Jonathan Ware

Born in Texas, Jonathan Ware studied at the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School and with Wolfram Rieger at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler Berlin’, where he now teaches.
He won the Pianist’s Prize at Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song and Das Lied Competitions, and 1st Prize in the International Hugo Wolf Competition.

Sought after as a song accompanist and chamber musician, former highlights included recitals in the Festival Dialogues at the Mozarteum Salzburg with Mojca Erdmann, the Hugo Wolf Akademie in Stuttgart, Munich Philharmonie and at Wigmore Hall and Barbican with Dame Ann Murray, Robin Tritschler, Michael Collins, Peter Moore, Benjamin Appl and Morgan Pearse.   He recorded for BBC Radio 3 with Peter Moore, was resident at the Verbier Festival Academy and Meistersinger Akademie in Neumarkt, and a mentor at the Heidelberger Frühling Festival Academy.

Future engagements include recitals with Golda Schulz at the Heidelberger Frühling Festival, Elsa Dreisig at the Konzerthaus Berlin and Anna Huntley at Wiltshire Music Centre and Leeds University.   He returns to Wigmore Hall, Samling Opera and the Heidelberger Frühling Academy.

Il Giardino Armonico

Il Giardino Armonico, founded in 1985 and conducted by Giovanni Antonini, have long been established as one of the world’s leading period instrument ensembles, bringing together musicians from some of Europe’s leading music institutions. The ensemble’s repertory is mainly focused on the 17th and 18th centuries. Depending on the demands of each programme, the group will consist of anywhere from 3 to 35 musicians.

Il Giardino Armonico is regularly invited to festivals all over the world, performing in the most important concert halls, and has received the highest acclaim both for their concerts and for their staged opera productions, like Monteverdi’s »Orfeo«, Handel’s »Agrippina«, »Il Trionfo del Tempo del Disinganno« and »La Resurrezione«, Vivaldi’s »Ottone in Villa« and, most recently, Handel’s opera »Giulio Cesare«, during last editions of Salzburg Whitsun and Summer Festival.

The ensemble can regularly be heard performing with such acclaimed soloists as Giuliano Carmignola, Christophe Coin, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Bernarda Fink, Viktoria Mullova, Giovanni Sollima and Cecilia Bartoli. The group published Serpent & Fire with Anna Prohaska in 2016.

Trio Belli-Fischer-Rimmer

The Deutsche Musikrat prizewinners Frederic Belli, Johannes Fischer (percussion) and Nicholas Rimmer (piano), formed Trio Belli-Fischer-Rimmer for the Bundesauswahl “Konzerte junger Künstler”. All three musicians have been awarded numerous prizes in national and international competitions and perform worldwide as soloists or chamber musicians.

Nicholas Rimmer is a much sought-after chamber music player, Lieder accompanist and pianist with the Leibnitz-Trio. He also teaches at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media. Johannes Fischer is percussion professor at the Lübeck Academy of Music and is also a composer and conductor.

It was already clear during the exceptionally successful 2008/9 concert season that this unusual combination of trombone, piano and drums would continue, in spite of the three members’ other commitments as soloists and musicians. The trio skillfully blends a variety of epochs and styles in their program. Sometimes using their own arrangements, they present music from Bach to Xenakis, Debussy to Piazolla, spanning classical, jazz and new music with such musical joie de vivre and exploring the versatile possibilities of their instruments.

The trio has commissioned several new works for the 2011/12 season, so it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for the three musicians and their audiences in terms of unconventional directions beyond traditional listening habits.

Fabian Russ

Born in 1985 in Brunswick, Lower Saxony, Fabian Russ’ first composing teacher was Thomas Hertel. Sampling became the main method and focus of Russ’ work. He exclusively relies on material of his own produce and afterwards adds different instruments up to orchestral sounds to this base. Russ already collaborated with Robert Gwisdek (Käptn Peng), Folkert Uhde, Andreas Scholl, Midori Seiler, Albrecht Mayer, John Neumeier’s Federal Youth Ballett, STÜBAphilharmonie and Frieder Weiss. »fDong« ist his alias for unusual concepts and inventive rap music. Together with composer and arranger Tim Jäkel he works on feature-length pieces for symphony orchestra and electronic devices.

Elisabeth Brauß

Elisabeth Brauß, born in 1995, is regarded as one of the outstanding musicians of her generation.

She is a regular international guest at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Mariinksy Theater in St. Petersburg, the Tonhalle Zurich, the Barbican Centre in London, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Heidelberger Frühling, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

As a soloist she performs with orchestras such as the hr-Sinfonieorchester, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, the Dortmunder Symphoniker and the Bochum Symphoniker.

In addition to first prizes at the International Steinway Competition in Hamburg and at the International Grotrian Steinweg Piano Competition in Braunschweig, she was awarded the 2012 Prätorius Music Prize of Lower Saxony.

In August 2013, she won the main and audience prizes at the TONALi Grand Prix in Hamburg. In 2015 she won first prize at the “Ton und Erklärung” competition in Frankfurt, and in October 2016 she won the Kissinger KlavierOlymp in Bad Kissingen.

In May 2017, her debut CD with works by Beethoven, Pr okofiev, Chopin and Denhoff was released by OehmsClassics, which was among others awarded an “Editor´s choice” by the Gramophone Magazine.

For the 2013/2014 season she was a scholarship holder of the Mozart Gesellschaft Dortmund, 2014 she received a scholarship of the Hans und Eugenia Jütting-Stiftung and since 2014 she is also a scholarship holder of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes.

At the age of 6 she began to learn the piano with Dr. Elena Levit, from 2007 to 2010 she was a student at the Institute for Early Encouragement of Musically Highly Gifted Students of the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover. From 2008 to 2010 she was a student in Hannover in the piano classes of Dr. Elena Levit and Prof. Matti Raekallio, since 2010 she studies at the HMTMH in the piano class of Prof. Bernd Goetzke.

In 2016 Elisabeth Brauß was a scholarship holder of the Chamber Music Academy and returned in 2017 and 2018 as a fellow. In 2019 will be performing again in the festival.



Rebekka Bakken

If it was up to Rebekka Bakken, people would not talk about her music, but rather just listen to it. The singer-songwriter with the deeply touching three-octave range is an “Anti Drama Queen” – a restless soul and at rest within herself at the same time. Hearing is feeling is living, when it comes to this emotional artist. But maybe it is also because her songs are so poetic and meaningful and her melodies speak so clearly and beautifully, that the curiosity to find out what is behind them is so enormous. With her fifth album the Norwegian singer, who was living in New York and Vienna for a long time and now makes her home on a horse-farm in Sweden, continues her “American series”. Produced in close collaboration with Malcolm Burn in Kingston, New York, the twelve self-confident and straightforward songs of “September” present themselves as one of the most beautiful, Country-influenced song-albums of our time. Brilliantly sung, sensually and lusciously played, these songs about love, life, lust and misery – the oldest topics in the world – always seem up to date. Their sound already is so unique and original, that even the three cover-versions of songs by Bruce Springsteen, Jane Siberry, and Alphaville, fit perfectly with Bakken’s own new compositions. This music touches, on many levels. “Communication”, as Rebakka Bakken says, “is so much more than words.”

The fact that Rebekka Bakken does not only sing but also play her own music, which she has always composed on piano, helps in creating a new, free, and self-assured expression. “Music cannot not happen”, she says, consciously using the double negative. “If you try, it’s not going to work. But if people don’t think too much, music can some.” This natural and self-evident quality can be heard in the music on “September” during its almost one-hour-long journey across an enormous emotional scope; especially when one listens to it and does not talk about it too much.


Felix Froschhammer, violin
Rachel Späth, violin
Markus Fleck, viola
Andreas Fleck, violoncello

Founded in 1996, the casalQuartet’s formal training took place under the watchful eyes of the Carmina Quartet in Zurich, the Alban Berg in Cologne and Walter Levin in Basel.

The quartet has also benefited greatly from performing with musicians such as Martha Argerich, Khatia Buniatishvili, Oliver Schnyder, Nikolaj Znaider, Patricia Kopatchinskaya, Sol Gabetta, Clemens Hagen, Emma Kirkby, Christiane Oelze, Christoph Prégardien, Giora FeidmanMaurice Steger and others.

The casalQuartet has performed over 1.300 concerts in many parts of the world. (e.g. Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, Beethoven-Fest Bonn, Styriarte Graz, Rheingau Festival, Konzerthaus Berlin, Tonhalle Zürich, Les Muséiques Basel, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Lucerne Festival, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Festival Lockenhaus, Satori Hall Tokyo, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Festspielhaus Bregenz, Konzerthaus Wien etc.)

Immediacy with its audiences, the integration of colleagues from other artistic disciplines, and concept oriented programming are all equally important to the quartet’s vision – which it promulgates at its three festivals in Switzerland. The four musicians see the string quartet as one of the most versatile genres in music, equally successful in its journeys to the 17th century, to Tango Nuevo, jazz and the newest works of today, and well adapted to extending previous programming boundaries by the inclusion of theatre, dance and literature.

David Fray

Having performed at the Heidelberger Frühling in 2016, David Fray comes back in 2018. Described as “Perhaps the most inspired, certainly the most original Bach player of his generation,” he maintains an active career as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician worldwide. He has collaborated with leading orchestras and distinguished conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Paavo Järvi , Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Orchestral highlights in Europe have included performances with the London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Bayerische Rundfunk, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Deutsches Sinfonie Orchester, Mozarteum Salzburg, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France and Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris. David Fray made his US debut in 2009 with the Cleveland Orchestra which was followed by performances with the Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Recital debuts followed in Carnegie Hall, at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and the Chicago Symphony Hall.

Mr. Fray holds multiple awards including the prestigious German ECHO Klassik Prize for Instrumentalist of the Year and the Young Talent Award from the Ruhr Piano Festival. In 2008 he was named Newcomer of the Year by the BBC Music Magazine. At the 2004 Montreal International Music Competition, Mr. Fray received both the Second Grand Prize and the Prize for the best interpretation of a Canadian work.

An exclusive Warner Classics artist, David Fray recorded his first CD with works of Bach and Boulez to great critical acclaim. The disc was praised as the “best record of the year” by the London Times and Le Soir.

David Fray started taking piano lessons at the age of four. He furthered his studies with Jacques Rouvier at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Paris where he currently resides.

Martin Mitterutzner

The tenor from Hall in Tyrol was trained by Brigitte Fassbaender. He was introduced to the world of music and trained from a young age as a treble by Howard Arman. In 2004 he won First Prize at the Austrian state competition prima la musica, and in 2007 he was awarded the Eberhard-Wächter Medal of the Vienna State Opera, aged only 23. He stepped up his singing studies with master courses under Robert Holl; his work with Brigitte Fassbaender was formative for the start of his career.

Since the season of 2011/2012 he is member of the Frankfurt ensemble. In early 2014 he performed in the Frankfurt Opera for the first time in a Verdi opera as Fenton in Falstaff (Director: Keith Warner, Conductor: Bertrand de Billy) and in April added Don Ottavio in a new production of Don Giovanni by Christof Loy a further Mozart part to his repertoire. In this role he will also make his debut end of 2016 in Vienna´s Theater an der Wien. Following his debut at the Salzburger Festspiele 2012 as Brighella in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos directed by Daniel Harding, he was a guest there again in summer 2013, this time as Ferrando in Sven Eric Bechtolf’s new production of Così fan tutte, with Christoph Eschenbach on the rostrum.

Undoubtedly the focus of his singing lies in opera, but Martin Mitterrutzner possesses a broad concert repertoire, reaching from Early Music, via Bach and Handel, to modern times with works by Benjamin Britten and Sven David Sandström.

He was a guest performer at concerts by the Munich Radio Orchestra under Jun Märkl, the Internationale Bachakademie with Helmuth Rilling, the MDR Choir under Howard Arman, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra, the Hessische Staatsorchester under Marc Piollet and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano as well as the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst.

Also as a Lied singer the young tenor already managed to achieve an excellent reputation. Following recitals in Eppan, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Eppaner Liedsommer as well as at Wilhelmshöher Schlosskonzerte he first time performed with Gerold Huber at Liederabende at the Frankfurt Opera and in the Cologne Philharmonic Hall. In the season of 2015/2016 the duo will perform at Heidelberg Spring Festival and at Schubertiade Schwarzenberg.

Tianwa Yang

Called “an unquestioned master of the violin” (American Record Guide) who “rises above her competition” (Fanfare), Tianwa Yang has quickly established herself as a leading international performer and recording artist. The young violinist, a resident of Germany and heralded by the Detroit News as “the most important violinist to come on the scene in many a year”, has debuted with such major orchestras as the Detroit, Seattle, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in addition to the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, MDR Radio Symphony Leipzig, SWR Symphony Baden-Baden and Freiburg, German Radio Philharmonic, Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.

Other international engagements include those at the Schwetzinger SWR Festival, Montpellier Festival, Lincoln Center New York, Wigmore Hall London, Salle Pleyel Paris, Philharmonic Hall Berlin and Gewandhaus Leipzig.

As a critically acclaimed recording artist for Naxos, Tianwa Yang released the complete solo sonatas by Eugène Ysaÿe, which immediately won several awards, and both Mendelssohn violin concertos, earning her the title “one of the best new violinists of the new century” by Musicweb-International.

Raised in the Chinese capital city, Tianwa Yang began studying violin at the age of four. Demonstrating unquestionable ability, she won six competitions as a young child. At the age of ten she was accepted to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing as a student of Lin Yaoji. Tianwa Yang recorded the 24 Paganini Caprices at the age of thirteen, making her the youngest artist to release the works. In 2003 she was awarded a scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service to study chamber music in Germany, marking the beginning of her European career.

She is grateful to Lin Yaoji, Jörg-Wolfgang Jahn and Anner Bylsma for the musical insight and support they have offered throughout her career.

Tianwa Yang performs on a Guarneri del Gesu (1730) on kind loan from Mr. Kei Mei Rin in Singapore.