YEKHIEL-MEYER POZNER (MEYER POSNER) (November 6, 1890-February 8, 1931)
He was born in Plotsk (Płock), Poland. At six years of age, he moved with his parents to Lodz, where he studied with the local rabbi. At fifteen he immigrated with his parents to London, where he studied music with a private teacher. At eighteen he became conductor at one of the large London synagogues. In 1910 he composed music to M. Rozenfeld’s “Herbst-bleter” (Autumn leaves) and to the poems of Avrom Reyzen, Bovshover, Edelshtat, and others. In 1914 he became conductor and director of the Rothschild Synagogue. In the summer of 1919 he came to the United States where he became conductor of the choir at the Workmen’s Circle. In March 1920 he arranged the first concert of Yiddish folksongs at Carnegie Hall. He later became conductor of the Synagogue Choral Alliance and professor of music at the Master Institute of United Arts. In 1925 he published in Der tog (The day) in New York a series of articles on Jewish music and in particular on the cantorial art. In book form: Harmonye, teoretiker un pratisher muzik-lehrer (Harmony, theoretical and practical music teacher) (New York: Levant, 1924), 148 pp.; and Elementarer music-lerer, an ophandlung vegn muzik-teorye far onfanger (Elementary music teacher, a treatment of music theory for beginners) (New York: Harmonye, 1928), 157 pp. He died suddenly of a heart attack in New York.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959), pp. 1512-13; Kh. Ehrenraykh, in Forverts (New York) (January 28, 1927); S. Meidzher, in Forverts (October 20, 1929); V. Edlin, in Tog (New York) (April 3, 1930); Y. P. Kats, in Der fraynd (New York) (March-April 1931).