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‘The whole new way of experiencing music ... perfectly created atmosphere.’
‘It was an utterly amazing experience! I enjoyed every moment of the concert.’
‘We enjoyed the concert enormously, both the performances and the very informative talks.
It was a most stimulating evening.’
‘I listened to beautiful music and I learned - what more could you ask from an evening?
Really, it was very special.’
‘Congratulations on the great success of last night’s debut of the Aspect Foundation in NY. Lovely venue, terrific crowd, and lots of wonderful energy.’
‘What a beautiful evening it was! Thank you very much! I don’t think I’ve ever been to an event like this.’
Sergey Antonov enjoys a versatile career as soloist and chamber musician. Having won the Gold Medal in the 2007 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he undertook extensive tours of Europe, Asia and North and South America. He has collaborated with many leading musicians, notably his permanent piano partner Ilya Kazantsev: they have recorded several CDs of traditional cello-piano repertoire as well as an album of their own transcriptions, Elegy, and together with violinist Misha Keylin form the Hermitage Piano Trio. Sergey Antonov made his conducting debut in spring 2014 and frequently gives masterclasses to cellists and chamber musicians in colleges and universities around the world.
Aleksei Kiseliov is one of the foremost cellists of his generation. He has won many prizes and awards and has been invited to perform at numerous festivals, including the Yuri Bashmet International Music Festival and Musica Mundi Festival. Renowned as a recitalist and concerto soloist in Europe and the US, he combines his solo career with his orchestral role as principal cello of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He also teaches at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Recent highlights include his solo debuts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Brussels Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Sinfonia and London Firebird Orchestra.
Principal cellist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1995, Rafael Figueroa has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across the US, Europe, South and Central America, Korea and Japan. The winner of many prestigious competitions and awards including the First Prize at the Gregor Piatigorsky Competition in Boston and Bronze Medal at the International Pablo Casals Competition in Budapest, he has made regular solo appearances at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Aspen Music Festival and Marlboro Music Festival, among others. He made an acclaimed Carnegie Hall solo debut performing the Brahms Double Concerto with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra concertmaster David Chan.
Kristina Blaumane is acknowledged as one of today’s most exciting cellists. She performs around the world as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. In the latter role, she has worked in partnership with Isaac Stern, Gidon Kremer, Yo-Yo Ma, Yuri Bashmet and Leif Ove Andsnes, among others. She has appeared as soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Kremerata Baltica, Britten Sinfonia, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, and many other ensembles, as well as performing at such prestigious international music festivals as Lockenhaus, Salzburg, Verbier, Basel, Jerusalem, Utrecht, Cheltenham and Aldeburgh.
Oleg Kogan won the All Soviet Union Cello Competition in 1989, a victory that launched his international career. He performs in recital and with many of the world’s greatest orchestras, as well as recording for Doron (Switzerland), Opus 111 (France) and Linn Records (UK), and broadcasting on Radio France, Radio Swiss Romande, Israel Radio, Classic FM and BBC Radio 3. At the age of 25, Oleg was the youngest Professor of cello at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and he has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama since 1996. In 1998 he founded the Razumovsky Ensemble, and in 2006 launched the Razumovsky Academy, offering exceptionally gifted young musicians opportunities to learn and to perform in public. Oleg plays a 1685 Francesco Rugeri Cello.
Sophie Shao, winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions, is a versatile and passionate artist, who has appeared as soloist to critical acclaim at venues around the world. A frequent guest at many leading US festivals, she was a member of the Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two programme for outstanding young artists. Her recordings include André Previn’s Reflections for Cello and English Horn and Howard Shore’s soundtrack for The Betrayal. She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music and plays an 1855 Honoré Derazey cello once owned by Pablo Casals.