Adon Olam gets the Royal treatment!

As part of the Jewish community’s celebrations in honour of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III on May 6th 2023, a brand new adaptation of an ancient Jewish song composed by Stephen Levey and arranged by The Portnoy Brothers is being released digitally on Friday 28 April 2023. A musician ensemble based in the Ukraine participated in the production by providing all the strings and orchestration.

‘Adon Olam’ – which translated means ‘Lord of the Universe’ – is a hymn that has been part of the Jewish daily and Sabbath liturgy since the 15th Century and which speaks of God in both cosmic terms and as a personal presence in our lives.

Wienerworld worked in partnership with the United Synagogue to invite 200 primary school children from five Jewish schools in the London area to learn the song and come together to record this new composition together with featured artists The Portnoy Brothers. The United Synagogue is the largest synagogue body in Europe, supporting some 60 Jewish communities across England.

King Charles III has always been a stalwart personal friend to the Jewish community. It is hoped that this new recording of ‘Adon Olam’ will act as further recognition of the community’s affection for the Royal Family and our gratitude that Jews can observe their customs and traditions safely and openly in the UK.

‘Adon Olam’ is being released as a single on all streaming and download platforms together with a video on all social media channels, with proceeds going to charity.

Jo Gross, Chief Executive for the United Synagogue, commented “While the world has changed dramatically since we were founded in 1870, two constants throughout our 153-year history have been the recital every week in our shuls of the Prayer for the Royal Family and ending our services with Adon Olam. The United Synagogue is delighted therefore to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III with this new version of Adon Olam thanks to Wienerworld. Adon Olam is often sung by the young members of our community so we`re particularly pleased to have brought together some 200 children from across our Jewish schools to perform with the Portnoy Brothers. We hope you`ll enjoy listening to it and singing it during the Coronation Shabbat and beyond!”

Anthony Broza, CEO of Wienerworld, commented “Wienerworld are very proud to partner with the United Synagogue, the Portnoy Brothers and 200 young voices to produce and distribute this brand new Stephen Levey composition of Adon Olam in honour of the Coronation.”

Artist Background:
Mendy and Israel Portnoy, who together form The Portnoy Brothers, have been making music together for as long as they can remember. Their music spans many genres and their most recent album “No Complaints” (recorded between Nashville and Jerusalem) charted in the TOP 10 Billboard Heatseekers Chart and features a duet with Alex Clare. They have also shared the stage with Idan Raichel and Ivri Lider as well as performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Their time is split between Jerusalem and New York.

Stephen Levey started writing and performing music from a young age and has worked with some of the biggest names in the world of Jewish music. For thirty years, Stephen was the Musical Director and Conductor of the Shabbaton Choir. During this time, he toured extensively both in the UK and abroad including 11 Solidarity Through Song tours to Israel and appearing in concerts in the UK, Germany, Poland, Sweden and on three major tours of America.

Stephen`s strengths lie both in performing and composing uplifting music that has been sung worldwide. Stephen began to write music for the Shabbaton Choir in 1996 and has gone on to compose many notable pieces. His most popular, ‘Oseh Shalom’, was commissioned for Emeritus Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks Home of Hope CD. ‘Oseh Shalom’ has found enduring worldwide popularity – with over 3.2 million hits on YouTube – becoming one of the modern Jewish anthems of our time.