Organ Sounds is our popular concert series started by our own former Music Director Natasha Ulyanovsky. The concert series highlights our historic 1934 Austin organ and often features special guest soloists. The concert series is supported by CBI congregants; organ music lovers who helped to completely restore our historic organ and wish to continue to keep this majestic instrument sound alive. All concerts are free and open to the public.

2023 – 2024 Organ Sounds Concert Series celebrates the
90th Anniversary of our Historic Austin Organ

Join us for the upcoming season with special musical guests to mark this momentous anniversary. Built by Austin Organ Company in 1934 as its Opus 1853, the four manual, three thousand pipes organ was especially crafted to match the acoustics of the magnificent Beth Israel sanctuary. Our Austin organ was the last 4 manual instruments built by the original Austin company. In 2004 representatives of the American Historical Society presented to CBI its Historical Organ Citation plaque, declaring the CBI organ to be of significant historical importance. 

All concerts will be held at Congregation Beth Israel (701 Farmington Ave., West Hartford). The concerts are free, open to the public and both in person and livestreamed

Our next concert:

Friday, November 17 at 6:45pm

Our organ musician will be Natasha Ulyanovsky. The concert will honor CBI’s 180th anniversary with organ solos by Abraham Binder, Louis Lewandowski, Julius Chajes, and John Williams. Cantorial works will be included with organ by Joseele Rosenblatt and Julius Chairs. This program will immediately be followed by our Shabbat Service with the CBI choir, lead by cantorial soloists Monika Krajewska and Patrick Buckley

Dr. Monika Krajewska, mezzo-soprano, is an accomplished and exceptionally versatile artist. Praised by New York Times for her “rich and strong tone that expresses not only beauty, but a luminous sense of peace and comfort”, Ms. Krajewska performed as soloist at prestigious Carnegie Hall on many occasions. She appeared with opera companies and festivals around the world performing under the batons of renowned conductors, including Alberto Zedda, Anton Guadagno, Will Crutchfield, Bruno Aprea, Keri-Lynn Wilson. Her signature roles include Carmen, Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Cenerentola (La Cenerentola), Charlotte (Werther), Princess Marina Boris (Godunov), and Olga (Eugenie Onegin), She is a winner of the prestigious Giuseppe Verdi Prize at International Palm Beach Opera Competition and a winner of International Rosa Ponselle Competition and Sembrich Kochanska International Competition of New York. Educated in Europe and in the United States, Ms. Krajewska holds a M.M degree from Yale University, B.M. degree from the University of Connecticut, and Doctoral Degree from the Paderewski Music Academy (Poland), as well as music diploma from the Liszt Conservatory of Music in Weimar (Germany). She has released CD’s of “Russian Romances and Encores”, “Favorite Arias and Songs”, and recently “Music of the Jewish Soul”. She is the featured artist on the recording with Strings of Lodz and Vox Singers that will be released this summer. Her recent performances include Princess Marina in
Boris Godunov with Anchorage Symphony, recitals of Russian romances at the New York Bard Summer Music Festival. Monika is a co-founder of Connecticut Lyric Opera, Alla Breve Opera and IMA Institute. For her outstanding contribution to the Arts and community, Monika was honored by Immigrant and
Refugee Coalition, and was named “The Immigrant of the Year 2015.

Patrick Buckley has performed professionally in opera, operetta, and oratorio across the U.S. and Europe including at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for 11 seasons. He co-founded and led Kansas City Metro Opera for 8 years where he was president, vocal director, conductor, singer, and instrumentalist. He was the cantorial soloist and music director for Congregation Kol Ami in Kansas City, Missouri prior to moving back east.  He has taught voice, performance, and multiple languages privately for over 25 years, both in-person and online. Patrick continues to sing professionally at synagogues and churches across the U.S. and he performs concerts throughout New England. He is a paralegal in a small family law firm in Hartford, holds a BS in Languages and Literatures-German, an MS in Organizational Psychology, multiple life and wellness coaching and counseling certifications and is currently working on his licensure as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant in Voice, with special focus in gender affirming care.

Past 2023-2024 Season Concerts:

Past Organ Sounds Concerts include:

Click HERE to view the recording of our concert on March 17, 2023 featuring Beth Israel’s organist Natasha Ulyanovsky.
Click HERE to enjoy our December 16 concert featuring clarinetist Alexander Kollias and organist Natasha Ulyanovsky.
Click HERE to enjoy our April 22, 2022 concert featuring Virginius Barkauskas.
Click HERE to enjoy our March 11, 2022 Organ Sounds Concert featuring The Birk & Hoke Duo.
Click HERE to enjoy our February 11, 2022 Organ Sounds Concert featuring Michelle Horsley.
Click HERE to enjoy our January 14, 2022 Organ Sounds Concert featuring the Shir LaShalom Duo.
Elena Udras performs on our organ.  Click HERE to listen.
Scott Lamlein performs. Click HERE to listen. 
Christa Rakich on our organ; click HERE to listen.
Songs for Valentine’s Day. Click HERE to listen.
Ms. Ulyanovsky’s exquisite performance from January 2020 on our organ. Click HERE and enjoy.

Music helps elevate and energize spiritual engagement at Congregation Beth Israel.

Members participate in Adult Choir, our Shiranote youth choir, our multi-generational Klezmer Band, our annual Purim Shpiel, and much more. Our Music Committee organizes performances of exciting guest artists. Recent concerts include the American Baroque Orchestra in a performance of Sephardic music from 18th-century Amsterdam, and musicians from Nava Tehilah, a contemporary Israeli spiritual community noted for creating groundbreaking worship music. 

Our sanctuary includes a historic Austin Organ with 3,000 pipes, 93 stops, and two expression engines, enabling a wide spectrum of sound colors. You can hear the organ at traditional High Holy Day services, festival services, and in our Organ Sounds concert series.

Natasha Ulyanovsky

Our former music director, and creator of the Organ Sounds Concert Series, Natasha Ulyanovsky, is a concert pianist, organist, conductor and vocal coach. A graduate of Odessa Conservatory, Ukraine, she continued her musical studies at Moscow Conservatory, Vilnius Conservatory, Lithuania, Queen’s College, Oxford. In the former USSR she worked as an orchestra artist and vocal coach at Odessa Opera House, and concertized under auspices of “Soyuzconcert”, a booking agency for professional musicians, both nationally and worldwide. She has performed in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Poland, Israel, Italy, and the Virgin Islands. In 1988 she earned the title of Honored artist of Abkhazian Republic of USSR. After immigrating to the United States, she taught music at the Hotchkiss and Kent Schools, Hartt School, CCSU, and performed at the Bushnell Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Interchurch Center in NYC, CCSU, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, and Wesleyan University, CT. She is a co-founder of Allabreve Opera Company and Institute of Slavic Music – workshops for singers. As an active AGO member she gives lessons and lectures to young organists during Pipe Organ Encounter conferences. Her recent performances include “Chopin In the City” festival in Chicago, International Organ festival in Ravenna, Italy, Summer Music Festival at NBMAA, CT,  Beth Israel Organ Sounds, CBI. She served as the Music Director at CBI for the past 23 years. Since 2006 she has organized the “Beth Israel Organ Sounds” concert series, providing the Greater Hartford Community the chance to hear our splendid 1934 Austin organ. In 2011 she was honored as Immigrant of the Year by the CT Immigrant and Refugee Coalition for her outstanding contribution to community in the State of CT.

Congregation Beth Israel is delighted to present this series of concerts of inspiring and uplifting music to listen to in your home.

December 7
Haneirot Halalu: A Happy Chanukah Musical Compilation
featuring the a cappella sounds of Six13, our own Musical Director Natasha Ulyanovsky with flutist Gonzalo Cortes and the singing group the Maccabeats, performing the music of George Frideric Handel, Félix-Alexandre Guilmant, Bonia Shur, and more.
Click HERE to listen.

November 2
Of Thee I Sing

with the music of Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and Harold Arlen as performed by performers and CBI Music Director Natasha Ulyanovsky and Monika Krajewska (pictured), and nationally-known singers Sarah Vaughn and Cynthia Erivo.
Click HERE to listen.

October 19
Broadway Baby
featuring Lauren Persky and CBI Musical Director Natasha Ulyanovsky.
Click HERE to listen.

September 14
Prepare for the Shofar Sound with the Music of Louis Lewandowski (1821-1894)
showcasing the talents of CBI Music Director Natasha Ulyanovsky on the synagogue’s historic 1934 Austin organ.
Click HERE to listen.

September 1
Jewish Jazz
Enjoy our newest concert showcasing clarinet player extraordinaire Carolyn Bernstein (with piano by CBI Music Director Natasha Ulyanovsky). The concert includes popular tunes by Benny Goodman, Kurt Weill, and Abraham Ellstein.
Click HERE to listen.

August 17, 2020
My Favorite Things
Our concert series continues with our own dedicated Shiranote and adult choir member Molly Singer, with piano by CBI Music Director Natasha Ulyanovsky. The concert includes popular tunes by Harold Arlen, Nat King Cole, Antonio Carlos Jobim and others.
Molly has starred in CBI’s Purim Shpiels and has performed at the West Hartford Summer Arts Festival.
Click HERE to listen.

August 3, 2020
Music for Organ & Strings
featuring Peter Dzialo on cello and our own Musical Director Natasha Ulyanovsky on organ.
Enjoy the concert.

July 20, 2020
The Music of Salamone Rossi
outstanding Jewish violinist, singer and composer of the late Renaissance/Early Baroque Era.
Click HERE to listen.

July 3, 2020
Being Alive
featuring singer Patrick Buckley and Musical Director Natasha Ulyanovsky. The two are performing the works of Stephen Sondheim, Harold Arlen, Stephen Schwarz and more.
Click HERE to listen.

June 7, 2020
Violin Moods
featuring Musical Director Natasha Ulyanovsky accompanying Dan Monyak on the piano, playing works by A. Piazzolla, J. Massenet, and V. Monti
Click HERE to listen.

May 25, 2020
Yiddish Art Songs
featuring Monika Krajewska and Musical Director Natasha Ulyanovsky
Click HERE to listen.

May 11, 2020
Yiddish Theater and Broadway Tunes
featuring Cantor Stephanie Kupfer and Musical Director Natasha Ulyanovsky
Click HERE to listen.

April 27, 2020
featuring Musical Director Natasha Ulyanovsky on piano and Max Schwimmer on saxophone
Click HERE to listen.