Richard Schmoucler - violin & artistic director
Christian Brière - violin
David Gaillard - viola
Claude Giron - cello
Bernard Cazauran - bass
Philippe Berrod - clarinet
Christophe Henry - piano
Iurie Morar - cimbalom
"When these musicians from the Orchestre de Paris turn their hand to Yiddish pieces and Broadway numbers, it doesn’t feel like an awkward transposition. They’ve achieved a rare concoction – the precision of the classical musician with the creativity of the amateur."
- Christian Merlin, Le Figaro
"The sophistication of classical meets the vivacity of world music. Emotionally contrasted, (...) typical of its traditional roots but also perfectly in tune with our modern era."
- Jean-Christophe le Toquin, Resmusica
When violinist Richard Schmoucler founded the Sirba Octet in 2003, he created an entirely new sound. With arrangers Cyrille Lehn and Yann Ollivo, five fellow musicians from the Orchestre de Paris, a pianist and a cimbalom player, he formed a unique ensemble with a fresh perspective on klezmer, Yiddish and gypsy music.
In collaboration with the Orchestre de Paris, the Sirba Octet performed Un violon sur les toits de Paris, (A fiddler on the rooves of Paris), at the Théâtre Mogador, a concert which they developed into their first acoustic album, A Yiddish Mame, released in 2005 under the label Ambroisie (Naïve). With Slavic and Yiddish nuances, this anthology of Eastern European melodies is drawn from Schmoucler’s own memories of happy family gatherings.
The vigour, intensity and originality of the Sirba Octet’s arrangements bring to life the familiar tunes of Eastern Europe – a body of music characterized by the wanderings of a whole population, in which sentiment and creative flair are bound together. Unparalleled outside of the conventional circuit, the group skilfully unite genres and combine both orchestral and chamber music. Sirba Octet’s unique vision puts them in their own league as they pioneer a new genre – Classical World.