The "Moscow Male Jewish Cappella"
The Male Choir of Cantorial Art Academy was established in 1989 with personal support from Mikhail Gorbachev, then president of the USSR, and assistance from the Russian Jewish Community and JOINT, an American Jewish charity. In 1998 the choir was renamed the Hassidic Cappella and based at the Moscow Maryina Roshcha Jewish Community. Since 2012 until 2014 The Moscow Male Jewish Cappella worked under the support of The Russian Jewish Congress and The State Classical Maimonides Academy. The choir's singers are all professional musicians - students and teachers at Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory and other leading musical institutes in the capital who have performed in the city's most acclaimed choral groups. They are united by their commitment to introducing listeners to the beauty of Jewish liturgical and cantorial music -- music that has been forgotten and remains unknown to even the most educated lovers of music. The choir's extensive repertory includes Jewish liturgical music, songs in Yiddish and Hebrew, Russian folk songs, and classics of world music. The choir is one of the few recognized professional Jewish academic musical groups in the world and the only one in Russia.
Guided by the deep and ancient traditions of both Jewish and Russian professional choral singing, the choir is reviving the art of Jewish choral and vocal music, demonstrating at every performance that the riches of Jewish culture are an inalienable part of Russia's multi-national tradition and world culture.
Audiences always respond enthusiastically to Jewish liturgical music, entranced by its originality, unusual beauty and harmonies. For most concert-goers, this is uncharted musical territory. This music appeared in the early and mid-19th century in the countries of Eastern Europe and Western Russia, but it virtually disappeared after the 1917 revolution. Only in the second half of the 20th century did its revival begin.
The choir has performed in countless Russian cities, in the former Soviet republics, and in 13 foreign countries. Performances are held in Jewish community venues, but also on the stages of the most prestigious concert halls in Russia and abroad. The group has performed in all three halls of the Moscow Conservatory (the Small, Grand and Rakhmaninov Halls); the Hall of Columns of the House of Trade Unions; the Academy of Music and Carl Orff Hall in Munich; the Theatron Yerushalayim in Jerusalem; and Lincoln Center in New York. Wherever they have performed, audiences and critics have responded with accolades.
The choir has performed before the presidents of Russia, the USA, Poland, and Israel. Three times the group was honored to give concerts before the royal families of Denmark, Sweden and Norway on the anniversary of the Danish rescue operation of Jews during World War II. The Hassidic Cappella also takes part in many events organized by Russian state, cultural and concert organizations and the Russian Jewish Community.
For many years the Hassidic Cappella has had the honor to give subscription concerts with the Moscow State Philharmonic in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. The choir has performed many times with renowned Russian and foreign symphony orchestras under the direction of Arnold Katz, Mark Gorenshteyn, Yuri Bashmet, Roman Kofman and Zubin Mehta, with such acclaimed soloists as Mikhail Alexandrovich, Nehama Lifshits, Joseph Kabzon, and Joseph Malovany, the chief cantor of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in New York.
The choir's founder and artistic director, Alexander Tsaliuk, has directed more than 800 concerts and participated in countless international festivals and competitions. The choir has recorded five CDs and two films. Universal Music released and distributed two CDs and one DVD. In an interview to the newspaper Izvestiya in 2000, the cantor Joseph Malovany said: "I know that Russians have big hearts and they are a wonderful audience to perform to warm, grateful and knowledgeable. It's a delight to sing before them. On this trip I plan to give two concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg. I'll be performing with the Hassidic Cappella, which is, in my view, the best Jewish musical group in the world."