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The Cello in Kronberg

Discover the rich culture of cello playing at the Kronberg Festival: public tuition from masterful teachers at the Kronberg Festival

Every two years, Kronberg becomes the “World capital of the cello” (Mstislav Rostropovich). This year, five renowned cellists – Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Jens Peter Maintz, Jérôme Pernoo and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt – will teach students from across the globe during the 2022 Festival.

These public tuition sessions provide opportunities to simultaneously experience diverse approaches to artistry and teaching whilst offering ever more familiarity with the repertoire of wonderful cello music.

To reflect the Cello Masterclasses being held this year, the focus of the Festival will be firmly on the cello, with concerts from the masterclass tutors and selected students. Talks, workshops and presentations will also offer a host of interesting insights into the cello and its music. And next year the violin will be at the forefront – with the Violin Masterclasses.

Tutors

Frans Helmerson © Franz Hamm
Cello

Frans Helmerson

Swedish cellist Frans Helmerson began his musical training with Guido Vecchi in Gothenburg before moving on to study with Giuseppe Selmi in Rome and William Pleeth in London.

Swedish cellist Frans Helmerson began his musical training with Guido Vecchi in Gothenburg before moving on to study with Giuseppe Selmi in Rome and William Pleeth in London. Sergiu Celibidache and his mentor Mstislav Rostropovich also played a very influential role in his artistic development. In 1971, he won the renowned Cassado Competition in Florence – the first of many distinctions. Tours have taken him to other countries in Europe as well as to Japan, Russia, South America, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Frans Helmerson plays with many well-known orchestras and receives outstanding critical acclaim for his concerts and recordings. His recording of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with Neeme Järvi and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra was acknowledged as the “best recording currently available on the market”. His recording of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 1 is also highly praised.

Frans Helmerson’s love of chamber music is another important driving force in his musical endeavours. He is a regular guest at the major European festivals, including the Verbier Festival, the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades and the Ravinia Festival, and spent many years as the artistic director of the Umea-Korsholm International Chamber Music Festival. In 2002 he co-founded the Michelangelo String Quartet, in which he now plays with Mihaela Martin, Conrad Muck and Michael Barenboim.

In addition to his career as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor, Frans Helmerson taught for several years as a professor at the conservatories in Cologne and in Madrid. Since 2011/12, he has been teaching as a guest professor at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin. 2016 saw him gain an additional professorship at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin. Frans Helmerson has been teaching on the Kronberg Academy Study Programmes as a principal professor since 2006. He plays a cello by Stefan-Peter Greiner.

Photo: Frans Helmerson

Jérôme Pernoo © Alix Laveau
Cello

Jérôme Pernoo

Born in Nantes, Jérôme Pernoo studied with Germaine Fleury, Xavier Gagnepain and Philippe Muller at the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris.

Photo: Alix Laveau

Jérôme Pernoo
TF
Jérôme Pernoo
cello

Born in Nantes, Jérôme Pernoo studied with Germaine Fleury, Xavier Gagnepain and Philippe Muller at the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris. In 1994, he was prize winner at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow as well as at the Rostropovitch Competition in Paris and, in 1996, he won the Pretoria Competition.

Jérôme Pernoo has performed with most of the major french symphony orchestras as well as with the Deutsches-Symfonie Orchester Berlin, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France, the Bavarian State Orchestra in Munich, the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm, the National Orchestra of Spain in Madrid.

He appears in recital with the pianist Jérôme Ducros on some of the world's most renowned stages : the Wigmore Hall in London, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Auditorium de Radio-France in Paris. His others partners in chamber music are : Alina Ibragimova, Renaud Capuçon, Gérard Caussé, Antoine Tamestit, Henri Demarquette, Christophe Coin, Frank Braley, Nicholas Angelich, Eric Le Sage, Bertrand Chamayou, Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, quatuors Ebène, Modigliani, Chiaroscuro…

Dedicated of works by composers such as Guillaume Connesson, Jérôme Ducros or Jérémie Rhorer, Jérôme created Cello concerto by Guillaume Connesson in 2008 and Cello concerto by Jérémie Rhorer with the Orchestre de Pau-Pays de Béarn.

Jérôme Pernoo is founder and artistic director of the music festival Les vacances de Monsieur Haydn in La Roche Posay, which first edition took place in September 2005. In 2015, he created The Centre de musique de chamber de Paris (Salle Cortot).

Jérôme Pernoo's discography includes the Cello concerto by Offenbach with Les Musiciens du Louvre under Marc Minkowski (Archiv-Deutsche Grammophon, 2006) and the Cello concerto by Guillaume Connesson with Jean-Christope Spinosi (Deutsche Grammophon, 2013). With Jérôme Ducros, he recorded works by Beethoven (among others Kreutzer Sonata in the transcription by Czerny) and Ducros's music for DECCA.

He plays a baroque cello and a piccolo cello. Both instruments are Italian and were built in the 18th century by the Milanese School. He also plays a modern cello made for him by Franck Ravatin.

Photo: Alix Laveau

Gary Hoffman © William Beaucardet
Cello

Gary Hoffman

Gary Hoffman is one of the outstanding cellists of our time, combining instrumental mastery, great beauty of sound and a poetic sensitivity.

Gary Hoffman is one of the outstanding cellists of our time, combining instrumental mastery, great beauty of sound and a poetic sensitivity. He gained international renown on being the first North American to win the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in 1986.

A frequent soloist with the world’s most noted orchestras, he has appeared with the Chicago, London, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Baltimore and National Symphony orchestras as well as the English, Moscow and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Netherlands and Rotterdam Philharmonics, the Cleveland Orchestra for the Blossom Festival and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr Hoffman has collaborated with such celebrated conductors as André Previn, Charles Dutoit, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Andrew Davis, Herbert Blomstedt, Kent Nagano, Jesús López-Cobos and James Levine. He performs in major recital and chamber music series throughout the world, as well as at such prestigious festivals as those in Ravinia, Marlboro, Aspen, Bath, Evian, Helsinki, Verbier, Mostly Mozart, Schleswig-Holstein and Stresa, the Festival International de Colmar and the Festival de Toulon. He is a frequent guest of string quartets including the Emerson, Tokyo, Borromeo, Brentano and Ysaÿe.

In 2011, Gary Hoffman was appointed Maître en Résidence for the cello at the prestigious Chapelle de Musique Reine Elisabeth in Brussels. As a visiting tutor, he regularly teaches the students of Kronberg Academy since 2008. He performs on a 1662 Nicolo Amati, the “ex-Leonard Rose”.

Photo: William Beaucardet

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt © Simon Pauly
Cello

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt

During his studies with Aldo Parisot at the Juilliard School in New York and with David Geringas at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt won the First Prizes at the German National Music Competition in Bonn, at the 1st International Adam Cello Competition in New Zealand, and at the International Music Competitions in Bayreuth and Markneukirchen, Germany.

During his studies with Aldo Parisot at the Juilliard School in New York and with David Geringas at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt won the First Prizes at the German National Music Competition in Bonn, at the 1st International Adam Cello Competition in New Zealand, and at the International Music Competitions in Bayreuth and Markneukirchen, Germany. He was awarded the “Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris” at the International Rostropovitch Competition in Paris where the international jury was headed by Mstislav Rostropovitch (also the prize for contemporary music ). He is also a prize winner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and at the International Leonard Rose Cello Competition in the USA.

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt has performed in Europe, Russia, Asia and the USA as soloist with such prestigious orchestras as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Slovenian RTV Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Houston and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras as well as the Prague Philharmonia under the batons of Charles Dutoit, Marek Janowski, Yutaka Sado, Gerd Albrecht, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jiri Belohlavek, Vassili Sinaiski, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Andrey Boreyko, Hugh Wolff, Michael Sanderling, Gabriel Feltz, Fabrice Bollon and Markus Poschner.

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt has also performed in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Philharmonie am Gasteig and the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Theatre du Champs Elysee, the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, the Wigmore Hall London, the Carnegie Hall and the Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Rudolfinum Prague as well as in the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

He devotes himself to chamber music and has already performed together with such renowned artists as Lang Lang, Christoph Eschenbach, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Nicolaj Znaider, Leonidas Kavakos, Kyoko Takezawa, Miriam Fried, Edgar Meyer and David Shifrin. From 2000-2002 he was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center in New York and together with Jens Peter Maintz he forms the cello duo “Cello Duello”.

His first CD for Sony Classical French Impressions was released in autumn 2001. The second in 2004 – all cello concertos by Sergei Prokofiev followed by the cello concertos by Schumann and Elgar in April 09 (Sony Classical). For Capriccio he recorded Bloch’s “Voice in the Wilderness” with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. In 2013 he won the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” and the Diapason d’Or for his recording of Carl Maria von Weber’s piano quartet (together with Isabelle Faust, Boris Faust and Alexander Melnikov).

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt plays on a cello made by Matteo Goffriller which previously belonged to Hugo Becker.

Photo: Simon Pauly

Jens-Peter Maintz © Mat Hennek
Cello

Jens Peter Maintz

Jens Peter Maintz enjoys an outstanding reputation as a versatile soloist, highly sought-after chamber musician, and committed cello teacher.

Jens Peter Maintz enjoys an outstanding reputation as a versatile soloist, highly sought-after chamber musician, and committed cello teacher. Originally from Hamburg, he studied with David Geringas and took part in masterclasses with other great cellists such as Heinrich Schiff, Boris Pergamenschikow, Frans Helmerson and Siegfried Palm. He was further influenced by his intensive chamber music study with Uwe-Martin Haiberg and Walter Levin. In 1994 he won first prize in the ARD international Music Competition, which had previously not been awarded to a cellist for 17 years.

He gathered several years of valuable orchestral experience as principal cello of the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin, and travelled the world as a member of the renowned Trio Fontenay. Since 2006 Jens Peter Maintz has been principal cello of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, on the invitation of Claudio Abbado.

His solo career has brought him into contact with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Marek Janowski, Dmitry Kitajenko, Franz Welser-Möst, Reinhard Goebel and Bobby McFerrin. He has appeared as a soloist with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig MDR Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Den Haag Residenzorchester and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Alongside classical repertoire, Jens Peter Maintz has performed numerous works by contemporary composers from Isang Yun to Georg Friedrich Haas.

Since 2004 he has been professor at Berlin University of the Arts, where he teaches an exceptionally successful cello class. Many of his students are prize winners in important international competitions and some hold leading positions in major orchestras. Jens Peter Maintz is in equally great demand as a chamber musician. He is a member of the prestigious “Spectrum Concerts Berlin” concert series, and performs with chamber music partners such as Janine Jansen, Boris Brovtsyn, Torleif Thedéen, Hélène Grimaud, Kolja Blacher, Isabelle Faust, Antoine Tamestit, and also the Artemis, Carmina and Auryn Quartets.

It is now 25 years since he formed the cello duo “Cello Duello” with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. Together they perform at the world's most eminent festivals, such as the Kronberg Festival, the Cello Biennale Amsterdam and the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival.

For his Sony Classical CD of solo works by Bach, Dutilleux and Kodaly, Jens Peter Maintz was presented with an ECHO-Klassik award. His highly acclaimed recording of Haydn's cello concertos with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen was released on the Berlin Classics label.

Jens Peter Maintz plays the “Ex-Servais” cello made by Giovanni Grancino in 1697.

Photo: Mat Hennek

Pianists

Anna Naretto
Piano

Anna Naretto

Born in Savona, Italy, Anna Naretto has made chamber music and the interpretation of art song the focus of her professional activities as a pianist.

Born in Savona, Italy, Anna Naretto has made chamber music and the interpretation of art song the focus of her professional activities as a pianist. As the duo partner of outstanding artists, she is a welcome guest at international concert series and festivals, such as Dresden Music Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Barge Music (New York), Hercules Hall (Munich), Konzerte im Fronhof (Augsburg), Frankfurter Kulturwoche (Krakow) and the Kronberg Academy Festival. She also works as a solo répétiteur and orchestral musician in the opera world, performing on stages such as those of Oper Frankfurt and Staatstheater Darmstadt, as well as at festivals including the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival.

Her artistic work on the stage is complemented by teaching activities at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (assistant of Michael Sanderling). In addition, she regularly works with Frans Helmerson, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Gary Hoffman, Wolfgang Boettcher and Nobuko Imai at a number of prestigious academies (including Kronberg Academy, Carl Flesch Academy Baden-Baden, Forum Artium, Weimar Master Classes and Jeunesses Musicales Germany). She is an official accompanist for the Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition in Brussels, for the German Music Council and for ARD.

Her teachers were Sergio Verdirame at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica Giuseppe Verdi in Torino, Rainer Hoffmann, Andreas Meyer-Herrmann and Charles Spencer at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, as well as the Altenberg Trio at the City of Vienna’s conservatoire. Masterclasses with figures including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Irwin Gage, Andrea Lucchesini, Emilia Fadini and Jesper Christensen completed her training.

Photo: Anna Naretto

Tamura Keiko
Pianio

Keiko Tamura

Keiko Tamura was born in Japan. At an early age she took piano and composition lessons at the Tokyo Music High School. She later studied with Eliza and Conrad Hansen at the Lübeck University of Music, passing her concert examination with distinction.

Keiko Tamura was born in Japan. At an early age she took piano and composition lessons at the Tokyo Music High School. She later studied with Eliza and Conrad Hansen at the Lübeck University of Music, passing her concert examination with distinction. She received her chamber music training with renowned musicians such as Walter Levin, Menahem Pressler and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Keiko Tamura has won prizes at many interna tion al competitions. For example, in 1990, as part of a duo with cellist Thomas Grossenbacher, she was a prizewinner at the Vittorio Gui International Chamber Music Competition in Florence and was singled out as the “best piano accompanist” at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998 and 2002.

Since then the pianist has performed throughout Europe as well as in the USA, Japan and Korea. She has appeared in concert at the Davos Festival and the Rheingau Music Festival, has performed chamber music with David Geringas and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, the Artemis Quartet and the Bartók Quartet from Budapest and has appeared as a soloist with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich under Armin Jordan. Many of her performances have been broadcast on radio and television. Keiko Tamura is a member of the Trio Caleidoskopio, with violinist Primož Novšak and cellist Thomas Grossenbacher.

Photo: Keiko Tamura

Julia Okruashvili
Piano

Julia Okruashvili

Born in Moscow, pianist Julia Okruashvili is an animated, devoted and emotional musician, her playing characterised by lively phrasing, flexibility and expressive articulation.

Born in Moscow, pianist Julia Okruashvili is an animated, devoted and emotional musician, her playing characterised by lively phrasing, flexibility and expressive articulation. This has led the press to laud her as a “premier league pianist”.

Okruashvili gives regular concerts in duos with artists such as Daniel Hope, Bomsori Kim, Camilla Nylund, Albrecht Mayer and László Fenyö in the most important musical centres across Germany and Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonie, Munich’s Gasteig, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Festival Hall Baden-Baden, Zeneakadémia in Budapest, Vienna’s Musikverein, Athenaeum in Bucharest and the philharmonias of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. She is likewise a welcome guest at major festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Kronberg Academy Festival, Bregenz Festival, La Folle Journée festival in Nantes, Flanders Festival Ghent, the George Enescu Festival and Spring Festival in Tokyo. In addition, she gives concerts with orchestras including the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Frankfurter Museumsorchester, Musikkollegium Winterthur and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra.

In 2019, she released the double album “Russian Piano Trios” on Haenssler Classic. Summer 2021 saw her collaborate with László Fenyö on an album featuring works by Z Kodály, E von Dohnányi and F Liszt, which will be released in 2022 to mark the 140th anniversary of Kodály’s birth. Through her work as a tutor, Okruashvili passes the experience she has gained in her international concert career onto upcoming generations of students at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.

Photo: Julia Okruashvili

Yumiko Urabe
Piano

Yumiko Urabe

Yumiko Urabe was born in Fukuoka (Japan). She first enrolled as a student at the Gei-Dai University in Tokyo and went on to obtain a masterclass degree with Klaus Schilde at the Munich University of Music and Performing Arts.

Yumiko Urabe was born in Fukuoka (Japan). She first enrolled as a student at the Gei-Dai University in Tokyo and went on to obtain a masterclass degree with Klaus Schilde at the Munich University of Music and Performing Arts.

Yumiko Urabe has been teaching at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich since 1988 and was appointed Honorary Professor in 2006. She was a prizewinner at the José Iturbi Competition in Valencia and the GPA International Piano Competition in Dublin. As an experienced and valued chamber music partner, she has performed worldwide with renowned artists such as András Adorján, Lisa Batiashvili, Ana Chumachenco, Veronika Eberle, Walter Nothas, Tatjana Vassilieva and Wen-Sinn Yang. Her concert appearances have taken her to well-known festivals in several European countries (Kilkenny Music Festival, MDR Musiksommer and the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival), Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Canada and the USA.

Radio recordings and CDs on the NAXOS and Traversières labels testify to her eminent artistry. In 2013 she was awarded the Fukuoka Cultural Prize in Japan.

Yumiko Urabe has been a permanent accompanist at Kronberg Academy since 2011.

Photo: Wolfgang Pirker

Dana Protopopescu
Piano

Dana Protopopescu

Pianist Dana Protopopescu, a student of Karl Engel, made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 in Romania, her native country. She has received the Music Critics Award for Outstanding Musicians on three occasions, including most recently for the publication of her biography titled "Unforgettable Reverberations" under the Romanian publisher Romania Muzicala.

Pianist Dana Protopopescu, a student of Karl Engel, made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 in Romania, her native country. She has received the Music Critics Award for Outstanding Musicians on three occasions, including most recently for the publication of her biography titled "Unforgettable Reverberations" under the Romanian publisher Romania Muzicala. During her career, she has worked with many renowned conductors such as Horia Andreescu, Louis Langrée and Alexander Rahbari, and has collaborated as a chamber musician with violinists Augustin Dumay, Mihaela Martin and Liviu Prunaru, as well as with cellists Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Ivan Monighetti and Maria Kliegel. She has performed in Abu-Dhabi, Barcelona, Boston, Brussels, Geneva, London, Madrid, Moscow, Montréal, Paris, Seoul and Washington D.C.

Dana Protopopescu has participated in many prestigious festivals, including the George Enescu Festival and Celibidache Festival, the Prague Festival, the Casals Festival in Spain, the Ravello Festival in Italy, the Wiltz Festival in Luxemburg, the Kfar-Blum Festival in Israel and the Arhus Festival in Denmark. In addition to her work as a performer, Dana Protopopescu has taught piano and chamber music in several masterclasses, in locations including Luxemburg, Tuscany in Italy and Chapel Hill, North Carolina USA.

She has been a coach in the violin class of Augustin Dumay and currently works in the cello class of Gary Hoffman at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium. She has also been the official pianist for the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition many times, as well as for other international competitions such as the ARD Music Competition in Munich, the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki and Naumburg International Violin Competition in New York, and for the masterclasses of Zakhar Bron, Pierre Amoyal, Igor Oistrach and many others.

Dana Protopopescu has completed several recording projects, having released the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas and the three Grieg Sonatas with Liviu Prunaru. Throughout her career, she has also recorded many other CDs, including the complete piano works of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and concertos by Clara Schumann, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Carl Maria von Weber, which won Critics Choice Awards for outstanding recordings.

Photo: Elir Studio Photo

Active participants

Aktive Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer

Frans Helmerson:

Willard Carter, Clara Yuna Friedensburg, Amy Goto, Johannes Gray, Caterina Isaia, Cyprien Keiser, Michelle Zhu, Arne Zeller, Petar Pejčić, Marcel Johannes Kits, Dilshod Narzillaev, Yuki Sayama

Gary Hoffman:

Maxim Calver, Alexander Davis-Pegis, Jorge Giménez, Connor Kim, Minji Kim, Jean-Baptiste Maizières, Haru Ogiwara, Umut Sağlam, Michael Song, Ari Webb, Cornelius Zirbo

Prof. Jens Peter Maintz:

Philipp Schupelius, Anouchka Hack, Seungyeon Baik, Irena Josifoska, Haddon Kay, Yo Kitamura, Sydney Lee, Luca Giovannini, Alejandro Viana, Jiaqi Liu, Sang Hyeok Park, Edward Luengo

Prof. Jérôme Pernoo:

Pauline Boudon, Gabriel Guignier, Constantin Heise, Léo Ispir, Liav Kerbel, Joshua Kovac, Shicong Li, Krzysztof Michalski, Alex Olmedo, Keisuke Morita, Carlos Vidal Ballester, Ivan Skanavi, Fabian Sturm

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt:

Klaudio Zoto, Leonardo Chiodo, Ella Wimbiscus, Max Wung, Juliet Wolff, Chase Park, David Pěruška, Manuel Lipstein, Youbien Lee, Luka Coetzee, Ania Druml, Chao Tzu-Shao


 

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