Hitting All the Right Notes
Samuel Dylan Rosner, a young man from Scarsdale, New York, is a talented musician with a singular passion for Jewish music. In April, Rosner’s original music was performed at Carnegie Hall in New York by HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir—making him the youngest composer to have his work performed by the group. The 17-year-old, a high school senior at the time, accompanied the choir at the piano as they sang his setting of Psalm 96.
Rosner is particularly interested in cantorial music. “Hazzanut is such a beautiful and powerful art form that is often sadly neglected in the music world,” he said. “I hope as a musician to bring Jewish cantorial music to a larger audience.”
According to Matthew Lazar, HaZamir founder and director of the Zamir Choral Foundation, Rosner’s composition was the first piece the youth choir has ever performed that was written by one of its singers. Rosner’s musical talent became apparent at a young age; at 9, he performed a solo in Sergei Prokofiev’s “War and Peace” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. As a high school student, he spent his Saturdays studying at the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. Now he is a freshman at Harvard University.
“I definitely want to pursue music for my career, both in singing and in composing,” he said, “and Judaism greatly informs my musical identity.”