The couple that plays together

HalafLangheimlight2The violin/viola duo Hagit Halaf and Christoph Emmanuel Langheim, who long toured Europe and made their Carnegie Hall debut earlier this year, will be in Israel for three concerts this week. Hagit is hoping to reestablish her career here a decade after leaving the country.

She and Christoph first played together at a family event.

“I remember his mother saying: “You both play so well, why not to try and play together, it could be soooooo sweet,” smiles Hagit.

“My stepfather was a mayor of a little town near Frankfurt,” adds Christoph. “They needed fill-in music for various events, and we solved their problem.”

It was only after their first appearance on a professional stage in Vienna, that “I realized that performing with Christoph was great and we should take it for serious,” recalls Hagit.

They first met at the Tel Aviv Music Academy, where Christoph came from his native Frankfurt for a year to study with a former IPO concertmaster Chaim Taub.

“It was not an easy time. I come from a very protective family and here it was real life. But I liked Israel’s mixture of Western rhythm and Middle Eastern traditions,” recalls Christopher, who speaks fluent Hebrew with a soft and beautiful European accent.

The couple left for the Vienna Music Academy, where Hagit studied with Evgenia Tchugaeva, a former assistant of legendary Russian teacher Yankelevich, while Christoph studied with Prof. Thomas Kakuska, the violist of the Alban Berg string quartet, and later with Michael Kugel.

Hagit appears as a soloist with various orchestras and also plays chamber music. She joined the Filharmonica della Scala in Milan, while Christoph was chosen by conductor Riccardo Chailly to be principal viola for the Milan Symphony Orchestra, the city where they with their two-year-old son.

As a duo their repertoire includes pieces originally written for viola and violin, such as duos by Mozart, Martinu or Villa Lobos, as well as arrangements. Lately they’ve begun to play Jewish and Israeli music, with pieces arranged by Daniel Galai and the Italian Jewish composer Riccardo Joshua Moretti. Israeli composers Ronen Shapiro and Gil Shohat have wrote pieces for them.

The violin/viola duo Hagit Halaf and Christoph Emmanuel Langheim, who long toured Europe and made their Carnegie Hall debut earlier this year, will be in Israel for three concerts this week. Hagit is hoping to reestablish her career here a decade after leaving the country.

She and Christoph first played together at a family event.

“I remember his mother saying: “You both play so well, why not to try and play together, it could be soooooo sweet,” smiles Hagit.

“My stepfather was a mayor of a little town near Frankfurt,” adds Christoph. “They needed fill-in music for various events, and we solved their problem.”

It was only after their first appearance on a professional stage in Vienna, that “I realized that performing with Christoph was great and we should take it for serious,” recalls Hagit.

They first met at the Tel Aviv Music Academy, where Christoph came from his native Frankfurt for a year to study with a former IPO concertmaster Chaim Taub.

“It was not an easy time. I come from a very protective family and here it was real life. But I liked Israel’s mixture of Western rhythm and Middle Eastern traditions,” recalls Christopher, who speaks fluent Hebrew with a soft and beautiful European accent.

The couple left for the Vienna Music Academy, where Hagit studied with Evgenia Tchugaeva, a former assistant of legendary Russian teacher Yankelevich, while Christoph studied with Prof. Thomas Kakuska, the violist of the Alban Berg string quartet, and later with Michael Kugel.

Hagit appears as a soloist with various orchestras and also plays chamber music. She joined the Filharmonica della Scala in Milan, while Christoph was chosen by conductor Riccardo Chailly to be principal viola for the Milan Symphony Orchestra, the city where they with their two-year-old son.

As a duo their repertoire includes pieces originally written for viola and violin, such as duos by Mozart, Martinu or Villa Lobos, as well as arrangements. Lately they’ve begun to play Jewish and Israeli music, with pieces arranged by Daniel Galai and the Italian Jewish composer Riccardo Joshua Moretti. Israeli composers Ronen Shapiro and Gil Shohat have wrote pieces for them.

Hagit Halaf and Christoph Langheim play Saturday night at 10:30 at Kibutz Ein HaShofet, next Friday evening (April 13) at 8:30 p.m. at Jonatan and Adi Zak’s home in Tel-Aviv (03) 602-3958 and next Saturday night (April 14) at 8 p.m. at Leyvik House in Tel-Aviv (03) 523-1830.
This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1173879253254&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Apr. 5, 2007
Maxim Reider , THE JERUSALEM POST

Copyright 1995- 2009 The Jerusalem Post – http://www.jpost.com/

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