A devoted chazzan with many years of international performance experience, Cantor Vladimir Staerman's rich tenor voice can deliver hours of sacred temple music, most notably characterized by an unwavering energy and a profound emphasis on life. Congregation members where Staerman has performed often take note of the devotion and great feeling with which the cantor is able to convey the essence and emotion of ancient Jewish songs to his audience.
Born in Tbilisi, the capital of Soviet Georgia, in 1958, Staerman initially trained as an engineer at Tbilisi Polytechnic University, earning a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1982. However, it would not be long until Vladimir would alter his life's path and follow his musical calling. In 1985 he enrolled at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire where he studied for the next four years.
Staerman's professional career began at The Tbilisi Opera Studio in Georgia where he performed as a soloist between 1989 and 1991. In 1991 Vladimir decided to pursue his love of Jewish liturgical music as a soloist for the Moscow Synagogue Male Choir (also known as The Choir of Michael Turetsky). Embarking on the Moscow Synagogue European Concert Tour, Vladimir gained a wealth of international experience performing in venues across Germany, Norway, Denmark and Poland. He also participated in the 16th annual World Assembly of Music in Zimria, Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post characterized the performance as: “A style that evoked admiration for a superb vocal performance, flawless production, rich portamento as well as amazing virtuosity. On top of all this was a trademark Russian brand of theatricality blended with intense emotions and, in Jewish pieces, a genuine sense of involvement”.
In 1994, shortly after immigrating to the United States with his family, Vladimir landed a job as Cantor of Temple Isaiah in Newport Beach, California, where he would spend the following three years. From 1999 to 2003 Staerman also served as Associate Cantor of Temple Adat Shalom in San Diego. Among other professional achievements Vladimir received the San Diego Choral Club Certificate in 1997 as well as an Opera and Musical Theater Workshop Certificate from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1996.
As his passion for the rich heritage of temple singing continued to grow, Staerman received a scholarship from J.T.S. in 2004 and traveled to Israel to study at Jerusalem’s Conservative Yeshiva. Awarded a cantorial diploma from The Jerusalem School of Cantorial Art and Music, Staerman was fortunate to study under acclaimed cantor and music director Chazzan David Weintraub. The founder and director of JESCAM, Weintraub previously founded the Cantorial School at the Herzlia Jewish Teachers College in New York.
An accomplished cantor with over ten years of professional music experience, Staerman has performed at concerts around the world as an operatic tenor with a repertoire that includes Cantorial, Yiddish, Israeli and Neapolitan Folk songs as well as Italian, French and German opera. He has also recorded and published an Anthology of Cantorial Music, a two CD set that includes a wealth of essential selections. In 2007 Cantor Staerman returned to the US and served as High Holyday Chazan at the beautiful Temple Beth Shalom in Livingstone, NJ.
Over the years Cantor Shaerman has been written up in numerous publications in the United States, Israel and Russia. In April of 2007 Staerman appeared on Israel’s television station "Channel 9". Featured in a program dedicated to traditional Jewish professions, Staerman performed for an audience of thousands of viewers and participated in an ensuing discussion about the role of Shaliach Tzibur, the messenger of the community, in a contemporary world. As always Cantor Staerman emphasized his credo: "[The role of Sholeah Tzibur] is to inhale soul into the sacred songs in order to make them come alive for today's audience".
Today Vladimir resides happily in San Diego, California, where much of his family, including his parents, has relocated to since emigrating from Russia in the 1990’s. Staerman also continues to work as a part-time engineer through his consulting company Gilavar Inc. In the past Staerman has also worked with BAE Systems in Los Angeles as well as Phase Matrix in San Diego.