Cantor Mimi Sheffer, a soprano born and raised in Israel, graduated from the Rubin Academy of Music Jerusalem as a flautist. She then pursued classical vocal training under the tutelage of Tamar Rachum at the Rubin Academy of Music Tel Aviv. She continued her training under Joan Caplan in New York, where she also attended master classes with Renato Capecchi, Nico Castel, Rita Loving, Alfredo Kraus, Vera Rozsa and Hilde Zadek.
Having grown up in an orthodox Jewish family, Sheffer developed a deep appreciation of the highly emotional cantorial music so familiar in her home. It is no wonder that she held the position of cantor while pursuing her voice training – at the West End Synagogue (New York) and Temple Emanuel (West Hartford, Connecticut).
Today, Sheffer lives in Berlin and continues to serve as a cantor across Germany. From 2003 to 2010 she served as an instructor at the Abraham Geiger Kolleg seminary in Potsdam and from 2007 to 2010 was founding director of the seminary’s Jewish Institute of Cantorial Arts, which trains cantors for Jewish communities.
Sheffer has received numerous awards in competitions of the Rubin Academy Tel Aviv, has won the Kol Israel Competition (Israel National Radio) and performed in several operatic productions (Mimi, Contessa, Michaela, Fiordiligi, Desdemona) and festivals. She has been on stage at the Berlin Philharmonic and Concert House, in the opening event of the Berlin’s annual festival of Jewish culture in the Rykestraße synagogue and took part in the Cultural Capital City Ruhr 2010.
In addition, this powerful soprano is dedicated, through her concerts, to reinvigorating Jewish music in Europe and promoting intercultural dialog. Above all she is committed to promoting the works of European Jewish composers who flourished before World War II and – for those who escaped the Holocaust – whose repertoire was inspired by their new environment. Sheffer’s aim is to make classical music with Jewish roots a permanent part of the general repertoire of the European concert program; her own musical spectrum ranges from cantorial song to chamber music to orchestral works.
Mimi Sheffer has performed as a soloist in Berlin, Mainz, Munich, Oldenburg, Flensburg, Essen, Bernau, Gelsenkirchen, Dresden and Hameln. She recently performed in Warsaw, Darmstadt and Berlin. In 2011, Sheffer founded the Eisenstadt Project for the Revitalization of Synagogal Music in Poland.
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