When he was almost eighteen years old he left his family to go and study music and voice in Vienna. Here he studied with the famous teachers Ephraim Shlepak, Yehudah Leib Miller and Emanuel Frankel, who encouraged him to make a career in the vocal arts.
Yehoshua married in 1925 and at age twenty he accepted a position as Chazzan in Debrecen, Hungary. Chazzan Wieder also served in Budapest and Vienna. Chazzan Wieder was officiating as Chazzan Rishon in Miskolc (from 1931) at the Ancient Synagogue when WWII broke out (Chazzan Sheini of that particular shul in Miskolc was Chazzan Josef Fisch). Chazzan Wieder and his family were transported to Auschwitz by the Nazis. His wife Chana and his 3 youngest children were killed in the concentration camp. Luckily Chazzan Wieder and his 3 other children, Chanoch (Elimelech), Sara Bluma and Feiga, survived the Shoah. Almost all the other Wieder family members were killed.
After Chazzan Wieder was liberated from Auschwitz, he became a travelling Chazzan throughout Germany, officiating at many DP camps. From 1945 till 1949 he served in Munich. In 1949 he and his 3 remaining children emigrated to the U.S., where Chazzan Wieder remarried in 1954. In America he served a the famous Talmud Torah of Flatbush Synagogue in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York for five years (1949-1954). Then he officiated at the prominent Congregation Ohab Zedek, Belle Harbor, New York for three years (1954-1957).
Due to his stay in Auschwitz, Chazzan Wieder had sand in his lungs. After he had sung, he would cough up blood. Doctors advised him that mountain air would do his lungs good. Therefore Chazzan Wieder accepted a position in Snowdon, Montreal, Canada at the newly erected Chevra Shaas Adath Jeshurun Hadrath Kodesh Shevet Achim Chaverim Kol Yisrael d’Bet Abraham Synagogue, better known as Adath Jeshurun Hadrath Kodesh (1957-1964). While officiating in Montreal he tragically suffered a fatal coronary attack from which he died on August 22, 1964 (14th of Elul 5724). The upcoming Sabbath he was replaced by the 13 year old boy Chazzan Chaim Eliezer Herstik. After that he was officially replaced by Chazzan Moshe Leib Erblich.
Chazzan Wieder is burried at the Jewish cemetery of Montreal.
Although Chazzan Wieder was only 58 years old when he died, he left an enormous impression on all the members of the congregations he served and the people who heard him during his concerts. He made many concert tours throughout the world, and was a teacher to many Chazzanim and singers.
Chazzan Wieder possessed a magnificent lyric tenor voice with a dramatic coloratura. His vocal range seemed unlimited and he had superb control over his voice. He was known for coloring his voice to very low solemn tones. Besides having a wonderful voice, Chazzan Wieder also had the capability to write the most beautiful compositions. His compositions may be considered as some of the most beautiful ever made in Jewish liturgical music history. Chazzan Wieder was greatly admired among other Chazzonim for his compositions, voice and his large knowledge on Chazzonus. This resulted in him being one of the leading soloists out of 250 Chazzonim at the gala concert at Madison Square Garden held by Der Khazonim Farband in 1960. Before a capacity crowd of more than 20.000 people he sang his famous composition of “Mimkomcho.”
Chazzan Wieder wasn’t really into making recordings, he just wanted to daven. It was his children and admirers who encouraged him to make some recordings. Thanks to their efforts the world is blessed with 16 professional recordings on which Chazzan Wieder sings some of his most beautiful compositions. Unfortunately the methods of recording were rather primitive. Besides being a wonderful Chazzan he also was a great Ba’al Tefiloh and may be considered one of the greatest Chazzonim ever.