Alberto Mizrahi, "The Jewish Pavarotti"

March 6, 2008 10:35:28 AM PST
Entertainment legend Theodore Bikel and the "Jewish Pavarotti," Alberto Mizrahi celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel at a benefit concert on Sunday, March 9. A 60th Celebration will also mark the 60th birthday of Mizrahi, a renowned cantor. The concert at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park will benefit Chicago's Anshe Emet Synagogue.

Bikel, best-known for his performances of Tevye in the musical "Fiddler on the Roof, will perform alone and with Hazzan Mizrahi in a rich repertory of songs from around the world ? Hebrew, Sephardic, Yiddish, Greek, English, Russian and Serbian. They will perform duets from their new CD, Our Song. Mizrahi, who most recently performed at the White House, will also sing arrangements from his newest solo release, My World."

The concert will also feature a number of accomplished musicians accompanying Bikel and Mizrahi, including John Bilezikjian, oud; Tamara Brooks, piano; Dick Bunn, bass; Ilana Goldberg, soprano; Howard Levy, harmonica/piano; ???Kalyan Pathak, percussion Stuart Rosenberg, mandolin; and Don Stille, accordion.

Born in Vienna and raised in Palestine, Bikel is considered one of the most versatile and respected entertainers of his generation. Upon coming to America in 1954, Bikel first performed in informal venues and clubs, and, in 1956, he gave his first celebrated Carnegie Hall concert. Since then he has performed in concert halls throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Additionally, he has produced more than 20 albums of folk songs, freedom songs, cast albums of musicals, and classical works with the Elektra and Columbia labels, among others. As an actor, Bikel received an Academy Award Nomination for his role as the Southern Sheriff in "The Defiant Ones," and he is best-known for his appearances as Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" (he has performed the role more often than any other actor ? 2094 times to date). He was twice nominated for a Tony Award for his work on the stage, most notably for his role as Captain von Trapp in "The Sound of Music". His work in television has also earned him an Emmy Award and he is the co-founder of Newport Folk Festival in Newport, RI.

Greek-born tenor, Alberto Mizrahi, one of the world's leading interpreters of Jewish music, is the Hazzan of historic Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. He has thrilled audiences worldwide in recitals, symphony concerts, and opera. Affectionately known as the "Jewish Pavarotti," Mizrahi's repertoire, spanning nine languages, makes his performances unique in the field. He is featured in the PBS gala USA/Europe televised performance of Cantors: A Faith in Song, from the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue, Amsterdam, as well as with the legendary jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck, and his quartet in "Gates of Justice," recorded for the Milken Archive.

Tickets for Theodore Bikel & Alberto Mizrahi: A 60th Celebration, are $36, and are on sale now at the Harris Theater box office. For tickets or additional information, call the Harris Theater box office at 312-334-7777 or long on to

Founded in 1873, Anshe Emet Synagogue is a Conservative, egalitarian congregation located in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. The Synagogue is committed to meeting the religious, educational, social, and cultural needs of its members within the framework of the Conservative Movement. In keeping with the teachings of Judaism, Anshe Emet recognizes its responsibility to serve the Jewish Community, the wider community, and the State of Israel.

Now in its fourth year of operation, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance continues to host the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, featuring the city's world-renowned music and dance institutions and acclaimed national and international companies. Offering more than a state-of-the-art facility, the theater is a partner to these organizations, providing subsidized rental, technical expertise, and marketing support. To learn more about the season at the Harris Theater, visit or call the box office at 312-334-7777 to request a brochure.