Cantor Robbie Solomon's Bio

Cantor Robbie Solomon, an esteemed and internationally recognized composer, has made significant contributions to Jewish choral works, synagogue repertoire, and compositions that articulate the Jewish-American experience.

His stirring anthem “Leaving Mother Russia“, written in 1978, became a powerful rallying cry for the Soviet Jewry movement, firmly establishing him as a musical interpreter of Jewish social conscience. Since then he has composed numerous influential pieces, including “World of Our Fathers”, “Falasha Nevermore”, “Peace by Piece” and “Grandfather’s Train” performed with the renowned Jewish music group SAFAM for which he sings, composes, arranges and plays multiple instruments. In addition to over ten original CD’s with SAFAM, Robbie’s works have been performed and recorded by numerous cantors and choirs throughout the world.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he was raised in a family deeply rooted in Judaism. From ages 10—13, he served as the boy soloist for the High Holidays at the Denmore Avenue schule, Petach Tikvah, immersing himself in the liturgy and melodies of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – many of which he still uses in leading services today. For example, Havein Yakir Li, recorded at Temple Ohabei Shalom, 2002.

As a teenager Robbie was actively involved in the civil rights movement, participating in demonstrations in Baltimore and attending the historic March on Washington in 1963. Decades later he would meet civil rights icon John Lewis at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. for the 2015 Holocaust Memorial.

Cantor Solomon has composed an extensive body of work. Included in his commissions are a Friday night service “Zimrat Shalom,” written for Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland, OR (1989); a Havdalah service for Temple Emanuel in Worcester, MA (1993); a Torah service for Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, IL (1999); and a Friday night service for Temple Emanu-El in Atlanta, GA (2008).

In addition to his Orthodox upbringing and after receiving a Bachelor of Science from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA and a Bachelor of Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and Jerusalem, Cantor Solomon received conservatory training at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, Berklee College of Music, and New England Conservatory in Boston. He holds certification from both the Reform and Conservative movements, American Conference of Cantors, and Cantors Assembly, respectively.

Cantor Solomon served the Jewish community as a cantor for over forty years, predominantly in the greater Boston area where he was the cantor of Temple Sinai, Sharon, MA, Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline, MA and Temple Isaiah, Lexington, MA. Robbie was president of the New England Jewish Ministers Cantors from 1998—2002 and also served on the board of the American Conference of Cantors from 2010 to 2012.

Now retired as Cantor Emeritus from Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, he resides in Massachusetts with his Beloved wife, Helen, to be closer to their grandchildren. They have two sons, Byron and Sam, a daughter-in-law, Kristy, and three grandchildren, Nicolas, Leo, and Luciana.

In collaboration with Kristy, Cantor Solomon created a song cycle titled “Baby Songs” in 2013, celebrating the joys and delights that babies bring to their parents and grandparents.