The Beethoven Trio Bonn, founded in 2005, first made their name with compositions by their eponym Beethoven and other Romantic works, before more recently turning their attention to Russian repertoire.
Mikhail Ovrutsky (violin) and Grigory Alumyan (violoncello) are two of the founding members of this ambitious piano trio, which in 2015 maintained and strengthened its tradition with the addition of pianist Jinsang Lee. All three musicians are among the best in their instruments, are major international award winners and pursuing successful solo careers.
Guest performances have taken the musicians all round the world, for example, to South Africa, Spain and Austria, to the USA, and to Japan, where their widely acclaimed concert in the Kioi Hall in Tokyo was a high point in their tour. The piano trio has also performed at the Beethovenfest in Bonn and at the Raderberg concert series in Cologne.
Arabesques, Balkan swing, ballads, daredevil improvisations, the melodies of old Europe and the lightness of the Mediterranean merge into fabulous songs full of joyous colour as soon as the Quadro Nuevo starts playing.
These melodies tell of the vagabond life, of experiences and encounters on this great journey of life, of small coincidences and grand moments, of tenderness and wild temperament driven between the winds of east and west, caught between consuming yearning and joyful fulfillment – between the bitter and the sweet.
Quadro Nuevo has been touring the globe since 1996 giving over 3000 concerts. The Quartet’s venues are as diverse as the roots of their music and are not limited to concert halls and festivals. Quadro Nuevo’s ardent virtuosi are just as much at home busking on the piazzas of southern Europe, enticing audiences to dance to their music as a night-time tango band, as they are in jazz clubs and locations as famous as New York’s Carnegie Hall.
The Echo, the German Phono Academy’s highest distinction, was presented to Quadro Nuevo in the category “Jazz/World Music, Best Live Act” in both 2010 and 2011.
Mike Svoboda – born 1960 on the island of Guam, grew up in Chicago and came to Germany with the help of a BMI Award to Young Composers in 1982. His eleven years as trombonist with Karlheinz Stockhausen during the 80s and 90s proved to be of eminent importance for Svoboda’s musical development. Including the collaboration with Stockhausen and other composers such as Peter Eötvös, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Martin Smolka, David Lang, and Frank Zappa, Svoboda has premiered over 400 works for trombone at festivals throughout the world.
Major festivals have invited him to be artist or composer-in-residence. Often involved in his works as a soloist or with his own Mike Svoboda Ensemble, he composes across the borders between popular and classical music, high culture and entertainment, combining – through the use of text and various musical styles – both traditional and avant-garde.
Numerous CDs, mainly for the WERGO label, document Svoboda’s art both as an interpreter and composer. In 2008 he was awarded the Praetorius-Prize for Innovation in Music from the German government, because of, according to the jury, the “influence and recognition his concepts and ideas have had on the development of music and its performance”.
The British vocal ensemble VOCES8 is proud to inspire people through music and share the joy of singing. Touring globally, the group performs an extensive repertory both in its a cappella concerts and in collaborations with leading orchestras, conductors and soloists. Versatility and a celebration of diverse musical expression are central to the ensemble’s performance and education ethos.
VOCES8 has performed at many notable venues including Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Elbphilharmonie, Cité de la Musique, Vienna Konzerthaus, Tokyo Opera City, NCPA Beijing, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, Victoria Concert Hall Singapore and the Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City. This season they will add the Sydney Opera House, Muziekgebouw aan’ t IJ and La Seine Musicale Paris to that list. Keen musical collaborators, this season will see concerts with the Academy of Ancient Music, Manchester Camerata, the Edvard Grieg Kor, Hugo Ticciati, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, and with baroque violinist Rachel Podger, with whom the critically acclaimed ‘Guardian Angel’ project will continue. Touring highlights of the season include concerts throughout the UK and Europe, across USA and Japan, and debut visits to Australia and Lithuania.
With an on-going programme of recordings, videos and live broadcasts, VOCES8 is heard regularly on international television and radio. The ensemble is a Decca Classics artist and has released acclaimed recordings that have all reached the top of the classical charts. A new album is planned for 2019. VOCES8 has premiered commissions from Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine, Alec Roth, Ben Parry, Ola Gjeilo, Philip Stopford, Graham Lack, Thomas Hewitt Jones and Owain Park. 2019 will see the premiere of a commission by Jonathan Dove to mark the culmination of his period as the group’s Composer in Residence.
VOCES8 is passionate about music education and is the flagship ensemble of the music charity VCM Foundation. Engaging in a broad range of outreach work that reaches up to 40,000 people a year, the group runs an annual programme of workshops and masterclasses at the Foundation’s home in London, the Gresham Centre at St Anne & St Agnes Church. Dedicated to supporting promising young singers, the group awards eight annual choral scholarships through the VOCES8 Scholars initiative. These scholarships are linked to the annual Milton Abbey Summer School at which amateur singers of all ages are invited to work and perform with VOCES8. The ensemble is proud to be the Associate Ensemble for Cambridge University and delivers a Masters programme in choral studies.
As official Ambassadors for Edition Peters, the ensemble publishes educational material including the ‘VOCES8 Method’. Developed by Paul Smith, co-founder of VOCES8, this renowned and unique teaching tool is available in four languages and adopts music to enhance development in numeracy, literacy and linguistics. Also available are two anthologies of its arrangements, and an ever-expanding ‘VOCES8 Singles’ range. This season the ensemble becomes Ambassador for the Tido App, an inspirational resource and learning tool created by
Edition Peters. The VOCES8 Method and music arrangements will be made available via Tido during the 2018/19 season.
VOCES8 is very grateful for support from Arts Council England, the Merchant Taylors’ Company, the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers, Holman Fenwick Willan and T.M.Lewin.
The four precise and unerring Hamburg percussionists master the creative crossover of classical, jazz and world music better than perhaps any other band in the country. With their visually impressive range of instruments – so to speak an aesthetic sound massive of drums, cymbals and gongs from all over the world, harmoniously enriched by marimba and vibraphone – Elbtonal Percussion enthuses its audiences with their exciting dynamism and diversity of style, as already convincingly demonstrated on nine CDs and two DVDs.
The group has performed as guests on many more albums and compilations. Their breath-taking, precise virtuoso “sound scenarios that shine in new colours again and again” (Hamburger Morgenpost), transform the concert venue into a unique adventure space. Sometimes we are surrounded by something that almost invokes the magic of an archaic ritual, sometimes by the fanciful concentration of an experimental “sound laboratory”.
Elbtonal Percussion has been touring since 1996, has performed over 1,000 concerts, and has been invited to play at numerous renowned festivals (incl. Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Lower Saxony Music Festival, Stuttgart International Music Festival & JazzBaltica). Concert tours have taken them throughout Europe and repeatedly to Asia, such as to China’s biggest percussion festival at the National Theatre in Beijing and to Shanghai, where they were cultural ambassadors for Hamburg at Expo 2010.
Their individual and unconventional sound aesthetics are what so often drive other artists to seek collaborations with them. These include such artists as the marimba virtuoso Keiko Abé, the group Quadro Nuevo, Stewart Copeland (of The Police fame), Indian drummer & percussionist Trilok Gurtu, drummer Benny Greb, actor and dubbing artist Christian Brückner, and John Neumeier and his Hamburg Ballet.