Fabian Müller

»Exceptional pianist« (WAZ) and »keyboard artist with a great future« (General-Anzeiger) – both critics and audiences are enthusiastic and agree: Fabian Müller stands at the beginning of a highly promising career.

In recent times, the young pianist could repeatedly exhibit his talent. Fabian Müller attracted much attention as the prize winner in the Frankfurt competition Ton und Erklärung announced by the cultural department of the German economy in January 2015, for the choice of the International Holland Music Sessions for his participation at the concert series New Masters on Tour, with the much-noticed education project Ein Jahr mit György Ligeti at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr, where he took musical responsibility and which was awarded with the Junge Ohren Preis 2014, or with his admittance to the Werner Richard – Dr. Carl Dörken Stiftung for the concert series Best of NRW.

His successes resulted in an auspicious concert season 2015/16 with numerous highlights such as recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr, at the Heidelberger Frühling, the Winners & Masters Gasteig, at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at the Philharmonic in Bratislava, and, not least, the production of his debut CD Out of Doors.

Fabian Müller, born in Bonn in 1990, began playing the piano at the age of four. He received his first lessons from pianist Rose Marie Zartner. Soon, his exceptional talent was recognized and confirmed with numerous first prizes at the German youth competition Jugend Musiziert, which was followed by several distinctions such as the Ibach-Preis, special prizes by the Deutschen Stiftung Musikleben and the Jürgen-Ponto-Stiftung, or the 1st prize at the Prix amadéo de piano in Aachen in 2011. The musical atmosphere of his hometown had a crucial impact on Fabian’s development as an artist. Grown up near to the death house of Schumann and Beethoven’s birthplace, he early came in contact with the great German composers. After his first concerts at these special places, Fabian was awarded with the Beethoven Bonnensis advancement award by the Bürger für Beethoven association at the age of 14 and developed a close link to this music, which quickly became the center of his repertoire. In 2016 he became Artist in Residence at the Beethoven-Akademie in Bonn.

Fabian began his studies at the Musikhochschule Köln (Cologne University of Music) with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich at the age of 15 and participated in the masterclasses of Menahem Pressler, Pavel Gililov, and Leon Fleisher. Especially due to the contacts of his teacher Aimard to various important composers of the last decades, Fabian was also able to create a close relation to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He demonstrated this in 2013, when he became a price-winner of the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano and, furthermore, was awarded with the special prize for the best interpretation of contemporary piano music, the international prize of the press jury, and the special prize for the best interpretation of a piece by Busoni.

Fabian has already performed in concert halls such as the Philharmonie Köln, the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, and in several European countries. Besides, he was a guest at prestigious festivals such as the Musikwoche Hitzacker, the Aldeburgh Festival in England, the Musikfestspielen Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the Schwetzinger Festspielen, and gave concerts with the Deutschen Streicher-Philharmonie, the hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony), the WDR Sinfonieorchester, and the Beethoven Orchester Bonn. In 2012, Fabian toured through Germany with the Klassische Philharmonie Bonn, performing among others at the Liederhalle Stuttgart, the Glocke Bremen, and the Herkulessaal in Munich.

Brigitte Fassbaender

Born in Berlin, Brigitte Fassbaender studied singing with her father, Willy Domgraf-Fassbaender, and was engaged (at the age of 21) by the Staatsoper Munich where she sang a large repertoire of mezzo roles including Oktavian, Dorabella, Sesto, Carmen, Eboli, Amneris, Charlotte, Fricka, Geschwitz, Brangäne, Orlofsky, Quickly, Herodias, Amme, Klytemnästra, Clairon and many others. Over the years, the recital and concert platform became increasingly important, and in the recording studio, over 350 records were made. She was the first female singer to record all Schubert-Lieder-cycles. In January 1995, Brigitte Fassbaender decided to retire from the stage in order to devote herself full time to stage directing, a second career which had begun in 1990. Since then she has directed over 50 productions worldwide. She also enjoys a considerable international reputation as a teacher for solo vocal music in master classes in Europe and abroad. In January 2011, the French Government appointed her an honorary Chevalier of the Légion d‘honneur and, one year later, the German Government appointed her The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2012, she was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2013, she received the Hugo Wolf Medal of the International Hugo Wolf Academy Stuttgart. In 2017, she was awarded the ECHO Klassik for her life’s work.

Veronika Eberle

Veronika Eberle’s exceptional talent and the poise and maturity of her musicianship have been recognised by many of the world’s finest orchestras, venues and festivals, as well as by some of the most eminent conductors. Sir Simon Rattle’s introduction of Veronika aged just 16 to a packed Salzburg Festpielhaus at the 2006 Salzburg Easter Festival in a performance of the Beethoven concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker, brought her to international attention.

Key orchestra collaborations since then include the London Symphony (Rattle), Concertgebouw (Holliger), New York Philharmonic (Gilbert), Montreal Symphony (Nagano), Munich Philharmonic and Gewandhaus Orchestras (Langree), Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Janowski), Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester (P.Järvi), Bamberger Symphoniker (Ticciati, Nott), Tonhalle Orchester Zurich (M.Sanderling), NHK Symphony (Kout, Stenz, Norrington) and Rotterdam Philharmonic (Rattle, Gaffigan, Nézet-Seguin).

Recent concerto highlights have included debuts with the Philadelphia, San Francisco Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras as well as with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (Yannick Nézet-Séguin) and Orchestre National de Lille. Last season, Veronika also toured Australia making debut performances with the Auckland Philharmonia, Tasmani Symphony and West Australian Symphony Orchestras as well as with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Return invitations have included to the Montreal Symphony, Munich Kammerorchester, Bayerischer Rundfunk Munich, Orchester Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Hamburg Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra with Bernard Haitink. Veronika has also appeared in consecutive years in the Hamburgische Staatsoper’s production of Lulu, performing Berg’s Violin Concerto, conducted by Kent Nagano.

Born in Donauwörth Southern Germany, she started violin lessons at the age of six and four years later became a junior student at the Richard Strauss Konservatorium in Munich with Olga Voitova. After studying privately with Christoph Poppen for a year, she joined the Hochschule in Munich, where she studied with Ana Chumachenco 2001-2012.

Veronika has benefited from the support of a number of prestigious organisations, including the Nippon Foundation, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust (Fellowship in 2008), the Orpheum Stiftung zur Förderung Junger Solisten (Zurich), the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben (Hamburg) and the Jürgen-Ponto Stiftung (Frankfurt). She was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist 2011-2013 and was a Dortmund Konzerthaus ‘Junge Wilde’ artist 2010-2012.

Veronika Eberle plays the ‘Dragonetti’ Stradivarius (1700), on generous loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Thomas Hampson

Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, hails from Spokane, Washington. He has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. Comprising more than 150 albums, his discography includes winners of a Grammy Award, five Edison Awards, and the Grand Prix du Disque. He received the 2009 Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and was appointed the New York Philharmonic’s first Artist-in-Residence.

In 2010 he was honored with a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress, where he serves as Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America. Hampson was made honorary professor at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Heidelberg and holds honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Whitworth College, and San Francisco Conservatory, as well as being an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Vienna State Opera and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France, and was awarded the Austrian Medal of Honor in Arts and Sciences. He is the artistic director of the Heidelberger Frühling’s Lied Academy In 2020, he was awarded the Heidelberger Frühling music award.

Igor Levit

Igor Levit continues his close relationship with the »Heidelberger Frühling« in the chamber music festival »Standpunkte« and as the Artistic Director of the Festival’s Chamber Music Academy.

Igor Levit combines “tonal charm, intellectual drive and technical brilliance” (The New Yorker). With an alert and critical mind, he places his art in the context of the civic, cultural and political life surrounding him and understands the two as inseparably linked. The New York Times describes Igor Levit as one of the “most important artists of his generation”. The Süddeutsche Zeitung described him as a “stroke of luck” for today’s concert scene and the Zeit, titling Igor Levit “does not want to be just the man who presses the keys”.

Born in Nizhni Novgorod in 1987, Igor Levit moved to Germany with his family at the age of eight. He completed his piano studies in Hannover with the highest score in the history of the institute. His teachers included Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetzke, Lajos Rovatkay and Hans Leygraf. Igor Levit was the youngest participant in the 2005 International Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, where he won silver, the special prize for chamber music, the audience prize and the special prize for the best performance of contemporary compulsory pieces. In spring 2019 he was appointed professor for piano at his alma mater, the University of Music, Theatre and Media Hanover.

For the 2020/21 season Igor Levit focusses on the piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven. The first complete recording of Igor Levit’s Beethoven piano sonatas, released by Sony Classical in September 2019, received excellent reviews and immediately reached Number 1 in the official classical charts in 2019. Igor Levit will present the cycles of the complete piano sonatas at the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival as well as the Musikfest Berlin as well as in renowned concert halls such as at the Elbphilharmonie, the Konserthuset Stockholm and the Wigmore Hall in London. In May 2021 Igor Levit will make his debut tour of Asia with a Beethoven Sonata Program, which will take him to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Further recital debuts will take him to the Firkusny Festival in Prague and to Disney Hall in Los Angeles. In the 2020/21 season Igor Levit is “Artist in Residence” of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks as well as “Portrait Artist” of the Philharmonie Essen. He will make guest appearances with the Orchestre de Paris (Manfred Honeck), the Cleveland Orchestra (Franz Welser-Möst), the Berlin Philharmonic (Paavo Järvi) and the Concertgebouw Orkest (Antonio Pappano). In the USA he makes debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic – both conducted by Herbert Blomstedt. In addition to working with musicians of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, he performs chamber music on tour with the Hagen Quartet.

Last season Igor Levit was “Featured Artist” at the Barbican Centre in London. Highlights of past seasons include debuts with the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, European tours with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Igor Levit is an exclusive recording artist of Sony Classical. With his debut CD of Beethoven’s last five sonatas, he won the BBC Music Magazine’s Newcomer Prize 2014 and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Prize 2014. Igor Levit’s third solo album with Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated received the Instrumental Prize and the Recording of the Year Award at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards in 2016. In October 2018 Sony Classical released Igor Levit’s fourth album titled “Life”, with works by Bach, Busoni, Bill Evans, Liszt, Wagner, Rzewski and Schumann.

Igor Levit is the winner of the “2018 Gilmore Artist Award” and “Instrumentalist of the Year 2018” of the Royal Philharmonic Society. For his political commitment Igor Levit was awarded the 5th International Beethoven Prize in 2019. This was followed in January 2020 by the award of the “Statue B” of the International Auschwitz Committee on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

In Berlin, where he makes his home, Igor Levit is playing on a Steinway D Grand Piano – a donation of the “Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells” foundation.

Jörg Widmann

Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. As Carnegie Hall’s 2019/20 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer Chair his work will be focused throughout the season. Further performances see him appear in all aspects as clarinetist, composer and conductor as artist in residence at WDR Sinfonieorchester, at Palau de la Música Barcelona and at Bergen International Festival.

Chamber music performances will see him in concerts with long-standing chamber music partners such as Andras Schiff, Daniel Barenboim, Mitsuko Uchida, Tabea Zimmermann, Antoine Tamestit and the Hagen Quartet at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall New York and Wiener Konzerthaus amongst others.

Continuing his intense activities as a conductor, Jörg Widmann performs this season with the Ensemble Kanazawa, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Hessisches Staatsorchester Wiesbaden. In November 2019 he will lead the Irish Chamber Orchestra as their Principal Conductor on tour through the US and in concerts throughout Europe.

Widmann studied clarinet with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York. He performs regularly with renowned orchestras, such as Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra National de France, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph von Dohnányi.

Widmann gave the world premiere of Mark Andre’s Clarinet Concerto über at the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2015. Other clarinet concerti dedicated to and written for him include Wolfgang Rihm’s Musik für Klarinette und Orchester (1999) and Aribert Reimann’s Cantus (2006).

Widmann studied composition with Kay Westermann, Wilfried Hiller and Wolfgang Rihm. His works continue to receive many awards such as the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Elise L. Stoeger Prize (2009), the Paul Hindemith Prize in 2001, the Arnold Schönberg Prize by the Vienna Arnold Schönberg Centre and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (2004) and both the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg’s composition award and the Berliner Philharmoniker Academy’s Claudio Abbado Composition Award in 2006.

Widmann’s compositions are performed regularly by conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Daniel Harding, Valery Gergiev, Kent Nagano, Christian Thielemann, Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons and Simon Rattle and premiered by orchestras such as the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra and many others.

Widmann’s appointment as Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow at the Cleveland Orchestra established an extraordinary artistic collaboration with the orchestra and its Principal Conductor Franz Welser-Möst including the world premiere of Widmann’s Flute Concerto, Flûte en suite in May 2011 followed by its European premiere in 2012/13 by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Emmanuel Pahud under Simon Rattle. Cleveland Orchestra featured Flûte en suite as centrepiece in their 2014 European tour, and dedicated an entire evening to Widmann’s works at the Berliner Philharmonie. His opera Babylon was premiered in 2012/13 at Bayerische Staatsoper under the baton of Kent Nagano.

Am Anfang by Anselm Kiefer and Jörg Widmann was premiered in July 2009 as part of the 20th anniversary of the Opéra Bastille, in which Widmann acted as composer, clarinetist and made his debut as conductor.

Widmann was Artist in Residence at leading Festivals and Orchestras such as Lucerne Festival and Salzburger Festspiele, Bamberger Symphoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich’s creative chair 2015/16, and both BOZAR and Elbphilarmonie’s artist in residence in its opening season. He was featured in Artist Portraits at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper and Cologne’s Philharmonie. In the 2017/18 season he was featured as the first ever Gewandhaus Composer in Leipzig’s history.

Widmann isFellow at the Wissenschaftskollegs in Berlin and a full member of the Bayerischen Akademie of Schönen Künste, and since 2007, the Freien Akademie der Künste Hamburg, the Deutschen Akademie der Darstellenden Künste and the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz. He is professor for composition at the Barenboim-Said Academy, Berlin.

Schumann Quartett © Kaupo Kikkas

Schumann Quartett

The Schumann Quartet has reached a stage where anything is possible, because it has dispensed with certainties. This also has consequences for audiences, which from one concert to the next have to be prepared for all eventualities: “A work really develops only in a live performance,” the quartet says. “That is ‘the real thing’, because we ourselves never know what will happen. On the stage, all imitation disappears, and you automatically become honest with yourself. Then you can create a bond with the audience – communicate with it in music.” This live situation will gain an added energy in the near future: Sabine Meyer, Menahem Pressler, Andreas Ottensamer and Anna Lucia Richter are among the quartet’s current partners.

A highlight in the 19/20 season is its three-year residency at the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center in New York City, which began back in December 2016. Furthermore, the quartet will go on tour twice in the US, will give guest performances at festivals in Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands and will also perform concerts in the big musical metropolises of London, Munich, Madrid, Hamburg and Berlin. In addition, the ensemble is part of the opera production “Inferno” at Opera Frankfurt and is looking forward to their annual concerts as part of its long-term residency at the “Robert- Schumann-Saal” in Düsseldorf.

Its album “Intermezzo” (2018 | Schumann, Reimann with Anna-Lucia Richter and Mendelssohn Bartholdy) has been hailed enthusiastically both at home and abroad and received the award “Opus Klassik“ in the category quintet. It is celebrated as a worthy successor to its award-winning “Landscapes” album, in which in which the quartet traces its own roots by combining works of Haydn, Bartók, Takemitsu and Pärt. Among other prices, the latter received the “Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik”, five Diapasons and was selected as Editor’s Choice by the BBC Music Magazine. For its previous CD “Mozart Ives Verdi”, the Schumann Quartet was accorded the 2016 Newcomer Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards in London.

The three brothers Mark, Erik and Ken Schumann have been playing together since their earliest childhood. In 2012, they were joined by violist Liisa Randalu, who was born in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. Those who experience the quartet in performance often remark on the strong connection between its members. The four musicians enjoy the way they communicate without words: how a single look suffices to convey how a particular member wants to play a particular passage. Although the individual personalities clearly manifest themselves, a common space arises in every musical work in a process of spiritual metamorphosis. The quartet’s openness and curiosity may be partly the result of the formative influence exerted on it by teachers such as Eberhard Feltz, the Alban Berg Quartet, or partners such as Menahem Pressler.

Teachers and musical partners, prestigious prices, CD releases – it is always tempting to speculate on what factors have led to many people viewing the Schumann Quartet as one of the best in the world. But the four musicians themselves regard these stages more as encounters, as a confirmation of the path they have taken. They feel that their musical development over the past two years represents a quantum leap. “We really want to take things to extremes, to see how far the excitement and our spontaneity as a group take us,” says Ken Schumann, the middle of the three Schumann brothers. They charmingly sidestep any attempt to categorise their sound, approach or style, and let the concerts speak for themselves.

And the critics approve: “Fire and energy. The Schumann Quartet plays staggeringly well […] without doubt one of the very best formations among today’s abundance of quartets, […] with sparkling virtuosity and a willingness to astonish” (Harald Eggebrecht in Süddeutsche Zeitung). So there is plenty of room for adventure.

Quotes taken from an interview with journalists from the classical music magazine VAN (vanmagazin. de)

Fazil Say

With his extraordinary pianistic talents, Fazıl Say has been touching audiences and critics alike for more than twenty-five years, in a way that has become rare in the increasingly materialistic and elaborately organised classical music world. Concerts with this artist are something different. They are more direct, more open, more exciting; in short, they go straight to the heart. Which is exactly what the composer Aribert Reimann thought in 1986 when, during a visit to Ankara, he had the opportunity, more or less by chance, to appreciate the playing of the sixteen-year-old pianist. He immediately asked the American pianist David Levine, who was accompanying him on the trip, to come to the city’s conservatory, using the now much-quoted words: ‘You absolutely must hear him, this boy plays like a devil.’

Fazıl Say had his first piano lessons from Mithat Fenmen, who had himself studied with Alfred Cortot in Paris. Perhaps sensing just how talented his pupil was, Fenmen asked the boy to improvise every day on themes to do with his daily life before going on to complete his essential piano exercises and studies. This contact with free creative processes and forms is seen as the source of the immense improvisatory talent and the aesthetic outlook that make Fazıl Say the pianist and composer he is today. He has been commissioned to write music for, among others, the Salzburger Festspiele, the WDR and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern, the Konzerthaus Wien, the Dresdner Philharmonie, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the BBC. His oeuvre includes four symphonies, two oratorios, various solo concertos and numerous works for piano and chamber music.

From 1987 onwards, Fazıl Say fine-tuned his skills as a classical pianist with David Levine, first at the Musikhochschule “Robert Schumann” in Düsseldorf and later in Berlin. In addition, he regularly attended master classes with Menahem Pressler. His outstanding technique very quickly enabled him to master the so-called warhorses of the repertoire with masterful ease. It is precisely this blend of refinement (in Bach, Haydn and Mozart) and virtuoso brilliance in the works of Liszt, Mussorgsky and Beethoven that gained him victory at the Young Concert Artists international competition in New York in 1994. Since then he has played with all of the renowned American and European orchestras and numerous leading conductors, building up a multifaceted repertoire ranging from Bach, through the Viennese Classics (Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven) and the Romantics, right up to contemporary music, including his own piano compositions.

Guest appearances have taken Fazıl Say to countless countries on all five continents; the French newspaper “Le Figaro” called him ‘a genius’. He also performs chamber music regularly: for many years he was part of a fantastic duo with the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Other notable collaborators include Maxim Vengerov, the Minetti Quartet, Nicolas Altstaedt and Marianne Crebassa.

From 2005 to 2010, he was artist in residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund; during the 2010/11 season he held the same position at the Konzerthaus Berlin. Fazıl Say was also a focal point of the programme of the Schleswig- Holstein Musik Festival in the summer of 2011. There have been further residencies and Fazıl Say festivals in Paris, Tokyo, Meran, Hamburg, and Istanbul. During the 2012/13 season Fazıl Say was the artist in residence at the hr- Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt and at the Rheingau Musik Festival 2013, where he was honoured with the Rheingau SEASON 2019/2020 – Musik Preis. In April 2015 Fazıl Say gave a successful concert with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York, followed by a tour with concerts throughout Europe. In 2014 he was artist in residence at the Bodenseefestival, where he played 14 concerts. During their 2015/2016 season the Alte Oper Frankfurt and the Zürcher Kammerorchester invited him to be their Artist in Residence, he spent three seasons as Artist in Residence at the Festival der Nationen in Bad Wörishofen and was Composer in Residence at the Dresdner Philharmonie in 2018/19.

In December 2016, Fazıl Say was awarded the International Beethoven Prize for Human Rights, Peace, Freedom, Poverty Reduction and Inclusion, in Bonn. In the autumn of 2017, he was awarded the Music Prize of the city of Duisburg.

His recordings of works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Gershwin and Stravinsky with Teldec Classics as well as Mussorgsky, Beethoven and his own works with the label naïve have been highly praised by critics and won several prizes, including three ECHO Klassik Awards. In 2014, his recording of Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 3 (with hr- Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt / Gianandrea Noseda) and Beethoven’s sonatas op. 111 and op. 27/2 Moonlight was released, as well as the CD ‘Say plays Say’, featuring his compositions for piano. Since 2016 Fazıl Say is an exclusive Warner Classics artist. In the autumn of 2016, his recording of all of Mozart sonatas was released on that label, for which, in 2017, Fazıl Say received his fourth ECHO Klassik award. Together with Nicolas Altstaedt, he recorded the album “4 Cities” (2017). In autumn 2017 Warner Classics released the Nocturnes Frédéric Chopins and the album “Secrets” with French songs, which he recorded together with Marianne Crebassa and which won the Gramophone Classical Music Award in 2018. His 2018 album is dedicated to Debussy and Satie, whilst with his most recent recording “Troy Sonata – Fazıl Say Plays Say” he presents only his own works.

JACK Quartet

Christopher Otto, violin
Austin Wulliman, violin
John Pickford Richards, viola
Jay Campbell, cello

Hailed by The New York Times as the “nation’s most important quartet”, the JACK Quartet is one of the most acclaimed, renowned, and respected groups performing today. JACK has maintained an unwavering commitment to their mission of performing and commissioning new works, giving voice to underheard composers, and cultivating an ever-greater sense of openness toward contemporary classical music. Over the past season, they have been selected as Musical America’s 2018 “Ensemble of the Year”, named to WQXR’s “19 for 19 Artists to Watch”, and awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Through intimate relationships with today’s most creative voices, JACK embraces close collaboration with the composers they perform, leading to a radical embodiment of the technical, musical, and emotional aspects of their work. The quartet has worked with artists such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, George Lewis, Chaya Czernowin, and Simon Steen-Andersen, with upcoming and recent premieres including works by Tyshawn Sorey, Georg Friedrich Haas, Clara Iannotta, John Luther Adams, Catherine Lamb, and John Zorn. JACK also recently announced their new Fulcrum Project, an all-access initiative to commission six artists each year, who will receive money, workshop time, mentorship, and resources to develop new work to be performed and recorded by the quartet.

The recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, New Music USA’s Trailblazer Award, and the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, JACK has performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall (USA), Lincoln Center (USA), Miller Theatre (USA), Wig-more Hall (United Kingdom), Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (Netherlands), IRCAM (France), Kölner Philharmonie (Germany), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Suntory Hall (Japan), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Festival Internacional Cervatino (Mexico), and Teatro Colón (Argentina).

According to Musical America, “many of their recordings are must-haves, for anyone interested in new music.” Among their dozens of releases, the most recent Cold Blue Music album of John Luther Adams’ Everything That Rises was praised as a “a wise and eloquent performance” by the San Francisco Chronicle, their concept album Imaginist with the Le Boeuf Brothers was nominated for a GRAMMY award in 2018, and their complete Xenakis: String Quartets was named one of TimeOut New York’s “Top Recordings of the Year.” Other albums include music by Helmut Lachenmann, Amy Williams, Elliott Sharp, Hannah Lash, Horatiu Radulescu, and more.

Committed to education, JACK is the Quartet in Residence at the Mannes School of Music, who will host JACK’s new Frontiers Festival, a multi-faceted festival of contemporary music for string quartet. They also teach each summer at New Music on the Point, a contemporary chamber music festival in Vermont for young performers and composers, and at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. JACK has long-standing relationships with the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program, where they teach and collaborate with students each fall and spring, as well as with the Lucerne Festival Academy, of which the four members are all alumni. Additionally, the quartet makes regular visits to schools, including Columbia University, Harvard University, New York University, Princeton University, and Stanford University.

Armida Quartett

Winning the ARD International Competition in 2012 (also sweeping all other prizes including the audience prize) propelled the Armida Quartett on to the international concert platform. 2018 saw the quartet make their USA debut. In 2017 the quartet completed a season as ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) “Rising Stars” as their fourth disc was released. In 2016 they participated for two seasons on the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme, during which the Armida Quartett gave its’ BBC Proms debut and celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Founded in Berlin in 2006, the Armida Quartett took its’ name from a Haydn opera, the “father of the string quartet”. They have studied with members of the Artemis Quartett and Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartett), also drawing musical inspiration from Alfred Brendel, Reinhard Goebel, Eberhard Feltz, Walter Levin, Natalia Prischepenko and Tabea Zimmermann. The quartet has participated in masterclasses with the Arditti, Alban Berg and Guarneri Quartets.

The 2019/20 season sees the quartet as guest artists in major European cities including the Louvre, Paris, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Bilbao – the latter with pianist Pavel Kolesnikov. In Barcelona the quartet will give the world premiere of a new work for quartet and electronics by Ramon Humet. Joining the Beethoven anniversary celebrations they are guests of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, joined by their mentor and colleague, Tabea Zimmermann in an all-Beethoven programme. In spring 2020 they will tour to China with Sabine Meyer.

Leading towards a CD release of the complete Mozart quartets (CAvi records) in 2021, the quartet’s unique editing project working alongside G. Henle Verlag publishers on a new edition of the Mozart quartets continues. The quartet established its own Berlin concert series, “Mozart Exploded”, in 2016. The series explores Mozart as an avantgarde of his time and each programme juxtaposes a new composition currently including works by Jörg Widmann, Frangis Ali-Sade and Marco Nicodijevic. Other recent highlights have included tours to the USA and in Europe, they were guest artists at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where they premiered and performed a new quintet by pianist Kit Armstrong as well as collaborating with Daniel Müller-Schott and the Modigliani Quartet. In the 2018/19 season, their first orchestral residency as Artists in Residence with the Duisburger Philharmoniker saw them performing Daniel Schnyder’s concerto, “Impetus” for string quartet and orchestra alongside chamber and education concerts. As guests of the 2019 Vale of Glamorgan festival, they performed three programmes with works entirely by contemporary composers including a world premiere by Robert Fokkens and works by Dobrinka Tabakova, Sofia Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt, Pēteris Vasks, Steve Reich and Johannes Fischer.

The ensemble’s debut CD for CAvi in 2013, featuring works by Bartók, Ligeti and Kurtág, was selected for the critics’ choice list by the German Record Critics’ Award. Their disc of Mozart quartets (2016) won equally high praise and 2019 has recently seen the release of their next Mozart disc in a project that will see the complete Mozart quartets recording released in 2021. Beethoven, Shostakovich and a disc exploring their fascination in the fugue, “Fuga Magna” (2017) have all received notable praise.

Working with chamber partners is an inspiration for the Armida Quartett – they have additionally worked with Raphael Alpermann, Thomas Hampson, Ewa Kupiec, Maximilian Hornung, Sabine Meyer and Jörg Widmann and fellow BBC NGA alumni including Pavel Kolesnikov, Lise Berthaud, French horn player Alec Frank-Gemill and Quatour Van Kuijk.