Ivry Gitlis (violin)
Born in Haifa, Israel, Ivry Gitlis received his first violin at the age of five and performed his first concert at the age of ten in his own school. He was only nine years old when the illustrious violinist Bronislaw Huberman heard him play for the first time and agreed to organise a fund-raising campaign so that Ivry Gitlis could be sent to Europe to continue his studies. Aged 10, the young boy headed to Paris with his mother to enter the National Music Conservatory, where he won a first prize two years later. After graduating from there, he studied with Georges Enesco, Jacques Thibaud and Carl Flesch. His international career really began to take off in earnest in the wake of a memorable performance he gave during the 1951 Jacques Thibaud Competition. He performed in the United States for the first time in 1955. He has made an increasing number of world tours, performing with the finest orchestras: philharmonic orchestras in New York, Berlin, Vienna, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Israel, Paris... under the baton of illustrious directors, such as George Szell, Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Eugene Ormany, Antal Dorati, Claudio Scimone, Michael TilsonThomas, Hans Rosbaud, Emmanuel Krivine... Ivry Gitlis’ recording of Bartok’s violin concerto number two and sonata for solo violin received the “Best Record of the Year” award from the New York Herald Tribune. An enthusiast for all kinds of music, Ivry Gitlis is the founder and organiser of the Vence, Saint André de Cubzac, Alfortville and Bonifacio Music Festivals. For several years now, these events have provided him with an opportunity to achieve what for him is the essence of life: a musical encounter between the performers and the members of the audience. It is impossible to claim you really know Ivry Gitlis unless you have attended one of his master classes... Thanks to his strong character, his warm personality, his outstanding charisma and willingness to get to the heart of the matter Ivry Gitlis is able to forge an immediate bond with people, turning each one of his concerts and television appearances into an unforgettable event.
Maxim Vengerov (violin)
At just 42 years of age, Maxim Vengerov is recognised as one of the world’s most exciting violinists and recently he started a promising conducting career, as well. In May 2000 Vengerov signed an exclusive recording contract with EMI Classics, with whom he made his debut in April 2000. In 1996 he received two Grammy nominations for Classical album of the Year and Best Instrumental Solist with Orchestra. Vengerov received the Edison Award in 1997 in the Best Concerto Recording category, for his Shostakovich and Prokofiev concertos N° 2 recording. In 1997, at the age of twenty-three, Vengerov was appointed Envoy for Music by the United Nations’ Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the first classical musician to be appointed in this role. He says: “I understood what miracles you can bring back to children with music; this is a universal language that everyone understands, it goes from heart to heart”. Another passion of Vengerov’s musical and personal life is his involvement with young people through giving Masterclasses to aspiring musicians. One such event was recorded by Channel Four Television in the UK as part of a documentary about Vengerov, called ‘Playing by Heart’ shown at the Cannes Television Festival in 1999. Maxim Vengerov performs regularly with all the major orchestras and the most eminent conductors. He is a professor of violin at the University of Music Saarland, Germany and was appointed visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London during 2005. Mr Vengerov wishes to express his gratitude to Mrs Yoko Nagac Ceschina for all her continued support, advice and great help, which made possible the purchase of his unique ‘Ex-Kreutzer’ Stradivarius violin.
Menahem Pressler (piano)
Menahem Pressler, a founding member and pianist of The Beaux Arts Trio, has established himself among the world’s most distinguished and honoured musicians with a career that spans almost six decades. Now aged 92, he continues to captivate audiences throughout the world as a performer and tutor, performing solo and chamber music recitals to great critical acclaim while maintaining a dedicated and robust teaching career. Born in Magdeburg in Germany in 1923, Menahem Pressler fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and emigrated to Israel. His international career was launched after he was awarded 1st prize at the Debussy International Piano Competition in San Francisco in 1946. This was followed by his successful American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of maestro Eugene Ormandy. Since then, Menahem Pressler’s extensive tours of North America and Europe have included performances with the orchestras of New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, San Francisco, London, Paris, Brussels, Oslo and Helsinki among numerous others. After nearly a decade of an illustrious and acclaimed solo career, the 1955 Berkshire Music Festival saw Menahem Pressler’s debut as a chamber musician, where he appeared as a pianist with The Beaux Arts Trio. With Menahem Pressler at the Trio’s helm as the only pianist for nearly fifty-five years, The New York Times described The Beaux Arts Trio as “in a class by itself”. The 2007-2008 season was nothing short of bitter-sweet, as the trio took their final bows which marked the end of one of the most celebrated and revered chamber music careers of all time. For nearly sixty years Menahem Pressler has taught on the piano faculty at the world-renowned Indiana University where he currently holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Music. He has had prize-winning students in all of the major international piano competitions, including the Queen Elisabeth, Busoni, Rubenstein, Leeds and Van Cliburn Competitions. In addition he serves on the juries of many major international piano competitions. Among his numerous honours and awards, Menahem Pressler has received honorary doctorates from the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Nebraska, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the North Carolina School of the Arts and six Grammy nominations. In addition to recording nearly the entire chamber piano repertoire with The Beaux Arts Trio on the Philips label, Menahem Pressler has compiled over thirty solo recordings, ranging from the works of Bach to Ben Haim.
Vladimir Perlin (cello)
Vladimir Perlin, started his cello studies at the age of 7 in the music school of Minsk, Belarus. In 1960 he was accepted to the conservatory into the class of the exceptional cellist and musician- Alexander Stogorsky, with whom he finished his cello and chamber music studies. Since 1971 Mr. Perlin dedicates his time for teaching and developing young talents. He is touring regularly with his students and giving master classes in Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, England, Poland, the Vatican, Spain and the U.S.A. His students occupy places in some of the world’s major orchestras and music schools . Two full length documentary films were made about Vladimir Perlin and his class and were broadcasted in different countries. In order to award his life achievements in education, the French government granted him with the title of “Officier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques”.
Alexandra Soumm (violin)
French violinist Alexandra Soumm is a multi-faceted artist who is equally at home in concerto and chamber repertoire. Orchestras with which she has collaborated in recent years include Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Helinski Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Tokyo Symphony. As a chamber musician, she has given recitals at the Auditorium du Louvre (Paris), Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels), and Wigmore Hall (London). She has also appeared at international festivals such as the City of London Festival, Deauville, Montpellier, MDR Musiksommer, Schleswig-Holstein, Verbier, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad and Varna. Born in Moscow, Alexandra started to learn the violin with her father at the age of five and gave her first concert two years later. She later moved to Vienna to study with the renowned pedagogue Boris Kuschnir and won the Eurovision Competition in 2004. Now based in Paris, she, along with two friends, founded non-profit organisation Esperanz’Arts in 2012, which was the culmination of four years’ involvement in charity projects aimed at creating opportunities through the arts. In January 2013, Alexandra was named Godmother of the newly established El Sistema France. The violin Alexandra plays on is made by Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini in Turin c.1785 and is known as the ‘ex-Kavakos’. The loan of the instrument by a benefactor is a part of the London Music Masters Award and has kindly been arranged through Florian Leonhard Fine Violins, London.
Jacques Rouvier (piano)
Born in Marseille in a musicians family, Jacques Rouvier studied with Vlado Perlemuter, Pierre Sancan and Jean Hubeau at the Paris National Superior Conservatory of Music, where he obtained first prizes in Piano and Chamber Music. He also completed his education with harmony and orchestra conducting. He owes Pierre Barbizet and Jean Fassina a great pedagogic and human enrichment. Prize winner of several competitions including the Viotti, Maria Canals, European Union of Radios and Long-Thibaud, he created in 1970 the Rouvier-Kantorow-Muller piano trio with whom he performed during 35 years. He participated as a soloist or chamber musician in many festivals and academies (Prades,Spoleto, Aix- en- Provence, Kuhmo, Holland Music Sessions... ) and was invited to do master-classes all around the world. His recordings of complete works for piano by Maurice Ravel and sonatas for violin and piano by Ravel and Debussy were awarded „Grand Prix du Disque“. He also recorded the complete works by Claude Debussy (DENON) and more than 30 other CDs. Invited to participate in the juries of many prestigious international competitions (Tschaikowsky, Montreal, Marguerite-Long, Dublin, Leeds, Hamamatsu, Santander, Seoul, Geneve...) he has been teaching at CNSM de Paris since 1979 and also at UdK Berlin since 2006. He is now professor at Mozarteum-Salzburg and in the Musica Mundi School in Waterloo, Belgium.
Jérôme Pernoo (cello)
Born in Nantes, Jérôme Pernoo studied with Germaine Fleury, Xavier Gagnepain and Philippe Muller at the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris. In 1994, he was prize winner at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow as well as at the Rostropovitch Competition in Paris and, in 1996, he won the Pretoria Competition. Jérôme Pernoo has performed with most of the major french symphony orchestras as well as with the Deutsches-Symfonie Orchester Berlin, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Bavarian State Orchestra in Munich, the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm, the National Orchestra of Spain in Madrid. He appears in recital with the pianist Jérôme Ducros on some of the world’s most renowned stages : the Wigmore Hall in London, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Cité de la Musique in Paris. His others partners in chamber music are : Alina Ibragimova, Renaud Capuçon, Gérard Caussé, Antoine Tamestit, Henri Demarquette, Christophe Coin, Frank Braley, Nicholas Angelich, Eric Le Sage, Bertrand Chamayou, Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, quatuors Ebène, Modigliani, Chiaroscuro… The season 2014/15 was highlighted by his premiere in Berlin Philharmonie and with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Marc Minkowski. Jérôme Pernoo is founder and artistic director of the music festival “Les vacances de Monsieur Haydn” in La Roche Posay, which first edition took place in September 2005. He plays a baroque cello and a piccolo cello. Both instruments are Italian and were built in the 18th century by the Milanese School. He also plays a modern cello made for him by Franck Ravatin.
Gérard Caussé (viola)
Undisputed figure of the viola in France and in the world, Gérard Caussé has developed, in parallel with a career of soloist, in recital and as a concertist with the greatest chefs and the formations most prestigious, a chamber music activity unanimously recognized for musical generosity
of the one who considers himself, since Mozart, as a "smuggler" between the serious and acute voices of the string quartet. Wanted partner of the greatest, Gidon Kremer (The Seven Last Words of Christ, Haydn), Dimitry Sitkovetsky (world premiere of Sitkovetksy's transcription of Bach's Goldberg Variations), Mischa Maisky, Michel Portal, Paul Meyer, François-René Duchâble, Renaud Capuçon, Franck Braley, Nicholas Angelich..., Gérard Caussé influenced, by his play unique and its aura, several generations of musicians, become, after him, violists by vocation. Of an instrument with an intimate voice and a discreet repertoire, not much predisposed, of nature, to do a lot , talk about him, he knew how to make this voice so special, recognizable among all, and inspire the greatest composers of his time: Henri Dutilleux, Philippe Hersant, Michael Lévinas, Pascal Dusapin, Hugues Dufour, Betsy Jolas, Wolfgang Rihm, Gérard Pesson... His defense of contemporary repertoires, from the foundation of Ensemble Intercontemporain, where Pierre Boulez calls it viola solo, accompanied by a recognized innovative pedagogical activity, from the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, at the Escuela Reina Sofia of Madrid, as in many masterclasses, in Verbier, Salzburg, Siena, Villecroze, Lisbon, Havana or Caracas... Chief and Musical Director of the Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata of the Caja Duero Foundation of Salamanca, Gérard Caussé embodies all the facets of an exceptional and unparalleled violist life, as evidenced by a discography, under the Largest labels, with more than 60 recordings praised by the public and critics, such as the recent transcription of Bach's Cello Suites on viola, interwoven with Rilke's poems by Laurent Terzieff at Erato. He shares the stage with his magnificent Gasparo da Salo, from 1560.
Maxim Rysanov (viola)
Grammy nominated Ukrainian-British violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov has established himself as one of the world's most vibrant and charismatic musicians. As a violist, he is principally known as a frequent guest of the crème of the international music scene, such as BBC Last Night of the Proms and the festivals of Edinburgh, Salzburg and Verbier. Among his concerto highlights are the Mariinsky Orchestra (Valery Gergiev), Russian National Orchestra (Mikhail Pletnev), BBC Symphony Orchestra (Jiri Belohlavek), Residentie Orkest the Hague (Neeme Jarvi), Svetlanov State Symphony Orchestra (Vladimir Jurovsky), Seattle Symphony (Andrey Boreyko), Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (Vasily Petrenko), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Tugan Sokhiev) and many others. Maxim enjoys a busy career as a conductor parallel to playing the viola. Often he combines conducting and directing a concerto from viola. Maxim studied conducting with Alan Hazeldine at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has taken part in several masterclasses with Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Jorma Panula and Oleg Caetani.
Maxim is a keen chamber musician. His chamber partners include Maxim Vengerov, Janine Jansen, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer, Nicola Benedetti, Vadim Repin, Augustin Dumay, Viktoria Mullova, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Sol Gabetta, Leif Ove Andsnes, Denis Matsuev, Alessio Bax, Michael Collins, Martin Frost, Alice Coote, Freddy Kempf, Yeoelom Son among others. Maxim's recordings have gained numerous award nominations including Gramophone Editor's Choice, ECHO, ICMA. Maxim is a recipient of various awards, including the Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award and the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Award. He is also a prize-winner at the Geneva, Lionel Tertis and Valentino Bucchi competitions.
Maxim studied viola with Maria Sitkovskaya in Moscow and John Glickman at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama London. He is delighted to have a Giuseppe Guadagnini viola (1780) on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation.
Julia Dinerstein (viola - violin)
Julia Dinerstein is one of the most prominent violin and viola teachers in the Netherlands. She works at the Rotterdam Conservatory, ARTEZ Conservatory in Arnhem and Zwolle, Maastricht Conservatory, the Hellendaal Music Institut (Rottedam) and Academy for Musical Talent (Utrecht). Julia regularly gives summer masterclasses in France, Spain, US, China and Italy. A great number of Julia’s pupils and students became winners of National and International Viola Competitions. Julia Dinerstein began her studies on the violin in Bielorussian Conservatory Music School ,Minsk with Pavel Volodarsky and Boris Dinerstein then at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, Moscow with Elizabeth Gilels and Andrei Korsakov.Later she studied the viola at the Maastricht Conservatoire with Mikhail Kugel As a soloist and chamber music player she has participated in International Festivals in Europa, America and Far East where she played chamber music with Dmitri Sitkovetski, Daniel Rowland, Priya Mitchell, Nick de Groot Michael Kugel. Julia plays numerous recitals and chamber music concerts, amongst others as a member of The Hague String Trio and Zemtsov Viola Quartet. She has recorded CDs with both ensembles Julia has worked as a guest principal violist at the Limburg Symphony Orchestra, Holland Symphonia (Holland), Flamish Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic and De Munt Orchestra (Belgium) amongst others. Julia is the 2nd Prize winner at the Beethoven Int. Viola Competition (Austria).
Dimitri Ashkenazy (clarinet)
Born in 1969 in New York, Dimitri Ashkenazy began playing the piano at the age of six and then switched to the clarinet under the tuition of Giambattista Sisini, with whom he continued studying when he entered the Conservatory of Lucerne in 1989. Since completing his studies, he has gone on to perform widely, both as soloist and chamber musician. On tour, he has appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Hollywood Bowl with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney
Symphony and SBS Youth Orchestras, at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and in Japan with the Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Mito Chamber Orchestras. In addition to the major concertos for the clarinet, his repertoire extends to include contemporary works An active chamber musician, he has performed with the Kodály, Endellion, Heath, Brodsky and Faust Quartets and with partners Antonio Meneses, Cristina Ortiz, Maria João Pires, and of course his brother Vovka, his father Vladimir Ashkenazy, and violist Ada Meinich, with whom he shares his life. In addition to his concert activity, Dimitri Ashkenazy has made numerous CD (paladino, Orlando, Pan Classics, Decca, DUX, Ondine), radio (Radio Nacional de España, France Musiques, Radio della Svizzera Italiana, DeutschlandRadio) and television recordings, and been invited to give master classes in Australia, Spain, Romania, New Zealand, Singapore, Iceland, Switzerland and the U.S.
Natalya Shameeva (harp)
Honoured Artist of Russia. Natalya Shameeva graduated from the Moscow Gnessin Middle Special School of Music (class of Mark Rubin) and the Russian Gnessin Academy of Music (class of Kira Saradzheva). She completed her post-graduated studies at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire (class of Vera Dulova). Prize-winner at various international competitions. Soloist with the Mosconcert from 1962 to 1970. Assistant to Vera Dulova at the Moscow State Conservatoire from 1967 to 1970. Soloist of the Bolshoi Orchestra since 1970. Currently, Shameeva is Professor of the Russian Gnessin Academy of Music. She also teaches at the Gnessin Music College and the Music School at the Russian Gnessin Academy of Music. She holds a PhD in Arts Studies. Shameeva has also authored the book entitled History of Russian Harp Music (20 th century), which was published in Russia and the United States. The musician has given concerts and master-classes in Russia and in other countries. She has also been a jury member of Russian and international competitions. She represented Russia at the World Harp Congress for 20 years and appeared in various concerts, held master-classes and lectures as part of her activities at the Congress. In 2012, she was elected a member of the World Harp Congress, Inc. Shameeva is a Board Member of the Russian Harp Society. She is also one of the organisers and Artistic Director of the Art of Harp in Russia festival in Moscow. In 2009, she was awarded the gold medal of the Moscow Union of Composers.