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.

Elias Grandy

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.

Simon Kluth © Ulrikismus

Simon Kluth

Simon Kluth, born in 1986 in Hamburg, studied violin in Detmold and Hanover with Elisabeth Kufferath and in Paris with Boris Garlitzky. He is a longtime member of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, the Orchester im Treppenhaus in Hanover and took part in the Lucerne Festival Academy.  He is principal violonist at Camerata Hamburg.
He played in various chamber music formations, too – for example at Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen, Manifeste Paris, Lucerne Festival and, together with Jörg Widmann, at Heidelberger Frühling Music Festival.

Simon Kluth has a strong passion for contemporary music and is the inventor, organizer and moderator of the Composer Slam contest.  With his ensemble SonARTrio, he became a scholarship holder of the German Music Competition 2013. With his band Klangheimlich Simon Kluth performed as renowned concert venues as well as in clubs, bars and cafés.

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.

Gerold Huber © Marion Koell

Gerold Huber

Gerold Huber studied piano under Friedemann Berger at the Musikhochschule in Munich and attended Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s lied class in Berlin. In 1998 he was awarded the Prix International Pro Musicis with Christian Gerhaher. Gerold Huber gives masterclasses, and since 2013 he has been a professor for lied accompaniment at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg.

Gerold Huber has appeared at renowned festivals and major concert halls, a. o. at Konzertverein Vienna, Wigmore Hall London or Bavarian State Opera Munich, performing with Christian Gerhaher, Christina Landshamer, Franz-Josef Selig, Mojca Erdmann, Diana Damrau, Ruth Ziesak, Maximillian Schmitt, Christiane Karg, Rolando Villazon and others.

Gerold Huber is the artistic director of the Pollinger Tage Alter und Neuer Musik.

All of Gerold Huber’s recordings with Christian Gerhaher have been issued by Sony Classical, and awarded with various prizes. The Schubert recording Nachtviolen was honoured with the Gramophone Award in 2015. Among other recent recordings Schubert’s Die schöne Mülllerin will be published this autumn, again with Christian Gerhaher (Sony).

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.