Jewish Choir Conductor Gets a Tribute

Published: May 21st 2010
in Culture » Music

The Toronto Jewish Folk Choir during Emil Gartner's time

As the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir celebrates its 84th Spring Concert, a special performance will be dedicated to their late conductor, Emil Gartner. The piece will be performed by his daughter Esther Gartner, who will play Yiddish Suite No. 1 by Srul Irving Glic.


“It will be an emotional one, I can tell you that,” said Esther to “I've played before with the choir on other anniversaries since [Emil's] passing but this is a major role.”


Her father Emil served as the choir’s conductor from 1939 to 1959. During his tenure, the group expanded to more than 100 members. The Toronto Jewish Folk Choir performed Israeli, Canadian and international folk songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, French, Russian and English at high-profile venues such as Massey Hall as well as on CBC Radio.


“For an amateur choir that didn't read music, their accomplishments were unbelievable at the time,” said Esther, who now works for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.


The 84th Toronto Jewish Folk Choir Spring Concert will be held on May 30 at Winter Hall, Edward Johnson Building at 3 PM. For more information, visit

Related articles: (Music, Toronto, Jewish, Folk Choir, Gartner)

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