Rivka Golani (Viola)
Rivka Golani is recognised as one of the outstanding violists of modern times. Her contributions to the advancement of viola technique have already given her a place in the history of the instrument and have been a source of inspiration not only to other players but also to the many composers who have been inspired by her mastery to write for the viola. More than 350 works have so far been composed for Rivka, including over 80 concertos: a record matched by no other violist in history.
She has performed as a soloist with many of the world’s most prominent orchestras: BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Hallé Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic,Royal Concertgebow, Royal Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Jerusalem Radio Orchestra,Tokyo Metropolitan, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and countless others. She also has performed as a soloist three times at the Promenade concerts in London, including the last night of the Proms.
What do the critics think of Rivka Golani? James North of America’s Fanfare Magazine, in a glowing appraisal of her work, wrote that she is “... carving out a place of her own that no other performer on the instrument can reach.” The Financial Times of London clearly agrees: “Rivka Golani (is)...a supreme viola virtuoso - white-hot in delivery, kaleidoscopic in tone colours,electrifying in rhythmic attack.” For an even more effusive testimony, we might try the Boston Herald: “...riveting, intensely physical stage presence...hurtling momentum, constant risk-taking,complete technical assurance....one can only be grateful that she dedicated herself to art rather than warfare, for she would be an awesome adversary.” Finally, a tribute from Geoffrey Crankshaw of
Musical Opinion, following a recital at Wigmore Hall: “No nobler music-making could be imagined than this eloquent performance.... the grand tradition brought to the service of inspired musical insight.”
Rivka has made countless CD recordings with many distinguished orchestras including Royal Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Berne Symphony, Budapest Radio Orchestra, BBC Sinfonietta and others. A landmark among her many CDs is her world premiere recording on viola of the Elgar Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic, a set of the complete Bach Cello Suites which includes performances of Bach’s Chaconne and Chromatic Fantasy.
As artistic director of Fort MacLeod Music Festival, Alberta, Canada for seven years, she has developed a special collaborative relationship with the Canadian First Nation Blackfoot. She is the artistic director of SOWECA Music Festival in British Columbia and Alberta,Canada.
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 London’s Trinity Laban College of Music and Dance.
Rivka plays a viola made by the renowned maker Otto Erdesz.
Recent awards include the following:
Ambassador of Canadian Music for the Canadian Music Centre (2009)
"Musician of the year" by Artijus Music Foundation of Hungary (2011)
The Eagle Feather, a gesture of honour and appreciation for her work acknowledging the rich history of the Blakfoot First Nations people (2011)
Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Lethbridge University, Alberta, Canada, for bringing classical music to Southern Alberta (2013)
Hungarian Classical Disc of the Year, Gramofon Award, for her Hungaroton 2 CDs set “Hidden Treasure” HCD32721-22 (December 2013)
Her latest Hungaraton 2CD set - Russian Concert - (live performance, with pianist John Lenehan, HCD 32743-44) was released in July 2015
On February 19th 2016, Rivka Golani was given the highest award -a name -by the Blackfoot First Nations People of Canada: 'Itspankiyakii' - ‘A woman who sings from a high place.’
Rivka is also a painter. Her works have been exhibited in Israel, Canada, UK ,Germany, Austria and USA.