Holy Land Viola

Rivka Golani

Born: March 22, 1946, in Tel Aviv

Known for: A world-renowned viola player and teacher, as well as a visual artist

About her: Born in the Holy Land, Rivka’s father was a Holocaust survivor from Poland who had lost his whole family to the Nazis. Both of her olim (immigrant) parents were artistic, so Rivka began learning the violin at the age of 7, an instrument she studied until she turned 21. At that time, she switched to viola and began to study with Israeli great Oedoen Partos and also became a member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Throughout her playing career, Rivka has performed with many worldwide orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, the BBC Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Toronto Symphony, among dozens of others. She has had more than 250 classical pieces written expressly for her. Her recordings include the Elgar Cello Concerto for viola, the Bartok Concerto, a three-CD set of Bach pieces for viola, and the above Schubert sonata for arpeggione (a bowed guitar from the 1800s that is no longer played). Rivka is also a renowned music teacher who teaches pupils from around the world and is a professor at the Trinity College of Music in London.

Tags: Israelis You Should Know Video

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