Kana Sugimura, violin
Kana Sugimura was born in New York to Japanese parents, and took up the violin at the age of five. Studying privately with Yfrah Neaman in the U.K., she continued her
studies with Takashi Shimizu at the Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai). After graduation on highest marks, she served a year as assisting faculty. On receiving grant from the Meiji-Yasuda Foundation, she went on to study with Krzysztof Wegrzyn at the Hannover University of Music and Drama.
She has been awarded prizes at many international competitions such as the Premio Trio di Trieste Chamber Music Competition (duo with pianists Natsumi Ohno and
quartet with Flex Ensemble), the first International Violin Competition in Qingdao, China, Jeunesses Musicales International Competition in Belgrade, or the Hannover
International Violin Competition.
Kana Sugimura has performed as soloist with such orchestras as the Japan Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Osaka Century Orchestra,
the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, Baltic Symphony Orchestra, and the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra.
In 2007, together with the Linos Ensemble, she gave the premiere of the arrangement of the violin concerto of Alban Berg, by Andreas Tarkmann,
As guest concert master, she has joined orchestras such as the St.Gallen Symphony Orchestra, the South West German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim, or the Northern German Broadcasting (NDR) Radio orchestra.
Since 2012 she is the co-founder and violinist of the Germany based piano quartet Flex Ensemble, and concert master of chamber orchestra Musica Assoluta.
She currently teaches at the Hannover University of Music and Drama.
Ron Chen-Zion, Clarinet
Ron Chen-Zion has been a member of Esbjerg Ensemble since 1993.
“When I was 11, I happened to get the mail one day and found among them an advertisement that read: “Learn to play an instrument inonly three months”. When I subsequently turned up at the music school, they only had one instrument for loan: the clarinet. We were two students who had to share the instrument and because we had clarinet lessons onThursdays, the other student and I each had the clarinet three days a week”.Ron Chen-Zion began his studies with Richard Lesser of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1986 he moved to the US where he continued his studies and graduated from the New England Conservatory.
In 1990, Ron Chen–Zion was appointed solo clarinetist atThe State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra. As achamber m
usician, he has quite frequently been invited to Rudolf Serkins Marlboro Music Festival in the United States and has performed in most of Europe, Israel and the Americas. Ron Chen-Zion has recorded several CDs, including one highly praised rendering of Max Regers’ pieces for clarinet and piano.
The Finnish violinist Sini Simonen enjoys an active international
career as a chamber musician and soloist. She is the leader of
Castalian String Quartet and the violinist of Calvino Piano Trio.
Simonen has won top prizes in several major international violin
competitions including the Flesch, Lipizer and Cremona
competitions. She has also won prizes in the Brahms, Lyon,
ARD, Banff and Citta di Pinerolo chamber music competitions.
She studied in Sibelius Academy, Musikhochschule Hannover
and Musik-Akademie Basel with Lara Lev and Rainer Schmidt
among others. Masterclasses and collaborations with Ferenc
Rados, Gerhard Schulz, Sir Andras Schiff, Miriam Fried, and
Ursula Smith provided important influences.
From 2013 to 2017, Sini was a violinist of Esbjerg Ensemble,
one of Denmark’s oldest chamber groups. The ensemble is
comprised of a string quartet, wind quintet and percussion,
and it is known for its innovative programmes combining
contemporary and classical music.
She has appeared as a concerto soloist with orchestras
including Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki
Philharmonic, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Cologne
Chamber Orchestra, Göttingen Symphony Orchestra and
Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Her cd recordings as a
soloist include Bach’s double violin concerto with Helsinki
Strings (Warner) and Vivaldi’s concerto for 3 violins (tacet).
Her chamber music partners have included Ferenc Rados,
Robert Levin, Midori and Steven Isserlis.
She plays a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin from 1760
on loan from the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
In the last decade Christian Ihle Hadland has established himself as a true craftsman of the piano, a musician whose delicate, refined playing and individual touch have led him to the most prestigious stages in the world.
Christian came to international attention in 2011 when he began a two-year stint as a BBC New Generation Artist. As an NGA he performed with all five of the BBC’s symphony orchestras from London to Manchester and broadcast solo and chamber recitals for the corporation in London. As a finale to his tenure, Christian was the soloist in Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto at the BBC Proms with the Oslo Philharmonic under Vasily Petrenko; the concert was broadcast live and Christian was praised by London critics for his ‘pearly’ and ‘otherwordly’ sound.
Christian made his professional concerto debut with KORK, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, aged 15. He has since performed with all the major orchestras in Scandinavia including the Swedish Radio and Danish National Symphony Orchestras, and the Royal Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo Philharmonics and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. In the UK he has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Hallé Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Manchester Camerata, in addition to his work with the BBC orchestras. This season includes his debut with Orchestre National de Lyon, aside Leonard Slatkin, re-invitation to Helsinki Philharmonic with Thomas Søndergaard, as well as performances with BBC Philharmonic and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.
Christian is highly sought after as a chamber musician and has been Artistic Director of the International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, his hometown, since 2010. He is a frequent guest at The Wigmore Hall, since he gave his debut solo recital in 2013, and is a regular guest at the Bergen International Festival in Norway. He has also performed at the BBC Proms Chamber Music Series, where he collaborated with the Signum Quartet. In 2015 he gave a three-week chamber music tour of Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and American mezzo Susan Graham. In 2006, Christian performed with soprano Renée Fleming at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo.
Christian is a respected recording artist whose disc of Mozart Piano Concertos with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra was nominated for the Spellemann Prize in 2014, the highest honour for recorded music in Norway. Christian’s Holberg Variations CD, recorded with Ensemble 1B1, won the Spellemann Prize in 2015. His recording of works for cello and piano by Grieg and Granger, made with the Danish cellist Andreas Brantelid, was released on BIS in 2015 and immediately named a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. His most recent album The Lark, released on Simax, was immediately nominated for Spellemann prize 2017.
Christian Ihle Hadland has played with renowned conductors at the highest level, including Sir Andrew Davis, Herbert Blomstedt and Thomas Dausgaard.
Christian was born in Stavanger in 1983 and received his first piano lessons at the age of eight. At the age of eleven he entered the Rogaland Music Conservatory, and in 1999 began lessons with Professor Jiri Hlinka, both privately and at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo.
Christian Martinez, percussion
Christian Martinez commenced his percussion studies in his
home town of Cali in Columbia. Later followed studies at theManhattan School of Music in New York and at Rogaland Music Conservatory in Stavanger. In 1996 he graduated
from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen,
the same year he became a member of Esbjerg Ensemble.Christian Martínez has participated as a chamber musician
and soloist at several festivals and concerts in Scandinavia,Europe, USA, Latin America and Taiwan. Most recently at
the Nordic Music Days Festival in 2010, Athelas New Music
Festival in 2011, Percussion Plus Festival Aarhus in 2012
and Kalliokuninkala Festival in 2012 and Percussion Plusin 2014, both in Finland.In January 2014, Esbjerg Ensemble
collaborated with “the king” of baritones, Omar Ebrahim,
in the first Scandinavian performance of György Kurtágs,“Pas a pas, nulle-part” for baritone, string trio and percussion.
In the year 2010, Christian Martinez released his first soloCD “Rhythmical Séance” with Per Nørgård’s I Ching as well
as pieces by Ivar Frounberg and Ejnar Kanding. The
collaboration with Nørgård led to 2 new pieces included in
this CD: a concerto for percussion and ensemble called
Three Scenes as well as Arabesques I, II, III (2011) for solo percussion. Both pieces are dedicated to ChristianMartínez and Esbjerg Ensemble.
Pau Codina was born in 1988 in Barcelona (Spain) and began studying the cello at the age of five with Eulalia Subirà. Other teachers to date have included Ivan Chiffoleau, Daniel Grosgurin, Peter Thiemann and Louise Hopkins. He graduated from the Yehudi Menuhin School in 2006, and from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with first class honours in 2010. He later obtained a Solo Artist Diploma from the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth, where he studied with Gary Hoffman
Pau Codina has received scholarships from the Fundació Pau Casals andGeneralitat de Catalunya.
Over the course of his career so far he has taken part in several International Music Festivals such as the Manchester Cello & Chamber Music Festival and the Kronberg Cello Festival. He has also performed extensively throughout Spain, England and Germany, in venues such as the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room, the Pau Casals Auditorium, L’Auditori de Barcelona and the Palau de la Musica Catalana Concert Hall in Barcelona. He has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras such as the Barcelona Sinfonietta, the Empordà Chamber Orchestra, the Andorra Chamber Orchestra, the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Budapest, the Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, the RTVE Orchestra in Madrid and the Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès. He also recorded Saint-Saens Suite op.16 for cello and orchestra with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liege and conductor Christian Arming under the label Fuga Libera. He recently debuted as a soloist with the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC).
Pau is also a keen chamber musician, being a member of the Idomeneo Quartet and the Cellophony cello ensemble, with which he has performed in major venues throughout England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Away from the concert platform, Pau has won several competitions and awards, such as the MBF’s Guilhermina Suggia award 2004 & 2007 and the Geofrey Shaw Scholarship, the Martin Musical Scholarship, the Kronberg Cello Festival Schlosskonzert prize, both third prize as well as the Critique’s award in the Primer Palau Competition in Barcelona, and the first prize as well as the EMCY award in the Concurso Permanente competition of Jeunesses Musicales of Spain.
- Playing the violin and learning how to read music as a little child gave Francine an ear and musicality that feels at home in everything from baroque to quarter tone music. After her studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where she received her Master’s degree with distinction for musical talent and artistry, she moved to Copenhagen to study at the Royal Danish Opera Academy, with professor Kirsten Buhl Møller, where she graduated in spring 2013. Here she got the opportunity to sing Flora in Verdi’s La Traviata and Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen. During her studies in Denmark, she sang the part of the Squirrel in Richard Ayres’ opera The Cricket Recovers, directed by Pierre Audi, for the Holland Festival 2011. After her education she has jumped in several times as Cherubino at the Royal Danish Opera and she returned there as Pernille (Nielsen’s Maskarade 2016) and Cherubino (2017). Summer 2017 she made her Swedish debut as Gwendolen Fairfax in a new production at Vadstena called The Importance of being Earnest by composer/conductor B Tommy Andersson and librettist/director William Relton. In 2018 she sang and conducted a new music theatre production with a.o. music by Ligety at the Opera Forward Festival from the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam. Also in 2018 she made her role and house debut as Carmen with the Danish national opera, touring through Denmark. In 2019 she sang a recital with Magnus Svensson at the Stockholm Konserthus. She had her house and role debut as Tisbe in Cenerentola at the Royal Swedish Opera in fall 2019.
In the field of contemporary music, Francine can be called a specialist. During many years she took part in avantgarde projects with Silbersee (ex-VocaalLAB Nederland). She has great experience in performing vocal acrobatics by a.o. Georges Aperghis, Luciano Berio, Giacinto Scelsi, John Cage and many living composers: experiencing the great joy and freedom of creating music for the first time at world premieres.
Francine won the 1st prize at the Copenhagen Lied-Duo Competition 2015 with pianist Christian Westergaard and the Händel Award and the Diorapthe Award for the best performance of a new composition by Willem Jeths at the International Vocal Competition 2014 at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Holland.
Also as a concert soloist Francine performs baroque, contemporary and romantic repertoire with a. o. Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Copenhagen, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Phil, Camerata Øresund, Asko Schönberg Ensemble and Orchestre de Chambre de Genève.
Bogdan Božović enjoys a versatile international career as chamber musician, soloist and chamber orchestra leader. As violinist of the world-renowned Vienna Piano Trio from 2012 to 2015, he has toured Europe, the Americas and Asia, appearing in some of the most prestigious chamber music venues, including the Wigmore Hall in London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Vienna, Cité de la Musique in Paris and The Frick Collection in New York. He has made two critically acclaimed recordings with the ensemble on the label MD&G, featuring works by Beethoven and Saint-Saëns.
His chamber music festival performances include IMS Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music in Cornwall, England (member of the tour-ensemble in 2011), Chamber Music Connects the World in Kronberg, as well as the Prades, Båstad, Gstaad, Whittington, Nuremberg, Caramoor and Ottawa festivals and series. Among his chamber music partners are Steven Isserlis, Christian Tetzlaff, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Lukas Hagen and Veronika Hagen. His live recordings have had multiple international broadcasts including those by BBC Radio 3, Radio France, WDR 3, NPO Radio 4, WQXR-FM New York and Radio Beograd.
Bogdan’s recent solo-appearances include the Schumann Violin Concerto with the Symphony Orchestra Basel. He has been guest leader of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble DIAGONAL Basel (in their Lucerne festival-performance), Ensemble Phoenix in Basel and others. He is a founding member of the Leondari Ensemble, resident ensemble at the annual Saronic Chamber Music Festival in Greece.
Bogdan has given master-classes at the Royal College of Music in London, Leeds College of Music and has been a tutor at the chamber music seminar MusicWorks in West Sussex/England.
A native of Belgrade, Serbia, he studied with Vesna Stanković at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, Klara Flieder at the University Mozarteum Salzburg and obtained his masters degree with distinction in the class of Rainer Schmidt at the Basel Academy of Music. Other important musical influences were from lessons with Ferenc Rados, Pamela Frank, Chiara Banchini (baroque violin) and collaborations with contemporary composers such as Heinz Holliger and Georg Friedrich Haas.
Bogdan plays on the “ex-Arma Senkrah” Stradivarius violin from 1685, on generous loan from the Ruggieri Foundation.
- It was a bit scary in the beginning to find out that it is not that easy to play the bassoon. Like, I played the first month on a plastic reed I found in the case of the music school instrument and was advancing really quickly. I was naturally in my mind on my way to become the next genius superstar of the bassooning, the one that would just change the way we think about everything in life. Then it hit me that there is a number of tone exercises, study pieces and scales to play and a huge number of wooden mouthpieces to make yourself before I could actually even dream about any kind of professional musician’s life. The instrument case started to feel really heavy and I became very upset for a moment.
By the following weeks and months I was still in a way curious to find out how one actually could produce tone, a phrase, different sounds on this strange instrument so I kept playing it every now and then, not really much though.
The lucky part for me really was that at already a very early stage of my bassoon hobby, after some months of struggle, I met new friends, teachers and other musicians among some colleagues-to-be with whom I was immediately able to relate in terms of enthusiasm, joy of playing and the way you think about your art and music. Knowing that someone shared my views and likes to do things that I like as well was a powerful experience that made the technical limit so much more bearable.
I think I chose art as a way of life rather than I chose the instrument, but I feel very happy that I ended up playing the bassoon as my main thing, it might be the form of art that I in a very personal level enjoy the most.
Michel Camille, viola
Michel Camille has been engaged as the Esbjerg Ensemble’s viola player since 1995 and from 1997 – 2001 presided as the Ensemble’s Artistic Director. In 1999 Michel founded the annual Esbjerg International Chamber Music Festival and as its Artistic and Administrative Director, has collaborated with Denmark’s most notable composers and invited chamber musicians and soloists from all over the world.
During his education, Michel Camille won numerous awards, the first when he was only 11 years old – a full scholarship to Wells Cathedral School, a specialist music school.
As a pupil of one of England’s elite music schools he received an intense musical education combined with frequent appearances as a soloist as well as an ensemble musician. For Michel’s part, that meant performing with legends such as Yehudi Menuhin, Yfrah Neamen, Norman delMar and Igor Ozim in concert halls in Europe and further afield.
After turning 18, Michel also won awards for solo and chamber music appearances in London as a viola player, including the “Premier Prix” at the Guildhall School of Music, where he studied with Professor David Takeno, and later the “Concerto prize” at Banff Fine Arts.
After a short period playing often as principal with orchestras such as the Academy of St. Martin, LPO, the BBC Symphony, London Musici, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia, Michel decided to entirely devote to chamber music. Since then he has worked for both the classical and the contemporary chamber music scene as a performer on the international stage, as well as an Artistic Director introducing innovative programming, and has brought colourful Art forms as demonstrated by collaborations with dance, puppet theatre & music of our time.
Joke Wijma has been a member of Esbjerg Ensemble since 2005.
“Playing Peter Maxwell Davies’ “Sea Eagle” for solo horn outdoors, while a bird of prey
show took place, has been the most remarkable experience I have had with the Ensemble.”
After studying with Frank Brouns and Hans Dullarert at the Conservatory in
Groningen, Joke Wijma continued her studies at the Hochschule for Music
and Theatre in Hamburg, where the Dutch hornist Ab Koster was professor.
After graduating in 2004, she continued her studies with Koster as wellas working with the Duisburger Philharmoniker as an intern.
Kerstin Thiele, flute
Kerstin Thiele has been a member of Esbjerg Ensemble since 1986.
“It was a bit of a coincidence that I started playing flute. My sister and fatherplayed in the local brass band and they needed a flute player, so that position was just for me.” Kerstin is a member of the board, appointed by the other musicians. Kerstin Thiele studied with solo flutist Toke Lund Christiansen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and with Professor Andre Jaunet in Zurich. Besides being a member of Esbjerg Ensemble, Kerstin Thiele participates actively in the rest of the music scene at home and abroad, and she is also a teacher at South Jutland Academy of Music.
Oliver Nordahl started playing oboe in Tivoli-Garden music school after which he entered Sankt Annæ's Gymnasium. In addition to studying at Sankt Annæ's Gymnasium, Oliver
joined the Royal Danish Music Conservatory's Talent Class where he was taught by Prof. Ole-Henrik Dahl. In 2014 Oliver debuted from the soloist class at the Royal Danish Music Conservatory whilst with Prof. Max Artved and during his studies had lessons with Ole-Henrik Dahl, Bjørn Carl Nielsen and Joakim Dam Thomsen. In addition Oliver has participated in masterclasses with Jacques Tys, Gordon Hunt, Hansjörg Schellenberger, Francois Leleux, Alfredo Bernardini and Henrik Goldschmidt.Oliver has assisted as a solo oboe in the Royal Theatre, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Opera, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Southern Jutland Symphony Orchestra, DR Entertainment Orchestra and Storstrøms Chamber Ensemble.As a soloist Oliver has performed with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and Storstrøm Chamber Ensemble.As a prize-winner Oliver has been awarded the JC Hempel's Music Prize in 2006, Sonnings Musikpris in 2011 together with the Aennchen and Eigil Harby's Foundation grant in 2013 of
250,000 KR.Today, Oliver is the principle oboist of Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and also teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus.
Jesper Lützhøft, konferencier m.m.
The Danish guitarist, music producer, and formeropera and orchestra director, Jesper Lützhøft,
made his debut as a soloist at the Royal. Danish Academy of Music in 1987 and has since haunted
the Danish music scene on many different levels.
From 2001 to 2007 he was engaged at Danish
Broadcasting Corporation where he organized achamber music competition and introduced music
to the audience with the concert series
"Kammermusik med Birkes". In recent years
he performed concertos at the Hindsgavl
Festival with the the Odense Symfoniorkester.
Dana Zemtsov Winner of numerous competitions and developing an outstanding career, Dana Zemtsov is one of the most promising international viola soloists of her generation. Highlights in this and the past seasons include Danas performance of the Bartok Viola Concerto in Tallinn and 2 concerts of Mozart Concertante in the Main Hall of the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) with the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra, playing chamber music with Janine Jansen and Martin Frost during the Utrecht Chamber Music Festival, and a recital in Carnegie Hall (New York). In 2016 Dana was invited to join the 43rd International Viola Congress as a Guest of Honour together with renown violists such as Ettore Causa, Bruno Giuranna and Tabea Zimmerman. In 2012 she signed an exclusive record deal with Channel Classics Records for three recordings, of which all three “Enigma”, "Romantic Metamorphoses” and “Essentia" - her first orchestra recording with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Daniel Raiskin have been received successfully by international press.Dana is 1st Prize laureate of several competitions in Luxembourg, Italy, Austria, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands. In 2010 she won the Dutch competition ''Evening of the Young Musician", became the "Young Musician of the Year" and represented The Netherlands at the “Eurovision Young Musicians Competition” in Vienna. She has also been awarded the prestigious Anton Kersjesprijs 2014 and has been invited to perform at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Kersjesfonds in the big hall of the Concertgebouw.
Dana is regularly appearing on the most important international stages, amongst others the Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), TivoliVredenburg (Utrecht), St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Carnegie Hall (New York). Dana played chamber music with Janine Jansen, Itzhak Perlman, Pieter Wispelwey, Martin Frost and pianist Anna Fedorova. As a soloist, Dana performed and will perform with amongst others the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Rotterdam, Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Bergische Symphoniker, St. Michael String Orchestra, Arnhem Philharmonic (Netherlands) and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with conductors as Conrad van Alphen, Daniel Raiskin, Fabio Mechetti, Otto Tausk and Leif Segerstam.
International tours brought and bring Dana to Finland, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, Peru and the USA. She participated in the “Stars of Tomorrow” tour in Germany. Performed at the biggest festivals in the Netherlands as the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Grachten Festival, the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht furthermore Dana appears in international festivals such as Kuhmo (Finland), Hemsing Festival (Norway) and Davos Festival (Zwitserland) West Cork Festival (Ireland) and International Music Festival Koblenz (Germany) amongst others. Dana was born in 1992 in Mexico City. At the age of 5 she received her first music lessons from her grandmother and from her parents, both viola players (Mikhail Zemtsov and Julia Dinerstein). She continued her studies at the Conservatory of Maastricht with the famous viola virtuoso Michael Kugel .