Cantor Meir Finkelstein was born in Israel in 1951. His family emigrated to England when he was four years old, after his father, Cantor Zvi Finkelstein, accepted a position at one of London’s premier congregations. Meir soon joined his older brother Aryeh in accompanying their father at services, and the three went on to release a number of liturgical recordings. At fourteen, he became the youngest cantor in Europe when he took his first professional post at a synagogue in Glasgow. Five years later he assumed the cantorial post of the Golders Green Synagogue in London. While there, he studied at the Royal College of Music and graduated with honors, receiving his ARCM diploma in singing, piano, and composition. In 1974 he emigrated to the United States to assume the pulpit at Beth Hillel Congregation in Wilmette, Illinois, but in 1978 he moved to Los Angeles, where he served as cantor at Sinai Temple in Westwood for eighteen years. During this time he composed more than 100 works for the synagogue, many of which have been performed in congregations around the world. He also became active in Hollywood, composing music for television shows including Dallas and Falcon Crest. In 1995 he premiered his symphonic/choral work Liberation at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. The work was composed to commemorate the liberation of the concentration camps after the Holocaust. Cantor Finkelstein is also known for his musical score to Steven Spielberg’s television documentary Survivors of the Shoah. After serving for eight years at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, Michigan, Finkelstein assumed a cantorial post at Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, Texas in 2013.
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