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Last updated:
December 2007

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The Compositions and Arrangements of Ephraim Katz (b. 1944)

Biographical details

Ephraim Katz has a military band background - performing his National Service with the IDF "Tsahal" Band. When he finished his National Service, he became the bandmaster (assistant conductor) of that band for five years, and then the bandmaster of the Israel Police Band for 12 years.  Through a friend, he was introduced to the South African Army Band and in 1984 emigrated to South Africa.

He became the conductor and musical director of the South African Army Band upon arrival there, but soon discovered the Jewish liturgical music scene and in 1985 got his first appointment as choirmaster in one of the leading shuls in Johannesburg, a post he has held until today.

As choirmaster, he also started writing choral arrangements, and soon became very well known for his arrangements for shul choirs. Today his music is well distributed among all the shul choirs of South Africa and they all sing many of his arrangements.

He has also composed quite a few items, and many of his pieces are arrangements of his own compositions.

At the end of 1993, the then house arranger of the Johannesburg Jewish Male Choir (JJMC), Lior Himelstein, left South Africa and emigrated to America.  Ephraim Katz was then approached by the Committee of the JJMC and asked to join as assistant conductor and house arranger.  He joined the JJMC in January 1994 and worked under Gus Levy, the founder, until he fell ill in 1998.  He was then asked to become the head conductor-musical director, a position he held until the end of 2001.

During his time with the JJMC, he wrote many arrangements for them which all became very popular among Johannesburg concert goers, as well as among the choir members themselves.  They were all performed in public concerts and recorded.


A request

You are free to download Ephraim Katz's music for your own personal use. However, as a rule, the purpose for using his music may only be for performances by shul choirs during synagogue services and must be free of charge. Under no circumstances may Ephraim Katz's music be used for purposes of any business, profit or financial gain including by way of selling or through making any other type of transaction which involves Ephraim Katz's music/arrangements, or by performing his music in a commercial show where entry fees are charged, or recording his music for commercial purposes, without the express consent of the composer in writing. Thank you!


Pieces composed by E. Katz (as stated on the music)

 Hama'avir Banav
 Tzadik Katamar
 Lecha Dodi (including "Shamor Vezachor" and "Boyi Veshalom")
 Magen Avot
 Tov Lehodot Lashem


Pieces arranged by E. Katz

 Lo Teivoshi (Modzitz)      Composer: Rabbi S.E. Taub

 Lecha Dodi    (as introduced by Hazan Oshi Tugendhaft)

 Lecha Dodi (O Sole Mio) Composer: Di Capua

 Lecha Dodi                       Composer:  L.  Lewandowski

 Lecha Dodi                       Composer:  Rabbi S. Carlebach

 Lecha Dodi - Trad.

 Mikolot Mayim - Trad.

 Uma'avir Yom                   Composer: Jack Sher

 Hashkivenu                       Composer:  Paul Kuberski

 Asher Bidvaro                  Composer:  Weisser

 Magen Avot (starting with a solo) Composer:  S. Sulzer

 Magen Avot (for full choir) Composer: Elstein

 Hama'avir Banav              Composer:  Brull

 Mizmor Shir                       Composer:  Rabbi S. Carlebach

 Na'aritzcha                        Composer:  Rev. A.M. Himelstein

 Havu Lashem (starts unis.) Composer:  Chazan M. Kraus

 Etz Chayim                       Composer:  Naumbourg

 Kedusha                            Composer:  Kenny Braude

 Kedusha                            Composer:  Chazan L. Rimmer

 Retsei                                Composer: Chazan Alter

 Hodo Al Eretz                   Composer:  S. Mombach

 Keil Male Rachamim I      Composer: S. Ancis

 Keil Male Rachamim II 

 Havu Lashem (in major)   Composer:  Kenny Braude

 Veshamru                          Composer:  Jack Sher

 K'dusha                              Composer:  S. Sulzer

 Retzei                                 Composer:  Chazan  G. Cirota

 Vezot Hatorah                   Composer:  L.  Lewandowski

 Mimkomo - Trad.

 Adon Olam  (doo doo doo)

 Ahavat Olam (starting with chazan)


 Maoz Tzur - Trad. with organ accompaniment

 Halleluya                           Composer:  Rev. A.M. Himelstein

 Meikimi                             Composer:  Rabbi S. Carlebach

 Yedid Nefesh - Trad.

 Sos Tasis - Trad.

 Hariu'u                             Composer:  G.F. Handel

 Mi Adir                             Composer:  Solomon Sulzer

 Baruch Haba                   Composer:  Samuel Mombach

 Kol Sasson                      Composer:  Cantor M. Hirschmann

 Im Eshkachech - Trad.

 Kol Hanshama (Halleluyah)  Composer:  L. Lewandowski

 Ve'erastich                       Composer:  S. Zwick

 Se'u She'arim                  Composer:  Naumbourg

 Ein Kelokeinu - Yam Kineret tune [.pdf]


All of the above in a single zip file [22.5 Mb .zip]

A second compilation of arrangements by Ephraim Katz [17 Mb - .pdf]


Last updated: 13th December, 2005