The Artists

Rafael Rosenfeld
Cello

Rafael Rosenfeld, Artistic Director

With his first prize win in December 2000 at the International Geneva Competition, Rafael Rosenfeld firmly established his reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting cellists. He toured Europe as a soloist including performances with orchestras like the SWR Stuttgart, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zürich, the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Orchestra of Lugano, the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Zürich Chamber Orchestra.

 

In addition to his success at the Geneva competition, Rafael Rosenfeld won numerous other prizes and awards at national and international competitions including third prize at the International ARD competition in Munich, a special prize at the International Jost competition in Lausanne and the highest award at the 1997 Migros Chamber Music Competition. In 1990 he was selected to represent Switzerland at the Eurovision competition in Vienna and in 1994 he was a finalist at the Tchaikowsky Competition in Moscow. He has made numerous radio and television appearances.

 

Rafael Rosenfeld received his musical education at the Zürich Conservatory and the Lübeck College of Music where his cello professors were Walter Grimmer and David Geringas respectively. Further inspiration came through world-acclaimed musicians like András Schiff, Steven Isserlis, Sandor Végh, Bernard Greenhouse, Ralph Kirschbaum, Menahem Pressler and György Kurtág.

 

Rafael Rosenfeld has followed invitations to important festivals such as the Lucerne Festival, the Ittinger Whitsun Concerts, Young Artists in Concert, Davos, the Interlakner Festwochen, Zürcher Festspiele and Open Chamber Music Prussia Cove. In 1995 Rafael Rosenfeld became the principal cellist of the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, and the ensemble's youngest member. In addition he is a member of Andras Schiff's chamber orchestra Cappella Andrea Barca.

 

Chamber music plays a cental role in Rafael Rosenfeld's musical life. For many years he performed as cellist of the Rosenfeld Trio and later was invited to join a trio with the violinist Gabor Takács-Nagy, former first violin of the Takács quartet, and the pianist Dénes Várjon. Since 2002 his focus has been on exploring the string quartet literature with the Merel Quartet.

 

Rafael Rosenfeld is a professor of cello at the Basel Music Academy.

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Mary Ellen Woodside
Violin

Mary Ellen Woodside, Artistic Director

 

First violinist of the Merel Quartet, Mary Ellen Woodside is an avid chamber musician, following invitations to festivals such as the Salzburger Festspiele, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Lucerne Festival, Ittingen Whitsun Concerts, Young Artists in Concert in Davos, Kunstfest Weimar, Omaggio a Palladio in Vicenza and Resonanzen in Sils-Maria. Chamber music partners have included Joshua Bell, Tabea Zimmermann, Heinz Holliger, Thomas Demenga, Julian Bliss, Nobuko Imai, Hariolf Schlichtig, Christoph Richter and Dénes Várjon and she has performed as guest first violinist with Signum, Gemaux and Amati quartets.

 

Ms Woodside has performed internationally as a soloist including double concerti with Tabea Zimmermann, Hariolf Schlichtig and Adelina Oprean and she gave premiers of violin concerti by Aaron Jay Kernis and Martin Derungs. She has recorded CDs of chamber music by Bohuslav Martinu and Robert Blum and with the Merel Quartet CDs with works of Schumann, Janacek, Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schönberg. She has numerous radio recordings for Swiss Radio DRS2 and for German radio SWR2.

 

M. E. Woodside is a frequent guest concertmaster with the Camerata Zürich, Basel Chamber Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra. For many years she held the position of principal second of the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zürich and served prior to that as assistant concertmaster of the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra. She is currently a member of Andras Schiff’s Capella Andrea Barca.

 

Mary Ellen Woodside studied at the Eastman School of Music with Charles Castleman, graduated with highest honors and received the coveted Performer’s Certificate. She won numerous prizes before coming to Europe to continue her studies at the Guildhall School in London with Yfrah Neaman. She was selected as a soloist for Yehudi Menuhins’ “Live Music Now”, won second prize in the Bryan Young Artists Competition and was a finalist in the Washington International and the Kulenkampff Competition in Cologne, Germany. The focal point of further studies were chamber music coachings with mentors including Sándor Végh, András Schiff, György Kurtág, Robert Levin, Alfred Brendel and Ferenc Rados.

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Mary Ellen Woodside, Violin
Edouard Mätzener, Violin
Alessandro D’Amico Viola
Rafael Rosenfeld Cello

Merel Quartet

„An unforgettable interpretation“ writes the Neue Luzerner Zeitung (Lucerne), „The Merel Quartet’s exploration of Schubert’s inner turmoil, how they created a shadowy stillness in pianissimo, was breathtaking.“

 

Commended for their stylistic awareness, maturity of expression and command of form, the Merel Quartet have been captivating audiences since 2002. An exceptionally communicative quartet, the Merels have received unanimous praise: „This young ensemble’s music-making is extraordinarily precise and tonally excedingly well-matched“ writes the Wiener Zeitung (Vienna) and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Zürich) lauded the Merel Quartet for playing „...with utmost expressivity and a subtle sense of form, tone and rhetoric“.

 

The Merel Quartet has performed extensively in Europe in venues like the Wigmore Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Ittingen Whitsun Concerts, Lucerne Festival, Salzburger Festspiele and Kunstfest Weimar. Known for their vivid performances, the quartet has excited audiences in Italy, France, Germany, England, Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

 

The quartet enjoys collaborations with artists like Ruth Ziesak, Juliane Banse, Jörg Widmann, Diemut Poppen, Natalia Gutman, Nobuko Imai, Thomas Demenga, Denes Varjon, and Alfred Brendel. Known for their versatility, the Merels perform an extensive repertoire spanning three centuries from Bach and Purcell through to contemporary masters like Kurtag, Saariaho and Holliger.

 

Frequent live radio performances on Swiss Radio SRF2 and Radio Suisse Romande as well as German Radio SWR2 have brought the Merel Quartet added recognition. The quartet’s debut album including works by Schumann, Janacek and award-winning Swiss composer David Philip Hefti was praised as the „...outstanding CD-Premier of a first-rate quartet“ (Neue Zürich Zeitung am Sonntag).

 

Performances of works by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn on the Merel’s second album also received high acclaim. „Permeated with a feverish intensity, with close attention to detail and exquisitely balanced illumination of the voices“ and „..their sound, agile and transparent, with a wide range of tonal colors, is irresistable“ writes Thomas Bopp of Das Orchester. Cathy Fuller, in her show „New and Notable Releases“ on Boston Public Radio WGBH proclaimed „This is a stunning recording, brimming with life and longing and sustained by an intelligent sense of line. The quartet’s devotion to bringing across each of the two quartets as complete unfolding constructions makes the experience all the more poignant. Gorgeous.“

 

„In an age remarkably rich in string quartets of high quality, the Merel Quartet is, in my opinion, one of the very best.“ Alfred Brendel

 

www.merelquartet.com

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Virpi Räisänen
Mezzo-soprano

Virpi Räisänen

Mezzo-soprano Virpi Räisänen completed her vocal studies at the Utrecht and Amsterdam Conservatoires with the highest distinction under Eugenie Ditewig and Udo Reinemann. Afterwards she has been coached by Margreet Honig. Following her recent career change from a successful violinist to a concert and opera singer, she has appeared on the stages such as the Salzburg Festival, Radio France's Festival Présences, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Musashino Recital Hall in Tokyo, the Helsinki Music Centre, the Staatsoper Berlin, the Netherlands Opera and the Händel Festival Halle, Savonlinna Opera Festival and Finnish National Opera.

 

Virpi Räisänen, who made in 2016 her concert debut in Milano La Scala launched her international career with a debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2009 in Luigi Nono's opera Al gran sole carico d'amore, Ingo Metzmacher conducting Vienna Philharmonic. She was invited back to Salzburg Festival in 2010 for the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm Dionysos, which was presented in Amsterdam and in Staatsoper Berlin in where she also appeared in the revival of Nono's Al gran sole and in the role of Iseut aux Blanches Mains in Frank Martin's Le vin Herbé. She also premiered in the new opera of Uljas Pulkkis Five women in a Chappel in the Helsinki Festival. She has sung the leading roles of Elmira in Händel's Floridante, Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, Muse and Nicklausse in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann, the staged version of Toshio Hosokawa's monodrama The Raven in Finnish National Opera and in The Parmount Theatre Charlottesville, USA. In De Nationale Opera Amsterdam she appeared in the productions of Lulu by Alban Berg and Dialogues des carmélites by Francis Poulenc.

 

She made her Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut in 2011 with Gordan Nickolic leading the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, and since then she has followed a busy schedule as much asked concert singer all over the world. She has sung for example with the Orchestre Philharmonique et le Choeur de Radio France with Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Sakari Oramo and Hannu Lintu, the Helsinki Philharmonic with John Storgårds, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Flemish Radio Choir and Orchestra, Nederlands Philaharmonisch Orkest, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, etc.

In 2012 appeared Virpi Räisänen's debut cd The Lagacy of Mahler and in 2014 cd of Lugiano Berio's works with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra for ONDINE. Both of these cd's have been internationally highly acclaimed. Virpi Räisänen has performed lied repertoire throughout Europe, USA, Hong Kong and Japan.

 

She has established herself as a specialist in contemporary music, having performed dozens of new works, many of them written and dedicated to her. The latest world premieres include vocal acrobatic L'arche by Michel Tabachnick with Insomnia Ensemble, Le miroir courbe by Lotta Wennäkoski with Tapiola Sinfonietta, Earth, daughter of the Spring (in sami language) by Outi Tarkiainen with Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Wayfare Symphony by Uljas Pulkkis with Oulu Sinfonia. The opera Le bonnet de laine by Colin Roche and his string quartet Petites masses des cendres. Kalevi Aho wrote the finale of his 16th Symphony for the voice of Virpi Räisänen, this was premiered also in 2015 with The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. She has also worked with composer Kaija Saariaho and her student Juha T. Koskinen who's new opera Lusia Rusintytär, written for Virpi Räisänen, was premiered in Helsinki Festival 2015. In Tapio Tuomela's new opera Neljän tien risteys (A four-way junction) Virpi sang the role of Maria written for her voice. In 2018 Virpi will premiere in Tapere Opera a new opera by Olli Kortekangs Veljeni vartija.

 

In 2006 she created the project VIULAJA (violin-mezzo) around her ability to sing and play violin simultaneously. Several composers since have collaborated in this project. A film Trasparente in Ilmari Mäenpää's music where Virpi sings and plays violin, was released in 2011. In addition to her singing career, Virpi Räisänen has been since 2012 the Artistic Director of the Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival. Virpi Räisänen has been awarded with TAITAJA-award and Finnish State Artist grant.

 

 

www.virpiraisanen.com

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Dénes Várjon
Piano

Dénes Várjon

His sensational technique, deep musicality, wide range of interest have made Dénes Várjon one of the most exciting and highly regarded participants of international musical life. He is a universal musician: excellent soloist, first-class chamber musician, artistic leader of festivals, highly sought–after piano pedagogue.

 

Widely considered as one of the greatest chamber musicians, he works regularly with pre-eminent partners such as Steven Isserlis, Tabea Zimmermann, Kim Kashkashian, Jörg Widmann, Leonidas Kavakos, András Schiff , Heinz Holliger, Miklós Perényi, Joshua Bell. As a soloist he is a welcome guest at major concert series, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Vienna’s Konzerthaus and London’s Wigmore Hall. He is frequently invited to work with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras (Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Russian National Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields). Among the conductors he has worked with we find Sir Georg Solti, Sándor Végh, Iván Fischer, Ádám Fischer, Heinz Holliger, Horst Stein, Leopold Hager, Zoltán Kocsis. He appears regularly at leading international festivals from Marlboro to Salzburg and Edinburgh.

 

He also performs frequently with his wife Izabella Simon playing four hands and two pianos recitals together. In the past decade they organized and led several chamber music festivals, the most recent one being „kamara.hu” at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. For some years he has been closely cooperating with Alfred Brendel: their Liszt project has been presented in many countries.

 

He has recorded for the Naxos, Capriccio and Hungaroton labels with critical acclaim. Teldec released his CD with Sándor Veress’s “Hommage à Paul Klee” (performed with András Schiff, Heinz Holliger and the Budapest Festival Orchestra). His recording “Hommage à Géza Anda”, (PAN-Classics Switzerland) has received very important international echoes. His solo CD with pieces of Berg, Janáček and Liszt was released in 2012 by ECM. In 2015 he recorded the Schumann piano concerto with the WDR Symphonieorchester and Heinz Holliger, and all five Beethoven piano concertos with Concerto Budapest and András Keller.

 

Dénes Várjon graduated from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in 1991, where his professors included Sándor Falvai, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados. Parallel to his studies he was regular participant at international master classes with András Schiff. Dénes Várjon won first prize at the Piano Competition of Hungarian Radio, at the Leó Weiner Chamber Music Competition in Budapest and at the Géza Anda Competition in Zurich. He is professor at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest and was awarded with the Liszt, Sándor Veress and Bartók-Pásztory Prize. He also works for Henle’s Urtext Editions.

 

www.denesvarjon.com

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Izabella Simon
Piano

Izabella Simon

Izabella Simon, pianist, graduated at Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest as a student of György Kurtág, Ferenc Rados, and Jenő Jandó. Since graduation, she has been a regular participant of the most prestigious international festivals such as the Ittingen Festival led by András Schiff and Heinz Holliger; the Prussia Cove Festival founded by Sándor Végh; the Maribor Festival and the Marlboro Festival (USA) held annually. In recent years, she has performed at the Cheltenham, the Heidelberg and the Hitzacker Festivals, the Schwetzingen Festspiele, the Nelson Chamber Music Festival (New Zealand) as well as the Kempten Chamber Music Festival, playing alongside musical partners such as Heinz Holliger, Steven Isserlis, Miklós Perényi, Christoph Richter, and Radovan Vlatkovic. She attaches particular importance to increasing the popularity of songs, which is underlined by her appearances with Sylvia Sass, Andrea Rost, Ruth Ziesak, and Hanno Müller-Brachmann. As a soloist, she has performed with international ensembles such as the Kremerata Baltica, the Camerata Bern, and the Camerata Zürich, in addition to a number of Hungarian orchestras. She frequently plays piano four hands, and piano duets both in Hungary and abroad with her husband, piano artist Dénes Várjon.

 

She has made records with Dénes Várjon (The Great Fugue), Sylvia Sass performing Liszt and Schubert lieders (Cant Art), and Andrea Rost performing Kodály and Ligeti lieders (Warner). Besides her concerts to be played in Hungary, the next season will feature her at venues including the Beethovenfest (Bonn), the Marlboro Festival (USA), the Pfingstfestival (Brunegg), and the Mahler Festival alongside the Budapest Festival Orchestra (Brugge).

In 2015, she launched a highly popular concert series for children focusing on classical music, guiding children in the world of arts with the help of other genres in the framework of a complex performance.

 

Following her highly successful concert held at 92 Y in New York, she has been invited to the famous Bard College as a guest professor in 2010. In order to promote chamber music, she has come up with the idea of the Night of the Chamber Music, with such distinguished participants as Steven Isserlis or Ferenc Rados.

 

www.izabellasimon.com

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Yura Lee
Violin/Viola

Yura Lee

Violinist/violist Yura Lee is one of the most versatile and compelling artists of today. She is one of the very few in the world that has mastery of both violin and viola, and she actively performs both instruments equally. Her career spans through various musical mediums: both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, captivating audiences with music from baroque to modern, and enjoying a career that spans more than two decades that takes her all over the world.

 

Yura Lee was the only first prize winner awarded across four categories at the 2013 ARD Competition in Germany. She has won top prizes for both violin and viola in numerous other competitions, including first prize and audience prize at the 2006 Leopold Mozart Competition (Germany), first prize at the 2010 UNISA International Competition (South Africa), first prize at the 2013 Yuri Bashmet International Competition (Russia), and top prizes in Indianapolis (USA), Hannover (Germany), Kreisler (Austria), and Paganini (Italy) Competitions.

 

At age 12, Yura Lee became the youngest artist ever to receive the Debut Artist of the Year prize at the "Performance Today" awards given by National Public Radio. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant given by Lincoln Center in New York City. Yura Lee’s CD with Reinhard Goebel and the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, titled ‘Mozart in Paris’ (Oehms Classics) received the prestigious Diapason d’Or Award in France.

 

Yura Lee was nominated and represented by Carnegie Hall for its ECHO (European Concert Hall Organization) series. For this series, she gave recitals at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall and at nine celebrated concert halls in Europe: Wigmore Hall in London, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, Musikverein in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Stockholm Konserthus, Athens Concert Hall, and Cologne Philharmonie.

As a soloist, Yura Lee has appeared with many major orchestras, including New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, to name a few. She has performed with conductors Christophe Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, Myung-Whun Chung, Mikhail Pletnev, among many others.

As a chamber musician, Yura Lee regularly takes part in the Marlboro Festival, Salzburg Festival, Verbier Festival, La Jolla SummerFest, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, Caramoor Festival, Kronberg Festival, Aspen Music Festival, among many others. She has collaborated with many artists including Gidon Kremer, Andras Schiff, Leonidas Kavakos, Mitsuko Uchida, Miklós Perényi, Yuri Bashmet, Menahem Pressler, and Frans Helmerson. Yura Lee is currently a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (New York City), and Boston Chamber Music Society.

Yura Lee studied at the Juilliard School (New York City), New England Conservatory (Boston), Salzburg Mozarteum (Austria), and Kronberg Academy (Germany). Her main teachers were Namyun Kim, Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Thomas Riebl, Ana Chumachenko, and Nobuko Imai. She teaches both violin and viola at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Yura Lee lives in Portland, Oregon.

 

www.yuralee.com

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Reto Bieri
Clarinet

Reto Bieri

Reto Bieri was born in Zug, Switzerland, and grew up under the influence of Swiss folk music, before going on to study at New York’s Juilliard School. Besides the standard repertoire for his own instrument, he is especially interested in contemporary music and cooperation with contemporary composers forms an important part of his work: almost all of the pieces heard here were developed in collaboration with the composers. The result is a really outstanding album of new clarinet music which will be a reference work for players and listeners alike. Repertoire includes Luciano Berio’s “Lied”, Heinz Holliger’s “Contrechant” and “Rechant”, Elliott Carter’s “Gra”, Salvatore Sciarrino’s “Let me die before I wake”, Péter Eötvös’s “Derwischtanz”, and Gergely Vajda’s “Lightshadow-trembling”.

 

 

 

 

www.retobieri.ch

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Christian Sutter
Recitation/Double bass

Christian Sutter

"... Der Ältere, der soviel Haar hat wie die andern zusammen, kein fallendes oder lockiges Haar, sondern das schwarze Kruselhaar eines Abessiniers, Brillenträger, lernt Kontrabass am Konservatorium. In einem Sinfonie-Orchester unterzugehen auf Lebenszeit hat er nicht vor, Musik ist Provokation. Ich entkorke und verstehe ..." Max Frisch, Tagebuch 1966-1971

 

Das Haar des besagten Musikers, es ist Christian Sutter, geboren 1951 in Basel, verheiratet, zweifacher Vater und vierfacher Großvater, seit über vierzig Jahren begeisterter Orchester- und Kammermusiker, hat sich in der Zwischenzeit gelichtet, und entgegen den damaligen Absichten hat dieser dann doch 35 Jahre als Solokontrabassist im Sinfonieorchester Basel gedient. Dass er aber darin untergegangen wäre - nein, das lässt sich nicht behaupten. Nebst seiner weitverzweigten Tätigkeit als Orchestermusiker, Gründungsmitglied der Cappella Andrea Barca, Kammermusikpartner von Heinz Holliger, András Schiff, dem Merel Quartett, dem Panocha Quartett u. a. gestaltet der "Poet am Kontrabass" auch die literarischen Kammerkonzerte "Schwarz auf Weiss" in der Basler Papiermühle und es verbindet ihn eine enge Zusammenarbeit mit György Kurtág, der mehrere Stücke für Kontrabass solo für Christian Sutter geschrieben hat.

 

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Moritz Huemer
Cello
Young Festival Artist

Moritz Huemer

Moritz Huemer was born in Feldkirch (Austria) in 1999, and lives in Liechtenstein. He started playing the cello at the age of five, studying with Josef Hofer at the music school in Liechtenstein. Since September 2015 he has been studying with Rafael Rosenfeld at the Precollege division of the Musikakadmie in Basel. He has attended masterclasses with Wolfgang Boettcher, Christoph Wyneken und Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. In addition he received a scholarship to attend the Intensive Music Weeks of the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein.

 

Between 2008 and 2017 he won several 1st prizes at the national level of the Austrian young musicians’ competition “Prima la Musica” and the Swiss “Schweizerischen Jugendmusikwettbewerb”, also winning the ESTA and EMCY special prizes. In spring 2009, Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein presented him with the “Podium Prize” “for the astonishingly virtuosic mastery of his instrument and the exploration of its sound possibilities”. In March 2012, he participated in the European Lions Music Competition for Cello in Lucerne, and won a special prize for exceptional achievement at his age.

 

Moritz Huemer has performed as a soloist with orchestra on a number of occasions, including with the Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra, the “Collegium Musicum Ostschweiz” from St. Gallen or the “Orchesterverein Liechtenstein-Werdenberg”. In addition to his solo performances, he also has orchestral experience, for example with the Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra. He is an active chamber musician, playing in various different formations, such as in the Trio Millennium or as part of a trio for the EMCY Young Hearts for Music Tour. He has been invited to play at the “Festival Next Generation” Bad Ragaz in Switzerland, and is a member of the “Ensemble Esperanza”, which is made up of scholarship holders from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein.

 

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Edouard Mätzener
Violin

Edouard Mätzener

"With his bright musical intelligence Edouard has developed a great technique and musical maturity, proving to be an attractive performer received with great enthusiasm from national and international audiences." - Maestro Howard Griffiths

 

In his concerts, Edouard Maetzener is determined to reach out, present and perform for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, using his endless curiosity and training from among the best mentors and Schools of Music in the world.

 

The Swiss-French violinist gave his solo debut at age 12 at the Casino Basel with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra under Howard Griffiths, further concerts include performances with the Basel Chamber Orchester (Ariel Zuckermann), Camerata Zurich (Florian Ludwig), and Basel Symphony Orchestra (Lorenzo Viotti). Furthermore, his appearances brought him to renowned venues in Switzerland, Germany, France, Holland, Israel, Brazil, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

 

The current Soloist of the Migros Cultural Percentage is a recipient of numerous prizes and awards such as the 1st prize at the Baden Cultural Found Competition 2012 and special prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work, 2nd prize at the International Henri Marteau Competition in 2011, Migros Scholarship in 2011 & 2012 and 1st prize at the Swiss competition for Young Musicians in 2002 & 2006, where he also became Soloist of the Burkhalter Foundation. As a chamber musician, he is laureate of the 2015 Orpheus Competition.

 

Various masterclasses and festivals around the world have led to both solo and chamber music appearances and inspirational encounters with Ana Chumachenco, Vadim Gluzman, Werner Bärtschi, Boris Kushnir, Mikhail Kopelman, Jörg-Wolfgang Jahn, Ida Haendel, Ivry Gitlis and members of the Tokyo String Quartet.

 

Edouard has regularly performed and toured in numerous chamber music groups, both as a violinist and violist. He is a sought-after player especially in Piano Trios and ensembles such as the 'Sejong Soloists' or 'camerata armonia'. In addition to his love for chamber music he has a great passion for Klezmer and appears as a founding member of the Klezmer Band 'Cheibe Balagan'.

Born in Zurich in 1989, Edouard was invited at age 10 by Maestro Tibor Varga to study with him. In 2004 he became student of Prof. Josef Rissin, with whom he obtained Bachelor degrees with distinction both in pedagogic and performance at the University of Music Karlsruhe. In 2014, Edouard holds a Master of Performance degree from Yale University, where he graduated under the guidance of Prof. Hyo Kang. He completed his studies at the Musikhochschule Basel with a Master of Spezialized Performance, as a student of Prof. Barbara Doll.

 

www.edouardmaetzener.com

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Alessandro D'Amico
Viola

Alessandro D'Amico

Alessandro D’Amico was born in 1986 in Caracas and began music lessons in 1997 at the local Music School Montalban. From 2002 to 2009 he was a member of the internationally acclaimed „Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra“ and had the opportunity to work with great conductors like Giuseppe Sinopoli, Claudio Abbado, Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Heinrich Schiff and Sir Simon Rattle.

 

Beginning in 2002 Mr. D’Amico began studying with Gerard Caussè and Rainer Schmidt at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid, with Peter Langgartner at the Mozarteum in Salzburg before joining the exclusive „Graduate Course for String Quartets“ in Basel under Walter Levin and Günter Pichler. He is currently in the class of Silvia Simionescu in Basel.

 

At the Gaetano Zinetti Chamber Music Competition in 2008, Alessandro D’Amico received an „Honorable Mention“. In addition he has played in masterclasses for musicians such as Nobuko Imai, Veronika Hagen, Atar Arad, Wolfram Christ, Gerard Causse, Ralph Gothoni, Rudolf Barshai, Ferenc Rados and Benjamin Zander.

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Felix Renggli
Flute

Felix Renggli

Felix Renggli was born in Basel/Switzerland and studied the flute with Gerhard Hildenbrand, Peter-Lukas Graf and Aurèle Nicolet. He gave up his chair as a solo flautist with the Symphony Orchestra of St. Gallen, to start a freelance career in the same position with several orchestras in Europe (Tonhalle Zürich, Festival Orchestra Lucerne, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe) and perform as soloist at several international festivals as in Paris, Bourges, Lucerne, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Lockenhaus etc. Working and playing regularly together with oboist, composer and conductor Heinz Holliger has deeply marked his musical career.

 

He tours as soloist and member of different chamber music groups, such as for example the "Ensemble Contrechamps"/Geneva (music of the 20th century), the "Holliger-woodwind-quintet", "Nova Stravaganza/Köln" (on baroque instruments), etc..., in Europe, Japan, China, Korea, Southamerica and USA, playing in prestigious halls like Merkin Hall/New York (Solorecital), Opera Bastille/Paris, Beethoven Hall/Tokio, Alte Oper/Frankfurt, etc.

 

Felix Renggli has been awarded prizes at various international music competitions. He has recorded for the radio in different countries and appears on a growing number of compact discs, with the Ensemble Contrechamps, Heinz Holliger, the Arditti-quartett, the pianist Jan Schultzs and others. (Philips, Koch International, Accord, Stradivarius, Discover)

 

Renggli teaches a professional flute class at the Music Academy of Basel, having been nominated for this place as successor of P.-L. Graf., and gives regularly masterclasses in Europe (Int. Summercourses Montepulciano/Italy, Masterclasses Goslar/Germany), Japan (Int.summer academy of Musashino Music University Tokio) Australia and Southamerica (Argentina, Brasil ).

 

His repertoire includes a wide range of music: from the 18th century, played on historical instruments (Nova Stravaganza/Köln), up to the avant garde of our time, having played first performances from many solo-and chamber-music works. (also with „Ensemble Contrechamps/Geneva). Since 1999 he is artistic director of the new released concert serie in Switzerland, „Swiss Chamber Concerts".

 

In 2004 he has been nominated profesor at the "Music University of Freiburg i. Br.", Germany.

 

www.felixrenggli.com

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Sarah O'Brien
Harp

Sarah O'Brien

“Sarah O’Brien lets the harp sing”
(NH Dagblaad )

 

Sarah O’Brien is an extraordinarily versatile harpist who proves that the harp is no longer to be confined to a narrow Romantic frame but has a voice of its own, from baroque to contemporary literature.

 

Sarah O’Brien has been principal harpist with the royal Concertgebouw orchestra Amsterdam and the Munich philharmonic for over 20 years. In 2014 she decided to concentrate her work on her teaching and devoting more time to her students, she is professor of harp at the University of arts Zurich and the University of Music, Basel. Her students are prizewinners of int. competitions and winners to orchestra positions.

 

Before her positions in Switzerland, Sarah O’Brien was professor at the Mozarteum Salzburg and the Music Hogeschool in Rotterdam, next to her work in the orchestra. She has taught as guestprofessor to the Music Universities of Munich and Amsterdam, the Sibelius Academy Helsinki, the Juillard school New York, and the summerclasses in Montepulciano, Italy. She is member of Jurys for Int. Competitions and orchestra auditions.

 

Sarah O’Brien studied at the conservatoire de Musique de Genève with Catherine Eisenhoffer and concluded her studies wit a premier prix de virtuosité in 1991. Further studies with Pierre Jamet, Paris and Susann McDonald, Indiana University, school of music, Bloomington, USA.

She was prizewinner of the Concours d’execution musicale (CIEM) Geneva in 1997. 1991-1994 winner of the study grant of the Ernst Goehner Stiftung Zurich.

Her position as principal harpist to two of the worlds most reknown orchestras, has led her on tours through Europe, Asia as well as USA. Concerts the most famous halls worldwide. To work with such conductors as Zubin Metha, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Christian Thielemann, James Levine, Lorin Mazel and many many others, is and has been very enriching.

 

www.sarahobrien.net

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Luca Borioli
Percussion

Luca Borioli

Luca Borioli was born 1980 in Bellinzona (CH). He studied classical percussion in Zurich and Trossingen (D) with Prof. H. Hofmann and F. Lang. During his studies he won several prizes such as the Friedl-Wald Stiftung (twice) and the Ninck Prize 2004.

 

Since 2004 Luca Borioli has taught at the Music Conservatory Zürich and was a teacher for percussion as a secondary instrument at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) until 2015. He plays in various orchestras as an extra player, for instance with Philharmonia Zürich, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Sinfonieorchester St.Gallen and Kammerorchester Basel. He is member of the percussion quartet „Metric Art Ensemble“. In 2018 he initiated the concert-performance series „Visual Percussion“ that will be continued 2019.

 

www.lucaborioli.ch

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Hitomi Niikura
Cello

Hitomi Niikura

 

Hitomi Niikura is a sought-after soloist and enthusiastic chamber musician, regularly performing in international venues in Japan and Switzerland. As an artist for EMI Music Japan she has released three Albums, her latest Album with Elgar’s Cello Concerto appeared with Sony Music Direct.

Recent Solo appearances include concerts with the Japan Century Orchestra and Kammerorchester Basel, previously Hitomi has concertized with the Tokyo Symphony, Tokyo City, Centrail Aichi Symphony, Kansai Philharmonic and Bangkok Symphony Orchestras. Since 2014 Hitomi plays as assistant principal cellist of Camerata Zurich and appears with the Klezmer Band ‘Cheibe Balagan’ for which she has organized two Japan tours. Amongst her wide audience is also the Japanese imperial couple for which she has performed at the imperial palace.

Until the end of 2018 Hitomi will be one of the artists performing at Stradivari Festival Tokyo, where she will appear with the ‘Bonamy Debree - Suggia’ Stradivari Cello loaned to her by the Habisreutinger Stiftung. Furthermore, she will perform several solo pieces in a concert featuring the award-winning composer Dai Fujikura.

Hitomi has been traveling ever since her childhood. Born in Tokyo, she has lived in San Francisco, had her first cello lessons in Düsseldorf and played her first concerts in Tokyo and graduated from Musikhochschule Basel where she graduated with highest degrees. She now lives between Zurich and Tokyo.

 

www.hitominiikura.com

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