PROM 41: August 22
ZRI stands for Zum Roten Igel, or ‘To the Red Hedgehog’, the tavern in 19th century Vienna where Schubert and Brahms each went to hear Gypsy and folk music. Beginning with their radical re-scoring of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet to include accordion and santouri (dulcimer), ZRI has developed equally captivating programs which re-imagine Schubert’s great C major quintet, adventure with Charlie Chaplin, and waltz with Schoenberg. The group has performed at major festivals across the UK and abroad and has made critically-acclaimed discs of both the Schubert and Brahms Quintets. With musical bonds and friendships stretching back into early childhood, ZRI formed under the direction of clarinettist Ben Harlan. The quintet takes its name from the Red Hedgehog Tavern in Vienna, Zum Roten Igel, where folk, including Schubert and Brahms, would go and hear the Gypsies play. Following launch concerts in 2011 ZRI has toured the UK extensively with its unique versions of both the Brahms and Schubert quintets, releasing its debut disc in 2014. Alongside other major festivals, ZRI have performed at Henley, York, Guildford International, Swaledale and Kings Place. In addition to their Brahms and Schubert programmes ZRI has its Cellar Sessions, a fiery selection of classical and Gypsy favourites as might have been heard at the eponymous Red Hedgehog Tavern. ZRI also tours its own live score to Charlie Chaplin’s early classic ‘The Adventurer’, and made its debut performance of Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata on Swiss national radio last Summer.