What do the critics think of Rivka Golani? James North of America’s Fanfare Magazine, in a glowing appraisal of her work, wrote that she is “… carving out a place of her own that no other performer on the instrument can reach.” The Financial Times of London clearly agrees: “Rivka Golani (is)… a supreme viola virtuoso – white-hot in delivery, kaleidoscopic in tone colours, electrifying in rhythmic attack.” For an even more effusive testimony, we might try the Boston Herald: “… riveting, intensely physical stage presence… hurtling momentum, constant risk-taking, complete technical assurance… one can only be grateful that she dedicated herself to art rather than warfare, for she would be an awesome adversary.” Finally, a tribute from Geoffrey Crankshaw of Musical Opinion, following a recital at Wigmore Hall: “No nobler music-making could be imagined than this eloquent performance… the grand tradition brought to the service of inspired musical insight.”
Rivka has recorded countless albums with many distinguished orchestras, including Royal Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Berne Symphony, Budapest Radio Orchestra, BBC Sinfonietta, and others. A landmark among her many albums is her world premiere recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto on viola, with the Royal Philharmonic – the complete Bach Cello Suites, including performances of Bach’s Chaconne and Chromatic Fantasy.
As the artistic director of Fort MacLeod Music Festival, Alberta, Canada, for seven years, she developed a special collaborative relationship with the Canadian First Nation Blackfoot. She is currently the artistic director of SOWECA Music Festival in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
Born in Israel, Rivka trained at the Music Academy of Tel Aviv with the great violist and composer Oedoen Partos. At the age of 23, she became a member of the Israel Philharmonic. Rivka moved to Canada in the mid-1970s, where she began her solo career. Her present home is in London, England. She is also an inspiring teacher who draws students from all over the world to her classes at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Rivka plays a viola made by the renowned maker Otto Erdesz.
Rivka is also a painter and her works have been exhibited in Israel, Austria, Germany, the UK, USA and Canada.
- Ambassador of Canadian Music for the Canadian Music Centre (2009)
- “Musician of the year” by Artijus Music Foundation of Hungary (2011)
- The Eagle Feather, a gesture of honour and appreciation for her work acknowledging the rich history of the Blackfoot First Nations people (2011)
- Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Lethbridge University, Alberta, Canada, for bringing classical music to Southern Alberta (2013)
- Hungarian Classical Disc of the Year, Gramofon Award, for her latest Hungaraton CD set Hidden Treasure HCD32721-22 (December 2013)
- Her latest Hungaraton 2CD set – Russian Concert – (live performance, with pianist John Lenehan, HCD 32743-44) was released in July 2015
- On February 19th 2016, Rivka Golani was given the highest award – a name – by the Blackfoot First Nations People of Canada: ‘A woman who sings from a high place.’