Cantor Ira S. Bigeleisen is highly regarded both as pulpit Hazzan and concert artist having performed as guest Hazzan and soloist all over the United States, Europe and Israel. Among his many credits include performances in New York Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Barbican Auditorium in London and the Salzburg (Austria) Summer Festival. He has performed as soloist in many world and United States premieres of both religious and secular works. Recent performances have included recitals and concerts in Royce Hall, Los Angeles, the Prague Jewish Festival, Nuremberg, and Berlin, Germany.
He is a Hazzan’s Hazzan, performing and giving sessions for the Cantors Assembly, the American Conference of Cantors and the Israel Institute of Cantorial Art. He was the first Cantor in Residence for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s International Convention. A world authority in the Nusach of prewar Germany, he recreated services from Berlin, Frankfurt and München at the Voice of Ashkenaz Conference at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Lincoln Center. He served as the Cantor at the re-dedication of the Rykestrasse Synagogue in Berlin, Germany – its first use as a synagogue since it was vandalized by the Nazis in 1938. He is highly regarded as a composer with commissions from many synagogues.
A master interpreter of Jewish and Yiddish music, he has been a soloist in a number of CDs including recording for the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music. He was a featured soloist in the ABC-TV national broadcast of a Weekday Maariv Service, At Evening I Seek You.
He served Adat Ari El congregation in Valley Village, CA, from 1993-2015.Under his leadership, Adat Ari El has won top awards from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, including the Gold Solomon Schechter Award for Innovative Worship Programming, and first place awards from the Pacific Southwest Region for One Shabbat Morning, the innovative Saturday morning service which he conceived with Craig Taubman and Rabbi Moshe J. Rothblum, and the B’nai Mitzvah training program at Adat Ari El.
Among his many activities for the Jewish community, Cantor Bigeleisen was the Founding Director of Harmony Celebration!, an ecumenical choral festival in Kansas City, MO, and the Founding Executive Director ofthe internationally renowned Jewish chorus, the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale. As a faculty member of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles, he created a curriculum for the entire liturgy that can be mastered in one year.
He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Science and Communication Disorders from Emerson College, was a full scholarship student at the American Opera Center at the Juilliard School, and received his Cantorial Diploma from the Belz School of Jewish Music of Yeshiva University.