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:

Allein Gott In Der Höh’ Sei Ehr‘…Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706)
Amazing Grace…Alla Borzova (b.1961)
Tune: NEW BRITAIN (from Virginia Harmony, 1831)
Heaven and Earth…Alla Borzova (b.1961)
Belarusian/Ukrainian Carol
God the Omnipotent…Alla Borzova (b.1961)
Tune: RUSSIAN HYMN by Alexei Lvov
And quoting Russian Orthodox chant:
“O God, save Thy People”
And The Greatest of These Is Love…Alla Borzova (b.1961)
(Stained glass windows by Chagall and Matisse)
Norman Gilbert (1912-1975)

Alla Borzova is a composer whose music has been commissioned and performed internationally. Born in Minsk, Belarus, she arrived in the United States in 1993. When honoring her with the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship (given to “composer of exceptional gifts”), the American Academy of Arts and Letters hailed her as a “force on the American musical scene” with the observation: “Every note she writes has an intensity and immediacy that is as startling as it is affecting.” A winner of All-Union Composition Contest before her arrival in the U.S., a winner of the Delius Composition Contest, the recipient of the Susan Rose Recording Award, bestowed by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, she has also received awards from various foundations (ASCAP, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Copland Recording Program, New York Foundation for the Arts, American Music Center), held residencies (Yaddo in the U.S., Brahmshaus in Baden-Baden, Germany), and served on the composition panels of the New York State Council for the Arts, National Music Teachers Association, among others. She is a board member of Westchester and Fairfield chapters of American Guild of Organists. Alla Borzova began piano studies and composing at the age of six. She holds a Doctorate in Composition from the Moscow Conservatory where she studied composition with Alexander Pirumov, orchestration with Nikolai Rakov and Yury Fortinatov, and piano with Anatoly Rosanov. She has pursued additional doctoral studies in Composition at The City University of New York Graduate School with David Del Tredici.  John Corigliano also championed her music. Borzova was on the faculties of at Hunter and Lehman Colleges of the City University of New York and, in addition to composing, maintains an active career as a pianist, conductor, organist, and soprano. She served as Music Director in the prominent churches of five different denominations. Since 2018 she has been Music Director of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in New Canaan, Connecticut. Her music is available from her publishing agent Bill Holab.

Past Concerts From Our 2023-2024 Season:

Friday, January 19 at 6:45pm

Scott Lamlein, Organ

Friday, November 17 at 6:45pm
Monika Krajewska, Soprano
Patrick Buckley, Baritone
Natasha Ulyanovsky, Organ

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.