Marmen Quartet

Johannes Marmen, violin
Ricky Gore, violin
Bryony Gibson-Cornish, viola
Steffan Morris, violoncello

Winners of the Grand Prize at the 2019 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, the Marmen Quartet is emerging as one of the most interesting voices on the chamber music scene. Founded in 2013 at the Royal College of Music, London, the Marmen Quartet won the 1st Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition 2019 (shared first prize with the Viano String Quartet). Additional accolades include winning the 2018 Royal Over-Seas League Competition, Second Prize as well as the Special Prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work (Four Quarters by Thomas Adès) at the 8th International Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition and both the Haydn Prize and Canadian Commission Prize at the Banff Competition.

They are the Young Quartet in Residence at Wiltshire Music Centre and they have received awards from the Musicians Company/Concordia Foundation, the Hattori Foundation, Help Musicians, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Society Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize.

As the current holders of the Guildhall School of Music String Quartet Fellowship, they are based in London where they study with Simon Rowland-Jones and John Myerscough. They are also completing a Master of Chamber Music with Oliver Wille at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover.

The Marmen Quartet has appeared on ‘CBC Radio’, ‘Deutschlandfunk Kultur,’ ‘Swedish Radio’ and ‘BBC Radio 3.’ Festival highlights include performances in Hitzacker, Lockenhaus, Edinburgh Fringe, North Norfolk and Lake District.

In the upcoming season, they are looking forward to a Beethoven Cycle in Sweden, their debut in the Berlin Philharmonie, a cruise to Norway, a tour to Japan, and octet performances with the Doric String Quartet. As part of its First Prize at Banff, the Marmen Quartet will tour numerous concert halls throughout Europe in 2020, amongst others Amsterdam, Basel, Merano, Nuremberg and Zurich.

Naoko Sonoda

Japanese-born pianist Naoko Sonoda is a prize-winner of several international piano and chamber music competitions, including those in Argento and Trieste (Italy), as well as the Łódź Competition (Poland). Solo and chamber music concert invitations have taken her throughout Europe, Asia, US and South America and to festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Meckle-Vorpommern and Verbier Festival. Chamber music partners include Santiago Cañón Valencia, Hartmut Rohde, Mark Gothoni, Danjulo Ishizaka, Jens-Peter Maintz, and Andrei Ionita. She has performed with such renowned orchestras as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and has been heard in world-class venues, most notably the Berliner Philharmonie in Germany, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall in St.Petersburg, Teatro Mayor in Bogota and Carnegie Hall in NY.

Ms. Sonoda is in high demand as a collaborative pianist; she received prizes as best collaborative pianist at the International Music Competition in Markneukirchen (2013, 2019 ), the Lutosławski International Cello Competition in Warsaw (2015, 2018), and the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015, 2019). Her performances are regularly broadcast on international radio and TV, including Kulturradio RBB, ZDF and BR in Germany, NPO Radio 4 in Netherlands, Radio Romania, NHK-FM in Japan and the BBC.

Ms. Sonoda studied with Yoko Okumura, Seiko Ezawa and Mikhail Voskresensky at the Toho Gakuen School of Music, before studying at the Universität der Künste in Berlin with Rainer Becker. She also studied chamber music with Tabea Zimmermann, Markus Nyikos and Natalia Gutman.

She has taken masterclasses with Hans Leygraf, Ferenc Rados, Klaus Hellwig, Pascal Devoyon and Jacques Rouvier. After graduating, Naoko was engaged by the Universität der Künste in Berlin, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns-Eisler Berlin and the Franz Liszt Musikhochschule in Weimar as a collaborative pianist.

Mandelring Quartett

Sebastian Schmidt, violin
Nanette Schmidt, violin
Andreas Willwohl, viola
Bernard Schmidt, violoncello

“Brilliance is not a strong enough word – it’s more like an electric shock. The music transfixes the listener from literally the very first note, electrifying heart and brain without any advance warning. Mendelssohn’s music as played by the Mandelring Quartet, under extreme tension, heated and feverish, is dangerously close to catching fire!” So wrote the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in a CD review. In 2014 The Strad, the leading English-language classical music magazine, gave the Mandelring Quartet a title page and a detailed portrait. The music magazine Fono Forum classes the ensemble as one of the best half-dozen string quartets in the world.

The Mandelring Quartet’s success in winning some great competitions – in Munich (ARD), Evian and Reggio Emilia (Premio Paolo Borciani) – was what launched their international career. Today their performing commitments take them to international musical centres such as Vienna, Paris, London, Madrid, New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver. In addition their concert diary includes regular tours to Central and South America, the Near East and Asia. They are also warmly welcomed guests at leading festivals including the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade and those at Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Lockenhaus and Montpellier. Wherever these four musicians appear, they leave behind lasting musical impressions: for example, after the Mandelring Quartet’s performance of their Shostakovich quartet cycle at the Salzburg Festival the Salzburger Nachrichten wrote “A memorable festival experience not likely to be equalled in the near future.”

The HambacherMusikfest, the Mandelring Quartet’s own festival in its home town of Neustadt on the Weinstrasse (Wine Road), has developed into a meeting point for lovers of chamber music from all over the globe. Since 2010 the ensemble has had a concert series of its own in the Berliner Philharmonie.

The Mandelring Quartet celebrated its 30th birthday in 2013 in the Berlin Radialsystem V with a project called “3 from amongst 30”, five concerts at each of which the audience was invited to select a programme of three works from a list of thirty immediately before the start.

Numerous prize-winning CD recordings testify to the quartet’s exceptional quality and wide-ranging repertoire. Their recording of the complete quartets of Shostakovich attracted particular attention and came to be regarded by critics as the benchmark recording of these works. Their recording of all Mendelssohn’s chamber music for strings also received outstanding reviews. Their recent project has been a complete recording of all the string chamber music of Brahms.

Adam Laloum

Adam Laloum received an international recognition by winning 1st Prize at the prestigious Clara Haskil Piano Competition. In 2017, he won the Victoires de la Musique in the category “Instrumentalist of the Year”.

Adam has the opportunity to perform in concerto with some prestigious Orchestras such as the Mariinsky Orchestra/Valery Gergiev, the Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Nicholas Collon at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne/Joshua Weilerstein at the Festival de Saint-Denis, the Orchestre National de Belgique/Hugh Wolf, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Sir Roger Norrington, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo/Alain Altinoglu, the Orchestre National de Lyon/Gabor Takacs-Nagy, the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège/John Neschling, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Jonathan Nott, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg/Jesus Lopez-Cobos, the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester/James Gaffigan, the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse/Joseph Swensen, the KBS Symphony Orchestra/Yoël Levy, the Orchestre National de Bordeaux/Jaime Martin, the WDR Orchestra of Stuttgart, etc.

Adam Laloum is the guest of the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Wigmore Hall, Herkulessaal de Munich, Tonhalle Zürich, Auditorium du Louvre, Piano à Lyon, Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, Grand Théâtre d’Avignon, Société Chopin de Bern, Palais des Beaux-arts de Bruxelles, Bilbao, Japon. He performs at the Klavier-Festival-Ruhr, Verbier Festival, Lucerne Festival, Festival de la Roque d’Anthéron, SWR Schwetzinger Festspiele, Festival de la Chaise-Dieu, Folles Journées de Nantes, Festival de Colmar, Menton Festival, Festival du Périgord Noir, Festival Piano aux Jacobins, Lille Piano Festival, Festival de Pâques de Deauville, Zermatt Festival, Bad Kissingen Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, etc…

After a first album with Brahms works (Mirare), Adam Laloum recorded another one dedicated to Schumann: Humoresque op.20 and the Sonata n°1, op.11. This recording has received the « Diapason d’or of the year 2014 », the « Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros », « ffff » of Télérama and 5 stars by Fono Forum in Germany. Adam Laloum then released a CD devoted to Schumann/Schubert, also for the label Mirare. Adam Laloum signed an exclusive contract with Sony Music Worldwide. His first recording for Sony was released in 2018 and includes the Two Brahms piano Concertos with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Kazuki Yamada.

A very fine and passionate chamber music partner Adam Laloum founded a piano trio – Trio les Esprits – with the cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière and the violinist Mi-sa Yang. Their last recording (Sony Music Worldwide) has received The Strad « Recommends ».

His chamber music recording (Brahms both clarinet Sonatas and Trio with clarinet) with clarinettist Raphaël Sévère and cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière also received a Diapason d’or and ffff in Télérama.

With the violist Lise Berthaud, he released an album devoted to Schumann, Schubert and Brahms, which received a Diapason d’or.

He is the artistic director of the festival “Les Pages Musicales de Lagrasse” since 2015, a festival dedicated to the chamber music repertoire.

Adam Laloum starts the piano at the age of 10 and makes his musical studies at the Toulouse Conservatory, before starting at the Paris National Conservatoire in 2002 in the class of Michel Béroff. During his scholarship, Adam met and attended master classes of such personalities as Dmitri Bashkirov or Paul Badura-Skoda. He received his Diploma in June 2006 and continued at the Lyon CNSM in Géry Moutier’s class. He then joined the class of Evgeni Koroliov in Hamburg who is himself 1st Prize Clara Haskil 1977.

Viano String Quartet

Lucy Wang, violin
Hao Zhou, violin
Aiden Kane, viola
Tate Zawadiuk, violoncello

Praised for their “huge range of dynamics, massive sound and spontaneity” (American Record Guide), the Viano String Quartet won First Prize at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition and top prizes at the Osaka and Wigmore Hall International Chamber Music Competitions, where they also received the Haydn Prize and Sidney Griller Award. Formed in 2015 at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, where they are Ensemble in Residence through the 2020-21 season, the quartet has performed in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, SOKA Performing Arts Center, and the Cerritos Center for Performing Arts. The Viano String Quartet has performed with world class musicians such as pianists Emanuel Ax and Elisso Virsaladze. During the 2019-20 season, the Viano will perform on three continents, making debuts in Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, New York City and Vancouver and, as part of its First Prize at Banff, conduct a tour through Europe.

Masato Suzuki

A multifaceted musician, Masato Suzuki appears on the concert platform in the capacity of conductor, composer and keyboard player.

On the conducting podium Masato Suzuki works with such orchestras as the Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestras as well as the Hiroshima Symphony, Ensemble Kanazawa, Kyushu Symphony Orchestras, and Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. In his role as Music Director of Ensemble Genesis, he presents ambitious programmes of baroque, classical and contemporary music in imaginative combinations.

Recently appointed Principal Conductor of Bach Collegium Japan, last season he made his subscription series conducting debut with the ensemble directing Bach’s St John Passion and Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea and leading them at the Thüringen Bachwochen. This year BIS releases the first disc of Bach Harpsichord concertos Suzuki has recorded with Bach Collegium Japan leading from the keyboard, alongside numerous other recordings.

Suzuki makes his debut at the Edinburgh Festival in the 2018/19 season performing three of Bach’s Harpsichord concertos with musicians from the Dunedin Consort; other festival appearances as recitalist and chamber musician include the Chofu International Music Festival (of which he is Artistic Director and Executive Producer), Schleswig Holstein and Verbier.  He continues a collaboration with violist Antoine Tamestit touring an all Bach programme centred on the three viola da gamba sonatas; their recording of these works is released by Harmonia Mundi in August.

Suzuki’s composition portfolio includes works for both instrumental ensembles and choir; his work is published by Schott Japan and he has received recent commissions from Sette Voci, Tokyo Musik Kreis and Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall among others.  Suzuki’s reconstruction of lost movements of J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV190 (Carus) and his completion and revision of Mozart’s Requiem have been highly praised.

Masato Suzuki studied Composition and Early Music at the Tokyo University for Fine Arts and Music before studying Organ and Improvisation at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

Trio Sōra

Clémence de Forceville, Violine
Angèle Legasa, Violoncello
Pauline Chenais, Klavier

The Trio Sōra is considered as an ensemble with one of the rarest artistic identity of its generation. Through performances as subtle as inventive, and nourished by the different cultures of the member, these three passionate musicians give a unique interpretation of chamber music, with strength and sensitivity.

Already invited to some of the greatest international concert halls, such as the Philharmonie de Paris, the Auditorium du Louvre, or London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Center, or as part of distinguished festivals such as La Folle Journée de Nantes, the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix en Provence as well as the Verbier Festival, the Trio Sōra distinguishes itself with its curiosity and high artistic aims.

Honoured by several awards gained in French and international competitions (lately at the Parkhouse Award), appointed Lauréat HSBC 2017 at the Festival d’Aix, and laureate of the Special Prize of the Verbier Festival Academy 2018, the three women keep entertaining and surprising.

Always concerned to enrich their artistic development, the musicians of the Trio Sōra regularly work with masters such as Mathieu Herzog, Menahem Pressler, the Quatuor Ebene and the Quatuor Artemis at Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.

The Trio Sōra thanks the Fondation Singer-Polignac, Proquartet-CEMC, Le Dimore Del Quartetto,  the Fondation Safran pour la Musique, the ADAMI, the Fondation Meyer, the Fondation Baillet-Latour of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel for their kind support. The violinist Magdalena Geka plays a Giuseppe Garneri 1697 violin and the cellist Angèle Legasa, a Julius-Caesare Gigli 1767 cello, instruments kindly lent by the Fondation Boubo-Music (Switzerland).

Simon Trpčeski

Simon Trpčeski performs with orchestras such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, New York Philharmonic, China Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. He regularly gives solo recitals in such cultural capitals as New York, Paris, Munich, Prague,Sao Paulo, Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo and London where last season he was Artist in Residence at Wigmore Hall. He performs at festivals such as Verbier, Bergen, the Baltic Sea Festival and BBC Proms. Conductors he collaborates with include Thomas Dausgaard, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Jakub Hrůša, Neeme Jarvi, Mälkki, Cristian Măcelaru, Andris Nelsons, Gianandrea Noseda, Sakari Oramo, Antonio Pappano, Vasily Petrenko, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Lahav Shani, Dima Slobodeniouk, Yuri Temirkanov and Krzysztof Urbański.

A committed chamber musician, he appears with Eldbjørg Hemsing and Daniel Müller-Schott among others.

Trpčeski has recorded prolifically to widespread acclaim. His recordings were recognised with Classic FM, Gramophone “Editor’s Choice,” and “Debut Album” as well as Diapason d’Or.

With the special support of KulturOp – Macedonia’s leading cultural and arts organization – Trpčeski works regularly with young musicians in Macedonia to cultivate the talent of the country’s next generation of artists. Born in Macedonia, Trpčeski is a graduate of the School of Music in Skopje, where he studied with Boris Romanov. He was previously a BBC New Generation Artist and was honoured with the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award in 2003.

Federico Colli

Known for the highly imaginative and philosophical approaches to his interpretations, Federico Colli came to prominence after winning the Salzburg Mozart Competition in 2011 and the Gold Medal at The Leeds International Piano Competition in 2012. Since then, he has been performing in prestigiuos concerts in different parts of the world.

He has played at famous Theaters including the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Berlin Konzerthaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, and Lincoln Centre in New York among many others.

He has also performed with renowned Orchestras including the Mariinsky, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony, working with esteemed Conductors including Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vasily Petrenko, Juraj Valčuha, Sir Mark Elder and Dennis Russell Davies, to name but a few. He has been sharing the stage with Lang Lang, Martha Argerich, Nelson Freire and Leonidas Kavakos.

His solo CD produced by Champs Hill Records, featuring works by Beethoven, Scriabin and Mussorgsky, was released with great critical acclaim. He is now recording for Chandos Records, with whom he has released a much appreciated first album entirely dedicated to Scarlatti.

2019 started with the release of the second CD produced by Chandos Records, with works by Bach and Bach-Busoni. Performances with orchestra include concerts with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Stamford Symphony Orchestra, Hamburger Symphoniker, and Philharmonia Orchestra. Then, solo recitals are scheduled at the Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw and Berlin Konzerthaus. In addition, the CD entirely dedicated to the Scarlatti’s Sonatas Vol. 2 is made by Chandos Records.

Born in Brescia in 1988, he has been studying at the Milan Conservatory, Imola International Piano Academy and Salzburg Mozarteum, under the guidance of Sergio Marengoni, Konstantin Bogino, Boris Petrushansky and Pavel Gililov. He received the “Grosso d’argento” as a prize for the international prestige given to his hometown, and the Music Section of the UK Critics’ Circle included him among the recipients of its 2018 Awards

Monet Bläserquintett

Anissa Baniahmad, flute
Johanna Stier, oboe
Nemorino Scheliga, clarinet
Marc Gruber, Horn
Theo Plath, bassoon

The musicians of the Monet Bläserquintett – Anissa Baniahmad, Johanna Stier, Nemorino Scheliga, Marc Gruber and Theo Plath – have all won prizes in national and international competitions, including the Deutsche Musikwettbewerb and the ARD Competition, and play in major symphony orchestras such as the Sinfonieorchester des Hessischen Rundfunks und dem NDR-Elbphilharmonieorchester Hamburg.

Since the formation of the ensemble in 2013, the musicians have been engaged in intensive rehearsals and concerts, which have taken them to venues such as the Konzerthaus Dortmund and the Opéra de Lyon.

The Monet Bläserquintett is a regular guest at renowned international festivals, including the Schumannfest in Bonn and the Davos Festival in Switzerland.

The ensemble is a scholarship holder of the Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz, in addition, all members are scholarship holders of the Mozartgesellschaft Dortmund.

The Monet Bläserquintett was awarded a scholarship at the Deutsche Musikwettbewerb 2016 and 2019, and the ensemble also won prizes at the International Chamber Music Competition in Lyon.

After recording “Scaramouche” by Darius Milhaud together with saxophonist Asya Fateyeva for their latest CD “Carneval”, the Monet Bläserquintett will release the ensemble’s first own CD with works by Paul Taffanel, Gustav Holst, Jean Françaix and Charles Dubugnon at the end of 2019.