Thoroughly Good Classical Music Podcast Ep 39 – Violinist Itamar Zorman discusses the music of composer Paul Ben-Haim

Podcast 39 features Borlotti-Buitoni Trust Award winner from 2014 violinist Itamar Zorman. We met at the Southbank Centre in London in late March 2019.

Itamar was born in Tel-Aviv, studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, Julliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. He’s performed with the Mariinsky Orchestra, German Radio Philharmonic, KBS Symphony in Seoul and the HR SinfonieOrchester in Frankfurt, and in a variety of international concert venues. Find out more at

The Borlotti-Buitoni Trust’s award supports Itamar and other musicians like him in raising his professional profile and in turned helped Itamar research the work of composer Paul Frankenberger who fled Germany during the Nazi regime and moved to British Mandate of Palestine in 1930s. There he assumed the name of Paul Ben-Haim and continued composing. The CD released at the beginning of May reflects Itamar’s ongoing fascination of the Jewish composer and illustrates the way in which the composer’s musical language changed over his career.

When the perception of a distant lands merges with familiar language and a blend of accents the resulting conversation something unusual occurs for me as a listener.

When the rhythm of that conversation takes unexpected turns then attention increases. There is then something almost musical in this conversation. A dialogue of the kind I’ve not experienced before in this podcast series.

I listen to this podcast back in the edit and hear a man who thinks carefully before he speaks. I like that. We don’t do that enough in our everyday exchanges with one another. We don’t allow ourselves the time to consider what the person has said and how we can best respond.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting for a moment my contribution to this conversation with violinist Itamar Zorman about his release of music by Paul Ben-Haim is especially fascinating. It’s the moments in between what I say and how he replies that hook me in, moments that forces me to lean in and focus.

Expect lots of delightfully nerdy detail.

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