Recognised as one of Europe’s preeminent music festivals, the International Pharos Chamber Music Festival has gained an international reputation for the unparalleled quality of its concerts as well as its enchanting atmosphere and settings. Guided by a visionary spirit and dedicated to artistic excellence, the Pharos Festival was the first festival of chamber music to have been established in Cyprus, and it has truly placed Cyprus on the international cultural map, garnering enthusiastic acclaim from music lovers all over the world who visit the island especially to be part of this exceptionally uplifting musical experience. Throughout its 21-year-old history, the Festival has presented numerous memorable concerts with many of the world’s finest and most celebrated musicians. At the same time, it has maintained a strong tradition of community service, by making chamber music more accessible to the general public and giving the unique opportunity to students from all over Cyprus to benefit through its educational activities.
THE 2022 EDITION:
Organized between 24 May and 4 June 2022, the 21st International Pharos Chamber Music Festival welcomes to Cyprus 15 remarkable soloists, for eight amazing chamber concerts, in three different venues.
The Festival will open on Tuesday 24 May 2022, in The Shoe Factory in Nicosia, with a cello and piano recital by the fascinating cellist and artistic director of the Festival Alexander Chaushian, and Alessio Bax, described by the international press as “one of the most remarkable pianists before the public” in the world. With their insightful interpretations and dazzling virtuosity, the duo will undoubtedly offer the audience a ravishing listening experience in works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Chopin and Crumb, and carve the way for a magnificent week of music-making in Kouklia’s Royal Manor House – one of the finest surviving monuments of Frankish architecture in Cyprus and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Specifically transformed by the Festival to an atmospheric recital hall, the Royal Manor will host six chamber concerts, on 27, 28, 29, 31 May and 1 & 2 June, with 15 internationally acclaimed soloists joining forces in an impressive array of instrumental combinations and repertoire. Alongside Alexander Chaushian and Alessio Bax, the Festival will welcome the much-anticipated return visit of the spectacular violinist Daishin Kashimoto – first concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as the first visit of the brilliant violinist Viviane Hagner – praised for her highly intelligent musicality and passionate artistry, the remarkably gifted young violinist Alexandra Tirsu – recent audience-award winner of the prestigious ARD Competition 2021, violist Razvan Popovici – recognised as one of the most accomplished and versatile violists of his generation, cellist Kyril Zlotnikov – founding member of the renowned Jerusalem Quartet, the 22-year-old prodigious pianist Marie Sophie Hauzel – the youngest student ever to have been admitted at the Mozarteum at the age of 15, and the “extraordinary” with “flawless technique” and “gorgeous stage presence” French-Cypriot soprano Sarah Aristidou. The Festival will also welcome the return visit of Freddy Kempf – one of today’s most celebrated pianists who has built a unique reputation as an explosive and physical performer not afraid to take risks, and the Festival’s exceptional soloists who comprise the core of the Festival each year – violinists Boris Brovtsyn and Levon Chilingirian, violists Diemut Poppen and David Abrahamyan, and double-bassist Nabil Shehata.
On Saturday 4 June 2022, chamber music will travel from the ancient village of Kouklia to the ancient Olive Grove – the idyllic open-air venue of the Pharos Arts Foundation in Delikipos, for the final concert of the 21st International Pharos Chamber Music Festival, in a wonderful programme by Mendelssohn, Franck and Brahms, performed by pianist Marie Sophie Hauzel, violinists Boris Brovtsyn and Levon Chilingirian, violist Razvan Popovici and cellist Alexander Chaushian.
THE 2022 ARTISTS:
Piano: Alessio Bax, Freddy Kempf, Marie Sophie Hauzel
Violin: Daishin Kashimoto, Viviane Hagner, Alexandra Tirsu, Boris Brovtsyn, Levon Chilingirian
Viola: Razvan Popovici, Diemut Poppen, David Abrahamyan
Cello: Kyril Zlotnikov, Alexander Chaushian
Double-bass: Nabil Shehata
Soprano: Sarah Aristidou
WHAT, WHEN & WHERE:
24 May @ The Shoe Factory, Nicosia: Cello & Piano Recital with Alexander Chaushian and Alessio Bax in a programme of works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Chopin and George Crumb
27, 28, 29, 31 May and 1 & 2 June @ Royal Manor House, Kouklia: Six chamber concerts with 15 world renowned soloists in a wide-ranging programme.
4 June @ The Olive Grove, Delikipos: Final concert in the open-air in a programme of works by Mendelssohn, Brahms and Franck.
**Concerts start at 8.30pm
The Shoe Factory, Nicosia is situated in the old part of Nicosia, near the buffer zone. Through it, the Pharos Arts Foundation is helping to revitalize this beautiful and historic section of the capital city by attracting a wide and diversified younger audience. All concerts are characterized by a unique feeling of intimacy and music is performed in an exceptionally inspiring setting: a modern venue decorated with contemporary art by mainly local artists; a venue situated in the “run down” part of Nicosia that offers the audience the unique opportunity to sit within an amazing proximity to world famous artists and experience performances in a venue like no other.
The Royal Manor House, Kouklia is one of the finest surviving monuments of Frankish architecture on the island and an unparalleled venue for intimate chamber music performances. The building also houses an archaeological museum, which records the rich history of human activity in the region from about 2800 BC to the present day. The Royal Manor House, which is part of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s “Aphrodite’s Cultural Route”, is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Palaipaphos, or Old Paphos, was a city-kingdom of Cyprus and one of the most celebrated pilgrimage centres of the ancient Greek world. It was the site of a famous sanctuary of Aphrodite, the oldest remains of which date back to the 12th century BC. Join us in a leisurely exploration of the history and cultural heritage of the western region of Cyprus.
The Olive Grove, Delikipos is the Pharos Arts Foundation’s home venue for outdoor concerts. Set in an ancient grove with 800-year-old olive trees and pine forest next to a Natura 2000 EU protected area, it offers a spectacular setting for summer concerts. Easily accessible from all major towns and a 25-minute drive to the airport, the Olive Grove is a magical environment with its water features, zen landscaping combined with Mediterranean naturalism and atmospheric lighting. Each summer it hosts concerts with renowned soloists and ensembles and has become a uniquely sought-after venue by artists and audience alike.
INFORMATION & TICKETS:
Information & Box Office: Pharos Arts Foundation www.pharosartsfoundation.org & Tel. 22-663871 (Monday – Friday 10:00am-2:00pm)
Tickets: €20 / €15 (Concessions, Members of the Pharos Arts Foundation)
THE 2022 PROGRAMME:
Tuesday 24 May / The Shoe Factory, Nicosia
Cello & Piano Recital with Alexander Chaushian (cello) & Alessio Bax (piano)
Mendelssohn: Sonata for Cello & Piano, No.2 in D major, Op.58
Chopin: Ballade No.4 in F minor, Op.52
Crumb: Sonata for Solo Cello
Beethoven: Sonata for Cello & Piano No.3 in A major, Op.69
Friday 27 May / Royal Manor House, Kouklia
Brahms: String Quintet No.2 in G major, Op.111
Viviane Hagner (violin), Daishin Kashimoto (violin), Diemut Poppen (viola), Razvan Popovici (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello)
Delage: Quatre poèmes hindous
Sarah Aristidou (soprano) & Freddy Kempf (piano)
Debussy: Mes longs cheveux descendent from Pelléas et Mélisande
Sarah Aristidou (soprano) & Freddy Kempf (piano)
Saint-Saëns: Le Rossignol et la rose from Parysatis
Sarah Aristidou (soprano) & Freddy Kempf (piano)
Rimsky-Korsakov: The nightingale and the Rose, Op.2, No.2
Dvořák: Piano Quintet No.2 in A major, Op.81
Alessio Bax (piano), Daishin Kashimoto (violin), Viviane Hagner (violin), Diemut Poppen (viola), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Saturday 28 May / Royal Manor House, Kouklia
Mozart: String Quintet No.3 in C major, K.515 (1787)
Daishin Kashimoto (violin), Alexandra Tirsu (violin), Diemut Poppen (viola), Razvan Popovici (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello)
Turina: Las musas de Andalucía, Op.93, No.5 & No.6
Sarah Aristidou (soprano), Freddy Kempf (piano), Daishin Kashimoto (violin), Alexandra Tirsu (violin), Razvan Popovici (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello)
Falla: Siete canciones populares Españolas
Sarah Aristidou (soprano) & Freddy Kempf (piano)
Sarah Aristidou (soprano) & Freddy Kempf (piano)
Fauré: Piano Quartet No.1 in C minor, Op.15
Freddy Kempf (piano), Viviane Hagner (violin), Razvan Popovici (viola), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Brahms: Trio for Viola, Cello & Piano in A minor, Op.114
Freddy Kempf (piano), Diemut Poppen (viola), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Sunday 29 May / Royal Manor House, Kouklia
Schubert: Fantasia in F minor, D.940 for piano four hands
Alessio Bax (piano) & Freddy Kempf (piano)
Schumann: Piano Trio No.1 in D minor, Op.63
Freddy Kempf (piano), Viviane Hagner (violin), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello)
Schubert: String Quintet in C major, D.956
Daishin Kashimoto (violin), Alexandra Tirsu (violin), Razvan Popovici (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Tuesday 31 May / Royal Manor House, Kouklia
Rossini: Duo for Cello & Double-bass in D major
Kyril Zlotnikov (cello) & Nabil Shehata (double-bass)
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D.667 “Trout”
Freddy Kempf (piano), Daishin Kashimoto (violin), David Abrahamyan (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello), Nabil Shehata (double-bass)
Barber: Adagio from String Quartet in B minor, Op.11
Levon Chilingirian (violin), Alexandra Tirsu (violin), Razvan Popovici (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello)
Mendelssohn: String Quintet No.2 in B-flat major, Op.87
Viviane Hagner (violin), Alexandra Tirsu (violin), Diemut Poppen (viola), Razvan Popovici (viola), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Wednesday 1 June / Royal Manor House, Kouklia
Schubert: String Trio Movement in B-flat major, D.471
Levon Chilingirian (violin), Razvan Popovici (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello)
Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op.97 “Archduke”
Marie Sophie Hauzel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Brahms: String Sextet No.2 in G major, Op.36
Boris Brovtsyn (violin), Alexandra Tirsu (violin), Razvan Popovici (viola), David Abrahamyan (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Thursday 2 June / Royal Manor House, Kouklia
Mozart: Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, K.478
Marie Sophie Hauzel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), David Abrahamyan (viola), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Strauss: Capriccio – String Sextet
Boris Brovtsyn (violin), Alexandra Tirsu (violin), David Abrahamyan (viola), Razvan Popovici (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Arensky: String Quartet No.2, for Violin, Viola & two Cellos, in A minor, Op.35 “To the memory of Tchaikovsky”
Boris Brovtsyn (violin), Razvan Popovici (viola), Kyril Zlotnikov (cello), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Saturday 4 June / The Olive Grove, Delikipos
Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No.1 in D minor, Op.49
Marie Sophie Hauzel (piano), Boris Brovtsyn (violin), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
Franck: Sonata for Violin & Piano in A major
Levon Chilingirian (violin) & Marie Sophie Hauzel (piano)
Brahms: Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, Op.25
Marie Sophie Hauzel (piano), Boris Brovtsyn (violin), Razvan Popovici (viola), Alexander Chaushian (cello)
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES OF PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:
ALESSIO BAX piano
Combining exceptional lyricism and insight with consummate technique, Alessio Bax is without a doubt “among the most remarkable pianists before the public” (Gramophone). First Prize winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition (2000) and the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 1997, at age 19, he has appeared as soloist with over 150 orchestras, including, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, NHK Symphony in Japan, as well as Symphony Orchestras of New York, Boston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Sydney, and City of Birmingham, and he has collaborated with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Fabio Luisi, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden.
Bax constantly explores many facets of his career. Recent and forthcoming highlights include a trio tour of Spain with violinist Joshua Bell and cellist Steven Isserlis, recitals at New York’s Lincoln Center with his regular piano duo partner, Lucille Chung, his debut with the Milwaukee Symphony performing Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto, debuts with the Boston and Melbourne Symphonies under Sir Andrew Davis, a Japan tour with the Tokyo Symphony, a US tour with flutist Emmanuel Pahud and a tour in Asia with violinist Daishin Kashimoto, recitals in Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, London’s Wigmore Hall, L.A.’s Disney Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Alessio Bax boasts an impressive discography for Signum Classics, with many albums having selected as Editor’s and Critics choices for Gramophone and American Record Guide. He was born in Bari, Italy, and moved to the US in 1994. In 2009, he was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and four years later he received both the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists. In 2019, he was invited to join the piano faculty of Boston’s New England Conservatory.
FREDDY KEMPF piano
Exceptionally gifted with an unusually broad repertoire, Freddy Kempf is one of today’s most celebrated pianists. He has built a unique reputation as an explosive and physical performer who is not afraid to take risks, as well as a profoundly sensitive musical artist. Kempf made his concerto debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 8, and further came to national prominence in 1992 when he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. In 1998, his award of third, rather than first, prize in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow provoked protests from the audience and an outcry in the Russian press, which proclaimed him “the hero of the competition”.
Freddy has appeared with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, the Tonhalle Orchester and the Dresden Philharmonic. He has collaborated with such conductors as Järvi, Dutoit, Sanderling, Petrenko, Davis, and Temirkanov.
A committed recitalist, Freddy has appeared in many of the world’s most important concert halls including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, the Berlin Konzerthaus, Milan’s Sala Verdi, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Cadogan and Barbican, the Sydney Opera House and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. A prolific recording artist, Freddy Kempf records exclusively for BIS Records. In 2013, his recording of Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Litton was nominated for the prestigious Gramophone Concerto Award.
MARIE SOPHIE HAUZEL piano
Born in 2000, Marie Sophie Hauzel has won a number of international competitions, such as the International Jenö Takacs Competition, the International Hans von Bülow Piano Competition in Meiningen, the International Balys Dvarionas Competition for Young Pianists in Vilnius, the Carl Bechstein Competition in Berlin. She is the First Prize Winner and Special Prize Winner in solo and chamber categories in the Jugend musiziert competition in Germany – an achievement, which has led her to become a scholarship holder of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and the Carl Bechstein Stiftung.
Hauzel has appeared in major venues around the world, including Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Philharmonia Luxembourg, National Center of Performing Arts in Beijing, Herkulessaal and Gasteig in Munich, Shenzhen and Nanshan Concert Halls in China, Philharmonie Essen, and she has performed with leading orchestras, such as the Luxembourg Philharmonic, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Camerata Salzburg, the Shenzhen Philharmonic, the Folkwang Orchestra Essen, the Bad Reichenhall Philharmonic, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the “El Sistema” orchestra of Venezuela, to name a few. She is regularly invited to festivals such as Salzburger Festspiele, Mozartwoche Salzburg, the Kissinger Summer, the Schleswig Holstein Festival, the Mozart Festival in Shenzhen, amongst others.
Marie Sophie Hauzel began playing the piano at the age of four. At 15, she was the youngest student to be admitted to the bachelor programme at the Mozarteum University Salzburg, and she continued her postgraduate studies in Munich with Prof. Markus Bellheim.
DAISHIN KASHIMOTO violin
Both as the soloist of an international orchestra and as a sought-after chamber musician, Daishin Kashimoto is a regular guest of major concert halls around the globe. In his decadelong role as first concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker, this tremendous wealth of experience also benefits him in his equally adept role as a soloist, where he plays a wide repertoire ranging from classical to new music.
Daishin Kashimoto has appeared with such renowned orchestras as the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, the Bavarian, Hessian, and West German Radio Symphony Orchestras, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, and the Berliner Philharmoniker under conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Maazel, Yehudi Menuhin, Paavo Järvi, Myung-Whun Chung, Daniel Harding, and Philippe Jordan. As a chamber musician Daishin Kashimoto has appeared alongside Martha Argerich, Yuja Wang, Leif Ove Andsnes, Éric Le Sage, Konstantin Lifschitz, among others.
Kashimoto started studying the violin in Tokyo, at the age of three! He was the youngest student to ever attend Julliard School’s pre-college programme at the age of seven, and when he was eleven, he continued his studies at Lübeck University of Music under Zakhar Bron, and subsequently at the Freiburg University of Music under Rainer Kussmaul. Prize winner in a number of competitions, he won the First Prize at the Menuhin Junior International Competition in 1993, the Cologne Violin Competition in 1994, and the Vienna Fritz Kreisler and the Long-Thibaud Competitions in 1996.
VIVIANE HAGNER violin
Munich-born violinist Viviane Hagner has won exceptional praise for her highly intelligent musicality and passionate artistry. Since making her international debut at the age of 12, and a year later participating in the legendary ‘joint concert’ of the Israel and Berlin Philharmonics, conducted by Zubin Mehta in Tel Aviv, Hagner has acquired a depth and maturity in her playing that is reflected in her stage presence and assurance.
Appearing with the world’s great orchestras, Hagner’s concerto appearances include the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus, New York Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, working with conductors such as Ashkenazy, Barenboim, Eschenbach, and Salonen.
As well as bringing insight and virtuosity to the central concerto repertoire, Hagner is an ardent advocate of new, neglected, and undiscovered music, championing composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Karl Amadeus Hartmann and Witold Lutoslawski, and she is the dedicatee of Unsuk Chin’s Violin Concerto, which she premiered in 2002 with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Kent Nagano. A committed chamber musician, Hagner regularly appears in concert halls such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels and the Zurich Tonhalle, and has participated in festival such as the Ravello Festival, Salzburg Easter Festival and the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
Hagner’s discography includes albums for the Hyperion, the Capriccio, the MDG, and the Analekta labels. She has been Professor at the Mannheim Conservatory of Music and Performing Arts since 2013.
ALEXANDRA TIRSU violin
Alexandra Tirsu is gaining recognition as one of the leading violinists of her generation. A laureate and audience-award winner of the prestigious ARD Competition 2021, as well as the Seoul International Music Competition 2018 and Osaka International Competition 2014, her performances have garnered critical acclaim around the world, in publications such as Classical Music Magazine and the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Recent highlights include debut performances in Munich with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Herkulessaal and the Munich Chamber Orchestra at the Prinzregententheater.
Tirsu has performed in venues such as the Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Bucharest Athaneum and Beijing Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center and the Seoul Arts Center, at festivals such as the Crans Montana Classics and Sion Music Festival, among others. She has collaborated with artists such as Gidon Kremer, Michael Guttman, Jing Zhao, Dmitri Jurowsky, Ivry Gitlis, Uto Ughi, Semyon Bychkov, Vladimir Landsmann and Svetlana Makarova. An advocate of bringing violin music to wider audiences, she regularly collaborates with the celebrated music-comedy duo Igudesman & Joo.
Alexandra Tirsu has studied in Vienna under Pavel Vernikov, and subsequently in Sion under Janine Jansen. She performs on a Francesco Goffriller violin (“Ex Willy Boskovsky”), kindly on loan from Goh Family Foundation.
BORIS BROVTSYN violin
Boris Brovtsyn studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and became a laureate of international competitions, such as Georg Kulenkampff (1994, Cologne), Transnet (1996, Pretoria) and Yehudi Menuhin (1998).
In 2001, he was a finalist at the Queen Elizabeth Violin Competition and won the 2001 Reuters Prize. The following year he won the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition. In 1998, Brovtsyn made his UK debut with the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Rumon Gamba.
As a soloist, Boris Brovtsyn has collaborated with artists such as Yuri Bashmet, Gerd Albrecht, Yan Pascal Tortelier, and Arvo Volmer to name but a few, and appeared with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre National de Belgique, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille and Moscow State Chamber Orchestra, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Basel and Bern symphony orchestras, Warsaw Philharmonic, and Utah Symphony Orchestra.
He has performed at Verbier Festival, Lugano Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Oxford Chamber Music Festival, Ryedale Festival, Genius of the Violin Festival, Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival and in the “George Enescu” Festival among others. As a soloist, Boris has worked with Sir Neville Marriner, Yuri Bashmet, Gerd Albrecht, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi, Louis Langrée, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Gilbert Varga, Antoni Wit, Alexander Lazarev, Vassily Sinaisky, Vladimir Fedoseev, Alain Lombard and Arvo Volmer to name but a few.
LEVON CHILINGIRIAN violin
Levon Chilingirian, born in Cyprus, began violin with his great uncle, Vahan Bedelian. After emigrating to the U.K., he later studied with his uncle, Manoug Parikian, Hugh Bean, and the Amadeus Quartet. Chilingirian’s partnership with the late Clifford Benson was launched by winning first prizes in the 1969 BBC Beethoven Competition and the 1971 ARD Munich Duo International Competition. Founded in 1971, the Chilingirian Quartet is today one of the most celebrated string quartets on the international scene, its highly regarded recorded repertoire spanning classical to contemporary works.
In addition to his work with the Quartet, Chilingirian has always enjoyed recital and concerto appearances. He has appeared as a soloists with such orchestras as BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bournemouth, Liverpool Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber, Bergen Philharmonic, Armenian Philharmonic, and Russian National Orchestras, to name but a few. He was invited to perform the Sinfonia Concertante on the Amadeus soundtrack by Sir Neville Marriner and performed the Brahms Double Concerto with Steven Isserlis in Yerevan. Chilingirian led a performance of the Schubert Quintet to end the millenium’s music at the Wigmore Hall. He has played the Tippett Triple concerto with six different orchestras and his recording of the piece for Chandos with Richard Hickox had the enthusiastic endorsement of the composer. Other distinguished partners include Sir Andrew Davis, Tadaaki Otaka, Sir Charles Groves, Jeremy Menuhin and Steven De Groote. A partnership with organist William McVicker widens his repertoire to include inspiring works by Karg-Elert and William Lloyd Weber.
Levon Chilingirian is Professor of Violin and Chamber Music Artist in Residence at the Royal Academy of Music (London) and Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). He is much in demand giving masterclasses, coaching, as a jury member around the world and is chair of the Trondheim International Quartet Competition. Levon Chilingirian received an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List and the Cobbett Medal.
RAZVAN POPOVICI viola
One of the most accomplished and versatile violists of his generation, Razvan Popovici was born in Bucharest into a family of musicians, and studied in Salzburg, Paris and Freiburg. He has appeared as a soloist in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Théatre-dés-Champs-Elysées in Paris, Cologne Philharmony, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Athenaeum in Bucharest, Prinzregententheater in Munich, Carnegie Hall in New York, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall and the South Bank Centre in London, De Singel in Antwerpen and BOZAR in Brussels, Gasteig in Munich, Kennedy Center in Washington and both in the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, with such renowned orchestras as the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Kamerata Kronstadt, Kobe Chamber Orchestra, Transylvania Symphony Orchestra Cluj, the Sibiu State Philharmonic, the Romanian National Radio Orchestra and the George Enescu Philharmonic Bucharest.
Razvan Popovici is a regular guest at some of the most renowned festivals in the world such as the Lucerne Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Rheingau Musikfestival, Spoleto Festival, Ferrarra Musica and Storioni Festival in Eindhoven. He is a member of the Ensemble Raro, with which he regularly tours Europe, Japan, and North America. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Chiemgauer Musikfrühling Festival in Germany, of the SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest and the SoNoRo Arezzo Festival in Tuscany, as well as Artistic Director of the DA CAPO Chamber Music Series in Bucharest. Popovici is also a visiting professor at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp, he teaches regularly at the Villa Musica and gives master-classes all over Europe.
DIEMUT POPPEN viola
Diemut Poppen is one of the finest viola players of her generation. Born in a musical family, Poppen studied in Germany, USA and Paris with some of the greatest viola players of her time, including Yuri Bashmet, Kim Kashkashian, Bruno Giuranna and Peter Schidlof. Diemut Poppen has been awarded several scholarships and prizes, among them the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and the renowned European Music Prize.
As a soloist, Diemut Poppen has performed in major music centres all over the world including the Carnegie Hall in New York, Barbican in London, Philharmonie in Berlin and Mozarteum in Salzburg and has worked with musicians like Claudio Abbado, Leonidas Kavakos and Viktor Tretyakov.
Several composers have written new pieces for Diemut Poppen, including solo works, as well as concertos, sonatas and chamber music. Diemut Poppen has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Cappricio, Live classics, EMI, Tudor, Ediphone, Ondine, among others. Cyprus is Diemut’s favourite country, and she visits the island quite regularly.
DAVID ABRAHAMYAN viola
From a very young age, David Abrahamyan has collaborated with the Luxemburg Philarmonic, OSPA in Oviedo Spain, Lagen Laden in Brussels where he was solo viola of the Salzburg Chamber Soloists under the artistic direction of Lavard Skou Larsen. He has performed under the baton of conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Bernard Haitnk, Roberto Benzi, Jesús López Cobos or Plácido Domingo, amongst others.
Between 2005 and 2009, he was the founder and artistic director of the master-class series “Musical Improvement” in Felechosa (Asturias- Spain) inviting teachers like Dora Schwarzberg, Liviu Prunaru, Alexander Chaushyan, Ashley Wass, Wolfgang Meyer, Gunter Pichler, Gustav Rivinius, Mikhail Kopelman or Boris Belkin. Abrahamyan has given concerts in such renowned venues as Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Koncerthaus in Berlín, Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Aires, Sala Mozarteum in Salzburg, KKL in Lucerne, Royal Festival Hall in London, Queen Elisabeth Hall in London, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Salle Playel in París, Palais de Bozar in Brussels, Sala Sao Paolo in San Paolo or Teatro Manzoni in Bologna.
David has recorded a DVD performing Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht in the Singel in Antwerpen, a collaboration project between Europe and South Korea, and two CDs for Dutch Records Company with the Dutch composer Wim Zwaag, who dedicated his Adagio for Viola to him.
KYRIL ZLOTNIKOV cello
Kyril Zlotnikov studied at the Belarusian State Music Academy and the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. Prize-winner in many competitions, including the Clairmont Competition, the Braun-Roger Siegl Competition, and the Pierre Tarcali Prize, Zlotnikov is a founding member of one of the most dynamic and exciting string quartets of today – the Jerusalem Quartet, which has gained a vast international acclaim.
Along with his extensive chamber music appearances, Kyril Zlotnikov has appeared as a soloist with a number of internationally renowned orchestras, including, the Israel Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Ludwigsburg Symphony Orchestra, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, under the baton of acclaimed conductors, such as Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Lawrence Foster, Asher Fish, and Simone Young, and he is a regular guest in major chamber music festivals, including, the Proms, Verbier, Vancouver, Gstaad, Salzburg, Rheingau, Ravinia, Schleswig-Holstein, festivals, to name but a few.
With his wide repertoire covering the important cello works of the baroque, classical and romantic periods, as well as the contemporary, Zlotnikov is a keen recitalist and chamber musician, who has shared the stage with the foremost artists of today, including Daniel Barenboim, András Schiff, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Pierre Boulez, Mitsuko Uchida, Natalia Gutman, Tabea Zimmerman, Lang Lang, Itamar Golan, Martin Fröst. Besides his numerous recordings with the Jerusalem Quartet for Harmonia Mundi, he has recorded two CDs with the complete Mozart piano trios with Maestro Daniel Barenboim on the piano, and violinist Nikolaj Znaide, for EMI.
ALEXANDER CHAUSHIAN cello
Regarded as one of the finest cellists of his generation, Alexander Chaushian has performed extensively throughout the world as a soloist with orchestras such as the Vienna Chamber Orchestra at Vienna’s Konzerthaus and at the Bruchnerhaus in Linz, the London Mozart Players and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Royal National Orchestra of Belgium, Les Solistes Européens de Luxembourg in a gala concert conducted by Yehudi Menuhin, the Boston Pops Orchestra at Boston Symphony Hall, and the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He has given highly acclaimed performances in such venues as London’s Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall, Sala Verdi Milan, and Suntory Hall Japan.
Chaushian has won the Third Prize in the 12th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the Third and Special prizes given by the Munich Chamber Orchestra at the ARD Competition in Germany in 2005. Amongst the many distinguished musicians whom he has collaborated with are Yehudi Menuhin, Julia Fischer, Levon Chilingirian, Yuri Bashmet, François-Frédéric Guy, Emmanuel Pahud. His regular chamber music partner is Yevgeny Sudbin.
Alexander’s recordings include several highly acclaimed CDs for the BIS label in which he is partnered by Yevgeny Sudbin, and his recently released concerto CD with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, also on BIS, received rave reviews and was selected ‘Album of the Week’ by the Independent.
NABIL SHEHATA double-bass
Having studied at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin, Nabil Shehata won several international competitions including the Julio Cardona Competition in Portugal and the Valentino Bucchi Competition in Rome. At the ARD competition Shehata not only did he receive the first prize but also the coveted audience award. In 2006, he was awarded the Praetorius Prize of the German State of Lower Saxony. In 2003, Daniel Barenboim brought Shehata to the Staatsoper Berlin as the first double bass soloist. One year later Nabil Shehata began his tenure with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in the same position.
In 2008, Nabil Shehata gave his debut as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim and in the following year he performed as a soloist in the Musikverein in Vienna. As a soloist, he is a frequent guest of prestigious orchestras, such as the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lissabon, the Bremer Philharmoniker and the Münchener Kammerorchester, amongst others.
Shehata has a special affinity to chamber music repertoire. Together with colleagues of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Tatjana Vassiljewa, he founded the Philharmonic String Quintet. Thomas Quasthoff, Nikolaj Znaider and Daniel Barenboim are among his regular chamber music partners. In 2006, Nabil Shehata has increasingly turned toward conducting, receiving encouragement and instruction from Daniel Barenboim, Rolf Reuter, Lawrence Foster, Asher Fisch and Christian Thielemann. He gave his critically acclaimed conducting debut in Cottbus in 2007, and in 2008, he was invited by Gustavo Dudamel to conduct the Simón-Bolívar-Youth-Orchestra in Caracas to great critical and audience acclaim. He is currently the Chief Conductor Designate of the Philharmonie Südwestfalen.
SARAH ARISTIDOU soprano
Described by critics as “extraordinary” with “flawless technique” and “gorgeous stage presence”, French-Cypriot soprano Sarah Aristidou is a star in the making, and has already worked with a number of major conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle and François-Xavier Roth. Sarah has twice been nominated as “Best Newcomer” by Opernwelt. She was most recently awarded the Luitpold Prize for outstanding performance of a newcomer at the Kissinger Sommer Festival (2021).
Her potential was quickly recognized whilst a member of the Studio at Staatsoper unter den Linden and she has since gone on to debut Zerbinetta (in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos) with the company. The role also served as her debut with Oper Frankfurt, where she returns this season as Nausikaa in Dallapiccola’s Ulisse. Recent and forthcoming performances include her Norwegian debut with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the role of Ismene (in Mozart’s Mitridate) in a co-production of the Royal Danish Opera and Malmӧ Opera, her debut at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam in the world premiere of Thomas Larcher’s The Living Mountain, a piece she recently recorded with the Münchener Kammerorchester, her debut at the Salzburger Festpiele with ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, a tour with Les Musiciens du Louvre under Marc Minkowski, the title role in Lucia Ronchetti’s Pinocchio at Staatsoper unter den Linden.
A series of compositions have been written for Sarah Aristidou, including Aribert Reimann’s Cinq fragments lyriques premiered with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati, and Jörg Widmann’s Labyrinth IV premiered by the Boulez Ensemble, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Sarah Aristidou’s first album, AETHER, on the Alpha Classics label, features her in collaboration with the Orchester des Wandels under Thomas Guggeis, and accompanied by Daniel Barenboim, Emmanuel Pahud and Christian Rivet.