Markus Utz has been a professor for choral conducting at the University of the Arts Zurich since 2007. From 2001 to 2008 he served as music director of the Constance Cathedral, where he still continues working as an organist. He studied in Munich,
Markus Utz is frequently invited as organist and guest conductor of many well-known choral groups. Furthermore, he is much in demand as a jury-member and teacher of masterclasses in the United States, Sweden, Italy, France, Germany, Israel and Switzerland.
13.07 – 23.07.2020
Born into a family whose musical roots date back to the 19th century, Sebastian Hamann grew up surrounded and inspired by music, first in Scandinavia, and later in Germany. His musical training as a violinist and violist allows him to perform and win international competitions as a soloist, chamber musician and concertmaster around the world since his youth. Parallel to his performance activities, he starts his pedagogical career in his early twenties, influenced by his teacher as well as his everlasting strive for “perfection of sound and purity of tone”.
His teachers include Serge Collot, Nora Chastain, Emanuel Hurwitz, Henry Meyer, Miriam Fried, Walter Levin, Uwe-Martin Haiberg, Winfried Rademacher, Conrad von der Goltz, Heinrich Schiff, and William Pleeth. After his professorships at the University of Lübeck, Frankfurt am Main, and the University of Basel, Sebastian Hamann joins the faculty at the Lucerne School of Music in 2004. His students are renowned award winners and laureates of international competitions, such as: ARD Competition in Munich, Franz Schubert Competition in Graz, and Charles Hennen Concours in Heerlen, and currently they hold positions in orchestras and educational institutions worldwide. His long musical career has been enhanced by his extensive experience as a concertmaster in Essen, Frankfurt, Cologne, Lübeck, and as a guest concertmaster at the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble. Sebastian Hamann is also known for his international career as a soloist and first violinist of the Amati Quartet and the Miró Trio, as well as his engagements as a conductor of the Camerata Hanseatica Gdansk and the Lucerne Chamber Orchestra. He passionately combines the vibrant diversity of his performing career with his teaching activities, driven by the desire to train his students to be creative and curious musicians.
In the fall of 2014, he is appointed Professor of Violin at the Freiburg University of Music (successor of Prof. Rainer Kussmaul).
Genova and Dimitrov is one of the most internationally sought- after piano duos today. Already as a two-months-young ensemble, the today’s ECHO CLASSIC awardees caused a real sensation by winning the Grand Slam of piano duo competitions within only two years, namely the «ARD» (Munich),
Since then, Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov have been celebrated by audiences and the press, performing on the most important concert and festival stages in numerous countries on all continents, such as the Library of Congress and the National Gallery in Washington, the Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Ludwigsburg and Schwetzingen Festivals, the City Hall in Cape Town, the Herkulessaal Munich, the Liederhalle Stuttgart, the Gstaad Music Festival, MDR Music Summer, at the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Cologne Philharmonic Hall, the Passau European Music Weeks, the Varna Summer Festival, Sofia Music Weeks, and the March Music days Russe, the La Roque d’Antheron and the Al Bustan Music Festival Beirut, Casals Hall Tokyo, Poly Theatre Beijing, and the Teatro Municipal Rio de Janeiro, as well as at the Ravello Festival, the Woodstock Mozart Festival, the Festival Miami and the Chopin Piano Festival Duszniki, just to mention a few.
Upon the invitation of the Olympic Committee, the duo appeared at the opening concerts for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, and at the 2010 Volleyball World Championships in Trieste. Their concerts could be enjoyed at the 2000 EXPO in Hanover, at the opening concert of the 2010 Paderewski Piano Competition in Poland, and in 2013 at the musical inauguration of Bacardi’s America Headquarters in Miami. In the same year Genova & Dimitrov appeared at the WDR Cologne Radio Day «1913-2013» and were celebrated on board of the new luxury cruise liner «Europe 2» on the way to Dubai within the framework of its opening season. 2014 they were Artists in Residence and Mentors of the International Festival Sommets Musicaux in Gstaad. In addition, they have appeared in numerous international TV and radio broadcasts. The portrayal TV documentary movie about the Duo «Etude for Two Pianos» which has been produced and broadcasted by the BNT Bulgarian National Television, enjoys worldwide greatest interest.
Under the direction of conductors such as Eiji Oue, Ari Rasilainen, Hannu Lintu, Stefan Blunier, Yuri Bashmet, John Carewe, Emil Tabakov, Ulf Schirmer, Alun Francis, Yordan Kamdzhalov, Robin Gritton, Alexander Kalajdzic, Gabriel Feltz, Alexander Rudin, Andreas Herrmann, and Johannes Schlaefli, Genova & Dimitrov have played worldwide with leading orchestras and choirs, for example in Munich, Los Angeles, Miami, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Durban, Hanover, Bonn, Beijing, Stuttgart, Cape Town, Sofia, Kiev, and Bucharest.
Among the season’s highlights are the release of the new CD with the BNR Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Genesis Orchestra led by Yordan Kamdzhalov («cpo Records»); numerous recitals and concerts with orchestra in Europe, Asia, America and Africa; studio recordings of the new recital CD project at WDR Radio Cologne; the Master Courses at Cloister Michaelstein (Germany) and at ISA «Allegra» in Russe (Bulgaria).
Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov can look back at an impressive discography – 14 CDs of the duo have been released by «cpo Records» and «Gega New», and given glowing reviews and top ratings by international record magazines and radio stations.
In 2017 the Artists have been awarded the ECHO CLASSIC Prize for their CD «Bela Bartok & Victor Babin – Concertos for Two Pianos» with the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra led by Yordan Kamdzhalov («cpo Records»). The same CD has been nominated also for the German Record Critics’ Award. In addition to a number of world premiere recordings, such as Victor Babin’s Concerto, the complete piano duo works of Dmitri Shostakovitch, Johann Christian Bach, Muzio Clementi, and Pantcho Vladigerov, recordings such as «America for Two» (Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein) and «Maurice Ravel – Favourite Flavors» are greatly appreciated worldwide. A particular emphasis in their discography are the recordings with orchestra «Martinu and Schnittke – Concertos for 2 pianos» (NDR Radio Philharmonic/Eiji Oue), «French Concertos – Milhaud, Poulenc, Casadesus» (SWR Radio Orchestra/Alun Francis) and «Mendelssohn – Concertos for Two Pianos No 1 & 2» (Munich Radio Orchestra/Ulf Schirmer). The CD «Arensky – Five Suites for Two Pianos», which the Artists dedicated to the memory of their teacher Vladimir Krainev, was designated by the media worldwide even as «trend-setting». The CD «Franz Liszt – Works for 2 Pianos» was praised by the international press as «A pure celebration of the 2 piano music, a celebration of Liszt’s music». In occasion of the Duo’s 20th birthday anniversary in 2015 «cpo» has released the Special Edition CD «Genova & Dimitrov – 20 Years», which has caused furore among the radios around the world.
Genova and Dimitrov serve regularly as jurors of significant international piano solo and duo competitions, such as the «ARD» Competition in Munich, at the Almaty Piano Competition, the «Franz Schubert» Competition in Russe, and were appointed in 2010 Artistic Directors of the «Dranoff» International Two Piano Competition in Miami.
The artists give master classes worldwide, as e.g. the annual Piano Duo & Solo Academy in Cloister Michaelstein (Germany) in January, as well as the ISA «Allegra» Summer Academy for Piano Solo & Duo, in Russe (Bulgaria). Since 2009, they have been appointed Heads of Piano Duo Studies at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. In 2011 they established the piano duo forum «Twin Pack Piano».
The similarities between them reach far into their past: Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov, both of Bulgarian-Greek descent, both began piano lessons at the age of five, and as 9-year-olds, both had their first public appearances as soloists with orchestra. During their piano solo training at special music high schools for highly talented youngsters, and then at the Sofia Conservatory with Julia and Konstantin Ganev each won multiple prizes at international competitions. Following the personal invitation from their mentor, the legendary pianist Vladimir Krainev, they finished their post-graduate studies in his class at the Hanover University of Music.
«One afternoon, shortly before leaving for a solo piano competition in Seoul, Korea, there was only one available rehearsal room at the Hanover University of Music and it was with two pianos. We spontaneously decided to start to play Chopin’s Etude 25/11 in sync. It was as if we had been given wings. Only few months later we had won our first competition prize as a duo», remember Aglika and Liuben.
Today the Artists live in Hanover, Miami and Sofia.
‚…His brilliant…unforgettable performance…can think of no higher praise..’ – wrote the ‚Sunday Times’ about his recording by SONY of the Mozart clarinet concerto. And the professional journal for music in Switzerland ‚Musik&Theater’ stated: BIO In 1990 at the age of 23, Fabio Di Càsola wins the first price of the famous CIEM (Concours international d’exécution musicale) in Geneva – 18 years after the last time a clarinettist has won the first price. Soon after that he was invited to leading international festivals, including the Berlin Festival under Claudio Abbado, the Evian Festival under Mstislav Rostropovich, and Lockenhaus with Gidon Kremer. In the years that followed he also won the Grand Prix Patek Philippe, the Prix Suisse for Contemporary Music, and the International Contemporary Music Competition in Stresa. In 1998 the jury and audience in Geneva voted him the “Swiss Musician of the Year.” After a performance of Mozart’s clarinet concert at Tonhalle Zurich, SONY decided to publish his recordings. First there were two chamber music CD’s that were followed in 2009 by an orchestral CD with clarinet works of C.M.v.Weber. This CD received the ‚Editor’s Choice’ of the well-respected Gramophone Magazine. Also the next CD with Mozart’s clarinet concert received many good critics. Fabio Di Càsola is performing as soloist with orchestras as the Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Russian National Orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Lucerne Festival Strings, Camerata Zürich and others. He also appears regularly in a very wide range of chamber music ensembles. He is professor for clarinet and chamber music at the Zurich University of Arts and the artistic director of the chamber music festival „klang“ (www.klang.ch), established 2006. LESS
In 1990 at the age of 23, Fabio Di Càsola wins the first price of the famous CIEM (Concours international d’exécution musicale) in Geneva – 18 years after the last time a clarinettist has won the first price. Soon after that he was invited to leading international festivals, including the Berlin Festival under Claudio Abbado, the Evian Festival under Mstislav Rostropovich, and Lockenhaus with Gidon Kremer. In the years that followed he also won the Grand Prix Patek Philippe, the Prix Suisse for Contemporary Music, and the International Contemporary Music Competition in Stresa. In 1998 the jury and audience in Geneva voted him the “Swiss Musician of the Year.”
After a performance of Mozart’s clarinet concert at Tonhalle Zurich, SONY decided to publish his recordings. First there were two chamber music CD’s that were followed in 2009 by an orchestral CD with clarinet works of C.M.v.Weber. This CD received the ‚Editor’s Choice’ of the well-respected Gramophone Magazine. Also the next CD with Mozart’s clarinet concert received many good critics. Fabio Di Càsola is performing as soloist with orchestras as the Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Russian National Orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Lucerne Festival Strings, Camerata Zürich and others. He also appears regularly in a very wide range of chamber music ensembles.
He is professor for clarinet and chamber music at the Zurich University of Arts and the artistic director of the chamber music festival „klang“ (www.klang.ch), established 2006. LESS
Péter Somodari was born in 1977 in Veszprem, Hungary. He began playing cello at the age of four. Between 1997 and 2006 he studied at the music academies of Budapest and Saarbrücken, under the guidance of Làszlo Mezö, Miklos Perényi, Gustav Rivinius, Ferenc Rados, and György Kurtàg.
He has appeared in performances with such famous musicians as Christian Tetzlaff, Leonidas Kavakos, Patricia Kopatschinskaja, Tabea Zimmermann, Boris Pergamenschikov, Truls Mork, Miklos Perenyi, Alexej Lubimov, György Kurtàg, Tugan Sokhiev.
From 1997 to 2001 Péter Somodari worked in the Budapest Strings Chamber orchestra, both as their section’s cellist as well as appearing as a soloist.
In the period between 2001 – 2004 he was a member of the Keller Quartet and the Hungarian State Opera. From 2004-2012 he held the Principal Cello position of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.
Since September 2012 Peter Somodari is Solocellist at the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra since 2016.
Musical highlights were performances as a soloist in concerts with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Orchestra, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester.
19.07 – 26.07.2019
Andreas von Wangenheim is regarded as one of the most interesting and expressive guitarists of his generation. He received his musical education at the music conservatories of Hamburg and Basel.
Andreas von Wangenheim recorded his own transcriptions (Arte Nova/BMG) of the six solo cello suites for the “Bach Year 2000” for which he received excellent reviews. Also with Arte Nova, he recorded a CD containing his own transcriptions of Mozart and Haydn Divertimenti.
Andreas von Wangenheim is also active in other artistic areas:
He released several CDs with his own compositions and improviations blending classical, world and jazz elements. The CD “Orlando” (BMG/ RCA) was awarded by the press the title “audiophile CD of the Month”. As composer from film music he won the first prize in the film festival in Dublin in 1991. His guitar performances are included in the soundtracks of in the films “Beyond the Silence” and “Nirgendwo in Afrika”.
Andreas von Wangenheim is Professor for Guitar at Hochschule Luzern (Switzerland).
Denis Rouger was brought up in a musical home in Paris and studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. In 1991, he started working as university lecturer and “Professeur agrégé“ at the University Paris-Sorbonne, from 1993 to 2003 Rouger was choirmaster at