Krzysztof Wegrzyn - Violin
Krzysztof Wegrzyn, the Artistic Director of the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition, Hannover, is also the founder of this outstanding music event in Lower Saxony.
He was born in Gdansk, Poland and was educated in Warsaw, Freiburg and London. His collaborations with artists such as Zenon Brzewski, Wolfgang Marschner, Yfrah Neaman and Dorothy DeLay gave him his vital artistic stimulation.
For years, Krzysztof Wegrzyn served as concertmaster for the Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover and, since 1993 he has been a professor at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. His brilliant violin classes are internationally known, with many of his students having won awards at international competitions and being members of renowned orchestras.
Krzysztof Wegrzyn has himself won awards at prestigious international events such as the Louis Spohr and Montreal Competitions, and has earned the First Prize of the Karol Szymanowski and Rodolfo Lipizer competitions.
Another focus of his artistic and educational work is the management of master classes in Europe, USA and Asia, which include the Holland Music Sessions, Ishikawa Music Academy, Keshet Eilon, Juilliard School, and music academies in Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.
In addition, Krzysztof Wegrzyn is regularly called on to join international juries, such as at the Tchaikovsky, Kreisler, Paganini, ARD and Sendai competitions recently.
He has been involved in chamber music for many years and is the founder of the ensemble “Il gioco col suono”. In 2004, Krzysztof Wegrzyn was awarded the Musikpreis des Landes Niedersachsen for his contributions to music.
Isabel Villanueva - Viola
Isabel Villanueva is valued for her expression and sensibility as well as for her passion and commitment to promote the viola as an instrument with its own voice. In 2015 was awarded the prestigious Spanish National Radio Culture Prize. Isabel announces herself as one of the best violists of the new generation.
She has appeared as a soloist with the Spanish Radio Television Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Soloists, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Nacional d’Andorra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of maestros Salvador Brotons, Andres Mustonen or Michel Plasson, with whom she peformed Walton Viola Concerto last season 16/17 with the Spanish RTVE Symphony Orchestra broadcasted by TVE. She has a wide range repertoire from baroque period to several symphonic world premieres such as José Zárate and Houtaf Khoury Viola Concertos, dedicated to her.
Villanueva has appeared as a soloist and recitalist in Europe, Asia, Russia and Middle East, in prestigious venues including the Grand Hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou, Bath Music Festival, Estonia Concert Hall, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Palau de la Música Catalana, Santander Festival, Rottweil Musikfestival, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, Schubertiade RTS, Lavaux Classic Festival, Royal Court Theatre in Copenhagen, Musika-Música in Bilbao, Assembly Hall in Beirut, Roudaki Hall in Tehran (becoming in 2013 the first foreign violist to perform solo recitals in Iran) and the Wigmore Hall in London, among others.
Engagements for 17/18 season included concerto debuts with Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra (Lior Shambadal / Bartók) and Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra (Jacek Kaspszyk / Walton), and recitals in halls and festivals in Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, England and Germany. Next season 18/19 she will make her solo debuts with Orquesta de Córdoba, Joven Orquesta y Coro de Madrid, Oviedo Filarmonía, Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Washington.
In August 2017 was released a Sony Classical recording including her performance of José Zárate Viola Concerto with Orquesta de Extremadura. In October 2017 was released her first album “Bohèmes” for viola and piano together with pianist François Dumont for IMMStage label.
She has a strong interest in expanding music for viola. Premieres and collaborations include solo works by Gubaidulina, Olivero, Zárate, Sotelo, Khoury and Khayam. As a chamber musician she has performed together with Prazak Quartet, Vlach Prague Quartet, Daniel Schnyder, Martti Rousi, Trío Arbós, among others. Her concerts have been broadcasted by RTVE, Catalunya Música, RTV Slovenia, TV Szombathely, Estonia Klassika Raadio, RTV Lebanon, TV Russia Kultura and Swiss RTS.
She is prizewinner in international viola competitions including Mravinsky Competition in St. Petersburg, Beethoven Viola Competition in Czech Republic or Yuri Bashmet Viola Competition in Moscow. In 2014 she was awarded the ‘Prix Albert Lullin’ in Geneva to the most outstanding instrumentalist of the year. In 2015 she was recognized institutionally by Marca España and named ‘Global Ambassador of Spanish Talent’ by Clear Channel. She is ‘Cultural Ambassador’ from Fondation Prim’Enfance in Switzerland.
Villanueva is regularly invited to give masterclasses at institutions such as Royal College of Music in London, Conservatoire Superieur de Musique du Liban, Pacific International Youth Orchestra in Guangzhou (China), Iran National University of Music and Arts, and many conservatoires in Spain.
Born in Pamplona (Spain) in 1988, Isabel studied with Igor Sulyga, Yuri Bashmet, Lawrence Power and Nobuko Imai at Royal College of Music in London, Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena and the Haute École de Musique in Geneva. Isabel Villanueva plays an Enrico Catenar viola (Turin, 1670) and uses Peter Infeld strings kindly sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld (Vienna).
Ida Bryhn - Viola
Born in Oslo, prize-winning violist Ida Bryhn is recognized as a profiled young artist in Norwegian musical life.
Ida is principal violist in Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and is invited regularly as a guest principal in Orchestras such as Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Camerata Nordica, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Ida is also on trial for principal viola in Philharmonia Orchestra in London.
Ida is a popular teacher, teaching students both at Norwegian State Academy and Barratt Dues Music Institution in Oslo, as well as giving Master Classes in Gothenburg University. Ida is also a part of The Transposition Project in Vietnam: a musical and social education program in Hanoi.
Ida is a keen chamber musician. Appearing as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and the US. She performs regularly at different Norwegian festivals like Bergen International Festival, Oslo Chamber Music Festival, Risør Chamber Music Festival, Røros Winter Chamber Music Festival and Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, and appears at festivals abroad like the Verbier festival, Ravinia festival, IMS Prussia Cove open Chamber Music and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. She has been soloist with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Ålesund Chamber Orchestra and a number of other orchestras and chamber orchestras. She has played with musicians like Leif Ove Andsnes, Isabelle Faust, Anner Bylsma, Truls Mørk, Thorleif Theden, Vilde Frang, Phillippe Graffin and Andreas Brantelid, and with ensembles like the Rasumovsky Ensemble, Diamant Ensemble in Copenhagen, Oslo String Quartet and Vertavo String Quartet. She has recorded chamber music works of Mozart and Brahms, and this spring she will launch her latest CD on Norwegian Grammy Award winning label 2L.
Ida studied with Soon Mi Chung, Björn Sjögren, Pascal Siffert, Kim Kashkashian and Lars Anders Tomter.
Martina Schucan - Cello
Martina Schucan was accepted into masterclass of André Navarra in Detmold in Germany at the age of 14. After completing her performer’s diploma, she continued her studies with Heinrich Schiff, Daniel Shafran and Janos Starker. Her first prize at the “Gaspar Cassadò” Competition in Florence, together with other prizes and awards, opened her way onto the international concert scene.
Martina Schucan has performed as a soloist with well-known orchestras such as the Bamberger Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and numbers Yuri Bashmet, Shlomo Mintz, Veronika Hagen, Heinz Holliger and the Carmina Quartet amongst her partners. She plays at the international festivals of Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, “Wien modern”, Witten, Montpellier, Bratislava and Beijing and participates at the chamber music festivals of Prussia Cove and Kuhmo.
Performing contemporary music is central to her artistic endeavours. Her interpretations of the concerto by Henri Dutilleux , the „Assonance V“ by Michael Jarrell and the solo sonata by Bernd Alois Zimmermann have become landmarks celebrated both by music specialists and the broad public. At the Salzburg Biennale 2015 she created a new cello concerto written for her by Isabel Mundry.
Martina Schucan is a professor at the Zurich University of the Arts and member of the Collegium Novum Zürich.
Stephanie Gurga - Pianist - accompanist
Stephanie Gurga, a versatile musician, performs on piano, harpsichord, organ and fortepiano. She studied piano at DePauw University in Indiana (USA) with Claude Cymerman, then at the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris, finally specializing in early music at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. In 2009, she graduated with an Artist’s Diploma in harpsichord performance, having studied with Professor Dr. Robert Hill. In 2012, she completed her Master of Music in fortepiano performance, with the unanimous congratulations of the jury. At the same time, she had the privilege of additional studies in accompaniment of lied and opera with renowned professors like René Jacobs, Helmut Deutsch and Jendrik Springer (Wiener Staatsoper).
Invited by various festivals of international renown, she has participated in numerous concerts as a soloist or in chamber music ensembles. She performed at the Palacìos das Artes (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), the National Music Museum (South Dakota, USA), the Ritratti festival (Italy), the Ticino Musica Festival Lugano (Switzerland), the Orecchio di Giano de Rome (Italy), the Lauenen Chamber Concerts (Switzerland), the Associazione Mozart (Italy), the Swiss Chamber Concerts, the Grange Concert Series (Christ Church, Great Britain) (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Artists Festival in Istanbul (Turkey), the National Concert Hall (Taiwan) and the Schloss Bad Krozingen (Germany).
In 2010, Stephanie Gurga was engaged as an accompanist at the HEMU “Vaud-Valais-Friborg” in Lausanne and Sion (Switzerland). In 2012, she was appointed Assistant Musical Director at the Woodhouse Opera (Surrey, England), annually coaching and leading performances of a number of baroque operas.
She is regularly invited to play continuo for orchestras (Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, European Concert, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orquesta), under the direction of conductors such as John Nelson, Paul Goodwin and Michael Hofstetter.
She collaborates with choirs such as Laudate Deum (Lausanne) and Neuer Basler Kammerchor (Basel). Stephanie Gurga is also organist at the Church of Saint-Guérin and Sacré Coeur in Sion (Switzerland). In 2016, she recorded with DakApp the three sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord by J. S. Bach with the violist Diemut Poppen.
Natsumi Ohno - Pianist - accompanist
The pianist Natsumi Ohno was born in Japan and began studying music in Tokyo. She later completed her graduate recital in Hannover with Prof. Bernd Goetzke. In addition to her soloist training, she specialized in song accompaniment in Justus Zeyen’s class as well as instrument accompeniment for strings and woodwinds. During her studies, she received stipends from Tokyo College of Music as well as the Yehudi Menuhin foundation “Live Music Now .”
Natsumi Ohno is an awardee of the International Chamber Music Competition ‘Premio Trio di Trieste’ and of the International Piano Competition ‘Citta di Sulmona’ in Italy. She has appeared as an accompanist at a variety of violin competitions, music festivals and masterclasses, including the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the International Festival of Young Violin Masters Lindau, the IMAS International Music Academy in Germany, the International Holland Music Sessions, the Morges Music Academy in Switzerland, the Summer Academy Cervo in Italy and Gdansk Music Festival in Poland.
Natsumi Ohno is full time faculty at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater and Medien Hannover.
Neuhaus-Gachet - Alexander Technique
After obtaining her baccalauréat, Mireille Neuhaus-Gachet spent a year in Vienna, where she improved her German at the University and had violin lessons with Wolfgang Brand (Wiener Philharmoniker). On her return to Switzerland, she continued her musical studies: violin certificat and certificat supérieur at the Conservatoire de Lausanne; diplôme d’éducation musicale méthode Willems at the EJCM Delémont. She has been a member or support member of many choirs and orchestras. For many years she led the 2nd violins in the Orchestre des Jeunes du Conservatoire de Lausanne and in the OSUL. Since 1987, she has had regular lessons in F.M. Alexander Technique, and has taken part in numerous intensive workshops. After undertaking the Training Course she qualified as a teacher of the Technique in 1996. Since then, Mireille Neuhaus-Gachet has taught both music (Willems method in St-Sulpice, Préverenges and St-Prex) and the F.M. Alexander Technique (in Morges, Fribourg and Lausanne). For many years she has worked with several HES and with the Académie Musicale de Morges. Since 2013, she and her husband have been teaching the F.M. Alexander Technique at the HEMU in Lausanne. Mireille Neuhaus-Gachet can provide lessons in French, German, or English. Urs Neuhaus was awarded a diplôme d’enseignement de la clarinette at the Conservatoire de Fribourg , a Diplom der künstlerischen Reife at the SSPM, and a premier prix de virtuosité at the Conservatoire de Lausanne. At the same time he completed his studies at the University and achieved a diploma in physics. Since 1989, Urs Neuhaus has been teaching clarinet at the Conservatoire de Fribourg, at the Institut de Ribaupierre as well as providing private lessons. He regularly gives recitals and concerts. He has been a member of the OSUL since 1989 and has been the first clarinet solo since 1990. In 1998, he qualified as a teacher of the F.M. Alexander Technique. He has been teaching this technique in Morges, Fribourg and Lausanne. He has been working for many years with several HES and with the Académie Musicale de Morges. Since 2013, he and his wife have been teaching the F.M. Alexander Technique at the HEMU in Lausanne. Urs Neuhaus can provide lessons in French, German or English.