Cantor Bernard Wladowsky was born in Smila, Poland in 1870. He graduated from the Imperial Music School in 1887. At the age of 17, he took on his first cantorial post in Kiev. Subsequently, he was hired as cantor in Bakmut, Sevastopol, Constantinople and Bucharest.
In 1907 he emigrated to the United States to accept a position with the Ohev Tzedec Synagogue in New York City. In 1909, he became the cantor of the Anshe Knesset Synagogue in Chicago. In 1912 he was invited to Toronto to assume the post of uber-cantor at Goel Tzedec Synagogue. Later he served at the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue, where he remained until his retirement in 1955.
Cantor Wladowsky was invited to give concerts throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. He was one of the most popular and celebrated cantors in North America. He composed numerous and widely sung liturgical compositions, notably Modim. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Cantors Association of America and the President of the Agudath Ha'hazzanim of Toronto. In addition to his cantorial duties, he was also a mohel and performed circumcisions in Toronto during his career. Cantor Wladowsky died in 1963 at age 92 and is buried in Beth Tzedec Memorial Park.
Scope and Content
Fonds documents the life and activities of Cantor Bernard Wladowsky. The records consist of the following types of material: newspaper clippings, correspondence, record books of weddings and circumcisions, concert programs and liturgical compositions.