Michael Isaacson

SEAT OF POWER: Inon Zur in his recording and mixing studio in Los Angeles.

You Shoot, He Scores: The Kibbutz King of Komposers

Inon Zur’s odyssey is a bittersweet post-Zionist metaphor and a Horatio Alger success story. He’s an Israeli living the American dream: at the top of his profession, but in Galut.

ENCORE PRODUCTION IN REHEARSAL: Getting ready to put the opera to the test.

Bound Up for Two Decades: A Test of Faith

Twenty years ago, young composer Lawrence Goldberg entered his one-act opera about the binding of Isaac into The Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles’ competition for a new pulpit opera. Of the resultant piece, “A Test of Faith,” Dr. Richard Braun, chairperson of the commission, reported: “It was just the kind of piece that we hoped for … integrating an eloquent midrashic libretto by Marcia Hain Engle with a sophisticated but tuneful score by the composer. We were thrilled and granted it First Place.”

STEINSNYDER: Looked to the Golden Age of hazanut for inspiration.

A Strong Voice Quietly Changing the Cantorate

Cantor Faith Steinsnyder fell in love with the music of prayer at a young age, but she quickly came to understand that this music was composed by men for men. Quietly, but dramatically, she is challenging the American perception of female cantors.