A native of Kansas, where his father was in the service, the young Leonard Lehrman moved with his family to Queens County, when the latter was still a youngster. When it came time for the Lehrman family to send their children to public schools, they wisely chose Roslyn. Educated in Roslyn, Lehrman has gone on to a long and productive career as a musical conductor, a profession that has taken him to venues all over the world. By his own count, Lehrman, with Helene Williams, has performed 600 concerts on four different continents. But, his heart has always been with his hometown.
On Thursday, May 2 and on Sunday, May 5, Lehrman will bring his Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus back to Roslyn to perform in Holocaust Remembrance Day events.
The May 2 event will take place at 7 p.m. at Temple Beth Sholom during services, while the May 5 performance will take place also at 7 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church. Lehrman is currently Trinity’s artist-in-residence.
“It feels very emotional,” Lehrman told The Roslyn News about his upcoming performances.
Lehrman has served as music director for Temple Beth Sholom and for the North Shore Synagogue in Great Neck. He has also spent seven years as a music conductor in both Austria and Germany. In Germany, Lehrman greatest achievement was being the first Jewish conductor to lead a Berlin production of Fiddler On The Roof.
The May 2 program at Temple Beth Sholom will feature the lighting of candles by Holocaust survivors and their descendants. The musical program will feature Cantor Ofer Barnoy and, as noted, members of Lehrman’s Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus, and the Nassau County Jewish Jewish Community Chorus of Long Island.
The May 5 program at Trinity Episcopal Church will be marked by four songs in honor of the centennial of the birth of Pete Seeger (1919-2014), including a setting of one of his poems by Lehrman, “The Stairway.” In addition, Perri Sussman will sing an aria he wrote for her in his opera with Ellen Frankel, The Triangle Fire; Thomas Smith will perform his setting of Harry Oschitzki’s A Brown Wolf: Arturo Ui on the coming of Hitler; and Helene Williams will solo in several works, including three written for her.
Admission to both programs are free. The collaboration between the synagogue and the church for this commemoration program is supported by the Prof. Edgar H. Lehrman Memorial Foundation and the Maldeb Foundation.
For further information, call 516-825-2939.