Cantor Richard Botton was born to Sephardi parents in the Bronx, New York. His mother had come to America from Istanbul and his father from Salonica, Greece. As a child, he was immersed in the music and language of Ladino folksong, and he later pursued cantorial studies at the School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. He served Temple Emanu-El of Long Beach, New York, from 1955 through 1974. After that, until his retirement in 1998, he was cantor and music director of Central Synagogue in New York City. Cantor Botton has also appeared in concert with the Robert Shaw Chorale, the Bach Aria Group, the Brooklyn Philharmonic under Lukas Foss, the Paul Whiteman Orchestra on Arthur Godfrey’s television show, the Fort Worth Symphony, and on numerous opera stages. He sang in the premiere of Bernstein’s Dybbuk.
Photo Credit: Central Synagogue