WEST HARTFORD – Beth El Temple of West Hartford will host a musical tribute to Joseph Ness — cantor, composer, conductor, orchestrator and arranger of both secular and liturgical music. The Grammy Award winning ensemble Pacifica Quartet will perform at the event on Thursday, June 14, 7 – 10 p.m., to honor Ness’ 20 years of service to the West Hartford synagogue.
In addition to his role as Beth El Temple’s cantor and teacher of hundreds of the synagogue’s religious school students, Ness composes and creates work in many genres. His most recently commissioned work debuted at Carnegie Hall in October 2011. Ness’ compositions and orchestrations number in the hundreds and have been performed all over the world by scores of orchestras, ensembles and synagogues including the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Warsaw Opera Orchestra, Rhode Island Symphony, Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Manchester Orchestra (England), American Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir, The Group for Contemporary Music and Washington Festival Orchestra. Ness’ annual Beth El Music and Arts concert series, featuring major musicians and singers from around the world, is attended by fans from the Jewish and secular worlds.
“The Beth El Temple family is truly blessed to have as cantor someone whose musical genius is only matched by his love of Judaism and those whom he teaches and mentors,” said Beth El Temple’s senior rabbi, James Rosen. “In Cantor Ness’ hands, Jewish prayer and music come alive. Our children, choirs and entire community have been transformed by him.”
In addition to Pacifica Quartet, composer/pianist Greg Kallor, a native of West Hartford, will perform a special tribute to Ness. A former member of Hall High School’s nationally renowned jazz program, Kallor is the recipient of a 2011 Aaron Copland Award for composition.
Beth El Temple is located at 2626 Albany Avenue in West Hartford. The June 14 program will include a dessert reception. Ticket prices start at $36 per person. For more information, call (860) 233-9696 or visit www.bethelwesthartford.org.
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