Christoffer Sundqvist (b. 1978,) has been principal clarinettist in the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2005, makes regular solo appearances with orchestras and in chamber repertoire and teaches the clarinet at the Sibelius Academy and in master classes. A versatile musician, he has a repertoire ranging from the standard works to new commissions.
In recent years Christoffer has been the soloist with almost all the professional Finnish orchestras. Topping the list of solo engagements with orchestras abroad have been the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony, the Basel Symphony, the Estonian National Symphony, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Jukka-Pekka Saraste, John Storgårds, Sakari Oramo, Okko Kamu, Hannu Lintu, Anna-Maria Helsing and Eugene Zigane. He is also a regular visitor at European music festivals.
Also an active chamber musician, Christoffer was one of the founders of the Arctic Hysteria wind quintet in 1997. Another line-up important to him is the Plus Ensemble. He has played with many other chamber ensembles, given recitals in Finland and abroad and premiered works by Finnish composers Pehr-Henrik Nordgren, Atso Almila, Magnus Lindberg and others.
In order to generate new clarinet repertoire, Christoffer works in close partnership with composers. His collaboration with Sebastian Fagerlund has resulted in a Clarinet Concerto that has won widespread international acclaim, and he has also premiered the works Fuel (2010) and Sonata (2011).
Christoffer has been Artistic Director of the Jakobstad Sinfonietta and is, together with composer Sebastian Fagerlund, Artistic Director of the Rusk Chamber Music Festival founded by them in Pietarsaari/Jakobstad in 2013. The idea of this festival held at the end of November is to bring together top musicians of international renown. In the space of a few days, sometimes surprising events bring people and the arts together in joint experiences.
Bram van Sambeek (1980) was the first bassoonist ever to receive the highest Dutch Cultural Award in 30 years: The Dutch Music Prize, handed out to him personally by Minister of Culture Ronald Plasterk in 2009. On this occasion Bram played the bassoon concerto by Gubaidulina with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and chief conductor Seguin. De Telegraaf newspaper wrote of this performance: ‘He uses his instrument freely as a mouthpiece, conjures the finest timbres, and is technically capable of doing anything’. In 2011 he won a Borletti Buitoni Trust Award, and recently he has been admitted to The Chamber Music Society Two programme of New York’s Lincoln Center.
From 2002 until 2011 Bram was Principal Bassoonist of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; since 2009 he has been teaching the bassoon at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam. He plays regularly as a Guest Principal with, among others, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Focussing mainly on chamber music, Bram is a member of the Orlando Quintet, and made his Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut in 2003. As a chamber musician he has worked with Alexei Ogrintchouk, Julius Drake, Inon Barnatan, Liza Ferschtman, Cecilia Bernardini, Reto Bieri, and performed with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Asko Ensemble and the Scharoun Ensemble. In 2010 Bram was offered a Carte Blanche series of concerts in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam to perform several recitals with a number of ensembles, including the Prazak Quartet and the Tempera Quartet. He is a regular guest at festivals like the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Orlando Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival and the Oxford Chamber Music Festival, and has investigated concert practice in cooperation with Radio Kootwijk Live, experimenting with innovations such as playing people to sleep.
Bram performs regularly as a soloist with orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Rotterdam and Georgian Sinfonietta. Recently he played concertos by Villa Lobos, Mozart and Gubaidulina.
Bram decided to start playing the bassoon when he was ten years old, beginning his studies with Fred Gaasterland and continuing later with Joep Terwey and Johan Steinmann at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. After his graduation, he took private lessons with Gustavo Núñez. In addition he has participated in masterclasses with Brian Pollard and two of the few real bassoon soloists in the world: Klaus Thunemann and Sergio Azzolini.
Van Sambeek also plays a very special bassoon, an instrument that used to belong to both of these men. On his debut CD with Brilliant Classics, called ‘Bassoon Concertos’, he presented a very accessible programme of bassoon concerti by Vivaldi, Du Puy, Villa Lobos and Olthuis, receiving rave reviews including this remark in Luister, a Dutch music magazine: ‘Judging by his playing,
Mr van Sambeek awaits a golden future’. About working together with Bram, Yannick Nézet-Séguin remarked in a television interview available at www.bramvansambeek.com : ‘I think he is
able to fall in love with many aspects of the music, and doesn’t set himself too many boundaries and that is something that touches me of course, because I try to be this way myself’. In another interview about Bram Valery Gergiev remarked: ‘…all in all a combination of being artistically involved, motivated and being gifted, being a very nice person, and also being a little bit unusual!’ In march 2012 Brilliant Classics released his second cd “Bassoon-Kaleidoscope” full of different
chamber music, including a rocksong, and in the coming seasons he will perform the new bassoon concertos by Sebastian Fagerlund and Kalevi Aho and record them for the BIS label.
Hervé Joulain aged only 20 is appointed 1st horn player in the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France. He has also been directed by Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Metha, Daniel Baremboïm, Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel, Seiji Ozawa Claudio Abbado and Bernard Haïtink. Since 1997, he is playing principal horn in the Orchestre National de France (D. Gatti).
In 2003, he became principal horn in the Symphonica Toscanini directed by Lorin Maazel. He also played principal horn with New York Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia Academia in Rome, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Stockholm Radio Orchestra, Geneve Suisse Romande, Berlin Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, WDR Köln…
Hervé Joulain is also carrying his instrument as a soloist with 120 different orchestras, playing concerti from Haydn, Mozart, Schumann, Weber, Saint-Saëns, Strauss, and Britten…
After winning several international competitions, he performed in chamber music with Paul Tortelier, Vadim Repin, Boris Berezowski, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Boris Belkin, Michel Dalberto, Nathalia Gutmann, Pinchas Zukerman, Ian Bostridge, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Renaud Capuçon in France and in all eastern and western Europe, U.S.A., Canada, and Israel
After being assistant-teacher at the French National Superior Conservatory from 1994 to 1998, Hervé Joulain gives Master Classes in France, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, Italy, England, Holland and Mahler Academy.
Over the course of his career the pianist Oliver Triendl has earned a reputation as a highly versatile performing artist. Some 50 CD recordings attest to his work as an advocate of rarely performed repertoire from the classical and romantic eras as well as to his commitment to contemporary works.
As a soloist Triendl has performed together with many renowned orchestras. The list includes the Bamberg and Munich Symphonies, NDR Radio Philharmonic, Gürzenich Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rhineland-Palatinate State Philharmonic, Munich, Stuttgart and Württemberg Chamber Orchestras, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, Czech State Philharmonic, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shen Zhen Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish Chamber Philharmonic, Georgian Chamber Orchestra and St.Petersburg Camerata.
The avid chamber musician has concertized with fellow musicians such as Christian Altenburger, Wolfgang Boettcher, Thomas Brandis, Eduard Brunner, Ana Chumachenko, James Ehnes, David Geringas, Sharon Kam, Rainer Kussmaul, Franois Leleux, Lorin Maazel, Marie Luise Neunecker, Paul Meyer, Sabine and Wolfgang Meyer, Gustav Rivinius, Benjamin Schmid, Tanja Tetzlaff, Ingolf Turban, Radovan Vlatkoviae, Antje Weithaas, Juerg Widmann. He performed with Auryn, Danel, Keller, Sine Nomine and Vogler String Quartets as well as with excellent artists of the younger generation like Claudio Bohórquez, Mirijam Contzen, Johannes Moser, Daniel Müller-Schott, Alina Pogostkina und Christian Poltéra.
In 2006 Triendl founded the Fürstensaal Classix International Chamber Music Festival in Kempten in Bavaria’s Allgaeu region.
Triendl, a native of Mallersdorf, Bavaria, where he was born in 1970, and a prizewinner at many national and international competitions, studied under Rainer Fuchs, Karl-Heinz Diehl, Eckart Besch, Gerhard Oppitz and Oleg Maisenberg.
He has concertized with success at festivals and in many of Europe’s major music centers as well as in Orth and South America, South Africa, Russia, Japan and China.
Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is one of the most versatile and distinctive musicians working today. Always demonstrating his extraordinary individuality and imagination, he is unusually free and fluid in his approach and has been acclaimed for the spontaneity and freshness in his playing. Setting Pekka Kuusisto apart from most other violinists of his generation is his desire and ability to improvise, and his love of playing many different styles of music, channeling the same intensity into each genre.
Pekka Kuusisto began to study the violin with Géza Szilvay at the age of three. In 1985, he went on to study with Tuomas Haapanen at the Sibelius Academy. He also studied with Miriam Fried and Paul Biss at Indiana University in Bloomington from 1992 to 1996. Pekka Kuusisto became the first Finn to win the Sibelius Violin Competition in 1995. He has since performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. In 2006, Pekka Kuusisto became Artist in Association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta. In 2009, he was selected as one of eight individuals in the Konzerthaus Dortmund’s celebrated “Junge Wilde” series. Apart from his appearances as a soloist, Pekka Kuusisto also performs chamber music, jazz, folk music, and electronic music. As Artistic Director of Finland’s “Our Festival” at Lake Tuusula each summer, he creates his own programme of events.
Pekka Kuusisto has made numerous acclaimed recordings for Ondine. His catalogue includes many works by Jean Sibelius, including the Violin Concerto with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Leif Segerstam, other pieces for violin and orchestra with the Tapiola Sinfonietta, and works for violin and piano with pianist Heini Kärkkäinen. He has also recorded Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos. 3, 4, and 5, and works by Olli Mustonen. Together with his brother, violinist Jaakko Kuusisto, he performs on a disc featuring the complete Violin Concertos by J.S. Bach. In 2010, he released a disc of duo works by Paganini together with guitarist Ismo Eskelinen and his most recent release showcases the complete works for violin and piano by Finnish composer Rautavaara. Pekka Kuusisto plays a Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini violin of 1752 kindly loaned by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Cecilia Zilliacus is one of Sweden’s most accomplished violinists, working across the Nordic countries and Europe. Her versatile repertoire of solo and chamber music works has led her to cooperate with a vast number of composers and orchestras. Her interest in newly written pieces and contemporary music has generated several compositions written specifically for her.
As a soloist, Cecilia Zilliacus has performed with most Swedish symphony orchestras as well as many Nordic and European orchestras, such as BBC Wales, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra and Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. Among the conductors she has worked with are Andrey Boreyko, Baldur Brönniman, Olari Elts, Eivind Gullberg-Jensen, Daniel Harding, Okko Kamu, Eri Klas, Susanna Mälkki, Joseph Swensen, Arvo Volmer and Benjamin Wallfisch.
She has played at many of the world’s leading concert houses, including Kölner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Wien, Carnegie Hall New York and Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
Cecilia Zilliacus regularly performs with musicians and composers active on the international scene, such as Bengt Forsberg, Martin Fröst, Håvard Gimse, Philippe Graffin, Svante Henryson, Martti Rousi, Paavali Jumppanen, Christian Poltèra, Roland Pöntinen, Sven-David Sandström and Torleif Thedéen. She is also a driving force in the prize-winning Swedish string trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen. Through the trio, Zilliacus plays an important part in bringing Nordic and European composers and musicians to Sweden as guests in the trio’s chamber music series at the Stockholm Concert House.
Cecilia Zilliacus was born in 1972 and lives in Stockholm with her husband and two children. She is an associate professor at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. Zilliacus’ violin is a N. Gagliano provided by the Järnåker Foundation. Zilliacus was educated at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, studying with Professor Harald Thedéen and at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne, Germany, studying with Professor Mihaela Martin.
Zilliacus career took off in 1997, when she won both the Royal Swedish Academy of Music’s prestigious competition, the Soloist Prize, and the Nordic Soloist Biennial in Trondheim, Norway. She was also named Artist in Residence at Swedish national radio for the year 1997/1998. In the 2001/2002 season, she was Sweden’s representative in the international Rising Star project, a cooperative venture between some of the world’s leading concert houses. Zilliacus has recorded a number of albums, several of which have won Swedish Grammies.
Lise Berthaud is unanimously praised as an outstanding rising figure on the music scene. She is a guest of various prestigious concert venues and festivals throughout Europe (Wigmore Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Salle Pleyel, Festival de Montpellier-Radio France, Festival Berlioz de la Côte Saint-André, Festival de la Roque d’Anthéron, Davos Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Cork Festival, Moritzburg Festival, Louisiana Museum in Denmark, Sunmore Festival, Korsholm festival, Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice) with such artists as Renaud Capuçon, Eric Le Sage, Augustin Dumay, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Emmanuel Pahud, Gordan Nikollich, Martin Helmchen, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Alina Ibragimova, Veronika Eberle, Christian Poltera, David Kadouch, Daishin Kashimoto, Quatuor Ebène, the Modigliani Quartet.
In September 2013, she was selected to be part of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme and is invited to perform with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She will perform recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, Auvers-sur-Oise, Renaud Capuçon’s Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence.
In October 2013, Leonard Slatkin invited Lise to perform and record Berlioz’ Harold in Italy with the Orchestre National de Lyon as part of the orchestra’s Berlioz cycle for Naxos.
That same month, her first CD as a soloist with pianist Adam Laloum was released and awarded several prizes including the most sought after Diapason d’Or.
As a soloist, Lise has also been a guest of the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, les Musiciens du Louvre, the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sao Paulo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Orchestre de Chambre de Wallonie, and various major orchestras in France, with conductors like Emmanuel Krivine, Sakari Oramo, Fabien Gabel, Paul Mc Creesh, Marc Minkowski. In 2010 she was invited to play Harold en Italie with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre for the opening night of the prestigious Berlioz Festival at La Côte Saint-André in France. In 2011 and 2012 she took part in Eric Le Sage’s recording of Schumann’s and Fauré’s complete works getting rave reviews and varied prizes including Choc de l’Année by Classica Magazine (Paris) and a Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik in Germany) . …
Lise has worked with several major contemporary composers, including Philippe Hersant, Thierry Escaich, Henri Dutilleux, Gyorgy Kurtag, Guillaume Connesson.
Lise Berthaud was born in 1982 and started studying the violin at the age of 5 before shifting to viola. She studied with Pierre-Henry Xuereb and Gérard Caussé at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris and was a prize winner of the European Young Instrumentalists Competition in 2000. In 2005, she won the Hindemith Prize at the Geneva International Competition. She was short listed by the Victoires de la Musique Classique 2009 as “Révélation de l’Année” (Revelation of the Year).
Senja Rummukainen (b. 1994) studies in Essen Folkwang Universität der Künste under professor Young-Chang Cho. Before that she studied in Sibelius Academy, also in the Youth Department with professor Marko Ylönen.
Senja Rummukainen got the 1st prize in the Finnish National Cello Competition in Turku 2014. Next year she will perform with Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Vaasa City Orchestra and Saimaa Sinfonietta. Senja will also have concerts in festivals as Heinävesi Music Festival, Kauniainen Music Festival, Oulu Music Festival, Naantali Music Festival and RUSK Chamber Music Festival. She has played as a soloist with Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Sibelius High School Symphony Orchestra.
She has participated masterclasses in many countries with professors such as David Geringas, Patrick Demenga, Wolfgang Boettcher, Reinhard Latzko, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Erkki Rautio and Martti Rousi.
Training as a member of different ensembles with professors Paavo Pohjola, Teemu Kupiainen, Danel-quartet, Kelemen-quartet and Henschel-quartet. Senja plays in Borea-quartet which has performed in many festivals, including Kauniainen Music Festival, Chamber Summer Festival and and they were The Young Talent 2014 in Hauho Music Festival.-They also got scholarship from Wegelius-foundation.
Senja has worked as an assistant cellist in the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.
“I search for new frontiers in music. The double bass is a fantastic and unique vehicle! My goal is transcending my instrument. In performing, I always feel more a musician as a double bassist.’’
Niek de Groot is a leading classical double-bassist. In 2010 he found the supreme instrument to give his style voice in the Amati double bass made in Cremona, 1680. Niek has been given the lifelong privilege to play this famous and only remaining double bass from that era.
Following his formal studies Niek further developed his skills at the Canadian Banff Centre for the Arts. In addition he gained inspiration in attending master classes especially with cellists Frans Helmerson, Lluìs Claret and Laurence Lesser and in close collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Mendelsohn and György Sebök.
‘’It’s liberating to focus on the essence of the music at its highest achievable technical and musical level, leaving behind all conventions.’’
The style Niek has developed allows him to also use the double bass as an integral solo-instrument. At the same time, in working closely with modern composers like Kurtàg and Stockhausen, he contributed to the development of new and contemporary double-bass repertoire.
”These magnificent composers approach the instrument openly and independently.’’
Until 2006 Niek held principal solo-bass positions in many ensembles throughout Europe. Among them a 10 year tenure as first solo-bass with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Since then he has dedicated his career to chamber music and solo-performances and plays the Amati to a growing worldwide audience.
From 1996 Niek has been teaching as a senior professor at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen, Germany.
”The Essen class is like a laboratory for new talent.’’
He teaches master classes regularly, with many of his students currently holding positions in Europe’s finest orchestras.
Daníel Bjarnason studied piano, composition and conducting in Reykjavík, Iceland before leaving to study orchestral conducting at the Freiburg University of Music, Germany.
As a composer, Daníel has worked with many different orchestras and ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Ulster Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Nieuw Ensemble Amsterdam and Sinfonietta Cracovia. Besides regularly conducting his own music he has worked with conductors such as James Conlon, John Adams, Ilan Volkov, André de Ridder and Alexander Mickelthwate.
Daníel is currently writing several new works including a large orchestral work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel for the 13/14 season. Other commissions include a new percussion work for So Percussion commissioned by the MusicNOW festival in Cincinnati and a new reed ensemble/choral work for Calefax and Nederlands Kammerkoor which premieres in 2014. He is also putting the finishing touches on a new album of orchestral music which he plans to release in Autumn 2013 on the Bedroom Community label.
2012 saw Daníel premiere two new works. The Isle Is Full Of Noises, written for orchestra and children’s chorus, was commissioned by the Los Angeles Childrens Chorus and American Youth Symphony. The premiere took place in early March and was conducted by James Conlon. Over Light Earth, a chamber orchestra work commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Barbican, premiered in early October and was conducted by renowned composer John Adams. Both world premieres took place in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Daníel’s versatility as an arranger and conductor has led to collaborations with a broad array of musicians outside the classical field. In November 2011 Daníel collaborated with composer Ben Frost to create Music for Solaris, a new work for string orchestra, percussion, prepared piano and electronics. This work was written, arranged and performed by Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason, and received its World Premiere in Krakow, Poland in October 2010. The live performance features visual manipulations by Brian Eno and Nick Robertson. The North American premiere took place at the Lincoln Center, New York in April 2011, and in November 2011 the studio recordings were released through the Bedroom Community label. This work has since been performed live throughout Europe and the US, and received its Australian premiere at the Adelaide Festival in March 2013.
Daníel has won numerous awards and grants and in 2008 and 2011 was awarded a special recommendation for his work at the International Rostrum for Composers. In 2010 he was nominated for the prestigious Nordic Council’s Music Prize, and won the Kraumur Music Award. His 2012 compositions, The Isle Is Full Of Noises and Over Light Earth won him the prize for Best Composer at the 2013 Icelandic Music Awards.
Daníel’s debut album, Processions, was released in February 2010 and was met with international acclaim with Time Out NY declaring that Bjarnason ‘create(s) a sound that comes eerily close to defining classical musics undefinable brave new world’. Later that year Processions won the Best Composer/Best Composition category at the Icelandic Music Awards.
Daníel’s string arrangements can be heard on the new Sigur Rós album, Kveikur, which was released in June 2013. In 2012 he contributed the score to the feature film The Deep. The composition was awarded Best Film Score at the Icelandic Film And Television Awards in 2013 and nominated for Best Original Score at the Harpa Nordic Film Composers Awards 2013.
Finnish conductor Anna-Maria Helsing is one of the most talented graduates from the conducting class of Leif Segerstam at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. Shortly after beginning her studies she was chosen to take part in the International Conductor’s Academy Allianz in London in 2008/09, where was trained by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel and conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra. From 2010 to 2013 she was Chief Conductor of the Oulu Symphony as the first female conductor ever at the head of a Finnish symphony orchestra.
Within a short time Anna-Maria Helsing has conducted all major Finnish orchestras and she has also been invited to conduct the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Bochum Symphony and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Previously, she has been working as conductor of the Wegelius Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Jakobstad Sinfonietta.
Anna-Maria Helsing received her violin diplomas from the Conservatory of Pietarsaari and at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. In 1999 she won the First Prize in the International Competition for 20th Century Music for Young Artists in Warsaw. In 2011 she was awarded the Louis Spohr Medal in Braunschweig – given the first time to a conductor.
Text fattas på engelska.
In cooperation with the artistic directors Christoffer Sundqvist and Sebastian Fagerlund in development are both the contextual and formal concepts where we aim to create a balanced visualization for the the performed music via video projection and performance.