is one today’s most talented Russian cellists. He performs to international audiences with unfailing success. Among his achievements are the 1st Prize and the Golden Medal at the 12th International Cello Competition in the Czech Republic, the Special Jury Prize at the 13th International Tchaikovsky Competition, and prizes for the best performance of contemporary music.
Dimitri Illarionov is one of the most brilliant classical guitarists of his country. In 1997 he graduated with honours from the Academic Music College at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he studied with Natalia Dmitrieva, continuing at the Russian Gnesin Academy with the famous performer and professor Alexander Frauchi. In 2002 he graduated there summa cum laude, and since October 2002 he has served as an assistant to Professor Frauchi. Dimitri Illarionov won the Grand Prix in the VIth International Promotional Competition Guitar Talents’ Review (Gdansk, Poland, 1999) and the title of The Greatest Hope in the Xth Gdansk Meeting of Guitarists. In 2000 he won the first prize in the most prestigious Russian International Guitar Competition, Guitar in Russia (Voronezh, Russia). He is the laureate of numerous international competitions. His awards include the second prize in the IIIrd International Competition of Musical Personalities Alexander Tansman (Lodz, Poland, 2000), laureate of the VIIth International Classic Guitar Competition Printemps de la guitare 2000 (Charleroi-Seneffe, Belgium), laureate of the XIth International Biannual Guitar Competition in Kutna Hora (Czech Republic, 2002), laureate of the International Competition Classic Heritage (Moscow, 1997) and winner of Moscow Guitar competition (1997). In October 2002 Dimitri Illarionov won the most prestigious guitar competition in the world, the Twentieth International Guitar Foundation of America Solo Guitar Competition (GFA – Miami, Florida, USA). Part of this award is in the form of the present Naxos recording, with a concert tour in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and a concert video recording.
Silver medalist of the 2002 International Tchaikovsky Competition and the first-prize winner of the 2001 Pablo Sarasate International Violin Competition, virtuoso violinist Tamaki Kawakubo is a veteran of the concert stage. She has quickly established herself as a formidable artist possessing a masterful technique and a tone that “ranges from velvety soft to gripping drama”.
Anton Smirnoff began his piano studies at age of seven in Novosibirsk, Russia. Upon his graduation from Novosibirsk Conservatory with a Bachelor's Degree, he came to US in 2006 to pursue further Western Music education. He graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with an Artist Diploma in 2010 and later earned a Professional Studies Certificate at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA. As a student, he was honored by the Russian government with several special talent scholarships. He has made more than 1,000 public performances world-wide at venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Carrie Dennis entered the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 16 as a violin student of Victor Danchenko and took viola lessons with Joseph de Pasquale, occasionally playing viola in chamber music ensembles. She received her B.A. in violin performance in 1999. She returned to Curtis in 2000 to study viola with Michael Tree, followed by summer sessions with Roberto Diaz. Halfway into her second year she earned a position in the Philadelphia Orchestra as Associate Principal Viola. She was invited by Simon Rattle to audition for the Berlin Philharmonic, and served as Solo Viola for the Berlin Philharmonic for two years. She joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Principal Viola in 2008.
Described as an “exquisite virtuoso violinist” (Chicago Sun-Times) whose “playing possesses a deeply profound musical instinct” (The Classical Network) and a “cultivated artistic taste” (Kulturas Diena, Latvia), David Lisker has appeared in many of today’s most prestigious concert halls including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall, The Mann Auditorium in Israel, The Orange County Performing Arts Center in California, The National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and The Shanghai Theatre in China.
Called the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC, pianist Alexander Kobrin has placed himself at the forefront of today's performing musicians. His prize winning performances have been praised for their brilliant technique, musicality, and emotional engagement with the audience. The New York Times has written that Mr. Kobrin was a “fastidious guide” to Schumann’s “otherworldly visions, pointing out hunters, flowers, haunted corners and friendly bowers, all captured in richly characterized vignettes.” “This was a performance that will be revered and remembered as a landmark of the regeneration of exceptional classical music in Central New York.”-critic wrote after Mr. Kobrin’s performance of Second Piano Concerto by Johannes Brahms with Syracuse Symphony in Syracuse,NY.
Israeli violinist and recording artist Boris Abramov has established himself in recent years as a young promising violinist, performing across the world as a soloist as well as chamber and orchestral musician. During his studies at Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University in the United States, where he completed his Bachelor's (cum laude), masters and artist diploma degrees with world renowned violinist and pedagogue Sergiu Schwartz, Mr. Abramov was declared the winner of the 2007, 2010 and 2012 CSU Concerto Competitions, which led to performances with the CSU Philharmonic.
The austrian artists Georg Winkler (clarinet) and Hubert Kellerer (accordion) span a powerful as well as sensitive bow from stylized klezmer music to mixed forms (jazz and classic modern) to traditional Klezmer: from Igor Stravinsky to Erwin Schulhoff, From Ernest Bloch to Alexandre Tansman, and even to the east-european yiddish shtetl with KLEZMER. On a constant balancing act between the joy of life, sadness and sensuality, virtuosic sound paintings emerge - wild, tender, crazy, cheeky, witty, spherical.
Praised by the New York Times for his “uncommon sensitivity and feeling,” the eloquent young pianist Roman Rabinovich is the winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition. Mr. Rabinovich has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Israel in such prestigious venues as Wigmore Hall in London, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, as well as the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Prize winner of Wieniawski Competition (2001), the XII Tchaikovsky Competition (2002), the International Violin Competition Sion Valais in Switzerland (2004), ‘M.Long and J.Thibaud’ Violin Competition in Paris (2005), International Violin Competition named after Isang Yun in South Korea (2007), Haik Kazazyan is one of the perspective young violinists of his generation.He is regularly invited to perform in many countries with famous orchestras and musicians, such as Scottish Royal National Orchestra, Russian Chamber Orchestra and Russian National Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic orchestra, Dublin National Orchestra, Munich Chamber orchestra, Moscow chamber orchestra, S.Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Samara Symphony orchestras and many others.
Boris Allakhverdyan is the principal clarinetist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He previously served as Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Associate Principal Clarinet of the Kansas City Symphony. Mr. Allakhverdyan is a founding member of the Prima Trio, the Grand Prize and the Gold Medal winner of the prestigious 2007 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
The Guardian describes Alissa Margulis’ playing as “exceptional“, Ivry Gitlis praises it as “a revelation” and Martha Argerich calls her a “strong musical personality”.
Appreciated for her expressive and very emotional performances, Alissa Margulis regularly plays in important concert halls such as the Berlin Philharmony, the Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Tchaikovsky Hall Moscow, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Cologne Philharmony, the Vienna Musikverein, Sumida Triphony Hall Tokyo, the Sage Gateshead, the Tonhalle Zurich and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall.
Alexandre Bouzlov is one of the most vivid and talented cellists of the next generation, one who represents the Russian performing school with honour at the world’s leading music venues. He has won 1st prizes at Young Concert Artist competitions in Leipzig (2000) and New York (2001) and the Grand Prix in the categories “Cello” and “Chamber Ensemble” at the New Names All-Russian Open Competition (Moscow, 2000). In 2005 he took 2nd prize at one of the most prestigious music compositions in Europe – the ARD International Cello Competition in Munich (Germany), while in 2007 he was the undoubted favourite at the XIII International Tchaikovsky Competition at which he took the Silver Medal, the prize for the best performance of a work by Tchaikovsky and the special prize of the Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya Foundation.
Andrey Baranov is also a winner of Benjamin Britten and Henri Marteau International Violin Competitions, and a prizewinner of more than twenty other international competitions including Indianapolis, Seoul, Sendai, Liana Isakadze, David Oistrakh, Paganini (Moscow) international competitions.
Andrey is a first violinist of David Oistrakh Quartet, an outstanding ensemble established in 2012.
Stefan L. Smith was born in Joliet, IL. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2008, Stefan studied at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music on a full tuition scholarship for a Masters Degree in Viola Performance with Professor Donald McInnes. His two Bachelors of Music Cum Laude degrees are in Viola Performance and Music Composition from DePaul University’s School of Music in Chicago.
Giovanni Sollima is a true virtuoso of the cello, playing for him is not an end in itself, but a means of communicating with the world. He is a composer out of the ordinary, he communicates with a music full of mediterranean rhythms, with a melodic vein typically Italian, his world covers all eras "from the Jurassic of the Cello" as he calls the baroque period to the "Metal". He writes mainly for the cello and contributes significantly to the creation of new repertoire for his instrument. His audience is diverse; from classical music lovers to young "metalheads" Giovanni Sollima conquers all.
Soprano-"in-excelsis" Delaram Kamareh, ―"has a reputation for being fearless " -Grant Gershon. Her voice was recently described by the Chicago Tribune as having a "blindingly pure timbre" and climbing to "unearthly heights". A true coloratura, ―"silver throated" and "from somewhere in antiquity" stageandcinema, Delaram has quickly established herself as an outstanding young interpreter of contemporary classical music, with a "purity in her voice that is easy to enjoy, pin-point technique, and a remarkable range" Allisyar . She is equally comfortable singing classically as she is in her native Persian, MiddleEastern and Balkan modes and can sing in excess of a dozen languages. This diversity in vocal technique, range and genres allows her to express that syncretic versatility which is much sought after in the contemporary music world.
Whilst still attending the famous Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music (1998-2002, class tutor T.S. Berkyl), Asya had already placed as a prize winner at over 13 music competitions, including attaining Third prize at the Junior All-Russia Tchaikovsky Music Competition (1991). Throughout her education, Asya has taken part in and placed as a prize winner at numerous competitions, amongst them: Brahms Chamber Music Competition (Austria, 2006, 2nd prize), Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition (USA, 2008, Grand-Prize), two times laureate of the Thomastik-Infeld Prize (Austria), and a grant holder from the All-Russian Association of Musicians for her achievements in the field of chamber music (as a member of Credo-Quartet).
Besides her numerous activities as a soloist, Asya Sorshneva is the founder and artistic director of the prestigious LegeArtis festival, based in Lech am Arlberg/Austria.
A native of Belgium, Steven Vanhauwaert made his official U.S. solo debut with a recital for the Jacaranda series, where he was hailed by the Los Angeles Times’ Mark Swed for his ‘impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique.” Since then, Mr. Vanhauwaert has appeared in solo recitals at the world’s leading venues such as the Concertgebouw in Brugge, Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, Bovard Auditorium in Los Angeles, the Singel in Antwerp, the Great Hall of the Brussels Conservatory, the Great Hall of the Budapest Liszt Conservatory, as well as numerous other prestigious venues in Bulgaria, Hungary, the US, the Netherlands, France, Brazil, Canada, Israel, the UK, Austria, and Spain. He frequently tours China, where he received great critical acclaim for his solo recitals at the renowned National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, as well as venues in Quingdao, Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanning, Nanjing, Dalian, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Guiyang, and Jinan. He has appeared with orchestras such as the Pacific Symphony, the Flemish Symphony, the Lviv Philharmonic, the USC Symphony, the Collegium Instrumentale, the Auburn Symphony, the Kyiv Kamerata, the Peninsula Symphony, and Prima la Musica, amongst others.
has been a prize-winner at the International Tchaikovsky Youth Competition, the International Shostakovich Competition Classica Nova in Hannover (together with Alexei Goribol, 1st prize, 1997), the VI International Mstislav Rostropovich Cello Competition in Paris (1997), the XI International Tchaikovsky Competition (3rd prize and Bronze Medal, 1998), the International Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb (1st prize and special awards, 2000) and the International Isang Yun Competition in South Korea (2003).
He performs with symphony and chamber orchestras, among them are Mariinsky Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, t Orchestre National de France, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Kammerorchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow Philharmonic and t Kammerorchester Wien. He has also performed with such conductors as Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Alexander Vedernikov, Vasily Petrenko, Gianandrea Noseda, Roman Kofman and others.
RASKIN & FLEISCHMANN
Johannes Fleischmann and Philippe Raskin met in August 2009 during the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades. A year later, they gave their first performance together, collaborating as a duo in Vienna (November 2010) and since then have performed numerous concerts all over the globe.
They were selected by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as ambassadors for the NASOM «New Austrian Sound of Music» Program in 2014-2015. Due to their „outstanding chamber music performance“, Raskin & Fleischmann won the „Piano Chamber Music Award“ at the ISA-Festival 2014.
Hailed as a true violinist of the 21st Century by Yehudi Menuhin, Gilles Apap is a classical violinist who is in great demand as a soloist with orchestras around the world. Among many are the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. He has also become widely known for his extraordinary ability to integrate a variety of musical genres. Gilles not only crosses boundaries, he unites music with his distinct talent for incorporating styles of music as diverse as American oldtime, Irish, and Gypsy fiddling, with the standards of the classical repertoire.
The Lithuanian cellist and conductor David Geringas belongs to the musical elite of today. An unusually broad repertoire from the early Baroque to the contemporary is testament to the flexibility and curiosity of the artist. His intellectual rigor, his stylistic versatility, his melodic feeling, and the sensuousness of his tone have brought him praise the world over.
The Rostropovich pupil and gold-medal winner of the 1970 Tchaikovsky Competition can now look back on a career that has spanned decades.