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BIOGRAPHIES

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A deeply passionate and sensitive performer, Christian Blackshaw is celebrated for the incomparable musicianship of his performances. His playing combines tremendous emotional depth with great understanding and, in the words of one London critic, "sheer musicality and humanity". Pianist magazine, reviewing his performance of Schubert's great B Flat Sonata D.960 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall wrote that the work "has become the calling card of many a pianist wishing to declare themselves a musician's musician and Blackshaw most certainly belongs to this category".

Following studies with Gordon Green at the Royal College Manchester and Royal Academy, London and winning the gold medals at each, he was the first British pianist to study at the Leningrad Conservatoire with Moisei Halfin. He later worked closely with Sir Clifford Curzon in London. Christian Blackshaw has performed with many leading orchestras including London Philharmonic, Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Rotterdam Philharmonic and RAI Torino. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Yuri Temirkanov and Sir Neville Marriner. He has given chamber concerts in London with the principals of the London Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe and festival engagements have taken him to Stars of the White Nights St Petersburg, Prague, Dubrovnik, Helsinki, Stresa, Britain in Greece Festival Athens, Bath, Orford (Canada) and the BBC Proms.

Recent notable appearances include South Bank International Piano Series, Berliner Philharmoniker, Tokyo, Montreal, Aldeburgh Festival, Bamberg Symphony, RAI National Symphony and Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev. In May 2016 he completed his sold out debut recital tour in China, including memorable appearances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall.

His hugely acclaimed Wigmore Hall complete Mozart sonata series concluded in early 2013 and subsequently Wigmore Hall Live have issued all four volumes. Critics have been unanimous in their praise, describing these “landmark” recordings as "captivating", "magical" and "masterful". Volume 4 is named as one of the Best Classical Recordings of 2015 in the New York Times.

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Maya Iwabuchi began violin lessons at the age of two.  Her main influences who remain integral to her working life are Professors Alice Schoenfeld and Rodney Friend.  Since her first concert at age five, Maya has enjoyed an international career as a solo violinist, chamber musician and orchestral leader.

Her performances have taken her to major concert halls world-wide such as the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Musikverein in Vienna, Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Lincoln Centre and Carnegie Hall in New York City and Suntory Hall in Tokyo to name a few.  Highlights for Maya as soloist include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and she has appeared in numerous renowned music festivals such as the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Bath and Chichester festivals, and the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove.  The Strad has hailed her playing as 'simply brilliant' and the Times 'gorgeous', and she continues to receive praise from the press.

A committed chamber musician, Maya has been a member of Mobius Ensemble since 2004, and she has also collaborated with artists such as the Vellinger Quartet, Steven Isserlis and Gil Shaham.  Her recordings as part of Vikram Seth’s ‘An Equal Music’ CD compilation are regularly broadcast by the BBC and Classic FM.

Maya  has garnered much admiration in her role as leader from artists and critics alike and has been regularly invited to lead orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra Cadaqués and the John Wilson Orchestra.

After 18 distinguished years, Maya ended her tenure as Leader of the Philharmonia Orchestra in 2012, having led for major conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Gustavo Dudamel, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kurt Sanderling.  Since 2011, she devotes her time as Leader of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra whilst taking much pleasure from a renewed life in Scotland with her husband and many pheasants!

Markus Daunert

Markus Däunert is highly regarded as a director, guest leader, soloist and chamber musician. From 1997–2005 he co-led the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with which he also appeared as soloist, under conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding, Iván Fischer, Kurt Masur, Bernhard Haitink, Trevor Pinnock and Philippe Herreweghe. He has been guest leader with orchestras such as Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Ensemble Modern and Münchener Kammerorchester. Däunert is a frequent guest with the Berliner Philharmoniker and is a founding member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Aldeburgh Strings.

As a chamber musician, soloist and teacher he has been regularly invited to Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, Aldeburgh Music, Dartington Summer School, Mantua Festival, Festival Domain Forget, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music NYC and El Sistema schemes in Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil. He is a lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt.

He has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician with pianists such as Alexander Lonquich, Gianluca Cascioli, Christian Zacharias, Steven Kovachevich, Daniel Adni, Michaela Ursuleasa, Benjamin Frith, Herbert Schuch, Christian Blackshaw and Ricardo Castro, as well as Nicolas Altstaedt, Máté Szűcs, Danusha Waskiewicz and Bruno Delepelaire.

He has appeared at several major music festivals, including Wiener Festwochen, Wien Modern, Salzburger Festspiele, BBC Proms, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Rheingau Musik Festival, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Berliner Festspiele, Lucerne Festival and Ruhrtriennale.

Däunert plays on a model made by the German violin maker Christoph Götting (Wiesbaden).

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Like many players of the viola, Máté Szücs first learned the violin. He completed his violin studies with Ferenc Szecsödi at the conservatory in Szeged, changing to the viola in 1996 and becoming a pupil of Ervin Schiffer, who taught him at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels and at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Waterloo. This was followed by studies from 2000 to 2005 with Leo de Neve at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp, completed by Máté Szücs with distinction.

 

In 2003 he began his career as an orchestral musician and principal violist. It has taken him from the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra in Antwerp by way of the Bamberger Symphoniker, Dresden Staatskapelle and Frankfurt Radio (hr) Symphony Orchestra to the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (Principal Viola from 2008 to 2012) and the Berliner Philharmoniker. Máté Szücs, who appears in concert throughout Europe as a soloist and chamber-music player, also teaches at the Thy Chamber Music Festival in Denmark and is joint Artistic Director of Hellensmusic.

Bruno Delepelaire

Bruno Delepelaire owes the fact that he became a cellist to his grandmother, an enthusiastic amateur cellist. As a five-year-old, he also wanted to learn the instrument. The cello lessons with his first cello teacher Erwan Fauré were formative experiences for him. Bruno Delepelaire later studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Philippe Muller. In 2012 he went to Berlin to continue his training under Jens Peter Maintz at the University of the Arts and under Ludwig Quandt at the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. He also attended master classes with Wolfgang-Emanuel Schmidt, François Salque, Wen-Sinn Yang and Wolfgang Boettcher.

Bruno Delepelaire gained orchestral experience with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, and as a student of the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. As a soloist, he has performed with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen. The cellist has won several awards, including the first prize at the “Karl Davidoff International Cello Competition” (2012) and the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition (2013). Bruno Delepelaire has been principal cellist with the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2013. He is a member of the string quartet Quatuor Cavatine, of the Berlin Piano Quartet and of the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic and plays a cello made by Matteo Goffriller, on loan from the Karolina Blaberg Foundation.

Waldemar Schwiertz

Waldemar Schwiertz is the Assistant Principal First Double Bass of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and a member of Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum, an ensemble that specializes in performing music from Bach’s time on modern instruments. He is also Professor of Double Bass at the Hochschule für Musik in Mainz.

Born in Silesia, he studied in Vienna and Geneva with Ludwig Streicher, Franco Petracchi and Christoph Schmidt. He was awarded the Bottesini Prize of the Carl-Flesch-Academy as well as the 1er Grand Prix de Conservatoire de la Musique Génève and has worked with conductors like Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, Herbert Blomstedt.

From 2004 to 2007 he was a guest tutor with El Sistema, giving masterclasses in Caracas. He is also a regular guest at Aldeburgh Music and a tutor with the Britten-Pears Young Artist programme. He has toured with ensembles such as Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Leipzig Sinfonietta and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras like the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the Baden-Badener Philharmonie.

cantabile

Cantabile Girls' Choir are an international prize-winning choir from Hereford Cathedral School.  The 20 female singers are led by Musical Director Jo Williamson. They sing a range of classical, folksong and popular arrangements. Cantabile rehearse twice a week in School.

In 2016 Cantabile came second in the Folksong category of the Canta al Mar Choral Festival, competing against adult choirs from around the world. They were awarded a Gold Diploma Level 4 with 2 of the girls achieving special Judges certificates for their outstanding solos.

Cantabile were BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year in 2015 and performed with Aled Jones as part of his Cathedrals tour. Cantabile regularly participate in the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, where they have won classes in 2015, 2013 and 2012.

Béla Farkas was born into a musical family and started playing the violin at a very early age. He was greatly influenced by his father Béla Farkas Sr, an important gipsy violinist in Hungary. Béla is a member of the Szeged Symphony Orchestra and the leader of the Giovani Artisti string quartet.

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French pianist Julien Quentin has established himself as a versatile and sensitive musician, exhibiting great maturity and poise. His remarkable depth of musicianship and distinct clarity of sound coupled with flawless technique, make him an artist in demand as both soloist and chamber musician.

He has made successful recital debuts in Paris (Salle Cortot), Geneva Conservatoire Hall and Bargemusic in New York. He has appeared as soloist with the Wroclaw, Qatar and Córdoba Philharmonic Orchestras under such conductors as Tommaso Placidi, Paul Biss, and Han-Na Chang. Regularly invited to numerous international Festivals, Quentin’s appearances in Europe include Verbier, Lucerne, Gstaad, Montreux, Zermatt, Dresden, Braunschweig, Schwetzingen, Ludwigsburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Beethovenfest Bonn, Radio France Montpellier and Saint Denis. A regular performer in North America, he has appeared at the Ravinia, La Jolla and Mostly Mozart Festivals in the United States. He has broadcast in Canada, United States, Japan and in countries across Europe.

Julien Quentin is a keen chamber musician and has collaborated with artists such as Nicolas Altstaedt, Emanuel Ax, Lisa Batiashvili, Gautier Capuçon, Corey Cerovsek, Martin Fröst, Sol Gabetta, David Garrett, Nelson Goerner, Ilya Gringolts, Gary Hoffman, Angelika Kirchschlager, Lawrence Power, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Sayaka Shoji, Kirill Troussov, and István Várdai.

Touring internationally in America, Australia, Japan, the Middle East and throughout Europe, he has appeared at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Louvre in Paris, the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, in Avery Fisher, Alice Tully and Carnegie Halls in New York. He has recorded for EMI, Channel Classics and Sony RCA.

He also performed on the harpsichord, appearing in concert with Sarah Chang and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, as well as with Thomas Quasthoff and under the baton of Leonidas Kavakos.

Born in Paris, Julien Quentin started his studies at the Geneva Conservatory with Alexis Golovine. In 2002, he completed his Artist Diploma under the tutelage of Emile Naoumoff at Indiana University, where he held a one-year teaching position as Assistant Instructor and was a recipient of the Presser Award. In 2003, he received his Graduate Diploma from the Juilliard School, where he studied with György Sándor. He has also worked with Paul Badura-Skoda, Nikita Magaloff, György Sebök and Earl Wild.

Julien Quentin now lives in Berlin. With ‘Musica Litoralis’ at Piano Salon Christophori, he has managed to create an increasingly successful concert series reminiscent of the salons of the Roaring Twenties. With visual artists, he explores new artistic visions bringing various art forms together. He also pursues his interest in other genres of music through his collaboration with pianists Kelvin Sholar and Francesco Tristano, or producers Guti, dOP and Cesar Merveille in projects ranging from improvisation to producing electronic music.