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Maria Włoszczowska, violin

Polish violinist Maria Włoszczowska is recognised for her versatile musicianship, performing as soloist, director/concertmaster, and chamber musician.
Maria began the 2022/23 season with her solo debut at the BBC Proms performing Kaija Saariaho’s Vers toi qui es si loin with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Dinis Sousa. As Leader of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, she also directs a number of programmes; one of this season’s highlights includes directing and performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Further afield, Maria makes her Hong Kong debut at the Hong Kong Musicus Festival and joins the violin faculty at Yellow Barn, Vermont.

Last season, Maria gave her New York recital debut at 92NY with Jeremy Denk performing all six Bach Sonatas for violin and keyboard and they return together this season to the Lammermuir Festival.

She appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall and at international festivals such as Musikdorf Ernen in Switzerland, Lammermuir Festival and IMS Prussia Cove as well as a residency at Yellow Barn.  Distinguished artists such as Jeremy Denk, Bengt Forsberg and Dinis Sousa have joined her in recital and other chamber music partners have included Thomas Adès, Alasdair Beatson, Philippe Graffin, Benjamin Grosvenor, Steven Isserlis, Steven Osborne, Hyeyoon Park, Timothy Ridout and the Doric String Quartet.  This season also sees the launch of the Valo Quartet, which she leads; they make their debut appearance in Brussels under the auspices of the Festival Resonances.

Recent seasons have seen projects as a guest leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and solo appearances with UK and international ensembles, including symphonic and chamber orchestras in her home country of Poland.   This season, Maria returns to Leipzig to appear as soloist with Reinhard Goebel and the Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum at the Gewandhaus.

Recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Emily Anderson Prize, the Hattori Foundation Senior Award and Poland’s Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prize, she based herself in the UK after completing her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Hungarian violinist and conductor András Keller. In 2018 she won both First Prize and Audience Prize at the XXI Leipzig International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition. Maria plays on a violin by Francesco Stradivari.

Alexi Kenney, violin

Violinist Alexi Kenney is forging a career that defies categorization, following his interests, intuition, and heart. He is equally at home creating experimental programs and commissioning new works, soloing with major orchestras around the world, and collaborating with some of the most celebrated musicians of our time. Alexi is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.

Highlights of Alexi’s 2023/24 season include appearing as soloist with the Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee Symphonies, leading a program of his own creation with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and debuting a new iteration of his project Shifting Ground at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Ojai Festival, in collaboration with the new media and video artist Xuan. Shifting Ground intersperses seminal works for solo violin by J.S. Bach with pieces by Matthew Burtner, Mario Davidovsky, Nicola Matteis, Kaija Saariaho, Paul Wiancko, and Du Yun, as well as new commissions by composers Salina Fisher and Angélica Negrón.

In recent seasons, Alexi has soloed with the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Detroit Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, Gulbenkian Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and l’Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, as well as in a play-conduct role as guest leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has played recitals at Wigmore Hall, on Carnegie Hall’s ‘Distinctive Debuts’ series, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, 92nd Street Y, Mecklenberg-Vorpommern Festival, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition and laureate of the 2012 Menuhin Competition, Alexi has been profiled by Musical America, Strings Magazine, and The New York Times, and has written for The Strad.

Chamber music continues to be a major part of Alexi’s life, regularly performing at festivals including Caramoor, ChamberFest Cleveland, Chamber Music Northwest, Kronberg, La Jolla, Ojai, Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Seattle, and Spoleto. He is a founding member of Owls—an inverted quartet hailed as a “dream group” by The New York Times—alongside violist Ayane Kozasa, cellist Gabe Cabezas, and cellist-composer Paul Wiancko. Alexi is also an alum of the Bowers Program (formerly CMS 2) at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Alexi is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he received an Artist Diploma as a student of Miriam Fried and Donald Weilerstein. Previous mentors in the Bay Area include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong. He plays a violin made in London by Stefan-Peter Greiner in 2009 and a bow by François-Nicolas Voirin.

Outside of music, Alexi enjoys hojicha, modernist design and architecture, baking for friends (especially this lumberjack cake), and walking for miles on end in whichever city he finds himself, listening to podcasts and Bach on repeat.

Pablo Hernán Benedí, 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.

Hélène Clément, 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 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.

Isidora Timotijevic, viola

Isidora Timotijević was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1997 and received her first violin lessons at the age of seven. At the age of 14 she changed to the viola and was tutored by Tomislav Milosevic. Since 2015, she has been studying at the MozarteumUniversity Salzburg with Professor Thomas Riebl. She also receives a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein, where she regularly participates in concerts and masterclasses.

She has won numerous prizes at national and international competitions, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Isidora regularly performs with the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein, Salzburg Chamber Soloists and Camerata Salzburg, giving concerts in Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea, Switzerland and Austria. She has also participated in many festivals worldwide, including Musique à Marsac (France), Eggenfelden Klassisch Music festival (Germany), Festival Alpenarte (Austria), Mendelssohn on Mull (Scotland), Olive Classic Festival (Croatia) and in Festival Next Generation in Bad Ragaz.

In addition to her chamber music commitments, Isidora is also a member of Ensemble Esperanza, an un-conducted chamber orchestra made up of scholarship holders from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein which was recently awarded the OPUS Klassik award 2018. Since 2017 Isidora has been the violist in the Beija-flor Quartet, which she formed with her fellow students at the Motzarteum University Salzburg. She plays a Bernd Hiller viola made in 2015.

Pau Codina, cello

Born in 1988 in Barcelona, Pau Codina started his cello studies at the age of 5 with Eulàlia Subirà (Manlleu, Barcelona). He is a graduate of the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth, where he studied with Louise Hopkins and Gary Hoffman.

He has performed extensively throughout Europe and in many prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Flagey, Bozar, Pau Casals Auditorium, L’Auditori de Barcelona, and Palau de la Música Catalana Concert Hall in Barcelona, both as a soloist and chamber musician. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Budapest, the Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, the RTVE Orchestra in Madrid, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and the Andorra Chamber Orchestra. He also recorded Saint-Saens Suite op.16 for cello and orchestra with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liege, conducted by Christian Arming under the label Fuga Libera, and more recently, with the Camera Musicae Orchestra (the current Franz Schubert Philharmonia) conducted by Salvador Mas, performed Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, op. 129.

Away from the concert platform, Pau has won several competitions and awards, such as the MBF’s Guilhermina Suggia Award, the Kronberg Cello Festival Schlosskonzert Prize, both the third prize as well as the Critique’s Award in the Primer Palau Competition in Barcelona, and the first prize in the Concurso Permanente competition of Jeunesses Musicales of Spain. Nowadays, Pau Codina is a member of the Esbjerg Ensemble, Oculi Ensemble and Trio Fortuny.

Tim Crawford, violin

Tim Crawford www2 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.

Maja Horvat, violin

Maja Horvat communicates the spiritual power of music through her performances, offering joy and comfort which enable her audience members to develop their own unique and meaningful connection with the Arts. She explores the full range of magic and versatility of which the violin is capable through her work as a soloist, chamber musician and in collaboration with ensembles, orchestras and composers all over the world. While constantly exploring masterpieces of all eras, Maja’s true passion is giving contemporary works a good start in life and finding fresh resonance in lesser-known gems of 20th-century repertoire.

​Maja gave her debut performance at Wigmore Hall in 2021 as first violinist of the Brompton Quartet, of which she is a founding member and with whom she gives frequent world premieres. They won the St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competition and have collaborated with record producer Andrew Keener and many currently active composer.  She has performed with some of the world’s most prominent chamber musicians including Sir Andras Schiff, Tabea Zimmerman, Christian Tetzlaff, Vladimir Mendelssohn and David Cohen.

​In 2019 Maja was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Emily Anderson Prize for an outstanding violinist. She is a Tillett Debut Scheme Artist. She has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra Mladi Solisti and the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra. She has appeared at festivals including the Tartini Festival, Stift International Music Festival, ChamberJam Düsseldorf and Festival Ljubljana. Among other accolades, Maja has won the Temsig Slovenian National Competition and the International Tartini Competition; she was awarded the Special Szymanowski Prize at the inaugural Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition. Maja is also an active orchestral member. She has performed as concertmaster of the Royal College of Music’s Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestra, Fidelio Symphony Orchestra and the Echo Ensemble. She has played with Symphonisches Orchester der Jeunesse Leibnitz, Ljubljana International Orchestra the Symphony Orchestra at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet in Ljubljana.

​It was around the age of three that Maja felt sure that she wanted to dedicate her life to playing the violin. She finally began learning aged seven. Her first teacher was Bojan Ristić at the Music School Jesenice in Slovenia, where she later studied with Blanka Piotrovska. While still in Jesenice, Maja performed as a soloist in venues across Slovenia as well as in Austria, Germany, Croatia, Italy and the Czech Republic. In 2015 she graduated the Conservatory for Music and Ballet Ljubljana, where she learned with Volodja Balžalorsky. As a Victor and Lillian Hochhauser Scholar at the RCM in London, Maja studied with Daniel Rowland and Leonid Kerbel while participating in masterclasses with internationally-acclaimed performers such as Maxim Vengerov, Nicola Benedetti, Ivry Gitlis, Saewon Suh, Anton Martynov, Vasilij Meljnikov, Igor Ozim and Wonji Kim Ozim. In June 2022 she finished her Artist Diploma studies at the RCM under the tutelage of Alina Ibragimova.

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.

Antti Salovaara, bassoon

AnttiIt 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.

Aros Guitar Duo

Mikkel Egelund Nielsen and Simon Wildau met during their studies at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark. In 2009 Mikkel and Simon formed the AROS guitar duo to play a number of concerts in Bergen and since then, they have played numerous concerts in Denmark and abroad. Both Simon and Mikkel have won prestigious awards as soloists and as a duo at international competitions including the 1st prize at Omiš Guitar Fest (Croatia), 1st prize at Fiuggi International Guitar Festival (Italy) , 2nd prize at the Acerra International Guitar Competition (Italy) and most recently 1st prize at Liechtensteiner Gitarrentage 2018 (Liechtenstein). In 2017, they received the special prize for the best performance of a new Danish work at the P2 chamber music competition, where they performed John Frandsens guitar duo “Twilight”.

Both guitarists have individually finished the advanced postgraduate diploma (soloist class) at The Royal Academy of Music Aarhus. Nielsen has a Master’s Degree in Music from Cologne and Wildau has a Master’s in Music from Barcelona. In september 2018 they made their debut from the advanced postgraduate diploma (soloist level) as a duo at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen after studies and supervision with Associate Professor in classical guitar Jesper Sivebæk and Professor Tim Frederiksen. In addition, the Aros duo has studied in Barcelona during the period 2010-2011 with the Spanish guitarist Àlex Garrobé and attended masterclasses from various international soloists and professors.
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