New York chorus legend dies in Israel at 92

New York chorus legend dies in Israel at 92


norman lebrecht

September 13, 2023

The formative Director of Choral Music at Juilliard, Abraham Kaplan, has died in his homeland at a great age.

Son of a Tel Aviv synagogue conductor, he was hired by Juilliard president William Schuman in 1961 and soon found himself working with Leonard Bernstein at the Philharmonic on Kaddish Symphony and the Chichester Psalms. Kaplan spent 16 years at Juilliard before being lured to the University of Washington in Seattle, with more time to pursue guest conducting. His own compositions include Sabbath services and other Hebrew liturgies.


  • Marioara Trifan says:

    I was a fortunate student to have participated in the Juilliard Chorus during Mr. Kaplan’s tenure. His leadership was inspiring and inspired. May his memory be a blessing.

  • Danae Kara says:

    I was too among his fortunate students at Juilliard during the ‘70s. Abraham Kaplan was a man of genius whose teachings one never forgets neither his profound humanity.

  • Gerard Schwarz says:

    I was very fortunate to have known Abe since his days with the Collegiate Choral in the late 1960s and early 70s. He was a superb musician with great knowledge and high standards. When be both were in Seattle, we were able to, once again, make music together. I fondly remember discussing many of the master pieces of the choral repertoire with him and gaining great insights from his brilliance, knowledge and experience. The world of classical music will deeply miss this great man.
    Gerard Schwarz