Philipp Goldmann becomes the new director of the Leipziger Synagogalchor

From September 1, 2022, Philipp Goldmann will take over the artistic direction of the Leipziger Synagogalchor. He succeeds Ludwig Böhme, who was appointed director of the Windsbacher Knabenchor.

Philipp Goldmann © Anne Hornemann
Philipp Goldmann © Anne Hornemann

Goldmann was a member of the Thomanerchor Leipzig and studied singing and choral conducting in Leipzig and Oslo. As a baritone soloist, he is primarily in demand as a singer of oratorical works. He regularly works with renowned ensembles such as the Gaechinger Cantorey, the MDR Rundfunkchor or the Amsterdam Baroque Choir. From 2002 to 2018 Goldmann was singer and musical director in the male vocal quartet Ensemble Thios Omilos. Since 2015 he has directed the Denkmalchor Leipzig. He teaches classical singing as well as choir and orchestra conducting at the University of Halle-Wittenberg and at the Evangelical University for Church Music in Halle.

In the application process, which was accompanied by a commission made up of representatives of the choir and Leipzig’s musical and cultural establishment, Goldmann prevailed over nine applicants, three of whom presented their skills and personality in choir rehearsals, with great approval. The choristers themselves were also involved in the election of Goldmann with an internal vote. In recent years, Philipp Goldmann has worked with the Leipziger Synagogalchor as a soloist and guest conductor. Thanks to his wide-ranging artistic and educational activities, he has many years of practical experience and a good network in music and culture.

“I am very pleased about the election and feel honored to be able to work with such a traditional and high-profile ensemble in the future,” explains Goldmann. “Due to my long-standing connections to the choir, it will not be a complete new beginning, but a reunion with friends for both sides. Together we want to further develop the choir and, as a cultural ambassador for Jewish music, represent the city of Leipzig nationally and internationally. I wish my predecessor Ludwig, from whom I was able to learn a lot myself, all the best and every success for his new professional challenges.”

Ludwig Böhme congratulates on the decision: “Congratulations! I am pleased that the application process has led to a result with such broad approval. I wish the choir and its new director all the best for a trusting, harmonious and successful work! I will remain connected to the ensemble and the wonderful Jewish choral music!”

On November 12, 2022, at the concert celebrating the choir’s 60th anniversary, Ludwig Böhme will also publicly hand over the baton to Philipp Goldmann, who is now the fourth leader of the ensemble.

Ludwig Böhme wird Leiter des Windsbacher Knabenchores

Nun darf verkündet werden: Ludwig Böhme wird ab September 2022 den renommierten Windsbacher Knabenchor leiten! Wir freuen uns natürlich sehr für ihn und für Windsbach und gratulieren von Herzen!
Aber wir sind gleichzeitig traurig, ihn in unserem 60. Jahr, in seinem zehnten, ziehen lassen zu müssen. 142 Konzerte und Veranstaltungen haben wir gemeinsam vorbereitet und gegeben, und vielleicht wird unser Jubiläumskonzert im November sogar das 150. sein! Denn bis dahin haben wir noch einiges vor.
Der Meister selbst fasst es so zusammen: „Große Veränderungen kennzeichnen die letzten Jahre. Nun betreffen sie auch mich. Trotz aller Vorfreude auf die neue Aufgabe verlasse ich Leipzig natürlich auch mit einem weinenden Auge: seit 1986 lebe ich hier, seit zehn Jahren leite ich (sehr gern!) den Leipziger Synagogalchor. Es waren (und sind) zehn schöne, intensive und erfüllende Jahre, zuletzt leider von der Pandemie geprägt und nicht so, wie wir das geplant hatten. Auch unsere für Mai 2022 geplante Ukraine-Reise, auf die wir uns alle sehr gefreut hatten, kann aus bekannten Gründen nicht stattfinden. Dennoch: ich bin von Herzen dankbar über die Zeit mit dem Leipziger Synagogalchor, über das, was wir gemeinsam verwirklicht haben und über das, was ich lernen konnte. Das ist eine große Bereicherung. Der Abschied fällt nicht leicht! Ich möchte mit dem Synagogalchor und all denen, die mit dem Chor nahe stehen, selbst gern verbunden bleiben. Mit dem Festkonzert zum 60-jährigen Bestehen am 12.11.2022 im Leipziger Gewandhaus werde ich mich verabschieden und die künstlerische Leitung eines wunderbaren Chores an meine/n Nachfolger/in übergeben.“

Danke, Ludwig!


Digital networking: Leipziger Synagogalchor makes performance data online available

The choir archive, which spans almost six decades, is now accessible to everyone – and may be expanded continuously

The musiconn.peformance database is now richer by more than 760 entries, as the Leipziger Synagogalchor is now also represented there with its extensive archive. The portal of the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB), activated as part of the Specialised Information Service for Musicology, enables convenient research into musical performances – from the beginnings of concert activity to the present day. It networks the research data of various partners. The institutions that have previously opened their archives for the portal include a. o. the Dresden State Opera, the Frankfurt Museum Society, the Albert Lortzing Society, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Dresden Kreuzchor and the Leipzig St. Thomas Choir – and since November also the Leipziger Synagogalchor.

The Leipzig ensemble took advantage of the forced break caused by the corona pandemic and evaluated all available materials in the choir archive for musiconn.performance. These include programs, posters, announcements, advertisements, invitations and reviews from 1963 to 2020. The data recorded – locations, occasions, musicians, organizers, work titles, composers – illustrate the broad spectrum of the Jewish repertoire and its performances in numerous concerts in Germany and abroad, at memorial and festive events, in services and other event formats. The project offers a broad research basis for the presentation of the cultivation of Jewish music in the GDR and in Germany after 1990.

The database is not only accessible to scientists. Everyone can and is allowed to inform, browse and research: How often was Louis Lewandowski’s “Ma tovu” performed? Which compositions by Samuel Lampel were performed? Which soloists and orchestras made music with the choir? When and where did the ensemble perform in Poland or Israel? What part does the choir have in the remembrance culture in East and West? All answers can now be found at

But not everything has been recorded completely, so the choir asks the audience, organizers, archives and former singers for help: Anyone who has material from the history of the choir is welcome to contact us and help to further expand the digital archive.

Inclusion in the Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

March 13, 2020. We are very pleased that, on our initiative, the “Revitalization of Synagogue Choral Music of the 19th and 20th Centuries of Central and Eastern Europe” has been included in the Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage – as a good saveguarding praxis example for the preservation of the cultural heritage!
Since its foundation in 1962, the Leipziger Synagogalchor has devoted itself exclusively to Jewish music. The main concerns of the choir are the synagogue chants that emerged in the liberal synagogues (equipped with organs). The inclusion in the Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage has long been a concern for which we have won numerous other ensembles and institutions (Synagogal Ensemble Berlin, Shalom Chor Berlin, Synagogalchor Hanover, Synagogue Choir Dresden, Abraham Geiger College Potsdam, University of Music Weimar / Chair for the History of Jewish Music, Villa Seligmann Hanover, Louis Lewandowski Festival Berlin) for a joint application to the German UNESCO Commission under our leadership.
The letter from the commission states: “The committee of experts recognizes that this musical tradition is based on European-Christian music, but at the same time has preserved its Jewish roots. With the seizure of power by the National Socialists in the 1930s and the subsequent destruction of the synagogues and persecution of the Jews, the synagogue choral music also disappeared. It is particularly positive to note that the music tradition is being revived today by some choirs who study and develop the repertoire of the composers of synagogue choral music – also in exchange with each other – and perform them in concerts and festivals.“

Bloch in the Station

Now it’s online – our video of the final concert of the Jewish Week of June 30, 2019. How moving to relive the moment when 800 people in Leipzig’s main railway station listened to Ernest Bloch’s choral-symphonic Sabbath morning service “Avodath Hakodesh”.
Look here

Cantate l’Adonai – Sing to the Lord

At the Kurt Weill Festival in March 2019, our new project with the Kammerchor Josquin des Préz premiered: “Cantate l’Adonai – Psalms from Synagogues and Churches”. In the next months we will present the program (sponsored by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony) in some Saxon cities. The patronage of the concert series, which sets a musical sign for tolerance and peaceful coexistence, has been taken over by the Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer.
Dates: May 4th Bautzen, St. Petri, May 5th Waldenburg, St. Bartholomäus, October 5th Zwickau, Friedenskirche, October 6th Döbeln, St. Nicolai

A new CD is coming up

P1030097aAt the moment we are working together with the Kammerchor Josquin des Préz on a new CD – “Klingende Toleranz”.
We are recording the historic concert program from the Leipzig Synagogue from
1926, which we re-performed with great success in 2015 in Leipzig and 2018 at the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau.

With: Tilmann Löser (organ), St. Thomas’ organist Ullrich Böhme (organ), Henrik Hochschild (violin), Anja Pöche (soprano), Susanne Langner (mezzo-soprano) and cantor Assaf Levitin (bass baritone).

There are works by Jewish and Christian composers: Louis Lewandowski, Samuel Lampel, Salomon Rossi, Salomon Jadassohn, Johann Sebastian Bach, Arcangelo Corelli, Georg Friedrich Handel, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Arnold Mendelssohn.

The CD will be published in January 2019 at the label querstand.

Sound engineer: Tobias Hoff, conductor: Ludwig Böhme.
We thank Dr. Arend Oetker for the kind financial support of our CD production.