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Yulianna Avdeeva © C. Schneider
Piano

Yulianna Adveeva

Described by the Financial Times as an artist who is “able to let the music breathe”, Yulianna Avdeeva, whose international breakthrough establishing her present world-class career came in 2010 on winning the prestigious International Chopin Competition, always puts herself entirely at the service of music. Thanks to an exquisite combination of clarity, energy and elegance, she beguiles audiences with her impressive sincerity, modesty, wit and shrewd musical judgement.

Described by the Financial Times as an artist who is “able to let the music breathe”, Yulianna Avdeeva, whose international breakthrough establishing her present world-class career came in 2010 on winning the prestigious International Chopin Competition, always puts herself entirely at the service of music. Thanks to an exquisite combination of clarity, energy and elegance, she beguiles audiences with her impressive sincerity, modesty, wit and shrewd musical judgement.

A regular guest throughout Asia, Avdeeva made her debut with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 2019, and immediately afterwards was accompanied by them as a soloist at the first ever BBC proms in Japan, under the baton of Thomas Dausgaard. Alongside this ensemble, she also performs worldwide with other renowned international orchestras including the Sydney and Melbourne symphony orchestras, the New Japan Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Bamberg Symphony. Further invitations have taken her to the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, the Boulez Saal in Berlin and on a tour of Europe with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. She has likewise collaborated with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Orchestre national de Lyon.

Avdeeva’s expressive performances of the works of Chopin meet with unanimous critical acclaim and confirm her dominant position as one of the most sought-after interpreters of Chopin’s music. She maintains close partnerships with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. Avdeeva likewise has some fine recordings to her name, and her third solo edition for the Mirare label was released in 2017. She has recorded both of Chopin’s piano concertos together with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century conducted by Frans Brüggen, and contributed to a Deutsche Grammophon collection of the most notable winners of the Chopin Competition from 1927 to 2010.

Alongside her work as a soloist, Avdeeva is a dedicated chamber musician and has collaborated with the Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet. Regular tours of Europe with Julia Fischer and Gidon Kremer have included appearances at Festival Hall Baden-Baden, Tonhalle Zürich and Munich’s Prinzregententheater. Furthermore, she has given major solo piano recitals as part of the International Piano Series in London as well as at Wigmore Hall, Moscow International House of Music, Rheingau Musik Festival, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Stuttgart’s Liederhalle and Philharmonie Essen.

Avdeeva began learning piano aged five with Elena Ivanova at the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music, later extending her studies with Vladimir Tropp and Konstantin Scherbakov. She received valuable tutoring from Bashkirov, Naboré and Fou Ts’ong at the renowned International Piano Academy Lake Como. Yulianna Avdeeva has won prizes at numerous international competitions, including the Bremen International Piano Competition, the Concours de Genève and the International Competition for Young Pianists Arthur Rubinstein in memoriam.

Photo: C. Schneider

Luka Coetzee
Cello

Luka Coetzee

Irène Duval © Béatrice Cruveiller
Violin

Irène Duval

French violinist Irène Duval, born in 1992, completed her Master’s degree with Roland Daugareil in Paris, where she gained her chamber music degree in 2012 and her violin degree, with distinction, in May 2013.

French violinist Irène Duval, born in 1992, completed her Master’s degree with Roland Daugareil in Paris, where she gained her chamber music degree in 2012 and her violin degree, with distinction, in May 2013. She has already performed as a soloist with renowned French and European orchestras such as the Dresdner Philharmonie, the Vogtland Philharmonie, the Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine and the Orchestre de Caen. Irène Duval also gives regular concerts with pianist Pierre-Yves Hodique and cellist Aurélien Pascal in a piano trio and forms a violin duo with Virgil Boutellis. Irène Duval has taken part in numerous festivals such as La Folle Journée in Nantes and Japan, the Festival 1001 Notes, the Deauville Easter Festival, the Giverny Chamber Music Festival and the Pablo Casals Festival. Her outstanding competition successes include first prize and the audience prize at the Avignon International Violin Competition in 2009 and 2010 and first prize at the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition in 2011, where her exceptional interpretation of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto was also praised. In 2016 she recorded the album ‘Poèmes’ (Mirare) with Pierre-Yves Hodique.

Irène Duval plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin of 1850, a copy of the Sancy Stradivarius, which is on loan to her by a private sponsor.

In 2011 Irène Duval took part in Kronberg Academy’s Violin Masterclasses & Concerts as an active participant as well as in the Kronberg Academy Festival 2015. In 2016 she participated in Chamber Music Connects the World. From 2014 to 2017 Irène Duval has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Mihaela Martin. These studies were funded by the Benno und Ursula Stork-Wersborg Scholarship.

Photo: Béatrice Cruveiller

Isabelle Faust © Felix Broede
Violin

Isabelle Faust

Isabelle Faust captivates her audience with her compelling interpretations. She dives deep into every piece considering the musical historical context, historically appropriate instruments and the greatest possible authenticity according to a contemporary state of knowledge.

Isabelle Faust captivates her audience with her compelling interpretations. She dives deep into every piece considering the musical historical context, historically appropriate instruments and the greatest possible authenticity according to a contemporary state of knowledge. Thus, she manages to constantly illuminate and passionately perform the repertoire of a wide variety of composers.

After winning the renowned Leopold Mozart Competition and the Paganini Competition at a very young age, she soon gave regular performances with the world’s major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Les Siècles and the Baroque Orchestra Freiburg. This led to close and sustained cooperation with conductors like Andris Nelsons, Giovanni Antonini, François-Xavier Roth, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Daniel Harding, Philippe Herreweghe, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Klaus Mäkelä and Robin Ticciati.

Isabelle Faust’s vast artistic curosity includes all eras and forms of instrumental cooperation. Thus she never considers music as an end in itself but rather advances the piece’s essence in a devoted, subtle and conscientious way. In addition to big symphonic violin concertos this includes for instance Schubert’s octet with historical instruments as well as Stravinsky’s "L’Histoire du Soldat" with Dominique Horwitz or Kurtág’s "Kafka Fragments". With great commitment she renders an outstanding service to the performance of contemporary music, recent world premieres include works by Péter Eötvös, Brett Dean, Ondřej Adámek and Rune Glerup.

Highlights in the 2022/23 season include concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Baroque Orchestra Freiburg, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, as well as tours with Il Giardino Armonico, the English Baroque Solists, AKAMUS Berlin, Basel Chamber Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées.
Chamber music engagements comprise collaborations with Sol Gabetta, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Antoine Tamestit, Jörg Widmann, Alexander Melnikov and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. This excitingseason is completed by solo concerts and Kurtág's "Kafka Fragments" with Anna Prohaska at the Musikverein Vienna.

Numerous recordings have been unanimously praised by critics and awarded the Diapason d’or, the Grammophone Award, the Choc de l’année and other prizes. The most recent recordings include Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto under the baton of Daniel Harding and with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Alexander Melnikov, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester. Isabelle Faust presented further popular recordings among others of the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo by Johann Sebastian Bach as well as violin concertos by Ludwig van Beethoven and Alban Berg under the direction of Claudio Abbado. She shares a long-standing chamber music partnership with the pianist Alexander Melnikov. Among others, joint recordings with sonatas for piano and violin by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms have been released.

Photo: Felix Broede

László Fenyő © Marco Borggreve
Cello

László Fenyö

The Hungarian cellist László Fenyö, born in 1975, has belonged to the world elite of cellists since he won the 2004 International Pablo Casals Contest in Kronberg, Germany.

The Hungarian cellist László Fenyö, born in 1975, has belonged to the world elite of cellists since he won the 2004 International Pablo Casals Contest in Kronberg, Germany. He is hailed by both audiences and critics as one of today’s most exciting artists, possessing the unique capability of presenting the intentions of the composer but also allowing the music to speak at the forefront, thereby capturing and fascinating his audiences. Through his breathtaking technical skills and emotive expressiveness, his concerts become special experiences, where the music can be newly explored with every performance.

In the last few years László Fenyö has performed on the most important stages throughout the world. Including the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall, London or the Gasteig in Munich. He has been soloist with orchestras such as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (hr- Sinfonie Orchester), the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Philharmonia Hungarica, the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Christchurch Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sinfonietta Cracovia. He has performed many times with conductor Krzysztof Penderecki.

In Hungary, his home country, László Fenyö has long been one of the most sought after soloists; his performances – solo recitals, chamber music events and concerts with orchestras, are broadcast live and recorded by the Hungarian Radio. He has played with most Hungarian orchestras and conductors. In addition, in 2005 he received the highly coveted Franz Liszt Prize awarded by the Hungarian Ministry of Culture, as well as the Junior Prima Prize in 2008.

László Fenyö began his musical education in Hungary. Already at the age of 13 he became a junior student with Professor László Mezö at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. Later, while continuing his studies in Lübeck with Professor David Geringas, his brilliant technique, secure sense of style, and his unusually broad repertoire, brought him several prizes at important competitions. Among them, the International Music Contest in Geneva, the Rostropovich Contest in Paris, the Adam Cello Contest in Christchurch, and the Contest of the Hungarian Radio in Budapest. After completing his studies, he decisively extended his musical horizons under the tutelage of Bernard Greenhouse.

László Fenyö gives master courses all over the world, since October 2009 he is a lecturer at the Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Frankfurt and since 2012 he teaches as a professor at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe. László Fenyö has been principal cellist of the Philharmonia Hungarica 1997-2001 and of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony 2001-2012.

The CD's, wich were released in the past few years released: Chamber music with pianist Oleg Poliansky by Aulos/Musikado, and the cello concertos of J. Haydn (D Major) and D. Shostakovich (No. 1) accompanied by the hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra), conducted by Grant Llewellyn, released by hr.music.de.

László Fenyö plays a cello made by Matteo Goffriller from 1695.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Johannes Gray
Cello

Johannes Gray

Kiril Gerstein © Marco Borggreve
Piano

Kirill Gerstein

The multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein has rapidly ascended into classical music’s highest ranks. With a masterful technique, discerning intelligence, and a musical curiosity that has led him to explore repertoire spanning centuries and styles, he has proven to be one of today’s most intriguing and versatile musicians.

The multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein has rapidly ascended into classical music’s highest ranks. With a masterful technique, discerning intelligence, and a musical curiosity that has led him to explore repertoire spanning centuries and styles, he has proven to be one of today’s most intriguing and versatile musicians. His early training and experience in jazz has contributed an important element to his interpretive style, inspiring an energetic and expressive musical personality that distinguishes his playing.

Kirill Gerstein is the sixth recipient of the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, presented every four years to an exceptional pianist who, regardless of age or nationality, possesses broad and profound musicianship and charisma and who desires and can sustain a career as a major international concert artist. Since receiving the award in 2010, Mr. Gerstein has shared his prize through the commissioning of boundary-crossing works by Timo Andres, Chick Corea, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen, and Brad Mehldau, with additional commissions scheduled for future seasons. Mr. Gerstein was awarded First Prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, received a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, and a 2010 Avery Fisher Grant.

Recent engagements have included performances with the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston Indianapolis, Montreal, St. Louis, San Francisco and Toronto symphonies, among others. He has appeared at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony, and at the Aspen Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chicago’s Grant Park, Blossom with the Cleveland Orchestra, and with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival, Mann Music Center and Saratoga. Internationally, he has played with such prominent European orchestras as the Berlin, Czech, Munich, Rotterdam and London Philharmonics, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskappelle, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw, Tonkünstler Orchestra Vienna, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne and the Zurich Tonhalle, as well as with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. He has performed recitals in Paris, Prague, Hamburg, London’s Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, and at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He made his Salzburg Festival debut playing solo and two piano works with Andras Schiff and has also appeared at the Lucerne and Jerusalem Chamber Music Festivals as well as at the Proms in London.

Born in 1979 in Voronezh, in southwestern Russia, Kirill Gerstein studied piano at a special music school for gifted children and while studying classical music, taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parents’ extensive record collection. After coming to the attention of vibraphonist Gary Burton, who was performing at a music festival in the Soviet Union, Kirill Gerstein came to the United States at 14 to study jazz piano as the youngest student ever to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. After completing his studies in three years and following his second summer at the Boston University program at Tanglewood, Kirill Gerstein turned his focus back to classical music and moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky and earned both Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees by the age of 20. He continued his studies in Madrid with Dmitri Bashkirov and in Budapest with Ferenc Rados. An American citizen since 2003, Kirill Gerstein now divides his time between the United States and Germany.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

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

Clarinet

Richard Hosford

Richard Hosford (clarinet) has a career both as a soloist and chamber musician, as well as being Principal Clarinet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra

Richard Hosford (clarinet) has a career both as a soloist and chamber musician, as well as being Principal Clarinet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra As a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for nearly than twenty five years Richard toured the world, performing as a soloist with them in the USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the USA with conductors Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Oscar Schumsky, Sir Roger Norrington, Gerard Korsten and Paavo Berglund. He has recorded the Mozart and Copland concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Alexander Schneider on ASV. He was for several years Principal Clarinet with the London Philharmonic before taking up the post of Principal Clarinet with the BBC Symphony in 1995. He gave the first broadcast of Robin Holloways' Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and recently performed Harrison Birtwistle's "Melancolia", as soloist, in their Barbican series as well as a double concerto by Peter Eotvos. He has given performances and broadcasts of Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata in recent years and in 2021 broadcast the Copland Concerto with the BBCSO. He regularly performs the Mozart Concerto throughout the UK with the Mozart Festival Orchestra.

Richard Hosford is a committed chamber musician and has recorded all the major repertoire for wind ensemble with the Wind Soloists of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and has toured with them throughout the world. He has recorded with the chamber ensemble, Domus, and the Florestan and Kungsbacka Piano Trios. He is a leading member of the Gaudier Ensemble and has recorded many works for strings and wind with them. In 1998 he became a member of the Nash Ensemble with whom he tours and broadcasts regularly. He has recently recorded all the major chamber works of Poulenc and Saints Saens with them as well as discs of chamber works by Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert, Schumann, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Mark Anthony Turnage, Birtwistle. Bernard Hermann and James Macmillan. In recent years his recordings of the Copland Concerto, the Brahms Trio (with the Florestans) and the Brahms Quintet (with the Nash) have all been chosen as “First choice” by BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review‘. Richard has taught at the Royal College of Music for 20 years and regularly gives masterclasses at leading conservatoires and specialist music schools around the U.K.

Minji Kim © Ettore Causa
Cello

Minji Kim

Minji Kim was born in South Korea in 1995 and began playing the cello at the age of six. She won first prizes in international competitions even at a very young age, and performed her debut recital at the Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea, in 2004.

Minji Kim was born in South Korea in 1995 and began playing the cello at the age of six. She won first prizes in international competitions even at a very young age, and performed her debut recital at the Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea, in 2004.

Kim gained her bachelor’s degree at the Musik-Akademie Basel. Following her bachelor’s, she studied at the Reina Sofía School of Music. At both schools, she studied with Ivan Monighetti and also worked together with Sol Gabetta during this time.

She has won awards in many international competitions, including the International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki, the Benedetto Mazzacurati International Cello Competition in Turin, the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann in Berlin and the Prague Spring International Music Competition.

Minji Kim holds scholarships from the Migros Culture Percentage cultural promotion programme and the Rahn Kulturfonds, as well as from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein where she regularly participates in masterclasses.

She performs worldwide, both as a soloist and chamber musician, with international orchestras such as the Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Orchestre Musique des Lumières and the Gstaad Festival Orchestra.

She has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt since October 2020. Her studies are funded by the Dieter and Catrin Hofmann Scholarship.

Photo: Minji Kim

Maciej Kułakowski © Wojciech Grzędziński
Cello

Maciej Kułakowski

Maciej Kułakowski was born in Gdańsk (Poland) in 1996 and began playing the cello at the age of six. From 2009 to 2012 he was a young student in the class of Michael Flaksman at Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts, afterwards he studied with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar.

Maciej Kułakowski was born in Gdańsk (Poland) in 1996 and began playing the cello at the age of six. From 2009 to 2012 he was a young student in the class of Michael Flaksman at Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts, afterwards he studied with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar. He has taken part in masterclasses with Frans Helmerson, Mischa Maisky, Truls Mørk, Gary Hoffman, Phillippe Muller, Jens Peter Maintz and Ivan Monighetti.

In 2015, he won first prize and a special award in the 10th Witold Lutoslawski International Cello Competition in Warsaw. He later won second prize at the 2015 TONALi Competition in Hamburg, and in 2016 was awarded both a scholarship and a special prize from Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben at the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb in Bonn. He was also among the 2017 finalists at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.

Maciej Kułakowski has played in many European countries, both as a chamber musician and as a soloist, working under conductors such as Frank Brailey, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Stéphane Denève and Marek Pijarowski. His chamber music partners have included the musicians Alfred Brendel, Arnold Steinhardt and Charles Neidich. In 2011, he performed in the opening concert for the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice under Krzysztof Penderecki. He played Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Calgary Symphony Orchestra at Morningside Music Bridge in Calgary, and was likewise awarded prizes there. Working with the Kassak Brass Ensemble in 2010, he performed the world premiere of Tadeusz Kassak’s McKulak, a piece which is dedicated to him. He has also recorded a CD of works by Anton Arensky for the DUX label together with the Wiłkomirski Trio.

Maciej Kułakowski plays a cello by Charles Gaillard, Paris 1867, which is on loan to him from Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

He was an active participant in the 2014 and 2016 Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses, where he was awarded the Landgrave of Hesse Prize in 2014. In the year 2015 and 2017 he participated in the Kronberg Academy Festival. Since October 2017, Maciej Kułakowski has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. These studies are funded by the Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff Scholarship.

Photo: Wojciech Grzędziński

Stephen Kim © Christophe Wu
Violin

Stephen Kim

American violinist Stephen Kim gained his Bachelor of Music degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein and Aaron Rosand.

American violinist Stephen Kim gained his Bachelor of Music degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein and Aaron Rosand. There, he received the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fellowship and was awarded the Curtis/Milka Violin Artist Prize in 2018. He gained his master’s degree at the Juilliard School under Hyo Kang.

Most recently, Stephen Kim won 3rd prize in the 2019 Queen Elisabeth Competition, 3rd prize in the 2018 Premio Paganini International Violin Competition and 2nd prize at the 2016 Sendai International Music Competition. Yet even in earlier years Kim was already winning many awards, such as in the 2015 Seoul International Violin Competition and the 2014 Menuhin Competition. He was also the first violinist in the history of the Aspen Festival to win all three of the event’s violin competitions in 2014, 2013 and 2011.

As a soloist, Stephen Kim has performed in North America, Europe and Asia with internationally acclaimed orchestras, including the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Brussels Philharmonic, the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, the Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice, the Curtis Chamber Orchestra and the Juilliard Orchestra. Concert tours have taken him to Korea, Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau and Belgium. He has given recitals at the Verbier Festival Academy, in the recital series of the Stradivari Society and at the Kingston Chamber Music Festival. In addition, he gave a charity performance in Seoul for young disabled musicians and also gave masterclasses there as a way of passing on his passion for music.

As a chamber musician, Kim has worked with Jörg Widmann, Edgar Meyer, Gary Hoffman and Roberto Díaz. He has been a guest leader of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and performs frequently with the Sejong Soloists in this role.

Stephen Kim plays an “ex-Moller” Guarneri del Gesù dating from 1725, which is generously loaned to him by the Samsung Foundation of Culture and the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Since October 2020, he has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Antje Weithaas. These studies are funded by the Svea and Sven Dambeger Scholarship.

Photo: Christophe Wu

Ivan Karizna © Santiago Cañón Valencia
Cello

Ivan Karizna

Cellist Ivan Karizna was born into a family of musicians in 1992 and started playing the cello at the age of five. He had his first lessons with Vladimir Perlin when he was seven.

Cellist Ivan Karizna was born into a family of musicians in 1992 and started playing the cello at the age of five. He had his first lessons with Vladimir Perlin when he was seven. Between 2009 and 2014 he studied with Jerôme Pernoo at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris. His studies, which he completed with distinction, were followed by two postgraduate years.

Ivan Karizna won third prize at the 14th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011 and first prize at the Società Umanitaria International Competition in Milan in 2015 and at the Luis Sigall Competition in Chile 2016. In 2017 he won fifth prize and the audience award at the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition. In the same year he won the Young Concert Artist European Auditions. He has already performed with numerous renowned orchestras, including the Moscow Virtuosi, the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, and the Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Ivan Karizna has also taken part in festivals such as the Yuri Bashmet International Music Festival and the Festival International de Colmar. His first recording was released on the Soupir label in 2016.

In 2012 Ivan Karizna took part in Chamber Music Connects the World, where he played with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet and Christian Tetzlaff. In the years 2017 and 2019 he participated in the Kronberg Academy Festival. 2018 he took part in the Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses, where he was awarded the Boris Pergamenschikow Stipendium. Since October 2016 he has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson. These studies are funded by the Dettmer/Storch Scholarship. Since October 2020 Ivan Karizna is a fellow of Kronberg Academy.

Photo: Santiago Cañón Valencia

Edward Luengo
Cello

Edward Luengo

Born 1995 in Miami, Edward Luengo is a Venezuelan-American cellist from a family of pilots and aviation.

Born 1995 in Miami, Edward Luengo is a Venezuelan-American cellist from a family of pilots and aviation. His principal teachers include Maria Antonieta Salas, Aaron Merritt and Jean-Michel Fonteneau. He studied with Philippe Muller at the Manhattan School of Music where he also worked extensively with Heasook Rhee and Sylvia Rosenberg. He has also attended masterclasses with Natasha Brofsky, Thomas Demenga, Clive Greensmith, Steven Isserlis, Hans Jørgen Jensen, Laurence Lesser and Jérôme Pernoo.

As a soloist, Luengo gave his concerto debut in 2016 with the Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra conducted by David Ramadanoff performing William Walton’s Cello Concerto. He was a semi-finalist at the Sphinx Competition in 2017 (with Honorable Mention) and in 2020. In 2019, he received the first prize of the Concurso Jóvenes Intérpretes supported by the Fundación Maria Paula Alonso, and later that same year won the third prize of the IX Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition.

Passionate about chamber music, he has been fortunate to participate at the Orford Academy, National Arts Centre Young Artists Program (2017), Domaine Forget, Festival Ravel and Festival MusicAlp. He received the Fond Dany Pouchucq Chamber Music Prize at Festival Ravel for a performance of Guillaume Lekeu’s Piano Quartet “Unfinished” in 2018. In addition, Luengo has benefitted from inspiring performance opportunities, working with artists like Miguel Da Silva to perform Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, and most recently giving a concert of the Schubert Octet with artists at Music from Salem directed by Lila Brown. He is grateful for the privilege of having worked with artists such as Emmanuelle Bertrand, Colin Carr, Walter Delahunt, Julia Lichten, Johannes Moser, Michel Strauss, Ian Swensen, Shai Wosner, and ensembles like the Borromeo, Danish, New Orford and Takács string quartets.

Edward Luengo attended the Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses in 2018. Since October of 2021 he has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson. The studies are funded by the Annika and Wolfgang Fink Scholarship.

Photo: Ayaka Kato

Krzysztof Michalski
Cello

Krzysztof Michalski

Krzysztof Michalski was born in 2003 in Tarnobrzeg, Southern Poland. There, he began his musical education which later took place in Państwowa Szkoła Muzyczna II st. im Władysława Żeleńskiego in Cracow.

Krzysztof Michalski was born in 2003 in Tarnobrzeg, Southern Poland. There, he began his musical education which later took place in Państwowa Szkoła Muzyczna II st. im Władysława Żeleńskiego in Cracow. At the age of 10 he started working under artistic care of an outstanding cello teacher, maestro Henryk Zarzycki, who gave him a scholarship at the EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia, allowing him to study there during the vacation of 2015 and 2016. In the years 2019-2021 Krzysztof was a student at the international Musica Mundi School In Waterloo, Belgium (studying with Claire Oppert, Aleksandr Khramouchin, Vladimir Perlin and Jérôme Pernoo) from which he has recently graduated with the highest distinction ‘Summa Cum Laude’. Currently, he continues his education at the Conservatorie National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris in the class of Jérôme Pernoo. In the last 3 years he won several international and national competitions in Europe and the USA of which the most important ones were the 1st prize at the Johansen International Competition for Young String Players in Washington D.C., USA, 2018 and the 3rd prize at the Brussels Cello Competition in Brussels, Belgium, 2020. He performed as a soloist with symphony and chamber orchestras in Poland, Germany and Colombia, among others with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, the Orchestra of the Technical University in Dresden, the Tolima Department Symphony Orchestra in Ibagué (Colombia), with the Symphony Orchestra of the Academy of Music in Cracow and more. In his artistic output he also has several recitals in Europe, Asia, North and South America, of which the majority were in Poland, Belgium, Germany, Slovakia, Israel, the USA and Colombia. In the years 2015-2017 he was the cello leader of the Lusławicka Orkiestra Talentów based in the European Center of Music of Krzysztof Penderecki and since then he is being frequently invited to perform there for different occasions. Four times (2017- 2020) he participated in the Morningside Music Bridge program organized by the Calgary Philharmonic (Boston, MA, USA and Warsaw, Poland). He plays on a cello made by the National School of Lutherie in Mirecourt, France, lent to him by the association Talents & Violon’celles.
Mihaela Martin © Marco Borggreve
Violin

Mihaela Martin

Mihaela Martin, who was born in Romania, is one of the most outstanding violin virtuosos of her generation.

Mihaela Martin, who was born in Romania, is one of the most outstanding violin virtuosos of her generation. Her father gave her her first violin lessons when she was five years old. She later studied with Stefan Gheorghiu, a pupil of George Enescu and David Oistrakh.

At the age of 19, Mihaela Martin won second prize in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, which was followed by further main prizes in Montreal, Sion and Brussels. Being awarded first prize in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis launched her international career. She has performed with leading orchestras such as the BBC Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. She has worked with conductors such as Kurt Masur, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Charles Dutoit and Neeme Järvi. In the past season Mihaela Martin not only performed as a soloist but also appeared at chamber music festivals in Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, Germany, Greece, Romania and Switzerland. Together with Daniel Austrich, Nobuko Imai and Frans Helmserson, she is a permanent member of the Michelangelo String Quartet, which she helped to found in 2003.

Mihaela Martin is a professor at the University of Music in Cologne and at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva and gives masterclasses throughout the world. She is a regular jury member at major international competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth (Belgium), Indianapolis (USA), Enescu (Romania) and Tchaikovsky (Russia). Mihaela Martin has been a member of the Kronberg Academy faculty since 2013. She plays a violin by J G Guadagnini that dates from 1748.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Horn

Marie-Luise Neunecker

Japanese violinist Seiji Okamoto was born in 1994 and learned to play the violin at the age of three.

Japanese violinist Seiji Okamoto was born in 1994 and learned to play the violin at the age of three. He initially studied at Tokyo University of the Arts with Kazuo Nakazawa, Gérard Poulet and Kazuki Sawa, and also gained instruction and inspiration from Pierre Amoyal and Herwig Zack during this time. Since 2017, he has lived and studied in Berlin, where he is currently training at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin with Antje Weithaas.

In 2014, Okamoto won first prize and the audience prize in the International Bach Competition in Leipzig, becoming the first Asian winner of the competition’s “Violin” category. He then went on to win second prize in the 2016 International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań. In 2021 he won first prize and the special prize for the best interpretation of the commissioned work at the ARD International Music Competition.

As a soloist, Okamoto has performed with orchestras such as the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, NFM Filharmonia Wrocławska, Opole Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Łódź Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa. He has also taken part in renowned music festivals, including the 2015 Bach Festival, La Folle Journée in Japan in 2015 and 2017, Musica Mundi Festival 2017 and the Wieniawski Festival.

Seiji Okamoto participated in the 2017 Violin Masterclasses at Kronberg Academy and performed in 2019 at the Kronberg Academy Festival. He began his studies there with Antje Weithaas in October 2019. These studies are funded by the Gingko Foundation.

Photo: S. Ohsugi

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.

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

Anna Prohaska © Marco Borggreve
Soprano

Anna Prohaska

At 20 years of age Anna Prohaska made her debut at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, her artistic home. Since then she has remained an ensemble member adjacent to her international career, working with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Philippe Jordan and Simon Rattle.

At 20 years of age Anna Prohaska made her debut at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, her artistic home. Since then she has remained an ensemble member adjacent to her international career, working with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Philippe Jordan and Simon Rattle. Anna Prohaska has proven extraordinary versatility in any repertoire from Monteverdi to world premieres. Soon she ventured out to other stages such as La Scala di Milano, the Bolshoi Theatre, De Nationale Opera Amsterdam, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden or the Paris Opera.

Since 2008 Anna is a regular guest at the Salzburg Festival and after having made role debuts as Zerlina, Despina and Deola in Luigi Nonos Al Gran Sole, Carico d’Amore she sang Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro in 2016 and Cordelia in Reimann’s Lear in 2017. Apart from having sung Blonde, Adele and in Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes, Jörg Widmann dedicated the role of Inanna to her in his opera Babylon, conducted by Kent Nagano in 2012.

She is in demand at the leading concert venues of the world which have brought her to the Cleveland Orchestra, LA Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestras, the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker and to the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Claudio Abbado, Franz Welser-Möst, Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Harding, Mariss Jansons, Yannick Nézét-Séguin, Gustavo Dudamel or Mariss Jansons.

Anna Prohaska is passionately dedicated to historical performance practise, often having sung with Nicolaus Harnoncourt and his Concentus Musicus, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Freiburger Barockorchester or the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

The season of 17/18 brings Anna Prohaska back to Theater an der Wien for Claus Guth’s new production of Handel’s Saul and to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden for her role debut as Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff. At her Berlin artistic home, the newly reopened Staatsoper Unter den Linden, she will be premiering the title role in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and also performing Debussy oratorios in Berlin and the Vienna Musikverein with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim. After having sung at the opening concerts of the new Pierre Boulez Saal, she will fulfil a life-long dream of performing Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire under the baton of Zubin Mehta with Daniel Barenboim at the piano.

Anna Prohaska is often invited to the centres of art song like the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, the Wigmore Hall, to Wien oder Berlin. In 2018, marking the centennial of the end of the First World War, she will tour her „Behind the Lines“ programme including venues such as the the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie.

As an exclusive artist of the Deutschen Grammophon she released numerous solo recitals and operas winning various awards like the ECHO Klassik. Her most recent album Serpent & Fire: Arias for Dido and Cleopatra (2016 by alpha) with Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini entered the top of the German classical music charts immediately after release.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Andras Schiff © Birgitta Kowsky
Piano

Sir András Schiff

András Schiff was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1953 and started piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász. Subsequently he continued his musical studies at the Ferenc Liszt Academy with Professor Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados, and in London with George Malcolm.

András Schiff was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1953 and started piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász. Subsequently he continued his musical studies at the Ferenc Liszt Academy with Professor Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados, and in London with George Malcolm.

Recitals and special cycles, including the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann and Bartók form an important part of his activities. Since 2004 he has performed complete cycles of the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas in 20 cities, and the cycle in the Zurich Tonhalle was recorded live.

His latest disc with ECM Records released in April 2015 features the late piano works of Franz Schubert recorded on a 1820 Viennese fortepiano made by Franz Brodmann and was recently awarded the International Classical Music Award for best “Solo Instrumental Recording of the Year”. This is the second time András Schiff has received this award. The first was in 2012 for his recording “Geistervariationen” with works by Robert Schumann (ECM).

András Schiff has worked with most of the major international orchestras and conductors, but nowadays he performs mainly as a conductor and soloist. In 1999 he created his own chamber orchestra, the Cappella Andrea Barca, which consists of international soloists, chamber musicians and friends. In addition to working annually with this Orchestra, he also works with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Since childhood he has enjoyed playing chamber music and from 1989 until 1998 was Artistic Director of the internationally highly praised "Musiktage Mondsee" chamber music festival near Salzburg. In 1995, together with Heinz Holliger, he founded the "Ittinger Pfingstkonzerte" in Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland. In 1998 Mr Schiff started a similar series, entitled "Hommage to Palladio" at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza.

András Schiff has been awarded numerous international prizes. In 2006 he became an Honorary Member of the Beethoven House in Bonn in recognition of his interpretations of Beethoven’s works; in 2008 he was awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal in appreciation of 30 years of music-making at Wigmore Hall; in 2009 he was made a Special Supernumerary Fellow of Balliol College (Oxford, UK); in 2011 he received the Schumann Prize awarded by the city of Zwickau; in 2012 he received the Golden Mozart-Medaille by the International Stiftung Mozarteum, the Order pour le mérite for Sciences and Arts, the Grosse Verdienstkreuz mit Stern der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, and was made a Member of Honour of Vienna Konzerthaus; in December 2013 he was given The Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal; in July 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music honoris causa by the University of Leeds.

In the spring of 2011 Mr Schiff attracted attention because of his opposition to the alarming political development in Hungary and in view of the ensuing attacks on him from some Hungarian Nationalists, decided not to perform again in his home country.

In June 2014 he was bestowed a Knighthood for services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Mr Schiff’s book, “Musik kommt aus der Stille”, essays and conversations with martin Meyer was published in March 2017 by Bärenreiter and Henschel.

Photo: Birgitta Kowsky

Fazil Say © Marco Borggreve
Piano

Fazıl Say

With his extraordinary pianistic talents, Fazıl Say has been touching audiences and critics alike for more than twenty-five years, in a way that has become rare in the increasingly materialistic and elaborately organised classical music world.

With his extraordinary pianistic talents, Fazıl Say has been touching audiences and critics alike for more than twenty-five years, in a way that has become rare in the increasingly materialistic and elaborately organised classical music world. Concerts with this artist are something different. They are more direct, more open, more exciting; in short, they go straight to the heart. Which is exactly what the composer Aribert Reimann thought in 1986 when, during a visit to Ankara, he had the opportunity, more or less by chance, to appreciate the playing of the sixteen-year-old pianist. He immediately asked the American pianist David Levine, who was accompanying him on the trip, to come to the city’s conservatory, using the now much-quoted words: "You absolutely must hear him, this boy plays like a devil."

Fazıl Say had his first piano lessons from Mithat Fenmen, who had himself studied with Alfred Cortot in Paris. Perhaps sensing just how talented his pupil was, Fenmen asked the boy to improvise every day on themes to do with his daily life before going on to complete his essential piano exercises and studies. This contact with free creative processes and forms is seen as the source of the immense improvisatory talent and the aesthetic outlook that make Fazıl Say the pianist and composer he is today. He has been commissioned to write music for, among others, the Salzburg Festival, the WDR, the Dortmund Konzerthaus and the Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festivals. His work includes compositions for solo keyboard and chamber music, as well as solo concertos and large-scale orchestral works.

From 1987 onwards, Fazıl Say fine-tuned his skills as a classical pianist with David Levine, first at the Musikhochschule Robert Schumann in Düsseldorf and later in Berlin. This formed the aesthetic basis for his Mozart and Schubert interpretations, in particular. His outstanding technique very quickly enabled him to master the so-called warhorses of the repertoire with masterful ease. It is precisely this blend of refinement (in Bach, Haydn, and Mozart) and virtuoso brilliance in the works of Liszt, Mussorgsky and Beethoven that gained him victory at the Young Concert Artists international competition in New York in 1994. Since then he has played with all of the renowned American and European orchestras and numerous leading conductors, building up a multifaceted repertoire ranging from Bach, through the Viennese Classics (Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven) and the Romantics, right up to contemporary music, including his own piano compositions.

Guest appearances have taken Fazıl Say to countless countries on all five continents; the French newspaper Le Figaro called him ‘a genius’. He also performs chamber music regularly: for many years he was part of a fantastic duo with the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Other notable collaborators include Maxim Vengerov, the Borusan Quartet of Istanbul and the cellist Nicolas Altstaedt.

From 2005 to 2010, he was artist in residence at the Dortmund Konzerthaus; during the 2010/11 season he held the same position at the Berlin Konzerthaus. Say was also a focal point of the programme of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in the summer of 2011. There have been further residencies and Fazıl Say festivals in Paris, Tokyo, Meran, Hamburg, and Istanbul. During the 2012/13 season Fazıl Say was the artist in residence at the Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt am Main and at the Rheingau Musik Festival 2013, where he was honoured with the Rheingau Musik Preis. In April 2015 Fazıl Say gave a successful concert with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York, that was followed by a tour with concerts all over Europe. In 2014 he was the artist in residence at the Bodenseefestival, where he played 14 concerts. During their 2015/2016 season the Alte Oper Frankfurt invited him to be their artist in residence.

His recordings of works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Gershwin and Stravinsky have been highly praised by critics and won several prizes, including three ECHO Klassik Awards. In 2014, his recording of Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 3 and Beethoven’s sonatas op. 111 and op. 27/2 Moonlight was released, as well as the CD "Say plays Say", featuring his compositions for piano.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

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

Michael Song
Cello

Michael Song

Praised by Ronald Leonard as possessing “prodigious technique, a beautiful sound”, and “something special to say”, Canadian cellist Michael Song has established a reputation for natural and discerning performances.

Praised by Ronald Leonard as possessing “prodigious technique, a beautiful sound”, and “something special to say”, Canadian cellist Michael Song has established a reputation for natural and discerning performances. Audiences have appreciated the nobility and sensitivity of his playing in venues including Koerner Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival, as well as venues in Lisbon, Montreal, and New York.

Michael’s playing has been deeply shaped by his close work with Gary Hoffman; he is currently a Master of Music candidate at the Colburn School, where he studies with Clive Greensmith. Michael previously studied with Hans Jørgen Jensen and Andrés Díaz in Toronto, where he was supported by awards from the Temerty Foundation and the Hnatyshyn Foundation. He has also been influenced by shorter studies with Lynn Harrell, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, and Richard Aaron.

Collaboration holds a major role in his career, and this year he has shared stages with artists including Pedja Mužijević, Martin Beaver, and Charles Neidich.

Michael is grateful to perform on a 1723 Domenico Montagnana and a bow by Jean Pierre Marie Persoit made available through generous sponsors.

Ildikó Szabó © Zsofi Raffay
Cello

Ildikó Szabó

Hungarian cellist Ildikó Szabó, who was born in 1993 into a family of musicians, studied with László Mező at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest from the age of 11, and was taught by János Starker in Bloomington (Indiana, USA) every summer.

Hungarian cellist Ildikó Szabó, who was born in 1993 into a family of musicians, studied with László Mező at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest from the age of 11, and was taught by János Starker in Bloomington (Indiana, USA) every summer. In 2011, she began studying with Jens Peter Maintz at Berlin University of the Arts and in 2018 became a student of Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar, also taking on the role of assistant for his class during the 2019/20 winter semester. 2014 saw Ildikó Szabó win 2nd prize, the audience prize and seven special prizes in the Pablo Casals International Cello Competition. Furthermore, she has won prizes at the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, the TONALi Grand Prix, the David Popper International Cello Competition, the International Cello Competition Antonio Janigro and the Liezen International Cello Competition.

As a soloist, Szabó has performed with the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Iván Fischer as well as with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Hungarian National Philharmonic, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Budapest Symphonic Orchestra, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, Magdeburgische Philharmonie and Symphoniker Hamburg. In 2019, she gave her debut at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and 2018 saw debuts at the Hay Festival on the BBC, at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and at the International Mendelssohn Festival. Earlier festival appearances included the Verbier Festival, the International Holland Music Sessions, Heidelberger Frühling, the Krzyżowa-Music Festival and the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles.

Ildikó Szabó has performed in prestigious concert halls such as the Mariinsky Theatre, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Elbphilharmonie, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest. At the invitation of her mentor, Alfred Brendel, she gave her debut in the “Hommage à Brendel” festival at Konzerthaus Berlin in 2017.

Her third CD is dedicated to Hungarian music for solo cello. It contains works by Péter Eötvös and György Kurtág, as well as by Kodály, Ligeti and her grandfather, Csaba Szabó.

Ildikó Szabó is a prize winner of Gautier Capuçon’s “Classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle” at the Louis Vuitton Foundation and holds a scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. She plays a cello by Antonio Sgarbi (Rome 1894), which is generously loaned to her by Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

Ildikó Szabó has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt since October 2020 and is supported by a scholarship from the arteMusica-Stiftung. Her studies are funded by the Christa Verhein Scholarship.

Photo: Zsofi Raffay

Christian Tetzlaff © Giorgia Bertazzi
Violin

Christian Tetzlaff

Christian Tetzlaff has been one of the most sought-after violinists and most exciting musicians on the classical music scene for many years.

Christian Tetzlaff has been one of the most sought-after violinists and most exciting musicians on the classical music scene for many years. “The greatest performance of the work I’ve ever heard,” wrote Tim Ashley (The Guardian, May 2015) of his interpretation of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Daniel Harding.

Concerts with Christian Tetzlaff often turn into an existential experience for both the interpreter and the audience; suddenly old familiar works appear in a completely new light. In addition, he frequently turns his attention to forgotten masterpieces such as Joseph Joachim’s Violin Concerto which he successfully championed, and he also attempts to bring important new works into the repertoire such as Jörg Widmann’s Violin Concerto, which he premiered in 2013. He has an unusually extensive repertoire and performs approximately 100 concerts every year.

Born in Hamburg in 1966 and now living in Berlin with his family, there are three things that make this musician unique, aside from his astounding skill on the violin. He interprets the musical manuscript in a literal fashion, perceives music as a language, and views great works as narratives which reflect existential experiences. As obvious as it may sound, he brings an unusual approach in his daily concert routine.

Christian Tetzlaff tries to follow the manuscript as closely as possible – without regard for “performance tradition” and without indulging in the usual technical short-cuts on the violin – often allowing a renewed clarity and richness to arise in well-known works. As a violinist Tetzlaff tries to disappear from the music – paradoxically this makes his interpretations very personal.

Secondly, Christian Tetzlaff “speaks” through his violin. Like human speech, his playing comprises a wide range of expressive means and is not aimed solely at achieving harmoniousness or virtuosic brilliance.

Above all, however, he interprets the masterpieces of musical history as stories about first-hand experiences. The great composers have focused on intense feelings, great happiness and deep crises in their music; as a musician Christian Tetzlaff also explores the limits of feelings and musical expression. Many pieces deal with none other than life and death. Christian Tetzlaff’s aim is to convey this to his audience.

Christian Tetzlaff played in various youth orchestras for many years. His teacher at the Lübeck University of Music was Uwe-Martin Haiberg, for whom musical interpretation was the key to mastering violin technique, rather than the other way round.

Christian Tetzlaff founded his own string quartet in 1994, and until now chamber music is still as important to him as his work as a soloist with and without the orchestra.

The Tetzlaff Quartett received the Diapason d’or in 2015, and the trio with sister Tanja Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt was nominated for a Grammy award. Christian Tetzlaff has also received numerous awards for his CD recordings, including the “Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” in 2018, the “Diapason d’or” in July 2018 and the Midem Classical Award in 2017. The new Ondine recording of Beethoven and Sibelius violin concertos with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati is highly anticipated in autumn 2019.

Of special significance is his solo recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, which he has recorded for the third time and was released in September 2017. The Strad magazine praised this recording as “an attentive and lively answer to the beauty of Bach’s solos”.

Christian Tetzlaff plays a violin made by the German violin maker Peter Greiner and teaches regularly at the Kronberg Academy.

Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi

Fagot

Matthew Wilkie

Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation.

Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. The 2018/19 season sees him appear as soloist with orchestras such as the Szmphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk with Susanna Mälkki, National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan with Shao Chia Lu, the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover with Andrew Manze and the Kammerorchester Basel with Heinz Holliger.

Jörg Widmann is Artist in Residence at the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, appearing as clarinetist in a performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, as conductor in a play/ direct program as well as composer and lecturer. Further residencies include the Orchestre de Paris, where his works feature in various concerts.

Widmann studied clarinet with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York. He performs regularly with renowned orchestras, such as Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra National de France, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph von Dohnányi.

Widmann is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskollegs in Berlin and a full member of the Bayerischen Akademie of Schönen Künste, and since 2007, the Freien Akademie der Künste Hamburg, the Deutschen Akademie der Darstellenden Künste and the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz. He is professor for composition at the Barenboim-Said Academy, Berlin.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Shai Wosner © Marco Borggreve
Piano

Shai Wosner

Pianist Shai Wosner has a vast repertoire: from Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert to Ligeti and the music of today, his playing reflects the high degree of virtuosity and intellectual curiosity that has made him a favourite among audiences and critics.

Pianist Shai Wosner has a vast repertoire: from Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert to Ligeti and the music of today, his playing reflects the high degree of virtuosity and intellectual curiosity that has made him a favourite among audiences and critics. Wosner is a recipient of the Lincoln Center’s Martin E Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He has been in residence with the BBC as a New Generation Artist and, as a concerto soloist in North America, has appeared with the major orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Berkeley, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, San Francisco and Toronto, among others. In addition, he has given guest performances with ensembles such as the Staatskapelle Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic. He has collaborated as a chamber musician with artists including Martha Argerich, Martin Fröst, Lynn Harrell, Dietrich Henschel, Ralph Kirshbaum, Jennifer Koh and Cho-Liang Lin.

Born in Israel, Wosner enjoyed a broad musical education from a very early age, studying piano with Opher Brayer and Emanuel Krasovsky, as well as composition, theory and improvisation with André Hajdu. He later studied at the Juilliard School with Emanuel Ax. Shai Wosner resides in New York with his wife and two children.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Ella Wimbiscus
Cello

Ella Wimbiscus

Ella Wimbiscus, 11 years old, is a sixth year Merit Scholarship student at the Music Institute of Chicago (MIC). Eager to follow in her older sister’s foot steps, she began learning the cello at 2 ½ years old.

Ella Wimbiscus, 11 years old, is a sixth year Merit Scholarship student at the Music Institute of Chicago (MIC). Eager to follow in her older sister’s foot steps, she began learning the cello at 2 ½ years old. She studies with her mother, a faculty member of MIC, and with Hans Jensen, a faculty member of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.

At the age of 8, Ella made her solo orchestral debut with the Sinfonia da Camera as a winner of their concerto competition performing the Hungarian Rhapsody by David Popper. Second solo orchestral performance soon followed as a winner of the DePaul Concerto Festival 2020, where she performed with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago. In October of 2021, Ella performed the Variations on a Rococo Theme by Tchaikovsky with the Highland Park Strings Orchestra. Second appearance with the Oistrakh Symphony took place in February of 2022 as a 2nd time winner of the DePaul Concerto Festival. Recent competition wins include First Prize & Exceptional Young Talent Special Prize Winner in the 2021 Int’l Music Competition Grand Prize Virtuoso and winner in the Grand Prize Category of the Chicago Int’l Music Competition, 2021. Previous years’ awards include Grand Prize winner of ENKOR International Competition, First Prize winner of Walgreens National Concerto Competition, DePaul Concerto Festival, among others and runner up in the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, 2020.

Ella will perform a full recital program on a Chicago radio station this month.

She was awarded full scholarship to participate in the Orford Music Festival, in Orford, Quebec, 2020, a program for college students. Previous summer participations include Musica Mundi International Chamber Music Course and Festival in Belgium. She has performed in masterclasses with Lawrence Lesser, Lluis Claret, Natasha Brofsky, and Michel Strauss.

Along with her mother and older sister, who are both cellists, Ella enjoys bringing music to the community.

Ella is a budding ballerina, an avid reader, and enjoys playing with her adopted cat, Peta.

Kristin Goltz
Cello

Kristin von der Goltz

Arne Zeller
Violoncello

Arne Zeller

hr-Sinfonieorchester © Ben Knabe
Orchestra

hr-Sinfonieorchester

Founded in 1929 as one of the first radio symphony orchestras in Germany, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (hr-Sinfonieorchester) has successfully negotiated the delicate balancing act between preserving tradition and meeting the challenges of a modern top-ranking orchestra.

Founded in 1929 as one of the first radio symphony orchestras in Germany, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (hr-Sinfonieorchester) has successfully negotiated the delicate balancing act between preserving tradition and meeting the challenges of a modern top-ranking orchestra. Its open-minded artistic profile is defined by series of concerts with highly diverse programmes, in which great symphonic meets music from an earlier time and contemporary music, and numerous projects also for younger audiences.

With international guest performances an award-winning CD releases, the symphony orchestra of the Hessischer Rundfunk (German Public Radio of Hesse) has an outstanding reputation worldwide. Regular tours to Asia are as much an integral part of its activities as its continued presence in important concert halls across Europe.

Famed for its outstanding wind section, its powerful strings and its culture of dynamic performances, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony now offers a broad spectrum of styles. Together with its Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the ensemble is associated not only with musical excellence but also with an interesting and varied repertoire. With innovative new concert formats and regular appearances in music capitals such as Vienna, Salzburg, Paris, Madrid, Prague and Warsaw, it underlines its prominent position within the European orchestral landscape.

Rising to prominence with its ground-breaking CD recordings, which set new standards in the Romantic and Late Romantic repertoire, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony is considered an internationally leading Mahler and Bruckner orchestra. This musical tradition, initiated by Eliahu Inbal, has shone through under the aegis of Music Directors Dmitri Kitaenko and Hugh Wolff into the musical work of Paavo Järvi, the current Conductor Laureate.

Photo: Ben Knabe

Ensemble Resonanz © Tobias Schult
Orchestra

Ensemble Resonanz

With its unique enthusiasm and artistic quality, Ensemble Resonanz ranks among the world’s leading chamber orchestras.

With its unique enthusiasm and artistic quality, Ensemble Resonanz ranks among the world’s leading chamber orchestras. Their concepts connect classical and contemporary music, and their vivid interpretations create a field of resonance between the music, the audience and the stories that develop around the programmes.

The string ensemble consists of eighteen members, organised democratically. The musicians work without a permanent conductor, inviting artistic partners on a regular basis instead. Riccardo Minasi (violinist, conductor and a long-standing friend of the ensemble) has been the ensemble’s »principal guest conductor & partner in crime« – a cooperation that has resulted in numerous CD recordings. Previous close artistic partnerships of the ensemble include the violist Tabea Zimmermann, the violinist Isabelle Faust, the cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the conductor Emilio Pomàrico. Another driving force of the ensemble’s artistic work is the collaboration with composers and the constant development of new repertoire.

In Hamburg, the ensemble performs in two unique and very different locations: The Elbphilharmonie and the resonanzraum St. Pauli. The ensemble’s residency at the Elbphilharmonie includes the concert series »resonanzen« which has been running with great success for 21 seasons. With its children’s concerts and various projects at festivals, the ensemble has a formative influence on the Elbphilharmonie’s programming, always emphasizing the vivid presentation of classical and contemporary music.

The resonanzraum – Europe’s first urban chamber music club – is the home of Ensemble Resonanz, located within a converted bunker in the heart of St. Pauli. Here, the musicians present their monthly concert series »urban string«, developed by the musicians themselves and presented in co-operation with international DJs and artists from the electronic music scene. The resonanzraum is also where the ensemble’s »anchor events« take place: Open rehearsals (»werkstatt«), introductions (»hörstunde«) and philosophical discussions (»bunkersalon«) open up spaces for new experience associated with the concert programmes.

The resonanzraum has received multiple prizes, including Hamburg’s Music Club of the Year award for its innovative programming in 2017 and the international AIT-Architectural-Award as well as the BDA audience award for its unique architecture. The concert series »urban string« won the Innovation Award at the Classical Next Conference in 2016.

Based in Hamburg, the musicians perform at various festivals and in major concert halls around the world, captivating audiences from Vienna to Tokyo.

Photo: Tobias Schult

Bar Avni Pallentin © Agnete Schlichtkrull
Conductor

Bar Avni

Bar Avni, a young, yet acclaimed Israeli conductor living in Germany is the 2021 recent awardee of the International Kurt Masur Institute Scholarship which gives profile support, an opportunity with the Halle Opera and concerts in the IMPULS Festival in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany in the next season.

Bar Avni, a young, yet acclaimed Israeli conductor living in Germany is the 2021 recent awardee of the International Kurt Masur Institute Scholarship which gives profile support, an opportunity with the Halle Opera and concerts in the IMPULS Festival in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany in the next season.

Ms. Avni is also appointed to a three-year term (2021-23) as Chief Conductor of the Bayer Philharmonic, the first female conductor in the orchestra’s 111-year history, She will conduct concerts in Leverkusen and other cities in region of Dusseldorf and Cologne. Ms. Avni will conduct six programs a year, some repeated in several different venues. The orchestra is supported by Bayer. Starting from 2021 Ms. Avni is a scholar of the prestigious Start Academy of Bayer-Kultur.

Her last year has included her conducting debuts with Camerata Hamburg in Elbphilharmonie, the Staatskapelle Halle orchestra and Halbersadt Philharmonie as part of the IMPULS Festival and the Israel Philharmonic in Charles Bronfman Hall, Tel Aviv.

After performing with the Gstaad Conducting Academy of the Yehudi Menuhin Festival with Maestro Jaap van Zweden and Professor Johannes Schläflie in 2018, Avni was nominated for the Neeme Järvi prize and invited to return to the 2019 Academy with Manfred Honeck.

Her 2016 debut at the Tyrolean Festival Erl and following prize in the Fitelberg Conducting Competition Katowice, Poland had led to concerts with Sinfonia Varsovia and several other Polish orchestras. She has since worked with a wide breadth of orchestras, including the Israel chamber orchestra, Juventus Symphony Orchestra, Hamburger Symphony, Magdeburg Philharmonic and several others in Germany and Austria.

Bar Avni has led the successful production of the chamber opera "Simplicius Simplicissimus" by Karl A. Hartmann, a shortened version of the Opera Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell, and the German premiere of the Chinese short opera, based on the french film “L‘Accordeur”.

Bar Avni early career was performing as a classical percussionist in all the leading orchestras in Israel and she is a student of Yoav Talmi, Martin Sieghart and Ulrich Windfuhr. She then worked as the assistant conductor of both the Israel chamber orchestra under music director Yoav Talmi in season 2013-14, and the Bergische Symphoniker under music director Peter Kuhn in season 2017-18. There, she conducted and moderated many open-air and family concerts with great success. She returned to perform with the orchestra in the 2019-20 season.

Ms. Avni is active in the music world beyond the realm of conducting. She was selected for the fellowship "The Future of the Orchestral Culture," a German-American-Chinese collaboration that meets regularly with prominent figures in the music world to discuss the issues, visions, and attitudes that shape the world of orchestras in Europe and overseas.

Photo: Agnete Schlichtkrull

Brannon Cho © Grittani Creative LTD
Cello

Brannon Cho

Born in New Jersey, cellist Brannon Cho gained his bachelor’s degree from the Northwestern Bienen School of Music where he studied with Hans Jørgen Jensen. He subsequently completed studies with Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory, receiving his Artist Diploma in 2019.

Born in New Jersey, cellist Brannon Cho gained his bachelor’s degree from the Northwestern Bienen School of Music where he studied with Hans Jørgen Jensen. He subsequently completed studies with Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory, receiving his Artist Diploma in 2019.

Brannon Cho won first prize in the prestigious International Paulo Cello Competition in 2018 and was also placed in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2017. He won second prize in the 2015 International Walter W. Naumburg Cello Competition as well as third prize in the Gaspar Cassadó International Cello Competition in 2015. He is the recipient of the 2020 János Starker Foundation Award.

Cho has performed as a soloist with many noted orchestras, including the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic and the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. In so doing, he has collaborated with world-renowned conductors such as Susanna Mälkki, Stéphane Denève and Christian Arming.

As a chamber musician, Cho has already shared the stage with artists including Christian Tetzlaff, Gidon Kremer and Joshua Bell. His performances in this guise include participation in the 2018 Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Connects the World 2016 at Kronberg Academy, the Music@Menlo Festival, Verbier Festival Academy and the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Academy. In addition, he took part in the Cello Masterclasses at Kronberg Academy in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Cho was awarded the CME International Performing Arts Grant in 2015 as well as a scholarship from the International Music Academy in the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Brannon Cho plays a cello by Antonio Casini dating from 1668 (Modena, Italy).

In 2016 he played in the benefit concert in remembrance of the musical achievement of Mstislav Rostropovich in Kronberg Academy’s event Appointment with Slava. In 2018 Brannon Cho performed alongside Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis, Antje Weithaas and Mate Bekavac in Chamber Music Connects the World. Since October 2019 he has been studying at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson. The study are funded by the Gerhard and Dorothea Berssenbrügge Scholarship.

Photo: Grittani Creative LTD

Karolina Errera © Clara Evens
Viola

Karolina Errera

Standing on stage and indulging in the fleeting moment in the music - violist Karolina Errera has had this special feeling for a lifetime: from when she first appeared on stage at the age of five to her collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as a student of the Kronberg Academy or as a chamber music partner at well-known festivals.

Standing on stage and indulging in the fleeting moment in the music - violist Karolina Errera has had this special feeling for a lifetime: from when she first appeared on stage at the age of five to her collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as a student of the Kronberg Academy or as a chamber music partner at well-known festivals.

Karolina Errera grew up in a Dominican-Russian family with musical influences from all over the world. Making music was initially only intended as a pastime after schoolwork, but it quickly developed into a passion that has become an integral part of Karolina's life. After completing her studies at Central Music School, the violist studied with Wilfried Strehle as part of her bachelor's degree at the Berlin University of the Arts. Until 2019 she studied with Tabea Zimmermann at the Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin, then at the Kronberg Academy. During her training, Karolina Errera appreciates the support of other musicians, who always inspire her in the search for her own musical voice.

Karolina enjoys developing her artistic personality in different formations. As an academician with the Berliner Philharmoniker, she learned to be part of a bigger whole without forgetting herself. In chamber music, she is fascinated by the sensitivity of the shared creative moment and the direct communication with one another. As a soloist, she would like to tell the stories behind the pieces of music. Karolina Errera has won numerous prizes, including the important Yuri Bashmet Competition and 2nd prize at the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition. She has already played in concert halls such as the Wigmore Hall in London, the Victoria Hall in Geneva and the Berlin Philharmonie. She is also a regular guest at international festivals such as the Verbier Festival, the Heidelberg Spring, the Seiji Ozawa Academy Festival, the Moritzburg Festival and the Krzyzowa Music Festival. In addition to her busy concert activity, the violist never forgets her goal: to play music for everyone and to invite everyone to immerse themselves in the dazzling world of classical music with her. The viola is the perfect instrument for this, its sound: “bittersweet”, enthuses Karolina Errera

Karolina Errera took part in the 2014 Chamber Music Connects the World project, playing alongside Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Kim Kashkashian and Steven Isserlis. In 2020 participated in Mit Musik – Miteinander as tutor. She began her studies with Tabea Zimmermann at Kronberg Academy in October 2019 and is supported by a scholarship from the arteMusica-Stiftung. These studies are funded by the Dr Rolf M Schwiete Stiftung.

Photo: Clara Evens

Amanda Forsyth © Cheryl Mazak
Cello

Amanda Forsyth

Canadian Juno award winning cellist Amanda Forsyth is considered among her peers and critics alike to be one of the most dynamic cellists on the concert stage today.

Canadian Juno award winning cellist Amanda Forsyth is considered among her peers and critics alike to be one of the most dynamic cellists on the concert stage today. Describing a recent performance, California’s Ventura County Star raves: “In Forsyth’s hands, it was sheer magic.” She has achieved an international reputation as a premiere soloist and chamber musician and previously enthralled audiences as the principal cellist of both The Calgary Philharmonic and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestras. Her intense richness of tone, exceptional musicality and passion are reminiscent of cellists of a former age. She captivates audiences with every phrase.

Ms. Forsyth has been soloist on international tours with: The Royal Philharmonic; English Chamber Orchestra; Seoul Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras. Among others, she has appeared abroad with: Orchestra Radio de France; Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Orchestra; Calgary Philharmonic; Toronto Symphony; National Arts Centre Orchestra; Vancouver Symphony; Luxembourg Philharmonic; Gyeonggi Philharmonic; Teatro San Carlo and Seoul Philharmonic. With multiple tours in Australia, she has performed with the Sydney, Perth and Adelaide Symphonies. In the U.S., she has performed with: The Chicago Symphony; Washington National Symphony; San Diego Symphony; Colorado Symphony; San Antonio Symphony; Madison Symphony; Oregon Symphony; New West Symphony; Grand Rapids Symphony and Dallas Symphony. She has appeared on tour and in St Petersburg numerous times with the Marinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. Her Los Angeles Philharmonic debut was conducted by Zubin Mehta and Ms. Forsyth made her Carnegie Hall debut with The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a founding member of the Zukerman ChamberPlayers, Amanda Forsyth has performed in: Germany; Israel; Finland; Holland; Switzerland; New Zealand; and Turkey and cities such as: London; Vienna; Paris; Budapest; Belgrade; Sofia; Bucharest; Dubrovnik; Warsaw Moscow and Barcelona. As Cellist of the Zukerman Trio, she has played on six continents and participated in prestigious Music Festivals such as: Edinburgh Festival; Miyazaki Festival; Verbier Festival; BBC Proms; Tanglewood; Ravinia; Spring Festival of St. Petersburg; White Nights Festival; La Jolla SummerFest and Aspen. Her current season includes engagements with: Chamber Music Sedona; The 92nd Street Y in New York; Detroit Chamber Music Society; Music Institute of Chicago; Savannah Music Festival; Verbier Festival and Tsinandalli Festival.

She started her 2019-2020 season with the cello concerto, “Electra Rising”, written by her father, Malcolm Forsyth. Ms. Forsyth brings Avner Dorman’s Double Concerto written for her and violinist Pinchas Zukerman to Ottawa with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and to Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic, having previously performed the world premieres with Adelaide Symphony and Boston Symphonies. Additional engagements this season include performances with: Lincoln’s Symphony; Fort Wayne Philharmonic; IRIS Orchestra; Royal Philharmonic; Polish Symphony; Prague Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony. A second USA tour as guest with The Jerusalem Quartet offering sextet repertoire with Pinchas Zukerman is booked throughout the USA.

Ms. Forsyth is a recording artist on the Sony Classics, Naxos, Altara, Fanfare, ProArte and CBC labels. Her recording of Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet with the Zukerman ChamberPlayers and Yefim Bronfman was released by Sony in 2008. Her most recent disc features the Brahms Double Concerto with Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra released by Analekta Records.

Born in South Africa, Ms. Forsyth immigrated to Canada as a child and began playing cello at age three. She became a protege of William Pleeth in London and later completed her studies at The Juilliard School with Harvey Shapiro. Her instrument is a rare 1699 cello by Carlo Giuseppe Testore.

Photo: Cheryl Mazak

Sara Ferrández © Clara Evens
Viola

Sara Ferrández

Sara Ferrández was born into a family of musicians in Madrid in 1995, and began playing the viola at the age of three. She was admitted to Madrid’s Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía when she was 13 years old.

Sara Ferrández was born into a family of musicians in Madrid in 1995, and began playing the viola at the age of three. She was admitted to Madrid’s Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía when she was 13 years old. After completing her studies there, she was granted a Juventudes Musicales scholarship to study abroad and also received a Hezekiah Wardwell Scholarship sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation. She subsequently continued her studies in Berlin with Tabea Zimmermann at the Hanns Eisler School of Music.

Aged just seven years, Ferrández began performing in Spain’s most renowned concert halls, including the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid, the Auditorio Príncipe Felipe in Oviedo and L'Auditori in Barcelona. Since then, she has developed her international career with concerts in venues such as the Berlin Philharmonie, the Elbphilharmonie, Victoria Hall in Geneva and Salzburg’s Grosses Festspielhaus. In 2013 she was a soloist with the Sony Orchestra directed by Frans Helmerson, and 2014 saw her return for a performance at Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional de Música.

A passionate chamber musician, Ferrández is often invited to play at prestigious festivals, such as the Verbier Festival, Festival Musika-Música, the Zagreb Chamber Music Festival and the Rolandseck Festival. She has also been a guest of Anne-Sophie Mutter in her ensemble “MutterVirtuosi”.

Since December 2019, Sara Ferrández has been a member of the Karajan-Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker and a member of the West Eastern Divan Orchestra directed by Maestro Daniel Barenboim.

She plays a viola by Stephan Peter Greiner from 2015 with a bow by Nicolas Léonard Tourte, which is loaned to her by Stephan Jansen.

Sara Ferrández performed at the Kronberg Academy Festival in 2013. In 2016, she participated in Chamber Music Connects the World, playing alongside Gidon Kremer, Steven Isserlis, Christian Tetzlaff and Vilde Frang. Since October 2021, she has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Nobuko Imai. Her studies are funded by the Dorothea Neuhaus scholarship.

Photo: Clara Evans

David Grottschreiber
Conductor

David Grottschreiber

Born in 1982 near Hamburg, David Grottschreiber began playing the trombone at the age of eleven. He studied jazz trombone at Hamburg Music College from 2001 to 2003, during which time he was also a member of the Lower Saxony and Hamburg state youth jazz orchestras.

Born in 1982 near Hamburg, David Grottschreiber began playing the trombone at the age of eleven. He studied jazz trombone at Hamburg Music College from 2001 to 2003, during which time he was also a member of the Lower Saxony and Hamburg state youth jazz orchestras. He later studied at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Rotterdam until 2005. Whilst there, he was a member of the German National Jazz Orchestra directed by Peter Herbolzheimer, a group for which he also composed. 2005 saw him continue his studies in jazz trombone and composition at Lucerne School of Music, graduating with a diploma in 2008.

In that same year, Grottschreiber received a Werkbeitrag (work grant) from the city of Lucerne. He is likewise the recipient of several international composition competitions, including the 2010 BuJazzO competition. Alongside his activities as a composer, arranger and lecturer, Grottschreiber works as an ensemble leader both in Germany and abroad, in particular with the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra. He has also appeared with the Sunday Night Orchestra, Jazzwerkstatt Bern, Big Band Fette Hup Hannover, Berlin Art Orchestra and the Metropole Orkest. In addition, he has worked as a copyist for Bob Brookmeyer and performed with Ohad Talmor, Hayden Chisholm, Nils Wogram, Claudio Puntin, Oliver Leicht and others. His compositions include a mass for choir and jazz orchestra.

Grottschreiber teaches music theory, ensemble jazz and jazz theory at the Lucerne School of Music’s Institute of Jazz and Folk Music.

Photo: David Grottschreiber

Luca Giovannini
Cello

Luca Giovannini

Born in 2000, Italian cellist Luca Giovannini studied cello with Luca Simoncini at the Francesco Venezze Conservatory in his hometown of Rovigo and has participated in the Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle with Gauthier Capuçon. Masterclasses with David Geringas, Lynn Harrel, Enrico Dindo and Marti Roussi have provided him with further experience and inspiration.

Born in 2000, Italian cellist Luca Giovannini studied cello with Luca Simoncini at the Francesco Venezze Conservatory in his hometown of Rovigo and has participated in the Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle with Gauthier Capuçon. Masterclasses with David Geringas, Lynn Harrel, Enrico Dindo and Marti Roussi have provided him with further experience and inspiration.

Since 2011, Giovannini has played his way to victory in many national and international competitions, including winning first prize in the International Johannes Brahms Competition, the Grand Prize Virtuoso in Salzburg, the Rising Stars Grand Prix in Berlin, Crescendo International Music Competition in Florence, the Città di Riccione, Città di Forlì, Città di Piove di Sacco and Città di Giussano music competitions, T.I.M. Paris, the IBLA Grand Prize in Ragusa, “Maura Giorgetti” organized by the Filarmonica della Scala in Milan, the Antonio Janigro International Cello Competition in Croatia, Zinetti International Music Competition in Sanguinetto, the Castel San Giovanni, the Grand Prix of the London International Music Competition and third prize in the Alice & Eleonora Schoenfeld International String Competition in Harbin.

He has performed in many venues, among them the Museo Casa Barezzi in Busseto, Berliner Philharmonie, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Harbin Opera House (China), Salone dei Cinquecento in Florence, Villa Houck in Switzerland, Sala Maffeiana in Verona, “La Rotonda” church in Rovigo, Auditorium R.L. Montalcini in Riccione, the Sale Apollinee of Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Argenta in North Little Rock Arkansas, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Hall of Nuns in Milan and Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna.

Luca Giovannini plays a cello by Ansaldo Poggi dating from 1927, which is loaned to him by Mario Brunello.

He has begun his studies at Kronberg Academy in October 2019 with Frans Helmerson. These studies are funded by the Angela Winkler Scholarship.

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. He gained international renown on being the first North American to win the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in 1986.

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

Faud Ibrahomov © Irina Weinrauch
Conductor

Fuad Ibrahimov

Since November 2014 Fuad Ibrahimov is a conductor of the State Symphony Orchestra of Azerbaijan, principal conductor of the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Munich and the Baku Chamber Orchestra.

Since November 2014 Fuad Ibrahimov is a conductor of the State Symphony Orchestra of Azerbaijan, principal conductor of the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Munich and the Baku Chamber Orchestra.

Fuad Ibrahimov in his young career as a conductor, has performed with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (England), Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse (France), North Czech Philharmonic, MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, the Staatskapelle Halle, the Göttingen and the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the „Das kritische Orchester Berlin®“, which is composed from musicians of orchestras like the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Staatskapelle Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, the South Westphalian Philharmonic (Germany), the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and many other orchestras. In 2012 he took over his first independent opera production with the Gürzenich Orchestra (Germany) at the Cologne Opera as a guest conductor. In June 2011, he was invited by Maestro Fabio Luisi to the "Pacific Music Festival" in Japan.

In 2006 Ibrahimov began his conducting studies with Prof. Michael Luig at the Cologne Academy of Music, and since 2008 he has acted as music director of the student symphony orchestra "Sinfonietta", based in Cologne. In 2010 he was awarded a special prize by DAAD, given to especially talented foreign students.

In 1998 he also joined the viola studio of Prof. B. Mehdiyev at the Baku Music Academy, and simultaneously enrolled in the Cologne Academy of Music (Germany) in the studio of Prof. Rainer Moog. During this time, Ibrahimov was awarded a scholarship from the "Friends of Azerbaijan Culture" Foundation, as well as the the Dr. Carl Dörcken-Werner Richard Scholarship, and performed concerts in numerous German cities under the auspices of the Yehudi Menuhin Charitable Foundation and being awarded the Berlioz prize in France.

In 1998 he was the winner of the VII. Republic Music Competition (Baku), and, at the early age of 15, was accepted as violist into the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Rauf Abdullayev, where he worked until 2002.

Co-winner of Evgeny Svetlanov International Conductor Competition in Paris in 2018, Fuad Ibrahimov was invited right away to conduct Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Sinfonia Varsovia and Orchestre d’Auvergne at Rostropovich Festival next April.

Fuad Ibrahimov, born in 1982 in Shusha (Azerbaijan), began his music studies at the age of 12, when he attended the specialized music school associated with the Baku Music Academy, Azerbaijan. There he joined the studio of Prof. Tofig Aslanov (1994-1998), and later was a member of the youth string orchestra, "Tutti", conducted by Teymur Geokchayev.

Since 2013 Fuad Ibrahimov is a holder of President's Scholarship of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Photo: Irina Weinrauch

Gidon Kremer © Angie Kremer
Violin

Gidon Kremer

Driven by his strikingly uncompromising artistic philosophy, Gidon Kremer has established a worldwide reputation as one of his generation’s most original and compelling artists.

Driven by his strikingly uncompromising artistic philosophy, Gidon Kremer has established a worldwide reputation as one of his generation’s most original and compelling artists. His repertoire encompasses standard classical scores and music by leading twentieth and twenty-first century composers. He has championed the works of Russian and Eastern European composers and performed many important new compositions, several of which have been dedicated to him. His name is closely associated with such composers as Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, Sofia Gubaidulina, Valentin Silvestrov, Luigi Nono, Edison Denisov, Aribert Reimann, Pēteris Vasks, John Adams, Victor Kissine, Michael Nyman, Philip Glass, Leonid Desyatnikov and Astor Piazzolla, whose works he performs in ways that respect tradition while being fully alive to their freshness and originality. It is fair to say that no other soloist of comparable international stature has done more to promote the cause of contemporary composers and new music for violin.

Gidon Kremer has recorded over 120 albums, many of which have received prestigious international awards in recognition of their exceptional interpretative insights. His long list of honours and awards include the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis, the Bundesverdienstkreuz, Moscow’s Triumph Prize, the Unesco Prize and the Una Vita Nella Musica – Artur Rubinstein Prize. In 2016 Gidon Kremer has received a Praemium Imperiale prize that is widely considered to be the Nobel Prize of music. In 1997 Gidon Kremer founded the chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica to foster outstanding young musicians from the Baltic States. The ensemble tours extensively and has recorded almost 30 albums for the Nonesuch, Deutsche Grammophon, Burleske and ECM labels. “After Mozart” (Nonesuch, 2001) received an ECHO prize and a GRAMMY award in 2002, while their recent release on ECM of works by Mieczysław Weinberg was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2015.

Photo: Angie Kremer

Kateryna Kasper © Andreas Kasper
Soprano

Kateryna Kasper

Stylistic versatility and authenticity of interpretation – these terms characterize the artistic agenda of the Ukrainian soprano Kateryna Kasper.

Stylistic versatility and authenticity of interpretation – these terms characterize the artistic agenda of the Ukrainian soprano Kateryna Kasper.

A member of the Opera Frankfurt since 2014, she made her debut there already in 2011 as the Forest Bird in Wagner’s Siegfried. She has since performed important roles from almost all epochs in Frankfurt. Those include (early) baroque opera such as ANIMA in Rappresentazione di anima e di corpo by Cavalieri, GIACINTA in LʼOrontea by Cesti, ROMILDA and TIGRANE in Handel’s Xerxes and Radamisto and ANGELICA in Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso as well as the world premiere of Der Goldene Drache by Péter Eötvös, who has composed the role DIE JUNGE FRAU for Kateryna (a co-production with the Ensemble Modern Frankfurt). From the classic and romantic period, Kateryna has sung Mozart roles such as SUSANNA in Le nozze di Figaro and PAMINA in the Magic Flute, belcanto repertoire such as ANTONIDA in Glinka’s Iwan Sussanin, the title role in Flotow’s Martha, GРЕТЕL by Humperdinck, NANNETTA in Verdi’s Falstaff as well as NAJADE (Ariadne auf Naxos) and – in particular – SOPHIE in Strauss’ Rosenkavalier. But also the operetta can be found among Kateryna’s repertoire with roles such as KOMTESSE ANASTASIA (Die Csárdásfürstin by Kálmán) and VALENCIENNE in Die Lustige Witwe by Lehár.

She has appeared at opera festivals in Edinburgh, Bregenz, Savonlinna and Bergen, and in St. Margarethen (Austria), as well as at the Los Angeles Opera.

During the 2021/22 season, Kateryna will make three role debuts: ORIANA in Händel’s Amadigi, TYTANIA in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and ORASIA in Telemann’s Orpheus on tour with the B’Rock Orchestra and René Jacobs. Future plans include TAMIRI in Il re pastore at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, a concert tour of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Mahler’s 4th Symphony and Schubert Lieder with the Frankfurt Opera House and Museum’s Orchestra.

Kateryna also pursues an active performance schedule in song, oratorio and concert with performances in the Paris Philharmony with the Ensemble Pygmalion / Raphaël Pichon, at the Heidelberger Frühling, the Handel Festival Karlsruhe, the Telemann Festival Magdeburg, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, in Grafenegg, and in the Musashino Civic Cultural Hall Tokio. In 2017, she gave her debuts in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra / Nathalie Stutzmann, with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and in the Moscow Philharmony with the Moscow Chamber Orcestra / Federico Maria Sardelli. She has been working with conductors such as Ivor Bolton, Constantinos Carydis, Sebastian Weigle, Michael Schneider, Andreas Spering, Michael Hofstetter, Helmuth Rilling and Howard Griffiths and with chamber music partners such as the Trio Vivente, Hilko Dumno, Dmitry Ablogin, Kristin von der Goltz.

Kateryna’s debut album „Ah! If I but Knew the Way Back…“ with romantic songs about childhood and fairy tales (TYXart) wasfavorable received. The disc has been recorded with Hilko Dumno at the original Steinway of Richard Wagner in Bayreuth. More CDs with Kateryna Kasper will be released soon, including Weber’s Freischütz (ÄNNCHEN) with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra lead by René Jacobs, Shostakovich and Weinberg Lieder with the Trio Vivente, and her second Lied album with songs by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, recorded with Dmitry Ablogin on a historic 1835 fortepiano.

In 2014, Kateryna won the prestigious Mirjam-Helin International Singing Competition in Helsinki. This was preceded by prices at the IVC ’s-Hertogenbosch (2010), The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo (2011) and The Trude-Eipperle-Rieger-Prize for art song.

Kateryna Kasper has studied with Raisa Kolesnik in Donetsk, followed by studies in Nuremberg and Frankfurt with Edith Wiens and Hedwig Fassbender, where she has been supported by a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In parallel with her “Konzertexamen”, she was a member of the young artists program of the Opera Frankfurt (“Opernstudio”) from 2012-2014. She has participated in master classes held by Ileana Cotrubaș and Margreet Honig.

Photo: Kateryna Kasper

Anastasia Kobekina © Julia Altukhova
Cello

Anastasia Kobekina

Being one of the most promising talents of her generation, Anastasia Kobekina debuted with an orchestra at the age of six.

Being one of the most promising talents of her generation, Anastasia Kobekina debuted with an orchestra at the age of six. Since that time she has had the opportunity to perform with many renowned orchestras, such as Moscow Virtuosi, Kremerata Baltica, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, and many others - under guidance of Krzysztov Penderecki, Heinrich Schiff, Vladimir Spivakov and Valery Gergiev.

In June 2019 Anastasia won the bronze medal at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition in St. Petersburg. In 2018 she became a „New Generation Artist“ of the BBC 3 Radio Scheme and was also awarded the Prix Thierry Scherz and the Prix André Hoffmann at the Swiss Winter Music Festival “Sommets musicaux de Gstaad”, a reward that comprises a recording with orchestra for the Swiss recording label Claves (released in April 2019).

Highlights of the past season include a concert at the chamber music week of Verbier Festival in Elmau and a concert tour with the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin.

One of young cellist’s main dedications and passions is chamber music - she has been participating in many festivals performing with artists, such as Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Giovanni Sollima, Denis Matsuev, Fazil Say, Vladimir Spivakov, and Andras Schiff.

Born into a family of musicians, she received her first cello lessons at the age of four at her home in Ekaterinburg, the capital of Ural part of Russia. Following the completion of her studies at the Central Music school in Moscow she was invited to study at the famous Kronberg Academy in Germany with Frans Helmerson from 2012 to 2016. She continued her studies at the University of Arts in Berlin in the class of Professor Jens Peter Maintz. She is currently a student at the Musikhochschule Frankfurt at the class of Kristin von der Goltz (barockvioloncello).

In 2011, 2013 and 2015 Anastasia Kobekina participated in the Kronberg Academy Festival, in 2010 she received the Landgrave of Hesse Prize after participating in the Cello Masterclasses. In 2012 she was awarded the two-year Boris Pergamenschikow scholarship also at the Cello Masterclasses. In 2012 she participated in Chamber Music Connects the World. Her studies at Kronberg Academy were made possible by the Klaus Martin Rath Scholarship.

In 2015 Anastasia won the prestigious TONALi Competition in Hamburg and was given the opportunity to borrow a beautiful violoncello by Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini which dates back to 1743.

Photo: Julia Altukhova

Shicong Li
Cello

Shicong Li

Riccardo Minasi © Julien Mignot
Conductor

Riccardo Minasi

Chief Conductor of Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, “Artist in Residence” of the Ensemble Resonanz at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and regular guest of the Orchestra La Scintilla at the Opernhaus Zürich.

Chief Conductor of Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, “Artist in Residence” of the Ensemble Resonanz at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and regular guest of the Orchestra La Scintilla at the Opernhaus Zürich, Riccardo Minasi has recently received invitations as guest conductor from orchestras such as Staatskapelle Dresden, Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Orchestra of the Age of Enlinghtenment, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Orchestre National de Belgique.

In the recent years he conducted Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Academy of Ancient Music, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Zürcher Philarmonia, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, London Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Basel Kammerorchester, Concerto Köln, Philharmonische Staatsorchester Hamburg, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa, Casa da Música Porto, Stavanger Symfoniorkester, Portland Baroque Orchestra, L’Arpa Festante, Attersee-Akademie Orchestra, Il Complesso Barocco, Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, Recreation-Grosses Orchester Graz, Potsdam Kammerakademie and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra with whom he was the associate music director from 2008 to 2011.

Most recent operatic engagements include Les Pêcheurs de perles at the Salzburg Festival, Don Giovanni, Entführung, Orlando Paladino, Matrimonio Segreto, Il Pirata, Viaggio a Reims, Turco in Italia and the ballets by Christian Spuck on music by Schnittke, Schumann and Monteverdi at Zürich Opera, Iphigénie en Tauride, Alcina, Nozze di Figaro, Agrippina at the Hamburg Staatsoper, Carmen at the Opera in Lyon, Rinaldo at the Theater an der Wien, Rodelinda, Nozze di Figaro at the Dutch National Opera.

As soloist and concertmaster he performed with Le Concert des Nations of Jordi Savall, Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, Il Giardino Armonico, Al Ayre Español, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di S.Cecilia, Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, Accademia Bizantina, Concerto Italiano and invited by Kent Nagano at the Knowlton Belcanto Festival (Canada). He also collaborated with Concerto Vocale, Ensemble 415 and with such artists as Joyce Di Donato, Plácido Domingo, Gianluca Cascioli, Juan Diego Flórez, Bryn Terfel, Veronika Eberle, Jean-Guhien Queyras, Ramón Vargas, Javier Camarena, Antoine Tamestit, Antje Weithaas, Mahan Esfahani, Albrecht Mayer, Reinhard Goebel, Alina Pogostkina, Nils Mönkemeyer, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Cecilia Bartoli, Viktoria Mullova, Jan Lisiecki, Edgar Moreau, Robert Levin, Rafał Blechacz, Gautier Capuçon, Iveta Apkalna, Christophe Coin and Philippe Jarrousky.

In collaboration with Maurizio Biondi he published the critical edition of Norma for Bärenreiter in 2016. Co-founder and director of the ensemble il Pomo d’oro from 2012 to 2015, he was professor at the conservatory Vincenzo Bellini of Palermo between 2004 and 2010. He has held seminars, master classes and historical performance practice lessons at the Juilliard School of Music of New York, Longy School of Music of Cambridge (USA), Sibelius Academy of Helsinki, Hochschule für Musik of Hannover, Antwerp conservatory, Chinese culture university of Taipei (Taiwan), Zürich Opernhaus, Kùks residence (Czech Republic), Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, Sydney conservatory (Australia), at the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) and as historical advisor for the Montréal Symphony Orchestra (Canada).

Among the numerous prizes received, notably are the albums “Rosenkranz Sonaten” by Biber (finalist at the Midem Classical Award Cannes as album of the year 2009),“Stella di Napoli” with Joyce Di Donato (Diapason d’Or of the year 2015, BBC Music magazine Award, Grammophone Choice, Grammy Award nominee 2015), “Agrippina” with Ann Hallenberg (International Opera Award 2016), “Partenope” with Philippe Jaroussky and Karina Gauvin (Grammophone Magazine – recording of the month), “Catone in Utica”, “Giovincello” and “Haydn concertos” (Echo-Klassik Award 2016), “The Seven Last Words of Christ” by Haydn with Ensemble Resonanz (Diapason d’Or of the year 2018) and the C.P.E.Bach cello concertos with Jean- Guhien Queyras (Diapason d’Or of the year 2019).

Photo: Julien Mignot

Jean-Baptiste Maizières
Cello

Jean-Baptiste Maiziére

Riccardo Minasi © Julien Mignot
Conductor

Riccardo Minasi

Chief Conductor of Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, “Artist in Residence” of the Ensemble Resonanz at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and regular guest of the Orchestra La Scintilla at the Opernhaus Zürich.

Chief Conductor of Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, “Artist in Residence” of the Ensemble Resonanz at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and regular guest of the Orchestra La Scintilla at the Opernhaus Zürich, Riccardo Minasi has recently received invitations as guest conductor from orchestras such as Staatskapelle Dresden, Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Orchestra of the Age of Enlinghtenment, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Orchestre National de Belgique.

In the recent years he conducted Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Academy of Ancient Music, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Zürcher Philarmonia, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, London Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Basel Kammerorchester, Concerto Köln, Philharmonische Staatsorchester Hamburg, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa, Casa da Música Porto, Stavanger Symfoniorkester, Portland Baroque Orchestra, L’Arpa Festante, Attersee-Akademie Orchestra, Il Complesso Barocco, Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, Recreation-Grosses Orchester Graz, Potsdam Kammerakademie and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra with whom he was the associate music director from 2008 to 2011.

Most recent operatic engagements include Les Pêcheurs de perles at the Salzburg Festival, Don Giovanni, Entführung, Orlando Paladino, Matrimonio Segreto, Il Pirata, Viaggio a Reims, Turco in Italia and the ballets by Christian Spuck on music by Schnittke, Schumann and Monteverdi at Zürich Opera, Iphigénie en Tauride, Alcina, Nozze di Figaro, Agrippina at the Hamburg Staatsoper, Carmen at the Opera in Lyon, Rinaldo at the Theater an der Wien, Rodelinda, Nozze di Figaro at the Dutch National Opera.

As soloist and concertmaster he performed with Le Concert des Nations of Jordi Savall, Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, Il Giardino Armonico, Al Ayre Español, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di S.Cecilia, Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, Accademia Bizantina, Concerto Italiano and invited by Kent Nagano at the Knowlton Belcanto Festival (Canada). He also collaborated with Concerto Vocale, Ensemble 415 and with such artists as Joyce Di Donato, Plácido Domingo, Gianluca Cascioli, Juan Diego Flórez, Bryn Terfel, Veronika Eberle, Jean-Guhien Queyras, Ramón Vargas, Javier Camarena, Antoine Tamestit, Antje Weithaas, Mahan Esfahani, Albrecht Mayer, Reinhard Goebel, Alina Pogostkina, Nils Mönkemeyer, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Cecilia Bartoli, Viktoria Mullova, Jan Lisiecki, Edgar Moreau, Robert Levin, Rafał Blechacz, Gautier Capuçon, Iveta Apkalna, Christophe Coin and Philippe Jarrousky.

In collaboration with Maurizio Biondi he published the critical edition of Norma for Bärenreiter in 2016. Co-founder and director of the ensemble il Pomo d’oro from 2012 to 2015, he was professor at the conservatory Vincenzo Bellini of Palermo between 2004 and 2010. He has held seminars, master classes and historical performance practice lessons at the Juilliard School of Music of New York, Longy School of Music of Cambridge (USA), Sibelius Academy of Helsinki, Hochschule für Musik of Hannover, Antwerp conservatory, Chinese culture university of Taipei (Taiwan), Zürich Opernhaus, Kùks residence (Czech Republic), Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, Sydney conservatory (Australia), at the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) and as historical advisor for the Montréal Symphony Orchestra (Canada).

Among the numerous prizes received, notably are the albums “Rosenkranz Sonaten” by Biber (finalist at the Midem Classical Award Cannes as album of the year 2009),“Stella di Napoli” with Joyce Di Donato (Diapason d’Or of the year 2015, BBC Music magazine Award, Grammophone Choice, Grammy Award nominee 2015), “Agrippina” with Ann Hallenberg (International Opera Award 2016), “Partenope” with Philippe Jaroussky and Karina Gauvin (Grammophone Magazine – recording of the month), “Catone in Utica”, “Giovincello” and “Haydn concertos” (Echo-Klassik Award 2016), “The Seven Last Words of Christ” by Haydn with Ensemble Resonanz (Diapason d’Or of the year 2018) and the C.P.E.Bach cello concertos with Jean- Guhien Queyras (Diapason d’Or of the year 2019).

Photo: Julien Mignot

Seiji Okamoto © S.Ohsugi
Violin

Seiji Okamoto

Japanese violinist Seiji Okamoto was born in 1994 and learned to play the violin at the age of three.

Japanese violinist Seiji Okamoto was born in 1994 and learned to play the violin at the age of three. He initially studied at Tokyo University of the Arts with Kazuo Nakazawa, Gérard Poulet and Kazuki Sawa, and also gained instruction and inspiration from Pierre Amoyal and Herwig Zack during this time. Since 2017, he has lived and studied in Berlin, where he is currently training at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin with Antje Weithaas.

In 2014, Okamoto won first prize and the audience prize in the International Bach Competition in Leipzig, becoming the first Asian winner of the competition’s “Violin” category. He then went on to win second prize in the 2016 International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań. In 2021 he won first prize and the special prize for the best interpretation of the commissioned work at the ARD International Music Competition.

As a soloist, Okamoto has performed with orchestras such as the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, NFM Filharmonia Wrocławska, Opole Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Łódź Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa. He has also taken part in renowned music festivals, including the 2015 Bach Festival, La Folle Journée in Japan in 2015 and 2017, Musica Mundi Festival 2017 and the Wieniawski Festival.

Seiji Okamoto participated in the 2017 Violin Masterclasses at Kronberg Academy and performed in 2019 at the Kronberg Academy Festival. He began his studies there with Antje Weithaas in October 2019. These studies are funded by the Gingko Foundation.

Photo: S. Ohsugi

Bruno Philippe © R. Daniel Delang
Cello

Bruno Philippe

Born in France in 1993, cellist Bruno Philippe studied at the Conservatoire National de Région (CNR) in Perpignan and later with Raphael Pidoux and Jérôme Pernoo at the Conservatoire de Paris.

Born in France in 1993, cellist Bruno Philippe studied at the Conservatoire National de Région (CNR) in Perpignan and later with Raphael Pidoux and Jérôme Pernoo at the Conservatoire de Paris. Alongside his cello studies at the Conservatoire, he has also taken part in masterclasses with Gary Hoffman, Steven Isserlis, David Geringas and Pieter Wispelwey. In 2010, 2014 and 2016 he was an active participant in Kronberg Academy's Cello Masterclasses.

Bruno Philippe is a regular guest at festivals such as the Pablo Casals Festival, the Cello Biennale Amsterdam and Les Vacances de Monsieur Haydn and has already appeared in concerts with leading artists such as Renaud Capuçon, Gary Hoffman and Lise Berthaud and has performed with numerous renowned orchestras, including the hr-symphony orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach. One of his main competition successes was winning third prize at the André Navarra International Cello Competition in Toulouse in 2011. He also won the CNR Chamber Music Prize in 2007 and was awarded the Prix Nicolas Firmenich de Violoncelle at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland in 2014. The same year he was awarded both third prize and audience prize at the 63rd ARD International Music Competition in Munich. In 2017 he became laureate at the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition. In 2018 Bruno Philippe won Les Victoires de la Musique Classique.

In 2009 he recorded the Duo Op 54 No 1 by Jacques Offenbach (Integral Classic) with his former teacher, cellist Raphael Pidoux. In 2015 his recording of pieces composed by Brahms and Schumann which he recorded with the pianist Tanguy de Williencourt was released by the label Evidence.

In 2015, 2017 and 2019 Bruno Philippe took part in the Kronberg Academy Festival where he was awarded the Leyda Ungerer Music Prize 2015. In 2016 he participated in Chamber Music Connects the World. From 2014-2018 Bruno Philippe studied at Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson. These studies were funded by the Christa Verhein Stiftung.

Photo: R. Daniel Delang

Thimoty Ridout © Kaupo Kikkas
Viola

Timothy Ridout

The British violist Timothy Ridout began his studies with Martin Outram at the Royal Academy of Music in London, which he completed 2016 with an award for special achievements.

The British violist Timothy Ridout began his studies with Martin Outram at the Royal Academy of Music in London, which he completed 2016 with an award for special achievements. In the same year he was the first British violist to ever win first prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. Additional competition successes include first prize at the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition in 2014 and second prize at the Windsor Festival International String Competition in 2015. He was also awarded a special prize at the Max Rostal International Competition in 2015.

Besides giving numerous concerts with renowned orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Strings and the Philharmonie Baden-Baden, Timothy Ridout has performed at international chamber music festivals such as the International Music Festival in Bad Kissingen, the Schubertiade in Hohenems and the Next Generation Festival in Bad Ragaz. Furthermore, he has taken masterclasses with Lawrence Power, Maxim Rysanov, Hartmud Rohde and Thomas Riebl. From 2011 to 2014 he was a member of the Celan Quartet.

He plays a viola by Pergerino di Zanetto from 1565-75, which is on loan to him by the Beares International Violin Society.

In 2017 and 2019 he participated in the Kronberg Academy Festival. Timothy Ridout performed alongside Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis and Sir András Schiff in Chamber Music Connects the World in 2018. From 2016 to 2019 Timothy Ridout studied at Kronberg Academy with Nobuko Imai. These studies were funded by the Lutz Raettig Scholarship.

Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

Philipp Schupelius
Cello

Philipp Schupelius

Michael Schneider © Patricia Truchsess
Conductor

Michael Schneider

It was with a prize in the 1978 International ARD Competition in Munich that Michael Schneider begann his solo career as a recorder player.

It was with a prize in the 1978 International ARD Competition in Munich that Michael Schneider begann his solo career as a recorder player. In 1979 he became a founding member of the long-standing chamber music ensemble Cologne Camerata. Since 1988 he has been the conductor and musical director of the baroque orchestra 'La Stagione Frankfurt'. Around 100 CD recordings in the genres of opera, oratorio, symphonic literature and as a recorder soloist document Michael Schneider's versatility in historically informed performance practice.

As a guest conductor he has been engaged by the Capella Coloniensis, the Handel Festival Orchestra in Halle/Saale, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Bielefeld and Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra as well as with the Stuttgart and Zurich Chamber Orchestras. He has directed opera productions with works of Handel, Hasse, Keiser, Monteverdi and Telemann in the opera houses of Bielefeld, Magdeburg, Giessen, Osnabruck and Darmstadt as well as with the Handel Festivals in Gottingen and Halle/Saale.

In 1980 Michael Schneider was appointed Professor at the University of Arts in Berlin; since 1983 he has been the director of the 'Institute for Historically Informed Performance Practice' at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main, developing a separate master's degree for the Institute. In 2000 he was awarded the Telemann Prize of the City of Magdeburg for his services to the work of Telemann.

Photo: Patricia Truchsess

David Selig © David Selig
Piano

David Selig

David Selig, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, began piano lessons at the age of six, later also learning cello and percussion. In 1976 he moved to Paris where he studied at the Conservatoire with Aldo Ciccolini.

David Selig, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, began piano lessons at the age of six, later also learning cello and percussion. In 1976 he moved to Paris where he studied at the Conservatoire with Aldo Ciccolini. He pursued further studies with Guido Agosti and Geoffrey Parsons and subsequently won prizes at the Sydney Piano Competition and the inaugural accompaniment competition in The Hague. As a soloist Mr Selig has performed in many of the great concert halls, including the Salle Pleyel, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

His love of chamber music has led him to collaborate with many renowned artists and singers such as Felicity Lott, Christianne Stotijn, Sandrine Piau, Jard van Nes, Véronique Gens, Ingrid Perruche, Nathalie Stutzmann, Elly Ameling, Teresa Berganza and François Le Roux, and his instrumental partners include Gary Hoffman,
Philippe Graffin, Marc Coppey, Régis Pasquier, Jane Peters and Noël Lee. Following his debut CD of works by Villa-Lobos in 1989, further recordings have been released on EMI, Adda, REM (with François Le Roux), Forlane and Globe. A recording with Gary Hoffman of works by Mendelssohn was released in 2012 on the
Dolce Volta label.

Mr Selig performs regularly in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland as well as in the USA and the Far East. He conducts masterclasses in chamber music and in song repertoire. In 2011 he was named professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Lyon.

Photo: David Selig

Kian Soltani © Nikolaj Lund
Cello

Kian Soltani

Kian Soltani was born into a Persian family of musicians in Bregenz (Austria). Starting at the age of 12 he studied with Ivan Monighetti at the Basel Music Academy where he also gained a Bachelor’s degree.

Kian Soltani was born into a Persian family of musicians in Bregenz (Austria). Starting at the age of 12 he studied with Ivan Monighetti at the Basel Music Academy where he also gained a Bachelor’s degree. He has also taken part in a number of masterclasses and has been taught, for example, by Daniel Barenboim, Sol Gabetta, Wolfgang Boettcher, Valter Dešpalj, Frans Helmerson, Gerhard Mantel, and Bernhard Greenhouse.

His many competition successes include first prizes in the Antonio Janigro Violoncello Competition, the Karl Davidov International Cello Competition and, more recently, the renowned International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki in 2013. In addition, he was awarded the Opländer Foundation’s music promotion prize, and since 2014 he regularly has toured with Mutter’s Virtuosi as a scholarship student of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation.

Kian Soltani has already performed at leading music venues with orchestras such as the Basel Sinfonietta, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2015 he toured with the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto as a soloist with Daniel Barenboim and Guy Braunstein. In addition to his activities as a soloist he maintains a presence at festivals, such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad and the Pablo Casals Festival. In 2015 he took part in the chamber music project Mit Musik - Miteinander as a tutor and played in the benefit concert in remembrance of the musical achievement of Mstislav Rostropovich in Kronberg Academy’s event Appointment with Slava.

Kian Soltani took part in Kronberg Academy’s Cello Masterclasses in 2012 and in Chamber Music Connects the World in 2014. In 2013 he was awarded the Leyda Ungerer Music Prize at the Kronberg Academy Festival he performed at in 2013, 2015 and 2019. Since 2014 he has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson. These studies are funded by the Stephan Hutter Scholarship.

Photo: Nikolaj Lund

Sao Soulez Larivière © Clara Evens
Viola

Sào Soulez Larivière

Franco-Dutch violist Sào Soulez Larivière is quickly building himself a thriving career as a versatile musician. Captivating audiences with his playing and original programming, he endeavours to broaden the accessibility and understanding of classical music.

Franco-Dutch violist Sào Soulez Larivière is quickly building himself a thriving career as a versatile musician. Captivating audiences with his playing and original programming, he endeavours to broaden the accessibility and understanding of classical music.

At the age of 23, he is already a top prizewinner of several international competitions, including the Tokyo Viola Competition '22, Oskar Nedbal Competiton '20, Max Rostal Competition '19, Cecil Aronowitz Competition '17 and Johannes Brahms Competition '17. He has been featured at numerous renowned academies such as the Verbier Festival, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Ozawa Academy and IMS Prussia Cove.

Chamber music has always been at the heart of his musical upbringing, sharing his love for music with his sister, violinist Cosima Soulez Larivière, with whom he still frequently performs. Sào is a member of the Frielinghaus Ensemble, which released an acclaimed album in 2020, featuring sextets by Dvořák and Tchaikovsky. As a much sought-after chamber musician, he has appeared at various festivals such as Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Krzyzowa-Music Festival and ‘Chamber Music Connects the World’ in Kronberg.

An advocate for expanding the horizons of the viola repertoire, he enjoys arranging works for his instrument, as well as promoting contemporary music. Working with accomplished composers has offered him an unparalleled opportunity to delve deeper into the creative side of music. Notably, Sào received the prize for his interpretation of the commissioned work both at the Tokyo Competition and the Max Rostal Competition.

Born in Paris, Sào originally started playing the violin under the tutelage of Igor Voloshin, before receiving a scholarship to study with Natasha Boyarsky at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England. Having discovered the viola whilst playing chamber and orchestral music there, he decided to devote himself fully to the instrument towards the end of his studies.

Furthermore, his musical development has been deeply enriched by working with many esteemed musicians such as Jean Sulem, Boris Garlitsky, and Steven Isserlis.

He currently resides in Berlin, where he obtained a Bachelor of Music degree with Tabea Zimmermann at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’. From autumn 2022, he will be pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Kronberg Academy.

In 2019, Sào was awarded the 'Ritter Preis' on behalf of the Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation. Additionally, he received the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis, which enabled him to release his debut album ‘Impression’ in 2021. He is generously supported by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Yehudi Menuhin ‘Live Music Now’ e.V. and the Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz Foundation.

Sào plays on an instrument made by Fréderic Chaudière in 2013.

Photo: Clara Evens

Friedrich Thiele © René Gaens
Cello

Friedrich Thiele

Born in 1996, Friedrich Thiele has been the recipient of many prestigious German and international awards, for example winning 2nd prize, the audience prize and the prize for best interpretation of a commissioned piece at the 2019 ARD International Music Competition, as well as the 2019 Deutscher Musikwettbewerb prize.

Born in 1996, Friedrich Thiele has been the recipient of many prestigious German and international awards, for example winning 2nd prize, the audience prize and the prize for best interpretation of a commissioned piece at the 2019 ARD International Music Competition, as well as the 2019 Deutscher Musikwettbewerb prize. Successes in the 2019 International Instrumental Competition Markneukirchen (2nd prize, audience prize, orchestra prize), the 2017 Ton & Erklärung Competition in Munich (1st prize), and in the 2015 TONALi Competition in Hamburg (3rd prize and audience prize) have paved his way towards an international career.

Friedrich Thiele completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Weimar with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt between 2016 and 2020. Prior to this he spent five years training with Peter Bruns as a junior student at the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig.

He has performed as a guest soloist with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the National Theatre Claudio Santoro Symphony Orchestra in Brasilia, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Munich Radio Orchestra, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Dresden Philharmonic, the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar in Caracas and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Thiele has already given solo performances in many major concert halls, including the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle, and the Hercules Hall and Gasteig in Munich.

A passionate chamber musician, he has appeared at Heidelberger Frühling, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Molyvos International Music Festival and Vadim Repin’s Trans-Siberian Arts Festival, playing with musicians including Igor Levit, Benjamin Beilman, Volker Jacobsen, Viviane Hagner and Marc-André Hamelin.

Friedrich Thiele has received funding from Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben since 2010 and plays a French cello dating from the latter half of the 19th century, which is on loan from the German Musical Instruments Fund.

In 2018, Thiele took part in Kronberg’s Cello Masterclasses & Concerts, where he received a sponsorship award. He has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt since October 2020. His studies are funded by the Renate und Peter von Metzler Scholarship.

Photo: René Gaens

Dominik Wagner © Daniel Delang
Double bass

Dominik Wagner

Dominik Emanuel Wagner was born in Vienna in 1997 where he started his musical education with the age of 5, at first as a cellist, later as a double bassist.

Dominik Emanuel Wagner was born in Vienna in 1997 where he started his musical education with the age of 5, at first as a cellist, later as a double bassist. In the year 2009 he started studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna with Josef Niederhammer and Werner Fleischmann. Currently he is studying at the Nuremberg University of Music with Dorin Marc.

2017 Dominik Wagner was awarded with the ECHO Classic Award in the category newcomer. In this year Dominik also won the first prize at the International Bradetich Competition, which includes recording a solo CD and a recital at Carnegie Hall. He also won major prices at many international competitions such as the ARD Competition, the Eurovision Young Musicians Competition, the Concorso di Bottesini, the Bass 2016 Prague Competition, the Markneukirchen Competition, the Bodensee Competition, the J. M. Sperger Competition, the Osaka Competition, the Golden Bass Competition, the Leos Janacek Competition and many others.

As a Soloist he performed with Orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, den Brandenburg Symphonic Orchestra, der Jena Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rheinischen Philharmonie Koblenz.

Dominik Wagner is being supported by the Anne Sophie Mutter Foundation and is a member of Mutter’s Virtuosi.

Photo: Daniel Delang

Jörg Widmann © Marco Borggreve
Clarinet

Jörg Widmann

Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation.

Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. The 2018/19 season sees him appear as soloist with orchestras such as the Szmphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk with Susanna Mälkki, National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan with Shao Chia Lu, the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover with Andrew Manze and the Kammerorchester Basel with Heinz Holliger.

Jörg Widmann is Artist in Residence at the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, appearing as clarinetist in a performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, as conductor in a play/ direct program as well as composer and lecturer. Further residencies include the Orchestre de Paris, where his works feature in various concerts.

Widmann studied clarinet with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York. He performs regularly with renowned orchestras, such as Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra National de France, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph von Dohnányi.

Widmann is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskollegs in Berlin and a full member of the Bayerischen Akademie of Schönen Künste, and since 2007, the Freien Akademie der Künste Hamburg, the Deutschen Akademie der Darstellenden Künste and the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz. He is professor for composition at the Barenboim-Said Academy, Berlin.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Ella van Poucke © Sarah Wijzenbeek
Cello

Ella van Poucke

Ella van Poucke, born in Amsterdam in 1994, is one of the leading cellists of her generation. Winner of the prestigious Premio Chigiana 2017 and recently awarded the Grachtenfestival Prize, the 28 year old Dutch cellist belongs to the top rank of today's generation of cellists.

Ella van Poucke, born in Amsterdam in 1994, is one of the leading cellists of her generation. Winner of the prestigious Premio Chigiana 2017 and recently awarded the Grachtenfestival Prize, the 28 year old Dutch cellist belongs to the top rank of today's generation of cellists. She is the first prize winner of the International Isang Yun cello competition 2015, the Leopoldinum Award 2015, Prix Nicolas Firmenich 2013, Elisabeth Everts Award 2014, Prix Academie Maurice Ravel 2012, Dutch Musician of the Year 2012, first prize winner of the 2008 Princess Christina Competition and recipient of the special prize in “recognition of an outstanding performance” at the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann 2014.

After making her debut at the Concertgebouw at the age of 10 she has been performing in all the major halls of the Netherlands, in many top halls in Europe and in the U.S. and Asia. As a soloist Ella has performed with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Strings, Orchestre della Toscana, Varsovia Chamber Orchestra, Polish Chamber Orchestra, Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, Junge Sinfonie Berlin, Hamburger Camerata, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra and collaborated with artists as Michael Sanderling and Christoph Eschenbach among others.

In November 2012 she premiered a new cello concerto, which was written for her by the Finnish composer Uljas Pulkkis during the International Cello Biennale in Amsterdam. In September 2013 she premiered the same work in Germany at the Kronberg Festival, with members of the HR-Sinfonie Orchester Frankfurt.

Ella regularly appears on Dutch Radio and Television and has performed for ARTE TV in Germany and France. She appeared in Germany's “Stars von Morgen” hosted by Rolando Villazon.

As a passionate chamber musician Ella has performed with Andras Schiff, Gary Hoffman, Nobuko Imai, Tabea Zimmermann, Christian Tetzlaff, Viviane Hagner, Lawrence Power, Gidon Kremer, Colin Carr, Matthias Schorn, Pavel Vernikov, Andreas Reiner, Vilde Frang, Simone Lamsma, Christiaan Bor, Philippe Graffin, Prazak quartet, Schumann quartett among many others. She regularly performs in recital with pianist Jean-Claude vanden Eynden and with her brother Nicolas van Poucke.

She has been guest in numerous international festivals such as Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Krzyzowa Music, Chigiana International Festival, Kaposfest Hungary, Internationaal Kamermuziek Festival Utrecht, Grachten Festival Amsterdam, Kronberg Festival, Cello Biennale Amsterdam and was invited to participate in Verbier Festival Academy in 2009, 2013 and 2014.

She is a regular member of the Amsterdam Chamber Music Society and is the artistic director of the Chamber Music Festival Amsterdam which she and her brother, pianist Nicolas founded in 2010. As a Dutch “Rising Star” Ella was invited to give two Carte Blanche concerts in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 2013-14.

Highlights from her future engagements include solo appearances with the Dutch National Youth Orchestra, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Symfonie Orchestra of Vlaanderen and Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn. In August 2018 Ella will be Artist in Residence of the Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam. One of next seasons major projects include performing all the works for cello and piano by Beethoven in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam together with her brother Nicolas among other venues.

Born into a family of musicians, Ella began playing the cello at the age of six. Entered the Royal Conservatory of The Hague at the age of 10 and later continued her studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Godfried Hoogeveen. She has taken masterclasses and worked with Andras Schiff, Miklos Perenyi, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Yuri Bashmet, Steven Isserlis, Menahem Pressler, Laurence Lesser, Anner Bijlsma, Bernard Greenhouse, Mischa Maisky, the Emerson Quartet among others. From 2009-2016 Ella studied with professor Frans Helmerson at the Kronberg Academy Masters in Germany. Her studies were funded by the von Opel/Schaefer Scholarship. From the fall of 2016 Ella is an Artist in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels, where she studies with Gary Hoffman.

She plays on a Rombouts cello, kindly lend to her by a anonymous benefactor.

Photo: Sarah Wijzenbeek

Jean-Guihen Queyras © François Sechet
Cello

Jean-Guihen Queyras

Curiosity, diversity and a firm focus on the music itself characterize the artistic work of Jean-Guihen Queyras. Whether on stage or on record, one experiences an artist dedicated completely and passionately to the music, whose humble and quite unpretentious treatment of the score reflects its clear, undistorted essence.

Curiosity, diversity and a firm focus on the music itself characterize the artistic work of Jean-Guihen Queyras. Whether on stage or on record, one experiences an artist dedicated completely and passionately to the music, whose humble and quite unpretentious treatment of the score reflects its clear, undistorted essence. The inner motivations of composer, performer and audience must all be in tune with one another in order to bring about an outstanding concert experience: Jean-Guihen Queyras learnt this interpretative approach from Pierre Boulez, with whom he established a long artistic partnership. This philosophy, alongside a flawless technique and a clear, engaging tone, also shapes Jean-Guihen Queyras’ approach to every performance and his absolute commitment to the music itself.

His approaches to early music – as in his collaborations with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and the Concerto Köln – and to contemporary music are equally thorough. He has given world premieres of works by, among others, Ivan Fedele, Gilbert Amy, Bruno Mantovani, Michael Jarrell, Johannes-Maria Staud and Thomas Larcher. Conducted by the composer, he recorded Peter Eötvös’ Cello Concerto to mark his 70th birthday in November 2014. Jean-Guihen Queyras was a founding member of the Arcanto Quartet and forms a celebrated trio with Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov; the latter is, alongside Alexandre Tharaud, a regular accompanist. He has also collaborated with zarb specialists Bijan and Keyvan Chemirani on a Mediterranean programme. The versatility in his music-making has led to many concert halls, festivals and orchestras inviting Jean-Guihen to be Artist in Residence, including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Vredenburg Utrecht, De Bijloke Ghent and Wigmore Hall London.

Jean-Guihen Queyras often appears with renowned orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, working with conductors such as Iván Fischer, Philippe Herreweghe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, François-Xavier Roth, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Sir Roger Norrington.

Jean-Guihen Queyras’ discography is impressive. His recordings of cello concertos by Edward Elgar, Antonín Dvořák, Philippe Schoeller and Gilbert Amy have been released to critical acclaim. As part of a harmonia mundi project dedicated to Schumann, he has recorded the complete piano trios with Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov and at the same time the Schumann cello concerto with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under Pablo Heras-Casado. The recording “THRACE - Sunday Morning Sessions“ explores, in collaboration with the Chemirani brothers and Sokratis Sinopoulos, the intersections of contemporary music, improvisation and Mediterranean traditions. In 2018, two highly acclaimed recordings with works by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Antonio Vivaldi have been released.

Highlights in the 2018/19 season include a North American Tour, performances of “Mitten wir im Leben sind” with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and engagements with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Atlas Ensemble, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Jean-Guihen Queyras holds a professorship at the University of Music Freiburg and is Artistic Director of the “Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence” festival in Forcalquier. He plays a 1696 instrument by Gioffredo Cappa, made available to him by the Mécénat Musical Société Générale.

Photo: François Sechet

Tabea Zimmermann © Marco Borggreve
Viola

Tabea Zimmermann

Tabea Zimmermann is one of the most beloved and renowned artists of our time.

Tabea Zimmermann is one of the most beloved and renowned artists of our time. As winner of the international Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2020, artist in residence of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, of the Berliner Philharmoniker and, in the current season, of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tabea Zimmermann is widely acknowledged for her unfailingly high standards and tireless enthusiasm for sharing her love of music with audiences. Fellow musicians and listeners alike value her charismatic personality and deep musical understanding. Her work with orchestras is also guided by the ideals of her experience as a chamber musician, where artistic integrity is paramount.

As a soloist, she regularly works with the most distinguished orchestras worldwide such as the Orchestre de Paris, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. In recent seasons, she has created residency programmes in Weimar, Luxembourg, Hamburg, with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Frankfurt Museum Society and the Festival de Granada; she continues her close collaboration with Ensemble Resonanz, where she was artist-in-residence for two years. Since 2022, she has been the new Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

In addition to her residency with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, highlights of the 2022/2023 season include a tour with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Kirill Petrenko to Salzburg, Lucerne and the BBC Proms. In the chamber music, she will play concerts with students of the Kronberg Academy, duo recitals with Kirill Gerstein and trio concerts with Jörg Widmann and Dénes Várjon as well as at the Kammermusikwoche at Schloss Elmau, which she programmed.

Tabea Zimmermann has inspired numerous composers to write for the viola and introduced many new works into the standard concert and chamber music repertoire. In April 1994, she gave the highly successful world premiere of the Sonata for Solo Viola by György Ligeti, a work composed especially for her. The subsequent premieres of this work in London, New York, Paris, Jerusalem, Amsterdam, and Japan attracted great critical and public acclaim. In recent seasons, Tabea Zimmermann has premiered Recicanto for Viola and Orchestra by Heinz Holliger, the viola concerto Über die Linie IV by Wolfgang Rihm, Monh by George Lentz, Notte di Pasqua by Frank Michael Beyer, a double concerto by Bruno Mantovani with Antoine Tamestit, and Filz by Enno Poppe with Ensemble Resonanz. She played the premiere of Michael Jarrell’s Viola Concerto at Festival Musica Strasbourg 2017 with the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire under Pascal Rophé; and subsequent performances with the Vienna Symphony under Ingo Metzmacher, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Pascal Rophé and the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin under Mario Venzago. 2020 sees her premiering Wolfgang Rihm’s Stabat Mater together with Christian Gerhaher at the Musikfest Berlin and at musica viva, the Bavarian Radio’s concert series for contemporary music; 2022 Mauricio Sotelo’s Cantes antiguos del Flamenco at the Festival de Granada.

To mark Hindemith’s anniversary in 2013, Tabea Zimmermann released a highly acclaimed recording of the composer’s complete works for viola on myrios classics. Following the success of her recording of solo works by Reger and Bach with myrios classics in 2009 – for which she received an Echo Klassik prize as Instrumentalist of the Year – she has released three albums with pianists Kirill Gerstein and Thomas Hoppe. Tabea Zimmerman’s artistry is documented on over 50 CDs for labels such as Harmonia Mundi, EMI, Teldec, and Deutsche Grammophon. A live recording of her performance on Beethoven’s own viola at the Beethovenhaus Bonn, accompanied by Hartmut Höll, was released by Ars Musici. On the Harmonia Mundi label, the Arcanto Quartet released CDs of works by Bartók, Brahms, Ravel, Dutilleux, Debussy, Schubert and Mozart. In the year 2020, she released “Cantilena” with the pianist Javier Perianes on harmonia mundi and her second solo CD with works by J.S. Bach und György Kurtág on myrios, in the year 2021, she released works by Enno Poppe with Ensemble Resonanz on wergo as well as by Michael Jarrell, Brett Dean and J.S. Bach on BIS Records.

Tabea Zimmermann’s artistic work has been recognized with numerous awards both in Germany and abroad, most recently in 2020 with the international Ernst von Siemens Music Prize. In addition, she was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, Frankfurter Musikpreis, Hessischer Kulturpreis, Rheingau Musikpreis, International Prize Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Sienna, the Paul-Hindemith-Prize from the city of Hanau, and named Artist of the Year by the ICMA International Classical Music Awards 2017. Since 2013, Tabea Zimmermann has been a foundation board member of the Hindemith Foundation. Under her aegis as chairman of the board of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn (2013-2020), in 2020 the Beethoven-Woche Bonn culminated in an extended three-week festival featuring nearly all of the composer’s chamber music.

Tabea Zimmermann began learning the viola at the age of three and two years later began playing the piano. She studied with Ulrich Koch at the Musikhochschule Freiburg and subsequently with Sándor Végh at the Mozarteum Salzburg. Following her studies, she received several awards at international competitions, amongst them first prizes at the 1982 Geneva International Competition and the 1984 Budapest International Competition. As a result of winning the 1983 Maurice Vieux Competition in Paris, she received a viola by the contemporary maker Etienne Vatelot. Since 2019, she has been playing an instrument built for her by Patrick Robin. She regularly gave concerts together with her husband David Shallon from 1987 until his death in 2000. She lives in Berlin and has three young adult children. Tabea Zimmermann has held teaching posts at the Musikhochschule Saarbrücken and Hochschule für Musik Frankfurt. Since October 2002, she has been a professor at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Kremerata Baltica © Angie Kremer
Orchestra

Kremerata Baltica

Twenty years ago Gidon Kremer created ideal conditions for a musical revolution. The internationally acclaimed violinist unveiled his new initiative at Austria’s Lockenhaus Festival in the summer of 1997.

Twenty years ago Gidon Kremer created ideal conditions for a musical revolution. The internationally acclaimed violinist unveiled his new initiative at Austria’s Lockenhaus Festival in the summer of 1997. The birth of Kremerata Baltica – comprising twenty-three outstanding young musicians from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – was greeted with a standing ovation. The orchestra has since captivated audiences worldwide with playing of unrestrained joy and programming of limitless imagination.

Kremerata Baltica arose from Gidon Kremer’s determination to share his rich experience with young colleagues from the Baltic States. The ensemble’s preparation process, which holds no room for artistic compromise, is ruled by a commitment to excellence and creative daring.

In addition to exploring works from the repertoire mainstream, Kremerata Baltica has also delivered world premieres of compositions by, among others, Lera Auerbach, Leonid Desyatnikov, Giya Kancheli, Arvo Pärt, Georgs Pēlecis, Alexander Raskatov, Valentin Silvestrov, Victor Kissine, Sofia Gubaidulina and Pēteris Vasks.

Kremerata Baltica’s repertoire breadth is reflected in an award-winning discography that spans everything from Mozart’s complete violin concertos with Gidon Kremer, Enescu’s Octet and Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Ballet to first recordings of music by Kancheli, Kissine and Pärt. After Mozart on Nonesuch Records won Grammy and ECHO Klassik awards in 2002, while albums of works by George Enescu and Mieczysław Weinberg have since secured Grammy Award nominations.

Kremerata Baltica has performed in over 50 countries, presenting over 1,000 concerts in 600 cities. It makes regular appearances at many concert series and festivals, including Berlin’s Schloss Neuhardenberg, Bavaria’s Schloss Elmau and the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival.

The ensemble has broadened its work in recent years to include “To Russia with Love”, a concert staged at Berlin’s Philharmonie in 2013 to promote the cause of human rights in Russia, and its latest creative project, “Pictures from the East”, a collaborative venture with Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr highlighting the desperate plight of refugees from conflicts in the Middle East.

Since 2003 Kremerata Baltica has held its own Festival in the Latvian hillside town of Sigulda.

Kremerata Baltica celebrates its 20th anniversary and Gidon Kremer’s 70th birthday year in 2016-17 with a nine-concert tour of the United States and an extensive Anniversary Tour of Europe under Maestro Kremer’s leadership.
Kremerata Baltica has been Kronberg Academy's Orchestra in Residence since February 2008.

Photo: Angie Kremer

La Stagione Frankfurt © Marco Borggreve
Orchestra

Barockorchester La Stagione & Friends

The ensemble has been invited to play in many halls and internationally renowned festivals, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Palau de la Música in Barcelona, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brüssel, the Mozartfest Würzburg, and Scala di Milano to name but a few.

The ensemble has been invited to play in many halls and internationally renowned festivals, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Palau de la Música in Barcelona, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brüssel, the Mozartfest Würzburg, and Scala di Milano to name but a few. The ensemble can boast production of 53 CDs to date and will be recording suites and divertimenti from Telemann's late years in June 2021.

La Stagione works together with numerous renowned soloists, such as the singers Simone Kermes, Ana-Maria Labin, Nuria Rial und Emma Kirkby, Julia Kirchner, Georg Poplutz, Klaus Mertens, Christoph and Julian Prégardien, Markus Schäfer, Gotthold Schwarz, or instrumentalists such as Steven Isserlis, Nils Mönkemeyer, Kristin von der Goltz, Sergio Azzolini and Reinhold Friedrich.
Lastly, La Stagione has among its own members some internationally known soloists: Karl Kaiser (traverso), Sabine Bauer (harpsichord) or Michael Schneider (recorder), who often assumes a dual role as soloist and conductor.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Stuttgarter Kammerorchester © Wolfgang Schmidt Ammerbuch
Orchestra

Stuttgarter Kammerorchester

Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1945 and, thanks to its combination of tradition and adventurous spirit, has had an important presence on the international orchestra scene ever since.

Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1945 and, thanks to its combination of tradition and adventurous spirit, has had an important presence on the international orchestra scene ever since.

Matthias Foremny has been the orchestra’s principal conductor since the 2013/2014 season and he continues to expand its repertoire by re-discovering seldom performed works from all eras. Numerous internationally renowned soloists, such as Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Steven Isserlis, Nicolas Altstaedt, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Fazil Say and François Leleux, have given concerts with the orchestra.

The core repertoire of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra extends from Bach right through to 20th century compositions, and was established by the founding conductor Karl Münchinger. Alongside fresh interpretations of the repertoire, the orchestra focuses on historical performance practice with playing techniques from bygone centuries as well as on concert projects involving contemporary music. Cross-genre concerts with jazz virtuosos such as the Avishai Cohen Trio and Richard Galliano, as well as collaboration with electronic music artists, enhance its stylistic range. The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra also places great emphasis on educational work and collaborations with training institutions. Tours and guest performances take the ensemble across the entire globe, to destinations including South America, Japan, Nepal and India. The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra was awarded the European Cultural Foundation’s European Chamber Music Prize in 2008 for its exceptional contribution to music.

The orchestra is sponsored by the State of Baden-Württemberg, the City of Stuttgart and Robert Bosch GmbH.

Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt

Violin

Lara Boschkor

Lara Boschkor was born in Tübingen in 1999 and began playing the violin at the age of four. She is currently studying as a junior student at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in Erik Schumann’s class.

Lara Boschkor was born in Tübingen in 1999 and began playing the violin at the age of four. She is currently studying as a junior student at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in Erik Schumann’s class.

The young violinist has won numerous prizes and awards, including first prize in the Jeunesses International Violin Competition in 2011, second prize in the International Brahms Violin Competition in 2012 and first prize in the Carl Flesch Violin Competition in 2013. In 2015 she was also awarded first prize in the Johansen International String Competition. The gifted young musician is being supported by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and the Bruno Frey Stiftung. In 2017 she won first prize at the TONALi Violin Competition.

Lara Boschkor can look back on concert performances with the Osaka Symphony Orchestra, the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Symphony Orchestra of México. As a chamber musician she has performed at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Mondsee Music Festival, the Oberstdorf Musiksommer and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.

She plays a violin by Carlo Antonio Testore made in Milan in 1740, which is on loan to her by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

In 2013 and 2017 Lara Boschkor was an active participant in Kronberg Academy’s Violin Masterclasses with Ana Chumachenco and 2015 with Donald Weilerstein, where she was awarded the Prince of Hesse Prize in 2015 and the Ana Chumachenco Prize in 2017. In 2017 and 2019 she participated in the Kronberg Academy Festival. Since October 2015 she has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Erik Schumann. Her studies are funded by the Yehudi Menuhin Scholarship.

Photo: Fabian Stürtz

Jerome Ducros © Jean-Baptiste Millot
Piano

Jérôme Ducros

Jérôme Ducros studied piano with François Thinat, Gérard Frémy and Cyril Huvé. A winner of the Umberto Micheli International Piano Competition, he works today as both a composer and versatile pianist.

Jérôme Ducros studied piano with François Thinat, Gérard Frémy and Cyril Huvé. A winner of the Umberto Micheli International Piano Competition, he works today as both a composer and versatile pianist. His wide repertoire ranges right up to the music of today, especially with his own compositions. In addition, Ducros has published a series of theoretical works on musical language and its meaning.

A highly sought-after chamber musician, Ducros regularly plays in concerts and recordings with Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Philippe Jaroussky, Jérôme Pernoo and Bruno Philippe. He also graces the world’s biggest stages, such as the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall Moscow, Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre and Tokyo City Opera.

As a soloist, Ducros has performed with orchestras including the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre National de Lille, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestre Français des Jeunes and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and he collaborates with conductors such as Alain Altinoglu, Paul Meyer, James Judd, Emmanuel Krivine, Marc Minkowsi and Christopher Hogwood.

Photo: Baptiste Millot

Christoph Eschenbach
Conductor

Christoph Eschenbach

Christoph Eschenbach is a phenomenon amongst the top league of international conductors. Universally acclaimed as both a conductor and pianist, he belongs firmly to the German intellectual line of tradition, yet he combines this with a rare emotional intensity, producing performances revered by concert-goers worldwide.

Christoph Eschenbach is a phenomenon amongst the top league of international conductors. Universally acclaimed as both a conductor and pianist, he belongs firmly to the German intellectual line of tradition, yet he combines this with a rare emotional intensity, producing performances revered by concert-goers worldwide. Renowned for the breadth of his repertoire and the depth of his interpretations, he has held directorships with many leading orchestras and gained the highest musical honours. In exploring the conditions that led to the emergence of such a charismatic talent, we can look to his early years – born at the heart of a tempestuous, war-torn Europe in 1940, his early childhood was scarred by a succession of personal tragedies. It can truly be said that music was his saviour, and his life began to change when he learned the piano. Now, at the age of 78, his keen artistic curiosity is undiminished, and he still thoroughly enjoys working with the finest international orchestras. He is also well-known as a tireless supporter of young talent – this is his greatest passion, and he values his contribution to mentoring up-and-coming talent over and above his own distinguished career. Moved by the energy and the drive of young people – „Those one hundred percent artists“, as he calls them – he has a personal mission to pass the torch to the next generation. His discoveries to date include the pianist Lang Lang, the violinist Julia Fischer and the cellists Leonard Elschenbroich and Daniel Müller-Schott. As Artistic Advisor and lecturer at the famous Kronberg Academy, he accompanies young violinists, cellists and violists on their way to become world class soloists. In short, Christoph Eschenbach continues to explore new horizons and from September 2019 he will be the new Musical Director of the Konzerthausorchester, Berlin.

Christoph Eschenbach (born February 20, 1940 in Wroclaw) was a war orphan, raised in Schleswig-Holstein and Aachen by his mother's cousin, the pianist Wallydore Eschenbach. Her lessons laid the foundation of his illustrious musical career. Following his studies with Eliza Hansen (piano) and Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg (conducting), he won notable piano awards – such as the ARD Competition Munich 1962 and the Concours Clara Haskil 1965 – that helped to pave the way for his growing international fame.

Supported by mentors such as George Szell and Herbert von Karajan, the focus of Christoph Eschenbach's career increasingly moved to conducting: He was Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich from 1982 to 1986, Musical Director of Houston Symphony from 1988 to 1999, Artistic Director of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival from 1999 to 2002, Musical Director of the NDR Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2004, the Philadelphia Orchestra from 2003 to 2008 and the Orchestre de Paris from 2000 to 2010. From 2010 to 2017, Eschenbach held the position of Musical Director of the Washington National Symphony Orchestra. Alongside his prestigious appointments, Eschenbach has always attached great importance to his extensive activities as a guest conductor, working with orchestras such as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, Scala Milano, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo.

Over the course of five decades, Christoph Eschenbach has built an impressive discography, both as a conductor and a pianist, with a repertoire ranging from J.S. Bach to contemporary music. Many of his recordings have gained benchmark status and have received numerous awards, including the German Record Critics' Prize, the MIDEM Classical Award and a Grammy Award. For many years, Eschenbach's preferred Lied partner has been the baritone Matthias Goerne. In recordings and in live performances, e.g. at the Salzburg Festival, the two perfectly matched artists have explored the rich treasures of the German Romantic period, from Schubert to Brahms.

Christoph Eschenbach has been awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, and is a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres; he is a holder of the German Federal Cross of Merit and a winner of the Leonard Bernstein Award. In 2015, he received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, known as „The Nobel Prize of music“, for his achievements as conductor and pianist.

Sebastian Fritsch © René Gaens
Cello

Sebastian Fritsch

Born in Stuttgart in 1996, Sebastian Fritsch has won prizes in numerous German and international competitions.

Born in Stuttgart in 1996, Sebastian Fritsch has won prizes in numerous German and international competitions. His achievements include winning the prestigious Deutscher Musikwettbewerb and audience prize as well as 1st prize in the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University Competition in 2019, and 1st prize in the 2018 TONALi cello competition. Here, he was also awarded the audience prize, the Mariinsky special prize and the Saltarello special prize.

Fritsch began his studies in 2014 with Jean-Guihen Queyras at Freiburg University of Music, and from 2018 continued them in the cello class of Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar.

Wen-Sinn Yang, Jens Peter Maintz, David Geringas, Ivan Monighetti and Frans Helmerson have all been an important source of inspiration for the cellist. In addition, he works closely with his teacher of many years, Lisa Neßling, and holds a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein.

As a soloist, Fritsch has already performed with orchestras such as the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in St Petersburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Nürnberger Symphoniker at venues including Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Stuttgart’s Liederhalle and Konzerthaus Berlin. He has been a guest at festivals such as Cello Biënnale Amsterdam, Salzburg Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. A passionate chamber musician, in 2010 he founded the Stuttgarter Kammerduo together with violinist Rosa Neßling. Concert engagements both in Germany and abroad, along with a prize in the 2019 International Anton Rubinstein Competition, attest to the artistic calibre of the ensemble. Sebastian Fritsch plays a cello by Thorsten Theis made in 2016.

In 2011 Sebastian Fritsch participated as a student in Mit Musik - Miteinander and was an active participant in the Cello Masterclasses in 2016. He has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt since October 2020. His studies are funded by the Arpeggione Scholarship.

Photo: René Gaens

Håvard Gimse © Ilja Hendel
Piano

Håvard Gimse

As a concerto artist, Håvard Gimse has performed extensively throughout Scandinavia, with recent and future invitations from the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Norrkoping Symphony.

As a concerto artist, Håvard Gimse has performed extensively throughout Scandinavia, with recent and future invitations from the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Norrkoping Symphony. Further afield he has performed with the Baltimore and Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Symphony, Frankfurt Radio the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Belgian National Philharmonic Orchestras. In 2016 Håvard Gimse was the solo pianist of the ballet performance "Anna Kerenia" at the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, and also performed with orchestras in Bonn, Kristiansand, Oslo and Trondheim, as well as attending chamber music festivals in Bergen, Trondheim and Oslo.

Håvard Gimse has performed on many of the world’s most prestigious stages including the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brüssels, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Recent solo appearances include the Recital Hall in St Petersburg, Suk Hall in Prague, and the Konzerthaus in Berlin. Recent partnerships include appearances with Truls Mørk across Spain, Italy and Germany, Berlin Konzerthaus and Carnegie Hall with Tine Thing Helseth, recitals in Germany with Alina Pogotskina and the Wigmore Hall with Marianne Thoresen.

In Norway he is in continual demand for his themed recital programmes with musicians, actors and other artists. He has just completed a highly successful tour throughout the whole country performing a programme of Ole Bull’s music in his 200 year anniversary with the eminent Norwegian violinist Arve Tellefsen. He was Artistic Director of the Elverum Festival and now sits on the Artistic Board of the Oslo Chamber Music festival. He performs regularly at all of the Norwegian festivals including the Bergen, Trondheim, Oslo, Risør and Stavanger Chamber Music Festivals where he is called upon to perform varied and extensive programmes with many combinations of artists.

Born in Kongsvinger, about an hour drive east from Oslo, Håvard Gimse is the middle child of 3 brothers, his younger brother being a cellist and Artistic Director of the Trondheim Soloists. Håvard Gimse combines his hectic concert schedule with a Professorship at the Oslo Music Conservatoire as well as giving regular master classes across Norway and beyond. Håvard Gimse's high level of artistry, broad experience, easy going and positive nature means his creative output has a significant and far reaching effect on audiences both at home in Norway and abroad.

Photo: Ilja Hendel

Vadim Gluzman © Marco Borggreve
Violin

Vadim Gluzman

Universally recognized among today’s top performing artists, Vadim Gluzman breathes new life and passion into the golden era of the 19th and 20th centuries‘ violin tradition. Gluzman’s wide repertoire embraces new music, and his performances are heard around the world through live broadcasts and a striking catalogue of award-winning recordings exclusively for the BIS label.

Universally recognized among today’s top performing artists, Vadim Gluzman breathes new life and passion into the golden era of the 19th and 20th centuries‘ violin tradition. Gluzman’s wide repertoire embraces new music, and his performances are heard around the world through live broadcasts and a striking catalogue of award-winning recordings exclusively for the BIS label.

The Israeli violinist appears with world’s leading orchestras and conductors, including Tugan Sokhiev with the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and Orchestre de Paris; Neeme Järvi with Chicago Symphony and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Riccardo Chailly with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Santtu-Matias Rouvali with Gothenburg Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestra, as well as with the Cleveland Orchestra under the batons of Hannu Lintu and Michail Jurowski. He appears at Ravinia, Tanglewood, Grant Park, Colmar and the North Shore Chamber Music Festival, he has founded in 2011.

Highlights of the current season include performances with the Chicago Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic, KBS and Singapore Symphony Orchestras, as well as concerts at Ravinia, Aspen, Blossom, Domaine Forget and Kronberg Festivals. Mr. Gluzman also continues to lead performances with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio, where he serves as a Creative Partner and Principal GuestArtist.

Gluzman has premiered works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Moritz Eggert, Giya Kancheli, Elena Firsova, Pēteris Vasks, Michael Daugherty and Lera Auerbach. In the upcoming seasons he will introduce new violin concerto by Erkki-Sven Tüür with Oregon Symphony, HR Frankfurt Radio Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony.

Accolades for his extensive discography include the Diapason d’Or of the Year, Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice, Classica magazine’s Choc de Classica award, and Disc of the Month by The Strad, BBC Music Magazine and ClassicFM.

Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Peabody Conservatory, where he teaches a selected group of young violinists, Gluzman performs on the legendary 1690 ‘ex-Leopold Auer’ Stradivari, on extended loan through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Alban Gerhardt © Sim Canetty-Clarke
Cello

Alban Gerhardt

“One of the finest cellists around – expressive, unshowy and infinitely classy“ (The Guardian). Alban Gerhardt has, for twenty-five years, made a unique impact on audiences worldwide with his intense musicality, compelling stage presence and insatiable artistic curiosity. His gift for shedding fresh light on familiar scores, along with his appetite for investigating new repertoire from centuries past and present, truly set him apart from his peers.

“One of the finest cellists around – expressive, unshowy and infinitely classy“ (The Guardian). Alban Gerhardt has, for twenty-five years, made a unique impact on audiences worldwide with his intense musicality, compelling stage presence and insatiable artistic curiosity. His gift for shedding fresh light on familiar scores, along with his appetite for investigating new repertoire from centuries past and present, truly set him apart from his peers.

Highlights of the 2018/19 season include the premiere of a new concerto by Brett Dean with Sydney Symphony / Robertson and Berliner Philharmoniker / Oramo and concerts with Hong Kong Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, MDR Leipzig, and WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln under Jukka-Pekka Saraste. with whom he will record both Shostakovich concertos.

Gerhardt will also give recitals at The Phillips Collection Museum in Washington D.C., London’s Wigmore Hall, and Shanghai Concert Hall. Next season sees the development of a new project ’Love in Fragments’ with the violinist Gergana Gergova, choreographer Sommer Ulrickson, and sculptor Alexander Polzin, a bringing together of music, movement and the spoken word which receives its US premiere at 92St Y.

Gerhardt is passionate about sharing his discoveries with audiences far beyond the traditional concert hall: outreach projects undertaken in Europe and the US have involved performances and workshops, not only in schools and hospitals, but also pioneering sessions in public spaces and young offender institutions.

His collaboration with Deutsche Bahn, involving live performances on the main commuter routes in Germany, vividly demonstrates his commitment to challenging traditional expectations of classical music. In early 2017, Gerhardt founded #Musicians4UnitedEurope (www.musicians4unitedeurope.com), a group of international musicians working together to voice their support for a united and democratic Europe.

Following early competition success, Gerhardt’s international career was launched by his debut with Berliner Philharmoniker and Semyon Bychkov in 1991. Notable orchestra collaborations since include Concertgebouw Amsterdam, London Philharmonic, all of the British and German radio orchestras, Tonhalle Zürich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Orchestre National de France as well as Cleveland, Philadelphia and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, under conductors such as Kurt Masur, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christian Thielemann, Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Tilson Thomas, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, Kirill Petrenko and Andris Nelsons.

He is a keen chamber musician; his regular performance partners include Steven Osborne, Cecile Licad, Baiba Skride and Brett Dean. Gerhardt has collaborated with composers including Jörg Widmann, Unsuk Chin, Brett Dean, Julian Anderson and Matthias Pintscher; and in almost every case he commits to memorising their scores before world premiere performances.

A highly acclaimed recording artist, Gerhardt has won several awards, and his recording of Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto, released by Deutsche Grammophon, won the BBC Music Magazine Award and was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award in 2015. Gerhardt has recorded extensively for Hyperion, his latest recording of Rostropovich’s ‘Encores’ released in January 2017. In 2019 his complete recording of the Bach suites will be released.

Alban Gerhardt plays a Matteo Gofriller cello dating from 1710.

Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke

Julia Hamos © Dovile Sermokas
Piano

Julia Hamos

Pianist Julia Hamos combines her American and Hungarian roots with an adventurous spirit to explore the essence of repertoire ranging from Bach to composers living today. A solo and chamber musician, she has evolved with the tradition of Hungarian classical music training while finding common ground with her contemporaries.

Pianist Julia Hamos combines her American and Hungarian roots with an adventurous spirit to explore the essence of repertoire ranging from Bach to composers living today. A solo and chamber musician, she has evolved with the tradition of Hungarian classical music training while finding common ground with her contemporaries. Instinctive artistic expression, a forward-thinking attitude, a joyful physical flexibility at the instrument and an unyielding fascination with the music she plays make her an artist to watch.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London with Christopher Elton and the Mannes College of Music in New York with Richard Goode, from 2019 onwards she continued her studies at the Barenboim-Said Academy with Sir András Schiff. In 2021 she worked with Maestro Daniel Barenboim in a series of filmed masterclasses on numerous Beethoven solo piano and string Sonatas. She has also explored György Kurtág’s 8 Pieces, Op. 3, together with the composer at the Budapest Music Center.

She is the winner of the Sterndale Bennett Prize for Romantic Music at the Royal Academy of Music, the Fidelman Prize for Contemporary Music from the Mannes School of Music, and also won the Grand Prix of the International Virtuoso Competition in New York City. She is currently a recipient of a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship.

Julia is in international demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed at the Pierre-Boulez Saal, Berlin, Wigmore Hall, London, New York’s Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center, the Liszt Academy in Budapest and other concert halls in Europe and overseas.

She has given recitals and chamber music performances at the Krzyzowa Festival in Kreisau, Poland, as well as at the Trasimeno Music Festival in Italy, at the Prussia Cove Festival in Cornwall, as part of the Verbier Festival Academy, at the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina, at the Kneisel Hall Festival in Maine and at the Ravinia Steans Institute in Illinois.

Passionate about exploring the dynamics between students and teachers, from 2017-2019 she taught at the 92Y School of Music in New York. She also gains new insights from working closely with other art fields, which has resulted in collaborations with the Martha Graham Dance Company, the New English Ballet Theater and the New School's Drama Division.

At the invitation of Sir András Schiff, she will appear in the Building Bridges series of concerts throughout Europe during the 2022/23 season. She is likewise set to make her debut at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, playing the Ligeti Piano Concerto as well as a recital with the Castalian Quartet. Other engagements include appearances at Festival Mozaic in California, the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam and Konzerthaus Berlin.

In 2021, she participated in the Kronberg Academy Festival. Since October 2021 she has been studying on the Sir András Schiff Performance Programme for Young Pianists at Kronberg Academy. Her studies are funded by the Henle Scholarship endowed by the Günter Henle Foundation.

Photo: Dovile Sermokas

Steven Isserlis © Satoshi Aoyagi
Cello

Steven Isserlis

Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster.

Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster.

As a concerto soloist he appears regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, recent engagements including performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Budapest Festival, Philharmonia, Cleveland, Minnesota, Zurich Tonhalle and NHK Symphony Orchestras. He gives recitals every season in major musical centres, working with pianists such as Jeremy Denk, Kirill Gerstein, Stephen Hough, Alexander Melnikov, Olli Mustonen, Mikhail Pletnev, Sir Andras Schiff, Connie Shih, Ferenc Rados and Dénes Várjon; and plays with many of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, including period-instrument ensembles. Unusually, he also directs chamber orchestras from the cello, in classical programmes.

As a chamber musician he has curated series for many of the world’s most famous festivals and venues, including the Wigmore Hall, the 92nd St Y in New York, and the festivals of Salzburg and Verbier. These specially devised programmes have included ‘In the Shadow of War’, a major four-part series for the Wigmore Hall to mark the centenary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War; explorations of Czech music; the teacher-pupil line of Saint-Saens, Faure and Ravel; the affinity of the cello and the human voice; varied aspects of Robert Schumann’s life and music; and the music of Serge Taneyev (teacher of Steven’s grandfather, Julius Isserlis). For these concerts Steven is joined by a regular group of friends who include the violinists Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank and Isabelle Faust, violist Tabea Zimmermann, and clarinettist Michael Collins.

He takes a strong interest in authentic performance, and in addition to working with many of the foremost period instrument orchestras he frequently gives recitals with harpsichord and fortepiano. Together with Robert Levin, and using original or replica pianos from the early nineteenth century, he has performed and recorded Beethoven’s complete music for cello and piano; and with Richard Egarr he has performed and recorded the viola da gamba sonatas of J.S. Bach as well as sonatas by Handel and Scarlatti.

He is also a keen exponent of contemporary music and has premiered many new works, including John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil (as well as several other pieces by Tavener), Thomas Adès’s Lieux retrouvés, Stephen Hough’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Left Hand (Les Adieux), Wolfgang Rihm’s Concerto in One Movement, David Matthews’ Concerto in Azzurro, works for cello and piano by Olli Mustonen, and For Steven by György Kurtág.

Writing and playing for children is another major interest. Steven Isserlis’ books for children about the lives of the great composers – Why Beethoven Threw the Stew and its sequel, Why Handel Waggled his Wig – are published by Faber and Faber. He has also written the text for three musical stories for children – Little Red Violin, Goldiepegs and the Three Cellos and Cindercella – with music by Oscar-winning composer Anne Dudley; these are published by Universal Edition in Vienna. He has also given many concerts for children, for several years presenting a regular series at the 92nd Street Y in New York. As an educator Steven Isserlis gives frequent masterclasses all around the world, and for the past eighteen years he has been Artistic Director of the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall, where his fellow-professors include Sir Andras Schiff, Thomas Adès and Ferenc Rados. As a writer and broadcaster he contributes regularly to publications including Gramophone, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, has guest edited The Strad magazine, and makes regular appearances on BBC Radio including on the Today programme, on Soul Music, as guest presenter of two editions of Saturday Classics, and as writer and presenter of a documentary about the life of Robert Schumann.

His diverse interests are reflected in an extensive and award-winning discography. His recording of the complete Solo Cello Suites by J.S. Bach for Hyperion met with the highest critical acclaim, and was Gramophone’s Instrumental Disc of the Year and Critic’s Choice at the Classical Brits. Other recent releases include Prokofiev and Shostakovich concertos with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Paavo Järvi; Dvorak Cello Concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding; the complete works for cello by Beethoven with Robert Levin on fortepiano, selected for the Deutsche SchallplattenPreis; and recital discs with Richard Egarr, Stephen Hough, Thomas Adès and (for BIS) a Grammy-nominated album of sonatas by Martinů with Olli Mustonen. Future releases for Hyperion include the Elgar and Walton concertos, alongside works by Gustav and Imogen Holst, with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Paavo Järvi.

The recipient of many awards, Steven Isserlis’s honours include a CBE in recognition of his services to music, and the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau. He is also one of only two living cellists featured in Gramophone’s Hall of Fame.

He gives most of his concerts on the Marquis de Corberon (Nelsova) Stradivarius of 1726, kindly loaned to him by the Royal Academy of Music.

Photo: Satoshi Aoyagi

Georgy Kovalev © Georgy Kovalev
Viola

Georgy Kovalev

Georgy Kovalev, born in 1990 in Tiflis (Georgia), is one of the leading violists of his generation.

Georgy Kovalev, born in 1990 in Tiflis (Georgia), is one of the leading violists of his generation. He studied with Yuri Bashmet in Moscow, Matthias Buchholz in Cologne and Nobuko Imai at the Kronberg Academy. He finished his studies with Tabea Zimmermann at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin.

Georgy Kovalev has performed with leading orchestras such as the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra, New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra among others.

He is a prize winner and a finalist of international competitions such as the Yuri Bashmet International Competition in Moscow, Tokyo International Viola Competition and the Johannes Brahms International Competition. In 2011 he received the Neva Foundation Prize awarded by the Verbier Festival.

His chamber music partners included Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis, Yuri Bashmet, Fazil Say, Frans Helmerson, Emanuel Ax, Jörg Widmann, Viviane Hagner, Claudio Bohórquez, Lawrence Lesser, at renowned international music festivals such as Schubertiade, Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival, Heidelberger Frühling, Rheingau Festival and the Kronberg Academy Festival.

Georgy Kovalev has performed at concert venues such as the Victoria Hall (Geneva), Theatre des Champs-Elysées (Paris), Cologne Philharmonic Hall, Kioi Hall (Tokyo), Prinz Regent Theater Hall (Munich), Gordon Bennett Hall (Chicago) and the Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory.

Georgy Kovalev plays a viola by Simon Bernand Fendt (London 1820) kindly loaned to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

Photo: Alina Cürten

South African percussion

Dudù Kouate

Der 1963 im Senegal geborene Perkussionist und Multiinstrumentalist Dudù Kouate spielt in verschiedenen Bands und Theaterproduktionen. Seine ständige Suche nach dem Klang (Klang der Elemente) hat ihn immer wieder neue Erfahrungen mit der Weltmusik machen lassen.

Der 1963 im Senegal geborene Perkussionist und Multiinstrumentalist Dudù Kouate spielt in verschiedenen Bands und Theaterproduktionen. Seine ständige Suche nach dem Klang (Klang der Elemente) hat ihn immer wieder neue Erfahrungen mit der Weltmusik machen lassen. Als anerkannter Entwickler auf dem Gebiet der Verbesserung traditioneller Instrumente, insbesondere von Schlagzeug und Idiophonen, ist es ihm gelungen, ihre Präsenz in der Vielfalt musikalischer Kontexte zu erweitern. In Italien hat er mit dem Regisseur und Musiker Alberto Nacci den Soundtrack für den Kurzfilm „The Moving Town“ erstellt, der beim Filmfestival von Locarno präsentiert wurde.

Dudù Kouate hat mit der Gruppe Odwalla, mit der er seit Jahren auftritt, mehrere DVDs und CDs aufgenommen, darunter die neueste Produktion: „Medusa, the world of percussion and voice“. Mit dem Bergamo-Saxofonisten Guido Bombardieri hat er zudem das Album „African Thought“ aufgenommen. Kürzlich arbeitete er mit Bakan Seck und dem Jololi Label von Youssou N’Dour zusammen. Er spielt auch mit Pietro Tonolo, der als einer der besten italienischen Saxofonisten gilt. Kürzlich hat Dudù Kouate seine eigene Trio-Band mit einer israelischen Sängerin, afrikanischer Perkussion und Xalam-Melodien und einem Jazz- Saxofon gegründet.

Bass

Alan Keary

Der in Limerick geborene Multi-Instrumentalist, Produzent und Streicher-Enthusiast Shunya alias Alan Keary war nicht nur Studiotechniker und Arrangeur für den Produzenten Mike Bennett (The Fall, Ian Brown, Emerson Lake und Palmer), er arbeitete auch mit Größen wie Intastella, Craig Gannon (The Smiths) und Nick McCabe (The Verve) zusammen.

Der in Limerick geborene Multi-Instrumentalist, Produzent und Streicher-Enthusiast Shunya alias Alan Keary war nicht nur Studiotechniker und Arrangeur für den Produzenten Mike Bennett (The Fall, Ian Brown, Emerson Lake und Palmer), er arbeitete auch mit Größen wie Intastella, Craig Gannon (The Smiths) und Nick McCabe (The Verve) zusammen.

Alan Keary ist der Sohn von Limerick-Gitarrenlegende und Produzent Dave Keary (Van Morrison), der seine Obsession für das Spielen und Produzieren von Musik weckte. Alan Kearys Arbeit umfasst Arrangements für traditionelles Quartett, große 32-köpfige Streichorchester oder improvisierte Ensemblestücke mit Elektronik und Violine, Bratsche, Cello oder Kontrabass. Er arbeitete mit Künstlern zusammen wie dem BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Werkha (Tru Thoughts, Brownswood Bubblers) und Josephine Oniyama (Rubyworks), Mike Bennett, Neville Staples, John Cooper Clarke, Intastella, Jah Wobble, Craig Gannon, Nick McCabe, Brand New Heavies, Werkha oder der Live-Band DJ Yoda’s & Breakfast of Champions.

Shunyas Sound ist eine Verschmelzung von Einflüssen, die von seinem frühen musikalischen Hintergrund der klassischen Violine bis zu den Klängen der elektronischen Musikszene von Manchester reichen und seine hochkarätigen Fähigkeiten als Jazzbassist ergänzen. In seinen Live-Auftritte präsentiert er Arrangements vom Solo bis hin zur fünfköpfigen Band. Alan Keary tritt als dabei als Geiger, Bassist und Sänger auf, liefert aber auch Textur und Rückgrat mit Drumcomputern, Effekten und Samples durch Ableton liefert.

Manuel Lipstein © Suxiao Yang
Cello

Manuel Lipstein

Manuel Lipstein, born in 2001, is a German-Argentinian cellist and composer. At the age of six, he started his junior studies at Cologne Music University where he was taught by Prof. Katharina Deserno until 2015 and by Prof. Maria Kliegel until 2019.

Manuel Lipstein, born in 2001, is a German-Argentinian cellist and composer. At the age of six, he started his junior studies at Cologne Music University where he was taught by Prof. Katharina Deserno until 2015 and by Prof. Maria Kliegel until 2019.

Additionally, Manuel has received composition lessons with Prof. Gerhard Müller-Hornbach since 2020 and he took conducting lessons with Prof. Vassilis Christopoulos at the Music University of Frankfurt am Main from 2020 to 2021. Manuel gains further inspiration through masterclasses with artists such as Gidon Kremer, András Schiff, Steven Isserlis, Kirill Gerstein, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Jens-Peter Maintz, Jérôme Pernoo, Leonid Gorokhov, Arto Noras and others.

As a cellist, he convinces national just as international juries: Amongst others, he was awarded with the Prémier Grand Prix (first prize) at Concours Flame in Paris, with the third prize at International Dotzauer Competition for Young Cellists in Dresden, with the second prize at Antonio Janigro Competition in Croatia and with the first prize at Concours Violoncelle Prix Edmond Baert in Brussels. He won the WDR Classical Music Prize with his piano trio and, as the youngest participant, he gained the third prize at TONALi competition where he was also chosen for the TONALiSTEN agency.

As a composer, Manuel won several prizes at the national competition for young composers and at Orchesterwerkstatt Halberstadt. His works get broadcasted by radios such as Hessischer Rundfunk and are regularly performed e. g. at festivals like AchtBrücken (Cologne), BTHVN 2020 (Bonn) and Aurora (Sweden). Several of his competitions are published at Edition Walhall (Germany) and Edition Musica Ferum (United Kingdom).

The 21-years-old cellist has performed all over Europe and in countries such as Japan, China and Armenia on renowned stages as Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Cologne Philharmony, Herkulessaal München and Beijing Concert Hall. Playing as a soloist with orchestras as WDR Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgarter Kammerphilharmonie and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen have been extraordinary experiences for him. His debut album at NAXOS is planned for 2023.

Manuel Lipstein participated in the 2018 Cello Masterclasses at Kronberg Academy. In 2022, he participated in the Chamber Music Connects the World. Since October 2019, he has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson. These studies are funded by the Dr. Rainer und Christel Stoll Scholarship.

Photo: Suxiao Yang

Mishka Momen © Benjamin Ealovega
Piano

Mishka Rushdie Momen

Born in London in 1992, Mishka Rushdie Momen studied with Joan Havill and Imogen Cooper at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and also with Richard Goode.

Born in London in 1992, Mishka Rushdie Momen studied with Joan Havill and Imogen Cooper at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and also with Richard Goode. More recently, she was invited by Sir András Schiff to give concerts in Zurich, New York, Antwerp and several German and Italian cities as part of his “Building Bridges” concert series. A passionate chamber musician, she has already performed with Steven Isserlis, Midori, Krzysztof Chorzelski and members of the Endellion and Orion string quartets. She has given numerous solo recitals, including in London’s Barbican Hall and other major concert venues, as well as in prestigious halls in France, Germany, New York, Prague and Mumbai. In 2016, Mishka Rushdie Momen was a guest of the Marlboro and Krzyzowa Music Festivals, and also took part in the Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music Seminar.

At the age of just 13, she won first prize in the Leschetizky Concerto Competition in New York. In 2013, she was awarded the Prix de l’Académie Maurice Ravel, ville de Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and first prize in the Dudley International Piano Competition, as well as second prize in the Cologne International Piano Competition.

Her first CD featuring a recording of Mozart’s Triple Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was released in 2018 by Somm Recordings.

2018 she performed alongside Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis and Sir András Schiff in Chamber Music Connects the World. In 2019 she performed at the Kronberg Academy Festival. From October 2018 until summer of 2021, Mishka Rushdie Momen has studied on the Sir András Schiff Performance Programme for Young Pianists at Kronberg Academy. Her studies were funded by the Henle Scholarship endowed by the Horizon Foundation.

Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

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

Mischa Maisky © Andrej Grilc
Cello

Mischa Maisky

Born in Latvia, educated in Russia, after his repatriation to Israel, Mischa Maisky has been enthusiastically received in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, New York and Tokyo, along with the rest of the major music centres.

Born in Latvia, educated in Russia, after his repatriation to Israel, Mischa Maisky has been enthusiastically received in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, New York and Tokyo, along with the rest of the major music centres.

He considers himself to be a citizen of the world: “I’m playing an Italian cello, with French and German bows, Austrian and German strings, my daughter was born in France, my oldest son in Belgium, the middle one in Italy and the youngest one in Switzerland, I’m driving a Japanese car, wear a Swiss watch, an Indian necklace and I feel at home everywhere where people appreciate and enjoy classical music.”

As an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, during the last 25 years he has made well over 30 recordings with such orchestras as Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orpheus, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and others.

One of the highlights of his career was the year 2000 - it was mainly devoted to a worldwide Bach tour which included over 100 concerts! In order to express his deep admiration for this great composer, Mischa Maisky has recorded Bach's solo suites for the third time.

His recordings have enjoyed worldwide critical acclaim and have been awarded the prestigious Record Academy Prize in Tokyo five times, the Echo Deutscher Schallplattenpreis three times, Grand Prix du Disque in Paris and Diapason d’Or of the Year as well as the coveted Grammy nominations.

Truly a world-class musician and regular guest at most major International Festivals, he has collaborated with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Carlo Maria Giulini, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, James Levine, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Valery Gergiev and Gustavo Dudamel and his partnerships have included artists as Martha Argerich, Radu Lupu, Nelson Freire, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Peter Serkin, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Joshua Bell, Julian Rachlin and Janine Jansen to name just a few.

Photo: Andrej Grilc

Petar Pejčić
Cello

Petar Pejčić

As Prizewinner and youngest Finalist of the 2nd International Queen Elisabeth Competition, Petar Pejčić proves to be one of the most promising artists of his generation. “A wonderful musician with a compelling sense of storytelling” (Le Soir).

As Prizewinner and youngest Finalist of the 2nd International Queen Elisabeth Competition, Petar Pejčić proves to be one of the most promising artists of his generation. “A wonderful musician with a compelling sense of storytelling” (Le Soir).

Born into a musical family in 2002, he received his first cello lessons at the age of four. After his musical beginnings in Belgrade, he moved to Germany in 2017 to continue his education at the University of Music and Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig with Prof. Peter Bruns.

He won prizes at numerous international competitions, such as the Pablo Casals Competition (Second Prize), Anna Kull Competition (Second Prize) and Felix Mendelssohn Competition (Third Prize). Other prizes and awards: "ArtLink Société Générale - Most Promising Young Musician for 2018’’; Alexander Glazunov Competition; Liezen Competition; Heran competition as well as being first and special prize winner at the Serbian State Competition (Belgrade 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016).

At the age of nine Petar made his solo concert debut in Belgrade, after which he gave several concerts and recitals in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Russia, the USA etc.

As a soloist he has performed with orchestras such as the Brussels Philharmonic, the Graz Philharmonic, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, BKO Ljubica Marić, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Orchestra Stanislav Binički, Styriarte Festival Orchestra and many others.

He was a participant in master classes with David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Ivan Monighetti, Josef Schwab, István Várdai, Jan Vogler, and has received important musical impulses from Mischa Maisky and Wen-Sinn Yang, among others.

As a chamber musician, he has performed with well-known artists such as Friedemann Eichhorn, Pauline Sachse, Antti Siirala, Florian Uhlig and Mira Wang.

Out of great passion to broaden his musical horizons came the special collaboration with the choreographer Jacopo Godani and the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company. The resulting works - "BACH OFF!" as well as “Premonitions of a Larger Plan”, show a new perspective on the relationship between musicians and dancers.

In 2020 he assumed the role of ambassador for the Pablo Casals Foundation. He is a scholarship holder of the International Music Academy in Liechtenstein, the Yehudi Menuhin - Live Music Now Foundation, the Freunde Junger Musiker Foundation and the Dr. Hübner Foundation. Since 2021 he receives the Günter Henle-Scholarship of the Peter Klöckner-Foundation (in the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben).

As the winner of the 2021 Martin Stadtfeld Prize, he recorded his first CD entitled "Intima poetica", which was published by the Freunde Junger Musiker Mainz-Wiesbaden e.V. Foundation.

He plays an instrument by Giuseppe Guarneri (1697, Cremona).

Sang Hyeok Park
Cello

Sang Hyeok Park

Ivan Skanavi
Cello

Ivan Skanavi

Ivan Skanavi has made a name for himself as a fine russian cellist, with a bright musical future ahead of him. Born into a family of musicians in Moscow in 1996, Ivan began studying the cello aged six at the Children’s Music School of Academic Music College (Moscow P.Tchaikovsky Conservatory) under the renowned Tamara Alekseeva.

Ivan Skanavi has made a name for himself as a fine russian cellist, with a bright musical future ahead of him. Born into a family of musicians in Moscow in 1996, Ivan began studying the cello aged six at the Children’s Music School of Academic Music College (Moscow P.Tchaikovsky Conservatory) under the renowned Tamara Alekseeva. He continued his studies at Academic Musical College under the Moscow Conservatory and then at the Moscow State P. Tchaikovsky Conservatory, both in the class of Professor Alexey Seleznev, before moving to Weimar, Germany to study with Professor Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Franz Liszt University of Music.

March 2020 saw his chamber music debut with the Moscow Philharmonic, followed by his debut with Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra in September. These engagements came as the result of Ivan’s performances as a semi-finalist in the Tchaikovsky International Competition and 2nd round participant in the ARD International Competition in 2019.

Ivan Skanavi has performed in the concerts of the Verbier Music Festival, the Festival “Sheremetev’s seasons in Ostankino”, “I Mozartini” Festival (Italy), International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival (Baku, Azerbaijan), Reeperbahn Festival (Hamburg), Vadim Repin Trans-Siberian Art Festival (Siberia), Musik in den Häusern der Stadt (Hamburg), and Beethoven Tage (Germany). He has performed as a soloist with Academic Symphonic Orchestra in the Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic, with Moscow Chamber Orchestra of Pavel Slobodkin Center, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, Moscow Conservatory Orchestra, Kurgan Symphony Orchestra, Gota Philharmonie and Siberian Symphony Orchestra, to name but a few.

Ivan has taken part in masterclasses given by David Geringas, Natalia Gutman, Ivan Monighetti, Steven Isserlis, Frans Helmerson, Alban Gerhardt, Jerome Pernoo, Norbert Anger, Thorleif Thedeen, Claudio Bohorquez, Julius Berger, Jens Peter Maintz, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Eckart Runge, Laszlo Fenyo and Boris Andrianov.

To date, Ivan’s competition accolades include Russian National Cello Competition (2nd prize, 2020 and the 1st prize, 2021), the special prize for outstanding performance of the sonata by Alfred Schnittke in the «Ton&Erklärung» Cello Competition in Hannover(2022), Moscow Open Youth Competition of Early Music “Leopold Mozart” (2nd prize, 2007), III International Competition of Instrumental Music Performers “Silver Camertone” (1st prize 2008), VII International Competition “Young Musician” (2nd prize, 2009), and winner of the All-Russian Competition “Young Talents of Russia”. In 2012 he has awarded the special prize in the VII Internetional Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, and the Diploma in the Knushevitsky International Cello Competition (Saratov, Russia).

The International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein awarded Ivan a scholarship, and after successful participation in the TONALi Competition (2018) he joined the TONALiSTEN Agency, the first non-profit artist agency in Germany, founded by TONALi, Harrison Parrott and the pianist Hanni Liang.

Ivan Skanavi plays a cello by David Tecchler from 1698

Abel Selaocoe © Christina Ebenezer
Cello

Abel Selaocoe

South African cellist Abel Selaocoe is a rapidly rising star who is redefining the parameters of the cello. He moves seamlessly across a plethora of genres and styles, from collaborations with world musicians and beatboxers, to concertos and solo performances.

South African cellist Abel Selaocoe is a rapidly rising star who is redefining the parameters of the cello. He moves seamlessly across a plethora of genres and styles, from collaborations with world musicians and beatboxers, to concertos and solo performances. Selaocoe combines virtuosic performance with improvisation, singing and body percussion, and is devoted to composing works and curating programmes that highlight the links between Western and non-Western musical traditions, broadening the horizons of classical music to reach a more diverse audience.

In 2016, Selaocoe formed Chesaba – a trio specializing in music from the African continent, including many of his own compositions. He enjoys close collaborations with musicians from a medley of genres, including Bernhard Schimpelsberger, Tim Garland, Seckou Keita, Giovanni Sollima, Famoudou Don Moye and Gwilym Simcock. He has a close partnership with Manchester Collective, with whom he devised the hugely successful Sirocco programme which has been enjoyed both live and digitally by audiences since 2019. In 2020/21, Selaocoe performed at Kings Place, Norfolk & Norwich and Ryedale Festivals, and performed with ensembles including BBC Concert Orchestra at the EFG London Jazz Festival, Manchester Collective and Britten Sinfonia.

Selaocoe makes his solo BBC Proms debut in August 2021, curating a programme with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Chesaba and Gnawa Ensemble. Other highlights of the 2021/22 season include a tour with Manchester Collective and Chesaba of their new collaboration, The Oracle; debuts with St Paul Chamber Orchestra and at Stanford Live; and performances both solo and with Chesaba throughout the UK and Europe.

Abel Selaocoe is an exclusive recording artist with Warner Classics and his debut album ‘Hae Ke Kae’ on the subject of home and refuge will be released in autumn 2022.

Selaocoe completed his International Artist Diploma at the Royal Northern College of Music in July 2018. In May 2021, he was announced as an inaugural Power Up Music Creator participant in PRS Foundation’s new initiative to address anti-Black racism and racial disparities in the music sector and in July 2021, he received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation award for his compositional work.

Photo: Christina Ebenezer

Umut Sağlam
Cello

Umut Sağlam

Umut Sağlam was born in Ankara in 1998. He started his violoncello studies in 2009 in Hacettepe University State Conservatory with Tufan Tahir Tolga.

BUmut Sağlam was born in Ankara in 1998. He started his violoncello studies in 2009 in Hacettepe University State Conservatory with Tufan Tahir Tolga. During these studies, he gave several concerts, including solo performances and chamber music concerts. Starting from 2014, he studied in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory with Dilbağ Tokay. After he completed his studies in Turkey, in 2016 he started studying at the Barenboim - Said Academy with Prof. Frans Helmerson and Claudius Popp.

In among the awards, he won; in 2015, He won the second prize in the International Competition of German and Austrian Music “Magic” and the first prize in the 25th Young Musician International Competition "Città di Barletta". In 2017, he won the first prize in the "International Young Talents Competition" held by the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra. Also, he performed with the pianist Eren Aydoğan within the “Rising Stars Concert Series”, held by İş Sanat, after which he got awarded the first prize and the “Meriç Soylu Special Award”. In 2018, he won first prizes respectively in the Gaetano Zinetti Music Competition in Italy and the “Tremplin” International Cello Competition in France.

He made his first debut as a soloist when he was 15 under the baton of the Turkish conductor Gürer Aykal. Since then, he performed as a soloist with various orchestras such as Samsun State Opera Orchestra, Bakırköy Chamber Orchestra, Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra, Ankara Youth Symphony Orchestra, MSFAU Symphony Orchestra, CRR de Paris Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey.

Since 2017, he is a scholar of the "Young Musicians on World Stages"(YMWS) project, actualized and mentored by Güher & Süher Pekinel.

In addition to his studies, he participated in various festivals such as, Kronberg Academy, Rutesheim Cello Festival, Ysaye’s Knokke, Krzyżowa Music Festival and he had the opportunity to study and share the stage with well-known artists such as Daniel Barenboim, Andras Schiff, Jörg Widmann, Steven Isserlis, Gary Hoffman, Gustav Rivinius, Jens Peter Maintz. Also, in 2018 he has been invited by Maestro Daniel Barenboim to be a part of the West - Eastern Divan Orchestra.

During season 2019/2020, he was among the 6 laureates at the “Classe d'excellence de Violoncelle”, a mentorship program with Gautier Capucon at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.

In May 2021, he won the audition held by the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin and became a member of Kurt-Sanderling Akademie for the 2021/2022 season.

Sağlam continues his studies with Prof. Claudio Bohórquez at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin.

He plays on a Nicolas Lupot cello which was made in 1810 in Paris, which is generously provided by the YMWS Project.

Axel Schlosser © Ben Knabe
Trumpet

Axel Schlosser

Born on 18 September 1976 in Aalen, Axel Schlosser is a German trumpeter and composer of modern jazz.

Born on 18 September 1976 in Aalen, Axel Schlosser is a German trumpeter and composer of modern jazz.

Schlosser, who grew up in Oberkochen, was introduced to music at an early age by his older cousin who played clarinet and saxophone with both the local musical society and a Dixieland band. Consequently, even as a child, Schlosser already had a focus on New Orleans Jazz and music for brass band. At the age of six, he initially received instruction on the recorder, later followed by the clarinet. He then switched to the flugelhorn when he was 12, focusing on this instrument from that time on. In 1994, he joined BuJazzO (Germany’s national youth jazz orchestra) under Peter Herbolzheimer and remained a member until 1998. In parallel, he also played with the Baden-Württemberg Youth Jazz Orchestra directed by Bernd Konrad. After completing his Abitur school-leaving certificate from the Schiller-Gymnasium in Heidenheim an der Brenz, for which he received a music prize, he studied jazz at Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts from 1997 to 2001. During his studies he was lead trumpeter with the Franco-German Jazz Ensemble led by Albert Mangelsdorff.

On graduating, he was employed for two years by the City of Munich where he taught at a secondary school as part of the “Musik als Hauptfach” (Majoring in Music) project. At the same time, he became a founding member of the “L 14,16” quintet, which also included saxophonist Steffen Weber, pianist Rainer Böhm, bassist Arne Huber and drummer Lars Binder. The ensemble’s first two albums were both winners of the quarterly German Record Critics’ Award. Schlosser has been a member of the Frankfurt Radio Big Band since 2022 and also leads his own group.

Schlosser has played with the Sunday Night Orchestra, the Al Porcino Big Band, the Bobby Burgess Big Band Explosion, the Summit Jazz Orchestra, the SWR Big Band, RIAS Big Band, Orchester Hugo Strasser, Peter Herbolzheimer’s Rhythm Combination & Brass, Big Band Bremen, the Ed Partyka Jazz Orchestra, Mannheim Jazz Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra under Wil Salden and the Frankfurt Jazz Big Band. He has also belonged to combos led by Charly Antolini and Max Greger, the Max Greger Jr. Quintet, Mariette’s Motion Club, the Louis Armstrong Revival Band, the European Swing Stars, Windstärke 4 and Band in the Box. In recent years his focus has increasingly been on composition, and he likewise teaches at the universities of Frankfurt and Mannheim.

Photo: Ben Knabe

Herbert Schuch © Felix Broede
Piano

Herbert Schuch

The pianist Herbert Schuch has gained a reputation as being among the most interesting musicians of his generation with his strikingly conceived concert programmes and CD recordings.

The pianist Herbert Schuch has gained a reputation as being among the most interesting musicians of his generation with his strikingly conceived concert programmes and CD recordings. In 2013, he received the ECHO Klassik award for his recording of the piano concerto by Viktor Ullmann and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the WDR Sinfonieorchester conducted by Olari Elts. In 2014, he issued the fascinating solo CD “invocation” with works by Bach, Liszt, Messiaen, Murail and Ravel, which engages with the sound of bells. He could be heard with this programme in piano recitals at the Salzburg Festival and the Stuttgart Musikfest, and in the Frauenkirche in Dresden and the Philharmonie in Berlin, among other venues. A piano-duet CD with Gülru Ensari, featuring works by Brahms, Hindemith, Stravinsky and Özkan Manav, was issued in early 2017.

Herbert Schuch has worked with a number of renowned orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg, the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, the Bamberg Symphony, the Dresden Philharmonic and the radio orchestras of hr, MDR, WDR, NDR Hannover and Danish Radio. He appears regularly as guest at festivals such as the Heidelberger Frühling, the Kissinger Sommer, the Rheingau Music Festival, the Ruhr Piano Festival and the Salzburg Festival. Among the conductors with whom he has enjoyed successful associations are Pierre Boulez, Andrey Boreyko, Douglas Boyd, Lawrence Foster, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Jakub Hrusa, Jun Märkl, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jonathan Nott, Markus Poschner, Michael Sanderling and Alexander Vedernikov.

Recently, Herbert Schuch played with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under Valery Gergiev in the Gasteig in Munich, with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in the Berlin Philharmonie, with the Camerata Salzburg, with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany on a European tour. He also made his début with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at the Salzburg Easter Festival and at the Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier. In addition, he gave concerts with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Festival Strings Lucerne and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra.

His schedule for the 17/18 season includes fresh invitations to play with the WDR Sinfonieorchester and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, as well as his début in the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.
As a child, Herbert Schuch also played violin for 10 years and has been an enthusiastic chamber musician ever since. In the summer of 2017, he undertook a trio tour with violinist Julia Fischer and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott.

Herbert Schuch was born in Timișoara, Romania, in 1979. He had his first piano lessons in his native city, before his family moved to Germany in 1988, where he has lived since. He continued his musical studies with Kurt Hantsch and then with Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Recently, Herbert Schuch has been especially influenced by his encounters and work with Alfred Brendel. He created an international stir when he won three major competitions in just one year: the Casagrande Competition, the London International Piano Competition and the International Beethoven Competition in Vienna.

In addition to his performance activities, Herbert Schuch is also involved in the organization “Rhapsody in School,” founded by Lars Vogt, which promotes classical music education in schools.

Photo: Felix Broede

Piano

Fred Thomas

Born in 1996, Friedrich Thiele has been the recipient of many prestigious German and international awards, for example winning 2nd prize, the audience prize and the prize for best interpretation of a commissioned piece at the 2019 ARD International Music Competition, as well as the 2019 Deutscher Musikwettbewerb prize.

Born in 1996, Friedrich Thiele has been the recipient of many prestigious German and international awards, for example winning 2nd prize, the audience prize and the prize for best interpretation of a commissioned piece at the 2019 ARD International Music Competition, as well as the 2019 Deutscher Musikwettbewerb prize. Successes in the 2019 International Instrumental Competition Markneukirchen (2nd prize, audience prize, orchestra prize), the 2017 Ton & Erklärung Competition in Munich (1st prize), and in the 2015 TONALi Competition in Hamburg (3rd prize and audience prize) have paved his way towards an international career.

Friedrich Thiele completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Weimar with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt between 2016 and 2020. Prior to this he spent five years training with Peter Bruns as a junior student at the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig.

He has performed as a guest soloist with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the National Theatre Claudio Santoro Symphony Orchestra in Brasilia, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Munich Radio Orchestra, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Dresden Philharmonic, the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar in Caracas and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Thiele has already given solo performances in many major concert halls, including the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle, and the Hercules Hall and Gasteig in Munich.

A passionate chamber musician, he has appeared at Heidelberger Frühling, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Molyvos International Music Festival and Vadim Repin’s Trans-Siberian Arts Festival, playing with musicians including Igor Levit, Benjamin Beilman, Volker Jacobsen, Viviane Hagner and Marc-André Hamelin.

Friedrich Thiele has received funding from Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben since 2010 and plays a French cello dating from the latter half of the 19th century, which is on loan from the German Musical Instruments Fund.

In 2018, Thiele took part in Kronberg’s Cello Masterclasses & Concerts, where he received a sponsorship award. He has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt since October 2020. His studies are funded by the Renate und Peter von Metzler Scholarship.

Photo: René Gaens

Antoine Tamestit © Julien Mignot
Viola

Antoine Tamestit

Antoine Tamestit has achieved the rare distinction as a violist, playing at the highest level as a soloist and in constant demand as a chamber musician and recitalist.

Antoine Tamestit has achieved the rare distinction as a violist, playing at the highest level as a soloist and in constant demand as a chamber musician and recitalist. He is recognised for his peerless technique and his profound, natural musicianship, and known too for the beauty of his sound with its rich, deep, burnished quality.

Tamestit’s repertoire ranges from the Baroque (he has arranged and recorded Bach’s Cello Suites for Viola) to the contemporary. He has performed and recorded several world premieres and in the 2015/16 season gave the world premiere of the viola concerto by Jörg Widmann with the Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi. The work, which was composed especially for Tamestit, pushes the boundaries of the solo concerto genre and was met with great acclaim: “One of the most gifted French musicians of the era... The work is made to measure for Tamestit, his style of playing, his tone, his personality.” Le Figaro. Tamestit gave subsequent performances with the Swedish Radio Symphony and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding. In the 2016/17 season he will perform the concerto with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Joshua Weilerstein.

Engagements in 2016-17 season include concerto performances with the London Symphony Orchestra and François-Xavier Roth at the Barbican and on tour, with the Philharmonia and Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine. Tamestit will also play/direct the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris.

Antoine Tamestit has also worked with the Vienna Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Czech Philharmonic, Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchestra Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and with the several BBC symphony orchestras. He made his Russian debut at the Stars of the White Nights festival in 2014.

Tamestit plays in the string trio with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera with whom he has recorded Mozart Divertimento and Beethoven Trio Op.9 for Bis Records. This season the Trio Zimmermann will perform in Amsterdam, Zürich, Graz, Luxembourg, Warsaw, Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Milan. Other chamber engagements in the 2016/17 season include trio performances with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Mark Simpson at the Edinburgh International Festival, Salzburg Festival, Cologne Philharmonie and Festival de Musique de Strasbourg, recitals at Konzerthaus Berlin and Wigmore Hall with Cédric Tiberghien, and in a solo recital at The Frick Collection in New York.

Other chamber music partners include a trio with Jörg Widmann and Francesco Piemontesi, Leonidas Kavakos, Gautier Capucon, Emmanuel Ax, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Emmanuel Pahud, Martin Fröst, Nicholas Angelich, Shai Wosner and Ebene and Hagen Quartets.

Antoine Tamestit’s distinguished discography includes Berlioz’s Harold en Italie, which was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev and released in 2015 by LSO Live. For Naive he has recorded three of the Bach Suites, Hindemith solo and concertante works recorded with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Paavo Järvi, and an earlier recording of Harold en Italie with Marc Minkowski and Les Musicians du Louvre. In 2016 he appeared with Frank Peter Zimmermann and the Chamber Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on a new recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (Hännsler Classic).

Other notable recordings include solo works by Bach and Ligeti (Naive/Ambroisie), Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with Renaud Capuçon, Louis Langrée and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Virgin Classics) and the Schnittke Concerto with Warsaw Philharmonic and Kitajenko (Naive/Ambroisie).

Tamestit’s world premiere performances and recordings, in addition to Jörg Widmann’s Viola Concerto, include George Benjamin’s Viola, Viola with Tabea Zimmermann for Nimbus Records, the Concerto for Two Violas by Bruno Mantovani written for Tabea Zimmermann and Tamestit, and Olga Neuwirth’s Remnants of Songs.

Together with Nobuko Imai, Antoine Tamestit is co-artistic director of the Viola Space Festival in Tokyo, focusing on the development of viola repertoire and a wide range of education programmes.

Born in Paris, Antoine Tamestit studied with Jesse Levine at Yale University and with Tabea Zimmermann. He was the recipient of several coveted prizes including the William Primrose Competition and the first prize at the Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions, BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme, Borletti- Buitoni Trust Award and the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2009.

Antoine Tamestit plays on a viola made by Stradivarius in 1672, loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation.

Photo: Julien Mignot

Stephen Waarts © Benjamin Ealovega
Violin

Stephen Waarts

Stephen Waarts’ innate and individual musical voice has established him as a firm favourite with audiences. With a voracious appetite for repertoire, he has already performed more than 30 standard violin concertos, as well as rarely performed works, and he is a passionate chamber musician.

Stephen Waarts’ innate and individual musical voice has established him as a firm favourite with audiences. With a voracious appetite for repertoire, he has already performed more than 30 standard violin concertos, as well as rarely performed works, and he is a passionate chamber musician.

During the 2019/20 season Stephen Waarts makes his recital debut at the Wigmore Hall, London, with pianist Gabriele Carcano and works by Fauré, Szymanowski and Bartók. He returns to the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris with a solo recital featuring Paganini, Bach and Ysaÿe, and further recitals and chamber concerts include Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall in New York.

He works under Sir András Schiff twice this season: performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Timothy Ridout and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe as part of the Kronberg Academy Festival; and in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He also debuts with the Staatskapelle Weimar in Munich’s Philharmonie am Gasteig, BBCScottish Symphony Orchestra under Shi-Yeon Sung, Orpheum Supporters Orchestra at the Zurich Tonhalle Maag under Howard Griffiths, and Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie in the Dresden Philharmonie.

In 2019 he was awarded the International Classical Music Awards Orchestra Award by the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and returns this season for a recital at the KKL Lucerne. Having won the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s soloists award in 2017 he returned there in both 2018 and 2019. He has also recently made his debuts at the Aspen Music Festival and Mostly Mozart Festival, New York, as well as with the Orchestre National de Belgique, Szczecin Philharmonic, Slovak Philharmonic and Cape Town Philharmonic.

In 2015 and 2017 Stephen Waarts was an active participant in the Kronberg Academy Festival, during which he took masterclasses with Mihaela Martin and Christian Tetzlaff. 2017 and 2019 he also performed at the Kronberg Academy Festival. In 2018 he took part in Chamber Music Connects the World. Since October 2016 he has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Mihaela Martin. These studies are funded by the Bubmann/Rühland Scholarship. Since March 2021 he is a fellow of Kronberg Academy.

Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

Alexander Warenberg © Marco Borggreve
Cello

Alexander Warenberg

Born in 1998 in Voorburg (Netherlands), Alexander Warenberg hails from a musical family and began playing cello at the age of five.

Born in 1998 in Voorburg (Netherlands), Alexander Warenberg hails from a musical family and began playing cello at the age of five. From the age of eight onwards, he was taught at the Sweelinck Academy for exceptionally gifted young musicians at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam by Prof. Monique Bartels. From 2016 to 2018, he studied under Frans Helmerson at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin.

Alexander Warenberg has already achieved great successes in international competitions. At the 2016 National Cello Competition held as part of Cello Biënnale Amsterdam he won both first prize and the audience prize. He was also placed first in the 2011 Britten Concours, Netherlands, in the 2012 Antonio Janigro International Cello Competition in Croatia and in the Prinses Christina Concours in 2016.

As a soloist and chamber musician, Alexander Warenberg has performed internationally on stages and at festivals with renowned orchestras. He has already given many performances at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, at the Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam, at Festival Next Generation in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, and he also took part in the Verbier Festival Academy in 2017. His engagements as a chamber musician have led him to share the stage with Menahem Pressler, Denis Kozhukhin, Gil Sharon, Paolo Giacometti and Lucas Jussen. He holds scholarships from the VandenEnde Foundation and the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein.

Alexander Warenberg plays a cello by Jean Baptiste Vuillame dating from 1845, which is loaned to him by the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation.

In 2014, 2016 and 2018, he was an active participant in the Cello Masterclasses at Kronberg Academy. Since 2019 he has been studying with Frans Helmerson at Kronberg Academy. His studies are funded by the Elisabeth und Dieter Feddersen-Scholarship.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Carlos Vidal Bellester
Cello

Carlos Vidal Bellester

Pinchas Zuckerman © Cheryl Mazak
Violin

Pinchas Zukerman

With a celebrated career encompassing five decades, Pinchas Zukerman reigns as one of today's most sought after and versatile artists.

With a celebrated career encompassing five decades, Pinchas Zukerman reigns as one of today's most sought after and versatile artists. His virtuosity, the expressive lyricism of his playing and his impeccable musicianship can be heard throughout his discography of over 100 albums, for which he gained two Grammy Awards and over 20 nominations. A passionate educator, he served for 25 years as chair of the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, where he carried out pioneering work on the use of distance learning technologies in the musical field.

The Israeli-American violinist, conductor and educator celebrated his 70th birthday on 16 July 2018. Born in Tel Aviv in 1948, Zukerman received initial training in Israel, then from 1962 at New York’s Juilliard School of Music, where he was able to study with Ivan Galamian and Isaac Stern thanks to a scholarship from the Rubinstein Foundation.

Together with cellist Jaqueline du Pré and pianist Daniel Barenboim he formed a famous trio that made numerous highly-acclaimed recordings. Alongside this, his work as a conductor began to occupy ever more of his time, and he directed the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in the US from 1980 to 1987. In 2002, he founded the Zukerman Chamber Players together with his wife, cellist Amanda Forsyth, and several of his students, giving performances in countries including Germany. In addition, Zukerman became Music Director of Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. In 2016, Deutsche Grammophon released a limited edition box set of his completed recordings for DG and Philips, which included works by Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Sibelius and Mendelssohn.

In addition to his position with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Zukerman directs orchestras in Baltimore, San Diego, Vancouver and Nashville, as well as the New West Symphony Orchestra, as a soloist and conductor. He likewise regularly appears with Camerata Salzburg and London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in concert halls across Europe and the US. As a soloist, he has performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in California and on tour in China.

Photo: Cheryl Mazak

Bridges-Kammerorchester © Salar Baygan
Chamber Orchestra

Bridges-Kammerorchester

The transcultural Bridges Chamber Orchestra brings together freelance musicians and their instruments from the most diverse regions of the European, Asian and American continents. Its members are experts in European classical music, classical Arabic and Persian music, jazz, Eastern European folklore and contemporary music.

The transcultural Bridges Chamber Orchestra brings together freelance musicians and their instruments from the most diverse regions of the European, Asian and American continents. Its members are experts in European classical music, classical Arabic and Persian music, jazz, Eastern European folklore and contemporary music.

The musicians compose and arrange much of the repertoire themselves in co-creative processes. In this way, the orchestra develops ideas for musical pieces that give voice to multiple identities and show how the diversity of different cultures can grow together without the individual having to forfeit his or her identity. Consequently, it shapes a musical style that makes the diversity of German society audible and is thus pioneering a new and contemporary transcultural soundscape.

The Bridges Chamber Orchestra received one of Germany's most prestigious cultural sponsorship awards in 2019 – “The Power of the Arts” – giving it recognition as a national project showcasing diversity and integration at its best. For their debut album "Identigration", released in co-production with the hr2-kultur radio station, the chamber orchestra received the German Record Critics' Award 2/2021 in the category Crossover Productions. This award illustrates the relevance of the ensemble’s music and pays tribute to its artistic work, even in the very first album. The Bridges Chamber Orchestra was named orchestra in residence of Kronberg Academy in September 2022.

The Bridges Chamber Orchestra and its members are in demand throughout Germany and Europe as experts in the development of a progressive, transcultural musical style, as well as in transcultural musical communication.

In addition to its members’ own compositions, the Bridges Chamber Orchestra commissions compositions from composers of diverse styles. Previous guest composers include Majid Derakhshani, Jonas Krischke, Kioomars Musayyebi, Daniel Osorio and Khadicha Zeynalova.

The Bridges Chamber Orchestra collaborates with a number of guest conductors, with Bar Avni, Leo Hussein, Nicholas Kok, Gregor A Mayrhofer, Corinna Niemeyer, Eva Pons, Harish Shankar, Nabil Shehata, Martin Wettges and Yalda Zamani among them.

Photo: Salar Baygan

Chamber Orchestra of Europe / COE © Julia Wesely
Orchestra

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) was founded in 1981 by a group of young musicians who became acquainted as part of the European Community Youth Orchestra (now EUYO).

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) was founded in 1981 by a group of young musicians who became acquainted as part of the European Community Youth Orchestra (now EUYO). There are now about 60 members of the COE, who pursue parallel careers as principals or section leaders of nationally-based orchestras, as eminent chamber musicians, and as tutors of music.From the start, the COE’s identity was shaped by its partnerships with leading conductors and soloists. It was Claudio Abbado above all who served as an important mentor in the early years. He led the COE in staged works such as Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims and Il barbiere di Siviglia and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni and conducted numerous concerts featuring works by Schubert and Brahms in particular. Nikolaus Harnoncourt also had a major influence on the development of the COE through his performances and recordings of all of the Beethoven symphonies, as well as through opera productions at the Salzburg, Vienna, and Styriarte festivals.Currently the Orchestra works closely with Sir András Schiff and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who are both Honorary Members alongside Bernard Haitink and Nikolaus and Alice Harnoncourt. Other artists in our 2020-21 season include Piotr Anderszewski, Lisa Batiashvili, Janine Jansen, Sir Antonio Pappano, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Robin Ticciati and Yuja Wang.The COE has strong links with many of the major festivals and concert halls in Europe including the Cologne Philharmonie, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, Paris Philharmonie, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt. In partnership with the Kronberg Academy, the COE becomes the first-ever orchestra-in-residence at the Casals Forum in Kronberg from 2022.With more than 250 works in its discography, the COE’s CDs have won numerous international prizes, including two Grammys and three Gramophone Record of the Year Awards. Their most recent release is an archive recording of the Schubert Symphonies, performed at the Styriarte Festival in Graz in 1988 with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, released by ICA Classics. The 4-CD box-set has been enthusiastically received by the critics internationally and we are planning to release a second box-set of archive recordings with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in the Autumn.In 2009, the COE Academy was created in order to give a select group of exceptional students the chance to study with the principal players of COE and, importantly, to give the students the opportunity to travel “on tour” with the orchestra.The COE is a private orchestra which receives invaluable financial support from particularly the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and a further number of Friends including Dasha Shenkman, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement, the Rupert Hughes Will Trust, the Underwood Trust, the 35th Anniversary Friends and American Friends.

Photo: Julia Wesely

hr-Bigband © Dirk Ostermeier
Orchestra

hr-Bigband

The Frankfurt Radio Big Band is one of the best ensembles of its kind today. Taking the ideal of jazz playing as its basis, it performs a wide array of styles and genres.

The Frankfurt Radio Big Band is one of the best ensembles of its kind today. Taking the ideal of jazz playing as its basis, it performs a wide array of styles and genres.

The Frankfurt Radio Big Band unites seventeen outstanding musicians who not only achieve great acclaim as soloists. Daily rehearsals or concerts combined with the highest artistic standards have moulded them into an ensemble that can master any challenge. The band regularly explores the full potential of the contemporary jazz orchestra and overcomes stylistic boundaries – for example by developing new projects with Mongolian or North African musicians, with pop stars or with renowned composers of new music. At the same time it goes well beyond any notion of museality, keeping the great tradition of big band jazz alive with programmes from Jelly Roll Morton to Duke Ellington and Gil Evans to Peter Herbolzheimer.

Top-flight guests

The Frankfurt Radio Big Band has a long tradition of inviting the greats of the international jazz scene to Hesse, to stage their music in a big band format. The music is newly composed or arranged for almost every project. To achieve this, the band collaborates with a series of high-calibre arrangers and conductors – chiefly with its principal conductor Jim McNeely whose arrangements always earn the highest acclaim from musicians, critics and audiences alike.

Promoting young talent

In order to keep the big band jazz fires burning, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band is committed to supporting young talent. Its wide offering provides young people with numerous opportunities for lively, first-hand musical experiences and motivates young musicians to be proactive.

Thanks to a diverse range of concert programmes, performed at the highest level, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band appeals to listeners with a wide variety of tastes. All of its concert programmes are either recorded for radio or released on CD.

Photo: hr/Dirk Ostermeier

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