As we celebrate the new release of Soulmates: Music for Cello, Clarinet, and Piano, we look back at an interview with Uri Vardi conducted before the world premiere performance of Jan Radzynski’s Concert Duos which you’ll find on the new recording!
“I grew up on a kibbutz (communal farm) in Israel,” he says. “When we were about 13 years old, the administrators there decided to let us learn serious instruments. I was drawn to the cello – the teachers said I should have started earlier, that I was too old at 13 to learn the cello. But that’s what I wanted to study. I wouldn’t even consider anything else.”
The cello perfectly expresses Vardi’s emotional response to the music that he interprets on it, everything from 19th century master Johannes Brahms to contemporary Polish/Israeli/American composer Jan Radzynski.
Plenty of both Brahms and Radzynski will be on the program the weekend of March 26 when Vardi performs two concerts of chamber music. Joining him will be his son, Amitai, a renowned clarinetist whose curriculum vitae records appearances with orchestras and ensembles around the world and across the country.
Although the elder and younger Vardi have performed in public concerts together less than a half dozen times, family recitals were a tradition in the Vardi household. The whole family was musical. Mother Hagit played flute. Daughter Shira plays bassoon, and the other daughter, Orit, cello.
Indeed, when Orit celebrated her bat mitzvah (a coming of age celebration for Jewish girls), Radzynski presented the Vardi family with a composition to commemorate the occasion.
“It was very moving gift,” Uri recalls. The upcoming concerts will debut a new Radzynski piece, “Concert Duos for Clarinet and Cello,” also composed expressly for the Vardi family.
See the full interview on the University of Wisconsin website
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