We are thrilled to be able to interview the first female cantor trained and ordained in Europe. Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? What inspired you to become a cantor?
My life has organically lead me to becoming a cantor. I was born in Moscow into a Jewish family, grew up in Berlin, after my internship at the Deutsche Oper I went on to study music, fine arts, film and journalism in Canada, and Cantorial Arts in Israel. Now I live in Paris and travel the world.
It is a unique spiritual journey with art, voice training and human encounters being the red line through it.
What do you enjoy most about your chosen profession?
To witness and contribute to change in people’s mindsets, bending realities through the gift of prayer, art and action, working on heritage programs. I see myself as a translator: I have always been translating from one dimension to another and from one culture and faith to another, it has proven to be my mission in this lifetime.
Throughout my career (which spans several decades now) I am deeply grateful to continuously being able to meet and learn from extraordinary people around the world, collaborate with creative and technical crews on film sets, with engaging international organizations, to sing in Europe and around the globe for all people from all backgrounds, sharing my faith and artistic visions at concerts and recordings in the most beautiful and powerful ways.
Being a polyglot performer, which languages do you enjoy singing in the most and how many hours do you practice in an average week?
That’s an interesting question! Every language is uniquely coloured by the cultural place it is taken from and the country I learned it. Since I am being asked this question a lot, one day I decided to prepare a creative response which can be seen in this video in one take entitled “7 Languages”:
I practice singing every day (with some resting days of course). Vocal chords are just a few mm long. Voice is a special instrument that keeps developing and growing if we take good care of it. In my case, it is designed to last in this performative ability and shape until an old age.
Of all the venues, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, which ones are your three favourite ones? Is there a place in this world you have not had the chance performing in just yet, but would love to have the opportunity to?
There were so many… and every place has its own story and preparation process I can talk about for hours… but to name just three, here we go:
1). La Madeleine Church in Paris where one of my latest CD release concerts took place,
2). The Historic Chicago Loop synagogue where I was the first woman ever to sing on the bima of this synagogue,
3). The Masada in Israel where I sang Kaddish.
You also work with international artists from around the globe. Whom would you like to collaborate with next?
Yasmin Levy and Noa
What type of music do you enjoy listening to when you want to relax after a long day?
The usual answer a musician would give you is obviously silence, because if you work all day focusing on something specific (think of any job) you do need to rest from it in order to be able to start the next day with full strength and devotion for what you do. I do listen to all kinds of music from various artists and keep getting inspired all the time. With my kids I like to listen to classical music a lot, but I also listen to various other music styles ranging from early music to electronic trance and improvised tunes.
What advice would you give to an aspiring performer?
Your mental strength will be your best partner. This journey is a marathon not a sprint. Trust your intuition, listen to your heart and keep doing what you like. Focus on developing your biggest talent while staying open to the treasures and new opportunities life brings you daily. Live life fully, with style, and do it your way! Stay true to yourself, stand up to your values and be grateful.
Where can our readers book you, follow your work, purchase your music, and stay informed about any upcoming concerts?
For bookings, masterclasses and collaborations email: [email protected]
To connect with me, follow these links below:
Official Website: www.sofiafalkovitch.com
Youtube: Sofia Falkovitch
My latest Album “Soul Sisters”: https://www.ecuje.fr/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/CP-S.Falkovitch-GB.pdf
My latest Single “Our People”: https://my.fangtasia.link/sofia/ourpeople
My CDs are available on all known platforms. However, if you buy them directly from my site, I will autograph them and include personal gift notes. Please make sure to leave a message with your order.
A lot is happening in the next months and years and I look forward to releasing, collaborating and hearing back from you!
Images: Courtesy of Sofia Falkovitch