Classically Jewish

cj logo colorMusic has been central to the Jewish cultural and religious identity for thousands of years. This rich heritage has been a source of inspiration for composers and performers. “Classically Jewish” explores the influence that Judaism has had on classical music around the world from the Renaissance to present day.

Featured topics on the show with host Adam Fine include Ernest Bloch, Salamone Rossi, Jewish violinists, music composed in concentration camps during the Holocaust, Jewish composers of Hollywood, and more.

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Adam Fine is the weekend and Monday evening host of “Classic Choices” on WCNY-FM. An active performer and music director, Adam has sung with numerous opera companies and orchestras including Opera Saratoga, Syracuse Opera, and Oswego Opera.  He has also sung in Synagogue from a young age sparking a lifelong interest in Jewish music.  Adam has served as a cantorial soloist for several congregations including Congregation B’nai Sholom in Albany, NY and Temple Beth El in Glens Falls, NY for which he was also the director of the religious school.  In his spare time, Adam is a collector of political buttons and is a leading expert in Jewish American campaign memorabilia. Adam holds a BMus from Northwestern University in choral music education and composition where he also served as director of the Jewish a cappella group and klezmer ensemble.

Contact Adam Fine

New episodes premiere on Sundays at 3 p.m.  Listen on Classic FM, streaming online at wcny.org/radio, or with the TuneIn app.
Air Date Program Title
Sunday, April 19 1-16 Eitz Chayim
Sunday, April 26 1-17 Theater
Sunday, May 3 1-18 19th Century Composers
Sunday, May 10 1-19 Jewish Women Composers
Sunday, May 17 1-20 Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Sunday, May 24 1-21 Piano Music
Sunday May 31 1-22 Non-Jewish Composers
  • Passover

    March 21, 2020

    Passover  The holiday of Passover commemorates the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and escape from slavery. Join our Passover Seder as we celebrate with music inspired by this festival of freedom. Music Includes: Read More


  • 1-26: Eitz Chayim 2

    December 9, 2019

    1-26 Eitz Chayim 2  The Tree of Life, Eitz Chayim, is a common symbol in Judaism.  We’ll end season 1 of Classically Jewish by adding another leaf to our Tree of Life as we continue to explore Jewish influences in classical music. Music includes: Joel Engel: Morgengebet, Shavues, and In der Suke Engelbert Röntgen: String Trio on Ashkenazic Themes Jacob Weinberg: Shabbat Ba’aretz (Shabbat in the Holy Land) Leo Ornstein: Composition 1 for Cello and Piano Haim Alexander: Six Israeli Dances Irving Berlin: Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor Read More


  • 1-25: Chanukah

    December 9, 2019

    1-25 Chanukah  The Festival of Lights brings warmth and joy to celebrations with family and friends.  We’ll listen to music, both old and new, inspired by this joyous eight-day holiday. Music includes: Traditional Candle Blessings Samuel Adler: To Celebrate a Miracle Michael Issacson: A Hanukka Celebration Stephen Schwartz: The Chanukah Song: We Are Lights Zamir Bavel: The Hanukkah Fantasy arr. Hankus Netsky: Oy, Chanukah Read More


  • 1-24: Society for Jewish Folk Music

    November 20, 2019

    1-24 Society for Jewish Folk Music  Founded in 1908, the Society for Jewish Folk Music collected thousands of recordings of Jewish folk melodies and supported new compositions from Jewish musicians based upon or inspired by their Jewish musical heritage. Music includes: Lazare Saminsky: Tov L’Hodot (Psalm 92) Solomon Rosowsky: Chassidic Melody, Melody Without End, Moshe the Shoemaker Joel Engel: Adagio Misterioso Alexander Krein: Jewish Sketches Suite No. 1 Joseph Achron: Hebrew Melody Read More


  • 1-23: Richard Tucker

    November 15, 2019

    1-23 Richard Tucker  Born as Rubin Ticker, Richard Tucker became an international opera star and renowned cantor.  Leontyne Price said about Tucker, “What touched me most was his deep religious belief and his love of his family.” Music includes: Leonard Bernstein: “Tonight” from West Side Story Richard Rodgers: You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel Giacomo Puccini: “Vogliatemi bene” from Madama Butterfly Sholom Secunda: Kol Nidre arr. Thomas Z. Shepard: Hava Nagila Naomi Shemer: Yerushalayim Shel Zahav Ernest Gold: The Exodus Song Parish, Alstone, & Goodhart: Mom-e-le Alexander Olshanetsky: Shiroh Georges Bizet: The Pearl Fishers duet Abraham Goldfaden: Roshinkes mit Mandlen Jerry Bock: “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof   Read More


  • 1-22: Non-Jewish Composers

    November 6, 2019

    1-22 Non-Jewish Composers  Dmitri Shostakovich was fascinated by the ability of Jewish music to “build a jolly melody on sad intonations.”  Maurice Ravel wrote Two Hebrew Melodies.  A look at composers who were not Jewish, but were still inspired by Jewish musical traditions. Music includes: Douglas Moore: Vay’khullu Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 4 in D Maurice Ravel: “Chanson Hébraïque” from Chants Populaires Maurice Ravel: Deux Mélodies Hébraïques Sergei Prokofiev: Overture on Hebrew Themes Read More


  • 1-21: Piano Music

    November 6, 2019

    1-21 Piano Music  An exploration of Jewish influences in music composed for the piano including works by Juliusz Wolfsohn and Frederic Rzewski. Music Includes: Leonard Bernstein: Selections from Four Sabras Jacob Weinberg: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Frederic Rzewski: Mayn Yingele Juliusz Wolfsohn: Jewish Rhapsody Read More


  • 1-20: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco

    November 6, 2019

    1-20 Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was a successful Italian composer until the rise of fascism and anti-Semitism in the 1930s saw his music banned from the radio. Music Includes: Vocalise-Étude; Chant Hébraïque for cello and piano Violin Concerto No. 2 “I profeti” Naomi and Ruth Selections from Prayers My Grandfather Wrote Read More


  • 1-19: Jewish Women Composers

    October 28, 2019

    1-19 Jewish Women Composers  An exploration of the impact Jewish women are having in the world of classical music including Meira Warshauer and selections from Judith Lang Zaimont’s Sacred Service. Music Includes: Alla Elana Cohen: Book of Prayers: volume 2, series 4, movement 1 Judith Lang Zaimont: Selections from Sacred Service for the Sabbath Evening Meira Warshauer: Bracha Joelle Wallach: From the Forest of Chimneys Read More


  • 1-18: 19th Century Jewish Composers

    October 28, 2019

    1-18 19th Century Jewish Composers  An exploration of Jewish composers from the 1800s, many of whom kept close ties throughout their lives.  Included will be the Hebrew Melodies by Joseph Joachim and music from Charles Valentin Alkan, the leading expert on Jewish music in Paris and one of the first composers to incorporate Jewish melodies into his music. Music Includes: Ferdinand Hiller: Gebet, op.46/1 Joseph Joachim: Hebrew Melodies Ignaz Moscheles: Divertimento à la Savoyarde Charles Valentin-Alkan: selections from 25 Preludes (Nos. 4, 5, 6, & 20) Charles Valentin-Alkan: Adagio from Cello Sonata Read More


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