Miriam Kramer was born and grew up in in Connecticut, USA. In her early years, her talent
was recognised by the great violinist Henryk Szeryng. She graduated from the Eastman
School of Music and later moved to London to study under Yfrah Neaman at Guildhall,
where she was awarded the top prize. Miriam has given concerto performances in London’s
major concert halls and made her debut at New York's Lincoln Centre in December 2000.
She performs regularly on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and has appeared on BBC television in a
tribute to Yehudi Menuhin. Miriam has received critical acclaim for her six CDs, including
Editor's Choice from Gramophone Magazine for her recording of the violin music of Ernest
Bloch. This disc has been listed in the 2017 guide ‘1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear
Before You Die’ compiled by Matthew Rye and Steven Isserlis. Miriam has also been
included in David Milson’s book ‘A-Z of 300 Great String Players’. Alongside her performing
and recording schedule, Miriam is in demand as a teacher and adjudicator and is regularly
invited to give masterclasses at the Dartington Festival and for the Benslow Music Trust. She
champions the music of new composers; and composers in the UK, France and the USA have
approached her to record and perform their music.
The Strad wrote on her Wigmore Hall debut in 1999: The intensity and rich allure of
Kramer's performance was nothing short of spellbinding … a violinist of superior natural
talent, an exceptionally sensitive interpreter and a phrase maker of uncommon expressivity
Rivka Golani is recognised as one of the most outstanding violists of modern times. She has
greatly contributed to the advancement of viola technique and inspired many composers to
write for the instrument. More than 350 works have so far been composed for Rivka,
including over 80 concertos, a record matched by no other violist in history. Born in
Israel, Rivka trained at the Music Academy of Tel Aviv with the great violist and composer
Oedoen Partos. At the age of 23, she became a member of the Israel Philharmonic.
Rivka moved to Canada in the mid-1970s, where she began her solo career. Her present
home is in London, England. She is also an inspiring teacher who draws students from all
over the world to her classes at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Rivka has
recorded countless albums and performed as a soloist with many of the world’s most
prominent orchestras. She has also performed as a soloist at the Proms in London three
times, including at the last night of the Proms. As the artistic director of Fort MacLeod Music
Festival, Alberta, Canada, she has developed a special collaborative relationship with the
Canadian First Nation Blackfoot. In 2016 she was made a member of the Blackfoot and was
given the name: Itspanhkiakii – ‘A woman who sings from a high place’. Rivka is also a
painter and her works have been exhibited in Israel, Austria, Germany, the UK, USA and
Financial Times: Rivka Golani (is)... a supreme viola virtuoso - white-hot in delivery,
kaleidoscopic in tone colours, electrifying in rhythmic attack.
Raphael Wallfisch is one of the most celebrated cellists performing on the international
stage. Born in London into a family of distinguished musicians, his mother is the cellist Anita
Lasker-Wallfisch and his father the pianist Peter Wallfisch. At an early age, Raphael was
inspired by hearing cellist Zara Nelsova, a great friend of Ernest Bloch and interpreter of his
music. He enjoys a world-wide solo career playing with the world’s most significant
orchestras. Raphael has recorded nearly every major work for his instrument including
Bloch’s Schelomo and Voice in the Wilderness – and most recently a cello version of Bloch’s
symphony for Trombone or Cello with the Welsh National Orchestra. He is regularly invited
to play at major festivals such as the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Spoleto, Prades,
Oslo and Schleswig Holstein. He is also frequently invited to sit on competition juries.
Teaching is one of Raphael’s passions. He is professor of cello at the Zürich Hochschule der
Kunst in Switzerland and at the Royal College of Music in London. Alongside his solo career,
Raphael has a long-standing and distinguished duo with pianist John York. Raphael also
greatly enjoys touring with his piano trio – Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch – which he and his
Israeli colleagues Hagai Shaham (violin) and Arnon Erez (piano) founded in 2009 (218 words)
The Strad: Wallfisch sustained his line with ever more urgent expression, flowing naturally
into a heartfelt but not heart-on-sleeve cadenza.
Alexander Knapp is a musicologist, ethnomusicologist, composer, arranger, and pianist. He graduated from Selwyn College, Cambridge, with MA, MusB, and PhD degrees in music. Over the past 50 years, he has published and/or lectured in the UK, USA, Western and Eastern Europe, Israel, Western Russia, Eastern Siberia, and China, on many aspects of Jewish music: Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Oriental; liturgical, paraliturgical, folk, popular, classical; interrelationships with Christian and Islamic cultures. Among numerous other articles, he has contributed entries on Jewish art music to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Second Edition). His main focus has been on the life and work of the Swiss-American composer Ernest Bloch; and a volume entitled Ernest Bloch Studies, that he co-edited for Cambridge University Press and to which he contributed substantially, was published in 2016. Alex has been appointed to academic and administrative positions at Wolfson College, Cambridge; and at Goldsmiths' College, Royal College of Music, and City University of London. From 1999 until taking early retirement in October 2006, he held the Joe Loss Lectureship in Jewish Music at SOAS. Having organized and directed conferences on Jewish music at City University (1994, 1997) and SOAS (2000), he organized the First International Ernest Bloch Conference in Cambridge (2007) and lectured at the First Beijing International Ernest Bloch Conference (2010).