Search

Synagogue music director ‘invented’ communal music for British Jewish community

PUBLISHED: 17:07 07 January 2015 | UPDATED: 17:07 07 January 2015

Vivienne Bellos. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Vivienne Bellos. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The outgoing director of music at a Temple Fortune synagogue has paid tribute to the “wonderful community” she has served for 35 years after being recognised in the New Year Honours.

Vivienne Bellos has been made an MBE for services to music while director of music at Alyth synagogue, also known as North Western Reform Synagogue, in Alyth Gardens, off Finchley Road.

The 63-year-old, of Park Farm Close, off East End Road, East Finchley, is retiring in October having taught thousands of singers and set up numerous choir groups in a 35-year career at the synagogue.

She said: “It’s been absolutely amazing. It’s been a privilege to be part of people’s lives. A community is a wonderful thing and the Alyth community is a wonderful community.

“I have children who I teach in my choirs and their parents were in those choirs. It’s incredible to watch generations. This is such a cherry on the cake because I’ve had such a great time.”

Ms Bellos, originally from Southend, began her career as an aspiring opera singer having graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, in Regent’s Park.

But the birth of her first child ended her hopes of a glittering opera career and she soon found herself at Alyth synagogue where she learnt Hebrew in order to conduct Alyth choirs.

In her time at Alyth, Ms Bellos has set up the Alyth Kids Choir and the adult Alyth Choral Society, which has performed internationally.

The mother-of-two also set up the Alyth Academy of Performing Arts, which offers youth drama classes.

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, of Alyth synagogue, said: “Viv invented and made relevant communal music for the British Jewish community. People throughout Europe and the world have enjoyed the music of the choirs she has led.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Fri, 16:24

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Fri, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Fri, 12:12

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Fri, 09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thu, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thu, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thu, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now