CANCELLED – Martin Grubinger: Best-of

We thank
Manfred Lautenschläger Stiftung




Simone Rubino

Simone Rubino, who brilliantly won the ARD-Musikwettbewerb in 2014 and received the Crédit Suisse Young Artists Award at the Lucerne Festival in 2016, is part of a new era of percussionists who have established themselves in the classical concert world. He is committed to expanding the percussion repertoire and collaborates with composers such as Carlo Boccadoro, Avner Dorman, Adriano Gaglianello and Aziza Sadikova.

Rubino’s successful debut album “Immortal Bach” juxtaposes Bach’s third cello suite for marimba with contemporary works by Xenakis, Piazzolla, Cage and others. With his corresponding recital programme he is a guest at numerous festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Heidelberger Frühling, Thüringer Bachwochen, Bachfest Leipzig and MDR Musiksommer in 2019 and 2020.

In August 2019, Simone Rubino’s new album was released which he recorded together with the Windsbacher Knabenchor under the title “Water and Spirit” at SONY Classical. The programme will be performed in February 2020 at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. Rubino has performed as a soloist with Wiener Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Münchner Philharmoniker, SWR Symphonieorchester, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo. In 2019, he toured China with the Orchestre National de Lyon and Tan Dun. He has also worked with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Gustavo Gimeno, Tugan Sokhiev, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Manfred Honeck, Joshua Weilerstein, Elim Chan and Francesco Angelico.

In addition to his appearances as a soloist, chamber music plays a large part in Simone Rubino’s musical life, as his concerts with trumpeter Simon Höfele, pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque or pianist Beatrice Rana prove. He is a welcome guest at renowned festivals such as “La Folle Journée” in France and Japan, Rheingau Musik Festival, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Musical Olympus in Russia and Pfingstfestspiele in Baden-Baden.

Born in Turin in 1993, he first studied at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in his hometown before moving to Munich to study with Peter Sadlo. Simone Rubino has held a professorship at the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne and a visiting professorship at the Berlin Akademie der Künste since September 2019. He is Artistic Consultant of the series Fasano Musica.

Genesis of Percussion: Alexej Gerassimez & Friends

Vassilena Serafimova

Born into a family of musicians in 1985, Vassilena Serafimova has been awarded the Second Prize of the 56th ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the First Prize of the Fifth World International Marimba Competition in Stuttgart. She won the Grand Prix of the 10th International Competition Music and Earth as a soloist as well as the First Prize as a member of the Percussion Ensemble Accent.

In 2014, Vassilena made her debut in Carnegie Hall of New York. One year later, together with Thomas Enhco (piano), she was the first marimba player in history to perform at the French Awards Ceremony Victoires de la Musique. In 2016, the duo recorded their first album titled Funambules for Deutsche Grammophon.

Vassilena has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall (New York), Théâtre de Champs Elysées, Théâtre de Châtelet, Salle Pleyel (Paris), Hermitage Theater (Saint-Peterburg), Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam and Eindhoven), Herkulessaal (Munich), and Bulgaria Music Hall (Sofia). She has been invited to numerous festivals including Les Flâneries Musicales de Reims, Classique au Vert (France), Focus! 2011 Festival (Etats-Unis), and TransART (Bulgaria)). She has been invited to teach masterclasses in Europe, Central and North America, and Asia.

In 2013 Vassilena co-founded the Paris Percussion Group with Jean-Baptiste Leclère  –  a new ensemble of twelve percussionists uniting the young French generation of percussionists. She is also the artistic director and co-founder of the International Marimba And Percussion Festival in Bulgaria (2009, 2012, 2014).


“One of Europe’s most exciting ensembles”, according to John Fordham, of The Guardian, over the past decade the Basel-based VEIN Trio has established an enviable reputation among jazz audiences for both stylistic diversity and technical accomplishment, blending the complexity of European classical chamber music with the thrills and energy of jazz improvisation at its most sophisticated. All three players are classically trained, and musical leadership is equally shared, creating a fluid, cosmopolitan sound.

The group has released an album nearly every year since its formation and gained recognition for long-term collaborations with star veteran soloists including trombonist Glenn Ferris and saxophonists Greg Osby, Dave Liebman and Andy Sheppard. VEIN’s music is composed by all three members of the trio. Originals are balanced with adaptations of both the classical and jazz traditions, such as the acclaimed album „VEIN Plays Ravel“ (2017).

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.


Voces8 »In East and West«