"... ethereal, sometimes hypnotic....Obviously this has a niche audience, but a niche that stretches from here to eternity."                                                                                      David Farrell, New Canadian Music

listen to these winning tracks!

2018 has been a great year for Lenka's music! Lenka received two nominations for the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards - Traditional Singer of the Year, and World Solo Artist of the Year, for her new Czech album MASARYK: Narodni pisne. Below, listen to 'Sleep, Baby, Sleep' from album Lullabies in Exile, the recipient of  the 2018 Folk Music Ontario (FMO) Songs From the Heart Award for the Folk Songs from Around the World category, and 'Dobru noc, ma mila' from MASARYK,  which also won the 2018 Independent Music Award (New Age Song category). 


Brief bio 2021 - 127 words

Lenka Lichtenberg is a Canadian musician, composer, and producer who draws on the rich, intercultural Toronto soundscapes she has long immersed herself in, to create her own unique global sound. With her striking and crystalline voice leading the way, the Canadian Folk Music and International Independent Music Award winner aspires to build bridges among cultures and transcend the artificial boundaries between folk, jazz and world music in a passionate and often deeply spiritual celebration of her roots. Since relocating to Toronto after spending her early days as a notable child star in her native Prague, the multilingual vocalist has been a prolific collaborator and has also released 7 albums of her own. Her two most recent outings were released worldwide on the U.K.’s ARC Music label. Lenka’s latest project is ‘The Thieves of Dreams,’ based on poems she recently unearthed that were written by her grandmother while she was being held in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War 2.

“Breathtakingly beautiful”- Moors Magazine, The Netherlands

Awards and nominations:                                                                                                                                                                                                            

2020: Nominee, The 18th Independent Music Awards, Traditional Song

2018: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Traditional Singer of the Year (MASARYK)

2018: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, World Solo Artist of the Year (MASARYK) 

2018: Winner, FMO (Folk Music Ontario) Songs from the Heart, 'Folk Songs from Around the World' ("Sleep, Baby, Sleep") 

2018: Winner, The 16th Independent Music Awards, Song New Age, ”Dobru noc, ma mila" (from MASARYK) 

2018: Nominee, The 16th Independent Music Awards, Traditional Album (MASARYK)

2018: Nominee, The 16th Independent Music Awards, Traditional Song "Sly Panenky silnici (from MASARYK)

2017: Nominee, One World Music Awards (U.K.): Best World/ Global Fusion Album (Yiddish Journey)

2016: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, World Group of the Year  (Live in America)

2015: Nominee, The 14th Independent Music Awards, Album - World Traditional (Lullabies from Exile)

2015: Nominee, The 14th Independent Music Awards, Song - World Traditional, "Perfume Road" (Embrace) 

2014: Winner, The 13th Independent Music Awards, Vox Populi, Song  - New Age ("Raise a Cup of Joy")

2014: Nominee, Toronto Independent Music Awards, "world music" (Embrace)

2014: Nominee, The 13th Independent Music Awards, Song - Eclectic ("Danse Suite Macabre")

2013: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, World Solo Artist of the Year  (Embrace)

2013: Winner, The 12th Independent Music Awards, Vox Populi: "Album - World Traditional" (Songs for the Breathing Walls)

2013: Nominee, The 12th Independent Music Awards, Song - World Traditional (El Mi Migoalei Dam Etzak)

2012: Winner, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Traditional Singer of the Year (Songs for the Breathing Walls)

2012: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Traditional Album of the Year (Songs for the Breathing Walls)

2011: Nominee, Toronto Independent Music Awards, world music category (Fray)

2011: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, World Solo Artist of the Year (Fray)

2011: Winner, Porcupine Award, Musique de la monde (Fray)

2011: Winner, Songs from the Heart, multicultural category ("Peace is the Only Way")

2011: Finalist, John Lennon Songwriting competition, Session II. ("Peace is the Only Way")

2008: Winner, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Vocal Group of the Year (Sheynville Express)


"... There are other Yiddish singers today, but arguably no one has done more than she has to bring the language from nostalgia into the present by combining fresh influences—jazz, Brazilian, Middle Eastern, Indian—new compositions and her hypnotic, angelic voice. […in ] a career that has cultivated the sounds of an interdependent world, [she] has used Yiddish to fashion a bridge from before to after, showing not only what might have been but also bringing “might have” to reality.“ - Alan Tigay, World Listening Post 

A devoted exponent of Yiddish song, Lenka Lichtenberg returns with a deeply personal album MASARYK …another fascinating window upon which to admire Lichtenberg’s restless imagination.”     Tommie Black-Roff, UK Songlines


Lenka Lichtenberg was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her mother was a child survivor of the Holocaust. Lenka was not aware that she was Jewish until the age of 10, and did not know her family’s history until circumstances forced the revelation. The petite, blond singer spent her childhood years in the immensely popular musical theatre Semafor, as child star sidekick to the icon of Czech anti-establishment culture, Jiří Suchý, with whom she recorded several hits that remain popular to this day. She studied classical music at the Prague Music Conservatory, specializing in voice. 

Once in Canada, Lenka performed in bars and hotels, and in a rock band travelling remote parts of British Columbia. She also cruised the Caribbean, singing on the Princess Cruise ship Sun Princess. Back at school, she received her Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia, and Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology from the York University in Toronto. Her thesis was on Yiddish music of the Holocaust. Between 1997 and 2005, Lenka taught Music Appreciation at the Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, while raising three children. 

Getting to know her mother’s family’s story as an adult, Lenka felt compelled to refocus her creativity and musical energies and become a Yiddish singer, despite the fact that her Czech family was entirely assimilated and no Yiddish was spoken for several generations. After releasing three albums as a solo artist, Lenka co-founded, with Isabel Fryszberg, the Yiddish swing all-female group Sisters of Sheynville, with whom she performed across Canada, in the U.S. and Europe. The band won the Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year in 2008 for its Sheynville Express disc. Lenka’s diverse musical palette continued to evolve, and crystallized in 2010 when she founded her ensemble Fray (Yiddish for ‘free’). With Fray bandmate and co-producer Alan Hetherington, Lenka recorded the band’s eponymous debut LP in 2010, followed by Embrace (2013). Both albums of mostly original music build on Lenka’s Eastern European roots and are further informed by her band members’ North Indian classical, Brazilian and Middle Eastern sensibilities. 

While long known for her work in the realm of Yiddish music, Lenka’s latest album marks her first foray into celebrating the music of her country of birth. ‘Masaryk’, described as “breathlessly beautiful” in the Dutch press (Moors Magazine), revisits some of the classic Czech, Moravian and Slovak folk songs that permeated Lenka’s early childhood - and provided much of her introduction to folk music. 

Lenka tours internationally as a soloist and with various ensembles, presenting concerts in venues ranging from The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.,  to Etno-fest in Wroclaw, Poland and the Klezfiesta in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Her insatiable curiosity and desire to bridge cultures through music propel her to discover new possibilities as a composer, multi-lingual vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. Her work has been rewarded with a number of nominations and awards, most recently winning the 2018 Independent Music Award for Masaryk. Other notable awards include the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Singer of the Year for her album Songs for the Breathing Walls. For this unique collection, Lenka recorded sacred Hebrew songs in 12 synagogues across the Czech Republic with a cast of international artists from Czech Republic, Israel, Germany, Canada and Russia. The project was the focus of a TV documentary film by Jaroslav Hovorka, broadcast on Czech television. 

“Breathtakingly beautiful”- Moors Magazine, The Netherlands

Current project - in development: The Thieves of Dreams

- Concert preview: 2020JxJ Washington, D.C.; Luminato, Canada, 2021

- Multi-media digital/hybrid stage production: November 9/10, 2021, venue TBA

- double album: October, 2021

- poetry book Czech/English, October, 2021

Upon the recent passing of her mother, Lenka discovered two worn booklets of poetry tucked away under piles of paper in her Prague apartment. The haunting, disturbing poems, written by Lenka’s grandmother Anna Hana Friesová in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War 2, carry messages as relevant today as when they were written—with some offering unexpected rays of hope (“In the bleakest, darkest night, remember the sun.”)

Bringing this unearthed treasure to life, Lenka assembled an accomplished team to create a multi-disciplinary presentation that embeds the powerful poetry into a music and staged theatre production. With grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, Lenka wrote the script and much of the music as well as commissioned other Canadian composers.


Lullabies from Exile is a diasporic collection of lullabies, crafted by Lenka and world-renowned Judeo-Iraqi oud and violin virtuoso Yair Dalal, that unites long-disparate Ashkenazi and Babylonian Jewish traditions. Bridges is a collaboration between Lenka and Palestinian-Canadian vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and dancer Roula Said that creates a musical dialogue between Arabic and Jewish music, skillfully backed by Lenka’s Fray ensemble. Her Yiddish creations include the album Pashtes - Simplicity,  a collaboration with Brian Katz, for which she set to music ten poems by the poet Simcha Simchovitch. Masaryk is a tribute to Czech politician and diplomat Jan Masaryk, a collaboration with Czech percussionist and composer Tomas Reindl. As well, Lenka works with Canada’s top global fusion producer Andrew McPherson, on electronica remixes (Lenkkodek: Open Your Ears). 


MASARYK: Narodni pisne - Czech, Moravian and Slovak folk songs re-imagined (2017) 

Open My Ears: Lenkkodek   (2017) 

Live in America (2016) 

Yiddish Journey (2016) 

Lullabies from Exile: Yair Dalal & Lenka Lichtenberg (2014) 

Embrace: Lenka Lichtenberg & Fray (2013) 

Songs for the Breathing Walls (2012) 

Bridges: Live at Lula Lounge with Roula Said (2012) 

Fray: Lenka Lichtenberg & Fray (2010) 

Sheynville Express: Sisters of Sheynville (2007) 

Pashtes - Music to the Poetry of Simcha Simchovitch: Lenka Lichtenberg with Brian Katz (2006) 

Open the Gate (2003) 

Deep Inside (1999)


- MASARYK: Narodni pisne (September, 2017) Czech, Moravian and Slovak folk songs re-imagined. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg; assistant producer  Tomas Reindl. Label: ARC Music, U.K.

- Open My Ears: Lenkkodek   (January, 2017): EP -dance- electronica- new age remixes. Produced by Andrew McPherson

- Live in America (March 20, 2016): EP.  6 songs recorded live on tour in the U.S.A. in November, 2015. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg
- Yiddish Journey (February 26, 2016): 18 Yiddish songs, original and traditional. Label: ARC Music, U.K
- Lullabies from Exile
 (2014) : Eastern European/Yiddish, and Iraqi songs intertwined. Co-produced with Yair Dalal. Label: Magda
- Animals Trust Anthem - single. Fundraiser for AnimalsTrust. (2014). Sunflower Records. Produced by Galen Weston.
- Embrace (2013) : world fusion. Acoustic original songs in English and Yiddish., by Lenka Lichtenberg & Fray. Co-produced with Alan Hetherington. Sequence to Fray (1).  Canadian release at Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto.
- Songs for the Breathing Walls (2012):  Live liturgy recordings. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg
- Bridges: Live at Lula Lounge  (2012) Jewish and Arabic music in dialogue. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg
- Fray (2010): original songs in Yiddish and English, world music, by Lenka Lichtenberg & Fray.. Co-produced with Alan Hetherington
- Lomir Zingen: (2008): Collection of children's Yiddish songs. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg
- Pashtes (2006) : all-Yiddish, all-original. Poems by Simcha Simchovitch. Music by L. Lichtenberg. Co-produced with Brian Katz
- Open The Gate (2003): Lenka's original songs in English and French. Produced by Levon Ichkhanian
- Deep Inside (1999): traditional Yiddish and original songs in English. Produced by Ken Whiteley

with Sisters of Sheynville:
- Sheynville Express:  (2007) - Yiddish swing-klez. Most arrangements and/or 3-part vocal arrangements by Lenka Lichtenberg. Produced by Eric Stein


A Woman's World - Songs of Resilience & Hope - ARC Music. Track #4: "Zum Gali Gali" - October, 2018

- Buddha-Bar XX - Lenkkodek- 'Raise a Cup of Kindness" (Weightless dub mix) - August, 2018

- The Most Beautiful Songs of the World - ARC Music.  Track #6: "Dremlen feygl" - April, 2016
- Best of Yiddish Songs & Klezmer Music - ARC Music. Tracks #3 and 15 - March, 2016
Independent No.1's Vol. 3 - WOA Records. Track: "2010" (from Embrace) - June 2014
see on iTunes
World Music for War Child - ARC. Tracks #3 and #11 (from Bridges, Lullabies from Exile) - January 8, 2015
see/buy on iTunes
GOA Chillout Zone Vol. 6 - WOA Records. Track #1: "Open My Eyes (Eccodek Remix)" - March 3, 2015
see on CD Baby


Her first CD Deep Inside (1999), produced by the Juno-award winner Ken Whiteley, received air-play on radio stations in a number of countries, including CBC Radio, which also carried her profile on the Global Village program in June, 2002 and again in June, 2004.

Her second CD Open The Gate (2003), produced by Levon Ichkhanian, is a collection of original songs in English and French.

PASHTES [simplicity] (2006) is based on a cycle of poems by the Toronto Yiddish poet Simcha Simchovitch. With music composed by Lenka and arranged by Brian Katz, Pashtes received critical acclaim and airplay in 23 countries.

Fray ("free") (2010), signified a new direction for Lenka's music. Seeking a very specific, global sound to reflect her personal beliefs and aesthetic preferences, she had enlisted the talents of a unique assemblage of musicians rooted in diverse musical traditions. From classical Indian, Egyptian, and Middle-Eastern music to North and South American styles, Fray is an adventurous melding of modern poetry - at first in Yiddish but now in several languages- with global musical influences. Blurring boundaries between styles and traditions, the album claimed a new space in contemporary world music as a unique, Yiddish-based genre. The Fray band has, meanwhile, moved on to shine as a prime example of an organic, naturally grown world fusion. 

Her Fray series of recordings (Embrace, 2013, follows the same concept) reflected at first her eagerness to see new Yiddish music embraced as a beautiful, meaningful and valid part of the global world music mosaic. While Lenka will always happily present an all-Yiddish program where it is in demand, her typical concert program now includes songs, mostly original though usually stemming from Eastern European traditions, in a number of languages. 

Sacred music
Time permitting, Lenka co-leads Shabbat and High Holy Days services at her spiritual home, Toronto's reconstructionist congregation Darchei Noam. As well, her interpretation of the sacred Kol Nidre has become an annual fixture at Oraynu, a congregation for secular, humanistic Judaism. One of Lenka's current projects is Songs for the Breathing Walls, recordings of traditional and new liturgy (including Lenka's own) in Czech and Moravian country synagogues. This project evolved into an attractive multi-media program, combining a concert with a slide presentation. Lenka has now performed this program in congregations and theatres in Miami, Prague, Cedar Rapids, Iowa,  and Toronto. Volume 2 of this collection is in its planning stages. 

2020JxJ Festival, Washington, D.C. (2020)

Toronto Jazz Festival (2018)

Dny zidovske kultury, Holesov, Czech Republic (2018)

Festival Další břehy, Opava, Czech Republic (2018) 

Festival MAZIF, Czech Republic (2018)

Mutual Inspirations, Embassy of the Czech Republic, Washington, DC (2017)

Vocal Music Festival, Abu Gosh, Israel (2017)

Yiddish Summer Weimar, Germany (2017)

World Music Festival - JAZZ fm.91, Hugh's Room

Small World Music Festival - opening for Jorge Drexler

Mitte Europa  (trio), Chemnitz, Germany

Stratford Summer Works Music Festival, (Fray - quartet), Canada

Klezfiesta with "Fray", Buenos Aires, Argentina

ETNO Brno Festival, Czech Republic

Montreal International jewish Music Festival, Lullabies from Exile, Montreal

Jewish Music Ashkenaz Festival, Lullabies from Exile, Toronto

Festival MAZIF, Czech Republic

Small World Music Festival, Fray, Toronto

Jazz festival U reky ve Tremosne, Czech republic

Shalshelet International Festival of New Liturgy, Miami, U.S.A.

Festival Singera, Fray, Warsaw, Poland

Trebic Samajim Festival, with Yair Dalal, Czech republic

Winterfolk Festival, Fray, Toronto

Mitte Europa  (trio) - Ostrov, Czech Republic

World Fusion Music Festival, Fray, Sosnowiec, Poland

Boskovice Music Festival, Czech republic

Chutzpah! International Jewish Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver, Canada (Fray, Yair Dalal)

Etno-fest, Fray, Wroclaw, Poland

Folkove prazdniny festival, Czech republic

Brücke/Most-Stiftung’s Culture Festival, Dresden, Germany

Geneva Music Festival "La Fête de musique, Switzerland

San Francisco Jewish Music Festival, U.S.A.

Klezmore! Festival, Vienna, Austria

Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto, Canada

Klezfiesta with Christian Dawid, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mariposa Folk Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Washington Jewish Arts Festival with Sisters of Sheynville, Washington, D.C.

Festival of Yiddish poetry, concert with Daniel Hoffman, Daniel Galay, Kinneret Sagee, Tel Aviv, Israel

NXNE, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Distillery Jazz Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Yiddish Music Festival, Queens, with Zalmen Mlotek. New York, U.S.A.

Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Jewish Mosaic Festival, Toronto, Canada

International Yiddish Theater Festival, Montreal, Canada

Celebrate Toronto Street festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

North York Winter Carnival, Toronto, Canada

City Roots, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Mamapalooza, Toronto, Canada

Buffalo Music Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.A.

Leeds Performing Arts Festival, with Brian Katz, Leeds, U.K.

Winterfolk Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Mameloshen Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Czech Center/ Bohemian Hall, New York (2018)

Hugh's Room - double bill (with Dalava), Toronto (2018)

Theatre (Divadlo) Semafor, Prague, Czech Republic (2017)

Klub Naplavka, Hradec Kralove (2017)

Musee Judeo-Alsacien, Bouxwillier, France (2017)

Theatre Givatayim, Tel Aviv, Israel (2016)
DROM, New York
Nectar Lounge, Seattle

Ashkenaz, Berkeley, California

Genghis Cohen, Los Angeles

The International House, University of Chicago

Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The Washington, Iowa

Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto

Pearl Company, Hamilton, Ontario

Pride Week Interfaith Music Fair, Toronto

"Light of Understanding" concert, Prague, Czech Republic

Calgary Folk Club, Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominee Showcase, Calgary, Alberta

St. Lawrence Center for the Arts, Honeycomb Way Project, with Frank London and Yair Dalal, Toronto 
32e Congrès de Généalogie Juive, Paris, France

Hugh's Room, World Jazz for Haiti, Toronto

Teatro Alvear (Fray), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Lula Lounge, Bridges with Roula Said, Toronto

Jeruzalemska synagoga, Pisne pro zpivajici steny, with Yair Dalal, Christian Dawid, David Doruzka and
Tomas Reindl. Prague, Czech republic

Official Showcase - Folk Alliance International Conference, Toronto

Official Showcase - Bridges, OCFF, Toronto

Global Cafe Showcase - Fray, OCFF, Toronto

Free Times Cafe - Yiddish Chestnuts with Kinneret Sagee and Brian Katz, Toronto

Divadlo na pradle, with Yair Dalal, Prague, Czech republic

Al Green Theater, Bridges with Roula Said, Toronto

Cafe Babylone, (Fray), Quebec

Songs for the Breathing Walls - multi-media, Darchei Noam Congregation, Toronto

Historic Town Hall concert with Yair Dalal, Kosice, Slovakia

Official showcase - Ontario Council of Folk Festivals

La Sala Rossa (Fray), Montreal

Czech tour - Stara Synagoga, Plzen; Liberec Synagogue; Spanish Synagogue, Prague; Teplice; Prague, Zidovska radnice; Boskovice Festival.

The Spiro Ark, solo concert. London, U.K.

La Cappella, concert with Brian Katz, Bern, Switzerland

New Band! Di BAKL, at the Free Times Cafe, Toronto, Canada

Culture as Resistance"- Holocaust commemorative concert. With Mitch Smolkin and the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir. Miles Nadal JCC, Toronto, Canada

Etty Hillesum Centrum with Brian Katz and Kinneret Sage, Deventer, Holland

Jewish Book Fair with Simcha Simchovitch, Leah Posluns Theatre, Toronto, Canada

Solo concert, Hobart, Australia

Lenka led Bialik Hebrew Day School students in a musical exchange with Theodore Bikel, Toronto, Canada.

Klub Violino, solo and group concerts, Prague, Czech republic

Gladstone Hotel - New band! the Bohemian Village Band, with Eric Stein (mandolin, double bass), Alex Gajic (violin), percussionist Alan Hetherington. Songs in Czech, Moravian, Slovak, Russian, and Serbian

"Lider fun goldenem land": Celebration of Life & Work of Mordechai Gebirtig. Musical presentation and lecture. Beth Emeth, Toronto, Canada

Concert as a soloist with the Vancouver Folk Choir, Vancouver, Canada

Concert at the Czech centrum, Dresden, Germany

Rex Hotel and Jazz Bar, annual Latkapalooza with Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Prima Vista Music-Bar Restuarant, with Brian Katz, Baden, Switzerland

Concerts with Christian Dawid, clarinet, Teplice, and Prague, Zidovska radnice, Czech republic

Yom Kippur Services with Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, Kolel, Toronto, Canada

Rosh Hashana Services with Rabbi Tina Grimberg, Congregation Darchei Noam, Toronto, Canada

Yiddish Kavehoyz concerts, New York, U.S.A.

The Workmen's Circle, song workshop, New York, U.S.A.

Lenka led Bialik Hebrew Day School's Yiddish musical performance to celebrate the release of the CD "Lomir zingen in Yiddish", which she produced. Sponsored by Ashkenaz Festival for New Yiddish Culture.

Hugh's Room, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Klub Hermes, with blues virtuoso guitarist Sue DaBaco, Prague, Czech republic

Brampton Folk Club concert series, Sisters of Sheynville, Brampton, Canada

Kol Nidre, Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, Toronto, Canada

Solo concert, Smolnice, Czech republic

Flying Club Folk Club, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

solo musical program, Beit Leyvik, Tel Aviv, Israel

Leah Posluns Theatre, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada