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Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir

Welcome to Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir

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The Jerusalem Oratorio Choir

 

Established in 1987, the Jerusalem Oratorio Choir is the largest choral enterprise in Israel, consisting of 150 singers ranging from amateur to semi-professional. The choir was founded under the auspices of the Jerusalem Foundation and the Jerusalem Municipality Culture Department at the initiative of Mr. Yehuda Fikler – with the goal of promoting the culture of choral singing in the city. In 2001, Oratorio made the transition to become an independent member-based non-profit association, and today it continues to receive annual funding from the Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Jerusalem Municipality.

 

The choir’s repertoire consists of masterpieces from the Renaissance to the present: Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, Mozart’s “Great Mass” in C Minor, Haydn’s “Creation”, Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, Handel’s “Alexanders’s Feast”, Poulenc’s “Gloria”, Rutter’s “Magnificat”, works by Bloch, Puccini, Ramirez, Schubert, and more.

 

The Jerusalem Oratorio Choir consists of five different choirs, each working on its own repertoire throughout the season, joining up on occasion for collaborations between two or more choirs, and meeting throughout the year to prepare for the annual Gala Concert. All in all, Oratorio's choirs perform about 20 concerts every year. The choirs in the organization are: The Oratorio Singers under the direction of Mr. Dor Magen, Bel Canto under the direction of Ms. Salome Rabelo, Cantabile under the direction of Ms. Flora Vinokurov, Capellatte under the direction of Ms. Naama Nazarathy Gordon and The Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir under the direction of Ms. Kate Belshé.

 

The Choir has performed with leading Israeli orchestras and has taken part in important festivals in Israel, appeared on television and radio programs, and had several successful tours abroad: In England and Wales (1997), Italy (2000), Romania (2002), and Germany (2006). The Jerusalem Oratorio Choir has produced 8 CDs.

Musical directors of the Jerusalem Oratorio Choir have included Oscar Gershenson, Gerardo Edelstein, Lea Silver, Yuval Ben-Ozer, Hanna Tzur, Pauls Putnans,  Ronen Borshevsky, Oded Shomrony and Ofer dal Lal. Since the previous season, the large choir has been headed by Naama Nazarathy Gordon.

Past managing directors of the choir were Yehuda Fikler, Haggai Goren, Rashi Levaot, and since October 2013, Oratorio is managed by Dalia Poran. 

The choir is accompanied year-round by pianist Rina Shechter, Natalie Povolotzky and Anastasia Sobolev.

 

Bel Canto

 

Comprised of about 30 non-professional singers, Bel Canto performs in churches in Jerusalem, at the Jerusalem International YMCA, at the Felicja Blumental Music Center in Tel Aviv, and more. 

 

Bel Canto’s repertoire consists of a cappella works from the Renaissance and the Baroque, works from the Classical and Romantic periods, contemporary works, and artistic arrangements of Hebrew and international folk songs. The choir also performs works by Israeli composers, and in the 2013 performed the world premiere of Netta Alony’s work “Im titen li chelki,” to text by Lea Goldberg.

 

Bel Canto is accompanied by pianist Rina Shechter.

 

Cantabile

 

A unique women’s choir comprised, combined of 20 singers, founded and conducted to this day by Flora Vinokourov. The choir’s repertoire includes works from different periods and styles, specially arranged for women’s voices, masses and liturgical music from the Renaissance to the present, the works of great composers from different periods, folk songs, Israeli songs’ and spirituals. The choir collaborates with other Oratorio choirs and choirs from abroad (such as the “Laudamus Te” choir from Stuttgart, Germany). The choir recently participated in a special evening commemorating the 100th birthday of one of the greatest composers of Israel, Alexander (Sasha) Argov.

 

The choir is accompanied by pianist Natalie Povolotsky.

 

Capellatte

 

Founded in 2006 by Shelly Berlinsky. At the beginning it had a total of eight singers, but many others soon joined and today it has about thirty members. From the very start it has been a eye-catching combination of performers who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some have a great deal of experience in choral singing, while for others this has been their first experience and acquaintanceship with the world of music. A wide range of ages has also helped to create an unexpected potpourri.

The repertoire consists primarily of madrigals from the late Renaissance, arrangements of Hebrew songs and Jewish melodies, and a combination of Gospel, jazz and folksongs. In 2008 the ensemble participated in a production of the children’s opera “The Story of the Note Sol,” composed by Shaul Bustan. From 2007-2012 the choir performed under the aegis of the Gonenim Music Center; in October 2012 it became a participating member of the Jerusalem Oratorio Choir. In 2015 the choir participated in a production of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and performed "Dan Hashomer" - the first opera that was written in Hebrew by Mark Lavri. The last concert of this opera was in 1945.

 

The choir is ccompanied by pianist Anastasia Sobolev.

 

Oratorio Singers

 

The Oratorio Singers was first established in 2005. Since 2011 the 40-member choir is conducted by Ms. Naama Nazarathy-Gordon. The choir has performed in many concerts in churches in Jerusalem and at the Jerusalem Arts Festival. The choir sings a varied repertoire of music from different periods and styles: liturgical works alongside songs in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, folk songs, and spirituals, as well as masses and large works for choir and orchestra.

The choir is accompanied by pianist Rina Shechter.

 

The Chamber Choir

 

The 30-person Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir is one of Israel’s leading non-professional choirs and the representative body of the Jerusalem Oratorio Choir. The choir performs a varied repertoire of liturgical and secular music from the Renaissance to the present, as well as Israeli and Jewish music, African-American spirituals, arrangements of traditional songs, improvisations, and more. 

 

The Chamber Choir performs regularly in venues and festivals in Jerusalem and around Israel and has represented Israel internationally at the International Festival for Liturgical Music in Valencia, Spain (1999) and the Maggio Musicale in Florence (2000), as well as in the project “In One Voice” (D’une seule voix) a 3-week tour with Israeli and Palestinian musicians (France 2006). In 2008, in honor of Israel’s 60th anniversary, the choir joined together with the Zamir Choir of Bayreuth, Germany, and the Nuremberg Philharmonic Orchestra for concerts in Bayreuth and Nuremberg. Since then the Chamber Choir has participated in the annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day program at the UN Building in New York on January 27, 2010 and at the UN in Geneva in January 2011 and January 2014, along with the German Radio Orchestra. 

 

in 2015 the choir participated in a special productin of "Kadish" by Leonard Bernstein, with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, with the Actor Richard Dryfuss and conducted by Steven Mercurio (USA). The concert was broadcasted in live on "Kol HaMusica".

 

The Chamber Choir’s CD “The Seventh Gate” (recorded in Jerusalem in June 2004 under then-conductor Ronen Borshevsky and released in France in 2005) won the Golden Orpheus Award of the French Academy for best vocal music CD for 2007.

 

Conductor and musical director of the Chamber Choir since September 2014 is Mrs. Kate Belshé. 

Naama Nazarathy Gordon -  Conductor
 
Conductor, Composer, Singer, Teacher.
 
Ms. Nazarathy Gordon earned a double B.A and an M.A in orchestral conducting under Dr. Yevgeny Zirlin and in voice under Marina Levitt at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. During her studies she earned a scholarship from theInternational Board of Governors and was able to complete further studies in choral conducting under Aharon Harlap, and in composition under Slava Ganelin.
 
In 2002 Ms. Nazarathy Gordon founded the Thalamus Quartet, a vocal quartet specializing in varied styles of a cappella singing. She has performed with the quartet in many events and venues, including the Youth at the Center concert series, the Etnachta concert series at the Jerusalem Theatre, the Israel Festival, Recanaty Hall in the Tel Aviv Museum, the Abu Ghosh Music Festival, the Kfar Blum Music Festival, and more. Many of the performances were broadcast on the Voice of Music radio station and on the Israeli public television station.
 
As a solo singer, Ms. Nazarathy Gordon specializes in the performance of 20th-21st century music. She has performed many contemporary works, such as song cycles by the composers Tsippi Fleischer, Yehezkel Braun, Osnat Netzer, Orit Gurel, Shai Hemel and Eric Chasalow (in a modern electro-acoustic piece). 
 
Her own compositions were awarded debut performances at the Israel Festival, in collaboration with the Revolution Orchestra, and at the Jerusalem Music Center; and she is now taking part as a composer and actor in the play “Her Story”, a Jerusalem Theatre Company production directed by Gabriella Lev.
 
Naama has held the position of conductor of the Hallel Choir, the Singale Ensemble at the External Studies Institute of the Music Academy, the Midreshet Emunah ve-Omanut Choir, the Hebrew Union College Student Choir, and the Brass and Reed Band Ensemble of the Jerusalem Music Academy High School.
 
Since 2005 she has been a faculty member of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, and has been teaching music at the Hebrew Union College (HUC) since 2009. In 2011-2014 Ms. Nazarathy Gordon was the conductor of the Oratorio Singers, and starting this season she is the head conductor and musical director of the Jerusalem Oratorio Choir and the conductor of the Capellate choir.
 
Flora Vinokurov - Conductor
 
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, she made Aliya in1990. She has a Master’s degree in singing and conducting from the Kiev Music Academy. She conducted the Kiev Radio and Television Choir. In 2004 she was awarded the National Gold Prize for conducting children’s choirs. Ms. Vinokurov has been working for 23 years with the Jerusalem Oratorio Choir, where she established the Cantabile .Women’s Choir and serves as its conductor to this day. In addition to her work with Oratorio, Flora Vinokurov is the conductor of the Jerusalem Zlilei Ha-Ladino Choir, the Kol Yeled Shar (All Children Sing) Children’s Choir, a Yiddish choir, and the Sounds of Beit Hakerem Women’s Choir. She currently serves as vice-principal and director of music studies at the Har Homa elementary school, and as a conductor and musical consultant for Holiday and Memorial Day ceremonies in the Jerusalem area.
 
Kate Belshé  - Conductor
 
Kate Belshé is the conductor and musical director of the Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir from September 2014.
 
Kate is a conductor, singer, musician and teacher and holds degrees from University of Southern California and Williams College, in Choral Music, Mathematics and English. She graduated with the highest of honors from both institutions.
 
Kate was the co-conductor of the USC Thornton University Chorus, the Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale.
 
Kate was the director of the middle and high school choir program at the Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel.  
 
In addition to her conducting projects, Kate sings in the Gary Bertini Chamber Ensemble, as well as the Israeli Kibbutz Choir.
 
Kate Belshé performed with the international artists Barry Manilow and the Rolling Stones.
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