Leib Glanz

Cantor & composer

Leib Glanz was born in Kiev in 1898.  His father was the cantor at the Synagogue of the Talna Hasidim and at a young age, Leib was trained and encouraged to lead services at his father's congregation.  As an adolescent, Glanz was involved in several Zionist youth groups and made periodical visits to Eretz Israel.  His official cantorial career began with posts in Kishinev and Rumania.  In 1926 he immigrated to the United States where he was appointed chief cantor of the Ohev Shalom Synagogue in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Glanz rejected the “sobbing” vocal style of his contemporaries.  In an effort to diversify the tradition, Glanz incorporated gestures from many different genres, including romantic music, Israeli folk songs, and Jewish liturgical music from communities throughout the Diaspora. While working at Ohev Shalom, Glanz continued to tour extensively throughout the United States.  He moved on to work at Heikhal Sinai Synagogue and Sha’re Tefilla Synagogue in Los Angeles.  Finally in 1954, Glanz immigrated to Israel, where he took a post as the chief cantor at the Tiferet Zevi Synagogue in Tel Aviv. 

Glanz was also a serious composer of Jewish liturgical music, with a corpus of over 100 works as well as several commercial recordings.  His choral arrangements were typified by the use of pentatonic scales and music from the Hasidic tradition.  In an effort to promote a new tradition of hazzanut, Glanz founded the Tel Aviv Institute of Religious Jewish Music, and headed the Cantorial Academy.