Few musicians epitomize the term “exceptional artist” better than pianist Kit Armstrong. Born in 1992 in Los Angeles, he has appeared as a pianist in the world’s most prestigious concert halls and is a regular guest at the Vienna Musikverein, the Wigmore Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin’s Philharmonie, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, and Brussels’ BOZAR. Armstrong collaborates with many of the world’s most sought-after conductors, including Christian Thielemann, Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Chailly, Kent Nagano, Manfred Honeck and Esa-Pekka Salonen. He has appeared with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Kit Armstrong started composing at the age of five and has established himself as a one of the most respected composer of his generation. He has received commissions from major institutions, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Musikkollegium Winterthur and the Schubertiade Hohenems.
The Azahar Ensemble is a woodwind quintet founded by the National Youth Orchestra of Spain in 2010. The ensemble has been awarded several prizes, including first prize in the woodwind quintet category at the renowned ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 2014. Since then, the quintet has performed at numerous concert venues and festivals throughout Europe. All five instrumentalists collaborate regularly with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The Spanish quintet has already played at Berlin Philharmonie, in Cologne, at Vienna Musikverein, Salzburg Mozarteum, as well as in Baden-Baden, Philharmonie in Essen and at the Rheingau Festival, the Mozartfest Wuerzburg and in Canada. Forthcoming performances will take this outstanding group to Hanover and the Munich region, to Innsbruck, Switzerland and France. Azahar, derived from the Arabic az-zahr, is the name of the white, aromatically frangrant blossoms of citrus and in particular orange trees.
Mgr. art. Wolfgang-Michael Bauer, born 1986 in Baden near Vienna, first studied sound engineering at the SAE Vienna. This was followed by composition studies at the Joseph Haydn Conservatory in Eisenstadt (2009-2016) with Prof. Tibor Nemeth, ArtD. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava (Prof. Vladimir Bokes, Prof. Jevgenij Iršai, ArtD.) he was able to deepen his knowledge of composition. Numerous performances at the Joseph Haydn Conservatory (e.g. on the occasion of his 40th anniversary as part of a ceremony, 2011), participation in Erasmus projects (Haydn – the Progressive, Eisenstadt; Opus Erasmus, Frankreich) as well as in the Art Symposium of the EU-Art-Network in the Cselley Mill (Oslip 2012) complete his activities as a composer. Wolfgang-Michael Bauer was a guest on the Ö1 programme “Zeit-Ton” on 21 May 2013 and 14 May 2016. He was awarded the Theodor-Kery-Prize in 2013 and is also a member of the Swiss artist’s initiative “another morning”. Since autumn 2017 he has been a lecturer at the Joseph Haydn Conservatory, where he has taught composition, composition practical and morphology.
Stefano Bet is one of the most innovative Italian flutists of his generation, specialising in baroque, classic and Renaissance traversos and recorders. He was born in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy). He taught himself about historic instruments, before attending courses with the best specialists, among others Kuijken Brothers and Harnoncourt in Padova, Rome, Antwerp, Netherlands, Basel and Salzburg. Stefano made his debut in 1983 at Festival Vivaldi Venezia, then participated as a soloist in in chamber ensembles and in orchestras at many international festivals, including Accademia di Santa Cecilia Roma, Teatro alla Scala Milano, Mozarteum Salzburg, Musikverein Wien, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and festivals in America and Asia. Stefano has collaborated with Diego Fasolis & I Barocchisti, Andrea Marcon, Alain Curtis, Philippe Jaroussky, Giuliano Carmignola, Sergio Azzolini and others. He has recorded for RTSI and many other radio and TV stations and record companies. Stefano is a dedicated teacher, is involved in musicological and organologic research and has given courses and masterclasses for musicians from many countries around the world.
At the young age of 16, Christian Bolt, who was born in Uster in 1972, applied to the Schule für Holzbildhauerei (college of wood carving) in Brienz. The initial skepticism of the school administrator concerning the very young age of this motivated candidate quickly dissipated when confronted with the obvious talent and determination of the young man to pursue an artistic career. About four years later, Bolt successfully completed his studies at the wood carving college in Brienz. Following this, he travelled and stayed abroad in Germany and in the USA. Back in Europe, the young sculptor moved to Italy, where he studied the technique and materials of sculpting as well as art history and anatomy at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara with professor Ballocchi until 1999. His studies of Classicism and in particular Renaissance human-
ism eventually led him to Florence. As a student of well-known professor Antonio di Tommaso, who was the assistant of Marino Marini at that time, Bolt continued his studies in sculpture at Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence from 1999 to 2001, where he successfully completed a Masters Degree in Fine Arts. After completing his studies in Italy, Bolt dedicated himself to sculpture, drawing and painting. He displays his work in various individual and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad. In 2014, Christian Bolt became the first Swiss sculptor to be awarded the title of professor at Europe’s oldest art academy Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence.
The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is one of the world’s leading orchestras, captivating audiences everywhere. The Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi has been the orchestra’s Artistic Director since 2004. One of the highlights of the collaboration with Järvi has been the worldwide acclaimed Beethoven Project. Following that, orchestra and conductor focused on Robert Schumann. The latest project is the German composer Johannes Brahms. In the meantime, all four symphonies have appeared on three CDs and have already been awarded with an Opus Klassik. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen has received numerous prestigious awards not only for its recordings and a unique educational collaboration with the Bremen East Comprehensive School, “Future Lab/Zukunftslabor”, but also for its successful combination of entrepreneurship and culture. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, which has a close partnership with the Elbphilharmonie, will be the first “Orchestra in Residence” at the Rheingau Musik Festival in 2019.
Fiorenza De Donatis
Fiorenza De Donatis started her violin studies with Sister Clara Lainati and continued with Tamas Major. She followed masterclasses with T. Varga in Sion, S. Ashkenasi in Salzburg and M. Comberti in London. In 1997, she received her diploma from the Conservatory of Italian Switzerland with top marks under the guidance of Carlo Chiarappa. As a result of musical stimuli she received in her final years at the conserva-
tory she decided to move to the Netherlands and study at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam in the period instrument class run by of Lucy van Dael. She finished her studies in June 2001 with the soloist diploma “cum laude”. In 1997 she joined the European Union Baroque Orchestra and since then she has worked exclusively with the baroque violin, performing with Accademia Bizantina, Kammerorchester Basel, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Zefiro, Concerto Köln, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, Mozart Akademie, Europa Galante and Ars Musica Zürich. She is first violin of the ensemble I Barocchisti conducted by Diego Fasolis. Her violin is a 1749 Carlo Antonio Testore.
Internationally recognised as one of the most remarkable musicians in the field of historically authentic performance, Diego Fasolis combines stylistic accuracy with versatility and virtuosity. He studied in Zurich, Paris and Cremona, obtaining four diplomas with distinction and started his career as a concert organist. Since 1998 he has directed I Barocchisti, a baroque ensemble which performs using historical instruments. He works as a conductor with prestigious orchestras and extraordinary vocalists with worldwide reputations. He has worked with the mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli on numerous projects, recordings and tours. Since 2012 he has regularly performed at the Salzburg Festival. In 2016, La Scala entrusted him with the task of creating an orchestra using historical instruments and conducting performances of Handel: “the Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno” and “Tamerlano” with Plácido Domingo. Again in 2016, he carried on the heritage of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony three times at the Musikverein Wien. His discography includes more than 120 titles and has been awarded numerous gold records, in addition to the Grand prix du Disque, ECHO KLASSIK and several nominations for the Grammy Awards. He has also been nominated as one of the six finalists for the International Opera Awards in the section for conductors.
The ensemble “I Barocchisti” was founded in 1993 by Maestro Diego Fasolis in Switzerland. It is a cultural and musical association whose aim is to foster the study, performance and interpretation of the baroque repertoires repertoire played on historical instruments. Virtuosity, rhythm, stylistic accuracy and a strong expressiveness characterize musical performances, that are often defined as “Latin”. This unique style has been appreciated since the very first appearance of the ensemble in the ’90s. I Barocchisti performs in prestigious theatres and concert halls such as the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Lincoln Center in New York and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The collaboration of remarkable musicians and an inspired conductor make I Barocchisti unique in their authenticity and explains why this is considered one of the best baroque ensembles of the world. Maurice Steger, Max Emanuel Cencic, Philippe Jaroussky, Cecilia Bartoli e Julia Lezhneva are just a few of the famous artists who have collaborated with I Barocchisti. The ensemble’s prolific output on Decca, Harmonia Mundi and Erato e Naïve has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Diapason d’Or, the Midem, the Grand Prix du Disque e de l’Audiovisuel, the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the ECHO KLASSIK, the “International Classical Music Awards” and several nominations to the Grammy Awards.
Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a uniquely varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster. He appears with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic and the Zurich Tonhalle orchestras. As a chamber musician, he has curated concert series for many prestigious venues, including the Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd St Y and the Salzburg Festival. He has a strong interest in historical performance, working with many period-instrument orchestras and giving recitals with harpsichord and fortepiano. He is also a keen exponent of contemporary music and has premiered many new works, including John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil, Thomas Adès’s Lieux retrouvés, and Gyorgy Kurtag’s For Steven. Steven Isserlis’s many honours include a CBE in recognition of his services to music, the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau, and the Piatigorsky Prize in the USA.
The musical universe is infinite and the galaxy of best-loved composers alone contains thousands of musical suns. Stylistically, though, these are often light-years apart musically. The Janoska Ensemble has set out to span intergalactic distance with its unique synthesis of musical worlds and its venture has won it an enthusiastic international public in a remarkably short time. The four young progenitors of this art – each with a superb classical training – have combined their individual musical skills to perfection: Ondrej, František and Roman Janoska (three brothers from Bratislava) and their brother-in-law Julius Darvas (born and bred in Constance) have already celebrated success in four continents. The Janoska Ensemble has achieved the feat, in the competitive jungle of today’s music scene, of forging their specific style into their own brand and thus into a genre concept, namely their “Janoska Style”, transposing familiar references from classic to pop into an audibly related and yet quite new entity. Moreover, each of their precision-tuned arrangements invariably carries the hallmark of the ensemble’s abounding musical invention, the Janoska thumbprint. This thumbprint – characterised by an amazing range of expression, from moving to thrilling – naturally shows up in the ensemble members’ own compositions. The “Janoska Style” possesses the rare ability to enthuse dedicated followers of completely different genres. Its vast reserves of positive energy electrify the audience after just a few bars; by the time they have embarked on their spontaneous virtuoso improvisations, the four great artists have stirred even the most reticent listeners from their seats. The Janoska Ensemble’s debut album “Janoska Style” was released on the prestigious classical music label Deutsche Grammophon in 2016 and went gold within a year.
The pianist Judith Jáuregui has her own unique approach to her instrument. The Spanish magazine Scherzo sees an “extraordinary, natural energy” in her playing and recognizes an artiste whose “temperament, freshness and devotion pave the way to a great future”. With her repertoire, Jáuregui spans over three centuries of musical history – with a focus on the Viennese classics, the musical relationship between Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, the entire works of Debussy and compositions by female composers. Born in San Sebastián in Northern Spain, Judith Jáuregui grew up with her Basque mother and her Mexican father, who was born in France, in a multicultural environment. After her recital debut at the age of 11 and initial studies in San Sebastián, she moved to Munich, in order to continue her studies with the famous Russian pianist Vadim Suchanov at the Richard Strauss Conservatory. In spring 2019, her fifth album “Pour le tombeau by Claude Debussy – Live from Vienna” (ARS Produktion label) was released. Judith Jáuregui plays a Bösendorfer piano.
La Cetra Barockorchester Basel
Since it was founded in 1999 by Dr. Peter Reidemeister, La Cetra has risen rapidly to become one of the internationally leading orchestras of Early Music. La Cetra owes its dynamic development especially to Andrea Marcon, who has been the Artistic Director of the orchestra since 2009. Marcon has won numerous prizes as a harpsichordist and organist, is a sought-after expert for Italian Early Music, and works as a guest conductor with many reputable orchestras. The credo of La Cetra is a scientific approach to the music, the historic instruments, historical performance practice and the historical environment of the played pieces. La Cetra was rewarded for this approach with the the Europäische Kulturpreis für Alte Musik. Since 2011 there have been numerous CD releases. The two latest recordings, both highly praised by the critics, were “Mr Handel’s Dinner” with Maurice Steger and harmonia mundi and Leclair’s Concertos for Violin with Leila Schayegh and Glossa Music.
Adam Laloum received international recognition by winning 1st Prize at the prestigious Clara Haskil Piano Competition. He then joined the class of Evgeni Koroliov in Hamburg, who himself won 1st Prize at the Clara Haskil in 1977. Adam performs with orchestras such as the Orchestre de Paris, the Belgium National Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Sir Roger Norrington, the Verbier Festival Orchestra and the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse. Born in 1987, Adam started playing the piano at the age of ten and studied music at the Toulouse Conservatory, before starting at the Paris National Conservatoire in 2002 in the class of Michel Béroff. During his scholarship, Adam met and attended master classes give by such personalities as Dmitri Bashkirov and Paul Badura-Skoda. As a superb chamber music partner, Adam Laloum founded the piano trio Trio les Esprits with Victor Julien-Laferrière and Mi-sa Yang.
The Paris-based Quatuor Modigliani, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this season, can look back on an impressive career. They are one of the most sought-after quartets of their generation, and perform in prestigious concert halls worldwide. An exceptional honour for them was to be the first string quartet to be able to perform at the famous Elbphilharmonie. In the current and upcoming season they will be touring extensively throughout North and South America, Japan and most of Europe. Highlights include the Wigmore Hall in London, the Paris Auditorium du Musée du Louvre, The Morgan Library & Museum in New York, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Brussel Flagey, the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, the Munich Prinzregententheater and Tokyo’s Oji Hall. In 2014, the Modigliani Quartet became Artistic Directors of the Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, a festival created in 1976 by Antoine Riboud and made famous by its former legendary artistic director Mstislav Rostropovich, after a pause of thirteen years. The joint efforts of the Evian Resort and the Modigliani Quartet achieved immediate success and the festival is now once again rated as one of the major and most publicised summer musical festival events in Europe. Thanks to the generosity and support of private sponsors, the Modigliani Quartet performs with four exceptionally rare Italian instruments.
Ludwig Müller studied at the music academies in Graz and Vienna with Valery Gradow, Klaus Eichholz, Günther Pichler and Ernst Kovacic. He received his diploma in violin performance with unanimous distinction. He is guest concertmaster with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the OBC Barcelona, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and the Orquestra Gulbenkian. He has been concertmaster of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra since 1986 and of the Orquestra de Cadaqués since 1992. In this capacity he performed with conductors such as Rudolf Barschai, Ivor Bolton, Adam Fischer, Thomas Hengelbrock, Sir Neville Marriner, Gianandrea Noseda, Vasily Petrenko, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and many others. As a soloist and artistic director he has performed in renowned concert cycles in Vienna, Salzburg, Berlin, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Carnegie Hall elsewhere, and has recorded numerous works for radio and CD. From 1988 to 1998, Ludwig Müller performed concerts throughout Europe, Israel, Japan and the USA as a member of the Arcus Ensemble Vienna and performed his own subscription cycle at the Vienna Konzerthaus. On the occasion of the opening of the Arnold Schönberg Center Vienna, Ludwig Müller founded the Aron Quartet Vienna in 1998. He is a founding member of the Korngold Ensemble Vienna.
Othmar Müller studied in Vienna and the US. As founding member of the Artis Quartet, he appears regularly in important centres of music around the world and has played an annual series of concerts at the Musikverein in Vienna since 1988. The quartet has recorded more than 40 CDs, many which have received prestigious awards such as the “Grand Prix du Disque”, the “Prix Caecilia”, the “Diapason d’Or”, the “Wiener Flötenuhr”, the “ECHO KLASSIK” and the “MIDEM Award”. Othmar Müller was professor of chamber music at the University of Graz, currently he teaches cello at the Joseph Haydn Conservatory Eisenstadt. Master classes in the USA, Hong Kong, Austria and at the Casals Festival in Prades are an equally important part of his work. Othmar Müller plays a violoncello by Andrea Amati, Cremona (1573) from the collection of the Austrian National Bank.
“Gifted, inventive thirty-year-old” (Le Temps), “one of the most brilliant organists of his generation” (Revue musicale de Suisse romande), “an immensely talented performer” (Diapason), Benjamin Righetti is a Swiss musician, titular organist at St-François and professor at the University of Music, Lausanne (HEMU). Born in Switzerland in 1982, Benjamin Righetti studied piano in the class of Jean-François Antonioli and organ with Yves Rechsteiner, François Delor, Jean Boyer, Jan Willem Jansen, Michel Bouvard and Philippe Lefebvre. He was the laureate of the most prestigious international competitions, from 2002 to 2007: Swiss Organ Competition, Musica Antiqua of Bruges, public prize at Chartres, Grand Prix d’orgue of the City of Paris and others. Several of the 600+ concerts he has given to date have been unforgettable: in Notre-Dame de Paris on his 25th birthday, at the Toulouse les Orgues Festival on several occasions, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, during the Bachfest closing concert at the Dom of Freiberg and at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. On the recording side, he has released four CDs, all of which are currently available from Claves Records. His releases have all been highly acclaimed by international critics, both for their originality and for the mastery of their production. Benjamin Righetti is also engaged in research, and regularly writes articles for the website orgue.art and the magazine La Tribune de l’Orgue.
The pianist Alexander Rössler, grandson of the pianist and composer Richard Rössler (1880-1962), studied under Jürgen Uhde, Karl-Heinz Diehl and Roland Keller in Stuttgart, Munich and Lübeck, where he finished his Concert Diploma with distinction. Also crucial to his artistic development were his studies with Maria Tipo in Florence, and an intense collaboration with the Russian pianist Stanislav Neuhaus. His international concert career started in 1973. His wide solo repertoire includes the complete oeuvres of Brahms and Janáček (and the complete piano chamber music by Beethoven and Brahms) as well as a special focus on pieces of the Viennese Classic, by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann as well as Scriabin, Szymanowski and Prokofiev. In 1982, he received the “Szymanowski Memorial Medal” of the Republic of Poland for his piano recitals dedicated to the composer. Many radio recordings chronicle his other artistic endeavours, which include works by Clementi, Chopin, Brahms and Szymanowski. In addition there are CD recordings documenting him playing compositions by Schumann, Schubert, Brahms, Janáček and R.Rössler. Alexander Rössler has an intense engagement with the fortepiano, but he is also skilled at blues, rock and free improvisations, thus showing an impressive versatility. Since 1987, Alexander Rössler has been Professor of Piano at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. He gives international master classes to pianists in Europe, Korea, Japan and China.
Antonia graduated in violin studies with Christian Altenburger and Marianne Piketty, as well as recorder studies with Michal Posch and Hans Maria Kneihs. She is currently studying chamber music with Johannes Meissl and Peter Schuhmayer. She performs regularly at concerts in Austria and France and performs with various orchestras, includign the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, Orchestre de Pays de Savoie and the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Saint-Étienne. In 2018, she received the Adami Scholarship and was honoured with a distinction as a Laureate of Mécénat Musical Société Générale.
Sir András Schiff
Sir András Schiff was born in Budapest in 1953. He received his first piano lesson at the age of five from Elisabeth Vadász. Later he continued his studies at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest with Prof. Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados and with George Malcolm in London. A large part of his work is piano recitals, and in particular the cyclic performances of piano works by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann and Bartók. In 1999, he founded his own chamber orchestra, the “Cappella Andrea Barca”, with which he works closely as conductor and soloist, as well as working with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Sir András Schiff has been awarded several international prizes. In June 2006, he was honoured for his extraordinary rank as Beethoven interpreter by being elected honorary member of the Beethoven House in Bonn. In September 2008, Sir András Schiff received the Wigmore Hall medal for his 30 years of musical work there. Sir András Schiff has also been awarded the Robert Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau (2011). In January 2012, the artist was awarded the Golden Mozart Medal of the International Mozarteum Foundation. The following June he was awarded the “Order pour le mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste” (Order of Merit for Science and Art). In the same year he was appointed honorary member of the Vienna Konzerthaus and “Special Supernumerary Fellow of Balliol College” (Oxford, UK). Sir András Schiff was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2012. In December 2013 in London, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal for his outstanding musical work, the highest award of this society. In July 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Leeds and in March 2018 by His Royal Highness Prince Charles as President of the Royal College of Music. In the spring of 2011, Sir András Schiff caused a sensation when he publicly spoke out against the alarming political developments in Hungary. Due to the sometimes insulting attacks he was subjected to by Hungarian nationalists, Sir András Schiff came to the conclusion that he should no longer give concerts in his home country. In June 2014, Queen Elizabeth II ennobled him for his services to music. In March 2017, his book “Musik kommt aus der Stille” (Music comes from silence) was published by Bärenreiter und Henschel-Verlag with essays and conversations with Martin Meyer.
The Canadian pianist, Connie Shih is considered to be one of Canada’s most outstanding artists. At the age of nine, she made her orchestral debut playing Mendelssohn’s first Piano Concerto with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 12, she was the youngest ever protégé of Gyorgy Sebok at Indiana University and then continued her studies at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia with Claude Frank. Later studies were undertaken with Fou Tsong in Europe. As a soloist, she has appeared extensively with orchestras throughout Canada, the USA and Europe. Besides chamber music appearances at the Wigmore and Carnegie Halls, she has performed at the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Weill Hall (N.Y.), and at the Kronberg Festival. Her collaborations have included Maxim Vengerov, Tabea Zimmerman and Isabelle Faust. In 2018 and 2019, Connie will tour Asia and America with Steven Isserlis. With the cellist Manuel Fischer-Dieskau she recorded the first-ever CD of the Sonatas for piano and cello by Carl Reinecke and the complete Beethoven cello sonatas. In 2018, she released a CD with Steven Isserlis on the BIS label.
Ian has toured and recorded extensively as a lead trumpet player with numerous local South African ensembles and international artists (Shirley Bassey, Liberace, Pavarotti and more recently at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival with trumpet master James Morrisson). He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows at most major venues throughout the country. In 1990, he joined SACS as a music teacher and achieved great success with the band programme with overseas tours to Scandinavia and Europe, returning with numerous awards. During this period he continued to pursue his interest in jazz with the formation of his own quartet VJR, which also received high acclaim for its recordings and performance both locally and abroad. He has achieved success as a jazz performer with his own and many local ensembles such as “Concert Boulevard”, “Pound Seats”, “MJ9”, “The Tony Schilder Quartet” and “Inside Out”.
Maurice Steger has been called the “Paganini of the Recorder” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and The Independent celebrates him as “the world’s leading recorder superstar”. With his worldwide concert activity as well as numerous award-
winning CD recordings, he has established himself as one of the most distinguished recorder players, conductors and music educators in the field of early music. Thanks to his lively style, his intense tone, and an astounding technique, the charismatic musician has succeeded in repositioning the recorder as an instrument, an achievement confirmed by the ECHO KLASSIK award in 2015 as “Instrumentalist of the Year”. His celebrated CD recordings, his worldwide collaboration with the leading original historically informed ensembles, his rich chamber music activity, and his strong commitment in various fields of music education, epitomizes an impressive musical personality.
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. He has an unusually extensive repertoire and performs approximately 100 concerts every year. Christian Tetzlaff has been invited to be the Artist in Residence with with the Berliner Philharmoniker, at Wigmore Hall in London and at Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall, New York with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. During his career Christian Tetzlaff has appeared as a guest with major orchestras around the world, such as the Wiener Philharmoniker, the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and all of London’s leading orchestras, working with conductors including Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Andris Nelsons, Antonio Pappano, Robin Ticciati, Paavo Järvi and Vladimir Jurowski, to name but a few. 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, he “speaks” through his violin, and above all, he interprets the masterpieces of musical history as stories of pivotal experiences. Christian Tetzlaff founded his own string quartet in 1994, and chamber music is still as important to him as his work as a soloist with and without the orchestra. Christian Tetzlaff has received numerous awards for his CD recordings. Of special significance is his solo recording of Bach’s solo Sonatas and Partitas, which he recorded for the third time in 2017 and released on the ONDINE label. 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.
Virtual Jazz Reality
Formed in 1993, VRJ comprises of some of the most respected, versatile and experienced artists on the South Africa music scene, performing throughout Northern and Southern Africa, United States and Dubai. The band has performed at many leading hotel, conference and concert venues, clubs, restaurants and wine festivals throughout South Africa. VJR boasts the ability to maintain the same level of excellence in various musical genres. Their jazz repertoire in all styles ranges from light jazz to original and accomplished cutting-edge compositions. VJR has an extensive repetoire that includes over 100 original compositions, some of which have reached the top of the jazz charts. The band has appeared on numerous TV and radio specials and worked with artists such as Pavarotti, Jonathan Butler, Shirley Bassey, Bono, Anastacia, Shakatak and many others. Members of VJR are regularly featured on top South African radio stations, both individually and as a band.