Joseph Shlisky

1894 - 1955

Picture of Joseph Shlisky
Born in 1894 in Ostrowce, Poland (then Russia), he was so successful already as a boy soprano that a choir leader offered to take him a few other talented boys on a concert tour to London. This was a scam, and the choir leader in fact a human trafficker; seven-year-old Shlisky ended up in Toronto as a virtually enslaved synagogue choir boy.

A worshipper had pity with him, helped him escape, and gave him a shelter and regular employment at his scrap dealing.

At age 18, Shlisky was well-off enough to have his father come to Canada and join him; at 23, he graduated from the Toronto conservatory.

He spent his career as a cantor almost exclusively in New York City, at various synagogues, gaining huge success.

As early as 1934, he had a stroke, and remained paralyzed for the rest of his life; he died in 1955. He is said to have sung opera with the San Carlo Opera Company, but it could never be proved and will likely be a legend; another version of the story has it that he had signed a contract with them, but didnít finally appear on stage.

He was certainly one of the most exciting and virtuoso cantors of all time, a purely lyrical tenor voice with an absolutely extraordinary technique.
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Joseph Shlisky singsLes pêcheurs de perles: Je crois entendre, in Yiddish

Joseph Shlisky singsLa Juive: Rachel, quand du Seigneur, in Yiddish

Joseph Shlisky singsReboni Shel Oilom

Joseph Shlisky singsTikanto Shabos
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the recordings and notes.
Picture of Joseph Shlisky's CD
Discography

Emerson
Tanio                                               13117                       Cantorial Hebrew
Al Hatzadikim                                       13117                       Cantorial Hebrew
Iehi Sholem Becheilich                              13118                       Cantorial Hebrew
Omar Rabbi Eleazar                                  13118                       Cantorial Hebrew
Haben Yakir Li                                      13167                       Cantorial Hebrew	
Birchas Kohanim                                     13167                       Cantorial Hebrew

Vocalion
Leolom Yhei Odom                                    A-2000                      Cantorial Hebrew
La Juive: Rachel quand du Seigneur                  A-2001                      Yiddish
Les pecheurs de perles: Je Crois Entendre Encore    B-2001                      Yiddish
Kodosh Ato                                          A-2002                      Cantorial Hebrew
L'eil Orech Din                                     B-2002                      Cantorial Hebrew
Tikanto Shabos                                      A-2003                      Cantorial Hebrew
Y'hi Rotzon                                         B-2003                      Cantorial Hebrew
Reboni Shel Oilom                                   A-2004                      Art Hebrew
Ashri                                               B-2004                      Cantorial Hebrew
Leolom Yehei Odom                                   A-35,005                    Cantorial Hebrew

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R'foenu                                                                         Cantorial Hebrew
Hin'ni Heoni                                                                    Cantorial Hebrew
B'rosh Hashonoh                                                                 Cantorial Hebrew
Picture of Joseph Shlisky's LP
Picture of Joseph Shlisky's LP
Picture of Joseph Shlisky's 78
Picture of Joseph Shlisky's 78
Picture of Joseph Shlisky's 78
Picture of Joseph Shlisky's 78

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