The Zamir Choral Foundation, founded and directed by Matthew Lazar, is the visionary, leading force in the Jewish world for sustaining and fostering the Jewish choral tradition. The Foundation is the center of a growing Jewish choral network, sponsoring programs, concerts, workshops, festivals and a host of other activities aimed at expanding the knowledge of and appreciation for Jewish choral music.
Since 1990, the Foundation has sponsored the annual North American Jewish Choral Festival, held each summer, which brings together hundreds of singers, choral enthusiasts and top conductors, scholars and ensembles for a unique and rich week-long experience.
The Foundation also sponsors HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir, begun by Maestro Lazar in 1993, to offer high-school age teens the opportunity to gather together, learn and sing Jewish choral music in local ensembles. Each year, in addition to performing in their own local areas, HaZamir chapters from across the United States and Israel gather for a weekend Festival and concert in New York City.
In 2002, the Foundation sponsored Salamone Rossi: The Man and His Music, the first international scholarly conference and festival celebrating the 16th century musical "hero" and founder of Jewish choral music. The conference gathered scholars, singers, students and others for an in-depth look at the music and life of Rossi, and featured the most comprehensive concert of his secular and religious music ever mounted.
The Foundation led the way in presenting Jewish programming on December 25th with an ongoing series of Open Sings, held in New York City, offering musicians and anyone interested in singing a Jewish experience on that day.
As a dedicated Zionist organization, the Foundation has led a series of Choral Missions to Israel, including performances, visitations, and ongoing support for our Israeli borthers and sisters. We also sponsor HaZamir Israel, the Israeli branch of the HaZamir teen choir movement.