Premieres Sunday, March 11, 8 p.m. on WHRO TV 15

Three Rising Stars on the International Jewish Music Scene Perform in Amsterdam’s Famed Portuguese Synagogue

Three young cantors, all rising stars in the world’s Jewish music scene, are brought together in Amsterdam’s revered 17th century Portuguese Synagogue for a concert of Jewish sacred and secular music arranged for orchestra and choir. The New York Cantors are comprised of Brooklyn-born Yaakov (Yanky) Lemmer, cantor of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York City; Azi Schwartz, a native of Israel and cantor at New York’s Park Avenue Synagogue; and Netanel Hershtik, cantor at The Hampton Synagogue, Westhampton Beach, New York, also Israeli-born. THE NEW YORK CANTORS is part of special programming premiering on WHRO TV 15, Sunday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m.

Some of the most beautiful songs in Jewish musical history are prayers sung by cantors during Shabbat services. For this concert, these ancient songs have been given splendid new arrangements by the accomplished Dutch composer-arranger Bob Zimmerman. The program also includes favorite secular songs evoking memories of Jewish tradition and rich musical culture, as well as music with a nod to Broadway.

Maestro Jules van Hessen and his 33-piece orchestra and eight-voice male choir support the cantors, recorded under 1000 glowing candles in one of the most architecturally important synagogues in the world.

The New York Cantors concert reprises an earlier project for PBS, Cantors, A Faith in Song, a groundbreaking special also recorded in Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue that became a popular offering for Jewish holidays for years following its premiere in 2003. One of the cantors in that earlier concert was Naftali Hershtik, father of one of The New York Cantors, Netanel Hershtik. Producer Daniel Hart also produced the original concert for PBS.

PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.