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SHLOMO CARLEBACH – three tenors with Israeli choir

New Year’s Concert 2017

Tuesday October 17, 2017 at 19:30 in the Synagogue in Krystalgade.

Thanks to Shlomo Carlebach (1924-94),”The Singing Rabbi,” Jewish religious music was taken out of the synagogue and entered each and every Jewish home. His melodies are sung around the whole world, he performed internationally, recorded his own compositions, and arranged liturgical songs into the hearts of the Woodstock-generation.

His songs became classics and found their way into Jewish songbooks and are often performed by Jewish singers.

Most of his melodies come from the orthodox music tradition, but his arrangements fit concert halls or music festivals and a whole generation grew up singing his songs. He combines Hassidic Judaism with personal feelings and make you sing with him. This feeling of being part is something his audience experienced during his concerts and during him leading synagogue service and now Jewish Culture in Copenhagen would like to reproduce the ambience when we have invited the young cantors Moshe Fishel, Tsudik Greenwald and Tzvi Grinhaim together with an Israeli choir to sing Shlomo Carlebach’s songs for us.

Carlebach is today considered the greatest Jewish religious songwriter of the 20th century. During his career of over 40 years he composed thousands of melodies and recorded more than 25 albums which are still just as popular as in his lifetime. He was also one of the pioneers of the Baal Teshuva movement (back to Judaism), challenging young Jews to find the way back to their Jewish heritage through information, songs and inspiring storytelling.

Reb Shlomo was born in Berlin in a rabbinical family, studied in a yeshiva in Lithuania and came to New York in 1939 and worked both as rabbi and cantor. He was the leader of the small Torah-circle TASGIG, "Taste And See God Is Good". He performed and composed Jewish music and was a follower of the Lubavitcher rabbi Schneerson, who told him to use his talent to go out to the students at the universities and make them return to religious Judaism.

He started to write songs in the 1950’s, first exclusively based on holy texts. Even though he composed thousands of songs, he couldn’t read the notes. But his songs like Am Yisrael Chai (Israel’s people lives on), a song dedicated to Soviet Jews or Borchi Nafshi (My soul blesses the Lord) are world famous.

Carlebach said in an interview in the New York Times that his career started in Greenwich Village in New York, where he met Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and other folk singers.

He also performed at the annual Hassidic song festivals in Israel which contributed to the popularity of his songs. He was also influenced by other singers of the period, and new instruments and psychedelic tones appeared. At this time he lived in a moshav in Israel for long periods.  The songs have relatively short melodies and liturgical texts with many repetitions.  They are easy to learn and have been included in the synagogue services in many synagogues. When he came back to New York, he became the rabbi of his own Carlebach Shul in West 79th Street.

During his lifetime he was adored by his fans and despised by many orthodox rabbis on grounds of his music and his outreach activities. He was also criticised because he listened to, praised and kissed singing women.


His daughter, Neshama Carlebach is also a songwriter and singer and continues her father’s song tradition.


In 2008 the musical Soul Doctor was written about his life and the documentary You Never Know describes his philosophy.

The young cantors Moshe Fishel, Tsudik Greenwald and Tzvi Grinhaim and the choir set themselves a huge task when presenting Carlebach’s oevre..

Cantor Moshe Fishel, 28, was born in Israel and is well-known in Europe. After his cantor studies in Israel he studied in Munich and worked as a cantor in Melbourne in Australia and now again in Munich. He also performs at concerts, recently at the Cracow Jewish Festival this year. He has an exceptional lyrical tenor voice and often performs with the most famous cantors and conductors.

Cantor Tzvi Grinhaim is also from Israel, he is 24. Already as a 10-year old prodigy he had a unique voice and unique talent. His lyrical tenor reaches wide and is said to leave his audience in tears. Experts predict a great operatic career for him. He started his cantor studies at 14, at 19 he became cantor in Cologne in Germany, but then the returned to Israel to serve in the army. Now he works at Tel Aviv’s Great Synagogue and performs at cantor concerts in Europe.

Tsudik Greenwald has also a beautiful lyrical tenor going from the lowest to the highest pitch with ease and clarity. He was born in New York, emigrated to Israel and was educated as a cantor there. Already as a little boy he sang solos, but his fame rose suddenly in the last two years. He is seen as a great star in near future. He performed at Lincoln Center in New York, at the Spring Festival in  Budapest and had a series of 5 concerts with the famous Budapest Klezmer band in New York.

The young star cantors will be accompanied by Menachem Bristowski on the piano and a choir from Israel. Conductor Yakov Rotner

Produced by Hallelujah Productions

The concert is organised in cooperation with Jewish Culture in Copenhagen, the Danish Jewish Community and the City Council of Copenhagen.  

Price: 250 kr via Billetnet and direct mail to                                                                                               DJS-members and Politiken Plus: 200 kr