Meir was born in Israel in 1951 the son of Cantor Zvi Finkelstein of blessed memory. The family immigrated to England in 1955, where Zvi accepted a cantorial position in London. Meir showed outstanding musical abilities, and at an early age began accompanying his father and older brother, Aryeh, at services. The boys and their father recorded two albums of original liturgical music, which were released in the USA.
At the tender age of 14, Meir became the youngest cantor in Europe when he accepted a post at a small synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland. At 18, Meir became Cantor at London’s prestigious Golders Green Synagogue. During this time, he also attended the Royal College of Music on a scholarship, graduating with top honors in Singing, Piano and Composition. Several years later, Meir immigrated to Wilmette, Illinois, when Beth Hillel Congregation discovered his musical talent and engaged him as their cantor.
In 1982 Meir became Cantor of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California, which he served for 18 years. During this time, he also enjoyed a successful career as a Hollywood composer/arranger. Meir scored numerous television shows including episodes of “Dallas” and “Falcon Crest” as well as many TV movies of the week. He collaborated with Steven Spielberg, composing music for the Visual History Foundation’s award-winning documentary, “Survivors of the Holocaust” for which he was nominated for a Cable Ace Award.
Meir is one of the best-documented composers of contemporary Jewish music. He has composed over 100 settings for the liturgy, and his compositions are sung in synagogues worldwide, his most famous setting being “L’Dor Vador.” In 1993, Meir composed the Jewish Requiem, “Nishmat Tzedek,” which has been performed in various cities throughout the United States. Three years later, he premiered his large-scale cantata “Liberation” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. Written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, it featured the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, many well-known soloists and was hosted by Billy Crystal. After the live performance, Meir recorded a CD of “Liberation” with the Israel Philharmonic. More recently, Meir performed the work with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yoel Levy. In 2007, Meir debuted his Passover Rock Musical, “Matzah Do About Nothing,” and also a new cantata, “I Won’t Forget You O Jerusalem”. Over the years, his colleagues have commissioned Meir to compose many original compositions. Additionally, he has produced and arranged numerous recordings for them.
Meir possesses a beautiful lyric tenor voice and he is in great demand as a concert artist. Along with Alberto Mizahi and David Propis, he has played to sold-out audiences as one of the “Three Cantors.” Meir is also an authority on the History of Jewish Liturgy, and he lectures as a Scholar in Residence at synagogues throughout the country. Currently, Meir is the cantor of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, Michigan.
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