ABOUT: One of the most brilliant and prestigious young players of the Viola da Gamba in the world today, Fahmi Alqhai studied the Viola da Gamba in Seville with Ventura Rico, then at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Paolo Pandolfo and at the Conservatorio della Svizzera with Vittorio Ghielmi.
As a soloist, Fahmi Alqhai has performed with important orchestras such as the National Orchestra of Spain, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia, Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne (Michael Corboz), Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, and Al Ayre Español, among others. He has also made his entrance in the fields of contemporary music, as well as jazz, with artists such as Uri Caine. He recorded the Bach Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord in 2004. His latest Solo release and tribute to the viola da gamba A Piacere (Glossa) was released in 2014.
Alqhai founded his ensemble Accademia del Piacere in 2002 with soprano Mariví Blasco. In 2012 the ensemble won the Giraldillo prize awarded to Best Music at the 2012 Sevilla Flamenco Biennal, for the music of Las idas y las vueltas, a recording made together with flamenco vocalist Arcángel.
Since 2009, Fahmi has been artistic director of the Early Music Festival of Seville (FeMAS), Spain’s oldest and most important early music festival.
FAHMI ALQHAI, Viola da Gamba
Territory: Austria, Eastern Europe
ABOUT: Lauded by critics as the finest fortepiano performer of our time, Kristian Bezuidenhout completed his survey of his celebrated recording project Mozart: Keyboard Music released for harmonia mundi in 2016. Apart from being a wonderful player, Bezuidenhout really understands what the different construction and string layout means for timbre and sustain, and has exceptional command of tone and color in all registers of the fortepiano. For him, the art of historically informed performance is no dry, academic exercise but a bold act of musical imagination. His playing contains endless variations of colour, articulation and phrasing. He is both expressive and judicious with rubato and is a master in showing us the expressive possibilities of the fortepiano, combined with interpretive liberties and an operatic sense of timing and drama.
Bezuidenhout is equally at home on the harpsichord and modern piano and a regular guest with the world’s leading ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks & the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. He guest-directes (from the keyboard) the English Concert, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik, Collegium Vocale and the Kammerakademie Potsdam. He collaborates 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. In the 2016/17 season he will direct his first Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Dunedin Consort.
Fortepiano / Harpsichord / Piano
Territory: German speaking countries, Eastern Europe,
ABOUT: Recognized as one of Norway’s most exciting young piano talents, with a musical voice of his own, Christian Ihle Hadland was born in Stavanger in 1983 and made his Norwegian debut with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra at the age of 15. He has since performed with all of Scandinavia´s leading orchestras. Recent and future appearances include the Swedish Radio, Stockholm Philharmonic, Danish Radio, Bergen and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras and Helsinki Philharmonic. He was appointed BBC New Generation Artist in 2011 and has since worked regularly with all of the BBC orchestras as well as many UK orchestras such as the Ulster Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Manchester Camerata. He toured the UK with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrew Litton performing Grieg and Beethoven to great critical success and made his Proms debut performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No 2 with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Vassily Petrenko.
Artistic Director of the Stavanger Chamber Music Festival since 2009 he appears regularly at venues and festivals such as Wigmore Hall, Risør Chamber Music Festival, the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Cheltenham and Bath Festivals. He is a regular at the Bergen International Festival and in 2015 he gave a three-week chamber music tour of Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
His Mozart Piano Concertos recording with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Arvid Engegård was nominated for the Spellemann Prize, the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammys, in 2014. Other recording include a solo disc with works by Chopin and Schumann, and various recordings with Henning Kraggerud, Isa Katharina Gericke and Andreas Brantelid.
CHRISTIAN IHLE HADLAND, Piano
Territory: German speaking countries
ABOUT: For over 40 years, concert pianist Janina Fialkowska has enchanted audiences and critics around the world. She has been praised for her musical integrity, her refreshing natural approach and her unique piano sound thus becoming “one of the Grandes Dames of piano playing” (Frankfurter Allgemeine, 2015).
Born in Canada, she began her piano studies with her mother at age 4 continuing on in her native Montreal with Yvonne Hubert. In Paris she studied with Yvonne Lefébure and in New York at the Juilliard School with Sascha Gorodnitzki, experiencing the best of both French and Russian piano traditions. Her career was launched in 1974, when the legendary Arthur Rubinstein became her mentor after her prize-winning performance at his inaugural Master Piano Competition, calling her a “born Chopin interpreter” laying the foundation for her lifelong identification with this composer.
Since then she has performed with the foremost orchestras worldwide under the baton of such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Roger Norrington and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, to name one of the younger generation. She has won special recognition for a series of important premieres, notably Liszt’s newly discovered Third Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony and several contemporary piano concertos. Ms Fialkowska's discography includes many award-winning discs, e.g. the BBC Music Magazine’s 2013 “Instrumental CD of the Year" award.
Her native Canada has bestowed upon her their highest honors: “Officer of the Order of Canada”, the “Governor General’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in Classical Music” (Canada's equivalent to the US Kennedy Centre Awards), as well as three honorary doctorates. She passes on her wide musical experience in master classes and at her annual “International Piano Academy” in Bavaria, where she now resides and makes frequent appearances as a juror of the world's most prestigious piano competitions.
2016 marked her 65th birthday which she celebrated by giving a year-long “Birthday Celebration Tour", performing several times in the England, Germany and Poland, but also playing concerts in Japan, Spain, Portugal, Wales, Northern Ireland and about 30 concerts in her native Canada.
JANINA FIALKOWSKA, Piano
ABOUT: "Elisabeth Leonskaja’s journey leads from one pinnacle to another. By constantly excelling herself, driven by her own personal demands, by her passion and her intelligence she has scaled the heights achieved only by the greatest, not just of today, but of an entire epoch: those of a Clara Haskil, a Lipatti, and of modernity to boot". (Diapason)
For decades now, Elisabeth Leonskaja has been among the most celebrated pianists of our time. In a world dominated by the media, Elisabeth Leonskaja has remained true to herself and to her music. Music is and always has been her life’s work.
Elisabeth Leonskaja has appeared as a soloist with virtually all the leading orchestras in the world, and works with such leading conductors as Tugan Sokhiev, Jiří Bělohlávek and Ivan Fischer. She is a frequent and welcomed guest at the most prestigious music festivals, and her Solo Recitals and Schubert Complete Sonatas Cycles can be heard in the world's major musical centres.
Her newest recording project‚ "Schubert Late Piano Sonatas" released for her 70th anniversary by eaSonus includes a biographical book, a Live DVD with Sviatoslv Richter, and 4 CDs with the last 8 piano sonatas by Franz Schubert, recorded in 2015. A second volume dedicated to Schubert’s "Early Piano Sonatas" will follow.
ELISABETH LEONSKAJA, Piano
ABOUT: An inspiring talent with a silky and sweet tone from even the highest registers of her instrument, impeccable intonation, dexterity, subtlety yet always vigorous and dramatic, the well-schooled and hugely musical Tai Murray has become an essential personality in today's classical musical world.
A former BBC young generation artist, member of the Marlboro Festival and of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society, she gives her London Proms Debut during the summer of 2016 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Thomas Sondergard. Living between New York and Berlin, Tai has been heard on stages such as the Barbican, Queen Elisabeth and London Royal Albert Hall, aside orchestras such as Chicago Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Manchester BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
In Germany, she has been invited by the Philharmonic Staatsorchester of Mainz, the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester and Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, and has toured with the Brandenburger Symphoniker and the Niederrheinische Sinfoniker.
Tai Murray's critically acclaimed debut recording for harmonia mundi of Ysaye's six sonatas for solo violin was released in February 2012. Her second recording with works by American Composers of the 20th was released in November 2013 by the Berlin-based label eaSonus and her third disc with Bernstein’s Serenade in 2014 by the French label mirare.
TAI MURRAY, Violin