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Roï Azoulay

Roï Azoulay is an Israeli conductor who is a complete musician, interpreting classical, romantic and contemporary music with ease and assurance. His performances in Israel, Europe and North America reveal a powerful sense of his personal musical aesthetic while offering at every concert a new and personal vision, transporting the orchestra and audience alike.

To date Roï Azoulay has conducted many orchestras, including the Israel Sinfonietta Beer-Sheva, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Kammer-Philharmonie of Zurich, the Kammer-Philharmonie of Graz (Austria), the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (London), the Ra’anana Symphonette (Israel), the Netanya-Kibbutz Orchestra and others.
He has also distinguished himself by the high quality of his orchestral accompanying, whether it be in the realm of opera or supporting instrumental soloists and well-known vocal artists in gala performances the world over.

Since his arrival in Montreal in August 2014 he has been serving as Music Director and Choirmaster at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, internationally recognized as one of the few remaining synagogues in the world keeping European Jewish liturgical music alive. Conducting an a cappella men’s choir that accompanies Cantor Gideon Zelermyer, Roï Azoulay reinterprets on a weekly basis, as well as on festivals and High Holy Days, the rich and precious repertoire forged in Europe that reflects the history and emotions of a population almost entirely destroyed by secular anti-Semitism. Fervent and ardent spirituality fills each prayer, acquired through his long experience with numerous choral groups, including the grand Synagogue de la Paix in Strasbourg (France) from 2011 to 2014, and with many choral groups in Israel, such as the Great Synagogue Choir of Jerusalem and others.

Among his many accomplishments, Roï Azoulay led the Shaar Hashomayim synagogue choir together with Cantor Gideon Zelermyer on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2016 in the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

As creator and producer of Sacred Echoes, a major musical undertaking at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in November, 2015, Roï Azoulay again showed his expertise of Jewish liturgical music as evidenced by a performance characterized by its strong musical intelligence and great sensitivity. On this occasion conducting the McGill Chamber Orchestra, over a thousand spectators filled the sanctuary to take a musical and historical voyage through the great synagogues of pre-war Germany through both their great musical heritage and virtual reconstructions of destroyed synagogues projected on the screen. Partnering with the Darmstadt University of Technology (Germany) and the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center, this was a fitting and memorable concert commemorating the tragedy of Kristallnacht.

After studying conducting, composition and theory at the prestigious Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, he pursued further training in conducting with Professors Eugène Zirlin and Mendi Rodan, and his Master’s with the Israeli conductor Doron Salomon. His studies continued with conductors Yoël Levi and Elli Jaffe and composition with the composers Michael Wolpe and Andre Hajdu.

Among the honours and awards Roï Azoulay has garnered are First Prizes in both the International Conducting Competition of Graz (2010) and the Competition for Young Conductors at the Jerusalem Academy (2007 and 2009).

Roï Azoulay has also been recognized many times by the American-Israel Cultural Foundation, successively winning the Prize for Excellence in Music and Conducting.

March 2016

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