The Jewish communities of London have a rich musical-liturgical history, stretching back to the mid-17th century.
This lecture will consider some of the main musical developments since then, beginning with the Sephardi and Ashkenazi synagogues which stood practically side-by-side in the City of London for 250 years. We will examine the birth of the Anglo-Jewish choral tradition, the split with the Reform movement and its musical consequences, and the new music brought more recently by immigrants from Eastern Europe and Arab lands.
No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture
Eliot is a freelance synagogue musician, much in demand as a choirmaster and Cantor at synagogues and Jewish communities across the UK and beyond. He currently serves as choirmaster at both Mill Hill Synagogue and Edgware Synagogue, and is working with the United Synagogue on a project to preserve and transmit traditional liturgical music and practice to the next generation of synagogue music professionals.
He also directs his own professional choral group - The Rinah Ensemble - which is frequently asked to accompany many of today's top Cantors for concerts, events and special services.
Following his initial scientific studies at Cambridge University, Eliot trained as a singer and conductor at the Guildhall School of Music, and later on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was awarded the DipRAM, the Academy's highest award for postgraduate study. He studied Jewish liturgical music at the Tel-Aviv Cantorial Institute.
In 2009 Eliot was appointed Director of Music - and in 2013, Hazan (Cantor) - to the Spanish & Portuguese Jews' Congregation, the UK's oldest Jewish community. He is currently working on a complete edition of that synagogue's musical-liturgical cycle, which will result in a publication and full set of recordings by the Congregation's publishing society.
A full list of Eliot's forthcoming engagements can be found on his website: