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Café Concert: Inbal Segev

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In 1990, a 17-year-old Inbal Segev left her native Israel to come to the U.S. to study at Yale University with the famed cello pedagogue Aldo Parisot. She went on to further studies at Juilliard and has been a New Yorker ever since, having settled on the Upper West Side with her husband and three children.

Yet Segev admits that there’s always been a side of her that feels like an expat and her eclectic musical tastes reflect that accordingly. In the WQXR Café she applied her 1673 Francesco Ruggeri cello to a suite of Celtic folk tunes, bringing out the hypnotic, insistent drone that one normally hears in bagpipe melodies. “I’m a pretty conservative player,” Segev admits. “But I like to explore new things and I like to use new elements and give new breath to old programs.”

Segev’s global inspirations go further. She has performed frequently with Fernando Otero, an Argentinian pianist and composer who won a Latin Grammy Award recently, and who is currently writing a “tango-infused” cello concerto for her. He'll join her to perform several of his own pieces in a recital at Le Poisson Rouge on June 1.

And in the 2012-13 season Segev will premiere a concerto by fellow Israeli Avnver Dorman. She notes that Dorman also plans to borrow a melody from an Arabic composer for the piece. “It’s not as a political statement,” she cautions, but adds that the piece will be “a little Middle Eastern, with folk-Arab melodies.”

Video: Amy Pearl; Sound: Edward Haber; Text: Brian Wise