Hailed as ‘the most promising of today’s up-andcoming song recitalists’ (Financial Times), baritone Benjamin Appl is celebrated by audiences and critics alike for a voice that ‘belongs to the last of the old great masters of song’ with ‘an almost infinite range of colours’ (Süddeutsche Zeitung), ‘exacting attention to text’ (New York Times), and artistry that’s described as ‘unbearably moving’ (The Times).
Named Gramophone Award Young Artist of the Year in 2016, Appl was a member of the BBC New Generation Artist scheme from 2014-16, as well as a Wigmore Hall Emerging Artist and ECHO Rising Star for the 2015-16 season, appearing at major venues throughout Europe, including the Barbican Centre London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wiener Konzerthaus, Philharmonie Paris and Cologne and the Laeiszhalle Hamburg.
He signed exclusively to SONY Classical in May 2016. Appl started in music as a young chorister at the renowned Regensburger Domspatzen, later continuing his studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München and eventually at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.
Pablo Barragán’s performances take him through all of Europe, from the Philharmonie Berlin, to the Laieszhalle in Hamburg, into the Auditori Barcelona and the Athenaeum in Bucharest. Barragán’s curiosity with orchestras such as the Sinfonieorchester Basel, Hamburger Symphoni-ker or the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra with conductors such as Clemens Schuldt, Adrian Pravaba and Gabriel Feltz always lead to new interpretive discoveries.
Making music together with the Martha Argerich, Viviane Hagner, or the Schumann Quartet at festivals such as Lucerne Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival or the Bratislava Music Festival are thus as important as his solo concerts.
Barragán was awarded the Prix Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes in 2013 and is a prizewinner in numerous international competitions.
Barragán studied at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina, at the Barenboim-Said Foundation and at the Basel Academy of Music with François Benda.
Pablo Barragán is an exclusive artist of the world-famous clarinet making company “Backun”.
Since his debut at the age of 17 in the Carnegie Hall in New York, Swiss-French-German cellist Christoph Croisé is quickly building an international reputation as one of the most captivating young concert soloists to emerge in recent years. He also appears regularly in further world-renowned concert halls including the Tonhalle Zurich, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Wigmore Hall London, the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Residenz Munich.
He has been laureate of several first prizes at international competitions including the Schoenfeld International String Competition Harbin/China 2016, the Berliner International Music Competition 2018, the Manhattan International Music Competition 2016. His CDs with both Haydn cello concertos were awarded the Pizzicato magazine’s Supersonic Award and the “Clef d’Or” for the best concert album of 2019 by Res-Musica.
Christoph Croisé began playing the cello under the tutelage of K. Kühne. He has been studying with A. Neustroev and with W. E. Schmidt at the Berlin University of Arts.
Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is one of the world’s leading orchestras, captivating audiences everywhere with its unique style of music-making. The Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi has been the orchestra’s Artistic Director since 2004.
A highlight of the collaboration with Järvi was the joint Beethoven project on which the conductor and orchestra concentrated for six years. The results were performances that were acclaimed worldwide and international praise for the recordings. Beethoven was followed by a phenomenal Schumann cycle. Since 2015 The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen has concentrated on the composer Johannes Brahms with Paavo Järvi. A highlight of the Brahms project was the internationally acclaimed performance of the Requiem on 10 April 2018 in Bremen Cathedral. The recording is now available as DVD and Blu-ray on C-Major. The Bremen Brahms, who was awarded the Opus Klassik, is “a reference recording”, according to the time, and will “reverberate for a long time to come” according to hr2-kultur.
For their recordings and the unique education project with Gesamtschule BremenOst in Osterholz-Tenever, the laboratory of the future, The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen honored with countless awards such as Echo, Opus and Diapason d’Or and has been cultivating close musical friendships with international soloists such as Christian Tetzlaff, Maria Joäo Pires, Janine Jansen, Igor Levit, Hilary Hahn and Martin Grubinger.
The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is permanent guest orchestra at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Festival Orchestra of Kissinger Sommer, was Deutschlandradio Kultur “Orchestra of the year” in 2016 and first Orchestra in Residence of Rheingau Music Festival in 2019.
Veronika Eberle’s exceptional talent and the poise and maturity of her musicianship have been recognised by many of the world’s finest orchestras, venues and festivals, as well as by some of the most eminent conductors. Sir Simon Rattle’s introduction of Veronika aged just 16 at the 2006 Salzburg Easter Festival in a performance of the Beethoven concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker, brought her to international attention. Key orchestra collaborations since then include the London Symphony, Concertgebouw, Munich Philharmonic and Rotterdam Philharmonic. Recent concerto highlights have included debuts with the Philharmonia Orchestras as well as with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Born in Donauwörth Southern Germany, she started violin lessons at the age of six and four years later became a junior student at the Richard Strauss Konservatorium in Munich with Olga Voitova. After studying privately with Christoph Poppen for a year, she joined the Hochschule in Munich, where she studied with Ana Chumachenco 2001–2012.
Gershwin Piano Quartet
The Gershwin Piano Quartet sheds new light on the music of George Gershwin. It features 4 pianists on 4 grand pianos, playing, arranging and improvising on some of Gershwin’s most popular songs and orchestral works, such as “Rhapsody in Blue”, “An American in Paris”, and “I Got Rhythm”.The originals are rescored for the unfamiliar combination of 4 pianos by the members of the quartet themselves and make for a novel and exciting listening and viewing experience.
In its new program, the quartet does not limit itself solely to the music of Gershwin but also includes important works by some of Gershwin’s contemporaries, namely Ravel’s “La Valse” and Bernstein’s “West Side Story”. In this way, the many cross-references between the old world and the new, between classical music and jazz, classical ballet and Broadway theatre, become apparent, thus creating a lively and highly virtuosic concert evening.
The Gershwin Piano Quartet was founded by André Desponds in 1996 and has presented its program in Europe, South America, China and the Middle East with great success and to broad critical acclaim. Some of the places where the Quartet has performed include the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (Germany), the KKL Lucerne (Switzerland), the Festival de Menton (France), the Athens International Festival (Greece), the Baalbek International Festival (Lebanon), the Oriental Art Center Shanghai (China) and the Mozarteo Brasileiro São Paulo (Brazil).
Born in 1984 in Moscow, Giltburg moved to Tel Aviv at an early age, studying with his mother and then with Arie Vardi. In 2013 he won First Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, catapulting his career to a new level. In 2015 he began a long-term recording plan with Naxos Records, and has since released solo discs of Beethoven, Schumann and Rachmaninov, Shostakovich concerti with Petrenko and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (Diapason d’Or), and Rachmaninov with Prieto and Royal Scottish National (Opus Klassik instrumental award).
Boris Giltburg has appeared with many leading conductors, and with orchestras such as Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, WDR Cologne, St Petersburg Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony. He made his BBC Proms debut in 2010 and has toured frequently to South America and China.
He plays recitals in top venues such as Southbank Centre and Wigmore, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Bozar and Flagey in Brussels, Radio France, Carnegie Hall, Tokyo Toppan Hall and Beijing Forbidden City Concert Hall.
Martin Helmchen has established himself as one of the prominent exceptional pianists of the younger generation. Born in Berlin in 1982 and a former student of Galina Iwanzowa, Helmchen continued his studies with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover. His other mentors include William Grant Naboré and Alfred Brendel. A former BBC New Generations Artist, he won the “Concours Clara Haskil” in 2001.
He performs with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra and New York Philharmonic as well as Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Wiener Symphoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Orchestre de Paris. He enjoys collaborations with conductors such as David Afkham, Marc Albrecht, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Edward Gardner, Valery Gergiev, Philippe Herreweghe, Manfred Honeck, Jakub Hrůša, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Klaus Mäkelä, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Michael Sanderling and David Zinman.
His quest for exploring all facets of music-making is born from his passion for chamber music, which regularly takes him to London’s Wigmore Hall and the Schubertiade. Helmchen‘s chamber music partners have included Veronika Eberle, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas and Carolin Widmann.
Martin Helmchen is an exclusive artist of Alpha Classics. In 2019 he released Messiaen’s “Vingt regards sur l’enfant- Jésus“. Further recordings include a Brahms’ duo CD with Marie-Elisabeth Hecker. In light of the Beethoven anniversary he has recorded all piano concertos together with the Deutsche Symphonieorchester under the baton of Andrew Manze which will all be released in 2020. Since 2010, Martin Helmchen has been an Associate Professor of chamber music at the Kronberg Academy.
Pablo Heras-Casado enjoys an unusually varied and broad-ranging career, encompassing the great symphonic and operatic repertoire, historically informed performances, and contemporary scores. In great demand as guest conductor, he regularly appears in Europe with the orchestras like Philharmonia and London Symphony orchestras, Orchestre de Paris and Berliner Philharmoniker. In the operatic field, he currently leads over four consecutive seasons, until 2022, Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle at Teatro Real in Madrid, where he is Principal Guest Conductor. He enjoys a fruitful collaboration with Freiburger Barockorchester, featuring extensive touring and recording projects. His extensive discography includes a developing series for Harmonia Mundi, recognized as 2018’s Label of the Year at the Gramophone Awards, entitled “Die Neue Romantik”, with music by Mendelssohn, Schumann or Schubert. The latest releases focus on works by Mendelssohn and the Beethoven Piano Concerti, featuring Kristian Bezuidenhout on fortepiano. Heras-Casado supports and promotes the charity’s work internationally, and conducts an annual charity concert at Teatro Real in Madrid.
Basel Chamber Orchestra
The Basel Chamber Orchestra is recognised as one of the leading chamber orchestras in the international music scene.
Various award-winning recordings on classical labels like Sony, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi or Warner classics are witnesses to the excellent quality of the musical ensemble. The artistically independent ensemble is always searching for new and far-reaching ways of interpretation through constant development of its harmonious sound on both historical and modern instruments. The Basel Chamber Orchestra works with artists such as Sol Gabetta, Nuria Rial, Christoph Prégardien, and René Jacobs.
The association of principal guest conductor, Giovanni Antonini with the ensemble makes for a fruitful collaboration. For their historically informed interpretations, they were awarded the ECHO Klassik in the category for Best Ensemble in 2008 and became the first orchestra awarded with a Schweizer Musikpreis in 2019.
The Basel Chamber Orchestra alternating with the Italian Ensemble Il Giardino Armonico will perform and record for CD, under the baton of Antonini, all of Joseph Haydn’s 107 symphonies up until the year 2032. Further major projects will be concerts and recordings of all Schubert symphonies under the leadership of Heinz Holliger. Clariant International Ltd. has been the main sponsor of the Basel Chamber Orchestra since January 2013.
Christiane Karg studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Heiner Hopfner as well as in the Lied class of Wolfgang Holzmair and was awarded the Lilli-Lehmann-Medal for her master’s degree. During her studies she made her debut at the Salzburg Festival and has been a welcome guest there ever since.
She is a regular guest at all the world’s major opera houses, including Munich, Vienna, Milan and New York, as well as at renowned festivals such as the Musikfestspiele Baden-Baden and Salzburger Festspiele, the Rheingau Music Festival and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
Her musical partners include conductors such as Daniel Harding, Christian Thielemann, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Christoph Eschenbach, Thomas Hengelbrock, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Mariss Jansons, Semyon Bychkov, Herbert Blomstedt and Iván Fischer. She collaborates with important orchestras from all over the world.
The soprano cultivates her passion for lied and chamber music projects in a special way. In addition to her numerous engagements, Christiane Karg, as artistic director of the KunstKlang festival, conceives and is responsible for her own concert series in her hometown of Feuchtwangen and is very committed to her project “be part of it! – Musik für Alle” project to promote music education for children and young people.
Simon read music at King’s College Cambridge. He is a professor of piano accompaniment and a vocal repertoire coach at the Royal College of Music, London where he also co-ordinates the piano accompaniment course. He is an official accompanist for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Performance highlights have included an invitation from the Wigmore Hall, London to present a three concert project on the songs of Joseph Marx; a recital tour with baritone Stéphane Degout which included the Ravinia and Edinburgh Festivals; his debut at Carnegie Hall, New York with mezzo Karen Cargill; a performance with Mark Padmore of Schubert Winterreise at the Schubertiade, Hohenhems, Austria; recitals with Angelika Kirchschlager at La Monnaie, Brussels and at the Wigmore Hall where appearances also have included recitals with Christopher Maltman, Elizabeth Watts, Stephan Loges, Sophie Bevan, Christopher Purves and Lawrence Zazzo,.Future highlights include performances and recordings with BBC New Generation Artists Kitty Whately, Benjamin Appl and Ilker Arcayurek and recitals with Christopher Purves at the Frick Collection, New York.
Graham is Principal Double Bass of English National Opera, Senior Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and regular bassist with the Nash Ensemble.
He was a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra from 1998–2011 and works regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. As a guest principal, Graham has led most of the orchestras in the UK including the London Symphony Orchestra. Graham has performed and recorded over the years with many soloists and chamber ensembles including Anthony Marwood, Pekka Kuusisto and Imogen Cooper; the Florestan, Gould, and Kungsbacka Piano Trios, and the Belcea, Navarra and Takács Quartets.
His recording of Schubert’s “Trout Quintet” with Paul Lewis and the Leopold String Trio is praised as “one of the finest modern Trouts available” (The Sunday Times).
Il pomo d’oro
The ensemble il pomo d’oro, named after the opera by Antonio Cesti from 1666, was founded in 2012. It is characterised by an authentic, dynamic interpretation of operas and instrumen¬tal works from the Baroque and Classical period. The musicians are all well-known specialists and are among the best in the field of historical performance practice. The ensemble so far worked with the conductors Riccardo Minasi, Maxim Emelyanychev, Stefano Montanari, George Petrou, Enrico Onofri and Francesco Corti. Concert master Zefira Valova leads the orchestra in various projects. Since 2016 Maxim Emelyanychev has been its chief conductor. With performances of operas in concert version, recitals and instrumental programs, il pomo d’oro is a regular guest in the most important concert halls and festivals all over Europe and worldwide.
The discography of il pomo d’oro includes several opera recordings: Händel’s Agrippina, Serse, Tamerlano, Partenope and Ottone, Vinci’s Catone in Utica, Stradella’s La Doriclea, and recitals with the countertenors Jakub Józef Orlinski, Franco Fagioli, Max Emanuel Cencic, and Xavier Sabata, with mezzosopranos Ann Hallenberg and Joyce DiDonato and with sopranos Francesca Aspromonte and Emöke Barath. Instrumental albums are dedicated to cello concertos with Edgar Moreau and violin and harpsichord concertos by J.S. Bach and Haydn and cello concertos with the soloist Edgar Moreau. Many of these recordings have received important awards (OPUS und ECHO KLASSIK, ICMA Award, Diapason d’Or, CHOC de Classica).
Il pomo d’oro is official ambassador of El Sistema Greece, a humanitarian project to provide free musical education to children in Greek refugee camps.
Quatuor Van Kuijk
In the six years of its existence the Van Kuijk Quartet has made a brilliant start to its career: first prize and honours for the best Beethoven and Haydn interpretation at the Wigmore Hall International Chamber Music Competition as well as becoming laureates of the Aix-en-Provence Festival Academy. Finally they joined the prestigious ECHO Rising Stars roster for the 2017/2018 season. The ensemble is now an established presence at major international concert halls, performing at the Wigmore Hall in London, Philharmonie de Paris, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Tonhalle in Zurich, Wiener Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Berliner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and at festivals including the BBC Proms, Heidelberg, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Evian, Stavanger. Further afield, they tour each season to North America and will make their Carnegie Hall debut this season. Following a celebrated tour to China, Japan, and Taiwan last season they will return to all three countries in 2021.
The Van Kuijk Quartet records exclusively for Alpha Classics. Their debut recording, Mozart, was released to outstanding critical acclaim – CHOC de Classica, Diapason d’Or découverte. Their second album was also highly praised by the press. Last season saw the release of their third album with Schubert’s 10th and 14th String Quartets, which will be followed this autumn by two more Mozart CDs, featuring the String Quartets KV 421 and KV 387, as well as the Viola Quartets KV 515 and KV 516 with Adrien La Marca.
The Van Kuijk Quartet was resident quartet at Proquartet in Paris, where they studied with members of the Alban Berg and Hagen Quartet. They previously worked with the Ysaÿe Quartet and then with Günter Pichler at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid, which was made possible by the generous support of the International Institute of Chamber Music of Madrid.
The Van Kuijk Quartet is supported by Pirastro and SPEDIDAM; its main sponsor is the Mécénat Musical Société Générale.
Described by The Guardian as “an outstanding musician”, conductor and violinist Riccardo Minasi has quickly established a reputation as one of the most exciting talents to emerge on the European scene in recent years.
Alongside his position as Chief Conductor of Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (with whom he made his first appearance at the Salzburg Festival), this coming season sees him return to Opernhaus Zürich (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Hamburgische Staatsoper (Alcina) and Orchestre national de Lyon (multiple projects ranging from Bach to Wagner) as well as making his debut with Konzerthausorchester Berlin. He also maintains his regular relationships with Ensemble Resonanz and La Scintilla. Recent conducting and directing engagements include debuts with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Portland Baroque Orchestra and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Minasi has a wealth of recording experience alongside the world’s top artists, having recorded with the likes of Joyce DiDonato, Ann Hallenberg and Philippe Jaroussky. He featured on four ECHO Klassik 2016 award-winning albums, Minasi’s own recordings gain critical acclaim, with his Biber Rosenkranz Sonatas featuring as a finalist in the Midem Classical Awards.
The three brothers Mark, Erik and Ken Schumann have been playing together since their earliest childhood. In 2012, they were joined by violist Liisa Randalu, who was born in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. Those who experience the quartet in performance often remark on the strong connection between its members. Although the individual personalities clearly manifest themselves, a common space arises in every musical work in a process of spiritual metamorphosis. The quartet’s openness and curiosity may be partly the result of the formative influence exerted on it by teachers such as the Alban Berg Quartet, or partners such as Menahem Pressler.
Its album “Intermezzo” (2018) has been hailed enthusiastically both at home and abroad and received the award “Opus Klassik” award in the “Quintet 2019” category. It is celebrated as a worthy successor to its award-winning “Landscapes” album. Among other prizes, the latter received the “Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik”, as well as five Diapasons. For its previous CD “Mozart Ives Verdi”, the Schumann Quartet was accorded the 2016 Newcomer Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards in London.
Teachers and musical partners, prizes, CD releases – it is always tempting to speculate on what factors have led to many people viewing the Schumann Quartet as one of the best in the world: “Fire and energy. The Schumann Quartet plays staggeringly well […] without doubt one of the very best formations among today’s abundance of quartets, […] with sparkling virtuosity and a willingness to astonish” (Harald Eggebrecht, Süddeutsche Zeitung).
“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.
Sir András Schiff
Sir András Schiff was born in Budapest in 1953. He received his first piano lesson at the age ofbfive 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 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.
Maurice Steger is one of the most fascinating recorder players, conductors and music teachers in the field of early music today. In these roles, he inspires his audience in various concert formats around the world.
Steger works regularly – increasingly as a conductor or in a dual function – with the leading original sound ensembles such as the Berlin Academy for Early Music, Il pomo d’oro, the English Concert, La Cetra as well as with the leading modern orchestras such as the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the orchestra of hr, BR & NDR, The Berlin Baroque soloists (Berlin Philharmonic), the Canadian Violons du Roy, the Basel Chamber Orchestra and the Braunschweig State Orchestra.
In addition, Maurice Steger leads different master classes each year, took over the direction of the Gstaad Baroque Academy in 2013 and is involved in the educational field for young musicians.
Numerous award-winning, thematically highly imaginative CD recordings with harmonia mundi, Claves and Deutsche Grammophon have for years been proof of his unique status.
Vienna Piano Trio
Long established as one of the world’s leading chamber ensembles, and perennially fresh in its artistry, the Vienna Piano Trio was founded in 1988 by the Viennese pianist Stefan Mendl. His partners are the Californian violinist David McCarroll, a member of the trio since 2015, and the Austrian cellist Clemens Hagen, who joined in 2018.
Together, the players embody the ensemble’s continuing commitment to bridging the traditions and practice of Europe and America. This philosophy stems from the trio’s early years and its mentoring by such ensembles as the Trio di Trieste, Haydn-Trio Wien and LaSalle quartets, and by the violinists Isaac Stern and Jaime Laredo.
Both sustaining and renewing the repertoire for piano trio, the ensemble complements the masterworks of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries with new works, the product of collaborations with such leading contemporary composers as Friedrich Cerha, Georg Friedrich Haas, György Kurtág and Jörg Widmann.
Since the 2006-7 season the Vienna Piano Trio has had its own subscription series at the Vienna Konzerthaus and it is a regular visitor to the world’s major concert halls (such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, Konzerthaus Berlin, Wigmore Hall London and festivals (such as the Wiener Festwochen, Mozartwoche Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and Aix-en-Provence).
The 2019-20 season will bring an emphasis on Beethoven and, in series at the Vienna Konzerthaus and London’s Wigmore Hall, the piano trios and string sonatas of Brahms. In 2020 the trio will also make a tour of the USA, visiting Philadelphia, New York, Houston and Los Angeles.
The Vienna Piano Trio’s extensive prize-winning discography on the Naxos, Nimbus and MDG labels embraces the complete piano trios of Brahms, Dvořák, Schönberg/ Steuermann, Schubert and Zemlinsky, as well as works by Beethoven, Haydn, Schumann and others. The Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music has described the ensemble’s Schubert as “outstanding in every way … wonderfully fresh and spring-like … true chamber-music-making by a beautifully matched team”.