Succes in violin competitions – first place in the Kuopio National Violin Competition in 1980 and getting to the finals in the international Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in the same year – marked the beginning of Kaija Saarikettu’s career. Since then, she has performed extensively at her own concerts, as a soloist of orchestras and as chamber musician in most European countries, the United States, Japan and Russia. Saarikettu’s interest in the music of our time and collaboration with composers has resulted in a large number of pieces written for her. Kaija Saarikettu has premiered and recorded several violin concertos as well as solo and chamber music compositions by composers such as Einar Englund, Paavo Heininen, Eero Hämeenniemi, Juha T. Koskinen, Jyrki Linjama, Pehr-Henrik Nordgren and Einojuhani Rautavaara. In addition to most of the Finnish orchestras, Saarikettu has performed as a soloist of the Swedish and Danish radio orchestras, the Själland Symphony Orchestra and the Slovenian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra among other orchestras. She has worked with such conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, James DePreist, Paavo Järvi, Leif Segerstam and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
Since 1995 Kaija Saarikettu has been Professor of Violin at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki.
Photo: Heidi Strengell
Isabelle van Keulen a truly versital musician. Her versatility lies in the fact that she plays the violin as well as the viola with the same energy, performing chamber music in any thinkable combination and directing chamber orchestra performances. She has over the course of her career engaged in works written by contemporary composers, and has had many concertos written especially for her. She is professor at the Luzern University of Arts and visiting professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music.
Professor Stephan Barratt-Due has had a wide-ranging career as a soloist, chamber musician and chamber music coach. He has taught several of the best Norwegian violinists of the younger generation. He is Artistic Director of Barratt Due Music Institute – one of Norway’s foremost musical educational institutions – and leader of the Oslo Camerata.
Photo: Kirill Bashkirov
Mark Messenger is recognised globally as a violinist, conductor, teacher, and educationalist. As a soloist, conductor and chamber musician he has worked togheter with many of the great names. He is member of the Bochmann and Bingham Quartets since 1984. Since 2002, he has been much in demand as a teacher, international judge, external examiner, to give masterclasses and as a lecturer. He is currently Head of Strings at the Royal College of Music in London, and consultant for the Norwegian Academy in Oslo.
Tim Frederiksen has played violin and viola since childhood and studied with Gunnar Frederiksen, Erling Bloch and Professor Max Rostal. In 1995 Frederiksen was appointed Professor of viola and chamber music at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. In his capacity as Head of Chamber Music Tim Frederiksen coaches award winning Danish ensembles, like The Danish String Quartet, Trio Ondine, Paizo Quartet among others. Frederiksen is highly in demand as a teacher at international and national master classes and is often invited as jury member in international music competitions, a.o the Max Rostal Competition in Berlin and Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition.
Darrett Adkins enjoys a great breadth of musical activity as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. The Boston Globe has described him as ‘fiery’ and the New York Times wrote that his debut recital was “heroic” and “stunning.” His solo recitals, Hypersuite, ground-breaking hybrid programs interweaving solo Bach Suites with contemporary pieces inspired by them, have riveted both listeners and critics. Adkins gave the first New York performance of Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XIV which he has recorded for Naxos’ complete Sequenzas collection. He also performed the first New York Performance of Messiaen’s Concerto for 4 Instruments at Carnegie Hall. A dedicated teacher, Adkins has taught cello and chamber music since 1995 at the Juilliard School, since 2003 at Oberlin Conservatory and at the Aspen Music Festival and School where he co-directs the string chamber music program. He earned degrees from Oberlin, Juilliard and Rice University, studying with Normal Fischer and Joel Krosnick.
The cellist Henrik Brendstrup trained in Copenhagen with Erling Bløndal Bengtsson and in London with William Pleeth and Ralph Kirshbaum. He is one of the few Nordic musicians who has received both the French music prize Diapason d’Or and the German Deutsche Schallplattenpreis. Henrik Brendstrup has performed as soloist and chamber musician in most of Europe, and has played with most of the Danish orchestras. For several years he has taught cello at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, but are now working as a professor at The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus.
Melissa Phelps, described by The Guardian as “one of the most talented cellists of her generation” has demonstrated a wide range of musical interests throughout her career. She has played throughout the world as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. As a teacher, she is highly respected having taught at several major European conservatories. She has played concertos with the London Sinfonietta, the Bournemouth and BBC Welsh Symphony orchestras; recitals and chamber music at many international festivals, including Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, Kuhmo, Maggio Musicale; and the International Musicians Seminar in Cornwall. Her own teachers were Paul Tortelier and Joan Dickson. One of her major musical influence was the late Jacqueline du Pré who was a close friend. Melissa Phelps has premiered many new works including pieces by Witold Lutoslawski, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Michael Nyman. She has recorded for Decca, ASV, Meridian and Teldec, winning a ‘Best Chamber Music Record of the Year Award’. Melissa Phelps currently teaches at The Royal College of Music in London.
In much demand as a chamber musician and duo partner for instrumentalists and singers, Craig studied at The Royal Academy of Music with Michael Dussek and Diana Ketler. Craig spent some time living and working in Germany at the Köln Hochschule für Musik und Tanz and has since worked at the Kronberg Academy as a staff accompanist In 2012, Craig won the accompanist prize at the centenary Kathleen Ferrier Awards, following accompanist prizes at the Thelma King Awards, Great Elm Vocal Awards and AESS Finals. This October will see the release of a Debut CD of early songs by Joseph Jongen with Belgian Soprano Sarah Defrise. Craig also works as an arranger and 2019 saw the publication of a set of 5 new violin and piano arrangements of Debussy Piano Preludes.