Violinist Lucie Robert, a native of Montreal, has received enthusiastic praise from audiences and critics alike for the expressive lyricism and tonal beauty of her playing. Robert carries on the great violin tradition of her teacher, the legendary Josef Gingold. A prize winner of the First Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Austria, Ms. Robert has appeared as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Far East. Highly sought after as a violin pedagogue, For over thirty years, Robert has served as violin professor at the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes College of Music in New York City. Robert has served as an adjudicator for several international competitions including the Montreal, Fritz Kreisler, Jozsef Szigeti, Seoul and Joseph Joachim international violin competitions. In the past several years, Robert has given lectures on violin technique and her teaching philosophy and is a frequent contributor to “The Violin Channel”.
Professor Stephan Barratt-Due has had a wide-ranging career as a soloist, chamber musician and chamber music coach. In his teaching career he has taught several of the best Norwegian violinists of the younger generation. He is Artistic Director of Barratt Due Music Institute and leader of the Oslo Camerata.
Icelandic violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson joined the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory in 2017. During his 17-year tenure as a member of the Pacifica Quartet (2000-2017), he performed more than 90 concerts each year worldwide in many of the leading concert halls including Wigmore Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Suntory Hall, and New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. Bernhardsson has performed at festivals including the Edinburgh Festival, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, and the Iceland Art Festival. Collaborations include those with Menahem Pressler, Yo-Yo Ma, Jörg Widmann, Lynn Harrell, Leon Fleisher, Johannes Moser, the Emerson String Quartet, and members of the Guarneri and Cleveland quartets. With the Pacifica Quartet, he received numerous honors including a Grammy Award, Musical America Ensemble of the Year, and the Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has appeared as a soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra.
Eszter Haffner is one of the most exciting and respected violinists of our time. Over the last 25 years, Eszter Haffner has been captivating audiences around the world with her distinctively rich sound, superb musicianship and outstanding interpretations. She has established close relationships with many of the most prestigious conductors and orchestras. Always willing to expand her musical horizons, Eszter is also much sought after as a viola player. She has been prize winner in numerous international competitions: Concertino Praha, Koncz Violin Competition Hungary, Jugend Musiziert, Stephanie Hohl Vienna, International Chamber Music Competition Trapani and Caltanissetta Italy. Since 2002 she has been Professor of Violin at the KUG University of Music Graz, Austria and since 2010 also at the Royal Academy of Music Copenhagen, Denmark. As a guest professor she taught regularly at Royal College London, Lisz Academy Budapest, Aurora Stockholm, Sibelius Academy Helsinki, etc. *Eszter will teach both violin and viola.
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.
Stephanie Baer is Director of String Studies, Viola and chamber music professor at New York University. She has toured extensively around the world and currently plays together with the piano quartet Metamorphosis. She has toured around the US with the Arioso Ensemble and has been first viola at the Carmel Bach Festival.
Photo: Nikolaj Lund
Ellen Nisbeth, viola, is the recipient of both the Swedish and the Nordic Soloist Prize, and a member of the Rising Star programme of the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), performing at prestigious venues such as Barbican Centre in London and Vienna’s Musikverein. Ellen Nisbeth has performed with leading orchestras in Scandinavia, and in 2017 she released a highly praised recital disc on BIS records: Let Beauty Awake. Ellen Nisbeth is a frequent guest at prestigious festivals including the Bergen International Festival, Risør Chamber Music Festival, Mora Vinterfest, Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern and Verbier. Ellen regularly gives masterclasses and, since 2015, has been associate professor at the Music Department of Stavanger University. Ellen Nisbeth also teaches at Edsberg Manor.
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 played throughout the world as soloist and recitalist, is in wide demand as a chamber music player. She is also a highly respected teacher, having taught at several major European conservatories. Melissa Phelps currently teaches at The Royal College of Music i London. Her own teachers were Paul Tortelier and Joan Dickson. One of her major musical influence was the late Jacqueline du Pré and in whose BBC Television masterclasses she played. Melissa Phelps has premièred many important new works in the UK including pieces by Witold Lutoslawski, Roger Smalley and Mark Anthony Turnage. She is a member of the Camilli String Quartet who recorded Michael Nyman’s 4th Quartet for Decca and she has also recorded for ASV, Meridian and Teldec, winning a Best Chamber Music Record of the Year award.
Cellist Torleif Thedéen is one of the foremost musicians in Scandinavia. He performs with some of the world’s major orchestras, among which the BBC Philharmonic, Deutsche Symfonieorkester Berlin, Vienna Symphony – under conductors like Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Berglund and Neeme Järvi. Being a passionate chamber musician, Thedéen often performs in venues and festivals all over the world. As a chamber musician he plays with musicians partners like Martin Fröst and Janine Jansen. Since 1996 Thedéen is professor at Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where he himself received his main and most important education from professor Frans Helmerson. He plays ex Rostropovich Guadagnini cello on loan from Dextra Foundation Norway. *Torleif will teach 3 days during the Summer Academy 2020.
Photo: Irmeli Jung
The Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen leads a busy career as a soloist and chamber-music player, performing extensively with many of the best orchestras and musicians. Anssi Karttunen performs all the standard cello works, has discovered many forgotten masterpieces and transcribed numerous pieces for cello, or chamber ensembles. He is a passionate advocate of contemporary music and his collaboration with composers has led him to give over 180 world premieres of works by composers as diverse as Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Pascal Dusapin, Luca Francesconi and Tan Dun. Karttunen has premiered 30 works for cello and orchestra, among them: Magnus Lindberg’s 2 Cello Concertos, Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Concerto “Mania“, Tan Dun’s Cello Concerto “Yi1″, Luca Francesconi’s Cello Concerto “Rest“, Jukka Tiensuu’s “Oire” or Kaija Saariaho’s Concerto “Notes on Light“. Karttunen plays in the Zebra Trio with the Austrian violinist Ernst Kovacic and Canadian viola player Steven Dann. From 1999 to 2005 Anssi Karttunen was the principal cellist of the London Sinfonietta. His teachers included Erkki Rautio, William Pleeth, Jacqueline du Pré and Tibor de Machula. He teaches at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.
Rex Surany is the Principal bass of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He is also working as an assistant teacher in cooperation with Harold Robinson, the Principal Bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, at the Juilliard School. His musical education began with piano lessons when he was 7 years old. After two years of piano, he switched exclusively to double bass with Robert Peterson of Trenton, New Jersey. In 2002, upon completing the Vance repertoire with Peterson, Rex then started to study Rabbath Method with Nicholas Walker, double bass Professor at Ithaca college, and joined the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra under maestro Joseph Primavera’s direction. A few weeks after graduating from Curtis, in May 2012, Rex became a temporary member of the New York Philharmonic with Alan Gilbert as Music Director. While Rex was working at “The Phil”, he spent a lot of his relief and vacation time traveling to Berlin to study the Berlin Philharmonic tradition and German bow technique with Matthew McDonald and Janne Saksala. In 2014 Rex won the section position at the Metropolitan Opera, and only one year later, he won the principal position.
French double bassist Cécile-Laure Kouassi holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Rice University. Since 2016, she plays in Oslo Philharmonic as 4th-leader, and has also worked as co-principal in the Royal Danish Orchestra and guest principal in Les Dissonances. Invited to many festivals, including Verbier, Aspen and Stavanger, she has also participated in projects at the Centre de Musique de Chambre de Paris. Cécile-Laure Kouassi studied pedagogy with Virginia Dixon at the Hinton Bass Institute.
Alison Rhind was educated at the Chetham´s School of Music Oxford University and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she studied with Edith Vogel. Since 2006 Alison regularly has been invited to work at the Royal College of Music i London. This was formalized in 2009 when she was offered a position as coach/accompanist for the string Institute.
Maria Tarasewicz has already gained an enviable international reputation as a chamber musician, duo partner and a pedagogue. The depth and quality of Maria’s credentials can be judged through the collaborations she has had with many great international artists, such as Ivry Gitlis, Maxim Vengerov, Gavriel Lipkind and Truls Mørk. She is also committed to working with and developing younger artists. Maria has performed in all of London major concert venues including Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Southbank, Royal Albert Hall and many others. One of Maria’s current projects is the initiative of cofounding The Thinking Musician©, the platform organising summer music courses combining music as art, philosophy, intellectual provocations and speaking of the artist’s role in world.
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.
Padgett attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Peabody Conservatory of Music, and the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts. Awards as a soloist include a Silver Medal at the William Kappell International Competition and a Beethoven Fellowship from the American Pianists Association. He has performed in major venues around the world with the Philip Glass Ensemble, Steve Reich and Musicians, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Lukes. He records regularly for film and television, and can be heard on the Harmonia Mundi, EMI Classics, and Orange Mountain labels. Mr. Padgett is on the faculty of The Ridgewood (NJ) Conservatory, and teaches privately in New York City. He performs nearly every Friday and Saturday throughout the year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of Orion Music’s Balcony Series.