Moritz Deutsch


Moritz Deutsch was born in Nikolsburg, Moravia and was identified at an early age as a prodigy in Talmudic studies.  It was his vocal talent however that brought him to Vienna to study music and the cantorial tradition.   In 1842 Deutsch was appointed assistant Cantor under Salomon Sulzer at the Liberal temple in Vienna.  Deutsch was deeply influenced by Sulzer’s work to develop a new cantorial recitative style and liturgical arrangements for the choir.  In 1844 Deutsch began working as chief cantor at the Reform Synagogue in Breslau where he formed and lead a choir.  In addition, he received a teaching post at the Breslau Theological Seminary, where he taught cantorial music for over 30 years.  In 1859, Deutsch helped to found an institute for cantorial training within the Theological Seminary.  The support for the new institute marked a shift away from the meshorerim tradition of cantorial apprenticeships and new backing for official programs in teaching seminaries.   He also composed choral arrangements for synagogue liturgy in the classical German style which were published in the collection, Breslauer Synagogengeasenge (1880).