OCMF 2023 Artists
Alice Zawadzki, based in London, is a multifaceted artist renowned for her extraordinary presence in the world of music. Her musical journey is a fusion of diverse influences, resulting in a truly unique and captivating sound. While loosely connected to the jazz world, Alice’s musical realm stands distinctly on its own within the European music scene.
Her musical roots trace back to New Orleans jazz and gospel, where she had the privilege of learning from the legendary Lillian Boutté during her teenage years. Simultaneously, Alice received extensive classical training as a violinist, a skill that continues to shape her artistic expression. Her explorations further extend to improvisation, poetry, and folk music from various traditions, all delivered through her velvety and emotionally powerful voice.
In 2023, Alice introduced a bewitching new composition titled “Bag Of Bones,” commissioned by the Manchester Collective. This deeply personal piece combines Eastern European folklore, psychology, ceremony, and ritual, marking a significant chapter in Alice’s artistic journey. The UK tour performances of “Bag of Bones” with the Manchester Collective garnered praise from The Guardian and the Southbank Centre, among others, for its profound exploration of family and freedom.
Looking ahead in 2023, Alice is set to collaborate with long-term partners, multi-instrumentalist Fred Thomas and bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado, for a new album under the iconic ECM label, with live performances throughout the year.
Beyond her musical endeavors, Alice expanded her horizons into journalism and presenting in the Autumn of 2022. She produced her first documentary for the BBC, titled “Yiddish Glory,” a project that took her on an extraordinary journey to uncover a collection of censored and confiscated songs in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. This venture showcased her commitment to both music and storytelling.
Alice’s extensive performance history spans headline appearances at major UK venues and festivals, such as the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, the London Jazz Festival, and Celtic Connections, along with international appearances at festivals worldwide. Her 2019 album, “Within You Is A World Of Spring,” received critical acclaim and positioned her as a rising star in the jazz scene. It earned her the Contemporary Album of the Month by The Guardian, Top 20 Albums of 2019 recognition, and a nomination for British Vocalist of the Year from Jazz FM.
Alice has consistently demonstrated her versatility by interpreting new music and premiering large-scale pieces, collaborating with various orchestras and musicians. Her ability to transcend genres while maintaining a distinctive musical style has made her accessible and compelling to diverse audiences.
In addition to her musical pursuits, Alice has engaged with the community by delivering vocal and improvisation workshops, supporting organizations like Play For Progress and The Spitz Charitable Trust.
Her artistic journey has been supported by institutions like PRSF Women Make Music Award, Arts Council England, Help Musicians UK, and Serious Productions. In recognition of her contributions to music, Alice was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in 2022.
Alice Zawadzki’s artistic tapestry is rich and diverse, reflecting a commitment to pushing boundaries and a profound passion for music in all its forms.
The Italian cellist Claude Frochaux began playing the cello at the age of six at Suzuki Talent Center, then at the Conservatory of Turin. Studies followed in Frankfurt with Michael Sanderling, where he completed his Diploma and his concert examination with the highest rating in the soloist class, as well as postgraduate studies in Essen and Madrid. He received further artistic impulses from Eberhard Feltz, Menahem Pressler, Ralf Gothoni. Claude was supported by the foundations De Sono, Live Music Now and Anna Ruths.
As a sought-after and passionate chamber musician, he is a guest at festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Mozartfest Würzburg, Beethovenfest Bonn, Heidelberger Frühling, and in other European countries and North and South America. He played at Wigmore Hall, Alte Oper Frankfurt and Laeiszhalle Hamburg, and was broadcast repeatedly on the radio (BR, WDR, SWR, Deutschlandfunk and Radio Classic). Upcoming Engagements bring him among others to the Konzerthaus Berlin, Musikverein Wien, King’s Place and Wigmore Hall in London, as well as Enescu Festival Bucharest.
In addition to prizes of national competitions in Italy, he won the 1st prizes of the competition of the Polytechnic Society and the DAAD Frankfurt. In 2008, he founded Monte Piano Trio with which he won numerous international prizes (Maria Canals Barcelona, Brahms Austria, Schumann Frankfurt, Folkwang Prize) and regularly gives concerts. He also works in other groups such as O/Modernt Stockholm, Ensemble Midwest Denmark, Amici Ensemble Frankfurt, Ensemble Ruhr, and has appeared in numerous orchestras such as Bamberger Symphoniker, Spira Mirabilis and Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino.
Claude is the founder and artistic director of the Sylt Chamber Music Festival and the concert series Musica+ in Frankfurt, Germany.
The “excellent” (Kurier) young Hungarian Mezzo-soprano Dorottya Láng has earned international acclaim for her “ravishing” (Musik Heute) and “impeccable” talent. John Allison writes in The Telegraph that “she quickly showed herself to be a singer of great musical poise. …with rich and even tone rising to a pure top.”
Born in Budapest in 1986, Ms Láng studied at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien (Vienna’s University of Music and the Performing Arts) with Claudia Visca. Her awards and honours include Prize Winner of the 2012 Emmerich Smola Competition, Third Prize at the 2011 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation Song Competition and Prize Winner at the 2013 Mozart Academie competition in Aix-en-Provence.
In the season of 2021/22 Ms Láng sang the role of Judith in two new productions: one under the baton of Axel Kober at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and in a celebrated direction of Francis Hüsers in Theater Hagen, in Germany. She sang paralelly the leading role of Rossini`s La Cenerentola at the Latvian National Opera in Riga with great success. She will be performing this June the role of Adriano from the early Wagner opera Rienzi in the Palace of Arts in Budapest under the baton of Marc Albrecht. In the upcoming season she will also sing the role of Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel on tour with the Nederlandse Reisopera and in the same season she will also be heard in the roles of Idomeneo, Komponist and Rosina at the beautifully renovated Hungarian State Opera. As highlights of the upcoming season Ms Láng is returning to the Viennese Musikverein to perform the mezzo part in the ‘Buch mit sieben Siegeln’ with the Wiener Symphoniker and she will as well sing the role of Judith in the Berliner Philharmonie with the Berliner Symphoniker.
After singing the role of Judith of Bartók’s Bluebeard`s Castle under the baton of Adam Fischer in the Düsseldorf Tonhalle with great success, unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Dorottya Láng was unable to do her debut in the role of Meg Page in the new Falstaff production at the Munich State Opera in the 2020/21 season.
The 2018/19 season saw Ms Láng returning to the Hamburgische Staatsoper for the roles of Minerva in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria and Hannah A. in Benjamin. She also performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Wiener Symphoniker at the Wiener Konzerthaus under the baton of Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Szenen aus Goethes Faust at Stichting Omroep Muziek in Utrecht as well as her debut at the Hugo Wolf Academy in November 2018 with a Loewe song recital with Milan Siljanov. In addition, Ms Láng gave several recitals including at the Wiener Konzerthaus with Julius Drake and at the Oxford Lieder Festival with Julius Drake and Sholto Kynoch.
Operatic highlights of the 2017/18 season include the role of 3rd Flowermaiden in Parsifal, Lola in Cavalleria rusticana / I Pagliacci, Minerva in the Hamburg premiere of Willy Decker’s production of Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Hänselin Hänsel und Gretel, Roßweiße in Die Walküre, Flora in La Traviata, Hannah A in the world premiere of Peter Ruzicka’s Benjamin at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, Fauré’s La Bonne Chanson in the Philharmonische Kammerkonzerte in June 2018 at the Elbphilharmonie.
In the 2017/18 season Dorottya Lang had several appearances at the Wiener Konzerthaus as part of their ‘Great Talent’ series. In January, she performed in a recital with the pianist Julius Drake and fellow recitalist Sophie Rennert, followed by a performance of Mozart’s Ch’io mi scordi di te in April. In June she also appeared at the Wiener Konzerthaus as a soloist in ‘The Bells’ by Fazil Sayand performed the second Mezzo-soprano part in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under Kent Nagano at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.
Previous seasons have seen her perform the following roles at Hamburgische Staatsoper: Angelina in Renaud Doucet’s La Cenerentola, Hermia in Simon Phillips’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2nd maid in Daphne, Vavara in Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová, Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte, Flora in La Traviata, and finally Cherubino in a Stefan Herheim production of Le nozze di Figaro conducted by Ottavio Dantone. Ms Láng has also appeared at the Mannheim Nationaltheater where she performed the following roles: Marguerite in La Damnation de Faust, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Flora in La Traviata, Smeraldine in The Love for Three Oranges and Mercédès in Carmen. At Malmö Opera House Ms Lang appeared as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, at Volksoper Vienna, Ms Lang appeared as Nancy in Britten’s Albert Herring, Nanette in Der Wildschütz, and the Page of Herodias in Salome At the Ruhrtriennale she performed Wellgunde from Rheingold under Theodor Currentzis.
A frequent performer on the recital and concert stage, Ms Láng has given recitals at the Wiener Konzerthaus with Matthias Lademann. She is a regular guest at the Oxford Lieder Festival with Julius Drake. In 2016 she made her Schubertiade debut with Helmut Deutsch and in 2015 she made her Wigmore Hall debut as part of the Rosenblatt Recital series again with Helmut Deutsch. Her concert appearances include Schumann’s Requiem für Mignon with Radio-Symphonieorchester Vienna at Wiener Konzerthaus under Cornelius Meister; and Romeo Castellucci’s staged performance of St Matthew’s Passion at Hamburgische Staatsoper conducted by Kent Nagano.
Jordi Carrasco Hjelm
Jordi Carrasco Hjelm
Jordi Carrasco Hjelm is a Swedish Double Bass player focusing on chamber music and free improvisation. He lives in Amsterdam where he was a Bachelor student in the class of Olivier Thiery and Rick Stotijn at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam where he finished his Masters degree in Cross-Over music making with the jazz violinist Tim Kliphuis.
He performs regularly as a member of the O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra, the Swedish contemporary folk music band Garizim and with the Dutch improvising violist and singer Yanna Pelser. Together with young musicians from all over Europe Jordi is a founding member of the C/o Chamber Orchestra that combines orchestral playing with principles of non-hierarchical collaboration.
In recent seasons Jordi was especially happy to play Schöenbergs Verklärte Nacht in Kings Place with the O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra, improvise with Gareth Lubbe in the Sylt Chamber Music Festival in Germany and play Hindemith duets in the alps with Matthew Hunt.
Julian Arp, born into a family of musicians in 1981, studied at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin and was amongst Boris Pergamenschikow’s last students. He continued his studies with David Geringas and accomplished his solo studies with a chamber music degree in the class of Eberhard Feltz. The recurrent collaboration with musicians such as György Kurtág, Ferenc Rados und Steven Isserlis has also been of great importance.
As a soloist and chamber musician Julian Arp enjoys a worldwide concert activity and appears regularly at festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, den Festspielen Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Beauvais, Montreux, SoNoRo Bukarest, Stellenbosch, Stift Festival, the Oxford Chamber Music Festival, „Spannungen“ in Heimbach, as well as IMS Prussia Cove which has had both a strong personal and artistic impact on him. Chamber music could be considered to be Julian Arps greatest musical dedication. Alongside his longstanding duo partner, the pianist Caspar Frantz with whom he has won numerous national and international prestigious awards, he plays with some of the finest musicians of today. The Duo Arp/Frantz has so far recorded three CDs with works of Debussy, Schumann, Chopin, Janacek and Mendelssohn. ( Fono Forum: The Duo Arp/Frantz make the music become a pure celebration. It all sounds and sings.”) The latest recording conjoins the Gamba Sonatas by J.S. Bach and pieces by Hungarian composer György Kurtág. All three albums have gained praise and international acclaim.
Julian Arp collaborates in a wide and varied repertoire and engages keenly in performing contemporary music. Composers such as Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Sven-Ingo Koch, Sarah Nemtsov and Violeta Dinescu have written pieces for him. Together with Caspar Frantz and author and publisher Johannes Frank Julian is founder of the International Festival for Contemporary Chamber Music and Literature Zeitkunst. In 2011 Zeitkunst was guest at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Radialsystem Berlin, Israel and England. In 2013 it took place in Rio de Janeiro.
In addition to his concert activity Julian Arp highly commits to teaching and regularly gives master classes in Germany and abroad. In October 2013 he was appointed professor at the University for Arts in Graz, Austria, and has since then been enjoying to teach his own class.
The pianist Julius Drake lives in London and enjoys an international reputation as one of the finest instrumentalists in his field, collaborating with many of the world’s leading artists, both in recital and on disc. The New Yorker recently described him as the “collaborative pianist nonpareil”.
He appears regularly at all the major music centres and festivals: the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Schubertiade, and Salzburg Music Festivals; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre New York; The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Philarmonie, Berlin; the Châtalet and Musée de Louvre Paris; La Scala, Milan and Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid; Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Vienna; and Wigmore Hall and BBC Proms London.
Director of the Perth International Chamber Music Festival in Australia from 2000 – 2003, Julius Drake was also musical director of Deborah Warner’s staging of Janáček’s Diary of One Who Vanished, touring to Munich, London, Dublin, Amsterdam and New York. Since 2009 he has been Artistic Director of the Machynlleth Festival in Wales.
Julius Drake’s passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for Wigmore Hall, London, the BBC and The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. His annual series of song recitals – Julius Drake and Friends – in the historic Middle Temple Hall in London, has featured recitals with many outstanding vocal artists including Sir Thomas Allen, Olaf Bär, Iestyn Davies, Veronique Gens, Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside and Sir Willard White.
Julius Drake is frequently invited to perform at international chamber music festivals – most recently, Lockenhaus in Austria; West Cork in Ireland; Oxford in England; Boswil in Switzerland and Delft in the Netherlands.
Julius Drake’s many recordings include a widely acclaimed series with Gerald Finley for Hyperion, from which the Barber Songs, Schumann Heine Lieder and Britten Songs and Proverbs won the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Gramophone Awards; award winning recordings with Ian Bostridge for EMI; several recitals for the Wigmore Live label, with among others Alice Coote, Joyce DiDonato, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Christopher Maltman and Matthew Polenzani; recordings French Sonatas for Virgin Classics with Nicholas Daniel; of Kodaly and Schoeck sonatas with the cellists Natalie Clein and Christian Poltera for the Hyperion and Bis labels; Tchaikovsky and Mahler with Christianne Stotijn for Onyx; English song with Bejun Mehta for Harmonia Mundi; and Schubert’s ‘Poetisches Tagebuch’ with Christoph Prégardien, which won the Jahrpreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2016.
Julius Drake’s most recent CD’s include a critically acclaimed performance with the Scottish tenor Nicky Spence of Janacek’s Diary of One who Disappeared (Hyperion), ‘The Garden of Eve’ (Alpha) with the Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska, Liszt Complete Songs – vol 6 (Hyperion) with the German soprano Julia Kleiter, and Argento’s Diary of Virginia Woolf (Signum) with the English mezzo, Alice Coote.
Julius Drake holds a Professorship at Graz University for Music and the Performing Arts in Austria, where he has a class for song pianists. He is regularly invited to give master classes worldwide; recently in Aldeburgh, Brussels, Utrecht, Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Vienna, and at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien.
Concerts in the coming seasons include a series to celebrate the Beethoven anniversary at the 92nd St Y in New York and a Mahler series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, recitals at La Scala, Milan with Aleksandra Kurzak, at Wigmore Hall with Alice Coote, in Barcelona with Sarah Connolly, in Berlin with Angelika Kirchschlager, at the Schubertiade, Austria with Christoph Prégardien, Ian Bostridge and Gerald Finley, , and tours in Europe with Anna Prohaska and Eva-Maria Westbroek.
Heini Kärkkäinen studied piano at the Sibelius-Academy under Liisa Pohjola and continued her studies with Ralf Gothóni and Jacques Rouvier, among others. She won the Ilmari Hannikainen Piano Competition in 1984 and two years later she came second in the Maj Lind Piano Competition. In 1993 Kärkkäinen was nominated Young Artist of the Espoo International Piano Festival.
She has performed as soloist with orchestras e.g Finnish Radio Orchestra, Helsinki Filharmonic, Avanti Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Tampere Filharmonic, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiano, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, and has also played chamber music extensively in Europe and the United States.
Kärkkäinen has given first performances of many contemporary Finnish works. She was involved in a series of concerts that started in 2012 with the violinist Réka Szilvay: it was known as Beethoven Plus and the main focus was Beethoven’s Sonatas for piano and violin. The next project will be the Sonatas of Brahms and Bartók for violin and piano. She plays also regularly with the british cellist Robert Cohen. Kärkkäinen has made several prizewinning recordings. For example, the disc including music for the violin, piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns (Kantorow, Kärkkäinen, Tapiola Sinfonietta) was British BBC Music Magazine’s disc of the month in March 2007, and the prestigious Gramophone Magazine included it in its list of recommended recordings.
Heini Kärkkäinen is the Principal Lecturer in the Tampere University of Applied Sciences. She is also the Artistic director of the new chamber music festival Tampere Chamber Music, “music and wellbeing play together”, which combines concerts, lectures, clinic workshops and masterclasses. The first festival was held on January 2017.
Award-winning, London-based jazz bass player, composer and arranger Misha Mullov-Abbado is a musician who combines great imagination with raw talent and a clear vision. A BBC New Generation Artist and with three critically acclaimed albums on Edition Records under his name, his most recent offering Dream Circus showcases his ‘melodic gift’ (John Fordham, The Guardian) and ability to masterfully combine beautifully-crafted compositions with free-spirited improvisation. Written over a three-year period the album, produced by fellow Edition Records bassist and bandleader Jasper Høiby (Phronesis), marks the arrival of an artist who has been on a voyage of self-discovery.
His aforementioned collective features some of the most exhilarating and sought-after young musicians in London and was formed during Misha’s final year at Royal Academy of Music. An experienced band-leader and versatile sideman, Misha regularly performs all over the UK and around the world, including at top London venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, the Vortex, King’s Place and Royal Albert Hall. His vast musical travels have led him to work alongside inspiring musicians such as Alice Zawadzki, Dave O’Higgins, Tim Garland, Viktoria Mullova, Enzo Zirilli, Sam Lee, Rob Luft, Paul Clarvis, Stan Sulzmann and Nessi Gomes.
A prolific composer and arranger in his own right, Misha embraces his jazz, classical, pop and folk influences and writes for a variety of jazz groups, as well as various classical soloists and ensembles. Commissions include work with the Hermes Experiment, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, LSSO, Hill Quartet, Pelleas Ensemble, NW Live Arts and BBC Radio 3, the latter of which commissioned his cello concerto which was premiered at London’s Southbank Centre by Matthew Barley and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
It’s only a matter of time before Misha seals his place on the international scene at the forefront of a new generation of European creative Jazz musicians.
Priya Mitchell grew up in Oxford and studied with David Takeno at the Yehudi Menuhin School and with Zachar Bron in Germany. She was then chosen as the British representative of the European Concert Halls Organisation ‘Rising Stars’ Series. This success led to highly acclaimed tours and performances with, amongst others, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Philharmonia.
She has worked with many eminent conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Yuri Temirkanov, Richard Hickcox, Emmanuel Krivine, Heinrich Schiff and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Abroad, Priya has worked with orchestras including the Belgian Radio and Television Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Deutsche Sinfonie-Orchester.
As a recitalist and chamber musician she has performed extensively at international music festivals including Schleswig-Holstein, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Kuhmo, Lockenhaus, Risør, Heimbach, Ravinia, Lugano, Cheltenham, Bath, Stavanger and Trondheim. Priya’s highly acclaimed Oxford Chamber Music Festival inspired The Daily Telegraph to call it ‘a musical miracle.’
Polina Leschenko was born in St Petersburg into a family of musicians and began playing the piano under her father’s guidance at the age of six. Two years later she performed with the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra in St.Petersburg. At the age of 12 Polina made her UK debut at the Barbican Hall in London playing Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto.
Since then Leschenko has worked with prominent orchestras such as the Salzburg Camerata, Hallé Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Bern Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan, Orquesta de Euskadi and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Polina has given critically acclaimed recitals and chamber music concerts at such renowned venues as the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Cité de la musique in Paris and the Opera House in Sydney.
An accomplished and admired chamber musician, Polina Leschenko also performs frequently at many festivals, including the Salzburg Festival, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Verbier, Risor, Stavanger, la Roque d’Anthéron Aldeburgh, Oxford, Cheltenham, Stift, Istanbul,Lockenhaus and Musiktage Mondsee.
Regular collaborations with artists include Martha Argerich, Ivry Gitlis, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ilya Gringolts, Mischa Maisky, Torleif Thedéen.
In 2003 Polina Leschenko recorded a debut CD for EMI Classics in the series ‘Martha Argerich presents…’ with works by Liszt, Chopin, Kreisler/Rachmaninov, Brahms and Bach/Feinberg. She has also recorded a well-received disc of Prokofiev chamber music with Martha Argerich, Christian Poltéra and Roby Lakatos, for Avanticlassic. Her recital disc – featuring an all-Liszt program including the B minor Sonata – was released in May 2007 to great critical acclaim, receiving a “Choc” du Monde de la Musique.
Polina’s most recent CD’s include a recital CD entitled “Forgotten Melodies” (Avanticalssic), Mendelssohn double concerto with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti (BIS), a recording of the Dvorak piano quartet op.87 on EMI Classics as part of the “Martha Argerich and Friends Live from the Lugano Festival” series and with Patricia Kopatchinskaja the CD “Deux” released in 2018 in collaboration with Alpha Classics.
The Swiss clarinettist and improviser Reto Bieri has been playing solo and chamber music for over 20 years. This former artistic director is currently bringing a fresh concept to the classical music scene with his brilliant, poetic theme evenings ‘à la DAVOS FESTIVAL’ in cooperation with various chamber orchestras and accompanied by long-standing chamber music partners – in particular violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Reto Bieri regularly performs with renowned orchestras, and at various festivals and prestigious institutions. He releases CD recordings with the Munich-based cult label ECM, most recently the highly praised album ‘quasi morendo’ with string quartet meta4 from Finland.
Reto Bieri grew up with Swiss folk music. Following formative experience playing dance music in taverns and training as a primary school teacher he initially attended music academies in Basel and Zurich, before studying at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York. He was particularly influenced by the composer György Kurtág and his encounters with the writer Gerhard Meier, musician Eberhard Feltz and the clown Dimitri.
Reto Bieri served as Artistic Director of the Swiss DAVOS FESTIVAL – young artists in concert between 2013 and 2018. During 2012 to 2022, he was professor for chamber music at the University of Music in Würzburg, Germany. In 2022, he accepted a position at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich, Germany, where he is now Professor of chamber music. He lives with his family in a remote Swiss Alpine location in the Bernese Oberland.
Sally Bayley is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. As a child, she absorbed the sounds and rhythms of poetry, ballads and folksongs, and these patterns inform the structure of her story-telling.
In 1990, Sally was the first child to go to university from West Sussex County Council Care services. She studied at St Andrews university, and then went to America, where she taught aesthetic education in midwestern schools and universities and foundation arts courses to adults in inner city Ohio. She is interested in the Liberal Arts model of education and believes anyone can think or write to a high level with the right encouragement and practice. One reader has described her books as rhapsodies which means ‘to stitch a song.’
Sally is currently a Lecturer in English at Hertford College, Oxford. She also teaches on the Sarah Lawrence visiting programme at Wadham College, Oxford. From 2018-2020 she was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University.
Alexandru-Mihai (Sascha) was born in Timisoara, Romania into a family of musicians.
Playing both modern and baroque viola, his career as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral player has taken him all around the world. He has recently relocated to London after spending 5 years in Sydney as a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Rainer Schmidt from Hagen Quartet and composer György Kurtag have been strong influences on his musical understanding and approach to scores. He has since had the opportunity to play in chamber groups with musicians including Thomas Zehetmair, Benjamin Schmid, Leonidas Kavakos and principal players of the Berliner Philarmonie, the Doric Quartet and the Hagen Quartet. As a member of Mozart Quartet Salzburg he toured around Europe performing complete Mozart quartets alongside music by Mozart’s contemporaries.
Sascha began his musical studies at the age of 5 first on violin and then viola, winning first prize for 5 consecutive years at the Romanian Youth Music Competition. He won a full scholarship to study with Gérard Caussé at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid and then continued his studies with Thomas Riebl at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, completing his master’s degree in Solo Viola cum laudae in 2008. In 2010 he went on to a post graduate quartet course in Basel with Walter Levin from the LaSalle Quartet.
Sascha began his experience as an orchestral musician in the European Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in Stade-Hamburg. He became a member of Camerata Salzburg in 2007 and has often played as principal viola, including on several international tours with conductors such as Sir Roger Norrington and Leonidas Kavakos. In 2007 he won the audition for the Solo Viola of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Sascha was also associate principal viola with Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, working with conductors such as John Eliot Gardiner, Louis Langrée, Sir Roger Norington, Philippe Herreweghe, Kent Nagano, Ingo Metzmacher, Heinz Holliger and Dennis Russell Davies.
In 2012 Sascha successfully auditioned for the Australian Chamber Orchestra and was appointed as a core member shortly after. He played as co-principal viola from 2012-2015 and acting principal viola 2015-2017 and had a major role in curating chamber music programmes and education projects.
Sascha has performed all around Europe, Asia, America and Australia, playing concerts regularly in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, the Musikverein, Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Festivals he has played at include Salzburger Mozartwoche, Salzburger Festspiele, Salzburg Dialoge, Klanguspuren Schwaz, Festival Aix-en-Provence, Encuentro de Música de Santander, Festival Mitte Europa, Maribor Festival, Tanglewood, and the International Viola Congress in Würzburg with Thomas Riebl.
Tetiana Lutsyk is Ukrainian violinist, born in 1994. She received her first violin lessons at the age of 6. Later Tetiana was taught by Professor Sergey Evdokimov at the specialized music boarding school in Kharkiv as well as by Professor Mariya Futorska at the “Solomiya Krushelnytska” specialized music boarding school in Lviv, Ukraine. In June 2017 she graduated from the Academy of Music in Zagreb, from class of Professor Leonid Sorokow. Recently Tetiana graduated from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, where she was studying with Professor Priya Mitchell.
The young musician received other important artistic impulses while participating in master classes with Ana Chumachenco, Dora Schwarzberg, Rainer Honeck, Boris Kuschnir, Ingolf Turban, Boris Brovtsyn, Maxim Brilinsky, Maria Milstein, Oleh Krysa as well as with members of the Alban Berg Quartet, the «Cuarteto Casals» and of the Juilliard String Quartet.
Tetiana has won many prizes at international competitions including 1st prizes at the VI Agustín Aponte International Music Competition in Tenerife, Spain (2021), «CullerArts» International Violin Competition in Valencia, Spain (2019) and the “Martha Debelli” chamber music Competition in Graz, Austria (2018).
Tetiana Lutsyk has performed as a soloist with renowned orchestras including the Lviv Philharmonic, Lviv Chamber Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra, Ivano-Frankivsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra de València in Spain, Croatia, Belgium, France, Austria, Poland and Ukraine. She has worked with many conductors including Alun Francis, Isabel Rubio, Rodolfo Barráez, Yurii Bervetsky, Jon Svinghammar.
The young violinist is a scholarship holder of the International Music Academy in Liechtenstein and takes part in the intensive weeks there. From 2016 Tetiana has been a member of the Ensemble Esperanza, which consists of scholarship holders from the International Music Academy in Liechtenstein and was awarded an “OPUS KLASSIK” in 2018. In 2021 she was invited to be the concertmaster of the Symphony Orchestra in Liechtenstein.
Tetiana has also received scholarships from Jeunesses Musicales Germany, Martha Debelli Foundation, Society of Friends of University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and the International Summer Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
Since 2017 Tetiana has been playing in a duet with the Ukrainian pianist Anfisa Bobylova.
As a soloist and chamber musician she has performed at international music festivals including “Next Generation“ (Switzerland), “Alpenarte“ (Schwarzenberg, Austria), “Smetanova Litomyšl“ (Czech Republic) and “Khmelnytsky Kammer Fest“ (Ukraine),
We are incredibly grateful to James Malcomson for sponsoring Tetiana’s participation in this festival.