Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire, Imogen Cooper is internationally renowned for her virtuosity and lyricism. Recent and future concerto performances include the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, Sydney Symphony with Simone Young and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard.
Imogen has a widespread international career and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival, NHK and London Symphony Orchestras. Her recital appearances have included Tokyo, New York, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, Prague and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg.
Imogen is a committed chamber musician and performs regularly with Henning Kraggerud and Adrian Brendel. As a Lieder recitalist, she has had a long collaboration with Wolfgang Holzmair in both the concert hall and recording studio. Her recent solo recordings for Chandos Records feature music by Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner and Robert and Clara Schumann.
Imogen has just released a recording of Beethoven’s great Diabelli Variations, to great acclaim.
Imogen received a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2007 and was the recipient of an award from the Royal Philharmonic Society the following year. In 1997 she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music and in 1999 she was made a Doctor of Music at Exeter University. Imogen was the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Classical Music and Music Education at the University of Oxford for 2012-13. The Imogen Cooper Music Trust was founded in 2015, to support young pianists at the cusp of their careers, and give them time in an environment of peace and beauty.
“Bielow was outstanding in his solo offerings, violinists twice his age could have learned something from this young musician of true talent”
Robert Harris, Globe Mail, Toronto, 2002
“I was impressed by his musicality, technique, and very convincing personality”
Kurt Masur, 2004
“…Bielow creating a rich vein of fantasy through his ability to balance cheekiness with lyricism as if inventing an eloquent commedia dell´arte ballet… “
The Strad, May 2009
Born in 1981 in the Ukraine, Andrej has developed as one of the leading Ukrainian musicians of his generation. As a soloist and chamber musician he has recorded over 20 CD albums for Naxos, Berlin Classics, CPO, Avi-Music, Hänssler Classics, Hänssler-Profil, Guttingi, Solo Musica, Genuin, Hyperion and Rakete Media.
As a soloist he collaborated with such renowned orchestras as the New Japan Philharmonic, Orchestra National de Radio France, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Kiev Philharmonic and Münchner Kammerorchester under the baton of established conductors such as Kurt Masur, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Gianandrea Noseda, Miguel Gomez-Martinez, Christian Arming, Agnieszka Duzcmal, Junichi Hirokami und Christoph Poppen, Enrique Mazzola to name a few of them.
His repertoire includes over 40 concertos and all the major sonatas. He has recently performed the Shostakovich no. 1 in Lindau with SWD Philharmonie Konstanz and the Tschaikowsky at the Ryedale Festival with the orchestra of Opera North under Martin Andre. He gave his first successful London recital at Wigmore Hall in 2009 and performed Malcolm Arnold´s concerto for two violins at Cadogan Hall in October 2012.
He received his first violin lessons at the age of five and in 1993 attended the special music boarding school in Kiev. Having recognized his talent, Prof. Michael Kusnetsov took the eleven-year-old boy into his family and guided his further musical education. Already at an early age, Andrej started to perform at carefully selected concerts in Europe and USA.
At the age of 15, Andrej settled in Germany to study with Prof. Krzysztof Wegrzyn at the University of Music and Drama in Hannover. Further study followed with Gerard Poulet in Paris, Herman Krebbers, Ida Haendel, Ana Chumachenko and more recently Alfred Brendel.
Andrej Bielow won major prizes at international competitions such as the Long-Thibaut Paris, ARD Munich, Hanover (Joachim), Citta di Brescia and others. Due to his extraordinary talent and musical qualities he was awarded various scholarships from the cultural institutions such as the Ukrainian Culture Foundation, Gundlach Foundation, Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and Förderpreis of the Lower Saxony.
Andrej Bielow has devoted much of his career to chamber music, of which he is a passionate advocate. He has appeared at the following Festvals: Schleswig-Holstein, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Rheingau, Kuhmo, Young Euro Classic Berlin, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Ryedale, Macau and many others.
At the Kronberg Academy he performed with Gidon Kremer, Juri Bashmet and the Beaux Arts Trio. In 2011 he joined Kit Armstrong and Adrian Brendel to form a piano trio. Future projects include a complete cycle of Beethoven and Mozart violin sonatas with Kit Armstrong. He joined the Szymanowski Quartett as leader from 2005 until 2014. More recently he has recorded with the distinguished English pianist Christopher Glynn, with whom a new CD of sonatas written during the first World War will soon be released.
Since 2014 Andrej joined the violin faculty at the University of Arts in Graz and regularly gives masterclasses in Europe, Asia and USA. In 2005, together with jazz-guitarist Johan Weiss, he founded the „MBF“ Foundation (Musik braucht Freunde) which has provided financial support for over 130 needy students at the University of Music and Drama, Hanover. Since 2013, Andrej Bielow has become a regular visiting teacher delivering classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and since 2016 he is professor of violin at the Robert Schumann University in Dusseldorf.
Andrej plays the violin “ex Flesch”, built in 1745 by Lorenzo Guadagnini.
Maria Kliegel studied with János Starker at Indiana University in Bloomington, USA.Mstislav Rostropovich described her as La Cellissima: “The best cellist I have heard since Jacqueline du Pré.” She has won many cello competitions namely first prize in the Concours Rostropovich in Paris and Aldo Parisot Competition in Brazil among others, and regularly appears as a soloist worldwide. Her commitment to contemporary music includes world premieres and CD recordings of works by, among others, Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina, and Wilhelm Kaiser-Lindemann’s Hommage à Nelson Mandela. She is a regular jury member in competitions known for her active involvement in music education and has been teaching a master class at the Cologne University of Music since 1986. In Schott Master Class Cello, her multimedia project published in 2006, she explores completely new paths for learning how to play the instrument and was awarded the Digita special prize for the best German educational software and the Comenius EduMedia seal in 2007. Naxos has been selling the English version Using Technique and Imagination to Achieve Artistic Expression worldwide. After almost three decades of brilliant and critically acclaimed productions for Naxos, Maria Kliegel is the best-selling cellist on CD with over 40 solo CDs and 2 Grammy nominations, her latest release in 2019 on the label GENUIN is “Voyages Sonores” with pianist Oliver Triendl, featuring works by G. Connesson,C. Debussy, F. Poulenc, M. de Falla, among others. Maria Kliegel plays a cello by Carlo Tononi, ca.1730, Venice.
From September 2019 on she will be a faculty member of the Institute
of Musical Excellence in Wroclaw( Breslau), Poland.
Valentin Erben studied in Munich with Walter Reichardt, in Vienna with Tobias Kühne and in Paris with André Navarra, Jean Hubeau
and as well with Josef Calvet. In 1968 he won the ARD International Cello Competition. He is a founding member of the Alban Berg Quartet, which was established in 1970 and which became one of the the leading Quartets of the time and which still is a reference for Quartets of the next generations. Valentin Erben is also invited to perform as a soloist as well as a partner with many leading Chamber Music-Ensembles, such as Belcea Quartet (recording: Schubert Quintet), Arditti Quartet (recording: Schönberg „Verklärte Nacht“), Quatuor Ysaye (recording: Schönberg „Verklärte Nacht“), Apollon Musagete, Quartetto Quiroga, Meccore Quartet (recording: Tschaikowsky „Souvenir de Florence“) and many more.
In 2008 he has formed a close artistic partnership with the French pianist Shani Diluka. They have recorded all works by Beethoven
for cello and piano. Teaching has always showcased a very significant part in his life as a musician. He was Professor at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne, the Summer School in Hamburg, the Academia Chigiana in Siena, ProQuartet Paris, MISQA Montreal and many more.
Starting in 2019 he will lead the Chamber Music Department of „Institute of Musical Excellence“ in Wrocław, Poland.
Joseph Swensen is Artistic Director of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra Wroclaw, Conductor Emeritus of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada. He has previously served as Principal Guest Conductor & Artistic Adviser of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Principal Conductor of Malmö Opera. A sought-after pedagogue, Joseph Swensen teaches conducting, violin and chamber music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.
Recognized for forging solid bonds with orchestras, he is regularly invited to conduct across the world and he has toured extensively in the US, UK, Europe and the Far East appearing at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals, the BBC Proms, “Festival de Radio France” and “La Folle Journée” of Nantes and Tokyo.
Before launching his conducting career, Swensen enjoyed a highly successful career as a violin soloist appearing with the world’s major orchestras and conductors while recording exclusively for BMG Classics. More recently, his series for Linn Records with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra won international acclaim and was released as a boxset in November 2018.
An American of Norwegian and Japanese descent, Joseph Swensen was born in Hoboken, New Jersey and grew up in Harlem, New York City.
Anna Rutkowska -Schock
Anna Rutkowska-Schock completed her piano education under Prof. Helena Furmanowicz and Prof. Grzegorz Kurzynski at the K. Lipinski Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland.
In 1996, she was the Laureate of the Piano Festival in Słupsk, Poland. In 1997, she was awarded a scholarship to attend Boise State University (Idaho, USA) by Dr. Madeleine Forte.
In 2003, Anna was awarded the Best Accompanist award at the IBLA Grand Prize International Music Competition in Sicily and, as a result, performed many times at Carnegie Hall in New York. She has been invited as the staff accompanist for international competitions in Rome (2004), Peru (2005), Slovakia (2006-2010), Sicily (2004-2015) and several competitions in Poland. So far she has received more than 30 awards for Best Accompanist from vocal and violin competitions in Poland and abroad. She has been a jury member of several editions of the IBLA Grand Prize International Competition in Sicily and of the International Piano Competition in Surabaya (Indonesia) in 2011.
In 2006 she received a full scholarship to take part in the Summer Academy of Music in Santa Barbara, California. During this course she mastered her collaborative piano skills under Anne Epperson and Jonathan Feldman. In 2007 she was the director of the Festival of American Music in Wrocław. To date, she has published five CDs, four with French music (solo and chamber) and one with contemporary Polish music.
In 2016 Anna joined an Australian chamber music group named The Hourglass Ensemble with which she has taken part in concerts in Poland, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. Each project is crowned with a performance at Sydney Opera House. The ensemble has also performed live on-air with an interview on the radio station Fine Music 102.5 in Australia.
She works as a professor at the Academy of Music in Wrocław (with a post-doctoral degree) and teaches at the Secondary Music School in Wrocław.
Michał Rot graduated G. and K. Bacewiczs’ Music Academy in Łódź. He achived diploma with distinction in 2012 under Prof. Cezary Sanecki piano masterclass. Additionaly, he improved his skills at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, piano class of Prof. Andrzej Ratusiński and Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim, chamber music class of Prof. Michael Flaksman and Prof. Jelena Očić.
The artist is a laureate of many national and international music competitions. The most important achievements are: Distinction at the Chopin Competition of W. Kędry in Łódź, 2nd place and Special Prize for the best performance of the contemporary Polish work at the XVII International Chamber Competition in Łódź, Award for the best pianist at the 18th International Competition for them. J. Brahms in Pörtschach and the 4th Prize and Special Prize at the 4th International Competition of Duets them. R. Strauss in Sofia.
The meetings with the great individualities of the musical world have had a great impact on the artistic development of the pianist. He worked under the supervision of: Paul Badura – Skoda, Andrzej Jasiński, Elzy Kolodin, Dang Thai – Sona, Jonathan Zak, Jose Gallardo, Eduardo Hubert, Peter Efler, Paul Gulda, Victor Chestopal and many others.