To probe the mysteries of sound with open-mindedness, versatility and with a sense of joy for discovery is the musical credo of Tobias Koch. Right from the beginnings of his musical career, Koch has been fascinated by the expressive potential of period keyboard instruments; he plays the harpsichord, clavichord, tangent piano, fortepiano, orphica, piano-pédalier, organ, and romantic grand piano in unorthodox and spirited performances — “with disarming spontaneity,” as a large German weekly put it. Koch chooses the most suitable instrument after extensive musicological research and performance practice studies, always leading to new results. For years, he has been considered one of the leading interpreters in the field of romantic performance practice, and particularly of the work of Robert Schumann. The German Radio MDR Figaro wrote: “Inspired and inspiring right from the beginning – Koch’s playing conjures up images that appear just as quickly as they fade away. Koch’s playing is infectious, every moment is an adventure.“
Koch’s comprehensive musical career has taken him to concert venues throughout Europe, North America, the Middle East and other regions of the world. As a soloist, chamber musician and Lied accompanist he performed at music festivals including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Verbier Festival, Warsaw Chopin Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, the Schumann Festivals in Düsseldorf, Bonn, Leipzig, and Zwickau, the Mendelssohn Days at the Gewandhaus Leipzig and many international festivals of Early Music.
Koch gained valuable artistic impulses in master classes at the music conservatories of Düsseldorf and Graz with David Levine, Roberto Szidon, Walter Kamper; he has received further musical stimuli from artists such as Jos van Immerseel, Malcolm Bilson and Andreas Staier. He is a recipient of the music award of the city of Düsseldorf, teaches at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf, the Berlin University of Arts and the Warsaw Chopin University of Music and is a much sought-after lecturer at master classes throughout the world as well as at the Academies in Verbier and Montepulciano. In addition, he is jury member of renowned piano competitions such as the International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments in Warsaw or the German Chopin Competition.
Koch has worked with musicians such as the pianists Andreas Staier and Janusz Olejniczak, violinists Gottfried von der Goltz, Rüdiger Lotter and Joshua Bell, cellist Steven Isserlis, singers such as Dorothee Mields, Markus Schäfer, Jan Kobow and Thomas E. Bauer, the orchestras Concerto Köln, Frieder Bernius and Stuttgarter Hofkapelle, Václav Luks and the Collegium 1704 Prague, Rüdiger Lotter and Hofkapelle München, as well as the choirs of the West German and Bavarian Broadcasting Corporations. He also collaborates closely with instrument makers, restoration specialists, and major instrument museums. He owns an extensive collection of historical keyboard instruments.
Numerous productions for radio and television, publications on the subjects of historically informed performance, musical rhetoric and music aesthetics, as well as the edition of sheet music for the Wiener Urtext Edition and other publishers are part of his extensive musical portfolio and they complement his more than 40 CD productions with works by composers from Mozart to Brahms, many of them receiving international awards and critical acclaim. Among them, most notably, are the recordings of all piano pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven and two CDs for the New Complete Beethoven Edition by Deutsche Grammophon, featuring a number of world premieres of newly discovered and previously unreleased works for piano.
Hanna Holeksa graduated with honours from Academy of Music in Katowice and Hochschule der Kunste Bern in classes of prof. A. Jasiński, prof. R. Strokosz-Michalak and prof. T. Herbut. She’s a laureate of M. Magin International Piano Competition in Paris (2nd prize), Third F. Liszt National Piano Competition in Wrocław (1995, 1st prize), Polish Piano Music Competition in Słupsk (1996), Frederich Chopin National Competition for artistic scholarships in Warsaw (subsequent editions 1995 – 1998 ), K. Penderecki International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition in Kraków (1997, 2nd prize), Yamaha Foundation National Competition in Gdańsk (1999, 1st prize), F. Liszt International Piano Competiton in Wrocław (1999, 5th prize), Odd-Fellows Musikpreis in Bern (2003, 1st prize), RAHN Musikpreis in Zurich (2004, 1st prize). She also honed her skills with such professors like K. Jabłoński, L. Kum-Sing, T. Shebanova, V. Merzhanov, A. Orłowiecki and Fou Ts’ong. She performs chamber music with violinists, violists, cellists, doublebass players, flutists, clarinetists and singers. She was competition pianist on International M. Spisak Music Competition in Dąbrowa Górnicza in category “horn”(2008), “flute”(2009), violin(2010), on International J. Rakowski Viola Competition in Poznań (2013), International K. Penderecki Cello Competition in Kraków (2013), International G.Bacewicz Violin Competition in Łódź (2015). She’s performing in Poland as well as abroad, appearing as soloist and chamber music player. Her repertoire includes solo and chamber music pieces of all periods. Currently she is a chamber music professor in Lodz Music Academy in Poland. In 2016, she was the official pianist of the 15th International Violin Competition. H. Wieniawski in Poznań. In 2011, she defended her doctoral dissertation "The Piano in the Works of Karol Szymanowski", which is the crowning achievement of her many years of fascination with the composer and work on his piano and chamber music. In June 2015, she obtained the title of habilitated doctor of arts. She is the vice president of the Association of Jadwiga Kaliszewska and a member of the board of the Stanisław Liszewski Foundation. She organizes concerts, festivals, competitions for pianists, violinists and chamber musicians, and also workshops on a national and international scale. She conducts intensive teaching activities in the area of piano and chamber music. Her discography contains CDs recorded for the label of Acte Prealable, Ars Sonora and DUX recordings, with works of K.Szymanowski, W.Lutosławski, M.Ravel, F.Poulenc, R.Strauss, E.Elgar, H.Wieniawski, P.Ratez. In the area of her current artistic interests, there is primarily the music of Polish composers.
Domenico Nordio has performed in most of the world's prestigious halls (Carnegie Hall in New York, Salle Pleyel in Paris, St.Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Barbican Center in London and Suntory Hall in Tokyo), with leading orchestras, including London Symphony, National de France, Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Caracas' Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Istanbul Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra, Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, SWR Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Moscow State Symphony and with conductors such as Flor, Steinberg, Casadesus, Luisi, Lazarev, Aykal. Highlights of his last seasons include concerts at Bucarest's Enescu Philharmonic Hall, Rio de Janeiro's Teatro Municipal, Buenos Aires' Teatro Colón, Moscow's Tchaikovsky Great Hall, Istanbul's Zorlu Center, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. at the Philharmonic Halls of Kiev, Chisinau, Vilnius, Moscow, at the Riga's Great Guild Hall, at the Lima's Sociedad Filarmonica, at the Buenos Aires' Teatro Coliseo, at the Sala São Paulo of São Paulo, at the Teatro Manzoni of Bologna, at the Milan's Auditorium, at the Melbourne Recital Hall, at the Turin RAI Auditorium with with the Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, at the Mantua's Teatro Bibiena, in Santiago de Chile, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Brasilia, Mexico City, at the Tbilisi Festival, at the Moscow's Zaryadye Hall, at the Montevideo's Sodre Nacional Auditorium. Pupil of Corrado Romano and Michèle Auclair, born in Venice in 1971, former child prodigy (he gave his first recital at age of ten), at age of sixteen Nordio won the Viotti International Competition in Vercelli with the legendary Yehudi Menuhin as President of the Jury. After the achievements at Paris Thibaud Competition, Viña del Mar Sigall Competition and Marseille Francescatti Competition, the Eurovision Grand Prix obtained in 1988 launched him to the international career: today Nordio is one of the great violinists of his generation.
"Natalia Trull began studying piano in her native St. Petersburg. She later moved to Moscow where she graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. Among her teachers were professors Y. Zak, M. Voskresensky and T. Kravchenko. Her performance career was launched when she won first prize at the Belgrade International Piano Competition in 1983. However, the biggest success came in 1986 she won the silver medal at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. The public was swept off its feet by her interpretation of composers such as Schubert and Stravinsky. Her “Petrushka” suite left an everlasting impression on the public and critics alike. In 1993, Natalia Trull was awarded the Grand Prix at the Piano Masters Competition in Monte- Carlo (where only winners of international competitions are accepted as participants). Natalia Trull’s complete control and fantastic virtuosity place her in a class of her own, and she is in great demand as a performer all over the world. Among the distinguished orchestras with whom she has performed are the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Monte-Carlo, Tonhalle Symphony Orchestra and all of the major Russian Symphony Orchestras. Natalia Trull has also played with such conductors as Raphael Frubeck de Burgos, Raymond Leppard, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Eri Klas, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Vassily Sinaisky, Yuri Temirkanov and many others. Her repertoire includes over 50 concertos, of which the Tchaikovsky concerto has proved to be the most popular, the pianist having performed the work on over one hundred occasions in the world’s leading concert halls. Her most brilliant performances of the Tchaikovsky concerto were in Hollywood Bowl under Eri Klas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and in Suntory Hall with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Koizumi Kazuhiro (1998-99 season). Natalia’s performances today are remarkable for her total absorption in the music her unique stage presence and technical mastery in presenting a wide repertoire of works. From 2000 Natalia Trull is Professor at the Moscow Tchaikovky Concervatory. Also she is frequently invited to give masterclasses to the U.S.A., Japan, Italy, Germany, South America etc. Jury member of many international piano competitions such as International Telekom Beethoven Piano Competition, Valencia International Piano Competition, Monte-Carlo Piano Masters Competition, International Mozart Competition Salzburg etc.
She also teaches exceptional students such as Eva Gevorgyan- pianist and composer / Prizewinner of more than 50 international piano competitions."
• Prokofiev – The Complete Piano Sonatas under the “DML Classic” label (Japan)
• Chopin - recital including two Sonatas, the Fantasy and Mazurkas
• Schubert - recital including the Wanderer-Fantasy, Impromptus op.90 and Schubert-Liszt Song
"Mr. Babakhanian has given recitals in the USA, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Spain. He has appeared as soloist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Irish National Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (USA), Dallas Symphony, Utah Symphony, with Saint Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, with Moscow Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra under Yurovsky, Slovenian Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic among others.
Festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Santander and Baalbec Music festivals. Babakhanian’s performance of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takács Quartet during Santander Festival in Spain was named the best chamber music performance of the festival. Mr. Babakhanian has recorded for the ASV, Real Sound and Sigmund Classics labels. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, PBS (USA), ORF (Austria) and RAI (Italy) television networks. His recording of the Tchaikovsky piano sonatas has received rave reviews in the European press. Mr.Babakhanian’s recent recording of Complete Piano Works by Aram Khachaturian awarded the “Best Classical Album of the Year” at the Armenian Award 2007.
In addition to his performing career, Mr. Babakhanian has served as jury member for several international piano competitions, including the Gina Bachauer, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Khachaturian, Maria Callas, “Armenia”, Putra and most recently Brescia International Piano competitions. He has taught numerous master-classes in Russia, United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Iceland and the United States. Mr. Babakhanian is currently Professor at the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, where he also received his musical education under Professor Anahit Bogdanyan..."
photo by Alla Kostomarova, Samara (Russia)
Liszt and Venice feature constantly in the work of this Italian pianist who was born in 1967 and who started studying the piano at the age of six, made his first public appearance aged eleven in Venice, the City of the Water, and was trained in the school of Liszt – the genius composer and performer who wrote many of his works in Venice hardly 100 meters from the very place of Ambrosini’s birth.
Brenno Ambrosini, began studying piano with M.I.Biagi (Venice and Florence) and R. Cappello (Parma), and also pursued organ, violin and composition studies with U. Amendola (Venice).
On completion of his studies in the grand tradition of the piano schools of Chopin, Liszt, Sgambati and Busoni, earning an Honours degree in piano awarded “cum laude” in recognition of his academic merits, he continued his training with G. Oppitz (a disciple of W. Kempff) in Munich in 1986-89, then went on to study further with M.de Silva-Telles (C.Arrau’s pupil) in Paris 1989. In 1990 he continued his musical training with J.Soriano ( a disciple of M.Tagliaferro and V.Perlemuter) at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid, where he was awarded the annual Honour Prize on completion of his course of studies. He completed his Ph.D. distinguished by the highest academic achievement and “cum laude” at the Jaume I University in Castellón (December 2015, Spain): “Ethics and Humanism in Franz Liszt”.
Having won public acclaim many a time for his interpretation and performances colourful and with moments of great transcendental depth, critics have said:
His Liszt sonata has been a sacred performance – a monumental interpretation (El País, Madrid - Spain)
His symphonic piano style shone at every performance. (Westfälische Rundschau, Dortmund - Germany)
The right choice, a pianist who is always elegant and refined. (Pianotime, Milan - Italy)
Winner at the XXXIV Concurso Internacional de Piano "Premio Jaén” and the "Rosa Sabater Prize" for the best performance of Spanish music in the same election. Ambrosini won the First Prize, the Debussy Prize and the Beethoven Prize in the International Piano Competition "Cidade do Porto". He was laureated in the X Concurso Internacional de Piano de Santander "Paloma O'Shea". Second Prize in the International Piano Competition "José Iturbi" of Valencia, he was awarded Second Prize and the "Golden Harp" Audience Award in the International Competition "Jeunesses Musicales" of Belgrade and won the “Piano Festival Alumni Prize” in the "William Kapell” International Piano Competition at College Park (Washington D.C., USA).
After his orchestral debut at the Liederhalle (Beethovensaal) of Stuttgart in 1986 performing the “Emperor” piano concerto by Beethoven, Ambrosini has performed many concerts as a soloist in cities in Europe, the USA and Japan accompanied by ensembles such as the Royal Orchestra of Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Belgrade, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, New Philharmonia of Japan, New Mozart Chamber in Munich, Orquesta do Porto, Valencia Symphony, Radio Television Symphony in Madrid and Belgrade, Slupsk Chopin Symphony, Bari Symphony Orchestra, Hermitage State Orchestra of St.Petersburg, Schnittke Symphonic in Moscow… performing with conductors such as M.Bamert, H.Vonk and A.Ros-Marbá, I.Gromov, G.Klementiev...
In chamber music, he started in 1984 the collaboration with the cellist Claudio Ronco (cello soloist of the Clemencic Consort Wien and the Razumowsky Quartet). Since 1990 Ambrosini has performed in duets with the Russian violinist M. Lubotsky, since 1994 with a Dutch pianist David Kuyken and since 2002 with the Russian violinist I. Grubert. He also collaborates regularly with the Prazak and Brodsky string quartets and he played with Jean Pierre Rampal. Founder of the Kether Piano Trio, in 2014 he offered rounds of concerts as Tribute to Haydn, and he celebrated the 20 years anniversary of his piano duo with rounds of 4 recitals for pieces for two pianos ..."
Milana Chernyavska, a German artist with Ukrainian roots. Looking back at her impressive career, she established herself as one of the leading pianists and pedagogues of our times. Her critics agree with Alfred Brendel, who wrote that “Happiness was complete when one listened to Milana Chernyavska”. Since 2009 she is a piano professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. She is also a professor at the International Music Academy in the Principality of Liechtenstein since 2010. With her doctorate theses "The evaluation and pedagogical aspects of the theory of interpretation" she leads a discourse on insights from a perspective of musicology. Milana Chernyavska is a sought-after teacher at international master classes as well as a jury member at various prestigious piano competitions, such as the ARD in Munich, the Busoni Competition, the Mozart Competition in Salzburg , the Santa Cecilia in Porto Competition or the Bluethner Goldaward in Vienna. Her students constantly win top prizes at important international competitions as Santander Paloma O`Shea, Ferruccio Busoni, Maria Canals, Vendome Prize at the Verbier Festival, Vladimir Horowitz and competitions in Los Angeles , Ettlingen, San Marino, Malta and many more. Milana Chernyavska appears regularly at international festivals and major music centers around the world. She performed at the Lucerne Festival, Ruhr Piano Festival, Pablo Casals Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Heidelberger Frühling, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwetzingen Festival, and in halls like Vienna’s Musikverein, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Munich’s Herkulessaal, London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and St Petersburg’s Philharmonic Hall. Her artistic achievements were honored with numerous national and international awards, including competitions in Paris, Florence and Kyiv, where she won a gold medal at the International Piano Competition “Vladimir and Regina Horowitz”. As a soloist Milana Chernyavska performs with many renowned orchestras, while audiences and critics cheer for her solo recitals. In 2013 she played at the Ruhr Piano Festival, where she was awarded the prestigious Alfred Brendel Prize. Milana Chernyavska's discography contains more than 20 CDs which have been published with such world leading labels as Decca, Sony, EMI, and others. Her recordings received international prizes like the Diapason d'Or, BBC Music Award and Pizzicato Super Sonic Award. In 2014 she received Germany's most important media prize - the "Echo Prize", in the category "Classical without Borders". Apart from her solo career, Milana Chernyavska is a celebrated chamber musician. As a recital partner, she appears regularly with such artists as Julia Fischer, Lisa Batiashvili, David Garrett, Arabella Steinbacher, Sebastian Klinger, the Vogler Quartet, Maximilian Hornung, Daniel Müller-Schott, Susanna Yoko Henkel, and others. She founded the Milander Quartett, which has quickly developed into a sought-after ensemble and was described by the press as “four excellent instrumental soloists who have found each other in a perfect harmony” after the quartet’s debut in Munich Philharmonic. At the age of seven, she played her first concert at the Philharmonic Hall in her native town of Kyiv. In 1990, she graduated with distinction from the State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where Prof. W. Sagaidachny was her professor. This was followed by master classes with renowned teachers and famous pianists, including Alfred Brendel, Dmitri Bashkirov, Vladimir Krainev, Sergio Perticaroli, and Alexander Lonquich. In 1994 Milana Chernyavska received the most important award of her homeland, “Merited Artist of Ukraine”. From 1995 to 1998 she completed the master study of Prof. Margarita Höhenrieder and Prof. Gerhard Oppitz at the Munich Music Academy.
Walter Prossnitz was born in Canada, where he made his debut at the age of 14 years old with the A major Concerto by Liszt. At age 17, he won the Grand Prix at the Canadian National Music Competition, later winning first prize in the Montreal Later studies took him to Vienna and to New York where he earned a Masters Degree at the Juilliard School in 1984. Walter has lived in Switzerland since 1987 and has enjoyed a busy international career, playing in some of the world’s most famous concert halls as a soloist with orchestra or in recital. These include Carnegie Hall, the Place des Arts in Montreal, the Pallacio des Belles Artes in Mexico City, Centre Culturel in Paris, the Carl Orff Hall in Munich, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the City Hall Arts Complex in Hong Kong and the Central Conservatory Hall in Beijing.He has performed over 150 times as a soloist with orchestras around the world, and has given masterclasses in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and China. Walter Prossnitz is very versatile – he has written several sonatas by Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and Saint-Saëns as concertos for solo instrument and orchestra, He has been active as a composer and orchestrator, and has also served as a jury for numerous competitions. Walter's great-great-grand uncle was the head of the piano and music history department at the Vienna Academy from 1875-1900. Among his students were Bruckner, Mahler and Wolf.
Joanna Sochacka has already been a very successful performing artist. So far she performed in such countries as Israel, France, Switzerland, Austria, USA, Moldova, Estonia, Italy, Spain, England, Holland, Czech Republic and Germany. She played in many renowned concert halls including Carnegie Hall in New York, Beethoven Haus Chamber Hall in Bonn, Royal Albert Hall in London, Sala cu’Orga in Moldova, National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw, Philharmonic Hall in Lodz, Philharmonic Hall in Kielce, Philharmonic Hall in Cracow, Villa Atma in Zakopane, National Forum of Music in Wroclaw, Liszt Concert Hall in Raiding. She regularly takes part in many international piano festivals as well as in chamber music concerts. Soon there will be available her first CD dedicated to F. Chopin’s music, recorded for Sheva Collection label from London as well as CD with Grażyna Bacewicz Piano Sonatas recorded for DUX recording producers (world premiere).
Joanna is a laureate of more than 20 international and national piano competitions including 17th International Competition Citta di Padova in Italy (I prize, special prizes including concert tour and press conference and II prize in Virtuosity Prize category). Lately she has been awarded grants by scholarship foundations such as Polish Ministry of Culture – Young Poland (2020), Julian Cochran Foundation (2019), Rita Zimmermann Musik-Stiftung Bern (2019-2020), Rector of Academy of Music in Lódz for the best students (2019). From 2008 to 2012 she was supported by the Polish National Fund for Talented Children. She received several ,,Sapere auso” prizes for talented musicians (2009, 2010, 2011, 2016), Dartington Trust Scholarship (2007, 2013), scholarship from Institute of Adam Mickiewicz (2010).
At the moment she is studying at Universität fur Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz in Austria in the class of prof. Milana Chernyavska as well as she is completing her Doctoral Studies at the Academy of Music named of K.G. Bacewicz in Lodz with prof. Hanna Holeksa. She gratuated at the Academy of Music in Cracow with prof. Andrzej Pikul, and Haute École de Musique de Genève with prof. Fabrizio Chiovetta.
Furthermore she took part in many masterclasses and honed her skills under many outstanding teachers, including Dmitrij Bashkirov, Dmitri Alexeev, Jura Margulis, Paul Badura-Skoda, Jean Marc Luisada, Dina Yoffe, Anna Malikova, Kevin Kenner Tatiana Zelikman, Ronan O’Hora, Victor Derevianko, Daniel Blumenthal, Aquiles delle Vigne, Janusz Olejniczak, Akiko Ebi, Victor Derevianko, Tamas Ungar, Joaquín Soriano, Ralf Nattkemper, Andrzej Jasinski, Piotr Paleczny, Stanisław Tichonow, Uta Wayand, Waldemar Wojtal, Vida Vujic, Martino Tirimo, Konstanze Eickhorst, Tamara Stefanovich, Carlos Cebro, Elza Kolodin, Lilja Zilberstein.
Michelle Howland is the artistic director of the Elevato piano competition and Stanza junior piano competition. She comes from Canada, and is currently teaching in Germany. Michelle has organized many charity events and concerts, and has worked to promote classical music, especially to a younger audience. She has been organizing the Elevato competition since 2020.