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Sunday, March 7 at 7:00pm

The historic legacy of Congregation Beth Yeshurun is unique in its excellence among American Synagogues. In recognition of our rich history and the supporters of the Congregation Beth Yeshurun Legacy Society, we are excited to host Tikvah . . . Our hope for the future!, an incredible virtual Spring Concert featuring globally recognized musicians and opera singers, together with our very own Cantor Meir Finkelstein, who will present a magnificent musical performance.  This memorable evening is chaired by Cindy Weinstein and Sharon Krost and generously underwritten by Glen Rosenbaum. 
This year marks the 75th anniversary of our synagogue as we know it today.  Beth Yeshurun was formed in 1946 through the merger of two predecessor Synagogues, Adath Yeshurun, an Orthodox Congregation formed in 1891, and Beth El, a Conservative Congregation formed in 1925. Through an innovative compromise that facilitated the merger, Beth Yeshurun was formed to serve the needs of both Conservative and Orthodox Judaism.   
Beth Yeshurun’s culture placed it at the forefront of national innovation. Beth Yeshurun’s first Senior Rabbi, William S. Malev, was prominent in the Conservative Movement and a leader in advancing women’s ritual rights, with full gender equality subsequently achieved under Rabbi Jack Segal. Expounding on this inclusiveness, Rabbi David B. Rosen, devoted over 22 years at the helm of the synagogue’s pulpit to expand ritual rights equality to all regardless of sexual orientation. And as we look to the future, we are so grateful to Rabbi Brian Strauss for his exceptional leadership through the pandemic and on the heels of our synagogue’s recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. 
Supporting our synagogue’s endowment as a member of our Legacy Society is a meaningful way to ensure the future of Congregation Beth Yeshurun. Perhaps you would like to make a gift in memory of a loved one or in the honor or a family member. Whether it be through a cash contribution, assignment of an insurance policy or retirement plan or even an estate gift, we are tremendously grateful for your support and assistance in securing our Congregation for generations to come.   
We look forward to celebrating the Congregation Beth Yeshurun Legacy Society with you at Tikvah . . . Our hope for the future!, our Spring concert online, on March 7th. 

Join the Legacy Society Today



Cantor Meir Finkelstein

As one of the premier cantors in the world Meir is also one of the best-documented composers of contemporary Jewish music. He has composed over 150 settings for the liturgy, and his compositions are chanted all over the world, his most famous settings being “L’Dor Vador” and “V’al Kulam”. On November 6, 2010, the American Conference of Cantors performed his “Modim/ V’al Kulam” compositions at the Vatican in Rome, Italy in front of Pope Benedict. In 1987, he premiered his large-scale cantata “Liberation” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. Written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, the cantata featured the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, many well-known soloists, and the entire evening’s performance was hosted by Billy Crystal.

Meir has also enjoyed a successful career as a Hollywood composer/arranger, scoring numerous television shows including episodes of “Dallas” and “Falcon Crest”. He collaborated with Steven Spielberg, composing music for the Visual History Foundation’s award-winning documentary,“ Survivors of the Holocaust,” for which he was nominated for a Cable Ace Award.

He has been the Cantor and Congregation Beth Yeshurun since 2013. Meir is married to Monica, an attorney and realtor, and they have two children, Noah and Emily.

Alicia Gianni, Soprano

Nominated for Houston’s Best Jazz Vocalist by the Houston Press Music Awards and second prize winner of the Audience Choice Award in HGO’s 2006 Eleanor McCollum Competition Concert of Arias and has been recently seen at HGO in performances of Rosalba in FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS (2019), Giannetta in L’Elisir D’Amore (2016 & 2017), Papagena in The Magic Flute (2015), Petra in A Little Night Music (2014), Beryl in the world premiere of Brief Encounter (2009), Musetta in La Boheme (2008), and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (2006), among other roles. Other opera credits include Adina in L’Elisir D’amore, Despina in Così fan tutte and Fortuna/ Giunone in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Wolf Trap Opera, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, and the title role in a concert performance of Suor Angelica as part of the summer festival in Torre del Lago, Italy. She has recently done concerts for the American College of Surgeons in San Diego, Musical Bridges in San Antonio, The Houston Ballet, Arizona Opera, Opera Birmingham, and has performed with the Houston Symphony, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra, Florida West Coast Symphony, and the Hickory Choral Society and Orchestra. She has just released her jazz album, Don’t Forget to Say Goodnight, an album that she coproduced and composed all songs listed.

Cecilia Duarte, Mezzo-soprano

Praised by The New York Times for her performance as a soloist in the Grammy Winner album Duruflé: The Complete Choral Works, Cecilia was also recognized for creating the role of Renata in the first Mariachi Opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna with the famous Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, commissioned by Houston Grand Opera in 2010. Cecilia has taken this opera to stages such as the Houston Grand Opera, Châtelet Theatre in Paris, France; Chicago Lyric Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, The Fort Worth Opera, Teatro Nacional Sucre, in Quito, Ecuador, New York City Opera, and El Paso Opera. Since then, Cecilia has created other roles for world premieres of chamber operas and new works, such as Jessie Lydell in A Coffin in Egypt, (HGO and the Wallis Annenberg Center in L.A.); Gracie in A Way Home (HGO and Opera Southwest); Harriet/First Responder in After the Storm (HGO); Alicia in Some Light Emerges (HGO); and Alma in the first episode of Houston Grand Opera’s first web opera series Star-cross’d, which received a Telly Award.

Federico de Michelis, Bass-baritone

Recently debuted as Leporello in Don Giovanni with Florida Grand Opera, Colline in La Bohème with Seattle Opera, and Balthazar in La favorite with the Houston Grand Opera, Federico won significant praise for his work with the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

Federico toured in a Christmas concert for the Royal Family of Spain as well as concerts with the Nürnberger Symphoniker in Nürnberg and Zindorf. In the 2017/18 season, Federico was a principal artist in the Houston Grand Opera’s Giulio Cesare as Achilla.  Recently Federico performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and presented a series of concerts in Key West, Florida as part of the Florida Keys Concert Association. Previously, Federico performed in the Houston Grand Opera’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore, conducted by Jane Glover. Other performances included Brander in La damnation de Faust with Aspen Music Festival, and at Des Moines Metro Opera, Mr. Flint and Timur in Billy Budd and Turandot, respectively. 

Bethany Self, Piano

Serving as the assistant conductor and principal coach for eight years at Houston Grand Opera, Bethany currently teaches Opera Studies at Rice University. During her tenure at HGO, Bethany played continuo fortepiano for operas including Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Il Barbiere di Siviglia and was involved in the preparation of several world premieres. These include Andre Previn’s Brief Encounter during which she appeared as an onstage pianist and Ricki Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt. Before her staff appointment in 2006 she belonged to the HGO studio for two years.

Bethany recently served as music director for the Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere of John Cornelius’ chamber opera What Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline.

Rustem Hayroudinoff, Piano

Described by London’s Classic FM Magazine as a “sensationally gifted” musician of “stunning artistry” and by the Gramophone magazine as “a player in the great Russian virtuoso tradition”, Rustem Hayroudinoff has given concerts to great critical acclaim in Japan, the USA, Latin America, Canada, his native Russia and Europe. He has performed with such orchestras as BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Osaka Century, Czech Philharmonic, Czech National Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic and has collaborated with conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Marin Alsop, Ken-David Masur, Gianandrea Noseda and Giancarlo Guerrero amongst others.

Amongst his previous recordings, the CD of the complete Rachmaninoff Preludes was selected by Classic FM Magazine as part of its ‘Essential Rachmaninoff Collection’ alongside the recordings of Arthur Rubinstein and André Previn. The disc of the complete Études-Tableaux was hailed as a ‘benchmark recording’ and became BBC Music’s Instrumental Choice of the Month, as well as being nominated for the Best Instrumental CD of the Year award. It was also selected as the finest existing version of these pieces by BBC Radio 3’s ‘Building a Library’. His recordings of Shostakovich’s Theatre Music and the Dvorák Piano Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic were greeted with universal acclaim, garnering praise such as ‘dazzling and electrically compelling’ (Gramophone) and ‘utterly magical’ (Classic FM) and were selected among the CDs of the Year by both BBC Music and Gramophone magazines. His CDs of the Rachmaninoff Études-Tableaux and the Dvorák Concerto were compared to the celebrated recordings of Sviatoslav Richter.

Sun, March 7 2021 23 Adar 5781