Yuval Herz, Violinist Extraordinaire

April 26, 2015 Updated: April 26, 2015

It all started with a violin. Israeli violinist Yuval Herz, the guest concertmaster for the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra’s April 27 performance of Verdi’s “Requiem,” has centred his life around music. He will play an instrument he said he would love to own—a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin, on loan to him by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.

Born in Jerusalem in 1989, Herz began his study of music when he was just six years old. He has continued his musical studies with many famous teachers in many countries, starting as a student at the Jerusalem Academy of Music where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in 2010. He then went on to further his musical career at the Jacobs School of Music of the Indiana University and more recently at the University of Ottawa, where he is currently a student of the Master of Music program in performance.

Herz has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in concerts and festivals around the world with such renowned orchestras as the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra. He has performed under such conductors as Michael Sanderling, Krystof Penderecki, Daniel Barneboim, and Asher Fish.

A recipient of many awards and prizes, he has also played with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra based in Seville, Spain, an “orchestra against ignorance” that brings together peoples from groups in conflict in the Middle East.

Herz’s recitals have taken place in such far-flung countries as China, Israel, Italy, Germany, Holland and, of course, here in Canada. He has performed in prestigious halls like the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Poly Theatre in Beijing, and the Lincoln Center in New York City.

He said his favourite composer is Mozart. It seems to me that he is restless, as was Mozart, and that the two, in their quest to study music and further their musical careers, did a lot of travelling.

I first heard Herz play Mozart at the University of Ottawa’s Tabouret Hall in March, and now I am looking forward to April 27 when he will be performing as both violinist and guest concertmaster at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Verdi’s “Requiem,” one of the Italian composer`s most highly regarded works, will be featured. I am sure it will be a night to remember.

Susan Hallett is an award-winning writer and editor who has written for The Beaver, The Globe & Mail, Wine Tidings and Doctor’s Review among others. Email: hallett_susan@hotmail.com