The Goldman Ensemble is an exciting group delighting audiences with their fresh approach to performances. Recognized by internationally renowned musicians for their daring, imaginative and confident performances, sisters Gavriella (French Horn) and Ortal (Violin) Goldman together with Boyan Ivanov (Clarinet) and Dominic Childs (Tenor Saxophone) breathe new life into well loved works as well as repertoire which is rarely heard elsewhere. Their concerts are renowned for their vibrant and engaging style, coupled with innate musicality, exceptional technique and palpable chemistry.
Music was an integral part of the sisters' lives from infancy as their mother is a musician and music educationalist and with their third sister, Tirzah (Cello), they have been performing together since early on in their musical education. In 2004 the three sisters established the GOLDMAN ENSEMBLE. Success came to them quickly. In 2005 they released the Ensemble’s debut CD, Members of the Goldman Ensemble in Concert, accompanied by Sergey Rybin (Piano) which was recorded at the Wigmore Hall. In 2006 they were chosen to perform a special concert in Memory of the Victims of the London Bombings at St Martin-in-the-Fields for the first anniversary of the tragedy and were invited for a return performance there. In 2007 the Goldman Ensemble was selected for the City Showcase, London's premier showcasing festival. As part of the festival they participated in two events: the Classical Showcase Concert and the promotion of their CD at Virgin Megastore in Piccadilly. In 2009 the Goldman Ensemble created the humorous show Piano Recital (Piano Not Included), which enjoyed a successful run at the Brighton Fringe Festival. Written by themselves for Violin, Cello and French Horn, it combines well known music (mostly arranged by Ortal) with theatre in an entertaining look at the life of professional performers. In 2011, following Tirzah’s exit from the Ensemble, the group underwent transformations until it arrived at the form it is in today. As well as opening new repertoire opportunities, a different version of Piano Recital (Piano Not Included) was born. A new show is currently in development, which will stand alongside Piano Recital (Piano Not Included).
The members of the Goldman Ensemble are all exceptional musicians in their own right. Among them they have won numerous awards and accolades, including the Making Music Philip & Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists, the Nelly Apt Opera and Singers Trust Award, one of the most prestigious Australian prizes, the Sir Jack and Lady Lyons Millennium Scholarship (UK), the Yamaha European Foundation Scholarship Competition and the Park Lane Group Competition. Individually they have performed on stages around the globe as members of world renowned orchestras as well as soloists and in chamber music ensembles. They have appeared with, among others, the Halle Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Arts Orchestra.
Ortal began to study the violin at the age of five. She fell so in love with the instrument that she never put it down. She even played it whilst roller-skating. She wanted to share her love of the instrument and felt that everything should be performed, including scales. When she was a little older (but not much), Ortal was invited by the SBS Radio and Television Youth Orchestra to join them and though she was their youngest member ever, she decided to put away the roller-skates and sit with the older children. Ortal was impatient to grow up so she finished school at the age of sixteen and went on to university. She won quite a few awards along the way. Ortal has been performing for many years as a soloist and chamber musician at some of the most prestigious venues in the UK and abroad. And she was finally convinced to stop performing those scales!
Boyan was born in Bulgaria where his talent for music was first discovered whilst learning the piano. However, Boyan was a very busy (or lazy?) young man and he didn’t want to practise for six hours a day so his grandmother took him to the local band where he was to choose an alternate instrument - one that would require far less time to master. With an eye for the glittery, the lad chose the saxophone but a far less shiny clarinet was bought for him. Never mind, thought Boyan, he would make it sound sparkly and so he went on a journey to find out how. The first port of call was the Plovdiv Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts where the long-term principal clarinettist of Milan’s La Scala was his teacher. He was clearly on the right path as during that time he won third prize at the 2003 International Competition for (twinkling) French Music Performance. Next, Boyan came to learn in London where at the Trinity College of Music he gained the FTCL diploma and later completed a Masters Degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Clearly Boyan’s playing was by now shining so beautifully that the people at Making Music awarded him with the Philip & Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists in 2010, among others. Audiences at prestigious venues both in the UK and abroad were dazzled and such eminent composers as Fabricio Brachetta and Deborah Netanel asked him to spread the magic dust as he premiered their concertos.
Gavriella began to learn the horn when she was not yet big enough to hold the instrument properly. Rather, she had to practice whilst sitting on a long piano stool with the bell propped beside her because when she tried to hold it properly, the mouthpiece reached her forehead. When she grew a little bigger, the people at the Nelly Apt Opera and Singers Trust in Australia awarded her with a prestigious prize and when, a year later, she grew a little bigger still, they gave her another prize. At about that time she began to study psychology at university but when she reached her full height the Rubin Academy of Music admitted her as a student. After she was awarded a B.Mus(hons) she wondered whether the UK would accept a very small horn player. The people at the University of York said yes and gave her the Sir Jack and Lady Lyons Millennium Scholarship. Throughout her growing (and since) Gavriella has enjoyed performing all over the UK, Israel and Australia with orchestras as well as in chamber groups.
Dominic began his musical career at such a young age that he doesn’t actually remember beginning it at all. But we have it on good authority that his first foray into music was as a singer. This career path was clearly not what he was suited to as he only had one piece in his repertoire: How Much is that Doggie on the Window? Music was clearly something he was destined for but perhaps not as a singer, Dominic’s parents thought. And so a saxophone was presented to him at the age of twelve. At Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, Dominic’s teachers guaranteed that he had more than one piece to perform and later, at the Royal College of Music, they made sure that his selection was even broader. Dominic was never going to be a one piece pony ever again! To check this Dominic was tested by the people at the Yamaha European Foundation Scholarship Competition and the Jane Melber Saxophone Competition, who gave him prizes for playing more than one piece very well. By now Dominic was thirsty for an ever expanding collection of works and in his quest to learn even more he went on to study towards a Masters degree at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany. He was helped along with a DAAD scholarship and later, a two year Leverhulme Study Abroad Scholarship. He even spent six months at the Conservatoire de Musique in Lyon as the first Erasmus exchange student. By this time Dominic’s variety of pieces was so large and he played so beautifully that in 2010 he impressed enough to be runner up at the Cologne Hochschule's annual instrumental competition and finalist in the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain Competition. In 2012 he won second prize at the Tunbridge Wells International Young Artist Competition and was a Park Lane Group award winner. Dominic has performed many compositions at some of the most prestigious venues both in the UK and abroad. He now ensures that young saxophone players don’t fall into the same trap which he did at the beginning of his musical journey and so they learn lots and lots of pieces in his many teaching roles as saxophone tutor for the National Youth Wind Ensemble, deputy saxophone teacher at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music and saxophone tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department.