Cantor Pavel Roytman is a native of Nikolaev, Ukraine. At the age of seven he was accepted as a piano student to a specialized music school for gifted children. He continued his studies in piano and conducting at the Kaliningrad Rachmaninov Music College (Russia) and later at Petrozavodsk Glazunov State Conservatory.

While in Petrozavodsk, Pavel joined the Klezmer Shpil Orchestra as a soloist. Between 1991 and 1994, Pavel and the Klezmer Shpil performed extensively throughout Russia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In 1993, the orchestra made its first recording– “Yiddish Songs by Klezmer Shpil”

In 1994, Cantor Roytman immigrated to the United States where he obtained his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from DePaul University and Master of Music in Musicology from Northwestern University. Throughout this time he also studied hazzanut with such well-known masters of cantorial art as Hazzan Shlomo Shuster, Hazzan Henry Rosenblum, and Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi. In 2006 Cantor Roytman was certified as a cantor through Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2015 Cantor Roytman completed his certification as a Conservative Cantor and became a full-fledged member of the Cantor’s Assembly. Cantor’s Assembly.

In Chicago, Cantor Roytman has performed as a conductor and soloist with Kol Zimrah Jewish Community Singers and Queen of All Saints Basilica Choir. He also served as conductor for Milwaukee Jewish Community Chorale and an executive director and co-founder of the Zemer Am, the Chicago’s Annual Festival of Jewish Choral Music.

Cantor Roytman made multiple appearances at the Greater Chicago Jewish Folk Arts Festival, Chicago YIVO Society, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center, Illinois State Fair, Chicago City Winery, Chicago Summer Dance Festival, Annual Kristallnacht Commemoration, Israel’s Independence Day at Ravinia, Sir George Solti Annual Festival, the International Klezmer Gala in Stockholm, and the International Jewish Music Festival in Tsfat, Israel.

In 2004, Cantor Roytman received a 1st prize in the category of Voice/Cantorial Singing in the 2nd Annual Golden Hanukkiah Competition of Jewry Arts, sponsored by the World Congress of Russian Jewry held in Berlin, Germany. In 2017 he was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the Cantors Assembly at their annual convention in Galloway, NJ

Cantor Roytman has appeared on stage both solo and with a number of distinguished musicians and musical ensembles including Chicago Acapella, Renovo Strings, Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Corky Siegal and Chamber Blues,  The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band,, B’hai Temple Choir, The Bright Star Church Choir, Kol Zimrah Jewish Community Singers, and the Campanella Children’s Choir.

Cantor Roytman’s voice was featured on three CD’s: Journey of The Heart w/Cantor Marina Shemesh, Zing Mein Hartz w/ Klezmer Shpil Orchestra,and Koleynu –with TBI Choir.


Cantor Roytman’s creative work includes liturgical and secular compositions for voice and choir. In 2017 Cantor Roytman wrote and produced “The Singing Yid” –a musical show based on his life and experience in Russia and the United States.

 Cantor Roytman currently serves as a cantor for Beth Hillel B’nai Emunah, a Conservative egalitarian congregation in Wilmette Illinois.  He is a member of the American Conference of Cantors, Chicago-Milwaukee Association of Synagogue Music, and the Cantor’s Assembly.

He resides in Wilmette with his daughter Shana.