Highlights from the First Memorial Concert dedicated to the master Moshe Koussevitzsky, March 14, 1982, Ocean Parkway Jewish Center, Brooklyn NY..Cantor Ephraim Yavneh זצ"ל
singing ... ויזכור ברית איתנים... "V'Yiskor Bris Asonim".. Also on Youtube youtube.com/watch?v=AhlLEP2c5_g ...Cantor Ephraim Yavneh was known as a “master of improvisation.”
He was a great chazzan in an era that boasted history's best.
He had a superb lyric tenor voice of great beauty and range. His claim to fame as a chazzan was his tremendous knowledge of payroosh hamilim; the meaning of the sacred liturgy. His unique understanding of a t'filah coupled with his abilities to compose masterpieces within the correct nusach was unique among many fine cantors.
He was born in 1910 in Osipowichi, a shtetl not far from Minsk in pre Czarist Russia and arrived in America in 1922.
He studied under the great Elihu Grimard and E. Shnipolinsky. The great American tenor and cantor, Richard Tucker, studied with Grimard around the same period.
Chazzan Ephraim Yavneh served his orthodox Queens congregation for 59 years until he retired at age 85. His tenure was the longest a chazzan graced the same bimah in the history of the American Cantorate.
He served in many offices in the "Chazzonim Farband" for decades and was a featured soloist at most of their great concerts. His aishes chayil, Gloria, Z'L served as president of the woman's division of the Farband for over a decade.
Chazzan Ephraim Yavneh was a chazzan's chazzan. He was a superb artist, master cantor and personified what a true Chazzan was supposed to be. May his memory be for a blessing on klal yisroel!
...... Cantor Ephraim Yavneh זצ"ל
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