Moscow-born and Paris-based mezzo-soprano Sofia Falkovitch is the first woman Cantor trained and ordained in Europe and the only one in France. She studied in Israel, Germany and Canada, and was trained by sought-after voice professors and masters of Jewish music.
Among her teachers are Reine Décarie (Vincent d’Indy School of Music), Madeleine Thériault (Jazz Voice Professor at McGill Schulich School of Music), Marina Levitt and Penina Schwartz (Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance), Eliyahu Schleifer (Hebrew Union College of Jerusalem), Nino Sandow (Hanns Eisler Academy of Music Berlin), Verena Rein (Berlin University of the Arts) and Theresa Brancaccio (Northwestern Bienen School of Music).
Sofia is a scholarship recipient of the German National Academic Foundation Ernst-Ludwig-Ehrlich for Gifted Students. She learned Cantorial Arts at the School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College and the Steinsaltz Institute in Jerusalem. She also studied at the Abraham Geiger College in Berlin and the University of Potsdam and wrote her Master’s thesis on the composer Samuel Naumbourg and his Influence on the Synagogue Music in Europe.
While Sofia’s main specialty is Jewish Sacred Music and Yiddish Art Song, she also boasts extensive non-Jewish repertoire in various genres and styles and collaborates with international artists.
Sofia captivates by her magic personality, rare distinctive voice, stage presence and all that with a natural charisma. Intercultural and interfaith dialogue is at the core of Sofia’s creative work. She regularly appears in concerts and recitals, officiates at public events in Paris (such as the Festival of Jewish Culture, the Museum of Jewish Art and History, Paris City Hall, art galleries), in Israel (Elma Concert Hall, Blaustein Hall Jerusalem, Masada Historic Complex), in Berlin and throughout Europe (including her appearance as a first female cantor in Luxembourg), in North America and Asia at prestigious concert halls and international festivals.
Sofia is an ambassador of her faith and a leading voice of her generation for her audience. She therefore sings in places of worship, Cathedrals and Synagogues representing all major branches of contemporary Judaism (such as the Imperial Cathedral in Aachen, Copernic Synagogue Paris, Berlin Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue, St. Matthäus-Kirche Kulturforum Berlin; the Long Night of Religions at the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Freie University Berlin and the European Days of Jewish Culture in Freiburg).
Sofia’s recent performances include the Madeleine Church, Oratoire du Louvre, Temple de l’Etoile and the Church of Saint-Merri in Paris, Historic Chicago Loop Synagogue, KAM Isaiah Israel, BHBE in Chicago and the Jewish Music Festival in Brussels.
In addition to performances, Sofia’s voice is regularly featured on Deutsche Welle News (Germany’s public international broadcaster), WDR (West German Broadcaster), i24NEWS (Israeli international 24-hour news and current affairs television channel), Deutschland Radio, France Culture, FIP and other TV and radio networks.
An accomplished actress, Sofia appears in numerous Theater and TV productions, including the Russian-language production Franzuzkie Strasti (French Passions) and collaborations with Theatre “O!” in Montreal, Canada. There she hosted the popular cultural TV program “Russian Hour”, toured with her innovative Yiddish Show “Desert Rites”, appeared at the KlezKanada Festival and worked as a journalist for RTVi Overseas Media in New York.
Sofia’s life story has always been a source of fascination. Between 2012 and 2014 her creative and personal journey was documented by Julia Poliak of Puppok Productions, in co-production with the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF) in a short film Di Shtim iz di Feder fun Hartsen (The Voice is the Pen of the Heart) released in 2014.
Sofia lives in Paris with her husband and two children. She speaks French, German, English, Russian, Spanish, Hebrew and Yiddish (watch 7-Language-Video).
“A pioneer who finds her own way and style.” – Deutsche Welle TV
“Her stunning voice convinced even the biggest sceptics!” – WDR
“An Exceptional Artist!” – Tribune Juive
“Expressive singing … Beautiful recording … The widespread program is presented in a subtly nuanced, soulful manner”– Pizzicato, in review of her previous album “Chants hébraïques et chants d’amour” (Hebrew and Love Songs) by Calliope Records.