Solomon Charles Epstein Resume



Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford

DMA in Music Composition/Orchestration
Composition Studies with Robert Carl and Ken Steen.

Private study in Composition/Orchestration with the following professors:

1982 - 1994
Leonardo Balada and Nancy Galbraith, Carnegie-Mellon University;
Andrew Rudin, Philadelphia University of the Arts;
Robert Stern, University of Massachusetts/Amherst.

Yale University School of Music

Master of Music in Voice and Opera.
Voice Study with Blake Stern.
Some composition study with Yehudi Wyner.

Cantors Institute of Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City

Bachelor of Sacred Music and Cantor’s Diploma
Honors: Jacobsen Memorial Prize to Outstanding Graduate.
Composition study with Hugo Weisgall and Miriam Gideon.


1966 – 2000
Cantor and Music Director,
Synagogues in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts

Opera Performance:

In May 1999, my opera The Dybbuk: An Opera In Yiddish was given a premiere in Israel at Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba,in honor of the University’s formal announcement of a new Chair of Yiddish Studies in
the Department of Hebrew Literature.

I had adapted the libretto from the original Yiddish script of the play by
S. Ansky (Yiddish playscript courtesy YIVO). I composed the piano-vocal score 1990-91, and orchestrated the opera 1991-94.

At the personal invitation of the University Chancellor,Professor Avishai Braverman, people from all over Israel attended.

A second performance at the Susan Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, Tel Aviv,
attracted a packed audience, which responded to The Dybbuk with an ovation. Tel Aviv press reviews were uniformly excellent, as was a review in the London monthly magazine OPERA, which ended, "This opera deserves to return to the stage in a full-scale production with orchestra".

The opera was performed by young professional singers of the Israel Vocal Arts Institute, Joan Dornemann, Founder and Director. The stage director, Rachel Michaeli, studied opera directing at IVAI. The conductor was Ronen Borshevsky, who studied at the Tanglewood Conducting Institute, 1996, under Bernard Haitink and Robert Spano.

(The Israel performances were given with my piano-vocal score only, not
orchestra. Budget limits meant that only the scenes of the main characters were
performed, which was half the opera--- 70 minutes; performed complete, the opera
is 140 minutes.)

The production was supported by the Lerner Foundation for Yiddish Language
and Culture, Tel Aviv. The Lerner Foundation also supported the making of a
DVD of the Tel Aviv performance. Rachel Michaeli has made the DVD available for
purchase at The DVD is sung in Yiddish, with English subtitles.

Composing Commissions:

1991: University of Pittsburgh/Johnstown: Incidental Music for Shakespeare’s
The Tempest, presented as part of a Gala Week of Performances for the opening of the University’s new Pasquerilla Center for the Performing Arts.

1985: Temple University Graduate Department of Theater: Incidental Music for Lorca’s House of Bernarda Alba.

1982: University of Pittsburgh/Johnstown Department of Theater: Incidental Music for Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle.

Other Full-Length Operas:

2007: Moby-Dick: Opera-Oratorio in Three Acts
I adapted the libretto, keeping Melville’s text.

1999: Murder In The First: An American Opera in Two Acts
I adapted the libretto from the novel and stage play by permission of their author,
Dan Gordon, who was screenwriter for the 1995 Warner Bros. film of the same
title. This opera served as my dissertation for the DMA at the Hartt School of Music.
I revised the opera extensively in 2002.

Updated:  May 9, 2012

Back to Profile