Martin Helmchen - Piano
With his highly virtuosic yet unpretentious style, pianist Martin Helmchen is a rapidly rising star. Born in Berlin in 1982, he has already performed with several of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan. He will make his U.S. orchestral debut playing the Schumann concerto under Christoph von Dohnányi at Tanglewood in August 2011. Mr. Helmchen has also performed with the Birmingham Symphony, BBC Symphony, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie/Bremen, DSO/Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra/Milan, Netherlands Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra. Future engagements include the Academy of St. Martin’s in the Fields, Bournemouth Symphony, Cologne Philharmonic, the Hallé Orchestra/Manchester and the London Philharmonia.
An active recording artist, Mr. Helmchen’s debut disc of Mozart concertos with the Netherlands Chamber Philharmonic was released in September 2007 through his exclusive contract with PentaTone. A recording of works by Schubert, his first solo CD, won an ECHO Award in 2009. Other discs for PentaTone include the Mendelssohn concertos, the Schumann and Dvorák concertos, and Schubert’s complete works for violin and piano with Julia Fischer. Mr. Helmchen has a passion for chamber music. Largely ignited by his early collaborations with the late cellist Boris Pergamenschikow, he now performs regularly with Heinrich Schiff and Marie-Elisabeth Hecker. Other partners include Juliane Banse, Julia Fischer, Sharon Kam, Gidon Kremer, Sabine Meyer, Christian Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt and Tabea Zimmermann. Also an enthusiastic recitalist, Mr. Helmchen has performed at prestigious venues throughout Europe and appears regularly at all the major German festivals, as well as Schubertiade, Lockenhaus and Marlboro.
Martin Helmchen studied at Berlin’s Hanns Eisler Conservatory with Galina Iwanzowa and later with Arie Vardie at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Hanover) and with William Grant Naboré. His career took off when he won the 2001 Clara Haskil International Piano Competition at the age of 19. Other distinctions include a fellowship from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust in 2005, the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2006 and participation in the BBC New Generation Artist program from 2005-2007.
Christian Tetzlaff - Violine
“One of the most brilliant and inquisitive artists of the new generation“, nennt die New York Times den Geiger Christian Tetzlaff, gefragter Gast auf allen Konzertpodien der Welt. Gleichermaßen heimisch im Repertoire der Klassik und Romantik sowie im 20. Jahrhundert, setzt Christian Tetzlaff Maßstäbe mit seinen Interpretationen der Violinkonzerte von Beethoven, Brahms, Tschaikowsky, Berg, Schönberg, Schostakowitsch und Ligeti ebenso wie mit seinen unvergleichlichen Aufführungen der Solosonaten und -partiten von Bach. Musical America kürte ihn 2005 zum „Instrumentalist of the Year“. Er gibt regelmäßig Duoabende mit Leif Ove Andsnes und Lars Vogt. Als Solist und Kammermusiker gastiert er regelmäßig in allen internationalen Musikmetropolen wie der New Yorker Carnegie Hall und Lincoln Center, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus und Musikverein Wien, London, Paris, Berlin und München. Christian Tetzlaff spielt eine Violine des deutschen Geigenbauers Peter Greiner und lebt mit seiner Familie in der Nähe von Frankfurt.
Antoine Tamestit - Viola
Antoine Tamestit was born in Paris and studied with Jean Sulem, Jesse Levine and Tabea Zimmermann. He was the recipient of several coveted prizes which lauched him at the highest level - First Prize at the Maurice Vieux Competition (Paris, 2000) and the William Primrose Competition (Chicago, 2001), First Prize at the Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions which led to his New York, Boston and Washington recital debuts in 2003. In September 2004, he took First Prize at the 53rd ARD Munich International Music Competition. In April 2004, Antoine Tamestit was selected to participate in BBC Radio 3's New Generation Artists Scheme; he is one of the winners of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award 2006, as well as laureate the Förderpreis Deutschlandfunk in 2008 and of the Crédit Suisse Young Artist Award 2009.
His repertoire ranges from the Baroque period to the contemporary. He has performed and recorded many world premieres - Viola, Viola by George Benjamin with Tabea Zimmermann which they played first in the Feldkirch Festival and subsequently recorded in 2003 for Nimbus Records. He premiered the Concerto for two violas by Bruno Mantovani written for Tabea Zimmermann and himself with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Liege Orchestra and the WDR Cologne. In 2009, the Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth wrote a concerto for Tamestit which he premiered in Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo and will soon play in Paris with the Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France. As soloist, Antoine Tamestit has worked with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, the Dresden PO, RSO Stuttgart, with the major French orchestras including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Marek Janowski and with the several BBC symphony orchestras. In 2008, he played with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Riccardo Muti at the Lucerne Festival.
Chamber music is an important element of Antoine Tamestit's work and life. His chamber music partners include Gidon Kremer, Leonidas Kavakos, Christian Tetzlaff, Emmanuel Pahud, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Nicholas Angelich, Natalia Gutman, the Ebène and the Hagen quartets. He is invited by the most prestigious festivals: Lockenhaus, Rheingau, Schwarzenberg, Lucerne, Verbier, Salzburg and Newport. He regularly plays in a string trio with Frank-Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera.
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker - Cello
Marie-Elisabeth was born on March 5, 1987 in Zwickau, a city in the Saxony area of northeastern Germany. Zwickau is well-known as a musical city, because it is also the birthplace of the famous composer, Robert Schumann. Her father is a Lutheran minister and she is the 5th born of 8 children. Although her parents are not musicians, her 4 brothers and 3 sisters play musical instruments. She has given many concerts with her brothers, Martin and Andreas, pianists, her sister Renate, a violinist, her brother Friedemann, viola, and another brother, Thomas, an oboist.
Marie-Elisabeth began studying the cello in 1992 at age 5 years with Wieland Pörner at the Robert Schumann Music Conservatory in Zwickau. He taught her individually and when she was 8 years old, he also instructed her in a piano trio of her sister, Renate (12) on violin, and her brother, Andreas (13) on piano. When she was 12 years old in 1999, she won first prize at the National German Competition “Jugend Musiziert” (“Youth Makes Music”) for chamber and solo playing. She won the same prize for several more years. In 2000, she won the family prize in this national competition with 4 of her siblings. At age 14 years in 2001, she received first prize and the special jury prize of the International Dotzauer Competition in Dresden and she went to study with the esteemed cellist, Peter Bruns, at the Carl Maria Von Weber Conservatory in Dresden.
When Marie-Elisabeth was 16 years old in 2003, she was awarded first prize of the Cultural Society of the German Business and Commerce Association. She gave a concert in London sponsored by the city of Dresden. She played Tchaikovski’s “Rococco Variations” with the orchestra of Dresden and gave concerts in Holland, Munich, Cologne, Husum and Hamburg. She gave concerts sponsored by the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation “Live Music Now” and premiered a work of Wilhelm Killmayer, “Three Concert Pieces for Cello Solo” recorded “live” on CD. In 2004, she also recorded a CD of Kodaly’s Sonata for Solo Cello in Berlin. The same year, she was honored with the “Scholarship of the German People”. She played Schostakovich’s 1st Cello Concerto with the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Zwickau-Plauen. She participated in the International Moritzburg Festival and played for Kurt Mazur at the occasion of his award of the “Westphalia Peace Prize”, which was broadcast on radio and television.
She has had master classes with Bernard Greenhouse, Gary Hoffman, Frans Helmerson, Steven Isserlis, Leonid Gorokhov, Daniel Hope, Paul Watkins, Jonathan Tunnel, Peter Bruns, Maria Kliegel, and Anner Bylsma.
Alois Posch - Double Bass
Alois Posch is a leading European orchestral double bass player. He is among the group of players who frequently play solo roles and often plays as a guest soloist and chamber player from Salzburg to Lucerne, Lockenhaus Festival to Schwarzenberg Schubertiades. He was bass soloist by Vienna Phiharmonic Orchestra up to the age of 18 years old years! He started studing violin and piano at the age of ten. Five years later he discovered the double bass : it was the right instrument for him! Johannes Auersperg, in Graz was his teacher.. After winnings prices in competition for younger musicians he is invited to play in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He is only 18 years old. He became 'Wiener Philharmoniker' 31 years long! Professor ar the Vienna Music Highschool and University he has a position as Guest Professor at the Mozarteum of Salzburg and Munich Highschool. He has played on many recordings realised by Decca,Deutsche Gramophon, Sonny, Philips and EMI.
Aldo Baerten - Flute
Aldo Baerten is Principal Flutist with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, conducted by Philippe Herreweghe and Jaap van Zweden. He is Professor for flute at the Royal Conservatorium in Antwerp, at the Hogeschool der Kunsten Utrecht (NL) and gives masterclasses in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Mexico and the U.S. He is a Guest with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, I Fiamminghi, European Union Opera (G. Roshdentvensky) and the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
During his studies with Philippe Boucly (Munich), Gaby van Riet (Stuttgart) and Prof. Peter-Lukas Graf (Musikhochschule Basel), where he obtained the Diploma as a Soloist, he became Prizewinner in competitions such as 'Maria Canals' (Barcelona 2001), Vienna (2004), Axion Classics, Quantz, and the National Instrumentcompetition of Belgium. He received the Alex de Vries-prize, the SABAM-award, and the Caecilia-prize of the Belgian music-press.
Aldo Baerten played as a soloist with such orchestras as the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester, RSO Basel, National Orchestra of Belgium, Walloon Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic under the baton of D. Stern, V. Czarniecki, P. Rundel, G. Octors, Z. Nagy, T. Yuasa... He is a regular guest at festivals in Europe, Mexico, Russia and the U.S., together with famous musicians such as J. van Dam, F. Orval, W. Boeykens, Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, Marie Hallynck, Ronald Van Spaendonck and his own ARPAE-ensemble, as well as in cross-over-concerts Jazz meets Classic together with jazzpianist Véronique Bizet.
1989-93 he was Principal Flutist with Claudio Abbado's Orchestra of the E.U., where he has played under conductors such as Haitink, Ashkenazy, Neumann, Conlon and Tate. He was also chosen as Principal of the Schleswigholstein Festival Orchestra (Sir G. Solti) and the World Youth Orchestra. Aldo Baerten was the Principal Flutist of the Belgian Chamber Orchestra and the MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig. He had the honour of playing in masterclasses for Jeanne Baxtresser (U.S.) Jean-Pierre Rampal, A. Nicolet, A. Adorjan and J. Zoon. Aldo Baerten is a regular Jury-Member of the Benelux-Flute Competition, Axion Classics, Lyons-music-competition and Yamaha Music Foundation. His students occupy positions in orchestras and conservatories in Belgium and abroad.