Judaic Sacred Music Foundation

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Artistic Board

Chazan Netanel ‘Nati’ Baram is a native of Jerusalem. His father teaches music, and his mother is a professional artist. Both his parents imbued him with a love of music from a very young age.
The turning point in Nati’s life came when he first attended services at the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. As he listened to the inspiring prayers chanted by the world-renowned Chief Cantor of the Great Synagogue, Naftali Herstik, accompanied by the magnificent choir conducted by Elli Jaffe, Nati made the life-changing decision that he, too, wanted to be a Chazzan.

Following his High School graduation, Nati continued his Torah studies at Yeshivat Ateret Yisrael, and then at Yeshivat Mercaz Harav Kook. He also began to study chazzanut at the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute, where he was personally guided by its Dean, Naftali Herstik, as well as the composer and musician, Raymond Goldstein, and other master teachers. His musical talents and skills were further developed by his father, and by Maestro Elli Jaffe.
 
Nati has been a featured soloist at many concerts of the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute all over the world. For some years he was also a member and soloist of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir, and has served as guest Chazzan at that synagogue on several occasions.
 
During the past few years, Nati has officiated as guest Chazzan at many world-renowned synagogues, from Capetown, South Africa to Zurich, Switzerland, to Melbourne, Australia, and all over the United States. He has appeared as a soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Kibbutz Lavi Music Festival, and at the Berlin Jewish Festival.
 
Nati moved to the United States in 2009, together with his wife Carmit, to serve as the cantor at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills. In 2012 he was appointed cantor at Beverly Hills Synagogue, where he not only presides over the Shabbat and Yomtov prayers, but also organizes regular musical events and concerts for the wider Jewish community of Los Angeles. He lives with his wife and 4 gorgeous daughters in the heart of Beverly Hills.

Rabbi Cantor Hillary Chorny is the Cantor for Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, California. She completed her cantorial investiture, rabbinical ordination, and a Masterʼs degree in Sacred Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary before joining the staff of Temple Beth Am in August, 2014. Raised in San Diego, CA, she grew up with a deep attachment to the Conservative Jewish community. In 2008, Hillary graduated American University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in Jewish studies and a minor in vocal jazz performance. After working as a Judaics instructor and music director in various Jewish communities and camps, Hillary pursued her dream of becoming a cantor. In time, she was inspired by her teachers and family to also pursue the rabbinate. She and her husband, Rabbi Daniel Chorny, met in Israel, and continue to enjoy learning together.

A member of the Executives Committees of both the Motion Pictures and TV Academies,  Four – time Emmy Award Nominated, Winner of the 2013 Society of Composers and Lyricists Award for “Outstanding work in the Art of Film Music”, the 2012 Visionary Award In Music by The Women’s International Film & Television Showcase, winner of the Telly Award, and a member of The Academy of Motion Pictures, Sharon Farber is a celebrated Film, TV and concert music composer.
 
A graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Film scoring and Concert composition (dual major), Sharon has been working with networks and cable broadcasters like NBC, CBS, Showtime and the WB as well as writing music for feature films. Her score for the film “When Nietzsche Wept” (Millennium Films) was commercially released and performed live in a film music concert.
 
Sharon is one of 8 female composers featured at Lincoln Center at the “Women Warriors” concert, curated by Maestra Amy Anderson, and she was also one of the few composers featured in the concert event celebrating female composers sponsored by the “Alliance for Women Film Composers” (The AWFC). The International Film Music Critics Association wrote about her piece: “Composer Sharon Farber wowed the crowd with a suite of music from three of her scores: “Children of the Fall”, When Nietzsche Wept” and “The Dove Flyer”…
 
In the concert music world, Sharon has many national and international credits to her name, including The Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Serenade Ensemble, The Israeli Chamber Orchestra, The Northwest Sinfonietta, The Bellingham Symphony, Orange County Women’s Chorale, Culver City Symphony Orchestra, The Jewish Symphony Orchestra, iPalpiti Artists International and more.
 
Sharon’s acclaimed concerto for cello, orchestra and narrator, “Bestemming” (“Destination” in English), based on the remarkable life story of Holocaust survivor and hero of the Dutch resistance Curt Lowens, has received many performance since its creation, recently on a 4 – city tour of the Pacific Northwest, with renowned cellist Amit Peled, conducted by Maestro Yaniv Attar. In 2019 Sharon will embark on a European tour with the piece.
 
Sharon’s latest commission, from the National Children Chorus, “Children of Light” premiered at Lincoln Center December 2017 and at Royce Hall in Los Angels  January 2018.
 
Sharon is the Music Director of Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills at the SABAN theater, where spirituality is infused with music, dance and art.
Since winning 1st Prize at the 2003 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, conductor and composer Tomasz Golka has appeared with orchestras in North and South America and Europe to great critical acclaim.
 
As guest conductor, he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Seattle, Fort Worth, Buffalo, Spoleto Festival USA, Warsaw Philharmonic, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, as well as numerous orchestras throughout Mexico, including those in Xalapa, Mérida, Queretaro, Guadalajara, Boca del Río, Guanajuato, Puebla, Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Juarez, Monterrey, Saltillo, and the OFUNAM in Mexico City, as well as Puerto Rico Symphony in San Juan and in Concepción (Chile), where he was Principal Guest Conductor. He has collaborated with some of the world’s top soloists, including Susan Graham, Alisa Weilerstein, Gary Hoffman, Inon Barnatan, Miriam Fried, Yuval Yaron, Joseph Swensen, and his pianist-brother Adam Golka.
 
Past positions include Chief Conductor of Colombia National Symphony in Bogotá as well as Music Director of the Lubbock Symphony. He is currently Music Director of Riverside Philharmonic, a virtuoso orchestra made up of the top studio musicians in Hollywood.
 
Golka has served as Cover Conductor for Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Solti International Conducting Competition and the 2005 Malko International Conducting competition, where he conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and the Danish Radio Symphony, respectively.
 
A composer of both film and concert works, he was named Composer-in-residence of the 2018 Boulder International Chamber Music Competition, which commissioned his piece “True Green.” He composed scores for the films “Shaking Cup” (2019), “The Dare” (2018), and the web series “Pagan Holidays” (2019). His concert works have been performed by the symphony orchestras of California, El Paso, Williamsport, Boca del Río, and the Suffolk County Festival Orchestra.
 
As a conducting fellow at the 2006 Tanglewood Music Festival, Golka conducted a historic performance of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale with legendary composers Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, and John Harbison as narrators – a recording that is now available through the Boston Symphony. He has also recorded Ciranda das sete notas by Heitor Villa-Lobos for Melo Records. He was also a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival in 2002 and has conducted in masterclasses for such esteemed conductors as David Zinman, Yuri Temirkanov, and Daniel Lewis.
 
Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1975, Golka’s family emigrated to Mexico in 1980 and to the United States in 1982. His conducting teachers were David Effron at Indiana University and Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory. He has a Certificate in Film Scoring from the prestigious UCLA Extension Film Scoring Program where he was the recipient of the coveted BMI/Jerry Goldsmith Film Scoring Scholarship. He also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin performance from Rice University, where his teachers were Sergiu Luca and Kenneth Goldsmith. His other violin teachers included Tadeusz Wronski and Marina Yashvili. He is fluent in Polish, English, and Spanish.

Dr. Noreen Green is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (LAJS), which she founded in 1994. Known worldwide for her knowledge and skill in presenting music with Jewish themes, she has served as guest conductor in the United States, Israel, South Africa, Australia and Canada. In 2017, she was honored by Musical America, the oldest and most prestigious American magazine on classical music, as one of its Movers & Shapers, the Top 30 Musical America Professionals of the Year.

Under Dr. Green’s direction, the LAJS has performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Ford Theatres, the Soraya (formerly the Valley Performing Arts Center at CSUN), Royce Hall at UCLA, the Gindi Auditorium at American Jewish University and other venues. Special guest performers have included such personalities as Tovah Feldshuh, Randy Newman, Theodore Bikel, Marvin Hamlisch, Dave Koz, Hershey Felder and many others. The LAJS and its Teaching Artists annually serve over 1200 elementary students with an innovative outreach education program, A Patchwork of Cultures: Exploring the Sephardic-Latino Connection.

In response to the 2020 pandemic, Dr. Green formed the Jewish Community Chorale, as a program of the LAJS, to allow community singers a virtual outlet to continue to sing and express their love of Jewish choral music. This innovative response to the crisis was a natural outgrowth of Dr. Green’s extensive history of choral work, most recently with the AJU Choir, which she founded in 2014; the Pierce Encore singers, which she led from 2016- 2018; and her decades of work as Music Director of several Synagogue programs.

In May 2018, Dr. Green was honored to conduct the World Premiere of Emily Bear’s “And Forever Free,” with the composer at the piano, in Rockford, Illinois. The occasion was Bear’s induction into the Order of Lincoln, Illinois’ highest honor for professional achievement and public service; the 16-year-old Bear is the youngest recipient in the history of the prize. Other recent guest conducting engagements include the “Pesach Extravaganza” at Temple B’nai Torah, in Boca Raton, Florida.

Dr. Green has received numerous awards and recognition, including the National Foundation of Jewish Culture, the State of Israel Bonds, and California Legislature Assembly Member Bob Blumenfield for creating the Interfaith Tribute Choir and Orchestra Concert for Remembering 9/11. In 2012, Zev Yaroslavsky and the LA County Board of Supervisors honored her with a Commendation for her contribution to the Los Angeles arts scene.

In great demand as a lecturer and educator, Dr. Green has spoken at numerous national and international symposia and for the LA Philharmonic’s Upbeat Live series. In 2017, Dr. Green gave a highly acclaimed lecture-concert, A Celebration of Women and Music through a Jewish Lens, in Sydney, Australia. She also spoke at the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association on the subject of Jewish choral music from the Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions. The previous year, Dr. Green presented a workshop on Jewish music at the American Choral Directors Association Western Division Conference and delivered a talk on Jewish composers in film at the Magnes Collection for Jewish Art and Life in Berkeley, CA. In 2015, she gave the keynote speech at the annual Spring Conference of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism in Irvine, CA

Dr. Green and the LAJS have released two CDs on the prestigious Albany Records label: contemporary Philadelphia composer Andrea Clearfield’s oratorio Women of Valor in 2017 and Holocaust survivor Eric Zeisl’s ballet “Jacob and Rachel” and “Variations on a Slovakian Theme” on The Music of Eric Zeisl in 2019.

Violinist Anna Kostyuchek has appeared as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player throughout the United States, South America, and Europe. 

She has been a member of the Philharmonie der Nationen and the Stuttgart Bach Academy under Helmuth Rilling, where she served as Associate Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin, and with whom she has performed in the greatest concert halls of South America and Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonie, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern, and the Teatro del Lago in Frutillar, Chile. As an orchestral musician she has performed under the batons of such renowned conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, John Williams, George Mester, Grant Gershon, and David Newman. 

As a recording artist she has recorded for numerous television and motion picture soundtracks, including Star Trek, Dexter, Fear Factor, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Batman Returns, American Idol, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, and had an onscreen role in the TV shows The Big Bang Theory and Shooter. Anna has also appeared in concert with Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, Tony Bennett, Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, Black Eyed Peas, and Harry Connick, Jr.

As soloist, she has appeared with the Mozart Classical Orchestra and Santa Cecilia Orchestra. She is a member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra, Santa Barbara Opera Orchestra, and is Associate Concertmaster of Riverside Philharmonic.

Driven by the endless possibility of sound, composer Ronen Landa creates music that is stirring, inventive, and bold. The press has hailed his work as “an astounding auditory journey” (Cinema Without Borders) and a “multi-layered feast for the ears” (Review Graveyard).

Arriving in New York City as an aspiring rock guitarist at age 17, Landa was soon enthralled by the classical, experimental and world music traditions he encountered. Initially writing songs and chamber works, his music now accompanies dozens of film, television, art, and new media projects.

Feature films Landa has scored include David Marmor’s Netflix chart-topping thriller 1BR, Nicholas McCarthy’s horror hits THE PACT (Sundance) and AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR (SXSW), and Ben Hickernell’s romantic drama A RISING TIDE (Showtime).

Documentaries include Andrew Napier’s MAD AS HELL (Hot Docs Conscious Media Award Winner), Cambria Matlow and Morgan Robinson’s BURNING IN THE SUN (PBS, Cinema for Peace International Green Film Award Winner),

Haydar Daffar’s landmark Iraq War film THE DREAMS OF SPARROWS (SXSW) and Nadav Kurtz’s PARAÌSO (NYTimes Op-Doc; Sundance; Tribeca Film Festival Best Short Documentary Award Winner).

Landa is a Sundance Institute Composer Fellow and Vilcek Foundation New American Filmmaker. In 2018 he received the Jerry Goldsmith Award for Best Song alongside co-writer/performer Anna Bulbrook for “Whiteout,” from Cambria Matlow’s documentary WOODSRIDER.

 Currently, Landa resides in Los Angeles. In addition to his work, he serves as Associates Board Chair for Education Through Music – Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization that ensures children attending inner-city schools can receive a high quality music education.

For more information, please Ronen’s website: https://ronenlanda.com.

A native of France, pianist Anne-Lise Longuemare started her musical studies at the age of four with her mother.  She later obtained degrees in piano performance from the Montreal Conservatory of Music, The Ecole Normale de Musique Cortot in Paris, Montreal University and UCLA, where she was awarded a Doctorate degree for her ground-breaking work on “Iberia” by the Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz. 
As a soloist, Anne-Lise has performed in such prestigious venues as Salle Cortot (Paris) Maisonneuve (Montreal), Royce Hall (Los Angeles), The Broad Stage (Santa Monica), Thayer Hall (Los Angeles). An avid chamber musician, she has been invited to many festivals around the globe in France, Austria, Germany, Norway, Canada, Netherlands and the United States, (Musifleuves, Mozart Festival, Arkansas Chamber Festival to name a few). Her most recent californian perfomances include the Rachmaninov Second Piano concerto, the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5, the Gershwin Piano Concerto in F and the Rhapsody in Blue.
 
Anne-Lise was part of a piano duet for several years. The duet competed at the Gaudemus Competition in Rotterdam (Nederlands) and won the San Diego International Piano Duo Competition. They performed standard repertoire as well as World Premieres of several Canadian and American composers in Canada and the United States.
Her discography includes two recordings for ATMA and FEMINAE Records with Canadian soprano Chantal Lavigne and violonist Alexandra Maslovaric.
 
She has won numerous awards in America and Europe, such as the Quebec Competition, the Canada Music Festival, the Quebec Artist Grant, the Cosmo Buono Carnegie Hall Debut Competition and The St-Marie Foundation Grant.
 
Anne-Lise is working as a free-lance pianist as a soloist and chamber musician based in Los Angeles. She is a former UCLA Lecturer for keyboard skills as well as an accompanist for both vocal and instrumental departments and currently teaches piano at the French Conservatory of Music in Beverly Hills.

Since joining the STS family in July 2017, Cantor Rafii has brought her vision for building, engaging, and invigorating Jewish community through music and spiritual leadership. She has created exciting new initiatives, including Songstruck, the Shabbat Around the World series, the Zamru Friday Night experience, Koleinu Shabbat Morning services, and the STS Adult, Youth and Teen Choirs. She is the B’nai Mitzvah Program Director at STS and oversees the Teen Torah Trainer program. Cantor Rafii conducts our incredible STS house band and guest musicians to bring meaningful music and prayer to our community. She is also a pianist and composer, and in addition to Hebrew sings Jewish music in Ladino and Farsi.

Since the global pandemic, Cantor Rafii has developed STS’s virtual community through co-leading interactive online prayer services, teaching adult education classes, hosting and participating in various virtual concerts and programs, and creating and conducting multiple STS virtual choir projects. In the coming year, Cantor Rafii will continue to nurture the vibrant and expanding virtual community at STS, which has drawn members and engagement from all over the country.

Cantor Rafii was ordained as a Hazzan and earned her Master’s in Sacred Jewish Music from the Academy for Jewish Religion California. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow, one of twenty young Jewish leaders in North America selected annually to help strengthen the future of Jewish America. Prior to becoming a cantor, Cantor Rafii earned her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and subsequently practiced entertainment law in Los Angeles for three years. She also served as cantorial soloist at Sinai Temple, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Temple Emanuel, Kehillat Ma’arav, and other congregations throughout Los Angeles. 

Bob Remstein has composed close to 50 Jewish liturgical works, including “A Heart of Wisdom,” commissioned and premiered by Cantor Mark Childs in 2016 to celebrate his 25 years as cantor, and then performed in Springfield, MA, by Cantor Martin Levson, backed by a full orchestra and chorus. Bob’s Sermon in Song, “Moses and the Rock,” was premiered in 2012 in Santa Barbara, and has since been performed several times throughout Southern California. 

A founding member of the Helfman Institute composers’ group, Bob wrote a setting of “Pitchu Lanu” for the new CCAR Machzor, and in 2017, two of his pieces were performed in the premiere of the group’s concert, “David’s Quilt.” In late 2019, he composed two pieces for Cantor Ilan Davidson’s anniversary concert and album, while in 2002, he wrote a complete Sacred Service celebrating the 75th anniversary of Congregation B’nai B’rith in Santa Barbara. Bob is currently at work on a full-length musical version of “Noah and the Flood.” 

In secular music, he scored numerous video games for SceneIt, arranged and produced music for the hit film, “Little Miss Sunshine,” and, as co-leader of the lounge/electronica group Supercasanova, has written and produced tracks used on many TV shows. He is also an active keyboardist, who has worked with such singers as Tia Carrere, Ben Vereen, Bootsy Collins, and the now 99-year-old Annette Warren, with whom he does the Professor Bob and the Old Broad shows, featuring music of the Great American Songbook. He is also currently the pianist for the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale.

Dale Schatz is the Cantor at Adat Shalom Congregation, Los Angeles California. He brings music and meaning as Adat Shalom’s Shaliach Tzibor, congregational prayer leader.  Filling our cantorial needs on Friday Night, Shabbat morning, holidays and High Holidays, he offers inspiring instrumental accompaniment and humor. He brings energy and love of Judaism to the main sanctuary and the Tot Shabbat services as well. Schatz has shared his musical talents to enhance prayer at a variety of Jewish communities in Los Angeles and Orange County.  He serves as repeating artist-in-residence at Congregation Bnai Israeli in Tustin; Temple Bat Yahm, Newport Beach; Kehillat Horim at Heritage Pointe in Mission Viejo; Temple Beth Emet, Anaheim; the Orange County Community Scholars Program; and with the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County.  Dale’s Klezmer and Pop band has performed at more Jewish weddings within the Conservative Jewish community than any other single ensemble in Southern California.
 
To hear Dale Schatz, please subscribe to the Adat Shalom Youtube Channel.

David Shukiar is thrilled to serve as the cantor at TAE. He brings his love for music, Judaism, and children to bear on his Cantorial responsibilities. He is a magna cum laude graduate of UCLA, where he developed both his vocal and musical composition skills. The Guild of Temple Musicians has twice selected him as the best young composer–only three other composers have been so honored during the three decades the international award has been granted. His music is published by Transcontinental Music Publications, the largest publisher of Jewish music, and can be heard in concert halls and synagogues around the country. He has often visited communities as a Composer-in-Residence and has enjoyed compositional commissions from synagogues all over the world. He also writes for the stage. One of his many musicals is Benjamin and Judah, a modern play based on the Chanukah story. Benjamin and Judah has enjoyed productions in New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

At TAE, Cantor Shukiar is proud to interact with congregants of every age. He serves the needs of our community through bikur cholim, counseling and being there for the highs and lows of the cycle of life. Cantor Shukiar’s involvement in the Early Childhood Center (ECC)helps to connect the children to TAE and give them a pride in their newly forming Jewish identities. He also teaches in our religious school and oversees the B’nai Mitzvah Program, working with each candidate to not only master the Torah, Haftarah, and liturgy, but to also to gain a deeper personal understanding of our traditions and writings. Cantor Shukiar also supports the activities of our Youth Groups, especially those activities dealing with Tikkun Olam, the healing of our world. He loves to see our newest young adults organize and carry out Tikkun Olam projects, working to build a stronger world for future generations, and thereby reinforcing our teens’ Jewish identities. Cantor Shukiar oversees and facilitates all aspects of TAE’s music program. He works directly with the Junior Choir, giving our children an outlet to explore Jewish music on a personal level. The choir is not only a fixture at our monthly Family Shabbat Celebrations, but they also enhance the celebrations of Chanukah and Pesach at local retirement communities. He also works directly with TAE’s Adult Choirand the Band of Milk and Honey to help enhance our spiritual experiences through music.

Tali Tadmor is a Los Angeles-based pianist, vocal coach, conductor and music educator whose colorful career as a musician is reflected in the unusual path she took to becoming an artist. As an undergraduate student in mathematics at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), Tali began accompanying singers in a music course. She instantly fell in love with the field of collaborative piano and its repertoire. Soon after, she began performing professionally, eventually forgoing her plans to become a scientist and opting in favor of a career in music. A versatile musician, Tali has performed in some of the world’s great venues; from her debut recital at Carnegie Hall in 2009 to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Ford Amphitheater, Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center and the Great Hall in the heart of China’s Forbidden City. Though primarily a classical musician, Tali is active in a wide variety of musical settings, ranging from opera to world music, and from musical theater to worship. She has collaborated with many well-known artists, including Metropolitan Opera star soprano Angela Meade and Los Angeles Philharmonic cellist Daniel Rothmuller. Most notably, Tali served as Assistant Conductor and principal pianist to Maestro Placido Domingo in the Los Angeles Opera premiere production of Dulce Rosa in spring of 2013.

Immediately after earning her Doctorate in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2009, Tali was offered a faculty position as Vocal Coach and Accompanist at the Herb Alpert School of Music at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). At CalArts, Tali enjoyed a decade of mentoring undergraduate and graduate-level students, teaching weekly Master Classes, providing private coachings, overseeing opera productions, accompanying voice recitals and other performances and collaborating with fellow faculty members. In 2018, Tali was offered a teaching position at California State University in Northridge, where she now heads the Collaborative Piano Program, helping to train the next generation of vocal and instrumental accompanists. At CSUN, Tali teaches the Collaborative Piano Colloquium, a master class for pianists, singers and instrumentalists, as well as mentors several solo piano students.

 

Tali maintains a busy performance schedule in addition to her academic teaching career. In the spring of 2010 she returned to Carnegie’s Perelman/Stern Stage as pianist for the world premiere of Eric Whitacre’s newest song cycle “The City and the Sea” (a Distinguished Concerts International in New York (DCINY) concert). Later that year she was invited by the American Composers’ Forum (ACF) to serve as an adjudicator in their annual national songwriting competition and perform in the final concert featuring the winning new works for voice and piano. In opera, Tali collaborates regularly with the Los Angeles Opera and Long Beach Opera companies. In the spring of 2011, she served as music director for LA Opera’s concert reading of the newly commissioned “Dulce Rosa”, collaborating with composer Lee Holdridge and librettist Richard Sparks in presenting the new opera to Placido Domingo. The opera was not only picked up by the company, but after hearing her play, Mr. Domingo requested that the composer re-orchestrate the score to include piano and immediately hired Tali for the pianist position in the production. In the summer of 2013, she was the pianist for LA Opera’s production of Hans Krasa’s Brundibar, an opera performed in the Theresienstadt concentration camp and part of L.A. Opera Musical Director James Conlon’s groundbreaking “Recovered Voices” project. Additionally, Tali serves as Music Director and Accompanist for LA Opera’s Education and Community Programs Department, producing recurring citywide tours of company favorites such as The Marriage of Figueroa in partnership with the Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD).

 

Tali’s intuitive and informed approach to new music make her a favorite among many of today’s contemporary composers. Under the direction of composer Donald Crockett, she performed Michael Gordon’s “Decasia” as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s sold-out Green Umbrella Series at Disney Hall in March 2008. Her collaboration with composer Eric Whitacre has included a decade’s worth of concerts, workshops, and recordings worldwide, including his latest CD under the Decca music label. Her Carnegie Hall debut recital consisted almost exclusively of 20th and 21st century music with two of the featured composers–Libby Larsen and Lori Laitman– in attendance. Tali’s most recent projects include collaborating with Plitmann in her esoteric cabaret at the Theater @Boston Court in Pasadena, and recording Heaven on Earth, a World Music double CD with Jewish contemporary musician Danny Maseng.
 
A native of Tel-Aviv, Israel, Tali maintains ties to her Israeli musical heritage and to the larger Jewish community. She is the Music Director at Temple Judea in Tarzana, and accompanies the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale under the direction of Dr. Nick Strimple. In 2011, she was awarded the Six Points Fellowship, commissioning her to compose an original Yiddish-swing cabaret entitled Ella Fitzgeraldberg. She has served as a teaching fellow alongside Danny Maseng at England’s Limmud Conference and for over seven years was Staff Accompanist at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion’s (HUC-JIR) Los Angeles campus. Tali routinely accompanies Israeli Consulate assemblies and other events.
 
Tali received both Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Southern California (USC), majoring in Keyboard Collaborative Arts with minor fields in solo piano performance, choral studies, and sacred music studies. She passed her doctoral comprehensive examinations with distinction and won the Keyboard Collaborative Arts Departmental Honors Award for five consecutive years. Named the USC Thornton School’s Most Valuable Player in May 2008, she was also elected into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and awarded several scholarships and teaching assistantships, underwriting the entire cost of her six-year residency at the university. Tali credits USC with providing her a world-class education, an extended family, and a second home for life (Fight On!). Beginning her piano studies at age 5, Tali attended the Israeli Music Conservatory in Tel-Aviv for twelve years. She moved to California in 1995 and currently resides in Studio City. Her teachers include her USC mentor Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Bernadene Blaha, Dr. Alan Smith and the late Israeli pianist and legendary pedagogue, Malka Mevorach-Choset.

Rabbi Arik Wollheim, born and raised in Israel, has served as Chazan of Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills, CA since February 2013. In addition to leading Shabbat and holidays services, Arik directs a volunteers’ choir, is involved in various capacities with teaching both adults and youth,  and is fully immersed in his pastoral duties such as attending to those in need or cultivating new membership.

After graduating from Yeshivah Yavneh, he then became the head soloist of the Israeli Military Choir. Arik holds both Bachelor’s (Brooklyn College) as well as Master’s (SUNY Purchase) degrees in Music & Opera studies. Despite his age, Arik has already performed in a variety of over 30 roles both in opera and concert works. In recent years Arik has been performing extensively at concerts of Cantorial, Jewish and Israeli music throughout the world.

His accomplishments include winning the famous Hassidic Song Festival in Israel, being a scholarship recipient of the American-Israel Cultural Foundation, winning the Sharet Competition and being selected a member of the International Vocal Arts Institute conducted by the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. In 2004 he released his solo CD, “Return to Zion”, a collection of Cantorial works accompanied by a full Symphony Orchestra.

First imbued with the love and foundations for the cantorial art by his father, Arik advanced his studies with the legendary cantor Itzhak Eshel. Arik has been teaching B’nai Mitzvah for 25 years, and has created and led adult and youth choruses both in Israel and the US. He has led inspiring Shabbat and holiday services at approximately 100 synagogues in four continents and has become known for his rich voice and unique approach and style of Davening.

In 2001 Arik took his first position as a full time Chazzan of Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, Connecticut where he stayed 12 years. In December 2008 Arik returned to Israel commuting to Connecticut every month while studying at Hebrew University of Jerusalem for a PhD, conducting research on contemporary chazzanut as a case study in ethnomusicology. In addition, Arik served as a faculty member at the Jerusalem Cantorial School.

Arik and his wife Tehilah have two daughters: Yehudit and Emmanuelle.