British conductor Nicholas Collon is Founder and Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne, and Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague until 2021, when he starts as Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is recognized as a born communicator, innovative programmer, and high-calibre interpreter of a wide repertoire. Under his direction Aurora Orchestra has become known for its eclectic programming and for performing complete symphonies from memory. Collon’s elegant conducting style, searching musical intellect and inspirational music-making have ensured that he is already a regular guest with orchestras such as the Philharmonia, Hallé Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony and Danish National Symphony. He recently debuted with the Deutsche Sinfonie Orchester Berlin and Orchestre National de France, among others. Collon has released ground-breaking recordings with Aurora for Warner Classics, and critically acclaimed discs with the Hallé Orchestra and Danish Radio Symphony. He has conducted over 200 new works, and has conducted opera at English National, Welsh National, Oper Koeln and Glyndebourne on Tour.
A leading violinist representing Korea, Min Kim is highly respected for his versatility as a soloist, chamber musician, educator and music director. He graduated from Seoul National University and the Staatlische Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg, where he studied under the guidance of Prof. Brandis and Prof. Rostal in Köln. Upon his return to Korea, Min Kim was appointed the concertmaster of the Korean Philharmonic Orchestra and then the KBS Symphony Orchestra, two of the preeminent orchestras of the country. Kim also served as the Dean of the College of Music of Seoul National University, while nurturing the Korean Chamber Orchestra both as a soloist and the music director. In 1980, the Korean Chamber Orchestra was rebuilt and became a synonym for the Korean Chamber Orchestra, which received over 140 invitations from the world stage.
Raphaël Merlin was born in 1982, and from his earliest childhood his musical taste was resolutely eclectic. He studied at the Clermont-Ferrand, Boulogne-Billancourt and Paris Conservatoires and the Haute École in Geneva, specialising in cello, piano, jazz, composition, and finally conducting, deeply engaged in every one of these fields, each new discipline enriching the others. His true speciality is versatility.
Raphaël Merlin initially honed his conducting skills directing chamber orchestras, then founded Les Forces Majeures in 2014, gathering together a number of already existing quartets and quintets. This versatile and dynamic ensemble, combining repertoire work with premières and jazz, achieved immediate international renown for its Rossini recording with mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes for the Aparte label in 2016. Concerts with Nicholas Angelich, Sayaka Shoji, Sarah Nemtanu, Inva Mula, Florian Sempey, Amel Brahim-Jelloul, Marc Mauillon, Edgar Moreau, Jan Lisiecki and others attracted the attention of the radio stations, with Radio Classique broadcasting a French programme of the Fauré Requiem and other French music live from the Cathedral of St Louis des Invalides. Invitations started to arrive for Raphaël from established orchestras, and in 2018 he directed the Barber of Sevilleat the Vichy Opera.
Within the Quatuor Ebène, which won 1stPrize at the ARD International Competition Munich in 2004, Raphaël works withEberhard Feltz, the Ysaÿe Quartet, Gabor Takacs and Gyorgy Kurtag, performing in the world’s most prestigious concert halls alongside artists such as Mitsuko Ushida, Nicholas Angelich, Matthias Goerne, Natalie Dessay, Martin Fröst, Antoine Tamestit, Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, and Nicolas Altstaedt.
Renowned for its interest in all styles of music – pop, jazz, world music – thanks in large measure to original arrangements, and performing for all styles of audience, the Quartet has been invited to perform the complete Beethoven String Quartets at the New York Carnegie Hall in 2020. This invitation is the foundation stone for a world tour starting in 2019, which will be recorded and filmed, to bear witness to the supreme intellectual and emotional experience which this monumental corpus represents. The Quatuor Ebène has an exclusive recording contract with Erato/Warner Classics.
Compositions include: Eléa, a concerto for string quartet and orchestra, premiered in Cracow in 2011 by the Quatuor Ebène and the Klangforum Mitte Europa; Pas de Deux for violin and cello, premiered at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 2014; See: Sea and Seeds. Si!, a concerto for cello and strings, premiered at the 2016 Lockenhaus Festival; and Passage-Eclair, for mixed octet, premiered in Paris in 2018.
An Italian with a strong affinity for the German repertoire. A “natural melodist” (Der Tagesspiegel), who excels at transferring the intricacy of his stylistically informed interpretations to the big orchestral apparatus. More, a true artist merging sheer creative force with a highly collaborative performance style. Antonello Manacorda’s versatility as a conductor is rooted in the richness of his musical and cultural background: born into an French-Italian family in Turin, educated in Amsterdam and a longtime Berlin resident, Manacorda was a founding member and longstanding concert master of the Claudio Abbado – initiated Mahler Chamber Ochestra before studying under legendary Finnish conductor Jorma Panula. Today Antonello Manacorda is performing at both the world’s most renowned opera houses as well as at the helm of globally renowned symphony orchestras. At the heart of his work is the Kammerakademie Potsdam – an ensemble he has shaped as its Artistic Director since 2010 and produced a series of award-winning recordings with since.
In the 2020/21 season, Antonello Manacorda follows re-invitations to the Vienna State Opera (“The Abduction from the Seraglio”) and with a new production of Dmitri Tcherniakov’s “Der Freischütz” to the Bavarian State Opera, where he will also conduct productions of “Così fan tutte” and “The Magic Flute” in the 2020/21 season.
Highlights of his symphonic calendar in the 2020/21 season include guest appearances with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the SWR Symphony Orchestra and the Boulez Ensemble. On tour with the Kammerakademie Potsdam and the soloist Christian Tetzlaff Antonello Manacorda will perform amongst others at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Kölner Philharmonie, the Philharmonie Berlin, the NDR Sendesaal and the Elbphilharmonie.
Last season Antonello Manacorda debuted with “Le nozze di Figaro” at the Metropolitan Opera New York. Guest appearances have taken him amongst others to the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.
With the Kammerakademie Potsdam, Antonello Manacorda has recorded both a Mendelssohn cycle and a Schubert cycle for Sony, that have received highest praise by the press. The recording was awarded the 2015 ECHO Klassik in the category “Best Orchestra of the Year”. With the Het Gelders Orkest Antonello Manacorda has recorded for Challenge Records pieces by Ravel and Debussy as well as pieces by Berlioz and Mahler with the Swedish soprano Lisa Larsson.
Antonello Manacorda, born in Turin, was founding member and longtime concertmaster of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra founded by Claudio Abbado. He later studied conducting with Jorma Panula in Helsinki and has established himself as a highly sought-after conductor, both on the symphonic and on the operatic stage. Since 2010 Antonello Manacorda is Artistic Director of the Kammerakademie Potsdam.
In the 2019/20 season Antonello Manacorda will make his debuts at the Metropolitan Opera New York (“Le nozze di Figaro”) and at the Opéra national de Paris (“Così fan tutte”). He has been re-invited to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (“Alceste”) and to the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels with a new production of the Mozart/Da-Ponte cycle.
Highlights of his symphonic calendar in the 2019/20 season include guest appearances with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. With the Kammerakademie Potsdam Antonello Manacorda will continue a Mendelssohn cycle and presents the late Mozart symphonies at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin. Last season he performed with the ensemble a cycle of the four symphonies by Johannes Brahms in Potsdam. Already in February 2014, Antonello Manacorda conducted a press acclaimed cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies in Potsdam on four consecutive days. He will perform with the Kammerakademie Potsdam amongst others at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Philharmonie Berlin and the Elbphilharmonie in the 2019/20 season.
Last season Antonello Manacorda conducted new productions at Amsterdam’s De Nationale Opera (“Die Zauberflöte”), at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels (“Die Zauberflöte”) and at the Bavarian State Opera (“Alceste”) and debuted with “La Traviata” at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. Guest appearances have taken him to the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Antonello Manacorda retired from his position as chief conductor of the Dutch Het Gelders Orchestra in the 2018/19 season.
With the Kammerakademie Potsdam, Antonello Manacorda has recorded a Schubert cycle for Sony that has received highest praise by the international press. The recording was awarded the 2015 ECHO Klassik in the category “Best Orchestra of the Year”. With the Het Gelders Orkest and the Swedish soprano Lisa Larsson, Antonello Manacorda has recorded Mahler’s 4th Symphony for Challenge Records. He is currently recording all of Mendelssohn’s symphonies for Sony with the Kammerakademie Potsdam.
Jakob Lehmann is a young musician to whom stylistics, faithfulness to the original and historical information are very important for emotional interpretations. He always concerned about the composer’s intentions and to communicate them directly to the audience. As a violinist and conductor, he feels a special need to bring traditional and historically informed music-making practice closer together. In addition to his role as artistic director of Eroica Berlin, Jakob Lehmann works closely with Anima Eterna Brugge, the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra and numerous other orchestras and projects, and has recorded CDs with Alpha Classics, Ars Vobiscum and Genuin.
Václav Luks began his studies at the Pilsen Conservatory and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (French horn, harpsichord). He then continued his studies with specialized research on early music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basil, Switzerland in the studios of J.–A. Bötticher and J. B. Christensen in the field of period keyboard instruments and historical performance practice.
During his studies in Basel and in the years that followed, he gave concerts all over Europe and overseas (USA, Mexico, Japan) as the horn soloist of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. After returning from abroad in 2005, he transformed Collegium 1704 from a chamber music ensemble that had already existed when he was a conservatory student (since 1991) into a Baroque orchestra, and he founded Collegium Vocale 1704. The immediate impetus for their founding was a project initiated by Václav Luks titled Bach – Prague – 2005 presenting the major vocal
works by J. S. Bach. This project marks the beginning of residential collaboration with the Prague Spring International Music Festival.
With Václav Luks, Collegium 1704 has quickly established itself among the world’s elite ensembles devoted to performing the music of the 17th and 18th centuries, and with his international artistic activities, Luks has played a significant part in the renaissance of the music of the Bohemian composers Jan Dismas Zelenka and Josef Mysliveček.
In 2008, he founded the successful concert series Music Bridge Prague – Dresden. Since the autumn of 2012, we have been able to encounter Václav Luks regularly at Prague’s Rudolfinum, where he is realizing a concert series with Collegium 1704 that focuses on the art of singing in the 17th and 18th centuries. Since autumn 2015, the two concert series were merged into one Season held in Prague and Dresden.
Recent and upcoming guest performances include appearances at the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Chopin Festival in Warsaw, the Festival Wratislavia Cantans, the Berliner Philharmonie, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Theater and der Wien, the Konzerthaus Wien, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He will also serve as artist-in-residence at the renowned Utrecht Early Music Festival and the Leipzig Bach Festival.
Besides working intensively with Collegium 1704, he also collaborates with other renowned ensembles, such as La Cetra Barockorchester Basel, Dresdner Kammerchor or the Nederlandse Bachvereniging. Václav Luks has made both orchestral and solo recordings for the ACCENT, Supraphon, and Zig-Zag Territoires labels, and he has been invited to sit on juries of international competitions (Johann Heinrich Schmelzer Wettbewerb Melk, Prague Spring International Music Competition, Bach-Wettbewerb Leipzig).
Born in Moscow, Valery Gergiev initially studied conducting under Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory. While still a student, he won the Herbert von Karajan conducting competition in Berlin. In 1978, aged 24, Valery Gergiev became assistant conductor of Yuri Temirkanov at the Mariinsky Opera, where he made his debut conducting Sergei Prokofiev’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. More than two decades ago, he assumed his current position as director of the legendary Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, which has since become a cornerstone of operatic culture in Russia.
Valery Gergiev’s close cooperation with the Munich Philharmonic began in the 2011-12 season. Since then, he has performed all symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich and a cycle of works by Igor Stravinsky with both the Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Orchestra.
As of the 2015-16 season, the position of chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic is held by Valery Gergiev. Tours have taken the Munich Philharmonic to numerous European cities as well as Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and the USA. Programme highlights conceived by Valery Gergiev include performances of symphonic cycles by Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov as well as new formats, such as the “MPHIL 360°” festival. Concerts are regularly broadcast via live stream and on radio and TV. In September 2016, the first CD recordings documenting the Munich Philharmonic’s work were released under the orchestra’s own label, “MPHIL”. Currently, the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev are working on a complete recording of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies in the church of St. Florian abbey.
Pablo Heras-Casado has been appointed as the Director of the Granada Festival in 2017, and is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Teatro Real in Madrid. He also enjoys a long-term collaboration with Freiburger Barockorchester that includes extensive touring and recording projects. Marking another important milestone in his career, last season Heras-Casado became the first ever Conductor Laureate of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York, having previously been its Principal Conductor from 2011 to 2017.
Recent seasons have seen him conduct the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Staatskap elle Berlin, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Royal Concertgebouw and Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestras, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Mariinsky Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared several times with Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble intercontemporain, at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and Salzburger Festspiele, as well as at the Lucerne Festival, where he co-directed the Academy under Pierre Boulez.
With an extensive discography, Heras-Casado is the recipient of numerous prizes, including three ECHO Klassik awards, a Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, two Diapason d’Or and a Latin Grammy.
Musical America’s 2014 Conductor of the Year, Pablo Heras-Casado holds the Medalla de Honor of the Rodriguez Acosta Foundation and the Ambassador Award of the Regional Government of Andalusia. He is an Honorary Ambassador and recipient of the Golden Medal of Merit by the Council of Granada, as well as an Honorary Citizen of the Province of Granada, his hometown.
Highly committed to the Spanish charity Ayuda en Acción as a Global Ambassador, Heras-Casado supports and promotes the charity’s work internationally to eradicate poverty and injustice in the world.