Recent Reviews, Impressions, and Reactions


PIANIST THRILLS WITH WARMTH AND ARTISTRY Israeli pianist Rami Bar-Niv was the featured artist chosen by the Whangarei Music Sociey to appear in the opening presentation of its 1999 subscription series. The piano recital formed part of Bar-Niv's first tour of New Zealand and was given last night in the Capitaine Bouganville Theatre as part of the final week of Whangarei's Arts Festival.

One of Israel's foremost pianists, Bar-Niv is in demand not only for solo recitals but also for chamber music and as soloist with orchestras. He has an enviable international reputation, and his highly successful concert career includes regular performances in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Bar-Niv's fine sense of musicianship and technical mastery of his instrument were evident from the beginning. This power of performance is complemented by composing, and the artist began the programme with two of his own pieces. The expressive Prayer and Dance provided the opportunity for his musical sensitivity to shine, with the spirituality of the Prayer contrasting well with the rhythmic element of the Dance, and the dynamic character of the following Toccata.

Mozart's piano works require careful attention to stylistic detail: albeit with a whisper of rubato, classical delicacy of control was apparent in Bar-Niv's performance of the F Major Sonata - from the sparkle of the first movement and the lyrical charm of the adagio to the brilliance of the rondo. Such classical elegance was a preface to the enchantment of Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor - a beautiful interpretation of this haunting piece. The first half of the programme closed with another Chopin work - the heroic Polonaise in A flat major, a passionate example of the nationalistic side of Chopin's character. His piano music demands a flawless touch, brilliant technique and discreet use of rubato. In Bar-Niv's hands, these demands were well met: with a wide range of colour; the piece became the epitome of the grand style.

After the interval, versatility of repertoire received further focus. Bar-Niv's interpretation of Gershwin is justifiably a popular part of his programme, and the second half was devoted to that composer - a feast for Gershwin lovers. A personal rendition of the Three Preludes began the selection, followed by a blend of well known melodies. The much loved Summertime from Porgy and Bess preceded the final item, Rhapsody in Blue - the superb performance of this piece drawing a standing ovation for the artist. Two encores followed, to the delight of the enthusiastic audience. Bar-Niv's charm and humor had pervaded the evening's performance.

Ann Kerton

From: Steve Chou,
To: sonata,
Date: Monday, July 03, 2000 3:26 PM
Subject: musical earthquake

O.K. Rotorua is in the earthquake zone, but on Saturday night, it was an earthquake of a different kind caused by a short, bald superman, you all know who he is. This happened in the Red Cross Benefit concert which Rami played. 350-400 attended, incl. our mayor, MP(=senator), president of Red Cross NZ and other dignitaries.
Next day I was inundated with phone calls by friends which I can summarise:
1. They have never heard anything like that, power, romantic flamboyance, tenderness (in Chopin nocturne) and beautiful touch. Thrilling was the word, overwhelmed...
2. Some said he played like Rubinstein whom some heard many years ago.
These were remarks from friends who are professional or amateur pianists.

Steve Chou

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000
From: "Mary E. Trawick",

I just listened to your beautiful performance of the Grieg A Minor concerto. Your performance is most inspiring. Thank you for giving such a fine performance and sharing it.

From: "David K. Lee",
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000
Subject: [sonata] Bar-Niv bedazzles Boise

Rami Bar-Niv captivated a Boise audience with power, precision, and technique that created a stunning artistic presentation. The strong applause which had followed each piece from the beginning turned into a prolonged standing ovation.

David Lee

From: "patricia a blissenbach",
Subject: Salon Concert
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000

It has been a week since we hosted a salon concert for Rami Bar-Niv in our home, and I am still basking in the glow of marvelous music he produced for our audience. He put on a thrilling performance for a full house here. The professor of piano from the university and a member of the California Music Teachers Association were in attendance. When Rami is before an audience he brings out the best in the music as well as a personality that engages the audience and enhances his performance.

The audience was visibly energized by our talented performer who's dazzling pianistic skills brought a standing ovation. The ambience of the setting sun behind him and his musical wizardry went together to create a magical evening that touched the hearts and imaginations in our little corner of the world.

Patty B-bach

From: "Stephen Best",
Sent: Wednesday, June 07
Subject: Another recital!

Rami Bar-Niv makes an eagerly awaited return visit to First Church, where his previous recital ranked among the most exceptional programs heard in this location.

Bar-Niv's recital will remain forever etched in my memory as one of the all time great recitals I've ever attended, and I've been to hundreds of them! He is truly an international artist of the highest order. When Bar-Niv played Busoni's monumental transcription of the organ Toccata in C, I was immediately struck by how much we, who are organist, could learn from his extraordinary interpretation.

Best from Steve

Date: Thu, 4 May 2000
Subject: Rami's Schumann and Grieg Concerto CD's

Hi Everyone,
Just wanted to let you know that I took my first MP3 plunge and bought two of Rami's CD's. I got the Schumann and Grieg Concerto CDs. Let me just say that they are fabulous. First of all Rami's playing is superb, absolutely world class. His interaction with the orchestra is also incredible. They are of one mind. The way Rami knows just how to blend when he needs to and when to be out front is really exceptional. His solo parts are emotional yet fully controlled with beautiful tone and phrasing. I thought all of you out there on the Piano-L list should know about these CD's. If you haven't gotten to check them out yet I would highly recommend purchasing them.

Scott Fishkind

From: Kristina Turechek,
Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2000 9:37 AM
Subject: [ped] Re: Rami's Utica performance

Hope it's OK to post this "review" of Rami's performance last night in Utica, NY.
First, we all had a great time - performer and, thus, audience, (which gave him at least 3 standing ovations). Rami plays with the freedom, energy, excitement and emphasis of a jazz musician, but he does not "play down" to his audience. His freedom comes from his mastery of the keyboard. Musically, he has plenty to say and an individual way of saying it. The drama with which he invests the music helps the listener to perceive the composer's intentions. I particularly liked the way his hands spoke to each other. By the way, this fellow is not attached to the piano seat!
His performance of Beethoven's "Appassionata" was deeply felt and moving. Rami is a man who is doing exactly what he is supposed to be doing in this life, making joyful music. His joy communicates directly to his audience and makes us feel joyful, too.
Rami's four rags were a lot of fun to hear. Some day I'd like to hear his "Israeli" music.

Kristina Turechek

The Rotorua "DAILY POST" wrote on July 3 2000:

Rami Bar-Niv established himself as strong musical personality who puts his own stamp on everything he plays. His finger-work in the Bach-Busoni BVW564 was powerful and deliberate. With Chopin, a composer with whom he has good affinity, there was plenty of insight and subtle shading. He ended the evening with four of hisown rags, all quite different and with witty pianistic elaborations, but still with the compelling rhythms which makes ragtime so appealing.

From: AlanD,
To: Singleton Roy RXS,; Steve Chou; Yair Barniv,
Cc: Neil McKelvie, NEMCC@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU; Kathie Faricy,
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000 8:44 AM
Subject: Rami - Gone, but not forgotten

Rami's Wellington concert last evening was a great success. The audience were rewarded musically, entertained, informed and engaged by the friendly and personal commentary Rami delivered before each set/piece. This in a well constructed and balanced programme AND the Oxfam Ethiopia Water Project was better off. A win-win situation. The audience included some senior "musical people", the Mexico Ambassador etc. Together with the Concert FM radio interview on Tuesday and the Jewish Community Concert, Rami is now recognised by the "establishment" here.

Kind regards - AlanD

Subject: viewer email

Dear artist, This is the first time I hear your "Prayer". It certainly is a great piece of music. Shalom.

Maurice Einhorn (Belgium)

From: Albert Frantz,
Date: Friday, July 14, 2000 8:22 AM
Subject: Hat's off!

I just got done listening to list member Rami Bar-Niv's spectacular arrangement of the Rhapsody in Blue!: I'm positively thrilled by Rami's performance.
Congratulations, Rami!

Albert Frantz

Subject: Your Concert
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000

Thank you so much for the spectacular concert!! We enjoyed it tremendously.
In this concert there were two moments that I felt as though your source and skill brought the harmonics of higher spiritual energy twice. In both cases, my soul was so uplifted, I wanted to cry. To experience that joy, and release anything that did not fit that joy. The first was the first piece of Anna Magdalena Bach and the second your Chopin encore.
It really amazes me how your interpretation is so fine for each composer. It is though you step into their genius and convey their message with completed integrity.
What a privilege it is to hear you!!
Many blessings to you!


Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001
From: Kornåld Music
Subject: Re: viewer email

Hello Rami !
Thank you for submitting a great Mozart-performance ! I have really enjoyed it, and I am happy to include this sonata on the "A Sonata Station". writes:

March 23, 2001
Ciao Rami, it's Marco Modaro ,I'm listening to your impressive music.
As a pianist and as a composer you're absolutely brilliant.

May 10, 2001
Ciao Rami, great piece and brilliant performing.
Tonite, I will include it in my PIANOCOMPOSERS station

Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 8:25 PM
To: Rami Bar-Niv, Concert Pianist
Subject: An Fan has sent you an email!

Dear Mr. Bar-Niv,
I hope you won’t find it presumptuous on the part of an accomplished dilettante to say that I have been quite impressed by your performance of Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto and Dvorak’s Quintet. I have greatly enjoyed Shostakovich’ Concerto, too. (Please, pass my thanks to Mr. Tal Bar-Niv for his part in it.) I am looking forward to Grieg and Schumann now.
Your Dance, Prayer and Toccata happen to be of personal sentimental, not only of artistic value to me...In anticipation of new delights from you, truly yours, Nikolai Biryukov (Russia)

From: Kornåld Music,
To: "Bar-Niv",
Subject: Re: viewer email
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 12:40:45 +0200

Dear Rami,
I am glad to tell you that I've included two of your performances on my stations : "A Classical Review" and "A Classical Music Station". I am so happy having been listening to this - you are a very complete musician in my ears/heart !
I feel honored to have "met" you in this way!
With very best regards from Fred Jonny (still having Grieg's piano concerto from your record repeating in my head)

This is a review written on BBs: Rami Bar-Niv - "Rhapsody in Blue"

If you like astounding piano playing and are also a fan of Gershwin, then you are in for a huge treat. Rami kept me mesmerized during the 16 minute tome of a piece of music.... I would call it salt-of-the-earth classical the mr. Gershwin has given to us. couple that brilliant composer's masterwork with a pianist who has a magical touch....has the ability to interpret this simple yet extremely complex (make sense?) with the ease of a wizard....well, you just gotta hear it. you should hear it.... this passes my driving test with flying colors. i've enjoyed a complete listen to Rami's "Rhapsody in Blue" about 10 times so far and each listening is a mini-adventure into the mind of the composer and into the mind of the player. beautiful....well recorded as well. this is a keeper.


Your CD has given me such pleasure! (Rhapsody in Blue + several rags and other things.)
Thank you.
Nancy R. Burstein
Abt Associates Inc.
55 Wheeler Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 11:05:58 EST

I received the video. Thank you so much for sending it. I have played it so many times I might wear it out and have to get a new one. I am truly enjoying watching your hand and of course I also enjoy the music.


Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 14:24:06 -0500

I received the video and am learning much...
I enjoy your CD as well...

Jennifer Chao

Subject: An Fan has sent you an email!
hi, Your site is one of the most satisfying: excellent music and marvellous artists! I'm from austria and I always come back to Your site, because it's interesting and entertaining (in the best sense of the word!) all the best

jakob klivinyi,

...the event ended with all in the concert hall for a closing concert which featured performances of pieces in the Anna Magdalena Notebook. Rami Bar-Niv was our guest artist. These AMB pieces literally dance out of his fingers. This was a huge success.

Linda K,

I just heard you play your Toccata for Piano (commemorating peace with Egyptian) on Qol Yisrael radio. I found the composition so emotionally and intellectually pleasing that I wanted to let you know. Your playing impressed me as technically precise and expressive. Bravo!

Yisrael van Handel, marketing and sales consultant,
Tech-Tav Documentation Ltd,
Jerusalem, Israel,

I am carefully watching a young Israeli pianist named Rami Bar-Niv. He is on the level of Murry Perahia, possibly more expressive and sensitive, but not in a romantic way. He is also a first-rate composer in a style that I don't have a name for yet, but is supremely musical. We should keep an eye out for his performances. In the meantime, you can listen to his music at

Yisrael van Handel

Subject: Concert worth attending!
Hi everyone:
I can hardly wait for tomorrow evening's piano recital by Rami Bar-Niv. When I first heard him three years ago, I was totally unprepared for the artistry of this great virtuoso. Widely regarded as one of Israel's finest concert pianists, Bar-Niv performs all over the world, receiving rave reviews from such diverse sources as the NEW YORK TIMES, SALISBURY (England) HERALD, BERLINER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, and hundreds of others too numerous to mention. The programs I've heard him play rank among the best recitals I've ever heard...regardless of the medium... DON'T MISS THIS ONE!

Best from Steve,

From: "Lois Morris",
Subject: Your fabulous concert at First Presbyterian Church in Utica, NY
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 16:47:46 -0000

Dear Dr. Bar-Niv:

We were so thrilled to hear you (for the third time!!) at the First Presbyterian Church in Utica on May l8. What a marvelous time we had. We were mightily impressed!! We thought this was the best ever.

We are at the library in a neighboring town, using the computer. I will quote a letter to the editor we wrote after your concert.


FROM: Lois Morris, Box 272, Brookfield, NY l33l4
DATE: May l9, 200l

Rami Bar-Niv

For the third consecutive year the well known Utica teacher/musician and impresario Dr. Stephen Best, Music Director of the First Presbyterian Church, has brought to area music lovers one of Israel's and the World's most valuable musical treasures--the brilliant concert pianist Rami Bar-Niv.
I'm sure the large, appreciative audience at his recent concert here would "Amen" my sentiments that this extraordinary pianist is simply without peer in a highly competitive profession illuminated by a galaxy of shining stars.
Listening to Mr. Bar-Niv is unsquestionably one of the most rewarding and pleasurable musical experiences we have ever been blessed to have in over 30 years of attending such concerts.

Thank you, Dr. Best, once again for your tireless efforts in keeping the great music traditions alive and well in this community.

As I heard one gentleman tell Mr. Bar-Niv after the concert, "You are the greatest?!"

To that I only wish to add: "Bravo and encore, Rami Bar-Niv!"

We wanted to add that we could hardly believe the encore you did--again, without notes in front of you--doing a huge, demanding piece after two hours of incredible music!! What can we say?

Kindest personal regards,
Hobie and Lois Morris 1