and pianist Fredrik Wanger performed a program that included works by Chausson, Debussy and Brahms.

The 2005 Passover Music Festival, Temple Sinai’s fifty-fifth, continued the program’s outstanding musical tradition with members of the Klezmer Conservatory Band providing a exciting evening of song and instrumentation.

In 2006, the fifty-sixth Passover Music Festival featured the group VOICE OF THE TURTLE, presenting a concert of Sephardi Passover traditions. The group also took part in the Kabbalat Shabbat service with a variety of Sephardi settings for Friday night liturgy, including versions from Amsterdam, Constantinople, Tangiers, Meknes, Gibralter and Jerusalem among others. VOICE OF THE TURTLE sang and performed their signature arrangements on medieval Spanish bagpipe, psaltery, baglama, saz, ‘ud, rebec, kamanja, violin, vielle, harp, shawms, flutes, cornetti, chalumeaux, clarinet, guitars, mandolin, dumbeks, and riqq.