The Young Hasidim Bringing Back the Music of Old-Fashioned Cantors

April 3, 2024 | Matt Austerklein
About the author:

In his new book, Golden Ages: Hasidic Singers & Cantorial Revival in the Digital Era, Jeremiah Lockwood examines cantors who are moving away from the heavily pop-inflected trends in Orthodox music of the past half-century, and returning to the more operatic stylings that dominated in pre-World War II Europe and America. Lockwood, Matt Austerklein writes,

does what few Jewish musicians dare: to look deeply and critically at the sociological, ideological, and spiritual implications of their musical commitments. Lockwood thus captures in both historical perspective and ethnographic detail the roots of Jewish musical artistry as an individually empowering discipline, with effects that often spill over into nonconformism.

By way of illustration, Austerklein points to this performance, which has all the trappings of a classical concert. (Video, 8 minutes.)

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