Our Founder Ian Lyons


The Founder of The London Cantorial Singers


The sudden and untimely passing of Ian Lyons in 1997, left a tremendous void in Anglo Jewry. Ian will be most remembered for his warmth of character, charitable projects, and melodious voice.


Ian was born in Highgate, London, and raised within a traditional Jewish family. He was the grandson of the Founder and son of the President of the Dean Street Synagogue. Ian’s devotion to education and community work was formed during his school years at William Ellis School in Highgate. His gratitude to the masters and school was manifest in his enthusiasm and ability to organise the Old Elysians.He was the President for six years and for many years was the sole reason for its continued existence.


Ian declined his open scholarship to the London School of Economics, in order to train at J.Lyons and Marks and Spencer. He then proceeded to found Jean Junction and Star Jeans before concentrating on property investment and charitable works.


From his youth Ian dedicated much of his time to charitable causes. His natural charm and warmth, combined with immense determination, was key in his work for the Sabra Society and Foundation and also to him being the Chairman of Pentagon, a charitable organisation, which raised money for Israel and other Jewish causes.


Ian’s impeccable manners and lifelong commitment to traditional Jewish values gave him a rare insight and ability, which encompassed many diverse organisations. His professional skills and personal love of Chazanut aided the committee dedicated to the construction and educational development of Kfar Ganim Yeshiva High School Israel through their Annual fund raising concert.


Ian will be most lovingly remembered for his absolute dedication to the Hasmonean Primary School. He was a Governor for 16 years and the Chairman of the Governors well beyond the departure of his three children from the school. Ian was instrumental in the achievement of the School being granted State Aid and also its reconstruction . His near full time presence was testament to his love of children and his determination to create a fitting educational environment for the future of the school.


The unique quality of Ian’s voice was recognised as a child by the Royal Academy of Music. His religious observance however prevented his study at the institution. He was still passionate about Chazanut. He entertained from an early age at the local friendship clubs; singing with many choirs and was responsible for founding the Mill Hill Choir and The London Cantorial Singers. His penchant for breaking into song at every and any occasion will be sorely missed.The choir’s activities since Ian’s sudden and untimely passing are a tribute to and a legacy of Ian’s hard work and determination to bring choral music to congregations and audiences across London and beyond.


Click here to listen to Ian Lyons singing Zocharti Loch


We respectfully dedicate this web site to his memory.