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In Memory of McNeil Robinson (1943-2015)

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Published on May 11, 2015

Organist at Park Avenue Synagogue, 1965-2012

“Neil” Robinson came to PAS in 1965. In addition to accompanying our cantors, Neil Robinson has directed our choirs and has composed many settings for our liturgy. Thanks to his extraordinary leadership, Park Avenue Synagogue has not only preserved the musical legacy of the past, but has also been a leader in the creation of contemporary liturgical music.

McNeil Robinson maintained an international career as an organ recitalist. His prowess as an improviser has resulted in his recognition as one of the all-time great European and American organists. McNeil Robinson was Chair of the Organ Department at the Manhattan School of Music. His students have won top awards in national and international organ competitions and many hold prominent positions throughout the United States. In addition to serving as organist at PAS, he was the Director of Music and Organist at the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity. Mr. Robinson has had works commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the San Francisco Symphony, Musica Sacra, numerous American churches, and the American Guild of Organists. His works have been performed in the major fine arts centers in America and abroad, including Lincoln Center, on network radio, and regularly in churches and synagogues throughout the United States. He was also active as a conductor and has recorded for Decca and the Musical Heritage Society.

This composition, Ma Tovu, was composed by Neil for Park Avenue Synagogue. It was recorded in 2013 by Cantor Azi Schwartz, Organist David Enlow and the PAS Choir conducted by Cantor Ben Ellerin.

May the memory of McNeil Robinson be for a blessing.

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