Last week we were given a real treat with a visit from ZRI, an ensemble described by the Cambridge Music festival as ‘unique and endlessly captivating…combining the raucous energy of an impromptu pub session with the style and sophistication of the concert hall’. The musicians, including YMS alumni Max Baillie, spent the day with us, giving teaching sessions and a talk, and an exuberant concert in The Menuhin Hall in the evening that left the audience in great spirits.

The Red Hedgehog Tavern (Zum Roten Igel) was a Viennese establishment where Hungarian gypsy folk musicians performed to composers such as Schubert and Brahms. These gypsy influences can be seen throughout classical music, most noticeably in Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet and Schubert’s C Major String Quintet. ZRI has come together to give a flavour of the music Brahms and Schubert would have listened to in The Red Hedgehog Tavern.

The evening performance was based around an exciting version of Schubert’s String Quintet, a work bursting with gypsy and Hungarian themes. The movements of the quintet are interspersed with Hungarian dances, gypsy tunes and Jewish Klezmer melodies.

We look forward to welcoming ZRI back for another rousing performance anytime they can fit us into their busy touring schedule. If you missed them this time, you can find a list of tour dates on their website at

30 Jan 2018