For Israeli-born, American violinist Bracha Malkin, musical genius runs in the blood. Not only is her father, Isaac Malkin, a violin professor at the Manhattan School of Music, but Malkin is a cousin of the legendary Jasha Heifetz.
"For me, playing the violin is second nature," she says. "It's not something I consciously chose to do; it's always been a part of me."
Malkin, 24, was named by critic Henry Roth as one of "the gifted young violinists who are among the vanguard leading the march of violin art" in his 1997 book Violin Virtusos from Paganini to the 21st Century. The prize-winning Malkin has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Constance Keene, David Soyar and Siegfried Palm, and a list of the countries in which she's performed reads like a world travel guide.
Israel features frequently on this list, and next week Malkin returns again for two concerts with the Israel Chamber Orchestra. This will be the first time Malkin plays as a soloist with an Israeli orchestra.
"Playing in Israel always holds a special significance for me," says Malkin. "It's my home, and where my heart is."
Malkin appears with the Israel Chamber Orchestra as a soloist this Wednesday, and as part of a quintet Saturday night at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.