Fortepiano / Harpsichord / Piano
Territory: German speaking countries, Eastern Europe,
ELISABETH LEONSKAJA, Piano
Honoured with the ICMA Lifetime Achievement Award 2020
"Elisabeth Leonskaja is one of those rare musicians who seem to transcend their time: she is a performer for the ages, and one of the last of the great Russian school, an immense artist whose intellectually superior humility in the face of music has made her universal reputation. Her recent recordings of the Schubert Sonatas – so vivid and so crisp – show that she is not repeating earlier interpretations but continuously refreshes her approach to the great repertoire."
For decades now, Elisabeth Leonskaja has been among the most celebrated pianists of our time. Elisabeth Leonskaja’s musical development was shaped or influenced to a decisive degree by her collaboration with Svjatoslav Richter. The master recognized her exceptional talent and fostered her development not only through teaching and giving her advice, but also by inviting her to play numerous duets with him. The musical partnership and personal friendship between Svjatoslav Richter and Elisabeth Leonskaja endured until Richter’s death.
Elisabeth Leonskaja has appeared as a soloist with virtually all the leading orchestras in the world, and is a frequent and welcomed guest at prestigious summer music festivals, and she also gives recitals in the Piano Series in the world's major musical centers.
Leonskaja’s most recent CD recordings appeared on the Berlin based Label eaSonus (www.easonus.com). “Paris”, with works by Ravel, Enescu and Debussy, was named the Solo Recording of the Year 2014 by the ICMA Jury. “Saudade”, an homage to Russian culture with works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff, was released in November 2017. A complete recording of Franz Schubert’s piano sonatas in two volumes of four CDs each has been available since April 2016 and May 2019 respectively. A double-CD with variations and sonatas by Robert Schumann followed in January 2020.
In her second homeland, Austria, she is an honorary member of the Vienna Konzerthaus. In 2006 she was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art, First Class, for her outstanding service to the culture of the country. It is the highest award in Austria. In Georgia, she was named Priestess of Art in 2016, this country’s highest artistic honor. In 2020 she received the International Classical Music (ICMA) Lifetime Achievement Award.
TAI MURRAY, Violin
CHRISTOPHER HALL, Clarinetist/Stand-up Comedian
TATJANA MASURENKO, Viola
LIZA FERSCHTMAN, violin
Territory: Germany, Spain
Renowned for her strong musical personality and versatility, Liza Ferschtman has been praised in The New York Times for the ‘laserlike intensity, purity and refined beauty of her playing’. Since winning the Dutch Music Award in 2006, she has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s finest orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic and Brussels Philharmonic. A passionate chamber musician who regularly appears in the world’s greatest recital halls, Liza Ferschtman has also been Artistic Director of the Delft Chamber Music Festival from 2007 to 2019.
Liza Ferschtman has an impressive discography for Challenge Classics which includes concertos by Beethoven, Dvořák, Mendelssohn and Korngold, Bernstein’s Serenade, and several recital CDs. Her recordings have consistently received glowing reviews in the international press.
Liza Ferschtman studied with Philip Hirschhorn and Herman Krebbers in Amsterdam, Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music and David Takeno in London.
Szymon Nehring is one of the most gifted and promising pianists of the younger generation in Poland. He is the only Pole to win the First Prize at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, one of the most important piano competitions in the world.
He has performed with orchestras such as the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberger Symphoniker, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, collaborating with conductors including Jerzy Maksymiuk, Jacek Kaspszyk, Grzegorz Nowak, Pablo Heras-Casado, Karina Canellakis, Giancarlo Guerrero, Omer Meir Wellber, John Axelrod, Lawrence Foster, David Zinman and Krzysztof Penderecki.
The artist performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, Konzerthaus Berlin, Copenhagen’s DR Koncerthuset, Vienna’s Musikverein, and Munich’s Herkulessaal and Prinzregententheater.
In 2019 he was invited to join the Programme of the Orpheum Foundation, as part of which he performed with Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra under the baton of David Zinman. In 2020 he made his debut at the Berlin Philharmonic.
Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the fortepiano, harpsichord, and modern piano.
He is Artistic Director of the Freiburger Barockorchester and Principal Guest Director with the English Concert. He is a regular guest with the world’s leading ensembles including Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra & the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester; and has guest - directed (from the keyboard) the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik, Collegium Vocale, Juilliard 415, Kammerakademie Potsdam and Dunedin Consort.
He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Giovanni Antonini, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Rachel Podger, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore & Matthias Goerne.
Kristian's rich and award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart (Diapason d’Or de L’année, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik & Caecilia Prize); Mozart Violin Sonatas with Petra Müllejans; Mendelssohn and Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester (ECHO Klassik); Beethoven & Mozart Lieder, and Schumann Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore (Edison Award). In 2013 he was nominated as Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year and was awarded the ‘Wiener Flötenuhr’ by the Mozartgemeinde Wien in 2019 for his recordings of Mozart‘s keyboard music. Recent releases include Winterreisse with Mark Padmore, Bach sonatas for violin and harpsichord with Isabelle Faust, a recording of Haydn piano sonatas and Beethoven’s piano concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester and Pablo Herás-Casado.
Described as "superb" by The New York Times, violinist Tai Murray has established herself a musical voice of a generation."Technically flawless... vivacious and scintillating... It is without doubt that Murray’s style of playing is more mature than that of many seasoned players… " (Muso Magazine)
Appreciated for her elegance and effortless ability, Murray creates a special bond with listeners through her personal phrasing and subtle sweetness. Her programming reveals musical intelligence. Her sound, sophisticated bowing and choice of vibrato, remind us of her musical background and influences, principally, Yuval Yaron (a student of Gingold & Heifetz) and Franco Gulli. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004, Tai Murray was named a BBC New Generation Artist (2008 through 2010). As a chamber musician, she was a member of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society II (2004-2006).
She has performed as guest soloist on the main stages world-wide, performing with leading ensembles such as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra, and all of the BBC Symphony Orchestras. She is also a dedicated advocate of contemporary works.
As a recitalist Tai Murray has visited many of the world's capitals having appeared in Berlin, Chicago, Hamburg, London, Madrid, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris and Washington D.C., among many others.
Tai Murray plays a violin by Tomaso Balestrieri fecit Mantua ca. 1765, on generous loan from a private collection.
Christopher Hall ist ehemaliger Soloklarinettist des Métropolitain Orchesters (Chef-Dirigent Yannick Nézet-Seguin) in Montréal, Kanada. Er fand das Leben im Orchester ein wenig zu ernst, also entschied er sich, anstatt im Orchester still und heimlich herumzublödeln, ein Stand up Comedian zu werden.
In den letzten Jahren hat er seine beiden Leidenschaften die Musik und den Humor im „Comic Orchestra“ Konzert zusammengeführt. Er hat die „Comic Orchestra" Show in ganz Kanada präsentiert, mit einigen der besten Symphonieorchestern des Landes. Christopher zeigte seine Show auch bei Comedy Festivals wie „Just for Laughs“ in Montréal oder der berühmte Winnipeg Comedy Festival.
Beim „Comic Orchestra“ zeigt Christopher das Innere eines Symphonieorchesters und allen Instrumenten. Er beantwortet so wichtige Fragen wie: „Was denken Orchestermusiker während sie spielen?“ oder: „Braucht man überhaupt einen Dirigent?“ und die wichtigste Frage überhaupt: „Wie kann man im Konzert ein Hustenbonbon aufmachen, ohne Krach zu machen?“
Mit der Landeskapelle Eisenach führte Christopher die Deutschlandpremiere von „A Stand-up Comic’s Guide to the Orchestra“ auf, indem er mit viel Humor und grossartiger Musik die Instrumente des Orchesters vorstellt. Einen Spaß für die ganze Familie! Das WDR Rundfunkorchester und das Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz folgten 2019 und 2020.
Christopher spricht fließend Englisch, Französisch, Deutsch und Italienisch. Aber was immer Sie tun, nehmen sie diesen Mann nie all zu ernst!
One of the leading viola players of our time, Masurenko's distinctive style is shaped by her expressive playing, her charisma and captivating stage presence. Alongside the great viola concertos by Walton, Bartók and Hindemith, her concert repertoire also includes modern classical works such as Schnittke, Gubaidulina and Kancheli and the rarely performed viola concertos by Hartmann and Bartel, which speaks also for one of her major objective in her musical career - the further development of the viola as a solo instrument. She has also worked with composers such as the recently deceased Gladys Krenek, Moritz von Gagern, Dimitri Terzakis, Wolfgang Rihm, Hans-Christian Bartel, Luca Lombardi and Nejat Başeğmezler.
She compiles the programmes of her CDs meticulously and with great deliberation. A number of her CD recordings (for example the concerto by K. A. Hartmann and British Viola Concertos featuring concertos by Walton, Beamish und Britten) received awards including the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and international accolades such as the Supersonic Award (Luxemburg) and the Diapason découverte (France).
Currently, Tatjana Masurenko focuses intensively on historical performance practice in her CD recordings, not only within the context of Baroque music, but also the Romantic repertoire of the 19th century. Inspired by the concepts of Jesper Christensen, she has devoted herself, together with the pianist Gilad Katznelson, to interpretative aspects of this music, including the study of historical tone documents.