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ZRI stands for Zum Roten Igel, or ‘To the Red Hedgehog Tavern’. It’s the name of the old Viennese drinking joint where folk and Gypsy musicians played, and this is where some of the great classical composers such as Schubert and Brahms went to listen… and they were inspired!

The ensemble ZRI brings the spirit of this musical mix to life, playing the music of Brahms, Schubert, Janacek, and more, with the instrumentation of a folk band, including santouri (like a dulcimer) and accordion in place of a viola and extra violin. ZRI has brought its unique versions of the Brahms clarinet quintet and the great Schubert C major quintet, full with their Hungarian and Viennese cafehaus melodies to stages across the UK and Europe since the band formed over 12 years ago. Their 4th studio album ‘Cafe Danube’ is due for release on the Naxos label in late 2024.

To their repertoire they have added a live score to Charlie Chaplin’s early classic The Adventurer, Janacek’s ‘Kreutzer Sonata’, and earlier this year they made their first full scale orchestral collaboration with the Västerås Sinfonietta in Sweden.

The ensemble has bonds running right back to childhood, and each member leads a dynamic career in their own right.

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