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Russian-Israeli Duo In Ravel, Janácek & Chausson


Vadim Repin (file photo)

The first US recital tour of famed Russian violinist Vadim Repin and noted Israeli pianist Itamar Golan will include a stop at Jordan Hall on March 18th.  Their program, surprisingly without a Russian work, lists Janácek’s Violin Sonata, Ravel’s Violin Sonata in G Major, Grieg’s Violin Sonata No.2 in G Major, Chausson’s Poeme and Ravel’s Tsigane. Tickets are available in advance through Maestro Artist Management.                       

Repin’s instrument is the 1743 “Bonjour” Guarneri. His laurels include a Gold Medal in the Wienawski Competition, and he has performed on the world’s great stages as recitalist and orchestral soloist. Pianist Itamar Golan leads a distinguished career as a chamber music performer and appears with outstanding soloists and ensembles throughout the world. After reading their bios here and here, BMInt had a few questions for them.

BMInt to Vadim Repin: Your name is very familiar to Boston cognoscenti. When did you play with Boston Symphony Orchestra and in what concerti?

Vadim Repin: I’ve played many times with them; they are without question one of my absolute favorite orchestras. Perhaps the most memorable concert I had was in 2005 when I performed the Shostakovich first violin concerto under Maestro Kurt Masur.

Do you work with a variety of pianists, and why Mr. Golan for this tour?

I enjoy playing chamber music — I particularly love the aspect of the dialogue — with many great players —and one of them is Itamar. We haven’t played together in Boston yet, so this is the moment!

Why is there no Russian music on this program?
There might be encores!

Thanks for not playing the Prokofiev Violin Sonata. Though it is a great piece, we hear it too much.

Really? Both sonatas by Prokofiev are treasures of the 20th century.

Do you ever play any Anton Rubinstein?

I might for the next tour.

Longer term, are you planning more US recitals?

Absolutely! There is great audience, considerable interest, and I’m looking forward to new programs.

What recording projects are you undertaking?

It is always a secret till it’s done. I’d love to do another recital recording!

Do you play new music? Do you commission?

Very much so…  James MacMillan’s violin concerto which he wrote for me, went down very well in Philadelphia, New York, and London, and I have four performances of it coming up in April: two in Spain and one each in Paris and Amsterdam. I premiered a concerto by the American composer Daniel Brewbaker with the Baltimore Symphony and James Judd back in 2005; Benjamin Yusupov is currently writing a very special violin concerto for me, and I hope it’ll be ready soon.


Itamar Golan (file photo)

BMInt to Itamar Golan: You’re no stranger to Boston, according to your bio, having spent four years at NEC. Tell us a bit about how you spent your time here. 

Itamar Golan: I did indeed spend some time in Boston and NEC (though much less than four years). They were very turbulent years for me — I was a very restless teenager. At the same time I had very strong and meaningful encounters with the late Patricia Zander, Leonard Shure, Mary Lou Speaker, and Mark Churchill.

Do you have a regular chamber group and recurring associations with certain soloists?

I have no regular group and never had much interest in having one. But I do have regular collaborations and associations with artists with whom I developed a strong affinity over many years.

You’re now apparently Paris-based, but are you planning more tours in the US?
I live in Paris and love it very much, and feel very European at heart, but at the same time I have always been fascinated by America. I’m a kind of distant admirer, especially of different aspects and values that sometimes seem lost. But then one can say the same about Europe, I suppose!

Your bio says you have an interest in poetry — reading or writing?
I do write poetry, and there was a time when I existed alongside — or was engulfed by! —  American poetry, including some very prominent New England poets.

See related review here.

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