Miriam Kramer, who now lives in London, hails from a musical family. Her grandfather was a cantor and two of her uncles were concert violinists; she began having lessons at the age of four and three years later gave her first public concert (Mozart’s G major Violin Concerto).
Kramer, who was a protégé of Henryck Szeryng and Yehudi Menuhin, is known for her interpretations of Jewish and American-Jewish music. Like most virtuosi, however, she has a wide standard repertoire ranging from Bach to Shostakovich which she has performed in venues such as the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris; London’s Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Palladium; and many others. Her Wigmore Hall début was hailed by the press, including the critic of The Strad magazine, who described her as ‘spellbinding’. Kramer has also appeared regularly on BBC Radio 3, and her Naxos recording, The Violin Music of Ernest Bloch won a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine and was Editor’s Choice in The Gramophone. She has been honoured as ‘UK Jewish Performer of the Year’ and at a recital at New York’s Alice Tully Hall received a very favourable review by the New York Times critic, who called her ‘a gifted young violinist who proved a soulful performer showing flair and temperament, fine sensitivity and warmth’.
Kramer has an active interest in music by living composers, such as Leo Cottakis. She is also a keen chamber musician, playing in the piano trio Tutti Solisti with cellist Deborah Netanel and pianist Steven Aldredge.
Her discography is currently very limited, but gives a clear insight into her impassioned and fiery performances that provide much future promise for her development. Her playing is stylistically conventional, but notable for its quality of tone and the impressive bite and attack of her articulation. The Bloch and Szymanowski items selected here all display these traits well. In the Bloch (1998) she avoids the sometimes saccharine sentimentality that can mar his works, and delivers them with a clean and uncluttered approach, whilst the Szymanowski Sonata (2005) shows a clear stylistic differentiation: this music is wilder and more restless, and evidences a commensurate adjustment to Kramer’s approach. Her talents are displayed clearly by these discs.
© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Milsom (A–Z of String Players, Naxos 8.558081-84)