Trio in tune with Israel's music

By Simon Round, January 6, 2011
Ambassadors: Breuer, Ishay and Zori

Ambassadors: Breuer, Ishay and Zori

When Hillel Zori and his colleagues, Menahem Breuer and Roglit Ishay, play abroad, no-one is left in any doubt as to where they come from. Not only are they called the Israel Piano Trio but they also love to showcase Israeli and Jewish music. Their latest visit to the UK will be no exception. When the Trio plays at the Wigmore Hall on Sunday, the concert will include Variations on a Hebrew Melody by Paul Ben-Haim, and Bruch's Kol Nidre, part of a programme that also includes works by Beethoven and Brahms.

Cellist Zori, an acclaimed soloist in his own right, is keen to emphasise the Trio's ambassadorial role. "We try to promote Israeli or Jewish music every time we perform out of the country. Ben-Haim is a great composer - although he was born in Munich, he adapted to Israel and incorporated many local tunes into his writing."

Kol Nidre has almost become a signature tune for the Trio. "A few years ago we were asked to play the piece but it didn't exist in an arrangement for a piano trio," says Zori. "Then our previous pianist, Tomer Lev, was hospitalised for a few months and he had the time to arrange it. As we are the only ones who play it, in a way it belongs to the Trio."

Zori is aware that Israeli musicians have faced protests when playing here, and the Trio did have a concert cancelled by a nervous promoter a couple of years ago. But he is not worried. "We have always found English audiences to be wonderful and warm. Britain is one of our favourite destinations," he says.

The Israel Piano Trio play at the Wigmore Hall, London W1, on Sunday at 7.30pm. Tel: 020 7935 2141

Last updated: 11:04am, January 6 2011