“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.
Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935): Passacaglia over a theme by Händel (1894)
László Dubrovay (*1943): Solo Nr. 11. II. and III. Movement (1994)
Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967): Duo for Violin and Cello Op. 7 (1914), 1. Movement: Allegro serioso, non troppo
Béla Bartók (1881-1945): Three Hungarian Folk Songs from Csík Sz. 35a (1907)
Wolfram Wagner (*1962): Trio for Clarinets (2016, German Premiere)
Béla Bartók (1881-1945): Romanian Folk Dances Sz. 56 (1915)
Sinem Altan (*1985): „Fliegenkönnen“ (2016)
Anatolian Ritual: „Kırklar Semahı“ (arr. Ensemble Olivinn, 2014)
Franz Schubert (1797-1828): „Der Leiermann“ / Anatolian Folk Song: „Ayva“ (arr. Sinem Altan, 2014/2017)
Franz Schubert (1797-1828): „Der Wegweiser“ /Anatolian Folk Song: „Uzun Ince“ (arr. Sinem Altan, 2014/2017)
Sinem Altan (*1985): „Bosporus Brahms“ Hommage to „Hungarian Dance No. 5“ by Johannes Brahms (2014/2017)
Franz Lehár (1870-1948): „Hör’ ich Cymbalklänge“, Song and Csardas from „Zigeunerliebe“ (1910)
Sinem Altan (*1985): „Lose It!“ Chamber work for Voice, Bağlama, Percussion, Clarinet, Trumpet, Violin, Cello, Double Bass and Piano (World Premiere)