Malta International Music Competition, VFIMF 14 Festival , Malta International Music Master Classes, July 17-31, 2014
Violin & Friends International
BEETHOVEN QUARTET (Switzerland)The Neue Zürcher Zeitung described the approach and procedure of the quartet to have the “qualities of an event”. This kind of event captures the intention of the BEETHOVENQUARTETT.: Antonio NUÑEZ (violin) studied with Sandor Vegh and Henryk Szering. Mr. Núñez was Concertmaster of the Basle Symphony Orchestra and of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. He is an acclaimed soloist and chamber musician. Laurentius BONITZ (violin) trained by Tibor Varga and Rainer Moog. He is the Artistic Director from the “Chamber Music Society Basel”. Vahagn ARISTAKESYAN (viola) studied with Tibor Varga. He is Deputy Leader of the second violin section in the Basle Symphony Orchestra and Concertmaster of the Collegium Musicum Basel. Carlos CONRAD (cello) studied with Andre Navarra. Mr. Conrad is solo cellist of the Basel Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Orion Trio Basel.
American composer and double bassist John M. Kennedy produces an eclectic group of work, ranging from mixed ensemble and solo pieces to multi-media works (which he refers to as his “things and gadgets” series) and a group of “Songbooks” inspired by Whitman. Recent performances of his work include the premiere of “From the Ground Up” by the Olympia Youth Orchestra in June 2011. His commissions include the Olympia Youth Orchestra, the Baldwin-Wallace College Wind Ensemble and the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra. Kennedy’s work has been featured in performances worldwide including his orchestral work “Portrait…” during the 1989 Salzburg Festival at the Mozarteum, and new music festivals in Kwang-ju, Korea, and Daegu, Korea. Early recognition for his work includes the Charles Ives Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Young Composer Award from ASCAP. His work receives continuing recognition with grants from Meet the Composer, Inc., annual Standard Panel Awards from ASCAP since 1991 and Subito grants from the American Composers Forum, Los Angeles. Since 1994, Kennedy has been professor of music composition at California State University, Los Angeles, where he is director of the Pacific Contemporary Music Center.
Pawel Andrzej Mazurkiewicz (piano) graduated withdistinction from the Academy of Music in Warsaw, University of Arts in Bern and Academy of Arts in Zurich. He studied with Professors Bronislawa Kawalla, Jan Ekier Tomasz Herbut, Eckart Heiligers and Hartmuth Höll, and was also awarded with scholarship of the Minister of Culture and Art in Warsaw. Mr. Mazurkiewicz is prizewinner of the prestigious competitions: 1st prize – “Frederic Chopin, National Polish Piano Competition” and “International Cho-Ko-Chai Music Competition” (Tokyo), “Szymanowski International Piano Competition” (Poland), “Prix Credit Suisse–Jeunes Solistes” (Switzerland), International Piano Competition “Konzerteum” in Marcopoulo (Greece). He got awards in the category of chamber music in Poland and Switzerland. Mr. Mazurkiewitcz gives concerts as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe, Asia (Japan) and America (USA). His performances were recorded and transmitted by the Polish Radio, as well as by Polish, Swiss, French and Japanese television. Mr. Mazurkiewitcz has recorded CDs at the Swiss Radio DRS and Polish recording company DUX.
Maestro Pawel Mazurkiewicz is Professor of piano MA Pedagogy at the University of the Arts Berne, Switzerland.
Maestro Andriy Viytovych (violin and viola) graduated from the Lviv Conservatory (Ukraine) and the International Menuhin Music Academy (Switzerland). His main influences were professors Alberto Lysy and Johannes Eskaer, his teachers and colleagues in concerto and chamber music recordings. In 1996 Andriy came to London and joined the London Symphony Orchestra as Co-principal Viola. In year 2000 he was appointed Principal Viola of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In the same year Andriy Viytovych was given a post as a viola professor at the Royal College of Music in London. Mr. Andriy Viytovych has also played principal viola with many orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, English Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta and the London Symphony Orchestra, working with eminent conductors including Mstislav Rostropovich, Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink and Sir Georg Solti. In March 2003 by invitation of Sir Simon Rattle Andriy came to Berlin to play principal viola with the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon.
Yvonne Timoianu (cello) studied at the Mozarteum of Salzburg, receiving her diploma with highest distinction. At the same time she was awarded the Prize of Distinction from the Federal Ministry of the Arts and Research in Vienna. Her most influential teachers were Stefan Popov, Mstislav Rostropovitch and Serafim Antropov. Ms. Timoianu concerts have taken her from Tokyo to Quito, from Capetown to Mexico, from New Delhi to Santiago de Chile, from Seoul to Panama… Yvonne received several international awards, among which First Prize at the International Cello Competition of Vina del Mar, Chile, 1986 Gold Medal of the International String Competition of the UNISA, 1988 Regular participation in renowned Festivals as well as intensive appearances as soloist or in chamber music concerts in most European countries, in the Americas, Southeast Asia and the Orient are the hallmark of her musical career. Given her dedicated involvement in contemporary music, a number of works were written for and first performed by her, recently one of Henri Pousseur´s last works. Yvonne Timoianu plays on a cello by Giovanni Grancino, Milan, 1721.
John Samuel Wood (UK) currently resides inBeijing where he is an active freelance tuba artist, studio-recording artist, music educator and Artistic Director of the City Brass Ensemble. John has performed with many professional orchestras and ensembles including the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Chinese Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, Manchester Hallé Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, Britten-Pears Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Ensemble, and Black Dyke Brass Band. A committed educator, John teaches at the Western Academy of Beijing, International School of Beijing, Dulwich College International School and Beijing City International School and has also given master-classes at the China Conservatory of Music. On completion his studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London under Patrick Harrild (London Symphony Orchestra), Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester; he was appointed Principal Tuba of the China Dunshan Symphonic Wind Orchestra for the 2010/11 season.
Natalija Raithel (violin) completed studies at the Lviv Academy of Music and Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory with Prof. Klimov and Prof. Kravchenko. She is a prizewinner in Allunionswettbewerb the Soviet Union in Tallinn and the national chamber music competition of Ukraine (1st prize). Mrs. Raithel led engagements as a soloist with “St. Martin – in – the Fields”, “I Virtuosi di Venezia”, as a member of Vienna Pro Arte Quartet, chamber orchestra “Concerto Grosso” at the Music Academy in Frankfurt, the Museum and Orchestra Heilbronn. In duo and trio, Natalija Raithel performed with pianist Pascal Gillot and David Gregorian on podiums of Spain and England. For many years, Mrs. Raithel’s play partner is the famous clarinetist Giora Feidman. With him and the Gershwin quartet she has conquered the stages of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Munich Prince Regent Theater and the Stadt Casino Basel. Mrs. Raithel has many years of teaching experience. Her students were accepted to German and international music institutions, many of them won prizes on competitions. Recently, Natalija Raithel is active in organization of the Symphony Orchestra of India and the Music Academy in Mumbai.
Volodymyr Baran (violin) read his Masters in Classical Music in Ukraine and Switzerland. He studied under the auspices of Maître Tibor Varga, Prof. Victor Pikaizen, Christine Ragaz and Anne Bauer-Loerkens. Volodymyr is the winner of international music competitions in Rome and Toronto. He won scholarships from the “UWL” (USA) and “Rotary International” (Switzerland). Volodymyr attended courses with the acclaimed Prof. Igor Ozim, Vladimir Spivakov, Ivan Monighetti, Thomas Kakuska and Prof. Michael Tseitlin. He performed solos with symphony orchestras and chamber music formations in International Music Festivals in Europe, China and Canada. For four years Mr. Baran was appointed Assistant Concertmaster of the Zurich Symphony Orchestra (Switzerland) and taught violin and arts in Ukraine and Switzerland. Volodymyr Baran is Director of Malta International Music Competition, VFIMF International Music Master Classes and Violin & Friends International Music Festival (Malta).
Satik Andriassian, classical guitarist and ethnomusicology scholar is the recipient of several awards and scholarships including the distinguished Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars Award for her guitar performance and her scholarly achievements. Ms. Andriassian studied the guitar with several renowned guitarists, including James Hunley in Los Angeles and Sharon Isbin at the Aspen Music Festival. Ms. Andriassian is a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Players and as a soloist she is active in promoting new music written for the guitar by American composers. She has performed works of George Crumb, Leslie Bassett and John M. Kennedy among others. Satik Andriassian’s teaching career includes teaching the classical guitar to students of all ages and levels and music courses at Santa Monica College and Pierce College extension and at California State University, Los Angeles (USA).
William Street, saxophonist, has performed and lectured in Belgium, Canada, Federation of Russia, France, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine and the USA. He tours frequently with pianist Roger Admiral and the Quatuor International de Saxophones emphasizing the importance of both solo and chamber music making. Strongly influenced by his former teachers Etheridge, Hemke and Londeix, Street has sought to make heard the music of today’s composers in his concerts. He can be heard on compact disc recordings Sunthesis: Les Septs Iles, L’Ensemble International de Saxophones, At Your Service with pianist Sylvia Taylor and the Centaur recording of Evolution V for five saxophonists by Marilyn Shrude, with the Chicago Saxophone Quartet. His recording of Tre Vie, Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra by Malcolm Forsyth with Grzegorz Nowak and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra was nominated for a 1999 Juno award and was re-issued in 2009. Other recordings include Quatuor International de Saxophone LIVE, heliosaxo, MY VERY FIRST SOLO and Westwind, Canadian Music for Saxophone with Roger Admiral. Street also participated as a jury member for international competitions in Belgium, France, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine and the United States. He served as President of the North American Saxophone Alliance from 1992-1994. His published work includes the English translation of Hello! Mr. Sax, ou les Paramètres du Saxophone (Leduc) by Jean-Marie Londeix, “Elise Boyer Hall,” and “The Life of Elise Boyer Hall” in Les États Géneraux Mondiaux du Saxophone. Anna and William Street translated into English the Méthode d’étude de Saxophone, by Jean-Marie Londeix published by Éditions Henry Lemoine in Paris. William also served as editorial consultant for the biography Jean-Marie Londeix, Master of the Modern Saxophone by James Umble (Roncorp, 2000).
Violinist Wladimir Astrachanzew was born in Ukraine.After studying at the Tschaikowsky Conservatory Kiev, he held a lectureship at the conservatory in Charkow. In 1984 Mr Astrachanzew won the Ukrainian Violin Competition. His international career began with concerts with Radio Symhony Orchestra of Berlin (conductor Robert Hanell) and continued with engagements in Eastern in Western Europe, Scandinavia, the Far East and the USA. He has performed in large concert halls such as the Berliner Schauspielhaus, Tonhalle Zurich, Kongress-Konzerthalle Lucerne, Odense Koncerthus, Tokyo Bunka Kaykan Hall etc as soloists and with Maestro Viktor Tretjakow as his musical partner. Appearances in television at the Radio of Berlin, BR Munich, SWR Stuttgart, DRS Zurich and NHK Japan and CD-DVD productions round off his musical activities. Wladimir Astrachanzew has been living in Germany since 1991 and worked as concert master, leader and soloist of Munich Chamber Orchestra, Zurich Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of the South West German Philharmonic in Konstanz.
Born in Ravenna,Eros Sabbatani began his bass-tuba studies at the age of 14. At the age of 18 he made his debut at the “Sala Verdi” of Milan, per forming Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra, accompanied by the orchestra “I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano”. In 1991 Eros graduated with honours at the Conservatorio “G.Verdi” in Milan, and in 1996 he was awarded the Advanced Diploma of Specialis ation in Bass-Tuba from the Musichoschule in Freiburg, Germany. Besides winning several national and international music competitions, such as the prestigious Yamaha, he has distinguished himself by classifying first at the auditions of the Teatro alla Scala, Arena di Verona Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, the Teatro Palestrina di Cagliari, and the Teatro Bellini di Catania, amongst others. Eros is currently Professor of Tuba at the Conservatorio di musica Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. His soloist as well as his orchestral activity, which has allowed him to work with worldwide famous conductors such as Muti, Mehta, Pretre and Renzetti, complements his didactic activity.
Halina Zhuk (cello, viola da gamba), born in L’viv, Ukraine was an intellectually gifted child and grew up with the instrument of her choice, the cello. After leaving school, she studied with professors E.Spitzer, Y.Lanyuk and I.Monigetti, won a number of prizes at international contests, made her PhD on the work of W.Barwinsky. She worked as lecturer at L’viv Lysenko Conservatory and extended her studies in Germany to the music of Baroque times with professor R.Bruggaier. Halina Zhuk has an extensive and longstanding international concert career. She performs as cello soloist with L’viv Virtuosos Chamber Orchestra and Staatsphilarmonieorchester. She is a participant at international music festivals: “Festival of Young Artists” (Bayreuth, Germany) “Forum of Youth” (Kiev, Ukraine), “Virtuoso” (Lviv, Ukraine), “Contrasts” (L’viv, Ukraine), “Organum” and “Bach Festival” (Sumy, Ukraine), “Early Music” (L’viv), “Maj z musykom dawnej” (Wroclaw, Poland).
Katja Avdeeva (piano) studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire in St. Petersburg before settling first in Neuenburg and then in Basel; in the latter city she continued her training and was awarded the soloist’s diploma with a distinction. Her teachers were the acclaimed professors Marina Wolf, Pavel Egorov, Marc Pantillon and Thomas Larcher.Fascination for contemporary music led Katja Avdeeva to work on several projects in this field – she has worked together with the composer Pierra Boulez, Heinz Holliger, Georges Rochberg, Otto Zikan and Igor Drukh. Sony BMG has produced her first recording: the Rachmaninov’s Etudes-Tableaux op.33 & 39. Katja Avdeeva has appeared in quite a few festivals and international competitions, in which she won several prizes. She has performed with orchestras like St. Petersburg’s Conservatorium’s Orchester, «Windkraft Tyrol» and the Basel Symphony Orchestra. Katja Avdeeva performs in many concert halls of Russia and Switzerland.
Commotio (United Kingdom) is one of Oxford’s foremost chamber choirs, formed in August 1999 to provide a refreshing alternative to the more readily available repertoire offered by most other choral groups, performing primarily lesser known material of the 20th and 21st centuries. Matthew Berry, the founder and conductor of the choir, enthusiastically promotes the work of a younger generation of composers, as well as bringing to the fore little-known works of more established writers. In short, Commotio offers singers and audiences alike something a little different.
Maestro Matthew Berry, the conductor and joint-founder of the Commotio choir, studied music at University College, Oxford, where he was Organ Scholar and then Assistant Organist. He has studied organ under David Sanger, David Goode and Ian Curror. After conducting The Oxford Chamber Choir for two years as a student, he founded Commotio in 1999. Having finished his degree he studied post-graduate choral direction with Patrick Russill for two years at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His expertise lies in the research and promotion of little-known contemporary choral repertoire, principally from Scandinavia, South Africa, the United States and Slovenia. In 12 years working with Commotio he has initiated many UK and World Premieres.
Elisa Kawaguti (violin) was born in Kitakyushu, Japan. She studied at the University of Music and Arts, Tokyo, with Hisaoki Ohno and Yoshio Unno, then at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with A.Gertler. Elisa Kawaguti is a laureate of several international competitions including Wieniawski Competition (Pl), Paganini Competition (It) and the Queen Elisabeth Competition (B). Elisa Kawaguti played solo and chamber music in Japan, Latin America, China and Europe. She was concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flandern from the period 1996 till 2000. In 1994 she grounded the Euro Nippon Music Festival, in which young musicians around the world are united. The Festival organised masterclasses in: Alden Biesen (Belgium), Kitakyushu (Japan) and Bordeaux (France). Elisa Kawaguti is professor of violin at the ‘Lemmensinstituut’, Leuven (Belgium) and first violin of the Spiegel String Quartet. She is regularly invited to give mastercourses around the world and as a juror to divers Japanese competitions and festivals. She forms a musical duos with Yves Storms (guitar) and Sayaka Seidel (piano). Elisa Kawaguti recorded several CD’s (Spiegel String Quartet, duo Kawaguti-Storms). Elisa Kawaguti is admired for her crystalline sound and her rich musical soul. As a teacher students praise her for her methodology based on physical awareness.
Anne Lofgren (oboe) received Diplomas from Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austia and the Conservatory of Vienna, Austria. In Vienna, she was a member of the Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra, the First Women’s Chamber Orchestra of Austria and the orchestra of the United Theaters of Vienna. During studies in English at Columbia University, New York, she played with the American Chamber Opera and participated in the Bach Aria Festival of 1993. Before joining the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006, she was in the orchestras of Queretaro and Monterrey, Mexico.
Cellist Anja Inge studied with Mats Rondin and Stanimir Todorov at Malmö Academy of Music, Sweden, achieving a Master of Music. A member of De Villier Ensemble, Camilleri Ensemble and Berwald Ensemble, she has toured frequently in Great Britain and Scandinavia. As a soloist she performed Edward Elgar’s cello concerto with the Bergslagen Chamber Orchestra in 2007, and during 2008 she toured with the Kirseberg Chamber Choir, performing Olof Lindgren’s Concerto for cello and choir. During her studies she became a member of Lisa Torun Dance Company, performing as a dancing cellist in the piece ”See-Saw”. Later in 2009 she also played a role in the dance piece called ”Torskarna” directed by Lotta Garton in Stockholm. Anja is also a member of the cello pop band trio Provköket. They released their first album in Japan in December 2008. She was a member of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (2008-2009). Currently she is freelancing and coaching young cellists in Stockholm, Sweden.
Yanika Borg (flute) started learning the flute at the age of seven with the Choral and Orchestral Society Maria Bambina. Later, she studied with Malta Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Flutist Rebecca Hall. Yanika received her ABRSM Diploma in Flute Performance in 2008. She has played with various chamber groups and orchestras, and has recently taken part in the production of ‘Noye’s Fludde’ by Benjamin Britten, held at the Manoel Theatre. She has also played with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Yanika is a member of the DegreePlus Wind Ensemble at the University of Malta, directed by Dr.Philip Ciantar.