Wolfgang Haffner

Wolfgang Haffner is one of the most important percussionists and composers throughout the music world. He began his illustrious career at the age of 18, when jazz legend Albert Mangelsdorff invited him to join his band.

The list of musicians with whom Wolfgang Haffner has played and recorded seems endless: Chaka Kahn, Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, The Brecker Brothers, Ivan Lins, Jan Garbarek, Gregory Porter, Michael Franks, Roy Ayers, Bugge Wesseltoft, The Manhattan Transfer, Nils Petter Molvaer, The JB Horns, Esbjörn Svensson, Bob James, Mezzoforte, Lee Ritenour, Till Brönner, Joe Sample, Larry Carlton, Cassandra Wilson, Clark Terry Johnny Griffin, Nils Landgren, Mike Stern, Chuck Loeb, Hildegard Knef, Konstantin Wecker, Die Fantastischen Vier, Xavier Naidoo, the NDR Big Band and the WDR Big Band – to name but a few. He has also worked with some of the most well-known names on the electronic music scene, e.g. Ricardo Villalobos, Timo Maas & Nightmares on Wax.

Wolfgang Haffner can be heard on more than 400 albums; he has performed all around the world at the most important jazz festivals and toured 100 countries, from Japan to the USA, from South Africa to Brazil. As a leader, he has released 16 solo albums; he has also made a name for himself as a producer for bands such as Mezzoforte and the singer Max Mutzke.

In 2010 he received the ECHO Jazz Award, followed by the Culture Award of his hometown of Nürnberg in 2014. His album Kind of Cool reached the top of the jazz charts and also spent five weeks on the German pop charts. September 2017 saw the release of his most recent album, Kind of Spain.

Together with the Wolfgang Haffner Quartet, he tours the world intensely, year after year.

Ferdinand Keller

Tenor Ferdinand Keller received his first musical training at the Thomanerchor Leipzig. He has been studying at the HfM Hanns Eisler Berlin since 2012 with Prof. Martin Bruns and Prof. Wolfram Rieger. He also recieved tuition by Prof. Marta Taddei and Prof. Gianni Fabbrini at the Conservatory of Florence as well as by conductor Edwin Scholz.

Ferdinand Keller has attended master classes with Robert Dean Smith and Angelika Kirchschlager. Since 2015 he has been a member of the Ensemble at Opernale in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Ferdinand Keller sang numerous works by Bach, Handel and Rossini, and worked with ensembles such as Lauttencompagney Berlin, the Staats- und Domchor Berlin, as well as the camerata lipsiensis.

In 2016 Ferdinand Keller was scholar at Lied Academy of the International Music Festival Heidelberger Frühling under the artistical direction of Thomas Hampson and with mentors such as Brigitte Fassbaender, Peter Gülke, Michael Hampe and Wolfram Rieger. He came back in 2017 and will join the Lied Academy again in 2018.

Susan Zarrabi

Born in 1994 in Munich, Susan Zarrabi received her first singing lessons at the Bavarian Singakademie with Tanja d’Althann. In 2013 Susan Zarrabi won the first prize at the national competition “Jugend musiziert” in the category “Gesangs-Duo”. In the same year the mezzo soprano began her studies at the University of Music and Theater Munich with Michelle Breedt. Since 2014/2015 she studies with Christiane Iven.

As a concert singer, Susan Zarrabi performed as a soloist in various masses and oratorios, such as Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Beethoven’s Mass in C major, Mendelssohn’s Paulus, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Schubert’s Mass in B major and Vivaldi’s Gloria. In February 2016 she was to be heard with the alto solo in Mozart’s Requiem and in June 2016 with the second soprano in Bach’s B minor in Munich. Susan Zarrabi worked with the Munich Symphonic Orchestra in June 2015.

In 2016 Susan Zarrabi was a scholar at Lied Academy of the International Music Festival Heidelberger Frühling under the direction of Thomas Hampson and with mentors such as Brigitte Fassbaender as well as the song accompanists Graham Johnson and Wolfram Rieger. Also 2017 she will be part of the Academy again.

Eleonore Büning

Dr. Eleonore Büning has been writing about music since the late 1980s. She worked for the taz, the Weltoche, the Rheinischer Merkur as well as for the radio. In 1994 she became music editor for the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT, and from 1997 to 2017 she has been music editor for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In addition, Eleonore Büning has been active since 2011 as chairman of the award for German record critics.

Wille Oliver © privat

Oliver Wille

Oliver Wille was born in Berlin and studied at several universities in Germany (Berlin and Cologne) and USA (Indiana University and New England Conservatory).
As a co-founder of the international acclaimed Kuss-Quartet he started a very active chamber music life at fairly young age. Among his teachers were Eberhard Feltz, Christoph Poppen, Walter Levin, members of Cleveland and Alban Berg Quartet, as well as György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados.
Oliver has played in several orchestra projects with the Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin under Christian Thielemann, Sinfonieorchester des Hessischen Rundfunks Frankfurt, Camerata Bern or Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Claudio Abbado, Kent Nagano, Daniel Harding and Andris Nelsons.

An important part of his life became teaching. He got appointed as a chamber music professor at the University for Music, Drama & Media Hannover in October 2011, teaching an international quartet class as well as working with individual students of the school. Since October 2014 he serves as the International Chair in Violin and the leader of newly founded string quartet academy at Birmingham Conservatory, UK.

Oliver writes program notes and CD booklets and holds lecture recitals such as the “Explica“ series of the Kuss Quartet in Hamburg, Hannover and Heidelberg.
Since 2012 he serves as the vize president and artistic advisor of the Chamber Music Society Hannover, further he works as artistic director at a new string quartet festival in Frankfurt. From 2016 on, he will become Artistic Director of the Festival Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker.

Graham Johnson

Graham Johnson

Already acclaimed not only as one of the foremost accompanists of our day but also for his major contribution to the development of the song repertoire, Graham Johnson has most recently completed his major recording project of the complete lieder of Schubert for the Hyperion label and has embarked on a similar project of recording the complete lieder of Schumann. He was made an OBE in the 1994 Queen’s Birthday Honours list and in 2002 he was created Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Government.  He was also made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in February 2010. In 2013 he was awarded honorary doctorates by Durham University and The New England Conservatory, and was recipient of The Wigmore Hall Medal.

Valer Sabadus

Countertenor Valer Sabadus came to international fame in 2012 for his outstanding interpretation of the role of Semira in Leonardo Vinci’s opera ‘Artaserse’ at the opera houses in Nancy, Lausanne and Cologne, the Theater an der Wien, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Opéra Royal de Versailles, and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. The production also appeared on CD and DVD, and won countless prizes.

Valer Sabadus began his vocal training at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich under Prof. Gabriele Fuchs at the age of 17, and graduated in 2013 with distinction as a member of the Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding, specialising in Musical Theatre.

In addition to his busy life as an opera singer, the young countertenor also adores the concert and oratorio repertoire. He has performed evening recitals of lieder and arias at events such as the Lucerne Festival, the Schubertiade in Hohenems, and the ‘Winter in Schwetzingen’ Festival. He has already given solo performances at the Philharmonie concert halls in Essen and Cologne, the Frauenkirche in Dresden, the Chapelle Royale de Versailles, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, at Grafenegg Festival and at Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. Valer Sabadus has frequently teamed up successfully with leading early music ensembles, including Concerto Köln, Basel Chamber Orchestra, the Hofkapelle München, the L’Arpeggiata ensemble and Il pomo d’oro.

Jonathan Ware

Sought after as a song accompanist and chamber musician, over the last year Jonathan Ware has given recitals at Wigmore Hall (with Golda Schultz, Robin Tritschler, and Brenda Rae), the Aldeburgh Festival and at Boulez Saal Berlin.  He collaborated with the Vogler Quartet, with the young trombonist Peter Moore in a tour sponsored by the European Concert Hall Organisation, and with oboist Olivier Stankiewicz in the US, appearing at the Morgan Library in New York to critical acclaim.  He has also recorded for Berlin Classics with baritone Ludwig Mittelhammer, for Primo Classic with  Luca Pisaroni, and Warner with Elsa Dreisig.

Engagements in the 2019 – 2020 season include a European tour with soprano Elsa Dreisig, repeat engagements at Wigmore Hall London, as well as important debuts at Weill Hall at Carnegie with Golda Schultz, La Scala Milan with Bejun Mehta, The Kennedy Center with Brenda Rae, as well as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Robin Tritschler. He also returns to the Heidelberger Frühling Festival with Bejun Mehta and Ludwig Mittelhammer, as well as the Verbier Festival.

Jonathan teaches at the Hochschule ‘Hanns Eisler’ and Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin and is a regular guest for masterclasses at the Samling Foundation, as well as a staff member at the Verbier Festival.  He studied at the Eastman School of Music, Juilliard School and the Hochschule ‘Hanns Eisler’. Awards include 1st Prize in the Hugo Wolf Competition and the Pianist’s Prize at the Das Lied and Wigmore Hall Song Competitions.



Hauptstraße 90a, 69117 Heidelberg

Busses: 32 direction Universitätsplatz (Stop: Universitätsplatz)

Car parks:
P8 Kongresshaus, Untere Neckarstraße 44, 69117 Heidelberg (Fußweg 10 min.)
P9 Am Theater, Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 51C, 69117 Heidelberg (Fußweg 10 min.)
P11 Universitätsbibliothek, Sandgasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg (Fußweg 5 min.)

How to arrive

Heidelberg Theatre

Theaterstr. 10, 69117 Heidelberg

Busses: 31, 32 direction Neuenheimer Feld, 33 direction Ziegelhausen (Stop: Peterskirche)

Car parks:
P9 Am Theater, Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 51C, 69117 Heidelberg (walking distance 3 min.),
P11 Universitätsbibliothek, Sandgasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg (walking distance 5 min.)

Accessibility: partially accessible

How to arrive

Stadthalle Heidelberg © Frank Stefan Kimmel

Kongresshaus Stadthalle Heidelberg

bus number 30, 31, 32, 35 (to Kongresshaus stop)
multi-storey car park P 6 Kraus, P 8 Kongresshaus

How to arrive

Stadthalle – a venue of Heidelberger Frühling

Hotel Europäischer Hof Heidelberg © studio visuell photography

Hotel Europäischer Hof

Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 1, 69117 Heidelberg

Busses: 32, 33, 34 (Stop: Bismarckplatz);
Trams: 5 , 21 (Stop: Bismarckplatz)

Car park:
P5 Europäischer Hof, Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 1, 69117 Heidelberg,
P1 Poststraße, Poststr. 7, 69115 Heidelberg (Walking distance 7 min.),
P4 Darmstädter Hof, Sofienstr., 69117 Heidelberg (Walking distance 4 min.),
P7 Galeria Kaufhof, Plöck 31 – 41, 69117 Heidelberg (Walking distance 2 min.)

Accessibility: stepless side entrance, lift, disabled WC on 1st floor next to the lift

How to arrive

Frauenbad Heidelberg © Frank Stefan Kimmel

Frauenbad Heidelberg

Poststraße 40, 69115 Heidelberg
Entrance 1: Poststraße 36/5
Entrance 2: Bergheimer Str. 45

Tram: 5, 21 (Stop: Altes Hallenbad )
Busses 32, 33, 34

Car parks:
P1 Poststraße, Poststr. 7, 69115 Heidelberg (Walking distance 1 – 2 min.)
P4 Darmstädter Hof, Sofienstr., 69117 Heidelberg (Walking distance 7 min.)
P17 Stadtbücherei, Poststr. 17/1, 69115 Heidelberg (Walking distance 3 min.)

Accessibility: Entrance Poststr. with ramp, entrance Bergheimer Str. at ground level, lift to reach the different levels (Frauenbad on the 1st floor), disabled WC on the ground floor near the lift (Euro key required)

How to arrive

Frauenbad – a venue of Heidelberger Frühling