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.
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.
Matthijs Broersma was born in Holland and began playing the cello at the age of four. After studying at The Yehudi Menuhin School with Louise Hopkins and Leonid Gorokhov, he continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Hochschule der Künste, Bern.
He received numerous scholarships and awards from the VandenEnde Foundation, Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, The Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Lyra Foundation and in 2010 he won 1st prize in the Kenneth Page Cello Competition.
He participated in masterclasses at IMS Prussia Cove and elsewhere with Colin Carr, Bernard Greenhouse, Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Steven Isserlis and Arto Noras and has taken part in festivals such as the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, the Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, the Paxos International Music Festival in Greece and The International Holland Music Sessions.
As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed extensively worldwide, performing in venues such as the Concertgebouw and the Wigmore Hall. Recent highlights include the Saint-Saëns Concerto with the Bern Symphony Orchestra, the Elgar Concerto conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, and solo recitals at the Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room and the Menuhin Hall.
Matthijs is also the cellist of the Gémeaux Quartett, a firmly established international prize winning Swiss quartet. In 2012 the Quartet won 2nd prize in both the International “Franz Schubert and Modern Music” Competition in Graz and the International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna. Recently the quartet was guest at festivals in Germany, Austria and Sweden, performed in Hong Kong with clarinettist Paul Meyer, at Kings Place in London, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Philharmonie in Köln and at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Future engagements include numerous solo and chamber music recitals across Europe and in Japan as well as several performances of the Dvorak Concerto in Holland.
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 musician, 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.
Pau Codina was born in 1988 in Barcelona 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.
Tim recently completed his undergraduate degree with Alexander Janiczek at the Guildhall School of Music in London where he was awarded a Concert Recital Diploma and the Lord Mayor’s Prize for the highest mark across the music department, and was subsequently invited to return as a Chamber Fellow.
Born to two violinist parents, Tim attended the Royal Academy of Music from the age of 4. He was also a chorister at the Temple Choir in London, and head chorister for his final two year, recording disks for both Signum and Decca labels. Starting his first serious string quartet in 2011, the Celan Quartet, he has been a regular at many of the chamber festivals both in the UK and abroad. Now a member of the Barbican Quartet, who recently won the Royal Philharmonic Society Eugenie Frost Music Prize, as well as support from the Hattori Foundation and winning the St James’ Chamber Music Prize.
Tim has attended the IMS Prussia Cove masterclasses since he turned 18, and in 2018 was invited to play on the IMS Open Chamber Music Tour, ending at the Wigmore Hall in London, alongside artists such as Adrian Brendel and Las Anders Tomter. Tim has performed alongside artists such as Steven Isserlis, Lawrence Power, Alexi Kenney, Philippe Graffin, Amy Norrington, Alasdair Beatson, Bengt Forsberg, Timothy Ridout, Paolo Giacometti. He is a regular of Musikdorf Ernen, IMS Prussia Cove, Lewes Chamber Festival and and looks forward to attending the West Wycombe Chamber Festival and Resonances festivals this year. He has also recently been asked to lead the new string ensemble set up by Lawrence Power, Collegium. Tim plays a Ferdinand Gagliano, c.1770.
Versatile violinist Arisa Fujita is in great demand both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Preceding her recent move to The Netherlands, she was a professor of violin at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London for nearly two decades.
Recent highlights include a tour of Sweden with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, a performance with the Kyoto Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, performances at the Salzburg Festival, and a concert including Ravel’s Duo for Violin & Cello with Steven Isserlis, Béatrice Muthelet and Connie Shih at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris.
Born in Japan, Arisa came to England in 1985 to study with David Takeno. After winning the Audi Junior Musician Competition in 1988, she entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1991. Whilst at the Guildhall, she won all the available violin prizes, including the Rose Bowl, Sheriff's Prize and a Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Arisa was also a recipient of an Emily English Award, Maisie Lewis Young Artists Award and a Boise Foundation Scholarship.
Arisa has performed extensively worldwide as a soloist and as a member of the distinguished Fujita Piano Trio formed with her two sisters as well as the first violinist of the international prize-winning Gémeaux Quartett. Highlights include a tour of Italy, Morocco and Egypt organised by the Japan Foundation and numerous performances of the Beethoven Triple Concerto including a live TV and Radio broadcast with the Romanian National Radio Orchestra in Bucharest. Since their Wigmore Hall debut in 1999, the Trio has performed at major London venues and throughout the UK at more than 120 venues.
Arisa has collaborated with various artists including Joshua Bell, Martin Lovett, Murray Perahia, Alexander Rudin and Steven Isserlis, with whom she has performed on numerous occasions including at the Wigmore, Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and in Japan, Austria, Ireland and in France. Arisa has been invited to the Open Chamber Music Seminar of the IMS Prussia Cove for many years and has also taken part in their national tour, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Following the release to critical acclaim of a CD with chamber works by Toru Takemitsu on the ASV Label, Arisa has recorded Ysaÿe’s 6 Sonatas for Solo Violin, the Tchaikovsky Trio, Shostakovich/Ravel Trios, Schubert Trios, Dvorak“Dumky”/Smetana Piano Trios and Mendelssohn Trios all with Intim Musik Label. Arisa plays on a 1772 violin by G.B. Guadagnini, kindly loaned to her by a generous benefactor.
Christian Martinez commenced his percussion studies in his home town of Cali in Columbia. Later followed studies at the Manhattan 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 Christian Martínez and Esbjerg Ensemble.
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.
The Finnish violinist Sini Simonen enjoys an active international career as a chamber musician and soloist. She is the first violinist of the Castalian String Quartet, performing at the finest chamber music series worldwide. Upcoming performances in the 2021-22 season include debut recitals at the Carnegie Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
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.
She has appeared as a concerto soloist with orchestras including 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.
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.
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 well as working with the Duisburger Philharmoniker as an intern.