MEIR FINKELSTEIN (b 1951 )
Meir Finkelstein, born in Israel in 1951, emigrated with his family to England when he was four years old, after his father, Cantor Zvi Finkelstein accepted a position at one of London’s premier congregations. At fourteen Meir became the youngest cantor in Europe, taking his first professional post at the synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland. Five years later he moved back to London, where he assumed the cantor’s post of the prestigious Golders Green Synagogue. While there, he studied at the Royal College of Music and graduated with honours, receiving his ARCM diploma in singing, piano, and composition. In 1974 he emigrated to the United States, and in 1978 he moved to Los Angeles, where he served as cantor at Sinai Temple in Westwood for eighteen years. During this time he composed more than 100 works for the synagogue and also composed for television. In 1995, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, he premièred his symphonic/choral work Liberation, composed to commemorate the liberation of the concentration camps during the Holocaust. Finkelstein is also known for his musical score to Steven Spielberg’s television documentary Survivors of the Shoah. Currently he serves as cantor of Congregation Beth Tzedec in Toronto.