Bonia Shur, Composer

Bonia Shur

The beloved partner of Fanchon Shur, Bonia Shur (1923-2012) was a major musical force in the Reform Jewish Movement in America. He created more than 300 published compositions in use in synagogues and on stage across the country and abroad. He taught hundreds of rabbinical students since his appointment in 1974 as Director of Liturgical Arts (Emeritus) at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.


Music and Catalog

To listen to a selection of complete compositions by Bonia Shur and to download his catalog, visit his website at

Biographical Details

Mr. Shur was a versatile composer. In addition to his vast liturgical repertoire, he wrote for theatre, television and film. In 1966, he collaborated with Johnny Mandel on the vocal score to the motion picture “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.” In 1968, he received a National Television Academy Award for his music to the TV special “Revolt in Mode’in.”

His orchestral music was played by the Israeli Radio Orchestra, Minneapolis Chamber Symphony and Cincinnati Chamber symphony. His choral works were performed and recorded by the Sarasota Chorale Symphonic Chorus, the Nova Singers of Florida, Oshkosh Chamber Singers, “The Rinat Choir of Israel” and Chicago Children’s Choir, among others.

In the last few years of his life, he composed nine major commissioned works which were premiered in Washington D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Seattle, Tinton Falls, NY, Cincinnati and Appleton, WI. Since 1960, he has written music for the dance works of choreographer Fanchon Shur, his collaborator and wife.

Mr. Shur’s music is vibrant, dynamic and highly individual. He had an extremely diverse background: he was born in Latvia, escaped the Nazi invasion, fought in the Russian Army, immigrated to Israel and lived on kibbutz for many years before coming to the United States in 1960. His personality and his music integrated and reflect the many diverse cultural heritages in which he has lived.

Tribute Concert, 2012

Bonia Shur Tribute Concert In this extraordinary, once in a lifetime experience, over 40 cantors and many instrumentalists came from all over the country to perform the music of Bonia Shur, Fanchon Shur’s beloved partner. Bonia produced music to make us quiver, cry, and become more than we were before; for 37 years, Bonia has done this in Cincinnati as Director of Liturgical Arts at Hebrew Union College.

From his vast outpouring, both well-known and lesser known masterpieces were performed, conducted by his successor, Cantor Yvon Shore.

#3 Bonia Shur eBlast
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                                       The Website of Bonia Shur

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