(Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra)
Its repertoire ranges from the baroque to the modern. At the beginning of the twentieth century, one critic wrote “If you want to keep up with the latest in contemporary works, you have to travel to Duisburg,” so modern music follows a long tradition. Back then, “new music” was written by composers such as Max Reger and Richard Strauss, who introduced their works in Duisburg themselves.
Internationally renowned conductors such as Kirill Petrenko, Antoni Wit, Alun Francis and Axel Kober have recently worked with the Duisburger Philharmoniker. Jonathan Darlington left a lasting impression with his work as music director from 2002 to 2011. His predecessors were Alexander Lazarew and Bruno Weil, among others. Darlington developed exciting alternatives to conventional programming during his tenure. For the concert season 2009/2010, the Duisburger Philharmoniker was awarded “best concert programme” from the German Association of Music Publishers. They were awarded an Echo Klassik 2011 for their CD recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with violinist Susanna Yoko Henkel.
The list of soloists which have appeared with the orchestra is top-class: pianists Barry Douglas and Boris Bloch, violinists Frank Peter Zimmermann, Pinchas Zukermann, Daniel Hope and Isabelle Faust, cellists Antonio Meneses, Sol Gabetta and Matt Haimovitz, just to name a few. The orchestra is a regular guest at internationally renowned festivals such as the “Ruhr Piano Festival”, and the “Ruhrtriennale”, sharing the stage with stars like Vesselina Kasarova, Anna Netrebko and Neil Shicoff. In 2011, the Duisburger Philharmoniker celebrated a triumphant success at the Ruhrtriennale with a performance of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” under Kirill Petrenko.
Since 2007, the orchestra has a new concert hall, the Philharmonie Mercatorhalle, which has been praised internationally for its outstanding acoustics. In November 2009, an Eule organ was built in the hall. It is the only organ built in the English style on the continent and regularly attracts world-class organists such as Wayne Marshall of England and Iveta Apkalna of Latvia. Weblog of the Duisburger Philharmoniker (Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra)
Hardly anyone would consider combining a soprano, harp and tuba in a musical trio. Three musicians from Wuppertal (Germany), Elena Fink, Manuela Randlinger and Hartmut Müller dared to defy the odds when they formed the Trio Euphony (Greek for “beautiful sound”) in 2007.
Imagine the combination of a vocal part with two instruments, which can hardly be considered the “dream team” among the orchestral instruments. On one hand the “silvery” harp with its delicate, filigree timbre, on the other hand the “dark” tuba with a certain ponderousness and breadth, and sonorous depth in the lower, as well as an incredible density in the higher registers. However, facts and figures do not solely define the unusualness of the Trio Euphony. It is the aesthetic transmogrification of sounds, as well as artistic excel-lence and ability of its members, which facilitates a vivid diversity and renders sheer overwhelming new sound experiences.
Within this slightly disconcerting stylistic diversity, the vocal part (soprano) functions as a linking element, and can generally be said to make the whole thing work. Is not the human voice the most adaptable of all instruments and able to overcome the rifts of what seems to be irreconcilable? The soprano works like a mediator among the two very contrasting instruments, harp and tuba, moving freely and independently, with great warmth and ease.
ELENA FINK, SOPRANO
A much awarded and versatile coloratura soprano with almost 50 roles in her repertoire, Elena Fink was nominated in 2010 as Opera Singer of the Year in the state of NRW, Germany, for her interpretation of the title role in W. Rihm’s Proserpina. She has appeared as Adina in Donizetti’s Elixir of Love for Bonn Opera, as well as Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld at the Staatstheater in Gärtnerplatz, Munich.
The Queen of the Night is one of her most notable roles, which she has sung to great acclaim at many of the major opera houses in Germany, including the Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Hamburg, Opera Halle, The Mozart Festival of Schwetzingen and the Staatstheater Mainz.
In addition to classic opera and oratorio repertoire, Elena Fink also performs in modern works such as Las Canciones/Daams (2001), Macbeth/Sciarrino (2006), and is a sought-after concert singer who performs regularly at venues such as the Philharmonic Halls of Berlin, Cologne, Essen and Luxembourg, as well as the Alte Oper Frankfurt and the Festival Hall of Baden-Baden. In addition to her CD production with the Trio Euphony, she has recorded with labels such as DW, Universal, SWR and WDR under conductors such as P. Falk, C. Meister, Hans-E. Zimmer, H. Max and T. Kamioka.
Since 2001, she has been engaged at the Wuppertal Opera as a soloist. In 2008 she not only had role debuts as Violetta, Susanna and Lakmé and a much-lauded appearance at the Bach Festival in Leipzig, but also a concert tour of Japan.
Elena Fink performed the role of Elettra in Idomeneo in 2011 and thus opened up a new path of more dramatic roles to add to her repertoire. Concert appearances in 2012 included perfor-mances in Koupio/Finnland, Istanbul/Turkey, as well as recurring appearances at the AMUZ in Antwerp/Belgium.
MANUELA RANDLINGER-BILZ, HARP
Manuela Randlinger-Bilz started her first harp lessons at the young age of 7. From the age of 11 until obtaining her highschool-diploma, she was a student of Marianne Buck-Oberascher and later of Werner Karlinger at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 1997 she started studying at the Music Conservatorium in Würzburg, where she was taught by Prof. Gisèle Herbèt and graduated 2004 (Konzertexamen). During her training years she was engaged at the National Theatre Orchestra of Mannheim, where she was able to acquire a large operatic repertoire and gaining experience as a soloist.
She has been the principal harpist of the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra since 2002, plays regularly with the Radio Orchestra of Saarland and the WDR Symphony Orchestra, and toured with the latter to Japan in 2003. Manuela Randlinger-Bilz has released CDs taken from both radio and studio recordings, and a DVD comprised of live performances on ARTE.
In addition to her orchestral work, she performs frequently as a soloist with various chamber ensembles both locally and internationally,in 2004 she performed a touring concert of Mozart works for flute throughout Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. In 2006 Manuela Randlinger Bilz was the recipient of a scholarship from the Richard Wagner Society of Solingen and Bergisches Land, was awarded the Förderpreis from the Enno Springmann Foundation in 2011, and since 2009 has been a lecturer for harp in Düsseldorf.
HARTMUT MÜLLER, TUBA
Hartmut Mueller received his first music lessons from his father, starting off by playing the trumpet. Several years later, he switched to the tuba, and studied in Wuppertal and Aachen as a student of Walter Hilgers. While still a student, he played in many renowned German symphony orchestras, for example the WDR-, NDR- and the HR-symphony orchestras. After playing as a member in the RSO Saarbruecken, he was offered the position of principal tubist in the Wuppertaler Sinfonieorchester, a post he has held since 1988.
Besides playing in orchestras, he soon discovered the opportunites that the tuba has to offer in chamber music and solo repertoire. Thus, he became a member of several chamber music ensembles, such as the HR-Brass, Rhein-Brass, Philharmonic-Brass and the Remscheider Blechbläserensemble.
Performing as a soloist and being one of the founding members of the Melton Tuba Quartett, he quickly gained much acclaim and obtained his reputation as a world-class musician in
Germany and abroad. His career has brought him to concert venues in the USA, Japan, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. Further special projects include solo recordings with the WDR-symphony orchestra, a live recording of tuba concert by Ralph Vaughn Williams with the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, and in November 2011 he was part of the world premiere of the first composition for four tubas and symphony orchestra together with the Duisburg Philharmonics, the Dresden Philharmonics as well as the Bamberg Philharmonics.
Hartmut Müller plays on instruments by Melton and B&S.
Anna Malikova - piano
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