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.
Kristoffer Hyldig, piano
Kristoffer Nyholm Hyldig, a talented musician from Denmark, captivated audiences with his debut concert at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2010. Under the guidance of Professor Niklas Sivelöv and Tove Lønskov, he showcased his remarkable skills and left a lasting impression. Since then, Hyldig has become a prominent figure in the Danish music scene, enthralling listeners as a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist at various music societies and festivals.
His musical pursuits have taken him beyond Denmark's borders, as he has performed in esteemed venues across Europe and even at Carnegie Hall in New York. Collaborating with orchestras led by renowned conductors like Michael Schønwandt, Jean Thorel, and Michael Boder, Hyldig has enchanted audiences with his piano prowess. Notably, his recorded works include the complete songs of Messiaen for soprano and piano, released by Naxos.
Hyldig's deep appreciation for Messiaen's compositions has led him to perform intricate piano works such as "Vingt regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus" and the magnificent "Turangalîla-Symphonie" with The Royal Danish Orchestra. His interpretations have garnered critical acclaim and solidified his reputation as a masterful pianist.
Recognized for his exceptional talent, Kristoffer Nyholm Hyldig has received numerous accolades throughout his career. Notable among them are the Jury's Special Prize in the EU piano competition in 2009, the Jakob Gade Scholarship, the Léonie Sonning Music Foundation Scholarship, and the recent Danish Music Critics Reward. Furthermore, Hyldig's musical contributions extend beyond the concert hall. He has been involved in Zentropa-produced movies, lending his musical expertise both on soundtracks and on-screen appearances. Additionally, his recordings have been featured in plays at The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, further showcasing his versatility as an artist.
Ditta Rohmann, cello
Ditta Rohmann is a highly versatile musician, renowned for her exceptional abilities in various musical domains. She has captivated audiences as a soloist in prestigious concert halls, showcased her improvisational skills with world-music ensembles, and made significant contributions to collaborative projects with dancers, both as a chamber musician and recently as an actress.
Her musical journey began at the age of 7, and she pursued her studies at the renowned New England Conservatory in Boston. Ditta furthered her education at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest and the Basel Music Academy, where she completed her doctorate with a focus on works commissioned by Mstislav Rostropovich. She attributes great importance to her participation in masterclasses with esteemed musicians such as Boris Pergamenschikow, Jean-Guihen Queyras, András Schiff, György Kurtág, and Steven Isserlis. Among her many influences, she considers Hungarian pianist and teacher Ferenc Rados as a revered reference and mentor.
In 2012, Ditta Rohmann's exceptional talents earned her recognition as a prize-winner at the prestigious Leipzig Bach Competition. Her musical prowess extends beyond her role as a soloist, as she excels as a chamber musician and collaborator with dancers, including the renowned Vienna State Ballet. Her performances encompass a wide range of venues, from traditional concert halls to vibrant world-music ensembles and captivating theatrical productions.
Throughout her career, Ditta has collaborated with esteemed musicians and orchestras, leaving an indelible mark on the European music scene. She has participated in numerous international festivals, including Kronberg, where she was granted a three-year scholarship, as well as Lucerne, Santander, Music at Marsac, and the September 'Open Chamber Music' festival of the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, UK.
Ditta Rohmann possesses an extensive repertoire that spans from Baroque to contemporary compositions. Her close collaborations with notable composers such as Péter Eötvös, Barnabás Dukay, and Sofia Gubaidulina reflect her dedication to promoting and performing diverse musical works. Her exceptional talent has been showcased through various radio, television, and CD recordings released by esteemed labels like BMC, Hungaroton, and Swiss DRS.
Her recording of cello and piano works by Bartók, Debussy, De Falla, and Ravel, featuring her father Imre Rohmann, was honored with one of the highly esteemed Gramofon awards for the best Hungarian classical recordings of 2017. Her interpretation of J.S. Bach's Cello Suites (BWV 1017-1012) on Hungaroton received critical acclaim, with the authoritative magazine Gramophone describing it as "definitive."
In addition to her remarkable performances, Ditta actively engages in teaching activities. She runs her own summer school and imparts her knowledge and expertise through masterclasses. Her commitment to education is further demonstrated by her prominent role as the head of the Cello Department at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, as well as her position on the faculty of Lucerne Music University. These roles solidify her standing as a prominent figure in the realm of classical music.
Ditta Rohmann has truly established herself as an authentic and multifaceted musical artist. Her unwavering dedication to both performance and pedagogy has garnered immense respect and admiration within the classical music community, cementing her position as a leading figure in the Arts.
Edina Mókus Szirtes, violin, singer, song wriiter
"Edina Mokus: A Unique and Versatile Force in Hungarian World Music"
Edina Mokus stands out as an extraordinary presence in the Hungarian world music scene. She embodies a rare blend of virtuosic professionalism and genuine authenticity. With her remarkable violin skills and raw, distinctive voice, Mokus effortlessly transcends various musical genres, from folk to chanson, oriental to contemporary. Love, Chinese philosophy,
ethereal beauty, and whimsical charm... she embodies them all, making her a natural phenomenon.
Having earned a diploma in violin performance from the Ferenc Liszt University of Music, Edina Mokus ventured into the realm of music composition. Her talents have graced ballet productions, theaters, and even Hungary´s 2010 fireworks with her original compositions.
As a sought-after studio musician and songwriter, Mokus has collaborated with numerous serious and light music ensembles, lending her creative touch to their productions and recordings. She continues to captivate audiences with her live performances, both at home and abroad, gracing world music festivals with her own bands. Notably, her band Fabula Rasa received a professional special prize for their production at the prestigious Budapest Festival.
In recognition of her contributions, Mokus was honored with the Artisjus Award in 2004. Additionally, her composition triumphed among fifteen thousand entries at an international songwriting competition in 2007. That same year, she secured second place in the Contemporary Songwriter competition, following in the footsteps of the renowned Nikola Parov.
Mokus's versatility is evident in her two latest albums. The first, titled "Squirrel and the Tao," draws inspiration from the ancient Chinese philosophy book, Lao-tzu: Tao Te King - The Way and Virtue. This album, comprising twelve poems set to music, was created at the request of Kriszta Kováts and premiered at the Palace of Arts on September 24, 2011. Mokus showcased her musical prowess by performing the songs on various instruments such as piano, viola, violin, and melodica, infusing them with her own captivating vocals.
Simultaneously, Mokus embarked on recording a second album, "Szerelmesezős," featuring acoustic pop music that she affectionately refers to as "emotional women's music." The songs on this album, released later, were composed to the poems of her close friends, reflecting the heartfelt emotions and thoughts of today's youth.
Edina Mokus's artistry knows no bounds, and her contributions to Hungarian world music continue to astound and inspire audiences worldwide.
Katrine Gislinge, piano
Over the past three decades, Katrine Gislinge has established herself as one of Scandinavia's leading and most significant pianists, and with her formidable will to express herself and exceptional empathy in music, she places herself as one of the most significant and interesting artists in Denmark.
Katrine Gislinge's interpretations are characterized by a quivering sensitivity, where every little detail in the music takes on great importance but at the same time gathers in a clear and forward-looking flow. In her hands, in her musicianship, she manages to create the perfect balance between the most fragile and the most direct, and when you listen to her, you enter a musical space of "intoxicating sensuality" - as one reviewer described it.
Katrine Gislinge's repertoire ranges from Bach to the very latest music, and she manages in a beautiful and fascinating way to make her personal, sensitive playing give color and extra dimensions to every one of the style periods of the piano repertoire.
In recent years, Katrine Gislinge has particularly distinguished herself as a superior interpreter of Mozart's piano concertos, and about her interpretation of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9, "Jeunehomme", a reviewer wrote: "And with Katrine Gislinge at the keys, you didn't just get a superb interpretation in the sense of a technical virtuoso, but also opened the gate to musical heaven, simply because Gislinge is an inspired pianist.”
Mark Simpson, composer and clarinet
One of the most intriguing artists on today’s British music scene, Liverpool-born clarinettist and composer Mark Simpson’s musical life is a symbiosis of performance on the concert platform and poring over his manuscripts. Current highlights include Mark performing premieres of Alchymia, a new clarinet quintet by Thomas Adès dedicated to Mark and the Diotima Quartet; while performances of his own works include his first piano concerto premiered by Vikingur Ólafsson and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner; the German premiere of his first opera, Pleasure at the Theater Erfurt in Spring 2023; the Dutch premiere of his violin concerto (also premiered with the London Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) will be performed by its dedicatee Nicola
Benedetti in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and his orchestral work
Israfel with Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati. His Nachtstück for horn and piano, written for Ben Goldscheider (as an ECHO Rising Stars Artist) continues to be performed in major concert halls across Europe.
Currently Mark continues his partnerships with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Jean-Guihen Queyras in performances of music by Helmut Lachenmann. Recent concerto highlights have included the world premiere of his own Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic, Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto at the BBC Proms and Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He is visiting Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall and St Catherine’s College, Oxford (where he graduated with a first class honours) and was one of the 2022 Aldeburgh Festival’s artists in residence. Mark’s recording of his own Geysir and Mozart’s Gran Partita (Orchid Classics) won a Presto Recording of the Year award and was shortlisted for the 2021 Gramophone Awards. Simpson was recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Award in 2010, and the first ever winner of both the BBC Young Musician of the Year and BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year in 2006. His oratorio The Immortal received the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Classical Music in 2019.
Mathilde Milwidsky, violin
“The audience burst into spontaneous and repeated applause after the first movement, which the soloist had crowned with a brilliantly played cadenza….And where could you hear a larghetto played as divinely beautifully as by Milwidsky?”
- Süddeutsche Zeitung, Oct 2019 (Beethoven Violin Concerto with Dachau Sinfonietta)
Born in London in 1994, British violinist Mathilde Milwidsky, a 2023 Classic FM Rising Star: 30 under 30, has been praised by The Strad (2017) for her "perfect intonation and beautiful shaping and colouring, comprehensively nailing each new stylistic and emotional universe as she went" as well as by the Ostfriesen Zeitung (2018) – “Milwidsky showed in the interplay with the pianist Thomas Hoppe a unique, rarely heard musical experience... that was sensational.” She has performed as a soloist at venues in the UK such as the Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, St John's Smith Square, Cadogan Hall and the Royal Albert Hall as well as across Europe in Finland, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Sweden.
She has been featured on Scala Radio as ‘One to Watch’, broadcast live as a soloist on BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Radio Swiss Classic, DR (Danish Radio), Yle Radio Suomi (Finnish National Radio), Classic FM, Times Radio and Hessischer Rundfunk.
Mathilde’s debut CD for Toccata Classics with pianist Sam Haywood, comprising the world premiere of the three Sonatas for Violin and Piano by Agnes Zimmermann, was released in 2020 and has received widespread acclaim, including Mathilde being named Classical Music Magazine’s Artist of the Month and glowing reviews - “London-born violinist Mathilde Milwidsky is simply terrific, her tone, technique, and temperament the ideal mix and balance for these works. Five stars: I’d give it 10 if I could. This is one of those once-in-a-decade or more discoveries.” (Fanfare Magazine, US). Her latest release, of both Beethoven Romances for Violin and Orchestra, alongside the National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Rimma Sushanskaya, was released worldwide on the Guild label, and was subsequently given a 5* review by Musical Opinion.
Mathilde was the sole British violinist to be selected for the 2019 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition in Brussels and recently won 3rd Prize at the Windsor Festival International String Competition 2019. In 2020 she was a major prizewinner at the Peter Pirazzi Stiftung Competition (Frankfurt) and became a scholarship-holder of Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben (Hamburg). At the inaugural Aurora Music Competition 2018 (Sweden) the jury, chaired by Gordan Nikolic, unanimously awarded her First Prize, alongside the Audience Prize. Mathilde is a semi-finalist laureate of the 2018 International Joseph Joachim Violin Competition Hanover and won the String Section of the 2017 Royal Overseas League Music Competition. She became a St John's Smith Square Young Artist for the 2017/18 season, for which she gave the world premiere of a piece written for her by the acclaimed composer Sally Beamish.
She is regularly invited to festivals such as Verbier, Lerici, Fanø, IMS Prussia Cove, East Neuk, Fraenkische Musiktage, Musikdorf Ernen, Presteigne and Three Choirs, collaborating with musicians such as Anthony Marwood, Avi Avital, Ettore Causa, Adrian Brendel, Huw Watkins, Rosanne Philippens and Ksenija Sidorova, as well as woodwind principals of the Philharmonia and die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. In 2021 and 2022 Mathilde attended the Verbier Festival Academy on the Soloist & Chamber Music Programme as one of eight violinists selected worldwide. She has worked closely with such esteemed composers as Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Joseph Phibbs, Huw Watkins, Sally Beamish and David Matthews and in 2023 will be giving world premieres of works by Charlotte Bray and Deborah Pritchard.
Mathilde's studies began at the Royal College of Music Junior Department where she was a Tsukanov Scholar taught by Viktoria Grigoreva and David Takeno. She was then offered a place at Trinity College, Cambridge but instead studied at the Royal Academy of Music as a full scholarship student under György Pauk, graduating in July 2017 with First Class Honours and the Regency Award for notable achievement, the Louise Child Memorial Prize for highest-achieving graduate and the Marjorie Heyward Fund for the highest violin mark of the year. She is currently studying under Professor Mi-kyung Lee at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. Additional inspiration has come from members of the London Haydn Quartet and masterclasses with, among others, Midori, Leonidas Kavakos, Steven Isserlis, Maxim Vengerov and Augustin Dumay.
Generous scholarships have supported her studies, including awards from the Hattori Foundation, Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, the Philharmonia Orchestra's Martin Musical Scholarship, the Drake Calleja Foundation and the Tillett Trust. Mathilde is an Artist on the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme for 2020-2022. She plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin kindly loaned to her through the Beare’s International Violin Society.
Tim Crawford, violin
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.
Pau Codina, cello
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. Currently, he is a valued member of the Esbjerg Ensemble, Oculi Ensemble, and Trio Fortuny.
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.
Kerstin Thiele, flute
Kerstin Thiele has been a member of the Esbjerg Ensemble since 1986.
"It was a fortunate coincidence that led me to start playing the flute. My sister and father were part of the local brass band, and when they needed a flute player, I gladly took on the position."
Kerstin is a board member, appointed by her fellow musicians. She pursued her studies with solo flutist Toke Lund Christiansen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and Professor Andre Jaunet in Zurich.
In addition to her role in the Esbjerg Ensemble, Kerstin Thiele actively participates in the music scene both domestically and internationally. She also serves as a teacher at the South Jutland Academy of Music.
Ron Chen-Zion, klarinet
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.
David Daniel Dinu, oboe
Born in Bucharest in 1999, David Daniel Dinu is an oboe player based in Copenhagen.
He finished his Bachelor degree at the National University of Music in Bucharest and now is under the tutelage of Professor Max Artved at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, enrolled in a postgraduate degree.
He has played with Tivoli’s Promenade Orchestra, Danish Chamber Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and has won a temporary contract as a Solo-oboe with Esbjerg Ensemble.
Antti Salovaara, bassoon
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.
Joke Wijma, horn
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.
Christian Martinez, percussion
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.
Bogdan Bozovic, violin
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 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.
Christian Ihle Hadland, klaver
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.
Sini Simonen, violin
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.
Alasdair Beatson, piano
Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson works prolifically as soloist and chamber musician, adept on modern and historical instruments, and renowned as both performer and pedagogue. Notable performances in 2022/23 include regular appearances at Wigmore Hall, in concert with Steven Isserlis, Viktoria Mullova, the Doric and Maxwell string quartets, as member of the Nash Ensemble, and in festivals including Cheltenham, Ernen, Festivalta, Lewes, O/Modernt, Resonances, Spitalfields and Yellowbarn.
Alasdair is acclaimed as a sincere musician and intrepid programmer. Alongside a particular affinity with the classical repertoire and the music of Schumann and Fauré, he often explores the more exotic: Catoire, Pierné, Thuille; Debussy’s Jeux (in the composer’s arrangement for solo piano); Ligeti Horn Trio, Harrison Birtwistle’s Harrison’s Clocks; and Thomas Adès Piano Quintet. His concerto repertoire includes works of Bach, Bartok, Fauré, Hans Abrahamsen, Hindemith, Mozart, Sally Beamish, Stravinsky, and Messiaen. In recent years he has appeared with Britten Sinfonia, Moscow Virtuosi, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra and Vaasa City Orchestra.
Recent recordings include Schubert works for violin and fortepiano with Viktoria Mullova on Signum, and a solo piano recital Aus Wien on Pentatone. These join an acclaimed discography of numerous solo and chamber recordings, on modern and historical pianos, on BIS, Claves, Champs Hill, Evil Penguin, Onyx, Pentatone and SOMM labels.
A regular participant at the open chamber music at IMS Prussia Cove, Alasdair took part in their tours of 2007, 2011, and 2021, and collected the 2008 RPS Award for Chamber Music on their behalf. He has enjoyed working closely with composers George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Tom Coult, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Thomas Larcher, and Heinz Holliger. Future plans include the first performances of a new piano concerto, written for him by Helena Winkelman.
Alasdair was a student of John Blakely at the Royal College of Music, London, and Menahem Pressler at Indiana University. He teaches solo piano at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and regularly mentors for the London-based Chamber Studio. From 2012 to 2018 Alasdair was founder and artistic director of Musique à Marsac, and since 2018 is the artistic director of the chamber music festival at Musikdorf Ernen in Switzerland.
Niek de Groot, Double Bass
Dutch double bassist Niek de Groot is one of today's leading soloists on his instrument. Originally a trumpet-player he started playing the double-bass
at 18. Within an unusually short time he became principal bass with several European ensembles, including a 10-year tenure as principal Solo-Bass with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
After his formal studies he further developed his skills at the Banff Centre
for the Arts, Canada. Niek's playing has benefited a great deal also from attending masterclasses with eminent cellists Frans Helmerson, Lluìs Claret, Laurence Lesser and in collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, György
Sebök and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Over the last years Niek de Groot has dedicated himself entirely to chambermusic and solo performances. He performs regularly at the best known concerthalls and music festivals. Besides standard repertoire he includes a great deal of contemporary music. He has worked closely with composers such as Kurtág, Stockhausen, Saariaho, Vasks and Gubaidulina.
He recorded solo-CD’s for EMI, NIMBUS and BIS a.o.
Upcoming projects include the release of a new version of György Kurtág’s ‘Sudelbücher’ for BMC recorded with the composer, a CD with French music with pianist Catherine Klipfel for ORLANDO Records, the recording of Sofia Gubaidulina’s ‘Galgenlieder à 3’ for KAIROS and Culiner Creative Circle and the world-premiere and registration of the new Double Bass Concerto by Sebastian Fagerlund for BIS.
Since 1996 Niek is Senior Professor for Double Bass at the Folkwang University of Arts, Essen, being the only French-Bow playing bassist ever to hold such a position in Germany. He also taught at institutions in Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and regularly gives master classes worldwide. Many of his former and current students play in Europe's foremost orchestras and ensembles.
Throughout his career, Niek de Groot had the privilege to play on rare double basses by Cerutti, Bajoni, Candi, Amati and lately the double bass made in 1737 by Domenico Montagnana. Recently he also started playing an instrument custom made for him by Anneke Degen, Hamburg, 2019. His bows are developed for him by Jochen Schmidt. His baroque and classical bows are by Gerhard Landwehr.
Simon Haje, piano
Simon Haje (born 2005) is a successful young German pianist with a
variety of concert appearances and first prize winner at international competitions, most recently in Enschede, Neuchatel and Aarhus.
He has been taking piano lessons since he was six and was a young
student at the Berlin University of the Arts at the age of nine with Stefan Lietz and later with Prof. Markus Groh. He is also a pre-college student at
the "young academy Rostock", the international center for the musically gifted with Prof. Bernd Zack. He attended master classes with professors Eldar Nebolsin, Klaus Hellwig, Jacques Rouvier and Jan Jiracek von Arnim.
He has been awarded first prizes several times in music competitions. This was the case with "Jugend Musiziert", where he received top ratings and special prizes in the categories piano solo, ensemble, accompaniment, organ and singing. At his last competitions as a piano soloist he received first prizes (2018 International Piano Podium Munich, 2019 International Schumann Competition Düsseldorf and Steinway Piano Competition, 2020 Young Ludwig Youth Music Competition, 2022 International Piano Competition Enschede/Netherlands, 2023 Concour International Piano Neuchatel
Val de Travers / Switzerland, Aarhus International Piano Competition and
Kronberg International Piano Competition / Germany).
Simon Haje can also show successes in competitions and concerts as an ensemble musician in various formations.
He made his orchestral debut at the age of 12 as a soloist in Bach's Harpsichord Concerto in D minor at the Schlosstheater Rheinsberg. At
the age of 13 he performed Weber's concert piece in F minor with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra. He made his debut in the Great Hall of
the Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin in 2020 with Beethoven's
Piano Concerto No. 3. In 2022 he was a soloist with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in the Neubrandenburg Concert Church and with Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1 in the Chamber Music Hall of the
Héléne Clement, viola
Born in France in 1988, Hélène Clément has learned to combine her proud love for french wine with the cheese delicacies found in England when she moved to London in 2013. Her ferocious enthusiasm and thirst for the chamber music and viola repertoire leads her to constantly expand her musical horizons by performing with a wide range of different collaborations, playing in the most prestigious concert halls in Europe and around the World.
Following her passion as a chamber musician, she has performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Cité de la Musique in Paris. Her chamber music partners have included Mitsuko Uchida, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Nicolas Altstaedt, Benjamin Grosvenor, Alexander Melnikov and Peter Wispelwey, as well as the Brentano String Quartet and the Nash Ensemble.
Since September 2013, she is the viola player of the Doric String Quartet, with which she fulfils her appetite for deep explorations of the repertoire, from Haydn String Quartets to newly commissioned pieces. Recent highlights include recitals at the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, Vienna Musikverein, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Hamburg Laeiszhalle and De Singel, and regular performances at the Wigmore Hall. Further afield they have toured to Japan, Israel, Australia, America, Asia and New Zealand.
The Quartet has released a wide range of recordings, working exclusively with Chandos Records. Their most recent releases include works by Haydn, Britten, Mozart and Mendelssohn.
Ms. Clément is a frequent guest at the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival in America and Prussia Cove in England.
She is Principal Viola Player of the innovative Aurora Orchestra based in London, taking part in exciting projects such as playing symphonies by memory and chamber music projects in the most prestigious concert halls.
She teaches viola and chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music of London.
Mentoring and coaching young talents is taking a growing place in her life, and she is with her String Quartet the Artistic Director of the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival, a position that sees her play a key role in providing young professionals in the field of chamber music with a week of intensive mentoring, coaching and development.
Ms Clement is currently playing on a 1843 Italian viola owned previously by Benjamin Britten and Frank Bridge. The viola is generously lent to her by Britten Pears Arts.
Pablo Hernàn Benedi, violin
Pablo Hernán Benedí was born in Madrid, and began studying at the Padre Antonio Soler Conservatory in San Lorenzo de El Escorial with Polina Kotliarskaya. In 2009 he moved to London to continue his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with David Takeno and András Keller and was supported by scholarships from the MMSF, Juventudes Musicales and La Caixa. Since the age of 14, Pablo has had regular contacts with Gordan Nikolic who helped shape and nurture his development.
In 2010 he became a member of the Chiaroscuro Quartet, with whom he has performed in major concert halls such as London´s Wigmore Hall, New York´s Carnegie Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin´s Boulez Saal, Amsterdam´s Concertgebouw, Tokio´s Oji Hall and Auditorio Nacional in Madrid. They have an extended discography and have been awarded numerous prizes including the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2015, which is the most prestigious CD Award in Germany.
Pablo is also a founding member of the Trio Isimsiz which was formed in 2011. Currently winners of the Bortletti Buitoni Award Fellowship, The Trio has also won 1st prize and the audience prize at the Trondheim International chamber music competition and 2nd prize at the Haydn Vienna Competition. Upcoming engagements include performances at the Beethoven Haus as part of their Complete Beethoven’s Chamber music series and the complete Beethoven Trios at the Wigmore Hall in London. Furthermore, they are also commisioning Francisco Coll´s first trio.
As a soloist Pablo has performed with the Philarmonia, London Chamber Players and Concerto Budapest amongst others. He also regularly works as leader or section leader with Arcangelo, Concerto Budapest, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Swedish Radio Orchestra.
Pablo performs on the “Alard” J.B Vuillaume from 1851, and a 1570 Andrea Amati with his quartet.
Maria Florea, violin
Born in Barcelona in a musicians family, Maria started her violin studies at the age of four with her father, cellist and conductor Cristian Florea, and was only seven years old when she performed her first concert as a soloist.
Studied with Gonçal Comellas in Barcelona, Zakhar Bron, Yuri Volguin, Heime Müller and Marta Gulyas in Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia (Madrid). Completed her Master degree in performance with György Pauk at the Royal Academy of Music (London) and postgraduates at the University Mozarteum (Salzburg) and at the Musik-Akademie in Basel with Rainer Schmidt.
She has been awarded prizes in numerous international competitions and as a soloist and chamber musician she has performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls in Europe such as Palau de la Música Catalana and L’Auditori of Barcelona, Teatro Monumental and Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Organ Hall of Chisinau, Ateneu of Bucharest, Duke’s Hall and Wigmore Hall of London and she has recently been on a 19 concert tour as a soloist in China.
She has recent la Between 2020 and 2021 she has been invited as a soloist for the opening season concert of Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona (OBC) and at the Festival Enescu of Bucharest with the Moldavian chamber orchestra.
She’s member of Trio da Vinci, founded in 2018 between Barcelona and Paris, having already performed at Festival Pablo Casals (Prades, France), Festival de Torroella (Spain), Festival Emergents at L’Auditori (Barcelona, Spain), Organ Hall (Chisinau, Moldova), Théâtre de l’Alliance (Paris, France), Festival Barcelona Obertura (Spain), Festival de Pasqua de Cervera (Spain) among others. Next performances include their debut as a trio at Palau de la Música Catalana and with piano quartet at L’Auditori chamber music seasons with violist Sara Ferrández. They won first prize at the XIV BBVA Montserrat Alavedra Chamber Music Prize (Terrassa, Spain).
She currently plays a violin by Pietro Antonio Dalla Costa, Treviso 1766.
Marko Ylönen, cello
Finnish cellist Marko Ylönen is a soloist, orchestral player and principal cello, plays in different ensembles, and is a teacher. Ylönen’s repertory is broad, taking in a range of works by C. P. E. Bach, Boccherini, Vivaldi, Haydn, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Piazzolla, and especially contemporary Finnish composers like Einojuhani Rautavaara, Joonas Kokkonen, Jouni Kaipainen, Ralf Gothóni, Olli Mustonen, and many others.
Ylönen has performed throughout Europe, the U.S., Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand. He has recorded for several labels, including Ondine, Finlandia, ALBA and BIS. He plays regularly as soloist with the major Finnish orchestras and has also played with such leading orchestras as Camerata Salzburg, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Chamber orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Marko Ylönen has played in various ensembles with a great number of world’s leading musicians. He has also been invited Artistic Director of Korsholm Music Festival and LuostoClassic Festival in Finnish Lapland. From autumn 2009 Mr. Ylönen has been engaged as Professor of Chamber Music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
Marko Ylönen has studied with Csaba Szilvay, Erkki Rautio, Heikki Rautasalo and Heinrich Schiff. In 1990 he was awarded 2nd prize at the Turku Scandinavian Cello Competition and later that year he became a finalist and a prizewinner in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. In 1996 he won the first prize at the Concert Artist Guild Competition in New York. He plays a Bartolomeo Cristofori cello from 1720’s.
Artturi Rönkä, piano, composer
Artturi Rönkä (b. 1990) is a Helsinki-based composer and musician.
Rönkä’s compositional output includes music in different genres ranging from contemporary classical to modern jazz.
Rönkä studied composition with professor Veli-Matti Puumala in the Sibelius Academy, graduating with a master’s degree in 2020. He has also a master’s degree from the jazz department of the Sibelius Academy. During the academic year 2012-2013 Rönkä studied in Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP) as an exchange student.
Highlights of Rönkä’s career as a composer includeBells, Chant, written to celebrate the 40th anniversary of UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and the 80th birthday of Finnish saxophone legend Juhani Aaltonen,11 Scenes,a semi-concertante work for accordionist Harri Kuusijärvi and woodwind quartet andPhases,originally written for a workshop with Ensemble Recherche but also performed by Finnish chamber group ÄÄNI kollektiivi. Rönkä’s piece”…taakseni katsonut”based on a poem by flutist-poet Johanna Kärkkäinen will be released on Kärkkäinen’s duo record with guitarist Olli Hirvanen in 2021. Rönkä’s music will also be featured on UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra’s soon-to-be released album.
In addition to composing, Rönkä performs as a jazz pianist. He has played in groups such as AR Quartet, Rönkä-Remmel-Sommer, Kasperi Sarikoski & Nuance, Jere Haakana Varjosto, Selma Juudit Alessandra and Jean Erik.
Rönkä is also a sought-after arranger for different orchestras and large ensembles. Since 2011 he has written over 60 arrangements for UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra. His arrangements or transcriptions have also been performed by among others Central Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Oulu Sinfonia, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra & Turku Jazz Orchestra and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. In 2014 Rönkä was one of the seven arrangers around the world invited to participate in the Metropole Orchestra Arrangers’ Workshop under the guidance of Vince Mendoza.
Rönkä has won the first prizes in both Finnish “Esko Linnavalli” (2011, organized by UMO Jazz Orchestra) and international “Jazzverk” (2012 Luleå, Sweden, organized by Norrbotten Big Band) big band composition contests. He was chosen as the artist of the year by Pori Jazz Festival in 2013.
Anna Emmeluth, composer and singer
Composer and singer Anna Emmeluth has a colorful harmonic understanding. With a curious approach to composition, she works with melody and sound, like oil on a canvas. Sound is her paint. Her voice is soft, clear and playful, and invites the listener to empathize and be seduced by the music. The music is new Nordic jazz and is deeply inspired by the Nordic nature. It exudes presence and sonorous images. The listener is taken far into the forest to a babbling brook, which moves between moss-covered stones, out into the clarity of the winter cold and around the sparkling forest lake. Along the way, there is plenty of room for playful improvisations with a twinkle in the eye.