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 will include Jewish composers, music composed in concentration camps during the Holocaust, Jewish composers of Hollywood, Jewish violinists, and more!

Contact Adam Fine

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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.

New episodes premiere on Sundays at 3 p.m. with an encore presentation the following Saturday at 7 p.m. Listen on Classic FM, streaming online at wcny.org/radio, or with the TuneIn app.
  • December 1, 2019: Richard Tucker

    November 6, 2019

    1-22 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.”   Read More


  • November 24, 2019: 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.   Read More


  • November 17, 2019: 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.   Read More


  • November 10, 2019: 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


  • November 3, 2019: 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


  • October 27, 2019: Theater

    September 11, 2019

    1-17 Theater  From Yiddish Theater to Broadway and opera, we’ll listen to Jewish stories told on stage through music, including Joel Engel’s incidental music from the original 1922 production of The Dybbuk by S. Ansky. Music Includes: Hugo Weisgall: selections from Esther Joel Engel: incidental music from The Dybbuk Fromental Halévy: O Dieu, Dieu de nos Pères Sholom Secunda: Bei Mir Bistu Shein Jerry Herman: Shalom and Independence Day Hora from Milk and Honey Jerry Bock: Lekhayim from Fiddler on the Roof (Yiddish language recording) Read More


  • October 20, 2019: Eitz Chayim

    September 11, 2019

    1-16 Eitz Chayim  The Tree of Life, Eitz Chayim, is a common symbol in Judaism.  We’ll add a leaf to our tree of life as we continue to explore Jewish influences in classical music. Music Includes: Rabbi Israel Goldfarb: Shalom Aleichem Eric Whitacre: Five Hebrew Love Songs David Diamond: Kaddish for cello and orchestra Gideon Klein: String Trio Julius Chajes: Hebrew Suite Lehman Engel: Chassidic Chant (Performed by Paul Robeson) Read More


  • October 13, 2019: The Composers of Today

    September 11, 2019

    1-15 The Composers of Today  An exploration of modern composers drawing upon their ancient Jewish heritage in new and different was, including a conversation with Michael Isaacson, distinguished composer of both Jewish and secular music. Music Includes: Menachem Wiesenberg: Between the Sacred and the Profane Yehudi Wyner: Tants un Maysele Michael Issacson: Sim Shalom Michael Issacson: Remembrance for Strings Michael Issacson: Bayom Hahu Michael Issacson: selections from American Hallel Read More


  • October 6, 2019: The High Holidays

    September 11, 2019

    1-14 The High Holidays  The most significant days on the Jewish calendar are a time to not only greet the new year, but atone for past sins and prepare to do better in the year ahead.  An exploration of music from this special time of year, including Jacob Weinberg’s String Quartet on Jewish Themes. Music Includes: Max Janowski: Avinu Malkeinu Jacob Weinberg: String Quartet on Jewish Themes John Zorn: Kol Nidre Max Bruch: Kol Nidre: Adagio for Cello and Orchestra Cantor Azi Schwartz: The conclusion of Yom Kippur Read More


  • September 29, 2019: Jewish American Composers

    September 11, 2019

    1-13 Jewish American Composers  Just about every Jewish American composer has at one time written music inspired by their heritage.  We’ll explore music form just a few of these composers including Aaron Copland and Richard Danielpour. Music Includes: Philip Glass: Psalm 126 Richard Danielpour: Kaddish Aaron Copland: Vitebsk Robert Strassburg: Shadows of Life and Death from The Heritage of Heaven Walter Scharf: The Palestine Suite Read More


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