Voice of the Lioness
Cantor Komrad is the first female hazzan to hold a pulpit in a Conservative synagogue in the history of the Baltimore-Washington area. She was among the first of a generation of women to be invested into the clergy by Judaism's Conservative Movement in 1994. At that time, she graduated with a Master of Sacred Music and a Diploma of Hazzan from the five-year program at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Cantorial School, in New York and Jerusalem, Israel. Since then she has held pulpits at both Reform and Conservative congregations. Cantor Komrad most recently appeared in concert (November 2005) with Cantors Sol Zim and Alberto Mizrahi for the International Cantorial Foundation, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Chicago. She is the first female cantor to participate in a concert for the Foundation. She was featured as one of 'The Twelve Leading Cantors of Our Time' in the Jubilee Anniversary Concert of the Cantors Assembly in Chicago, Illinois in 1997, and in the concert of 'World Renowned Cantors' at the famous Temple Emanu-El of New York City in 1998--the first cantorial concert in that synagogue's 150-year history. She has consisteltly been selected to perform at the Cantors' Assembly (CA) Nation Conventions. Cantor Komrad serves on the CA's National Executive Council and as President of it's Eastern Seaboard Region. In 1995 she was identified as a 'rising star of the cantorate' in a featured concert of a handful of young talents honored by her colleagues. Cantor Komrad was also featured as one of four women cantors in a gala concert of 'the four most exciting women cantors of our decade' in honor of the 20th anniversary of women in the Reform Cantorate. The recipient of many awards for performance and hazzanut, her dramatic soprano voice has delighted congregational and secular audiences. The Chicago Tribune called her voice 'beautiful and passionate.' The Toledo Blade described her sound as 'mystical.' The Baltimore Sun, reviewing her CD-ROM about Chanukah, wrote: 'thanks to her clear, warm soprano, Chanukah never sounded so good.' She has also lectured widely to diverse groups concerning women in the cantorate, helping to promote an understanding of ordained women clergy in a traditional movement of Judaism. Cantor Komrad's vocal training was in classical voice and opera at the University of Miami, Florida. Since then, she has appeared widely in the United States and Canada, on both the pulpit and stage, and as a soloist with a variety of ensembles, including the Handel Choir of Baltimore. She has performed throughout Israel under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Tourism while studying at Midreshet Yerushalayim, as part of her first Seminary year in 1989. She has also performed cantorial music on television in the Baltimore area. Her compact disc, Voice of the Lioness: Kol Ha L'viah, was released in Fall 1999, featuring cantorial masterworks, Jewish art songs, and folk music in contemporary arrangements. She is now recording her second album and touring the country with her eclectic vocal duo 'Manny and Kim' with Cantor Emanuel Perlman. Cantor Komrad earned a degree in English from the University of Miami, Fla. Where she studied creative writing under the tutelage of Nobel laureate, Isaac Bashevis Singer. She lives in Baltimore with her husband Mark, a psychiatrst, and her son, Ilan.