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Rivka Golani


Israeli Rivka Golani (born to a Russian father and Polish mother who moved to Tel Aviv to escape anti-semitism) began on the violin aged seven, later becoming a pupil of Alexander Moskowsky and moving to the viola in her final year of university study, being attracted to its parity with the human voice. She joined the Israel Philharmonic, which included at that time Jewish musicians brought together from all over Europe by Bronisław Huberman. Golani’s solo career took her to North America where she met her first husband, Hungarian luthier Otto Erdesz, who made her a viola that became her favourite instrument. They moved to Canada in 1974 where Golani joined the Eden Trio, chamber group Octagon, and the Esprit Orchestra, whilst maintaining an international profile as both soloist and chamber musician. Over 200 works have been written for her—more than for any other violist.

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