"They showed that music for the Synagogue can also have an entertaining character, and managed to present this variety of expressions, streching from the late romantic to the music of our time without any patronizing claim."
- Fürther Nachrichten, March 2014.
Die Drei Kantoren are Tal Koch (tenor), Hemi Levison (baritone) and Assaf Levitin (bass).
The ensemble was founded with three Israel originated members of the Cantorial School of the Abraham Geiger College at the University of Potsdam, Germany. They gave their debut in front of 1500 spectators at the yearly reception of the Israeli Embassy in Berlin in May, 2013. The enthusiastic reactions rapidly brought further invitations to sing in many public events, such as the opening of the Faculty of Jewish Theology at the University of Potsdam; the official ceremony commemorating Rwandan Genocide 20th Anniversary in Berlin; a concert at the Klezmer Festival in Fürth, Germany, and many others. From the year 2014, Die Drei Kantoren have been performing all over Germany in Jewish Communities, as part of the Cultural Program of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. Their 3rd CD, „Believe It Or Not“, was released in November 2021.
Assaf Levitin and Amnon Seelig arrange most of Die Drei Kantoren's repertoire, which covers both classical Chazzanut and Israeli folk music, as well as Sepharadic and Ashkenazi compositions of Jewish poetry from the Middle Ages (Piyutim) and Yiddish songs.
A considerable part of the program is performed a-capella, whereas the rest is accompanied by the Israeli pianist Naaman Wagner. Being professional concert and opera singers, each one of The Three Cantors also performs solo pieces out of a broad repertoire of Chazzanut, music by Jewish composers, and Yiddish songs.
Assaf Levitin, Bass
Assaf was born in Israel, played the clarinet, drums and saxophone before he discovered singing. He graduated from the Music Academy of the Saarland (Germany) before launching a career as concert - and opera singer. Assaf's wide repertoire includes most of the great oratorios, many song cycles, operatic roles such as Mozart's Figaro, Colline (La Bohéme) and Gremin (Eugene Onegin).
Assaf is also a specialist for contemporary music, and has been performing world premiers of both concert and stage pieces throughout Europe and Israel. Since 2011, Assaf has been a member of the Cantors Seminary at the Abrarhm-Geiger-College (Potsdam, Germany), and has served as a cantor in Basel, Paris, Warsaw, Berlin and many other places.
Hemi Levison, Baritone
Hemi Levison, an Israeli born baritone, began his first musical studies at the Alon High School in both singing and recorder. He now holds a double Bachelor’s Degree in Voice & Education from the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance (2012). At the Academy, Mr. Levison studied with both Miriam Meltzer and Ido Ariel. Opera credits include, among others, Nardo from Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, Vater from Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Aeneas from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and the Drunk Poet from Purcell’s Fairy Queen. As an Oratorio soloist, Mr. Levison has sung diverse works such as Beethoven’s C-Major Mass, the Faure Requiem, Bloch’s Sacred Voices, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, Händel’s Alexander’s Feast, and Bach’s Johannes-Passion, Matthäus-Passion & Magnificat. In addition to his Solo work, Mr. Levison enjoys making chamber music with Die Drei Kantoren, Kolot Ensemble, and in different choirs such as the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir directed by Stanley Sperber and the Schleßwig-Holstein Music Festival Choracademy.
Tal Koch, Tenor
The tenor Tal Koch was classically trained and also works as a singer-songwriter in the popular field.
He graduated from the Rimon School for Jazz and Pop Music and the Levinsky Teachers' College in Israel.
Tal Koch sang as a soloist with most of Israel's orchestras and also appeared in the Israeli National Theater "Habima" and in the "Israeli Vocal Ensemble". He sang under the conductors Andrew Parrott and Christian Lindberg and with the WDR Chor (Cologne)
His diverse repertoire ranges from Bach to Puccini to Ramirez, Christmas Oratorio, Mozart Requiem, Missa Criolla.
In 2021 he founded his own ensemble "Jarock", which focuses on old and new Hebrew poems.
He currently lives in Berlin and also works as a freelance cantor in Hanover and Paris.
In Berlin he designed a long-term memorial project with his own compositions in Platform17 memorial at the Grunewald S-Bahn station. He will release his own album in 2021.
Naaman Wagner, Piano
Naaman Wagner was born in Jerusalem in 1984. Since 1998, he has been playing as soloist as well as with chamber music ensembles in Europe and in Israel. He performed as a soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and as an improvisor with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2000, he takes part in the Kfar Blum Festival every year. He also gave performances during the Israel Festival in 2005 and the Abu Gosh Festivals in 2005 and 2008. Naaman studied Conducting and Piano with Professor Evgeny Zirlin and with Professor Eitan Globerson in his hometown, graduating from the Jerusalem Music Academy with a degree in Conducting in 2006 and a B.A. in Music in 2008. While at the Academy, he won several prizes and scholarships. In 2009 he moved to Germany where he worked with Professor Arie Vardi at the the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, graduating in June 2011.
He has taken master-classes at the Goslar Festival in Germany (2006 und 2007) and in Perugia (Italy), where he performed as a soloist with the Perugia Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, he took a master-class with Dimitri Bashkirov in Tel Hai (Israel).
Naaman Wagner was awarded a scholarship for Composition by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation every year between 2001 and 2009 and has been awarded a scolarship for Piano every year since 2002. Now based in Berlin, he plays as a soloist and as a member of various chamber ensembles in Europe and in Israel. Since 2011, he has been part of the Calaf Trio with Karoline Schulze and Constance Ricard. He also plays regularly with the Israel Contemporary Players, which has just been on tour in Hong-Kong and Korea under the direction of Zsolt Nagy.