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Cantor Danto Music Library

About the Collection

The Cantor Danto Music Collection is a rare, cherished, historical collection of Jewish musical books, manuscripts, published sheet music, cassettes and records. The collection was donated to the Synagogue by Cantor Louis Danto, who joined Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue in 1973.

Cantor Louis Danto is one of the leading Cantors of our generation and an acclaimed tenor and concert artist. His musical collection includes more than 50 categories of Jewish and classical music from all over the world, with some documents dating back over 150 years.

Preserving the materials is the first step in making the collection available for the benefit of the general public, students, and professional musicians.

When the project is completed, you will be able to listen to the collection on a new music system at the library or via the internet. Some of the collection will be available for short term loans to academic, musical or Jewish institutions.

At a substantial cost, each item must be catalogued according to international library standards. Computer software and digitization is used to preserve the original documents. This process has been under way by a volunteer committee of lay people and professionals for over 2 years.

The Collection has been praised by a number of experts, including Professor Edwin Seroussi, the Emmanuel Alexandre Professor of Musicology and Director of Jewish Music Research Centre of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Dr. Eliott Kahn, who has been the Music Archivist at the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, for over 12 years.

Donations are needed to help fund this valuable project. To make a tax deductible donation to the “Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Cantor Danto Music Collection Library Fund”, please call the synagogue at 416.633.3838.

Help Preserve our Musical History

As a child, Cantor Danto was a soloist at his Synagogue in Suwalki, Poland. Singing a Hebrew song, 9 year old Louis won first place in a singing contest. During the competition, the Nazis invaded his city and murdered his entire family.

Years later, the Cantor received voice training in Italy from Benjamino Gigli and Tito Schipa, the greatest operatic and lyric tenors of his time. In 1950 the Cantor resumed his Jewish education and Hazzanut training in New York under prominent conductor Leo Low, and composer Herman Zalis. In 1998 he received an honourary doctorate in music from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Cantor Danto’s music collection was compiled with love for our Jewish heritage, with devotion to tradition, and with a vision of a future musical legacy.

With your financial support, the entire collection will be available to the community at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda and via on-line access. Thanks to Toby & Saul Feldberg and David Smuschkowitz, parts of the collection are currently on display in a beautiful wooden cabinet in the Synagogue’s Smuschkowitz Library.

Please consider a donation to the Cantor Danto Music Collection Library Fund for your next honourary gift.









Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue | 100 Elder Street, Toronto, Ontario M3H 5G7 | Tel: 416 633.3838 | Fax: 416 633.3153
Affiliated with the Canadian Council of Conservative Synagogues