About Chief Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot
Admired for his incredible range, Chief Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot is beloved and revered as one of the greatest and most important cantorial voices of the 21st century.
He enthralls audiences the world over with his passion and unbounded joy in bringing sacred Jewish music and opera classics to life.
Holding his first concert for the first time at age 23, Helfgot immediately took the world of cantorial song by storm with his powerful renditions of three renowned classics—Zibert’s “Mimkomcha,” Kwartin’s “Tiher Rabbi Yishmael,” and Rosenblatt’s “Ad Hena.” His magnificent and soulful voice has reigned supreme and captivated the international stage ever since.
Cantor Helfgot appears regularly in concerts, as well as serving as guest cantor for communities around the globe—from New York to Beijing, from South Africa to Italy, from Russia to Australia. He leaves audiences spellbound with his masterful renditions of classics by Rosenblatt, Koussevitzky, Kwartin, Sirota, and Hershman, transporting audiences back to the Golden Era of Chazzanut.
Cantor Helfgot has collaborated with some of the greatest cantors and musicians of our time, including Cantor Chaim Adler, Jimmy Barnes, comedian Elon Gold, and Itzhak Perlman. He has also performed in distinguished venues, synagogues and concert halls in almost every European city and the world over, including the Warsaw Opera House in Poland, Henry Crown Hall in Jerusalem, and Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot currently serves as Chief Cantor of the Park East Synagogue in New York City, where congregants delight in rapturous Shabbat and High Holy Day services projected by Helfgot’s voice of divine magnificence.
About Cantor Yaakov Motzen
Cantor Yaakov Motzen of The Shul of Bal Harbour, Florida is a native of Tel Aviv and the fifth generation of a family of Cantors. He attended well known Yeshivot in Israel and studied music and vocal technique with the late Yosef Goland, the principal baritone in the Berlin opera in the late 1920’s. Yaakov studied liturgy with the renowned Cantor Yitzchak Eshel.Yaakov served as vice president of the Nachala organization from 1973-1978, which was dedicated to entertaining wounded soldiers. Cantor Motzen held the position of Chief Cantor in Givatayim, Haifa, and Ramat Gan, and sang on Kol Yisrael radio and television.In 1978, Motzen went to Montreal to take the position of Cantor of Congregation Shomrim Laboker-Beth Yehuda-Shaarei Tefillah for nine years, and then became the Cantor of the Adath Israel Poalei Zedek Congregation for the next ten years until July, 1997. From 1997 to 2005 he served as the Cantor of Shaarei Shomayim Congregation in Toronto, Canada.
In November of 1987 and 1988, he joined several other outstanding cantors in a historical tour behind the Iron Curtain, organized by the American Society for the Advancement of Cantorial Arts and the Gila and Haim Wiener Foundation. Yaakov Motzen has performed in concert in many parts of the world, including Australia, South Africa, England, Israel, and many cities in North America. He has released over a dozen recordings of liturgical and Chassidic music.Yaakov is a proud father of six children, and “saba” to eight grandchildren. When not “on the road”, he and his wife Marsha reside in Englewood, NJ.
About Maestro Yosef Schwartz
Yosef Schwartz was born in Seattle Washington in 1991 and was born into a family blessed with amazing musical talent. Yosef’s remarkable talent was evident since his early childhood. Yosef’s was first inspired with the cantorial arts in 2003 when he heard a recording of a famous performance by cantor Moshe Genschov. Yosef continued to listen to the great cantors of the past and began to attend The Great Synagogue of Jerusalem where he absorbed the musical magnificence of the big name cantors and professional choir that appeared regularly in the Great Synagogue, while he was still a young teenager.
In 2007 Yosef began studying music privately with Shlomo Goldhar the conductor of the Shirat Yisrael Choir from the days of the iconic cantor and conductor Shlomo Zalman Rivlin up to present day. Yosef went on to study in the Academy of Jewish Liturgical Music in Petach Tikva under the leadership of Maestro Elli Jaffe and the world renowned cantor Yisrael Rand. Yosef also was mentored in music, harmony, and conducting, by Maestro Elli Jaffe.
In 2011 Yosef founded the Vocal Ensemble Pamonim that is now considered one of the most prestigious cantorial vocal ensembles in the world. In recent years Yosef has appeared in synagogues and cultural centers throughout Israel and Europe, including musical festivals in Krakow, Dresden, Hanover Frankfurt, Berlin.
Yosef brings a new direction in the world of cantorial arts, leading in quality conducting, and audience interaction focused on connecting them to the Jewish liturgical music experience while harmoniously combining the old and new with clarity and excitement.