Bonia Shur has been a fixture on the faculty of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati since 1974, when he was appointed director of liturgical arts and music. Over the years, he has taught liturgical music to hundreds of rabbinical students (only the New York branch of HUC has a cantorial school, which includes a program in Jerusalem) and led them in song. Some of his settings have found currency in Reform congregations in various parts of the United States.
Shur has written and published more than three hundred pieces. In addition to his liturgical settings, he has written for theater, television, and film. In 1966 he collaborated with Johnny Mandel on the vocal score for the motion picture The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. In 1968 he received a National Television Academy Award for his music to the TV special Revolt in Mode’in.
Shur’s music has been performed by the Minneapolis Chamber Symphony, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Kol Yisrael [radio] orchestra in Israel (now the Jerusalem Symphony), the Sarasota Chorale Symphonic Chorus, the Nova Singers of Florida, the Oshkosh Chamber Singers, and the Chicago Children’s Choir.
By: Neil W. Levin