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The Career Path of Chief Cantor Emil Tóth
Dr. Tóth-Takáts Judit, PhD
This article is the expanded version of a presentation given at the conference titled as “Celebration of Hungarian Science 2017 - The World of Hungarian Cantors”. In this study the author investigates the activity of chief cantor Emil Tóth based on the recollections of his colleagues and peers. The author had the privilege to rely on personal conversations with chief rabbi Dr. Alfréd Schőner, Rector of the Jewish Theological Seminary – University of Jewish Studies, Mária Ádám, conductor of the Goldmark Choir, Mária Lisznyay Szabó, who, over many decades served as principal organist of the Dohány Street Synagogue of Budapest, and, last but not least, with László Fekete, the chief cantor of that same synagogue. These accounts afforded an insight into the trajectory of Emil Tóth’s career from the beginnings onward. Tóth became acquainted with liturgical chant under the tutelage of Emil Ádám. As an appointed cantor, he cultivated the genre at the highest level, in collaboration with rabbis and organists such as Sándor Scheiber, Alfréd Schőner, Mária Lisznyay Szabó and György Kármán. As a shliach tzibur he led and served his congregation and community for decades.

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