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.
Bjørg Lewis is one of Norway’s most highly esteemed cellists. As a soloist, she has played with the Oslo Philharmonic as well as many other orchestras throughout Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Baltics. Bjørg is a founder member of the Vertavo String Quartet, an internationally acclaimed ensemble, which has received numerous awards including Norway’s prestigious Grieg Prize. A busy performance schedule takes Bjørg throughout Europe and North America. A frequent participant in many international chamber music festivals, Bjørg has also been regularly invited to join the Nash Ensemble for the past five years. Bjørg is Associate Professor of Cello Studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.
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.
Andreas Brantelid was born in Copenhagen in 1987 to Swedish/Danish parents. After receiving early tuition from his father Ingemar, Andreas made his soloist debut at the age of 14 in a performance of the Elgar concerto with the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen. Today, Brantelid is one of the most sought-after performing artists from Scandinavia, winning worldwide critical acclaim for his thought-provoking interpretations, uniquely colorful sound and engaging personality.
Ole Eirik Ree is teaching cello at Barratt Due Institute of Music. He is also artistic director of the organisation Valdres Festival and Valdres Sommersymfoni – a summer course for classical music. Ree has a doctorate in music from Mason Gross School of the Arts, USA, were he studied with the cello legend Zara Nelsona and Guarneri Quartet.
Praised internationally for his performances of the modern cello concerto, Jakob Kullberg, living in Paris, is one of the most active and diverse young Danish instrumentalists.
Jakob studied in a.o. Amsterdam, London, Zagreb, Vienna and Copenhagen, with Harro Ruijsenaars, Dmitri Ferschtman, Valter Despalj, Mats Lidström, Morten Zeuthen and Anner Bylsma.
Top prize winner at international solo and chamber music competitions, twice winner of the Danish Grammy, most recently in 2013 for his concerto CD ’Momentum’.
Jakob’s recent debut with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London as well as with Ensemble Intercontemporain at one of their inter-sessions in Paris received excellent reviews. In the 2016/17 seasons he will embark on a two-CD recording project with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds comprising concertos by Saariaho and Nørgård as well as the two cello concertos by Shostakovich.
As a teacher Jakob has garnered attention giving masterclass internationally at for instance, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Poland, and has held a teaching position at the Royal Danish Academy of Music since 2005. In 2013 he was appointed to the Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme and has been the artistic director of the Open Strings Cello Academy since 2004.
Natalie Clein is one of Great Britain’s most prominent cellists and has established an international career. She regularly performs with the best orchestras, gives concerts in some of the finest concert venues and is a keen chamber musician. Only 16 years old she won BBCs “Young Musician of the Year” 1994 and was nominated best female artist at the Classical Brit Awards 2008.
Cellist Aage Kvalbein is one of Norway’s leading musicians, known for his work as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and teacher. He has been Principal Cello in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He is professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music and member of the Oslo Trio.