Born in 1823 in Lemberg,
Galicia. His father was a khokhem-Moshe, a
grandson of "Tbuaut Shur", a great scholar and a
Rizhiner Chasid, and with him learned day and night. As
a youth, S. was renowned with his learning and singing
with his beautiful, old zemirot of Chasidic
simkhas. At the age of nine, he already was a choir
boy with R' Betsalel Odeser, and two years later with
Yerakhem Hktn. For his bar-mitzvah, he davened for the
first time from pages in Lemberg's municipal shul and
made a strong impression.
Several years later Sh. sang
with a cantor in Iasi, and there married the daughter of
the rosh hkhls, and his hardships sent him to
study music. At age eighteen, S. wrote his "slikhot",
which he had first sung five years later as a cantor in
Khotin (Bessarabia). 1848 -- became a cantor in
Kamieniets-Zodolsk, and in 1851 -- cantor in the shul in
Iasi, where he earlier was a choir boy. Here he created
a great part of his compositions which made him very
popular in the cantorial world [detailed in
Zaludkovski's "Kultur-treger", pp. 88-93].
S. was then a cantor in the
"Rambam's Temple" in Budapest, and since 1859 was cantor
in the Lemberg municipal shul. According to Jacob
Mestel, S. as he got older, lost his voice. From time to
time he used to give concerts with a military orchestra.
In 1890 -- Sh. composed the
text and the music for the historical operetta "Shimshen
hagiber (Samson, the Hero)" [according to
Moshe Richter, the
Hebrew writer Shmuel Filip wrote the text, and Sh.
only translated it], which soon was staged in
Gimpel's theatre. When they gave him a great ovation
during a performance on the stage....the Lemberg
Rabbi R' Itshenyu Etinger therefore punished him
with four weeks of not touring the world (?). For
[such] a disgrace, S. completely rejected his post
and traveled off to America. Here Sh. was cantor for
five years in the Attorney Street Shul, then he
traveled back to Lemberg, where he again became
cantor for the municipal shul, and there at home (?)
passed away on Yom Kippur, 7 April 1904.
According to Moshe
Shemash, Sh.'s melody, "Zbzkhus hsm", had been used
by Goldfaden as a solo ("Tsi bin ikh den nit") for
"Avraham" in "The Sacrifice of Isaac".
Friedrich Schorr, has until the time of Hitler, sung
in the Berlin City Opera and then in the
Metropolitan Opera in New York.
E. from Moshe Shemash and Jacob Mestel.
Z. Reyzen --
"Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. IV, pp.
B. Gorin --
"History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, p. 145.
Moshe Richter --
Di refarmirung fun der idisher bine in galitsien,
"Der theater shpiegel", N. Y., 6, 1909.
-- Baruch shur z"l, "di geshikhte fun khznus",
(N. Y., 1924, redagirt fun aharon rozen), pp.
L. -- Oyf der
shvel fun teater, "Di idishe tseytung", Buenos
Aires, 26 June 1930.
-- "Kultur-treger fun der idisher liturgye",
Detroit, 1930, pp. 88-93.
Herman Svet --
An'unferdienter baykat!, "Moment", Warsaw, 10