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Biographical/Historical Information

Manfred Lewandowski was born in Hamburg in 1895, a son of the cantor Isidor Lewandowski. Manfred's great-uncle was the cantor Louis Lewandowski (1821-1894). After serving in WW I, when Manfred Lewandowski sang as a cantor at holiday services on the front in France, he studied cantorial music in Hamburg and took on employments in Bremen, Königsberg, Berlin, and then in Berne, and Paris. In addition, Manfred Lewandowski also performed as a secular soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Wilhelmshaven and at the “Berliner Funkstunde” (Berlin Radio Hour), and he worked for several record labels to record songs. Lewandowski emigrated to New York in 1939, and in 1940 he became cantor at Congregation Emanu-El in Philadelphia. Beginning in 1946 he also officiated on High Holidays in various eastern U.S. cities; and he composed his own music, mainly for the synagogue but also some for secular use. Manfred Lewandowski died in Philadelphia in 1970.

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Portrait of Manfred Lewandwoski with handwritten dedication to Arno Nadel, Leo Baeck Institute, F 14465.