Cantor Shira Lissek is the Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue, the largest Conservative community in NYC and the flagship of Jewish liturgical music in North America. Worship services and programs led by Cantor Lissek at Park Avenue Synagogue reach thousands of people in NYC as well as worldwide, via live streaming. Cantor Lissek records new liturgical music. Shira will release Ani Maamin, I Believe: A Voice For Humanity in May 2017 containing liturgical music commissioned in the past year. Shira released her debut album, P’tach Libi, Open my heart in December 2015. She released Bluegrass Shabbat with Matt Check and Mosaica with the Heritage Ensemble in 2014. She released L’dor Vador in 2016 with Cantor Azi Schwartz with whom she has collaborated since 2013.
Cantor Lissek is a religious leader in the broader community. For the FDNY 9-11 Commemorations at St. Patrick's Cathedral in 2011 and 2016 with Cardinal's Eagan and Dolan, she sang a memorial prayer. She led a "Talk Back" with cast and producers of American in Paris- on Broadway about life in Paris before and during World War II and was a presenter for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of The ADL's Hidden Child Foundation. She sang the National Anthem for the WNBA at Madison Square Garden, and for the Staten Island Yankees Jewish Heritage night. She officiated in the interfaith service of Healing and Reconciliation in memory of Eric Garner with Cardinal Dolan, Al Sharpton and Mayor Bill de Blasio as well as Together in Spirit at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue with Opera Ebony. She presented A Shabbat Gathering of Love and Light the night before the Women's March on New York with Neshama Carlebach, Basya Schechter, and Beth Styles. This March she will serve as the Hazzan for the AIPAC Policy Conference Shabbaton in Washington D. C.
Cantor Lissek earned a master in music (M.Mus) from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where she majored in voice on a merit scholarship, and a bachelor of music (B. Mus) from Indiana University School of Music in vocal performance. Prior to embarking on her cantorial career, Shira sang on prestigious concert and opera stages including Mimi in La Boheme at the Philadephia Kimmel Center and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera.
In concert this season, Shira opened for Matisyahu with Neshama Carlebach. She sang in The Best American Diva's of Hazzanut at B'nai Torah Congreagation in Boca Raton and co-created Kavannah: The song and soul of Barbra Streisand. She was invited as Hazzan in Residence to West London Syngagogue in London and Agudat Achim in Washington D.C. for concerts, lectures and services. She has been featured in numerous concerts of Jewish Music. Notably she headlined with The Klezmer Company Orchestra's concerts which fuse Latin and Klezmer music and with Gene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble, creating Jazz arrangements of Jewish Music. The Gulf Coast Symphony featured her in annual Pops Concerts including, A tribute to Barbra Streisand, An evening of Irving Berlin, Unmasked – the Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Broadway Blockbusters.
Born and raised in St. Louis, MO surrounded by Jewish Music, Cantor Lissek learned and Art of the Cantor from her Father, Hazzan Leon Lissek of Congregation B’nai Amoona. She began serving as Hazzan Sheni at age 19, when she was invited to lead High Holiday services for Congregation Beth Shalom of Kansas City and then Congregation Gesher Shalom (The Jewish Community Center of Fort Lee, NJ). She served as Hazzan and Music Director of Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights for 6 years.