In Jack Liebeck's living room, two violin cases lie on the floor, stacks of classical CDs line the shelves and the score of Mendelssohn's violin concerto rests on the coffee table. It is not hard to guess what he does for a living.
One hallmark of the truly great violinists is a sound on the instrument that can be recognised at once as uniquely theirs. Vadim Gluzman has just such a tone, and not just because he plays the Stradivarius that once belonged to Leopold Auer, teacher of the legendary Jascha Heifetz. There is an all-out passion to Gluzman's playing, a gorgeousness that leaves you wanting more of it, fast.
A thriving contemporary music scene where performers play to enthusiastic young audiences? It seems unattainable. But not for the Meitar Chamber Ensemble. This award-winning young Israeli group, founded by pianist Amit Dolberg, consists of nine players who share a passion for contemporary music. They have been working together for seven years, yet their average age is still under 30.
It is 7am in Texas and Emanuel (Manny) Ax is off to the airport. Just hours earlier he gave an all-Schubert piano recital and he probably needed more sleep afterwards than he got; but he insists that he is happy to talk.
Maroon 5's poppy brand of funk, or perhaps funky brand of pop, has served them well. The American band - who sound like a tougher, rockier Jamiroquai, or a less heavy Red Hot Chili Peppers - have sold 15 million albums in under 10 years, and topped singles charts all over the world.
But they undoubtedly would never have become so successful without Adam Levine, their charismatic frontman with the soulful vocals, whose photogenic looks have seen him linked with numerous A-list beauties, including Jessica Simpson and Natalie Portman.
In the cut-throat world of the classical virtuoso, the 26-year-old Russian-born Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg has come a long way in a short space of time, and certainly since his first public performance in Israel as seven year old. His sensational BBC prom debut last summer, in which he performed Liszt's first piano concerto, had critics rhapsodising over his "breathtaking, crystalline sound", and drew comparisons with Artur Rubinstein.
But it was his win at the Santander International Piano Competition in Spain in 2002 that really put him on the musical map.
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.