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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.’
Recognised as one of today’s most gifted artists, and enjoying an active career as both conductor and pianist, Ignat has appeared with numerous major orchestras, including those of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto, London, Paris, St Petersburg and Sydney, collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, André Previn, Mstislav Rostropovich and Wolfgang Sawallisch, and partnered top soloists including Richard Goode, Gary Graffman, Steven Isserlis, Sylvia McNair, Garrick Ohlsson and Mitsuko Uchida. A winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant and Conductor Laureate of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, he serves on the faculties of Curtis and Tanglewood.
Known as a distinctive and vibrant musician, pianist Alasdair Beatson has recently performed with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and Scottish Ensemble. One of the most established chamber pianists of his generation, he works with some of today’s finest musicians, and is Artistic Director of the Musique à Marsac Festival. Attracted to less familiar repertoire, he has explored such works as Debussy’s own arrangement for solo piano of his ballet Jeux, Fauré’s Fantaisie for piano and orchestra and Hindemith’s Four Temperaments. Keen to collaborate with living composers, he has worked with George Benjamin and Sir Harrison Birtwistle, among others.
Born in Moscow, Vsevolod Dvorkin attended the city’s Gnessin Music School before taking up a place at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He went on to participate in and win top prizes at numerous competitions in Italy and Germany. In 1994 he won a scholarship enabling him to study in Italy under Lazar Berman. He has performed in both solo and chamber-music recitals, and as a concerto soloist with internationally acclaimed orchestras, in Russia, Germany, Hungary and Italy, and further afield in Egypt, South Korea, and Japan. He currently teaches at the European Music Academy in Erba, Italy, as well as giving masterclasses around the world.
Ekaterina Derzhavina studied in Moscow with Yuri Polunin (age 6), Valeria Polunina (age 14), and ultimately (age 19) at the Moscow Gnessins Academy of Music with Vladimir Tropp. She subsequently taught at the Gnessins Academy, and since 2003 she has been teaching at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
Prize-winner of "J.S.Bach" International Piano Competition in Germany, Ekaterina Derzhavina has participated in numerous festivals, including Thueringer Bach Wochen and La Folle Journee; and has performed around the world, appearing at the world's most renowned concert halls, including Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and Place des Arts in Montreal. She has also given master-classes in Germany, Russia, USA, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.
One of the most sought-after pianists of his generation, Itamar Golan has been partnering the most outstanding instrumentalists of our time for more than two decades. He has appeared as soloist with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, but his great passion has always been chamber music: he has collaborated with Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Julian Rachlin, Mischa Maisky and Kyung Wha Chung, among many others. A frequent participant in international music festivals, he has also made numerous recordings. Having previously taught at the Manhattan School of Music (1991–94), he now teaches chamber music at the Paris Conservatoire.
Ferenc Rados graduated from the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory. He has been a leading figure in Hungarian musical life ever since, as both teacher and performer. He was for many years professor of piano and chamber music at the Liszt Academy, his lessons attracting young musicians from all over the world: his notable pupils include Sir András Schiff, Zoltán Kocsis and Dénes Várjon, among others. Since retiring from the Liszt Academy, he has continued to teach, giving highly sought-after masterclasses at venues across Europe, including Verbier and IMS Prussia Cove.
Tolga Atalay Ün
Tolga Atalay Ün is an undergraduate at the Royal College of Music, studying piano with Niel Immelman and harpsichord with Terence Charlston. A Kenneth and Violet Scott Scholar, he is also generously supported by the Sevda–Cenap And Music Foundation and by Talent Unlimited. Between 2007 and 2014, he studied at the Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory, from which he graduated with the highest honours. He has participated in masterclasses given by such renowned pianists as İdil Biret, Andrew Zolinsky and Anton Voigt. He gave his first harpsichord concert at the RCM’s Bach Festival Week in March 2015, and last November won second prize in the Broadwood Horniman Harpsichord Competition.
Winner of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Michael Brown has been dubbed by The New York Times a “young piano visionary” and “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers”. His creative approach to programming often interweaves the classics with contemporary works and his own compositions (recent works include a piano concerto for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, with himself as soloist). Selected by Sir András Schiff for his 2016–17 “Building Bridges” series, he will give recitals in Berlin, Frankfurt, Florence and Milan, among others. In 2015, he joined the roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program. Michael Brown is a Steinway Artist.
Mahan Esfahani, the first harpsichordist to be a BBC New Generation Artist, was born in Tehran in 1984. Since his acclaimed Wigmore Hall debut in 2009, he has developed a successful career as both recitalist and concerto soloist, working with the Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert, The Hanover Band and B’ROCK, among others. In 2011 he gave the first solo harpsichord Prom, selling out the Cadogan Hall; in 2012 he returned to the Proms to conduct his own orchestration of Bach’s Art of Fugue for the AAM. Future dates include recitals in Zurich, Washington and London. His recent C.P.E. Bach ‘Württemberg’ Sonatas album (Hyperion) was a Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’ and BBC Music Magazine ‘Record of the Month’. Also released in 2014: a Wigmore Hall Live disc of Byrd, Bach and Ligeti, a two-CD complete Rameau set for Hyperion and, for OUR Recordings, a Corelli album with Michala Petri.
Pianist Todd Crow has been widely acclaimed for performances in North and South America and Europe. The New York Times has described his playing as ‘heroic, [showing] endless flair, color and stamina’. In recent years he has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the US, UK, Italy, Israel, the Czech Republic and elsewhere, and in recital or chamber music at London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and New York’s Lincoln Center, among others. He made his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra in 1992 and his London orchestral debut at the Barbican Centre with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1986. Since 1996, he has been music director and pianist of the Mt. Desert Festival of Chamber Music in Northeast Harbor, Maine. He is also editor of the volume Bartók Studies (Detroit, 1976). In 1986 he received the University of California’s Distinguished Alumni Award and he is currently George Sherman Dickinson Professor of Music at Vassar College.
Jacob Katsnelson displayed exceptional musical talent at a very early age, entering the Music School for Gifted Children of the famed Gnessin Institute at the age of five. He has performed recitals and chamber music concerts throughout Europe, Asia, and USA. He has also appeared as soloist with well known orchestras such as the Philharmonic Orchestra of Saratov in Moscow, and those of Saint-Petersburg, Brussels, Switzerland, Georgia, Chisinau/Moldavia, Baku/Azerbaijan, Rhodes. Jacob Katsnelson is professor at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and teaches lieder interpretation at the Gnessin Institute in Moscow.
Russian-born Yekaterina Lebedeva studied at the Kiev State Conservatoire. Now based in London, she has also performed in France, Austria, Russia, Greece, Sicily, Turkey, Dubai, Jordan and India. In 2005 she gave three highly acclaimed performances in London for the International Herald Tribune’s ‘Breathless’ season, combining music, dance (featuring Rambert artists) and discussion. She continues to explore ways of making classical music accessible and appealing to all audiences, and of linking it with other art forms. She currently teaches in the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music, and is Head of Piano at City Lit.
Italian pianist Danilo Mascetti, winner of a number of national and international competitions, has given recital and concert performances in Italy, the UK, France, Romania, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania, with ensembles such as the Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali, Mihail Jora Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacău and State Symphony Orchestra of Craiova. He has participated in numerous festivals, including the Prague Summer Festival and Galeri Caernarfon Piano Festival, and has broadcast on Vatican Radio and Hungary’s Magyar Rádió, among others. In 2014 he performed in China and in Japan, where he represented Italy at the Kyoto International Music Students Festival.
Ronan O’Hora has performed extensively throughout the world, playing concertos with such eminent ensembles as the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, English Chamber, Zurich Tonhalle and Indianapolis Symphony orchestras. He has performed across Europe, North America, Australasia and South Africa and appeared at many of the most prestigious international festivals, including Salzburg, Montpellier and Brno. His recordings – for EMI, Virgin Classics, Tring International and Fonè – include concertos by Mozart, Grieg and Tchaikovsky with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, solo CDs of Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Debussy, Chopin and Satie, and chamber music by Fauré, Mozart and Britten. He has been Head of Keyboard Studies at the Guildhall School since 1999, and in 2008 also became Head of Advanced Performance Studies. He regularly gives masterclasses and sits on competition juries throughout the world.
Susan Tomes is a leading UK pianist, a rare example of a woman who has achieved several decades as an acclaimed chamber music pianist. In 2013 she was awarded the Cobbett Medal for distinguished services to chamber music.
Born in Edinburgh, she was the first woman to study music at King’s College, Cambridge. She has been at the heart of three internationally admired ensembles: Domus, the Gaudier Ensemble, and the Florestan Trio, winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2000. With these groups she has performed and broadcast all over the world. She is a long-standing participant at the International Musicians’ Seminars in Prussia Cove, Cornwall, where she met many of her chamber music partners. She has made over fifty CDs, many of which have become benchmark recordings, winning Gramophone Awards, Classic CD awards, Diapasons d’Or in France, and Deutsche Schallplattenpreise. At Hyperion Records’ 20th anniversary, Gramophone wrote that ‘Susan Tomes’s playing is always magnetic and concentrated whatever the repertory, a rare gift which she consistently employs not for her own glorification but in the cause of corporate music-making.’ Her recital repertoire focuses particularly on French music, Mozart, Schubert and Schumann; as a soloist, she has recorded Mozart piano concertos and 1920s piano music by the Savoy Hotel’s Billy Mayerl.
Of Jerusalem-born pianist and conductor Benjamin Hochman The New York Times observed "classical music doesn’t get better than this.” His eloquent and virtuosic performances blend artistic bravura with poetic interpretation exciting audiences and critics alike. Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2011, Mr. Hochman has established a vibrant international musical presence through concerts with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver Symphonies, Prague Philharmonia, Istanbul State Orchestra, and his Carnegie Hall debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He also served as musical assistant to Louis Langree at the 2016 Mostly Mozart festival. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Mannes College of Music, where his principal teachers were Claude Frank and Richard Goode, he has recorded for Artek, Avie and Bridge Records. His latest album for Avie, Variations, was named by The New York Times one of the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2015.
Tolga Atalay Ün