Aged 39, Andrés Orozco-Estrada is one of the most interesting and sought-after conductor personalities of the younger generation. He has long been a regular guest of the world’s great orchestras, performing with the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic and the American orchestras in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago; in May 2017 he makes his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic. Since the 2014/15 season Orozco-Estrada has been chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Houston Symphony. Born in Medellín in 1977, he moved to Vienna at the age of 19 to study conducting, and still lives there today. Orozco-Estrada also has an impressive discography, including Stravinsky’s Firebird and Sacre du Printemps, and most recently he released the first CD of his Richard Strauss cycle (including Heldenleben and Macbeth), all with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Originally from Colombia, the soprano Juanita Lascarro began her vocal training in her native city of Bogotá and continued it at the Cologne Music Academy. Since 2002 she has been an ensemble member at the Frankfurt Opera, where she has performed mainly the great Mozart roles, but also Handel, Puccini and Strauss as well as the title roles in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Berg’s Lulu. She has also appeared in operas by Zemlinsky and Henze, in Martinů’s opera Greek Passion and in Leoncavallo’s La Bohème. Regular guest performances have taken her to the opera houses in Vienna, London and Barcelona; at the Deutsche Oper Berlin she sang the role of Daphne (Strauss). At the same time, Juanita Lascarro is a sought-after concert performer whose repertoire ranges from Handel oratorios to Strauss’ Four Last Songs to Kurt Weill. Together with the Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic she has sung Bachiana Brasileira No. 5 by Villa-Lobos in Berlin, London and Salzburg.
“América Salvaje“ (2006)
“Morgen“ Op. 27 No. 4 (1894)
“Traum durch die Dämmerung“ Op. 29 No. 1 (1895)
“Liebeshymnus“ Op. 32 No. 3 (1897)
“Cäcilie“ op. 27, Nr. 2 (1897)
Serenata “La calle está desierta“ (1977)
“Cuando lejos, muy lejos“ (1977)
“Algún día“ (1980)
“Le Sacre du Printemps“ (1913)
Staged choreography by the orchestra musicians, accompanied by video projections and lighting
Dr. Ralf Kleindiek (SPD) is known for his poised and unpretentious disposition. Having been appointed Undersecretary of State at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth by the former Federal Minister of Family Affairs Manuela Schwesig on January 8, 2014, he now serves under the new Minister, Dr. Katarina Barley, and has represented the ministry with speeches on numerous podiums and platforms, winning general sympathy. Born in Hameln, Kleindiek studied law in Gießen and subsequently worked at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, in various positions at the Federal Ministry of Justice, and as a State Councilor at the Hamburg Authority for Justice and Equal Opportunities. His departure was unfortunate for Hamburg, but practical for him: the Undersecretary of State lives in Brandenburg with his family, so his commute became significantly shorter. In an interview with the Foundation for German-Russian Youth Exchange last year, he said: “Youth politics must be international; they depend on the mutual experience of young people in different countries.” Now if that isn’t the perfect attitude for a patron at the festival Young Euro Classic…
After completing her studies at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and further studies in Graz, the Chinese percussionist Shengnan Hu moved to Berlin, where she completed a performance degree at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music with distinction in 2011, having studied with Rainer Seegers, Franz Schindlbeck and Li Biao. She then moved on to the Mozarteum in Salzburg, where she was a master student of the percussionist Peter Sadlo. In 2011, Shengnan Hu also founded her own ensemble in Berlin, “Percussion Cycle Berlin”. She has worked with numerous orchestras in Germany, China and Austria, performing at renowned festivals such as the Kissinger Sommer, the Kassel Music Days and the Tollwood Festival in Munich. One highlight of Shengnan Hu’s career was her participation as a percussion soloist in the final ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing in the summer of 2008.
Thomas Ludes studied bassoon with Alfred Rinderspacher at the Saarbrücken Academy of Music. After his graduation, he was appointed principal bassoonist at the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra in 1983. Since 1994 he has held the same position at the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn. Since the winter semester 2006 he has been teaching chamber music at the Folkwang Music Academy in Essen as a professor. He is a docent at various orchestras in Bonn, at the International Summer Academy of Chamber Music in Nordhorn and for the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. He is also the leader of the wind ensemble at Bonn’s Kreuzkirche and has participate as a docent in numerous intercultural music projects organized by Young Euro Classic in India, China and Brazil.
A Young Euro Classic adventure – the formative power of music: encounters, understanding, friendship! A German-Chinese chamber music project with works by Bach, Mozart and Chinese composers, among others.
Prof. Monika Grütters was born in Münster and studied German literature, art history and political sciences at the universities in Münster and Bonn. She gained professional experience by working for opera houses, in publishing and in the museum field before working for arts and culture programmes in major corporations. From 1998 to 2013 she was a board member for the foundation “Brandenburger Tor”. Since 1999 she has been an honorary professor of culture management at the Free University in Berlin. Monika Grütters has been Chairwoman of Berlin’s CDU since 2016. From 1995 to 2005 she was a member of the Berlin House of Representatives, where she was the CDU Faction’s spokeswoman for science and culture. Since 205 she has been a member of the German Parliament. From 2009 to 2013 Monika Grütters chaired the Committee on Culture and Media. In December 2013 she was appointed Minister of State and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Dr. Klaus Lederer was born in Mecklenburg in 1974 and spent his childhood and early adolescence in Frankfurt an der Oder. After the end of the GDR, he was active in leftist youth organizations and joined the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) in 1992. He spent the 1990s studying law at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’s law school, where he earned a doctorate, and working for the PDS as a local politician. In December 2005 Klaus Lederer was elected chair of the Berlin Left Party, a position he held until December 2016. From 2003 to January 2017, Dr. Lederer was a member of the Left Party parliamentary group in the House of Representatives, Berlin’s state legislature, and was its spokesperson on legal policy. Dr. Klaus Lederer has been Mayor and Senator for Culture and Europe in Berlin since December 2016.
General Director of Deutschlandradio
Christoph Eschenbach has been closely associated with the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival for almost two decades. Time and again, the pianist and conductor has rehearsed and performed fascinating programmes with the Festival Orchestra, whose chief conductor he has been since 2004 – their tours have regularly included Young Euro Classic. From 2010 to 2017 Eschenbach has also been the director of the National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. The 76-year-old continues to appear on all the world’s major concert stages. During the 2016/17 season, he conducts the Bamberger Philharmoniker, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, the SWR Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. Other appearances include London, Paris and Madrid as well as North America and Asia. Last but not least, Eschenbach continues to perform as a piano soloist and in song recitals with the baritone Matthias Goerne.
The French cellist Bruno Philippe, born in Perpignan in 1993, studied with Jérôme Pernoo at the Conservatoire in Paris. Further studies took him to master courses with renowned cellists such as David Geringas, Steven Isserlis and Pieter Wispelwey. Since 2014 Philippe has been a student of Frans Helmerson’s at the Kronberg Academy in the Taunus in Germany. During that same year, he won a Third Prize and the Audience Prize at the ARD Competition in Munich and a Special Prize at the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann in Berlin. Philippe has appeared at innumerable festivals all over Europe; among his chamber music partners are Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Tabea Zimmermann and Antoine Tamestit. In 2015 his first CD was released, featuring the Cello Sonatas by Johannes Brahms.
The Chinese-American pianist moved to the USA in 1999 to study at the Manhattan School of Music and subsequently at the Curtis Institute of Music with Gary Graffman and at New York’s Juilliard School with Yoheved Kaplinsky, Joseph Kalichstein and Robert McDonald. In 2016 she added a Master of Business Administration from the Columbia Business School. During the 2016/17 season Di Wu gave her first concerts in Minsk and Moscow, performed three concerts in Mexico and undertook an extensive tour of Asia, giving 20 concerts in the great music metropolises. Di Wu began her professional career at the age of 14, when she appeared with the Beijing Philharmonic. In 2009 she gave her US debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has performed in Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Boston, Seattle and Cincinnati, among others, with American orchestra, working with conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Ludovic Morlot, Yu Long and Christoph Eschenbach. She has given recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, as well as in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco as well as the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Ravinia Festival and the Portland Piano Festival.
Thomas Bloch lives in Paris and is sought-after around the world as a specialist for rare instruments such as the Ondes Martenot, the glass harmonica, the Cristal Baschet and the waterphone. He is also a composer and producer. He works in the classical music field, but also in rock and pop music as well as in opera, improvisation, film music and ballet music. He has given more than 3000 concerts in 40 countries and has been involved in about 150 CD productions. Among other partners, he has worked with Radiohead, John Cage, Tom Waits, Marianne Faithfull, Robert Wilson, Milos Forman, Daft Punk, Valery Gergiev, Pierre Boulez, Michel Plasson, Myung-Whun Chung, Christoph Eschenbach, Paul Sacher, Isabelle Huppert, Manu Dibango, Fred Frith, Phil Minton, Nana Mouskouri, and Vanessa Paradis. Thomas Bloch has recorded CDs for such renowned labels as EMI, Deutsche Grammophon and Sony and produces his own CDs for Naxos. Thomas Bloch studied musicology at the Strasbourg University and teaches Ondes Martenot at the Strasbourg Conservatory. At the Musée de la Musique de Paris, he is responsible for the presentation of the Ondes Martenot. In January 2017 Thomas Bloch was involved in the opening concert of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie.
Concerto for Cello No. 1 in C-Major Hob. VIIb.1 (1765)
“Turangalîla Symphony” for Piano and Large Orchestra (1948)
The US-American John Neumeier is among the most important choreographers of our times. As Ballet Director and Artistic Director of the Hamburg Ballet, he turned this company into one of Germany’s leading ones. John Neumeier won international acclaim for his combination of traditional ballet with new, contemporary forms. One of John Neumeier’s passions is the support and education of young talent. In 1978, he founded the Ballet School of the Hamburg Ballet. In 2011, John Neumeier took on the position of Artistic Director of the newly-founded National Youth Ballet. John Neumeier has been awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit twice and was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2003. He already choreographed a ballet for Young Euro Classic in 2012, and in 2013 and 2014 the National Youth Ballet appeared at the Konzerthaus in two of his choreographies as well.
Born in Miami, Kevin Haigen has worked as a dancer, choreographer, ballet teacher and ballet master. He trained at the School of American Ballet under George Balanchine, where he created his first choreographies. In 1976 Kevin Haigen joined the Hamburg Ballet, where he returned in 1991, after several international engagements, as company ballet master and ballet teacher. Ever since, he has assisted John Neumeier in the production of numerous ballets worldwide. Since the founding of the National Youth Ballet, Kevin Haigen has been its Artistic and Pedagogical Director.
Choreography and lyrics: Bundesjugendballett, John Neumeier, Maša Kolar, Bundesjugendballett
Music: based on Leonard Cohen (Halleluja); Ludwig van Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 D Major Op. 130; Carlos Gardel, Melodía de arrabal (Arr.: James McFadden-Talbot); Beatbox: Anton »The Kid« Stender
Choreography: Ricardo Urbina Reyes
Music: Oliver Messiaen, Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus
Hans Zimmer, Time
Choreography: Paul Hess
Music: TV-recording with music of Paul van Dyk, commentary by Carsten Sostmeier
Choreography: Sasha Riva (excerpts)
Music: Peteris Vasks, Quartett - III. Canti Dramatici and V. Canto Principale
Choreography: Wubkje Kuindersma
Music: Arnold Schönberg
Something to be proud of: Dietmar Bär, who plays the character of Freddy Schenk in the Cologne Tatort crime series, was voted the most popular TV investigator in Germany in 2014. He has played the Detective Inspector in over 60 cases since 1997 and won the German Television Award in 2000. Together with Klaus J. Behrendt, he received the Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2015 from Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft. Dietmar Bär, a native of Dortmund, considers it of extreme importance to remain close to his people. As often as he can, the ardent fan of Borussia Dortmund mixes with the fans in the stadium in his black and yellow jersey. His daily life, however, is rather different from the rough big guy with an insatiable appetite for “currywurst” he plays in the Tatort series. Dietmar Bär loves to read, listens to all kinds of music and has developed into a gourmet with vegetarian preferences: “I am too old for cheap wine and bad food.” However, he is not too old for the various social causes he supports: Bär is a founding member of “Tatort – Straßen der Welt e.V.” which supports children’s rights in the Philippines, in Swaziland and Germany. And he supports Young Euro Classic not only as an evening patron, but also as a member of the German Association of Friends of European Youth Orchestras e.V.
The conductor Patrick Lange launched his international career from Berlin. Here, he was First Conductor at the Komische Oper starting in 2008 before filling the vacant position of General Music Director from 2010 to 2012, with the title of chief conductor. During this time, he conducted important premieres, such as Wagner’s Meistersinger, Dvořák’s Rusalka and Mozart’s Idomeneo. At the same time, Lange made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 2010, where he has returned regularly ever since, most recently in 2016, when he led Puccini’s Tosca and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. He has appeared in Dresden and Hamburg and at the opera houses in Zurich, London, Paris, Seoul and Toronto. Most recently, the 36-year-old conducted a new production of Lulu at the Weimar Opera. In the autumn of 2017 he will become General Music Director in Wiesbaden. A former assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Lange is also in high demand as a concert conductor and has already worked with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany several times.
Ralf König became known to a broader audience when his comic book Der bewegte Mann was released as a movie featuring Katja Riemann and Til Schweiger in 1994. Previously, the comic-strip artist from Soest, Westphalia had already found enthusiastic fans for his chronicles of gay life, for example Silvestertuntenball and Sahneschnittchen. These were followed by volumes such as Superparadise (about Aids) and Sie dürfen sich jetzt küssen (about gay marriage). With an overall circulation of almost seven million books, Ralf König became the world’s most popular author of explicitly homosexual stories. His works have been translated into more than a dozen languages, most recently into Catalan, Gaelic and Polish. The artist, who is 56 today, found another focus for his work in Dschinn Dschinn (2006), which deals with radical Islamism. The same year, he also became noted for his comments on the controversy about the Danish Mohammed caricatures.
“Grand Gothic Suite“ (2014)
“The Glass Harmonica” (1968, together with the animated film of the same title by Andrey Khrshanovsky
Prelude, “Hexenritt” and “Knusperwalzer” from “Hänsel und Gretel” (1891) with drawings from Wilhelm Busch’s “Bilderpossen” (1864)
“The Pet” (2017, music for the first animated movie by Winsor McCay of 1921)
Concert Fantasy “A Night on Bare Mountain” (Original version of 1867) with live drawings by Ralf König
As a teenager, Gregor Burgenmeister performed as a pianist himself. After graduating from school, however, he decided to leave music-making to others and to turn to another art form instead: film. From then on, his path took him to stations as programmer at the Hamburg Film Festival, as an editor at Studio Hamburg and to various positions in film and television productions. There he learned something essential for a young media professional: how to tell fascinating stories well. It was not least his youthful passion for music that moved him to turn back to the music business professionally. And so, undaunted by the crisis confronting all print media, he founded the monthly magazine concerti in Hamburg in 2005, telling exactly those fascinating stories about classical music and offering extensive calendar listings. In fact, concerti began its development into Germany’s leading classical music magazine from a simple and plausible point of departure: “I wanted it for myself. I was missing such a magazine.”
The musical world of the Swedish violinist Hugo Ticciati is characterized by infinite curiosity. The 37-year-old brother of the designated chief conductor of Berlin’s DSO, Robin Ticciati, includes literature, philosophy, spirituality and meditation in his programmes, just like dance and kinetic painting. He performs the classical violin concertos, but also delves into contemporary music with verve. Ticciati has works by Takemitsu, Shchedrin, Glass and Lera Auerbach in his repertoire and has also given works by Albert Schnelzer, Sergey Yevtushenko and Tobias Boström their world premieres recently. He is a passionate chamber musician, working with the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, pianists Angela Hewitt and Olli Mustonen and the trombonist Nils Landgren, for example. In addition, Hugo Ticciati is the artistic director of the O/Modernt Kammarorkester, which is in residence at Stockholm’s concert hall Musikaliska.
Like Hugo Ticciati, the British cellist Matthew Barley, born in 1965, is a musical wanderer between worlds, switching effortlessly between classical and improvisation, electronic sounds and pedagogical projects. He has worked with such different artists as Jon Lord (of Deep Purple), Sultan Khan, Django Bates and jazz pianists Julian Joseph and Nikki Yeoh. Barley has performed world premieres of numerous cello works, including some by Detlev Glanert, John Metcalfe, John Woolrich and James McMillan. In 2013 he dedicated himself to Benjamin Britten’s centennial, giving about 100 performances and workshops in the process. In 1997 the cellist founded his ensemble “Between the Notes”, with which he has implemented more than 60 education projects with young musicians. Together with his wife, the violinist Viktoria Mullova, and “Between the Notes” he recorded the CD Through the Looking Glass in 2000, featuring pieces from Alanis Morisette to Miles Davis and George Harrison.
Raised in the holy village of Sri Bhaini Sahib in the Punjab, Sukhvinder Singh began early in life to learn the dholak (drum). Given his mixture of virtuosity, spontaneity and musical charisma as a tabla player, he has found a numerous and enthusiastic audience in India, Europe and the USA. During his career, he has worked with such outstanding compatriots as Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. In 1994 Sukhvinder Singh received a Grammy for his musical project A Meeting by the River.
The british-indish Sarod-player Soumik Datta considers himself a musical “bridge-builder” between classical Indian and contemporary music, working with artists such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey and Akram Khan. In 2015 he wrote the music for the internationally celebrated dance-theatre piece Fractus V by the Belgian-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbei Cherkaoui; his most recent project was the film Lost Musicians of India.
“Silouan’s Song“ for String Orchestra (1991)
“Distant Light“ Concerto for Violin (1997)
And improvisations with tabla, inspired by works by Pēteris Vasks, Sultan Khan and the Beatles – and much more.
“Poultry farming and boy scout camps” – that is how Jo Schück’s journalistic career began as a reporter for the local newspaper Bergsträßer Anzeiger in Lorsch in Southern Hessen. His search for “Culture and Politics” then led him to Zeit Online, Hit Radio FFH (Frankfurt) and SBS Radio in Sydney. After the Australian capital, he moved to the German one: in 2004 he became a reporter and presenter for Radio Fritz by RBB (Berlin/Potsdam). After an internship with the ZDF, he gained a foothold in its political department, moderating at first for digital TV. When zdf.kultur was founded two years later, Jo Schück was one of its main moderators. In parallel, he provided political documentaries as an author and presenter for the ZDF’s main programme. “Culture and Politics” – since 2014 he has united his two passions in one feature: as the moderator of aspekte on ZDF, together with Katty Salié. Jo Schück lives in Berlin with his family. He studied journalism, philosophy and business administration in Mainz and in Sydney.
The 26-year-old Hungarian trumpet player Tamás Pálfalvi is making a name for himself as one of the most innovative and creative trumpet players of our times. His first-rate technique, stage presence and dramaturgical skills brought him a first prize at the Fanny Mendelssohn Encouragement Award in 2015. The resulting debut album Agitato with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra combines works by Vivaldi, Telemann and Handel with contemporary composers such as Ligeti, Kagel and Dubrovay – as a matter of course. Pálfalvi would like to expand both the trumpet repertoire and playing technique. He pursues these goals not only by championing new composers, but also by transcribing historical repertoire. Pálfalvi has performed in New York and Tokyo, in Hong Kong, London and Beirut, and with conductors including Christoph Eschenbach, Matthias Pintscher, Peter Eötvös and Zoltán Kocsis.
Aged 23, Vera Karner has won numerous awards at national and international competitions, honours and scholarships, including at the Fidelio Competition Vienna, Ad Infinitum Lübeck or the Lions Music Prize 2015. In addition to her own concerts, the clarinettist has gathered orchestral experience in the stage orchestra at the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. She is actively engaged in the project “Live Music Now” founded by Yehudi Menuhin, giving free concerts in social institutions. In 2016 she won the Fanny Mendelssohn Encouragement Award together with Dominik Wagner.
At the young age of 20, Dominik Wagner from Vienna has already travelled half the world, looking back upon performances in Asia, South America and Europe. In addition, he was the youngest participant ever to win the Golden Bass Competition in Lviv (Ukraine) in 2013, also winning the International Osaka Competition in 2014. Dominik Wagner is a fellow of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation and a member of Mutter’s Virtuosi. In 2016 he won the Fanny Mendelssohn Encouragement Award together with Vera Karner.
The 25-year-old pianist Maciej Skarbek is originally from Rzeszów, Poland. From 2011 to 2014 he studied with Stefan Vladar at the Vienna Music Academy, then moving on to studies with Roland Batik at the Vienna Private Music University. He has won many international competitions, including Musica Juventutis (Vienna), the Gina Bachauer Society (Greece), and “A Feast for Duos” (Switzerland). Apart from performances in Poland, Germany and Austria, Maciej Skarbek has also appeared in Switzerland, Italy, Portugal and in Israel.
The violinist Matthias Well, Maria Well’s younger brother, is the winner of several regional, state and federal prizes at the German competition “Jugend musiziert”. As early as 2011 he founded the music group “nouWell cousines” together with several other family members. As part of the duo “twoWell” he won the special prize of the Gasteig Cultural Circle for his “breath-taking stage presence during Ondrej Kukal’s Present”. In 2017 he was honoured with the Fanny Mendelssohn Encouragement Award, which is helping him and his sister record their debut album Kein Grund zur Trauer (No Reason to Mourn).
Born in Munich as the daughter of the cabaret musician Michael Well (of Biermösl Blosn) and sister of Matthias Well, cellist Maria Well was accepted at the Munich Music Academy as a junior student at the early age of 16. She also won regional, state and federal first prizes at the competition “Jugend musiziert”. In 2015 she graduated with distinction; during the same year she founded the violin-cello duo “twoWell” with her brother Matthias. An enthusiastic chamber musician, she works with numerous musical institutions in Munich.
The Ensemble Olivinn stands for a very special sound, mixing traditional Turkish and Anatolian folk songs with classical European and contemporary works, which also include improvisation. In Berlin, the quartet has performed regularly in musical theatre works at the Maxim Gorki Theater, Ballhaus Naunynstraße and Atze Musiktheater.
Born in Istanbul in 1983, Begüm Tüzemen studied musical and opera singing at the State Conservatory of the Istanbul University. She also studied Russian language and literature and appeared in musical and concert projects in Antalya-Aspendos, among others. In Berlin she continued her studies in classical singing and acting, impressing audiences in the successful productions Türkisch für Liebhaber and Tango Türk at the Neukölln Opera. Together with Sinem Altan and Özgür Ersoy, she founded Ensemble Olivinn. She also appears as a soloist in the award-winning fairy-tale concert series Kologlan. Her virtuoso treatment of many vocal techniques and her large repertoire in many languages and different styles – from classical, jazz and tango to international folk song arrangements and interpretations of contemporary music – allow her to create fascinating cross-genre and multi-media performance projects. Apart from her performances as a singer, she has performed in several musical theatre productions on German stages. Most recently, she joined Nils Landgren at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin, performing at the farewell event of President Joachim Gauck.
Özgür Ersoy, a native of Turkey, is a bağlama, mey and duduk player from Berlin. He has been involved in innumerable concerts and projects since 1999 and has performed alongside artists such as Fazil Say, Dagmar Manzel, Sinem Altan and Nils Landgren. In 2013 he performed as a soloist with the Berlin State Youth Orchestra at Berlin’s Konzerthaus and with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. He has also performed at Berlin’s Philharmonie, Komische Oper, Neukölln Opera and the Maxim Gorki Theater. Among his current projects is the live graphic novel Human Traffic at the Heimathafen Neukölln. His music begins with Anatolian folk music and takes him via jazz and classical music to Oriental music and far beyond.
Axel Meier, drummer and percussion player, was born 1990 in Berlin. His musical career began with playing the piano at the age of 6. His first interest in playing drums was aroused at the age of 12.
He started to explore various different percussion instruments, music styles and rhythms at a very early stage in his life. Regardless of whether he plays the kettledrum or the darbuka, Salsa or traditional Turkish folklore music, drumset or vibraphone he feels secure to play all kinds of music styles. Nevertheless he is constantly engaged in searching new ways of improving himself and to combine his wide interest in various music styles and instruments. He worked, among others, with Nils Landgren, Robyn Schulkowsky, Steve Hackett (Genesis), Karat, Keiko Abe, Jacob TV, Moritz Eggert and performed with a variety of ensembles and orchestras in Germany, Europe and Asia. From 2010 to 2016 he was studying drums and classical percussion at the Academy of Music and Theatre (HMT) Rostock. Now he is working as a freelance musician and educator.
She is from Ankara and lives in Berlin: for the 32-year-old German-Turkish composer Sinem Altan, the dialogue between these two cultures is the central subject of her artistic work. Even as a young girl, she won first prizes as a pianist and composer in Turkey and Germany; she was accepted at the Music Academy Hanns Eisler as a junior student at the age of only 11. Later, she initiated the concert series “Yenilige Dogru – On the Road towards Novelty”, which later resulted in the founding of her ensemble Olivinn, which moves freely between European classical music, Turkish folk music and contemporary sounds. Sinem Altan’s activities are uncommonly broad-ranging: she has been composer-in-residence at the Neukölln Opera; she has set several stories about Keloglan, the Turkish equivalent of Till Eulenspiegel, for the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin (RSB); and for the Amsterdam Opera she composed a new version of Verdi’s Aida including a gospel choir and oriental percussion. In 2013 her Concerto for Baglama (Turkish lute) and Symphony Orchestra had its successful premiere at the Konzerthaus Berlin. In 2015 she won the European Composers Award at Young Euro Classic for her work Hafriyat – Earthwork. She performed again at the Festival in 2016, presenting “Classic meets Jazz” together with her Ensemble Olivinn and Nils Landgren.
One concert – four programmes: breath-taking baroque and modern trumpet virtuosity. Haunting melodies from all over the world: “Gassenhauer – Gassenbauer”. Funeral music, not necessarily sad: Matthias Well revives the ancient tradition of the “funeral fiddlers”. Sinem Altan leads the versatile Ensemble Olivinn in their brilliant fusion of traditional Turkish and classical music. Finally, these outstanding young musicians meet “halfway” – focusing on the music of Hungary, which becomes their springboard for flights of fancy all their own.
She is hard to overlook in the German film business: Gesine Cukrowski has appeared in more than 170 film and television productions. 20 years ago, the native Berliner had her breakthrough with the award-winning mystery series Der letzte Zeuge, playing opposite Ulrich Mühe. She came to international attention with the drama production Das Wunder von Berlin, which was nominated for an international Emmy, and proved her great versatility in the political drama Die Spiegel Affäre, among others. A passionate actress who lives for her profession, she is also found on the theatrical stage – after all, that is where her career started: she gathered her first experience during her student days. Since then, she has also appeared at the Salzburg Festival, as an ensemble member at the Basel Theatre and at the Renaissance Theatre in Berlin. Her social engagement includes chairing the board of the award-winning project Findelbaby and being elected to the supervisory board of the Welthungerhilfe (World Hunger Foundation).
The Russian conductor, who was born in Leningrad in 1957, has been a regular visitor to many of Berlin’s orchestras for many years. Boreyko is equally in demand throughout Europe and in the USA; current European highlights include appearances with the Gothenburg Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. In North America, 2016/17 sees appearances the Aspen and Ravinia Festivals with the Chicago Symphony. Notable amongst Boreyko’s discography is an extensive recording project of the complete Shostakovich symphonies with the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR as well as the recording of Górecki’s Symphony No. 4 which was premiered in 2014 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and subsequently in the US with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to his chief conductor position with the National Orchestra of Belgium, he is Music Director of the Naples Philharmonic in Florida and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi.
Julian Rachlin is one of the foremost violinists of our time, also praised as violist and conductor. Born in Vilnius in 1974, he moved to Vienna in 1978, where he made his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic under Riccardo Muti in 1988. Recent highlights include concerts with Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Daniele Gatti and Mariss Jansons. In 2017/18, Rachlin will open the St. Petersburg Philharmonic season with Yuri Temirkanov, he will tour with the Scala Filarmonica and Riccardo Chailly, and will return to the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with Zubin Mehta. He will have his own cycle at the Vienna Musikverein and a residency at the Prague Spring Festival. Rachlin is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia and leads the “Julian Rachlin & Friends” Festival in Mallorca. He plays the 1704 “ex Liebig” Stradivari and a 1785 Lorenzo Storioni viola, on loan to him courtesy of the Dkfm. Angelika Prokopp Privatstiftung. His strings are sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld.
“The Messenger” for Synthesizer, Piano and String Orchestra (1997)
Concerto for Violin in D-Major Op. 6 (1806)
“The Smile of Maud Lewis” (1998)
Concerto for Orchestra (1954)
Hermann Parzinger’s profession requires an eye for details and patience. He studied archaeology and history and modestly recounts: “Even if it sounds somewhat immodest, I somehow knew I would make my way in archaeology from my very first semester.” And he was proven right. After receiving his doctorate and post-doctorate degrees in Munich, he became the director of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin for thirteen years and then its president for another five years. He led numerous excavations in the Middle East and South-Western Asia and especially in Russia, with a focus on Siberia. His research has won several awards. And he also has the ability to take the long view: since 2008 he has been president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which makes him responsible for the master plan for Berlin’s Museum Island and many other cultural building projects within the city. He was also appointed one of three founding directors of the Humboldt Forum. And as for his ability to see and describe beauty … one of his books, fresh off the press, is always a joy!
The conductor Bruno Weil looks back on a long career as an opera and concert conductor ever since he acted as a last-minute replacement for Herbert von Karajan, who had fallen ill in Salzburg in 1988, thus leading three performances of Don Giovanni. Born in Hochstätten in the German Palatinate in 1949, Weil began his career as General Music Director at the Opera Houses in Augsburg and Duisburg; he also directed the festival “Klang & Raum”, which took place at The Irsee Monastery from 1993 to 2011. He has made a name for himself the world over as a conductor of Vienna’s classical era. Thus, he has enjoyed longstanding working relationships not only with specialist orchestras such as Tafelmusik in Toronto and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. His CD recordings of the late Haydn symphonies, Beethoven’s piano concertos and Schubert’s masses have also won numerous awards. Between 2011 and 2015, Bruno Weil conducted Mozart’s three da Ponte operas at Jeunesses Musicales in Weikersheim. In 2015 he was appointed a professor of conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
In 2015 the Russian pianist Dmitry Masleev catapulted himself to international attention by winning the most renowned piano competition of all, the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Ever since, the 28-year-old has received invitations from all over the world: in January 2017 he first performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, followed in March by Masleev’s celebrated Berlin debut with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin. The spring of 2017 also brought many solo recitals as well as a China tour with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. As artist-in-residence he will work with the SWR Symphony Orchestra. Masleev’s repertoire ranges from Scarlatti, Mozart and Beethoven to the late romantic Russian repertoire and sonatas (with Boris Berezovsky) and piano quintets by Shostakovich and Weinberg. Raised in Ulan-Ude, a Siberian town located between Lake Baikal and the border to Mongolia, he studied at the Moscow Conservatory and at the International Piano Academy on Lake Como.
"Summa" for String Orchestra (1991)
Concerto for Piano No. 1 in B-Minor Op. 23 (1874-1875)
Symphony No. 7 in A-Major Op. 92 (1812)
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Nordmann, born in Kiel in 1971, studied musicology and modern history first at the Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg, then at Berlin’s Free University and Technical University. Right after his Master’s degree, he wrote his doctoral thesis under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Christian Martin Schmidt on The Influence of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival on the Musical Landscape of Schleswig-Holstein. While still a student, Sebastian Nordmann gathered practical experience in the cultural sector, working at the Edinburgh Festival, the Culture Department of Bayer AG, as orchestra manager of the Schleswig-Holstein State Youth Orchestra and assistant to the Intendant (Artistic Director) of the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. After completing his doctorate, he worked for the strategic consultancy The Boston Consulting Group in Berlin for two years. From October 2002 to December 2008 he was Intendant and managing director of the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. From 2008 to 2013 he taught music management / career planning as a professor at the Rostock Academy of Music and Theatre, focusing on the development of self-initiative, creativity, self-assessment and entrepreneurial thought. Since September 2009 Sebastian Nordmann has been Intendant of the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin.
The conductor Kristjan Järvi is one of the rather rare types of musician who are able to move between different genres with the ease of a virtuoso. Whether classical, jazz or hip hop: not least in conjunction with his various ensembles, the 45-year-old pursues a broad range of musical inclinations. Since 2012 he has been chief conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig; he also continues to lead the Absolute Ensemble in New York, which he founded. Born in the USA as the youngest son of the Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi, the conductor is tireless in his championship of contemporary music. He has commissioned more than 100 works, including from composers such as Arvo Pärt, Tan Dun and Erkki-Sven Tüür. Steve Reich and HK Gruber are among his artistic partners, as are Anoushka Shankar, Hauschka and Marcel Khalife. So far, Kristjan Järvi has released more than 60 albums, ranging from film scores for Cloud Atlas, A Hologram for the King and Sense 8 to the eponymous series The Kristjan Järvi Sound Project.
His first CD featuring violin concerti by Khachaturian and Barber, released in 2011, bore the telling title Two Souls. Indeed, there are two souls within the 32-year-old violinist Mikhail Simonyan. Born in Novosibirsk as the son of Armenian-Russian parents, he immigrated to the USA early in life, where he made his debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall at the age of 15. His teacher at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia was the Russian Victor Dansherenko, who had worked directly with Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Khachaturian as a young man. Since 2013 Simonyan has added the position of artistic director of the newly founded Kaluga Youth Symphony Orchestra in Moscow and president of the Open Sea Foundation to his concert engagements. The Open Sea Foundation supports more than a dozen musical projects, mainly in Russia, including concert performances of the operas Eugene Onegin and Carmen in Russia and Lithuania during recent years.
“Water Possessed Afresh” (2017)
“Water Music” (1717)
Concerto for Violin No. 2 “The American Four Seasons” (2009)
“Aguas da Amazonia” (1993, arr. Charles Coleman)
We´re celebrating. Celebrate with us! At the traditional AUDIENCE PARTY after the concert.
Since November 2013, Gerda Meuer has been programme director oft he Deutsche Welle (DW). Thus, she is responsible for the information offered by the German foreign broadcasting station in 30 languages via television, internet and radio. Gerda Meuer began her career three decades ago as an intern at DW. Foreign postings took her to Tokyo and Brussels. As an associate editor-in-chief for the German-language programme and a long-time director of the DW Academy, she has been responsible for the Deutsche Welle’s offerings for a long time. As a programme director, Gerda Meuer sees her most important task in driving the transformation of Deutsche Welle into a digital media corporation.
The American musician Jonathan Stockhammer has made an international name for himself during recent years, mainly as a conductor of contemporary opera. Right after graduating from the music academy in his hometown of Los Angeles, he moved to Germany, where he gained a broad range of experience with Ensemble Modern, MusikFabrik and Ensemble Resonanz. Among his most recent productions, performances of Peter Eötvös’ Tri sestri at the Vienna State Opera and Georg Friedrich Haas’ Koma at the Schwetzingen Festival stand out. In Berlin, Stockhammer has been heard at the festivals Ultraschall and MaerzMusik. His curiosity for other musical genres is almost boundless. Thus, the Berlin-based conductor conducted Ensemble Modern for a CD with works by Frank Zappa and worked with the Pet Shop Boys on a new film score for Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin. His live recording The New Crystal Silence with Chick Corea, Gary Burton and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra received a Grammy Award in 2009.
Yoshiko Kobayashi is a graduate of the Elisabeth University of Music. She then attended the Prayner Conservatory in Austria and was a post-graduate student in the “Song and Oratorio” programme at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. She won the first prize at the 10th Osaka International Music Competition and also received the grand prix at the competition Grand Final. Her opera repertoire includes the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro) and Frasquita (Carmen). Today Yoshiko Kobayashi teaches at the Elisabeth University.
The mezzo-soprano Miyuki Fujii studied singing at the Osaka University of Arts. During her studies, she already made her debut as the Duchess in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and was subsequently heard as Carmen and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. At the Milano Music Festival, Miyuki Fujii was the soloist in the performance of Toshio Hosokawa’s Voiceless voice in Hiroshima with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra.
A native of Hamburg, Nina Petri is one of the most well-known faces on German television. Since she first appeared in her first Tatort (in the episode Schimanskis Waffe, one of the last featuring Götz George), numerous episodes of Tatort and innumerable series and TV films followed: most recently Sibel & Max, Soko Kitzbühel, the two-part ZDF production Tod eines Mädchens and the early evening crime series Heiter bis tödlich – Zwischen den Zeilen. Nina Petri has worked on feature movies with directors such as Doris Dörrie (Happy Birthday, Türke), Peter Lichtefeld (Zugvögel… Einmal nach Inari), Adolf Winkelmann (Junges Licht) and Tom Tykwer (Die tödliche Maria). For her supporting role in Tykwer’s movie hit Lola rennt (Run Lola Run), the actress received the German Film Prize in 1999. However, the 53-year-old also pursues many roles beyond the camera: for Hamburg’s SPD party, she has participated twice as a delegate in the election of the German President. At a benefit tournament of the football club FC St Pauli Hamburg, she was the first woman to join a VIP team for a good cause. She is also the patron of the “Klingendes Museum Hamburg”, which introduces children to musical instruments.
Heikko Deutschmann, born in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1962, is equally active on the theatre stage and television. He also works as an author and film-maker. Most recently, he appeared in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at Berlin’s Renaissance-Theater and in Tankred Dorst’s last play, Das Blau in der Wand, at the Ruhrfestspiele and at the Düsseldorf Theatre. He began his television career in 1985; ever since, Deutschmann has appeared in many roles, making guest appearances in Tatort and Polizeiruf 110, in Ein Hausboot zum Verlieben and in the children’s series Tiere bis unters Dach, among others. Most recently, Heikko Deutschmann appeared in 2016 in the fairy-tale film Schlaraffenland and in the film version of Lindström’s Zurück ins Morgen. He has also recorded numerous audio books, ranging from classics such as Tales from 1001 Nights and Le Rouge et le Noir to novels by Martin Suter, Jörg Fauser and Frank Schätzing.
“Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage” Op. 112 (1815)
Symphony No. 7 in B-Minor D 759 “The Unfinished” (1822)
“Starless Night” for Two Sopranos, Two Narrators, Choir and Orchestra (2010)
Boris Aljinovic shares a fate with many a gifted stage and theatre actors: the son of a German mother and a Croatian father became really well known mainly thanks to television. For 14 years he played Berlin’s inspector Felix Stark on the popular Tatort series, side by side with Dominic Raacke (aka Till Ritter). He gave that role up three years ago – and unlike some others, Aljinovic hung up his handcuffs like a gentleman, without lamenting the fact in the yellow press. After many years of Tatort and many movies, for example with Otto Waalkes, the versatile actor, who can be as silly and playful as he is mindful and profound, is known to almost everyone in Germany. Calm and mindful describes the person Boris Aljinovic well – and gifted with a subtle sense of humour. No wonder: Aljinovic originally wanted to draw comic strips for a living. At the moment, the 50-year-old has taken up stage acting again, produces successful audio books – and prefers to fight wind and waves, often all alone on his sailboat for months, instead of imaginary crooks.
The young Romanian conductor Gabriel Bebeselea graduated from the Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca with a bachelor’s degree in conducting in 2010, followed by a master’s degree from the Bucharest Music University in 2012. At the same time, he received a scholarship to work as a conducting assistant at the renowned Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. In 2015 he won the Lovro-von-Matacic Conducting Competition in Zagreb; in 2016 he reached the semi-finals of the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in Bamberg. Bebeselea enjoyed a great success in the summer of 2016 with Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro. In December 2017 he will record a CD of works by the Romanian composer George Enescu with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin. At the moment, the 29-year-old holds the position of chief conductor of the National Opera House of Romania and the Transylvanian Philharmonic Orchestra in Cluj-Napoca. He is also the artistic director of the Moldovan National Youth Orchestra.
At barely 30 years of age, the soprano Valentina Naforniţa was catapulted into the international limelight when she won the prestigious vocal competition “BBC Singer of the World” in Cardiff, Wales, in 2011. Ever since, she has been an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera, where she has sung important Mozart roles such as Susanna and Pamina, but also Norina in a new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, alongside Juan Diego Florez. The Peruvian tenor was also her partner in Massenet’s Werther in Paris, along with Joyce DiDonato. Valentina Naforniţa has appeared at the Berlin State Opera as Oscar in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera; at La Scala Milan she performed the role of Gilda in Rigoletto under Gustavo Dudamel’s baton. The Moldovan soprano lives in Vienna with her husband, the baritone Mihail Dogatari. She has founded a charitable organization, CCF, helping children being brought up in institutions to re-join their families.
Rhapsody on Moldovan Themes Op. 47/1 (1949)
Concert Aria “Ah, lo previdi! - Ah, t’invola - Deh, non varcar“ K. 272 (1777)
Concert Aria “Bella mia fiamma, addio“ in C-Major K. 528 (1787)
“Pastorale - Fantaisie” (1916, German Premiere)
“Pictures at an Exhibition” (1874/1922 instr. Maurice Ravel)
Tough times in Brussels! After the British voted for Brexit, the European capital then had to survive the “Krexit” as well in 2016: Rolf-Dieter Krause, the ARD’s “Mr. Europe” for decades, retired amidst well-earned accolades. “Factually competent, analytically critical, clearly expressive,” the Medium Magazin described him when naming him “Journalist of the Year” in 2012. Now he is a true Berliner. Krause, born in Lüneburg, began his career as a local editor in Unna, Kamen and Hamm, moved to the WDR Studio in Düsseldorf in 1982 and became the ARD Correspondent in Bonn from 1985 to 1990. In 1990 he finally landed where he belonged: in Brussels. With refreshing openness, he recounts: “At the time, I had no particular views on the European Community. I was simply young and curious.” After an intermezzo as a Deputy Studio Director in Bonn and Head of Programming for the WDR TV in Cologne in 2000, Brussel welcomed him back in 2001 – for 15 years, the rest of his professional life.
The personal and artistic biography of Cem Mansur could hardly be more cosmopolitan: the British and Turkish citizen was born in Istanbul in 1957 into a multi-national and multi-lingual family. He studied first in London and then with Leonard Bernstein at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. As the conductor of the Istanbul State Opera from 1981 to 1989 he acquired an impressive opera repertoire. The successful performance of Edward Elgar’s unfinished opera The Spanish Lady in London in 1986 was followed by internationally renowned orchestras and opera houses in Europe and the USA as well as Israel and South Africa. In 2009 Mansur conducted the European premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Symphony No. 4 in Helsinki, followed by the world premiere of his composition Veni Creator in Poland in 2010. As chief conductor of the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey he has conducted guest appearances at Young Euro Classic and led several bi-national projects, including the Young Euro Classic Festival Orchestra Turkey-Germany and the Armenian-Turkish Youth Orchestra. From 1998 to 2011 he was also chief conductor and artistic director of the Akbank Chamber Orchestra.
The Turkish violinist Hande Küden is a product of the National Youth Philharmonic of Turkey, where she was concertmaster from 2008 to 2012. She was born in Adana, Turkey, in 1992 and studied first at the State Conservatory of the University of Cukurova before taking up studies with Stephan Picard at the Music Academy “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin. Hande Küden won several prizes and scholarships in Turkey and in Berlin; her first performances as a soloist also took place with Turkish orchestras in her homeland and in Germany. The Ferenc Fricsay Scholarship of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin was particularly influential for her career: the violinist has been the DSO’s second concertmaster since 2016.
"Don Juan“ Op. 20 (1888)
Concerto for Violin in D-Major Op. 35 (1878)
"Haydar Haydar“ (2015, German Premiere)
Symphonic Poem “A Sketch of the Steppes” (1880)
Symphonic Variations Op. 78 (1877)
As ARTE coordinator at the ZDF and managing director of ARTE Germany, Wolfgang Bergmann is committed to culture on television. The chairman of the Musica Group, which consults about the music programmes of the European culture channel ARTE, is also a member of the administrative board of the German Theatre Association and the initiator and editor of numerous television productions in the fields of theatre and music, including theatre films, the ARTE Lounge, The Most Beautiful Operas of All Times and L’Epoque – Epochs of Music. He has been associated with the ZDF for more than 30 years, having started there as a freelancer during his student days. Those took place in Mainz: ethnology, journalism and German literature – a humanist and culture vulture. When the ZDF Theatre Channel was founded in 1999, Wolfgang Bergmann became its associate director, shortly thereafter its director. Ten years later, he restructured the ZDF Theatre Channel into ZDF Culture. In addition, Wolfgang Bergmann was also the founding director of the Academy of Performing Arts in Baden-Württemberg before being appointed coordinator for ARTE within the ZDF in 2012.
Nils Landgren is doubtlessly one of Europe’s most successful jazz musicians. Fans and observers of the 61-year-old Swede are already wondering whether his days might have more than 24 hours. Critics have nominated him as the hardest working man in show business. When “Mr. Redhorn,” the man with the red trombone, is not touring with his legendary band Funk Unit or other projects bearing his name, he works as a producer and talent scout or is found passing his know-how on to his students. In the German capital, he has made a name for himself as the artistic director of the JazzFest Berlin. It is not least his versatility which is admired in this musician, who began playing drums at the age of six and discovered the trombone for himself at 13: apart from hardcore jazz, he is devoted to Swedish folk music – or he might record romantic and idiosyncratic Christmas songs, as he did on his album Christmas With My Friends. In cooperation with Doctors without Borders, Nils Landgren’s Funk Unit supports a music education project for children and teenagers in one of the largest slums of Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi. After leading the successful “Classic meets Jazz” projects at Young Euro Classic for three years running, Nils Landgren returns in 2017 for its fourth edition.
Originally from Tbilisi (Georgia), the pianist Giorgi Mikadze first performed in public at the age of twelve. While still in school, he discovered his love for jazz; during his student days at the Tbilisi State Conservatory he founded his first quartet. After graduating in 2010, he received a scholarship to Berklee College in the USA; he has performed at the jazz festival there, in Montreux and at the Black Sea Jazz Festival in his homeland. He has performed with renowned colleagues such as Roy Hargrove, Dave Liebman, Lee Ritenour, Chris Potter, Matt Garrison, Tia Fuller and Patti Austin. Only recently, Mikadze released an album with Jack DeJohnette, the drummer of the Keith Jarrett Trio. During the spring of 2017 the jazz musician was a fellow at the progressive 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. As a composer, he attempts to translate the micro-tonality of Georgian folk music into jazz in an innovative manner.
Lizi Ramishvili, still only 20 years of age, began taking cello lessons as a child in her native city, the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. In the meantime, she has become a student of the Kronberg Academy in the Taunus, Germany, where she studies with Frans Helmerson, and since 2017 at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva, Switzerland. Lizi Ramishvili already looks back on numerous performances, including a solo recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall, a concert with pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and her appearance in a Prokofiev Concerto at the Rostropovich Festival in Moscow. Invitations also took the cellist, who has held a Rostropovich Scholarship for several years, to the Augsburg Mozart Festival, the festival Energy for Life in Vienna, to Beirut and Sochi in Russia.
Sergo Urushadze, Paata Tsetskhladze, Zurab Tskrialashvili
The Ensemble Basiani was founded in 2000 under the patronage of the Catholic Patriarch of Georgia. In 2013 it was given the status of a State Ensemble of Georgian Vocal Folk Music. Its name refers to the city of Basiani in the former southwest of Georgia (part of modern Turkey), where an important battle in 1203 AD strengthened Georgian dominance in the region. The Ensemble Basiani draws upon the rich experience of its members, most of whom grew up with vocal music since their earliest childhood. The (male) singers have made it their mission to revive the heritage of traditional Georgian polyphony. They have been invited to renowned festivals in St. Petersburg, Aldeburgh and Kilkenny, to Amsterdam, Lisbon and to New York’s Lincoln Center. The Ensemble Basiani Trio, which appears in Berlin, consists of the upper-voice singer, Sergo Urushadze, the middle voice of Paata Tsetskhladze, and the bass Zurab Tskrialashvili – all of them members of the ensemble for many years.
Bassist Ellen Andrea Wang (b. 1986) has distinguished herself as an inventive artist, blending genres in new and unprecedented ways. Her music tastefully blends jazz and pop elements, balancing the lyrical with the rough, the acoustic with the electric, and creating an urban unique sound with a traditional configuration of bass, vocals, drums and piano. Wang is also the founder of the critically acclaimed indie jazz band Pixel. She has toured with Manu Katché’s band and Marilyn Mazur and performed with Sting in 2016. She received the Kongsberg Jazz Festival’s Great Musician Award in 2015, awarded to a musician with a leading position on the Norwegian jazz scene. The Ellen Andrea Wang Trio, founded in 2013, includes some of Norway’s most talented musicians. “A commanding presence in any ensemble she plays in, her soft tone and vocal precision are always counterbalanced with heavy and assertive grooves from her double-bass, interlocking with drummers, jazz, pop and groove alike.” (The Guardian, 2016)
Eva Klesse has been hailed as a “shooting star of the European Jazz scene”; one reviewer called her debut album Xenon “the dream debut of a dream band”. The musician from Werl, Germany, trained as a jazz percussionist in Leipzig, Weimar and Paris and subsequently for two years at the New York University. Although she is officially still a student at the Leipzig Academy, the 31-year-old has long formed part of various formations. Apart from the Eva Klesse Quartet, for which she composes herself, these include the Jorinde Jelen Band, the Julia Hülsmann Octet, the Quartett Trillmann and the Trio No Kissing. Her debut album Xenon quickly won the 2015 Echo Jazz in the category “Newcomer of the Year”. Her second album, Obenland, followed in 2016 to equal acclaim.
When Björn Atle Anfinsen was 6 years old, he heard Maynard Ferguson on CD. It made him start playing the trumpet. With parents who are classical musicians and great interest in other music such as hard rock, funk, jazz, he got a wide music taste at a young age. In 2014 Björn Atle Anfinsen received the youth scholarship of Gävle Jazzclub and was named Best Soloist at the Swedish Jazz Final in Stockholm; two years later he and his band won the Best Band Award. In 2016 he began studying with Patrik Skogh at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. During the past year, he has had the opportunity to play with some of Sweden’s best jazz musicians, such as Magnus Lindgren, Robert Ikiz, Nils Landgren, Svante Thuresson, Lill Lindfors, Peter Asplund, and others. In spring 2017, Björn Atle Anfinsen released his first single, Långdans Från Sollerön, and the autumn will see his debut EP on Stockholm Jazz Records, with drummer Robert Ikiz. As a composer, he strives for a mix of modern jazz and the Middle East, with a touch of electronic music.
This year, jazz legend Nils Landgren – aka “Mr. Redhorn” – invites musicians and singers from Georgia to join him. For the fourth time, he brings young jazz musicians to Berlin, grooving with them on the Konzerthaus stage. Let yourself be surprised by the intriguing rhythms of this mix of jazz, traditional Georgian music and classical pieces! Sitting still – almost out of the question…
How impolite! “He is a man in his prime, running slightly to fat and slowly losing his hair” – thus the Radio Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) introduces one of its best and most high-profile moderators on its website: Jörg Thadeusz has enough self-irony to grin and bear it with good humour. After all, he recalls, he originally began in radio because in his youth “the most exciting women were interested in guitarists, javelin-throwing athletes and potheads”. If he works only with his voice, his female listeners “might think I’m a guitar-playing, stoned javelin thrower”. Actually, he isn’t anything of the kind, but one of Germany’s best moderators, now present on all wavelengths and channels in sound AND sight, recipient of many awards, “quick-witted and charming too” – that is how the introductory sentence on the rbb website ends. Jörg Thadeusz currently covers the national elections with a new journalistic format entitled “Fahrbereitschaft” (starting on August 15, Tuesdays at 10:15 pm on rbb-TV).
The British conductor James Judd is the quintessential musical cosmopolitan. At the moment, he is not only chief conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra, but also leads ensembles in New York, Israel and Korea. Starting in the autumn of 2017, the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava will be added to the list. Previously, the conductor worked for many years in New Zealand and Florida. In addition, the 67-year-old dedicates a major part of his time to pedagogical work with young musicians, whether at the Juilliard School in New York, the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia or the national youth orchestras of New Zealand and Australia. Among Judd’s performances in recent years, a performance of Britten’s War Requiem in Bucharest, Orff’s Carmina Burana in the desert at Masada and two concerts opening the Opera House in Dubai stand out. Judd was also involved in three performances during the festival commemorating the 100th birthday of Yehudi Menuhin at Berlin’s Konzerthaus in the spring of 2016.
The Russian violinist Vadim Repin began his international career when he was still a teenager: at the age of eleven, he gave his debut in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1982, at the age of 13 his debuts in Berlin, Tokyo and Helsinki followed, and at 14 he first performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Ever since, Repin, a native of Novosibirsk in Siberia, has been among the elite of violinists, performing at all the world’s great concert halls, from Mexico City to Madrid, in Amsterdam, Seoul, Taipei and Bangkok. Beyond the classical violin repertoire, Repin also champions new works. Thus, he performed the world premiere of the film music for the silent movie Love (with Great Garbo) of 1927 at London’s Royal Festival Hall in February 2016, written for him by Aphrodite Raickopoulou. For the Trans-Siberian Arts Festival in Novosibirsk, which he founded in 2014, he has commissioned violin concerti from Benjamin Yussupov and Lera Auerbach. Vadim Repin plays a Stradivarius built in 1733.
"As the Heart Soars" (2017, German Premiere)
Concerto for Violin No. 1 in G-Minor Op. 26 (1868)
Symphony No. 1 in D-Major (1888)
As a journalist, Patricia Schlesinger was a reporter, editor and moderator of the ARD show Panorama at the North German Radio (NDR). She headed the ARD Studio for Southeast Asia in Singapore and was its correspondent for the USA in Washington. After returning to Germany, she became the head of the programming areas Culture and Documentaries for NRD Television. Since 2016 she has been the Intendant (General Director) of the Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb). Patricia Schlesinger’s productions have won numerous awards – including the German Film Prize, the Grimme Prize and the Television Prize, an Emmy Award and an Oscar. Patricia Schlesinger is a board member of the Free University Berlin, a member of the board of the Acting Academy “Ernst Busch” and a member of the German Committee for UNICEF. She is married and has one daughter.
The conductor Ingo Metzmacher needs no special introduction in Berlin. He left a permanent impression a the latest during his tenure as chief conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester (2007-2010), leading thematic concert cycles dedicated to “The German Soul” or “1909” and introducing moderated Casual Concerts. The 58-year-old Metzmacher commands a huge concert and opera repertoire, with particular focus on 20th-century and contemporary music. Works by Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Hans Werner Henze and Wolfgang Rihm are included, just like Olivier Messiaen, Luigi Nono and Edgard Varèse. At the same time, Metzmacher also champions romantic rarities by Schubert, Humperdinck and Pfitzner. He led a new production of Wagner’s Ring at the Geneva Opera in 2013/14. This spring, the festival KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen takes place under Metzmacher’s artistic direction for the second time.
The French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is not only at home in all the world’s famous concert halls, but also a regular guest in Berlin. Most recently, he appeared here as the soloist in Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony at the Musikfest Berlin and performed piano works by Gershwin and Qigang Chen with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester in November 2016. This illustrates the enormous range of the pianist’s repertoire, including Saint-Saëns, Schumann and Grieg as much as Tchaikovsky, Khachaturian, Duke Ellington and Bill Evans. This season, Thibaudet toured through China with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. At the same time, he was Artist in Residence at the Orchestre National de France, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where he performed as a soloist and chamber musician and gave master classes. In addition, Thibaudet has a passion for film music, most recently recording Aaron Zigman’s music for Wakefield (2016). He also performed the solo parts in the soundtracks to Atonement (2007) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2012).
“Accompaniment to a Film Scene” Op. 34 (1930)
Concerto for Piano in F (1925)
“The Wonderful Mandarin” Op. 19 (1919)
“Daphnis et Chloé” Suite No. 2 (1907/1912)
The direction he would go in was clear even before he began his studies – literally: definitely south! He began with a year of community service in Bolivia. Then Andreas Wunn studied political sciences in Berlin and – hungry to see the world – in Tokyo. Full of these impressions, he began his ZDF career in 2002, working as a reporter in the foreign policy department, then moderating the show heute in Europa and, as a substitute, the auslandsjournal. After five years, he became managing editor of the main editorial office, and thus took on the management of all the ZDF information shows. In the meantime, he has been Managing Editor of the ZDF Morgenmagazin since the end of 2016. Before that happened, however, he had to give in to his longing for faraway places one more time: for six years, he was the South American correspondent, heading the ZDF studio in Rio de Janeiro. There he reported on the saving of 33 Chilean mine workers in the Atacama dessert, the football World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. His book Brasilien für Insider became a SPIEGEL bestseller, which is hardly a surprise, given his conviction that “Despite its many social problems – Rio de Janeiro is the most beautiful city in the world to me.” So it all works out: his wife, after all, is Brazilian.
The Portuguese conductor Pedro Carneiro, born in the capital of Lisbon in 1975, has pursued a double career in music. On the one hand, he is an internationally celebrated percussionist who performs at all the major concert halls between the USA, Japan and Australia. More than 100 world premieres demonstrate his special position as a member of the musical avant-garde, as do his collaborations with the Arditti Quartet, the Tokyo String Quartet and the Chilingirian Quartet. The percussionist has a special love for improvisation, often in combination with live electronics or other innovative technologies. On the other hand, Carneiro has launched a career as a conductor during recent years. The Portuguese Chamber Orchestra (Orquestra de Câmara Portuguesa) was founded at his initiative and has its own concert series at the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon. Not least, the Portuguese multi-talent composes orchestral and chamber music and directs the percussion festival “Bang Crash Splash!” in Lisbon.
The clarinettist Telmo Costa is a student at the Music Academy of Paços de Brandão and has also been a member of the Portuguese Youth Orchestra since 2014. Costa has won several international awards; a scholarship has taken him to the Guildhall School of Music in London. In 2016 he was also a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester.
Aged 20, Rúben Valério began taking tuba lessons at the age of 14 in his hometown of Covilhã. Today he studies at the Lisbon Music Academy with Adélio Carneiro. Since 2014 Rúben Valério has been a member of the Portuguese Youth Orchestra.
Originally from Coimbra, the harpist Beatriz Cortesão is currently in the last year of studies at the Conservatory of her hometown. She joined the Portuguese Youth Orchestra in 2014. Beatriz Cortesão also works with professional orchestras, such as the Orquestra Filarmonia das Beiras, the Orquestra do Norte and the Orquestra Clássica do Centro.
The double bass player José Trigo began taking lessons in Vale do Ave at the age of eleven; today he studies at the Mannheim Music Academy. In 2015 he won the Vasco Barbosa Competition in Lisbon, followed by the first prize at the Sergey Koussevitzky Competition in St. Petersburg in 2016. José Trigo has already been a member of numerous national youth orchestras; he also performs regularly with the Portuguese Chamber Orchestra and the Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt.
Overture to “Der Freischütz” Op. 77 (1820)
“Raíz” Concerto for Oboe, Clarinet, Tuba, Harp, Double Bass, Marimba and Orchestra (World Premiere)
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat-Major Op. 55 “Eroica” (1805)
Anyone appointed to a chair at the Collège de France has lifetime tenure. The Parisian Bénédicte Savoy thus reached the pinnacle of French university careers last year. She completed her doctoral dissertation in 2000 on Napoleon’s art theft in Germany. And since 2003 she has been teaching at Berlin’s Technical University, first as a junior professor, then, for the past eight years, as an honorary professor of modern art history. She has certainly found the subject of her dreams. There is hardly a prize she has not won, hardly a membership in an influential committee she has not been offered. Thus, to name but one example, she is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. She miraculously finds the energy to do justice to all these positions, all with her signature charm. Having received the Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) last year, she has now also reached the German pantheon of researchers, and continues to focus particularly on support for young scientists.
The French conductor Fabien Gabel began his musical career as a trumpet player. He studied at the conservatory of his native Paris, later moving on to studies with Reinhold Friedrich at the Karlsruhe Music Academy. Starting in 2002, Gabel turned exclusively to conducting; in 2003 he made his debut at the helm of the Orchestre National de France. He has returned there regularly ever since and also guest-conducts with other renowned orchestras in Europe and the USA, for example the Orchestre de Paris, the BBC Symphony, the Toronto Symphony and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In Germany, Gabel has appeared with the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and most recently with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester at the Philharmonie in Berlin, where they performed works by Berlioz, Ravel, Dukas and Florent Schmitt in December 2016. In 2015 the 41-year-old conducted the premiere of Bizet’s opera Carmen at the Oslo Opera; furthermore, he recorded a CD of French opera arias together with the mezzo-soprano Marie-Nicole Lemieux.
The Franco-Russian violinist Alexandra Soumm’s life trajectory took its course from her native city of Moscow to Vienna to Paris, where she lives today. The First Prize at the 2004 Eurovision Contest in Lucerne brought her first success at the age of 15. In the meantime, she has worked with many renowned conductors, including Herbert Blomstedt, Neeme Järvi, Leonard Slatkin, and Thomas Sondergard. She has been invited to the great orchestras in London and Paris as well as Israel, Tokyo, Detroit and Los Angeles. Alexandra Soumm is a passionate chamber musician, participating in master classes in the USA, Venezuela and Brazil, Israel and Japan. The violinist also founded the non-profit organisation “Esperanz’Arts” in 2012, which aims to make classical music available to people in schools, hospitals and prisons.
“L’Absència“ (2013, German Premiere)
Concerto for Violin in D (1931)
“Symphonie fantastique“ Op. 14 (1831)
Michael Müller was born in Berlin in 1964 and attended the Secondary School of Economics and Administration after graduating from Middle School. He completed a commercial apprenticeship in 1986. Together with his father, he ran an independent printing house in Berlin’s Tempelhof district until 2011. At the early age of 17, Michael Müller joined the SPD and became an active local politician. From 1989 to 1996 he was a member of the Tempelhof Municipal Council, ultimately becoming chairman of his faction. He has been a member of Berlin’s State Parliament since 1996, elected directly in his district of Tempelhof-Schöneberg since 2001. From 2000 to 2004 he was Chairman of the SPD in Tempelhof-Schöneberg. From June 2001 to November 2011, Michael Müller was Chairman of the SPD Faction in Berlin’s State Parliament. From 2004 to 2012 and again since 2016 he has also been the SPD’s State Chairman. In December 2011 Müller became Senator for Urban Development and the Environment and one of two deputies to the Governing Mayor of Berlin. Michael Müller was elected Governing Mayor in December 2014 and again in December 2016. He is married and has two children.
Duncan Ward already looks back upon an astounding range of musical experience. At 12, he composed his first musical, Alice in Wonderland – and conducted it with his own orchestra at his school in the British county of Kent. Soon after, he founded his own band, “The Grasshoppers”, accompanied silent movies at the piano, became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and was proclaimed “Composer of the Year” at the BBC Competition in 2005. In 2012 Ward became the first conductor to join the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as Simon Rattle’s assistant. He conducted members of the Philharmonic and its Academy in numerous concerts featuring music by Webern and Boulez and – on the occasion of the centennial in 2013 – Britten, among others. This season brings his debuts with the Orchestras of the Bavarian Radio and the MDR Radio Leipzig, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris. Duncan Ward conducts the Ensemble Modern at world premieres of works by Isabel Mundry and Manfred Trojahn.
Sophie Pacini, a 26-year-old native of Munich, made her concert debut at the age of nine, playing Haydn’s Concerto in D-Major. At the age of ten, she began studying with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling in Salzburg, adding further studies with Pavel Gililov later. One important supporter was Martha Argerich, whom she played for spontaneously at an Italian hotel, whereupon the prominent pianist invited her to her festival in Lugano in 2010. Sophie Pacini has performed at the Ruhr Piano Festival, at the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival. This season, the daughter of an Italian professor of literature has been invited as a soloist with the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the Bournemouth Symphony and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. She also released her fourth CD featuring works by Beethoven and Liszt; her previous solo albums covered Schumann, Liszt and Chopin, and she also released a CD with piano concertos by Mozart and Schumann. In 2014 Sophie Pacini won an Echo Classic Award.
Overture of “The Creatures of Prometheus” Op. 43 (1801)
Concerto for Piano No. 3 in C-Minor Op. 37 (1803)
“Cuban Overture“ (1932)
Suite (2017) (Commissioned by the Rheingau Music Festival)