Louis Lewandowski (1823-1894)
Halelu Ya (1871) הללויה
Louis Lewandowski (April 23, 1823 - February 4, 1894, Berlin) was a German composer of synagogal music. Lewandowski was born at Wreschen, province of Posen (now Września in Poland). At the age of twelve he went to Berlin to study piano and voice, and became solo soprano in the synagogue. Afterward he studied for three years under A. B. Marx and attended the school of composition of the Berlin Academy. There his teachers were Karl Rungenhagen, Bach, and Grell. After graduating with high honors, he was appointed in 1840 choirmaster of the Berlin synagogue. In that capacity he rendered invaluable services in the development of music for synagogue ritual. His principal works include: "Kol Rinnah u-Tefillah," for chorus; "Todah ve-Zimrah," for mixed chorus, solo, and organ; 40 psalms, for solo, chorus, and organ; symphonies, overtures, cantatas, and songs. In 1866 he received the title of "royal musical director." Shortly afterward, he was appointed choirmaster in the Neue Synagoge, Berlin, for which he composed the entire musical service. His arrangements of ancient Hebrew melodies for choir, cantor, and organ are considered masterly productions, characterized by great simplicity and a profound religious sentiment. Many of Lewandowski's pupils became prominent cantors. Lewandowski was the principal founder of the Institute for Aged and Indigent Musicians, an institution that prospered under his management. After his death, he was buried in the Weißensee Cemetery.