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Akiko Ebi

AkikoEbi

Akiko Ebi launched her international career as the winner of the Grand Prix in the International Long/Thibaud Competition in Paris and a finalist in the International Fryderyk Chopin Competition in Warsaw, earning the recognition of Martha Argerich, her future mentor. She accomplished her training at the Paris Conservatoire with Aldo Ciccolini and his assistant Marie-Claire Laroche , later with Conrad Hansen, Vlad Perlemuter, Louis Kentner and Colette Zerah.

She has performed throughout the world, with outstanding orchestras and conductors. As a chamber musician, she has given two-piano recitals with Martha Argerich and performed with Ivry Gitlis, Augustin Dumay, Regis Pasquier, Angela Hewitt, Michel Dalberto, the Moragues Quintet and the Via Nova, Parisii and Manfred Quartets. She appears regularly at festivals in La Roque d’Anthéron, Menton, Echternach, Nantes, Lugano, Lisbon, Toledo, IKIF in New York, Tokyo, Salt Lake City and Warsaw.
Her discography includes Chopin’s complete etudes, preludes, nocturnes and impromptus, as well as works by Fauré, Grieg, Franck, Webern, Pierne and Dynam-Victor Fumet (world premiere recording). She was twice awarded the Grand Prix d’Or for her recordings of compositions by Hikari Ōe, which brought international attention to this gifted composer, who was born mentally handicapped.
For her services to French music, Ebi was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1993, and in 2002 she received Japan’s prestigious ExxonMobile Music Prize.

Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau

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Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau

The Dessau Orchestra counts as one of the oldest and most tradition-steeped orchestras in Saxony-Anhalt. The orchestra stems from 1766, when Friedrich Wilheim Rust took over the court orchestra. Since 1794, when a theatre company was permanently engaged in Dessau, the orchestra has played an important part in musical productions of all genres, and since 1798 in the court theatre built by Erdmannsdorff.

Meritorious musical directors in the 19th century included Friedrich Schneider, Eduard Thiele and Augustus Klughardt. The latter two laid the foundation of the Wagner tradition in Dessau. 12 musicians from Dessau played in the first Bayreuth Festival orchestra in 1876. In the first half of the 20th century personalities such as Franz Mikorey, Hans Knappertsbusch, Franz von Hoesslin, Athur Rother and Helmut Seidelmann shaped, as principal conductors, the Dessau orchestra. Seidelmann was on the podium when the new theatre was opened in 1938 with a production of Freischütz. He also conducted a production of The Magic Flute in 1949 when the theatre re-opened after war-time destruction and subsequent reconstruction. Under the directorship of Dr. Heinz Röttger (musical director from 1954 to 1977), outstanding artistic experiences such as the Wagner Festival were created. His successors put their own mark on the traditional repertoire of Wagner-Verdi-Strauss-Slavic composers. Since 1992, under the name of the Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau, the orchestra has undertaken external engagements (for example repeat performances at the “Classic Open Air” on Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt, concerts in the Konzerthaus Berlin, a tour with tenor Jose Cura and a tour of Japan with operas Salome and The Flying Dutchman) and radio broadcasts and CD recordings attest to the orchestra’s nationwide reputation. In August 2009, Dutchman Antony Hermus succeeded Golo Berg to the position of Principal Conductor and Music Director.

Website of Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau

Anna Malikova - piano

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Anna Malikova

Anna Malikova was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where she received her first piano lessons from Tamara Popovich. She studied in Moscow with Lev Naumov at the Central Music School and at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she graduated in 1991. Afterwards she held a teaching position at the Conservatory for several years. Her solo career began in the former Soviet Union, giving solo recitals in cities like Moscow, St Petersburg, Omsk, Baku, among others and also appearing as a soloist with orchestras including those of Ekaterinburg, Minsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Tashkent.

As a prizewinner of important international competitions in Oslo, Warsaw (Chopin Competition) and Sydney, Anna Malikova began to perform more and more in the West. She was invited to play with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw National Philharmonic, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra – among many others.

In 1993, Anna Malikova was awarded first prize at the ARD Competition in Munich - the only first prize for a pianist awarded over a twelve year period. This success established her in the international music scene. Today she gives solo recitals, performs chamber music and concertos all over Europe, South America, and the Middle and Far East. She is invited to sit on juries of international piano competitions including the Chopin Competitions in Moscow and Beijing, the Vianna da Motta in Lisbon, “Armenian Legacy” in Erevan and the Gyeongnam Competition in Korea.

In addition to her busy concert schedule, Anna Malikova continuously increases her output on record. To date she has recorded most of the important works of Chopin as well as works of Schubert, Liszt, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Soler. She released an important new recording of the five piano concertos of Camille Saint-Saëns, accompanied by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne under the baton of Thomas Sanderling. This production received an unusual amount international attention and has received the coveted Classical Internet Award in 2006, the culmination of countless international and enthusiastic reviews.

In autumn 2010, a CD with piano works of Tchaikovsky was released. Projects in 2011 and beyond include appearances throughout Europe, Korea, Japan, China and South America. Anna Malikova is active as a recital and concerto soloist and sits on the jury of competitions such as the European Piano Competition in France, the Maria Canals Competition in Spain and the Chopin Youth Competition in Moscow.

Website of Anna Malikova

Antony Hermus

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Dutch conductor Antony Hermus was appointed musical director of the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau and principal conductor of the Anhaltische Philharmonie in August 2009. From 2003 to 2008 he held the position of musical director at the theatre in Hagen. He began his employment in Hagen in 1998 as an intern, working his way up to repetiteur (1999- 2001), and to Kapellmeister (2001 – 2003). His repertoire spans about 200 symphonic works and 50 operas, from which he has premiered many new productions. At Hagen, in addition to conducting standard repertoire, Hermus was also responsible for the rediscovery of a number of forgotten works including The King’s Children (Humperdinck) and Kleider machen Leute (Zemlinsky). He also conducted many contemporary works;  Knussen’s opera Where the Wild Things Are, the world premiere of the revised version of Eggert’s Helle Naechte and the West German premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.

In recent years he has conducted orchestras including the Nürnberger Symphoniker, the Bochum Symphoniker, the WDR Rundfunkorchester, the Philharmonic  Orchestras of Duisburg, Magdeburg, Freiburg, Kiel, Oldenburg, Mönchengladbach, Osnabrück, Bremenhaven, Jena, Herford, Ludwigshaven and Rostock, as well as the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Orchestre de Bretagne, Orchestre de Haute-Normandie and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. In his home country he has conducted orchestras including the Het Gelders Orkest, Het Brabants Orkest, Holland Symfonia, Limburg’s Symfonie Orkest and the Noord Nederlands Orkest. He has conducted at Opera houses including Opera Zuid and the Nationale Reisopera (Netherlands), Opera Rennes and the Opéra National de Paris (France). In February 2010 he made a successful concert debut at the Palais Garnier with the Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Paris.

In August 2008 Antony made a successful debut in Asia, where he conducted the Taipei Symphony Orchestra and the Chimei Philharmonic Orchestra in performances with the Taiwan National Ballet. He has worked with many renowned soloists including Enrico Pace, Francisco Araiza, Johan Botha, Martin Fröst, Tanja Becker-Bender, Julie Kaufamnn, David Geringas, Severin von Eckardstein, Gavriel Lipkind, Mils Mönkmeyer, Homero Francesch and the piano duo Paratore.

In September 2005 the Philharmonic Orchestra Hagen, under the baton of Hermus, produced a CD of works by Hans Rott and Gustav Mahler (Symphony No. 1). The CD was highly praised by the press. Furthermore, in October 2007 a similarly highly praised CD was produced of a symphonic version of Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. (ACOUSENCE ACO-CD 20707).

As early as 2002, Hermus was awarded a scholarship by the Richard-Wagner-Verband. He was also awarded a sponsorship by the promotional society for theatre, orchestra, children and youth in Hagen. In April 2006 he received a cultural sponsorship from the Hagen Wirtschaftsjunioren (Junior Business Association).

Besides his extensive work in Dessau, where in the 2010-2011 season he will be responsible for new productions of Turandot, The Protagonist / Pagliacci and Khovanshchina, he will also be making return visits to many of the orchestras listed above. Furthermore, he will be making his debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orkest, the Radio Philharmonish Orkest Holland and the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen as well as at the Opera in Toulon where he will conduct a new production of Faustus.

Hermus was born in 1973 in the Netherlands. He studied piano with Jaques de Tiege and conducting with Jac. Van Steen and Georg Fritzsch at the University of Music in Tilburg.

Website of Antony Hermus

Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev

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Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev, born in Moscow in 1993, comes of a family of musicians. His grandmother is the worldwide renowned pianist and professor Tatiana Nikolaeva. He graduated with honors from the Moscow Conservatory Prepatory School, where he studied with Alexander Mndoyants from 2000 to 2011. In 2011, he began studies at the Moscow Conservatory, currently with Sergey Dorensky, as well as his assistants – Nikolai Lugansky, Pavel Narsesjan and Andrey Pisarev.

 

He had his concerto debut at the age of nine with the Bryansk Philharmonic Orchestra (Bach, F-minor concerto).

 

During his school years, Arseny won five international youth piano competitions, including the New Names Competition in Moscow. A highlight of 2012 was Arseny’s triumph at the V. International Scriabin Piano Competition in Moscow.

 

He appears regularly at the Great, Small, and Rachmaninoff Halls of the Moscow Conservatory as well as at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. He has also made concert appearances throughout Europe, Asia and North America (Carnegie Hall, New York; Severance Hall, Cleveland etc.). He has also participated in music festivals in Moscow, throughout Russia (e.g. “Kremlin Music Festival”), Lithuania (Kaunas, Siauliai), Germany (Rheingau Musik Festival), France (Les pianos folies, “Liszt en Provance”) and Macedonia (“Ohrid Summer”) as well as many others.

 

Arseny has appeared with orchestras such as the Evgeny Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Bergen Philarmonic Orchestra. In August 2013, Arseny received second prize and the special prize for the performance of Russian music at the Cleveland International Piano Competition. In October 2014, he was awarded second prize at the Grieg International Piano Competition in Bergen.

Barbara Krieger

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Barbara Krieger studied German and English literature and musicology in Mainz before studying voice at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, where she graduated with honours in 1996. She already began concertizing during her studies and participated in international competitions. She was a prize winner at the renowned Aslico voice competition of La Scala. Her first engagements and tours led the singer - initially a mezzosoprano - to Salzburg, Erfurt, Klagenfurt, Zagreb and to the Vienna Klangbogen Festival. In 1997, she was a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera. Afterwards, she appeared as a lyric-dramatic soprano at prestigious opera houses including Gran Teatru del Liceu Barcelona, in Bregenz, Leipzig, Karlsruhe and at the Nationaltheater in Weimar, among others.

 

Other career highlights include a concert tour with the world-famous bass-baritone Bryn Terfel (2007) and her appearance at Festival MúsicaMallorca with Verdi's Messa da Requiem in Teatre Principal de Palma. In 2008, Barbara Krieger performed in a gala concert with star tenor Roberto Alagna and in the summer of 2009, she gave a riveting performance at Classic Open Air in Berlin, this time with José Carreras at her side. In 2007, Barbara Krieger initiated the CLASSIC OPEN AIR concert series in Dresden in front of the Frauenkirche and from 2007 to 2011 brought thousands of music lovers together to help various charity organisations.

Belenus Quartett

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Belenus Quartet

 

The Belenus Quartet was founded in 2004 and is currently being coached by Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet), Isabel Charisius (Alban Berg Quartet) and Claudius Herrmann (Gringolts Quartet). From 2009-2014, the quartet studied with Isabel Charisius at the Lucerne School of Music. During 2010/2011 they also studied with Walter Levin (LaSalle Quartet) and Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet) at the Basel Conservatory. From 2008-2012, the quartet was instructed by Stephan Goerner.

 

The Belenus Quartet was awarded first prize and the audience prize at the 9th international competition "Franz Schubert and Modern Music 2015". As a finalist in the Migros Culture Percentage chamber music competition in 2013, the quartet was taken on by the concert management of the Migros Culture Percentage. The quartet also won 1st prize at the "Interpretation competition for contemporary music 2012" at the Zurich Conservatory of Fine Arts as well as the "Kiwanis Competition 2012". They were awarded third prize at the "Hans Schaeuble Competition" 2012. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, they were prize-winners at the "Orpheus Swiss Chamber Music Competition". The Quartet was awarded with the special prize for best Haydn interpretation at the 1st "Sandor Vegh Competition" in 2012. The Belenus Quartett have above all given concerts in Switzerland and Germany. Their repertoire spans from early Haydn quartets to contemporary works.

Ben Heit Quartet

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Ben Heit studied jazz piano at the Wurzburg College of Music where he was a pupil of musicians such as Chris Beier and Billy Elgart. He also studied classical piano and composition. He was awarded the Bavarian Jazz Award for the Hubert Winter Quartet, and he later created his own quartet in Berlin. He took lessons from John Hicks, and this was followed by performances domestically and abroad (Paris, Casablanca, Prague and many more), as well as for the Goethe Institute.

Since 2001, the pianist has been living in Trier, from where he has also sought contact with other musicians in neighbouring countries. He met his French musician colleagues at a jam session in Luxembourg and developed a European quartet concept with them. His compositions and piano playing are noticeably influenced by Bill Evans, McCoyTyner, Thelonious Monk and Joachim Kühn.

The Ben Heit Quartet predominantly performs its own compositions, contemporary improvised music with a European focus, which aims to avoid known redundancies and utilise new formative structures, without compromising on improvisatory freedom and spirit for playing.

The programme is topped off with a few foreign compositions which, when re-harmonised and rearranged, are given a new feel.

Other members of the Ben Heit Quartet:

Damien Prud`homme - Saxes

Damien

Jean-Luc Déat - Bass

Jaen-Luc

Christian Mariotto - Drums

Christian

For further information - www.ben-heit.de

Boris Bloch - piano

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The pianist and conductor Boris Bloch, who comes from Odessa in the Ukraine, has long been considered one of the most important interpreters of classical and romantic piano music. He studied under Dimitry Bashkirov at the Moscow Conservatory and won prizes at many international piano competitions, among them one of the most important distinctions for pianists, first prize in the International Piano Competition ”Ferruccio Busoni“ in Bozen (1978).

Bloch has made himself a name as a conductor, and his concert activities have taken him almost everywhere in Europe to work with many famous orchestras. There are a number of CD and DVD recordings by Bloch that are considered definitive, in particular his recordings of the Liszt opera paraphrases, which were awarded the Grand Prix International du Disque Liszt, the recording of the complete piano music of Mussorgsky that received the “Excellence Disque“ Prize, the live performances of Mozart’s “Coronation Concerto”, the Rhapsodie Espagnole of Liszt-Busoni and the third piano concerto of Tchaikovsky in its complete version.

Carl. St. Clair - conductor

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Carl St. Clair has been music director of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years, an orchestra he has a close relationship with and which he has built up and given its renown today. It is the largest orchestra in the USA among those which have been founded in the past 50 years. From 2008 to 2010, Carl
St. Clair was music director of the Komische Oper Berlin. There he directed numerous symphony concerts as well as successful new productions of “La Traviata” (director Hans Neuenfels), the premiere of Christian Jost’s “Hamlet” and a new production of Reimann’s “Lear” (director Hans Neuenfels) which was praised by critics and the public and championed by the composer.

Carl St. Clair was music director of the Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle in Weimar from 2005 to 2008. There he initiated and conducted a highly-praised new production of the complete “Ring”. From 1998 to 2005, Carl St. Clair was a guest conductor of the SWR Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, with whom he recorded the complete symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Carl St. Clair is a regular guest conductor of many important orchestras worldwide. In the US, he has conducted the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Detroit, Atlanta and Houston Symphonies. In Germany he has conducted the radio orchestras of Frankfurt, Cologne, Hannover, Hamburg and Leipzig as well as the Frankfurt Museumsorchester.

As a champion of contemporary music, Carl St. Clair and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra have commissioned leading composers of our time such as Philip Glass, William Bolcom and
Chen Yi.
Among the many honours that Carl St.Clair has received, the “National Endowment for the Arts – Seaver Conductors Award”, the highest national honour in the US, is worth mentioning.

Carl St. Clair studied opera and orchestral conducting at the University of Texas with Walter Ducloux, a student of Felix Weingartner and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa and Kurt Masur are among his musical mentors.

Catherine Rückwardt - conductor

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Catherine Rückwardt was born in Los Angeles. In the last few years she has become one of the most sought after conductors in Germany. She is Music Director of the Mainz Staatstheater since 2001, and her innovative programming, large repertoire and the widely recognised, highly praised “Mainz Orchestral Sound” (“Mainzer Klang”) have made the music profession take notice of her.

After studying the piano and violin in Hamburg and Lübeck and a first position as conductor at the theatre in Bremen, Catherine Rückwardt received a call to the Opera House at Frankfurt am Main, where she conducted Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Strauss to much acclaim. Her work in Mainz began with the reopening of the renovated Opera House with the sensational success of a staged version of Handel’s oratorio ”Saul“. Productions of ”Tosca“, ”Lohengrin“, ”Ariadne auf Naxos“, ”Freischütz“ and ”La Traviata“ followed. In an exceptionally productive collaberation with the Director and Stage Designer Gottfried Pilz, she brought Peter Ruzicka’s Music Theatre Piece ”Celan“ to the Rhine-Main region.

Moreover Catherine Rückwardt is also a welcome visitor to many orchestras in Germany and the USA, in particular the ”Ensemble Modern“, the orchestras in Bremen, Darmstadt und Frankfurt, and various Radio Companies like SWR and WDR. Her work as a pioneer in her field has been honoured by international associations for women in employment, and by the Bremen Senate. She was awarded the ZONTA Arts Prize in 1999.

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