Abraham Adler – Chief Cantor at the Vienna City-Temple

From 1975 to 1993, Abraham Adler (1916 – 2003) acted as Chief Cantor of Vienna’s Jewish community, serving as prayer leader and chief singer in the Synagogue. Born in Transylvania, he was soundly educated in music and religion. In 1943 he was taken into Soviet captivity, from which he was released in 1948. His family was murdered in Auschwitz. In 1950 Adler became cantor in Haifa. After marrying Hilda Miller, a Vienna native, he moved to Melbourne in 1955. In course of a journey around the world, they visited Vienna in 1974, where Adler was offered the post of Chief Cantor. At this time he began to collect cantorial and Yiddish music, which he bequeathed the Phonogrammarchiv in 1998. His personal estate is kept at the Jewish Museum Vienna. Pieces of it, such as his cantor’s garment, a yahrzeit plaque, precious books as well as note-manuscripts and memorabilia, will be displayed in the exhibition. In a video, Chief Rabbi Paul Eisenberg and current Chief Cantor Shmuel Barzilai talk about their memories and impressions of Abraham Adler. Numerous music samples of his oeuvre will be played. 

Curator: Marcus G. Patka