Sponsored by Laurie and Peter Rothenberg
"Passion, precision, warmth, a gold blend: these are the trademarks of this excellent Israeli string quartet." Such was The New York Times' impression of the Jerusalem Quartet. Since the ensemble's founding in 1993 and subsequent 1996 debut, the four Israeli musicians have embarked on a journey of growth and maturation. This journey has resulted in a wide repertoire and stunning depth of expression that carries on the string quartet tradition in a unique manner.
The ensemble has found its core in a warm, full, human sound, and an egalitarian balance between high and low voices. This approach allows the quartet to maintain a healthy relationship between individual expression and a transparent and respectful presentation of the composer's work. It is also the drive and motivation for the continuing refinement of its interpretations of the classical repertoire as well as exploration of new epochs.
The Jerusalem Quartet is a regular and beloved guest on the world's great concert stages. With regular biannual visits to North America, the quartet has performed in cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington and Cleveland, as well as the Ravinia Festival in Illinois. In Europe, the quartet enjoys an enthusiastic reception with regular appearances in London's Wigmore Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, Munich Herkulessaal, Theatre des Champs-Elysées, as well as special guest performances at Auditorium du Louvre Paris, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and many festivals including Salzburg, Verbier, Rheingau and Saint Petersburg White Nights.
The Jerusalem Quartet records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi. The quartet's recordings, particularly the albums featuring Haydn's string quartets and Schubert's Death and the Maiden, have been honoured with numerous awards including the Diapason d'Or and the BBC Music Magazine Award for Chamber Music. In 2018, the quartet released two albums: Dvorak's String Quintet Op. 97 and Sextet Op. 48, and a much-awaited recording of the celebrated quartets by Ravel and Debussy.
Alongside its regular programs, the 2018/19 season will open with a premiere of its new Yiddish program. In October 2018 the quartet played with Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth for a US tour featuring string sextets. March will include a return of the Brahms project featuring quartets, sonatas and quintets together with clarinetist Sharon Kam and pianist Matan Porat. After a second US tour in April, Bartok's six string quartets will be presented at London's Wigmore Hall in May and then combined with Beethoven and performed in various venues in Germany.
Alexander Pavlovsky – First Violin
Founder and first violinist of the internationally acclaimed Jerusalem Quartet, Alexander Pavlovsky has an established reputation as a highly accomplished chamber musician, soloist and teacher.
Alexander has performed as soloist with many orchestras, including Jerusalem Symphony Orches-tra, Kiev Chamber Orchestra, Israel Camerata and Israel Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Shallon, Lawrence Foster, Asher Fish, Roman Kofman, Avner Biron and Mendi Rodan.
He has collaborated with many famous musicians including András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim, Mit-suko Uchida, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Menahem Pressler, Jessye Norman, Gary Hoffman, Steven Is-serlis, Natalia Gutman, Joshua Bell, Paul Meyer, Sharon Kam, Andreas Ottensamer, Lawrence Power, Veronika Hagen and Nobuko Imai.
Alexander regularly gives masterclasses in Europe, America and Australia, and was a jury member at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. Since 2008, Alexander is Artistic Di-rector of Zeist Music Days International Chamber Music Festival in the Netherlands.
With the Jerusalem Quartet, Alexander records exclusively for the Harmonia Mundi label, with re-cordings winning the unrivalled position of three BBC Music Magazine Awards, two Diapason D'Or Awards and an ECHO Music Award.
Alexander plays a Stefan-Peter Greiner violin made in 2009.
Sergei Bresler – Second Violin
Sergei Bresler is a founding member of the Jerusalem Quartet. Born in the Ukraine in 1978, Sergei began violin at age of five with Prof A Leschinsky. At age 12 he gave his first recital and in the same year he performed Wienyavsky’s Violin Concerto No 2 with Kharkov Symphony Orchestra.
In 1991 immigrated to Israel were he continued his studies in the Jerusalem Rubin Music Conservatory with Prof M Liberman. From 1991 he has been a scholarship recipient from the America-Israel Culture Foundation. He won numerous prizes including second place in the Clairmont Competition for Young Violinists. In 1996 he continued his studies in Jerusalem Music Academy with Prof M Liberman and Haim Taub.
As a student, Sergei participated in several festivals and master classes including Keshet Eilon (Israel), Tuachan (USA) and Zeist (Netherlands), with prominent musicians including Isaac Stern, Miriam Fried, Georgy Kurtag and Tabea Zimmermann.
Sergei has performed as a soloist with Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Young Philharmonic Orchestra and Ludwigsburg Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber music teacher, Sergei has given master classes in many famous venues such as Royal Academy of Music in London, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, Cleveland Institute of Music, Zeist Summer Course (Netherlands), Valladolid (Spain) and Jerusalem Music Centre.
Sergei plays a 1770 Lorenzo Storioni violin kindly lent by the America-Israel Culture Foundation. The violin was donated to the Foundation by Isaac Stern.
Ori Kam – Viola
Ori Kam is an avid performer of chamber music. Hailed by The New York Times as "an attractive, engaging presence on stage", Ori has performed as soloist on some of the world's premier stages. After his debut at age 16 with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta, he was immediately re-engaged. Since then, he has performed with every orchestra in Israel, as well as National Symphony at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, New Jersey Symphony, Manhattan Philharmonia and Sinfonia Varsovia.
Ori is a frequent recitalist and has performed extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Israel. His recital appearance at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall received reviews including "[Kam is] a rare viola soloist", and "Mr. Kam's playing [was] at once mature and youthfully exuberant."
Independently, Ori has collaborated with artists such as Daniel Barenboim, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Pierre Boulez, Gil Shaham and Emmanuel Pahud. He has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and been a guest artist in numerous festivals including Salzburg, Verbier, Tangelwood, Aspen, Santa-Fe, Schleswig-Holstein, La Jolla, Schubertiade, and Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival.
Ori was born in California and grew up in both the United States and Israel. His music education began at age six, taking up the viola at 15. In Israel, he studied with renowned teacher Chaim Taub, and then, at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec. Later, he concluded his studies at the University for the Arts in Berlin with Wilfried Strehle. Ori has won several awards and prizes including the Swiss Prize at the Geneva International Music Competition, the Paganini Prize in the International Lionel Tertis Competition, and the 1995 Concerto Competition at the Manhattan School of Music. From 1990 to 2000 he was a scholarship recipient from the America-Israel Culture Foundation.
Before joining the Jerusalem Quartet, Ori was a member of Berlin Philharmonic, and is currently on the faculty of Geneva University of Music. In 2007, he released his first commercial recording under the Berlin Classics label of Bruch Double Concerto for Viola and Clarinet, which he recorded with his sister Sharon Kam. in 2012 he released his first solo CD for the same label of Telemann’s 12 Fantasies for Solo Viola. He can also be heard on Naxos Label, AVI-Music and Harmonia Mundi, which exclusively records the Jerusalem Quartet, and, most recently, a DVD of Pierre Boulez’s chamber works conducted by the pianist and composer Daniel Barenboim.
Ori plays a viola made in 2009 by Hiroshi Iizuka.
Kyril Zlotnikov – Cello
Kyril Zlotnikov is a founding member the Jerusalem Quartet. Born in Minsk, Belarus, to a family of professional musicians, Kyril began his studies at the Belarusian State Music Academy with Prof Vladimir Perlin. He continued his studies in Israel with Prof Uzi Wiesel and Hillel Zori, completing his musical education under the direction of Prof Michael Khomitzer at Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. While a student, Kyril participated in master classes and courses with prominent musicians such as Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Natalia Gutman, Boris Pergamenschikov, Aldo Parisot and Georgy Kurtag. Since 1991 he has been a scholarship recipient from the America-Israel Culture Foundation and won numerous prizes including the Clairmont Competition, the Braun-Roger Siegl Competition, and, most recently, the Pierre Tarcali Prize.
Along with his extensive chamber music appearances, Kyril has performed and been broadcast as a soloist with internationally renowned orchestras, including Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Ludwigsburg Symphony Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Jerusalem Camerata. He has worked with acclaimed conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Lawrence Foster, Asher Fish and Simone Young. His broad repertoire covers the important cello works of the baroque, classical and romantic periods as well as contemporary music.
Kyril is a regular guest at major chamber music festivals including Proms Festival, Bartok Festival, Vancouver, Menton, Ravinia ‘Rising Stars’, Schleswig-Holstein, Jerusalem and Scwetzingen Festivals. A keen recitalist and chamber musician, Kyril has shared the stage with the foremost artists of today including Daniel Barenboim, Jessye Norman, Pierre Boulez, Elena Bashkirova, Mitsuko Uchida, Natalia Gutman, Tabea Zimmerman, Miriam Fried, Hagai Shaham, Michael Tree, Asher Fish, Nikolaj Znaider, Lang Lang and Richard Stoltzman. Since 2003, Kyril has been a principal cellist and a teacher of the cello group at West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under Maestro Daniel Barenboim. He frequently takes part in special projects and tours of Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra as Principal Cellist. Kyril has recorded the complete Mozart Piano Trios (EMI, 2006) with Maestro Daniel Barenboim and violinist Nikolaj Zanier.
Kyril Zlotnikov plays a 1710 Giovanni Battista Ruggieri cello that is generously loaned to him from a private collection.
New Zealand String Quartet
Celebrating its 32nd season in 2019, the New Zealand String Quartet (NZSQ) has been the Quartet in Residence for all 13 Adam Chamber Music Festivals. NZSQ has an international reputation for its insightful interpretations, compelling communication and dynamic performing style, along with its imaginative programming and powerful connection with audiences of all kinds.
Over the decades the Quartet has cultivated a rich repertoire, including a wide variety of New Zealand music, composers' cycles from Beethoven to Bartók, and Mozart to Berg, in addition to theatrical presentations on musical topics ranging from Haydn’s Seven Last Words to Janáček's Kreutzer Sonata. The group's extensive discography includes all the quartets by Mendelssohn, Janáček and Berg, many New Zealand compositions, works by Ravel, Debussy, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Dvořák, Wolf, and the premiere recording of the remarkable Zoltan Szekely quartet. In 2011 the Atoll Records’ release, Notes from a Journey, a collection of works by New Zealand composers, won Classical Recording of the Year at the NZ Music Awards. NZSQ’s most recent recordings on the Naxos label include Asian Music for String Quartet and a disc featuring the complete chamber works for strings by Douglas Lilburn. Their current project, also for Naxos, includes all the Brahms string quartets as well as his string and clarinet quintets.
Acclaimed performances in London's Wigmore Hall and the City of London Festival, in New York at the Frick Collection, and in Washington's Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium have led to regular touring in the UK, Europe and North America. The quartet has also toured in Mexico, Curaçao, Japan, Korea and China. They formed a ground-breaking collaboration with the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra, China's foremost traditional instrument ensemble, touring a programme of seven new works by Chinese and New Zealand composers in both China and New Zealand. NZSQ is committed to the development of young musicians and composers through its work as Quartet in Residence at New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University, where three of the members are Associate Professors. They also enjoy giving master classes worldwide and run the annual Adam Summer School for Chamber Music in Nelson.
Helene Pohl – First Violin
In February 2019 Helene celebrates her 25th anniversary with NZSQ as first violinist, and her 11th Adam Chamber Music Festival as co-artistic director. While she has always been a quartet fanatic at heart, she has not spurned other opportunities that came her way over the years, including Concertmaster positions with New World Symphony, Boston Philharmonic and Nashua Symphony, and in recent years, concerto performances in various cities around New Zealand. In 2016 she was honoured to be the dedicatee and first performer of the violin concerto by Louise Webster, In Hollowed Bone I Hear the Seas Roar. She has also twice been on the international jury of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.
Born in New York to German parents, Helene spent her childhood on both sides of the Atlantic. She began violin at age four with the Suzuki method. At 17 she began tertiary study at the Musikhochschule Cologne, continuing her studies with members of the Cleveland Quartet at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University with Josef Gingold. As first violinist of the San Francisco based Fidelio String Quartet (1988-1993), Helene performed extensively in the USA, Germany, England, Italy and South America. In 2014 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her outstanding services to music.
Helene plays a Pietro Guarneri of Venice.
Monique Lapins – Second Violin
Australian Monique Lapins began violin at age six with the Suzuki method and continued her studies at the Australian National Academy of Music under William Hennessy, and at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music under Prof Qian Zhou. As a chamber musician, she has twice been a finalist in the Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition and has participated in chamber music programmes and festivals in France, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia, as well as at the prestigious Open Chamber Music Seminars in Prussia Cove in the UK.
A former Emerging Artist with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Monique has toured extensively in collaboration with Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed under the baton of Seiji Ozawa in Japan and Philippe Herreweghe in France. Monique took up her position in the NZSQ in May 2016, replacing Doug Beilman who stepped down at the end of 2015.
Monique plays a 1784 Storioni violin, generously loaned by David Duncan Craig and the Lily Duncan Trust.
Gillian Ansell – Viola
Gillian Ansell was born in Auckland and began violin and piano lessons at an early age, making her violin concerto debut at 16 with Auckland Symphonia (now Auckland Philharmonia). An Associated Board Scholarship to study violin, viola and piano took Gillian to the Royal College of Music in London where she won several prizes. She then took up a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) scholarship for further violin study in Germany at the Musikhochschule Cologne with Igor Ozim and the Amadeus Quartet.
After working professionally in London she returned to New Zealand in 1987 to become a founding member of the NZSQ. She was second violinist for two years before taking up the position of violist. She is a founding member of the Adam Chamber Music Festival and has been co-artistic director since 2001. In 2008, Gillian was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music.
Gillian plays an Nicolo Amati viola, kindly loaned by the Adam Foundation.
Rolf Gjelsten – Cello
Rolf Gjelsten’s musical experiences began at age five in his native Victoria, Canada, performing folk songs taught to him by his Norwegian father, leader of a touring folk dance group. At age 10, Rolf began the accordion, joining his sisters playing Scandinavian music, and twice placed first in the US Northwest Accordion Championships, playing classical repertoire. At age 13 he started cello with James Hunter and later Janos Starker, and made his concerto debut with Victoria Symphony when he was 18. At 22, he became the youngest member of Berlin Symphony Orchestra, returning a year later to North America to study intensively with Zara Nelsova. As a founding member of the Vermilion Quartet, he worked with the La Salle, Hungarian, Cleveland and Emerson String Quartets.
As a member of the Laurentian Quartet for almost a decade, he toured internationally, made numerous recordings, and taught cello at the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College in New York. From 1990 Rolf furthered his studies at Rutgers University with the great Casals protégé and Beaux-Arts Trio cellist Bernard Greenhouse, receiving his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Rolf joined NZSQ in 1994 and in 2014 was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music.
Rolf plays a Francesco Gofriller, made in Venice in 1705.
Sponsored by the Turnovsky Endowment Trust
Dénes Várjon’s sensational technique, deep musicality and wide range of interests have made him one of the most exciting and highly regarded participants of international musical life. Dénes is a universal musician: an excellent soloist, first-class chamber musician, artistic leader of festivals, and a highly sought after piano pedagogue.
Widely considered as one of the greatest chamber musicians, Dénes works regularly with pre-eminent partners such as Steven Isserlis, Tabea Zimmermann, Kim Kashkashian, Jörg Widmann, Leonidas Kavakos, András Schiff, Heinz Holliger, Miklós Perényi and Joshua Bell. As a soloist he is a guest at major concert series, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Vienna’s Konzerthaus and London’s Wigmore Hall. He is frequently invited to work with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras including Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Russian National Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Among the conductors he has worked with are Sir Georg Solti, Sándor Végh, Iván Fischer, Ádám Fischer, Heinz Holliger, Horst Stein, Leopold Hager and Zoltán Kocsis. Dénes appears regularly at leading international festivals from Marlboro to Salzburg and Edinburgh.
Dénes performs frequently with his wife Izabella Simon, playing four hands and two pianos recitals together. In the past decade they organised and led several chamber music festivals, the most recent one being kamara.hu at Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. Dénes has recorded for the Naxos, Capriccio and Hungaroton labels with critical acclaim. Teldec released his CD with Sándor Veress’s Hommage à Paul Klee (performed with András Schiff, Heinz Holliger and Budapest Festival Orchestra). His recording, Hommage à Géza Anda, (PAN-Classics Switzerland) made important international echoes. For the ECM label he recorded works of Berg, Janácek, Liszt (2012) and of Ravel, Schumann, Bartók (2018). In 2015 he recorded the Schumann piano concerto with the WDR Symphonieorchester and Heinz Holliger, and all five Beethoven piano concertos with Concerto Budapest and András Keller.
Dénes graduated from Franz Liszt Music Academy in 1991, where his professors included Sándor Falvai, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados. Parallel to his studies he was a regular participant at international master classes with András Schiff. He won first prize at the Hungarian Radio Piano Competition, at Leó Weiner Chamber Music Competition in Budapest and at Géza Anda Competition in Zurich, as well as the Liszt and Sándor Veress Prizes.
British violinist Anthony Marwood, awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year Honours list, is known worldwide as an artist of exceptional expressive force. His energetic and collaborative nature places him in great demand as soloist/director with chamber orchestras worldwide. He is Principal Artistic Partner of the celebrated Canadian chamber orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, a post he took up in 2015. He was Artist in Residence at the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra in the 2016-17 season, and enjoys regular collaborations with with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta in Helsinki and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, among others.
His renown as a soloist has led to collaborations with celebrated conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Thomas Søndergård, David Robertson, Douglas Boyd, Jaime Martin, and Bernard Labadie, with orchestras across the globe, from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony to the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony.
The 2018/2019 season include a collaboration with Amsterdam Sinfonietta, in a programme incl. the Enescu Octet and the Mendelssohn Double Concerto with Alexander Melnikov, returns to New Zealand to perform the Adès concerto with the Auckland Philharmonia, and to the US for play/direct engagements incl. the Beethoven violin concerto with the St. Louis Symphony and the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Furthermore Anthony will be involved in chamber music projects with the New World Symphony, as well as with pianist Aleksandar Madžar and across the UK with cellist Steven Isserlis.
Anthony’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music is reflected in his diverse programming, alongside more traditional repertoire. Among those new works composed for him is Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto “Concentric Paths”. Anthony first performed the concerto in Berlin and at the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by the composer. This concerto inhabits a uniquely popular standing among contemporary violin concerti and Anthony continues to perform it with leading orchestras worldwide. Also composed for Anthony were Steven Mackey’s “Four Iconoclastic Episodes”, premiered in 2009 with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, as well as the violin concerti by Sally Beamish (1995) and Samuel Adams (2014).
Anthony Marwood’s most recent release – his 50th on the Hyperion label – is a recording of Walton’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins. The disc has received critical acclaim, including a 5-star review in The Guardian and Classical Source and a ‘Recommended Recording’ in The Strad Magazine, whilst the Sunday Times hailed Marwood as “a thrilling, virtuosic soloist”. Anthony also recorded Schumann and Brahms’ violin sonatas with Aleksandar Madžar on the award-winning Wigmore Live label.
Anthony is co-Artistic Director of the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival in East Sussex, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. He performs annually at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont and enjoys a close association with the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. He was appointed a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music in 2013. He plays a 1736 Carlo Bergonzi violin, kindly bought by a syndicate of purchasers, and a 2018 violin made by Christian Bayon.
Nikki Chooi appears courtesy of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition
Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi has established himself as a unique force among a new generation of instrumentalists. Described as “vigorous, colorful” by The New York Times, he has received critical acclaim in recent engagements as a recitalist in Chicago’s Harris Theatre, Vancouver’s Recital Series, and New York’s Merkin Hall, as well as making appearances as soloist with Montreal Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, National Orchestra of Belgium, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Malaysian Philharmonic.
With a deep passion for chamber music, Nikki is a frequent performer at international festivals including Moritzburg Festival, Kammermusik Utrecht, Montreal Symhony’s Viree Classique, and Marlboro Festival while collaborating with Jan Vogler, Kim Kashkashian, Susanna Phillips, and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard quartets amongst others.
Nikki has also delved into the orchestral repertoire having served as Concertmaster of New York's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2016/17, working closely with singers and conductors including Renee Fleming, Fabio Luisi and Esa-Pekka Salonen. His solos can be heard in ‘Live from the Met HD Broadcasts’ in productions of Verdi’s La Traviata, Janacek’s Jenufa, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Strauss’ Rosenkavalier released through the Decca Label. He has also appeared as Guest Concertmaster with Pittsburgh Symphony and Houston Symphony.
Known as the ‘Chooi Brothers Duo’, Nikki performs with violinist Timothy Chooi in selective projects. The Duo recently gave the world premiere performance of Sheridan Seyfried’s Double Violin Concerto and were featured artists at the 2018 G7 Meeting in Canada. In 2015, Nikki was a violinist in the cross-over ensemble, Time for Three, performing in genres ranging from Bluegrass to Pop. In collaboration with From the Top and Universal Music, the group released a rendition of Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’ to record-breaking views on YouTube.
Through his success as First Prizewinner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Nikki maintains an active presence in New Zealand and Australia. He completed a Chamber Music New Zealand Tour and a debut recording under the Atoll Label of works by Prokofiev, Ravel and Gershwin. In Australia, his performances have been presented by Musica Viva, Selby and Friends Tour, as well as appearing as Guest Concertmaster with Sydney Symphony.
Nikki plays a 2017 Joseph Curtin violin.
Scottish born James Crabb is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading ambassadors of the classical accordion. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with classical accordion pioneer Mogens Ellegaard and was awarded the Carl Nielsen Music Prize in 1991. James was professor of classical accordion at Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen, from 1995-2010 and held a long-standing guest professorship at University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria. He is currently Artistic Director of Four Winds Music Organisation and Festival in Australia.
James has performed as soloist with many orchestras including BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish, Sydney and Melbourne Symphonies, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Hallé Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Nash Ensemble, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Swedish, Irish, English Chamber Orchestras, Violons du Roy and Kuhio Virtuosi.
A recognised and acclaimed authority on the music of Astor Piazzolla, James has performed with the original members of Piazzolla’s own quintet and has directed Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires both at Royal Danish Opera and for Victorian Opera. James’ Piazzolla recordings include Song of the Angel with Australian Chamber Orchestra and The Quintets with Richard Tognetti and Tango Jam Quintet. He is also featured in the documentary, Astor Piazzolla in Portrait, published by Opus Arte. Further recordings include transcriptions of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with Geir Draugsvoll (EMI Classics), Beamish concerto The Singing with Royal Scottish National Orchestra (BIS), and Heard this and thought of you with Genevieve Lacey (ABC Classics).
Highlights of recent seasons include as guest soloist and director of a new Piazzolla festival in Buenos Aires, The Last Supper (Birtwistle) with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Stravinsky’s Petrouchka with Tero Saarinen Dance Company in Europe and Asia, the world premiere of a new work by Magnar Am in Oslo and later in Japan, Gubaidulina’s 7 Words double concerto with BBC Symphony and at the BBC Proms, and performances with Camerata Salzburg, Australia Ensemble, Violons du Roy with Anthony Marwood, SSO and MSO, Opera Queensland and Dance North, Edinburgh International Festival, Peasmarsh Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and Adelaide Festival.
In 2019 James will give the world premiere and record a new accordion concerto by Brett Dean in Sweden.
James plays a Pigini Mythos No.4 model (1992) instrument, tuned and prepared by Leonid Setrakov.
Pianist Izabella Simon graduated at Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest as a student of György Kurtág, Ferenc Rados and Jenő Jandó. She is a regular participant of the most prestigious international festivals, including Ittingen Festival led by András Schiff and Heinz Holliger, Prussia Cove Festival founded by Sándor Végh, Maribor, and Marlboro Festival. Recently she has performed at Cheltenham, Heidelberg, Hitzacker, Davos, and Kempten Chamber Music Festivals, and played at Schwetzingen Festspiele, with partners including Heinz Holliger, Steven Isserlis, Miklós Perényi, Christoph Richter and Radovan Vlatkovic. She particularly enjoys working with singers, demonstrated by her appearances with Sylvia Sass, Andrea Rost, Judit Német, Éva Bátori, Ruth Ziesak and Hanno Müller-Bachmann.
As a soloist, as well as the Hungarian orchestras, she has performed with Kremerata Baltica, Camerata Bern and Camerata Zürich. She frequently plays piano four hands and piano duets both in Hungary and abroad with her husband, Dénes Várjon, such as the highly successful 2012 concert with Winterthur Orchestra led by Thomas Zehetmair. Izabella has made recordings with Sylvia Sass (Lisz and Schubert lieders), and Andrea Rost (Kodály and Ligeti lieders). Most recently, alongside her concerts in Hungary she performed in Zürcher Festspiele, Wigmore Hall in London, Salzburger Festspiele in Austria, Normandy Festival in France, Prussia Cove Festival in England, and Marlboro Festival in the United States. After her very successful concert at 92Y in New York she was invited to the famous Bard College as a guest professor. To popularise chamber music, she founded The Night of the Chamber Music, with participants including Steven Isserlis or Ferenc Rados.
Together with Dénes Várjon, she is Artistic Director of Hungary's primary chamber music festival, Kamara hu.
Born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand, Wilma Smith studied at Auckland University and had early professional experience with Auckland Symphonia (now Philharmonia) and NZSO. She continued her studies in Boston at New England Conservatory with Dorothy DeLay and Louis Krasner, playing in master classes for many others including Josef Gingold, Yehudi Menuhin and Sándor Végh. Wilma was founding first violinist of Lydian String Quartet, prizewinners at Evian, Banff and Portsmouth International Competitions and winners of the Naumburg Award for Chamber Music. Although the quartet was her professional focus in Boston, she also worked regularly with Boston Symphony Orchestra and led Harvard Chamber Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, and Banchetto Musicale, a period instrument baroque orchestra.
Invited to return home in 1987 to form the New Zealand String Quartet, Wilma was first violinist for five years until she was appointed Concertmaster of NZSO, a position she held for nine years before moving to Melbourne in 2003 to be Concertmaster of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Wilma has also served as Guest Concertmaster with Sydney, Adelaide, West Australian, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Queensland Festival Philharmonic, Orchestra Victoria, Orchestra Wellington and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. The MSO's Chief Conductor, Sir Andrew Davis, has stated that, of all the performances of Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending he has conducted, Wilma’s was "unquestionably the most beautiful". He describes her as "an exceptional musician with whom [he] felt an immediate rapport".
Since her retirement from MSO in 2014, Wilma’s focus has once again been chamber music. She curates her own series, Wilma & Friends, now entering its eighth year of giving concerts, commissioning new works and undertaking educational outreach in Melbourne and elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand. She is one-third of a new piano trio, Rock, Paper, Scissors, with Yelian He on cello, and Yasmin Rowe on piano, and has collaborated with Australian groups such as Ensemble Liaison, Australian String Quartet and Flinders Quartet along with her longstanding pianist partners, Michael Houstoun and Ian Munro. In 2018, Wilma was thrilled to participate in the second annual Martinborough Music Festival, relishing the opportunity to come home for an intensive chamber music week. In addition to her teaching commitments, Wilma is Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and is currently working with Musica Viva on establishing a national chamber music contest for young Australians, loosely based on the New Zealand model, to start in 2020.
Wilma plays a 1761 Guadagnini.
Ian Munro is one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded musicians, with a career that has taken him to 30 countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. His winning of the 2003 Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition for Composers (Belgium) is a unique achievement for an Australian and follows on from multiple prizes in international piano competitions in Spain (Maria Canals), Italy (Busoni), Portugal (Vianna da Motta) and the UK, where his second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1987 established his international profile. After completing his early training in Melbourne under the guidance of Roy Shepherd, a pupil of Alfred Cortot, and furthering his studies in Vienna, London, and Italy with Noretta Conci, Guido Agosti and Michele Campanella, Ian’s international career began in the UK, where he performed with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, as well as being broadcast widely on the BBC. Elsewhere, he performed with orchestras in Poland, Italy, Portugal, Russia, USA, China, Korea, New Zealand and all the major orchestras in Australia in over 60 piano concerti. A widely experienced chamber musician, Ian joined the acclaimed Australia Ensemble in Sydney in 2000.
Since 2003, Ian's works have been frequently heard all over Australia, with broadcasts on the ABC and BBC. In 2011 he was Featured Composer for Musica Viva’s international season, during which his works were toured by Eggner Trio, Brentano Quartet, Sabina Meyer and Modigliano Quartet, as well as Goldner Quartet with Munro as soloist. Other works have been written for Gondwana Voices, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chorale, Flinders Quartet, Huntington Festival and Plexus. His flute concerto and song cycle, Three Birds, was premiered in 2016 with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Australia Ensemble respectively. In 2018, he was invited by Classic Art Ensemble and Sofia Philharmonic to present a concert dedicated to his music.
Ian has recorded CDs for ABC Classics, Hyperion, Cala, Naxos, Marco Polo, Tall Poppies and the UK label, Warehouse. Recent recordings include the collected music by Tasmanian composer Katharine Parker and the piano concerto by Elena Kats-Chernin, commissioned for Ian by Sydney Symphony Orchestra. During the last few concert seasons Ian has performed concerti by Ravel, Munro, Mozart, Kats-Chernin, Gershwin and Edwards, toured to the UK, Russia, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Uzbekistan and throughout Australia and New Zealand in recitals, chamber music and concerto performances.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Anna enjoys work nationally and abroad as a chamber and orchestral musician. She has the pleasure of regularly performing with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Players. She has appeared in concert series and festivals across Australia including Perth International Arts Festival, Metropolis Music Festival and Bangalow Music Festival. Anna graduated as a cello student of Howard Penny from Australian National Academy of Music in 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Music from The University of Western Australia where she studied with Dr Suzanne Wijsman, and in 2013-14 undertook further postgraduate performance study at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland with Professor Niall Brown. Throughout her study Anna performed in master classes with David Geringas, Steven Isserlis, Mischa Maisky, Maxim Vengerov, Borodin String Quartet, Doric String Quartet, Brodsky String Quartet and Eggner Trio. In 2012 she was an Emerging Artist with Australian Chamber Orchestra. Anna is the recipient of numerous awards including the Pauline Steele Prize for Bach, ANAM Prize for Most Outstanding Performance in a Recital, Woodside Concerto and ANAM Chamber Music Competition, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Scholarship, and the Ernest V Llewellyn Memorial Fund Travel and Study Scholarship.
Anna’s cello was made by Charles Plumerel (1808-85), between 1822-52.
Anna Fraser has gained a reputation as a versatile soprano specialising predominantly in the interpretation of early and contemporary repertoire. Anna is a graduate of Sydney Conservatorium of Music and New England Conservatory (Boston), and furthered her studies in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program featuring as a soloist at Aldeburgh Festival (UK) under the direction of Richard Egarr and the late Antony Rolfe-Johnson. As a permanent ensemble member of Australia’s Song Company since 2007, Anna has had the pleasure of performing in a myriad of traditional and exploratory programming expertly demonstrating the versatility and virtuosity of a cappella singing. Anna performs extensively with a number of Sydney's professional ensembles including Pinchgut Opera (since 2004 with notable roles in L'Orfeo, Dardanus, L’Ormindo, Castor et Pollux) and Cantillation; Sydney Chamber Opera (Dusapin’s Passion, Finsterer’s Biographica); Sydney Philharmonia Choirs; Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Ironwood; The Acacia Quartet, Ensemble Offspring; Halcyon; Taikoz; Bach Akadamie Australia, Australian Haydn Ensemble, Salut! Baroque, Sydney Consort and Thoroughbass. Contemporary music highlights have featured Anna as lead vocal soloist in Berio’s Laborintus II (Sydney Festival) with iconic front man Mike Patton. Anna has collaborated with international ensembles such as period specialists The Wallfisch Band (Bach Unwrapped cantata programmes at Kings Place, London) and New Zealand String Quartet (Adam Chamber Music Festival, Canberra International Music Festival).
New Zealand oboist Thomas Hutchinson was a winner of the 66th ARD competition in Munich in 2017, as well as the special prize for the best performance of the commissioned work by Thierry Escaish. Laureate of many other competitions and prizes, he won the Australian National Academy of Music Concerto Competition and Most Outstanding Recital Prize, and was awarded prizes in the National Young Performer Awards and the Gisborne International Music Competitions in New Zealand.
He has made numerous appearances as soloist, including with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchener Kammerorchester, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Bach Musica NZ, Orchestra Victoria, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has also toured extensively throughout New Zealand and Australia playing chamber music and recitals.
In 2015 he was appointed to the position of associate principal oboe with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis and also began teaching at Australian National Academy of Music, University of Melbourne, and the International Oboe Summer School in Wellington. Since then he has been invited to play guest principal oboe with orchestras in Australia and in Europe, most notably with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.
Thomas studied in Auckland and Melbourne before moving to Paris where he was unanimously admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris to study with Jacques Tys and David Walter, graduating in 2015 with highest honours. He also received invaluable advice and teaching from Maurice Bourgue, Gordon Hunt, Diana Doherty and Jeffrey Crellin.
Thomas plays an oboe made for him by the Dupin Manufactory in Luxembourg.
Jian Liu is a highly sought-after solo pianist and chamber musician, performing throughout Europe, Asia and North America. His artistry has taken him to some of the most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York, Rose Hall at Lincoln Center, Sprague Hall and Woolsey Hall of Yale University, and Paul Hall of Julliard School, as well as a featured soloist with orchestras including Symphony Orchestra of National Philharmonic Society of Ukraine, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Yale Philharmonia, among others. Jian is a prize-winner at Horowitz (Ukraine) and Missouri Southern (USA) international competitions and has performed at music festivals in Auckland, Krakow, Beijing and Lausanne. Jian’s performances have been broadcast by TV and radio stations including KPHO public radio, CCTV (China), Suisse Romande Radio and Radio New Zealand.
As a dedicated and enthusiastic chamber musician, Jian is the founding pianist of Te Kōkī Trio, the resident trio at New Zealand School of Music. The trio has appeared on various chamber series in Singapore, Australia and China. Jian has also performed as a guest pianist with world-class musicians including cellist Jian Wang, clarinetist David Shifrin, flutist Ransom Wilson, cellist Alexandre Lecarme, violinist Sarita Kwok, and pianists Boris Berman and Maria João Pires. A passionate performer, Jian is equally committed to education, serving four years at Yale Department of Music, and is currently Head of Piano Studies and Programme Director of Classical Performance at NZSM. He has taught master classes and lectures at Central Conservatory of Music (China), Rutgers University and Manhattan School of Music (USA), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Singapore), and Sydney Conservatorium, among others. Jian studied with Professor Jin Zhang from Central Conservatory in Beijing and with Dr Caio Pagano at Arizona State University. He holds a Master of Music, Doctor and Master of Musical Arts from Yale School of Music, where he was a student and assistant of Claude Frank.
Samuel Jacobs is Principal Horn of New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, after spending three years as Principal Horn of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. He has made numerous commercial recordings for the film and pop industries, including albums with Sting, Sam Smith and Florence & The Machine, and soundtracks for feature films The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Interstellar, The Martian and the Bond film, Spectre, as well as scores for television and video games, including the Halo franchise. Samuel’s solo experience includes concertos by Haydn, Mozart, Hoffmann, Franz Strauss and Richard Strauss, as well as Principal Horn for Schumann’s Konzertstuck. He recorded John Rimmer’s Horn Concerto with NZSO, and his performance of Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto with Sinfonia Viva was broadcast on Classic FM.
Sam plays an Alexander 103 Horn.
Douglas Mews studied organ and harpsichord with the late Anthony Jennings at Auckland University followed by harpsichord studies with Bob van Asperen at Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
Douglas is now a freelance musician, teaching at New Zealand School of Music and directing the music at St Teresa's Catholic Church. He was Wellington City Organist until the Wellington Town Hall was closed in 2013 due to earthquake risk.
In 2016 he toured nationally with Catherine Mackintosh (former co-leader of Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) playing Mozart violin sonatas on period instruments, as well as performing at Bolzano Festival, Italy. In January 2018 he appeared at Organs of Ballarat Goldfields Festival.
Joan Perarnau Garriga
Joan was born in Catalunya, Spain, where he began playing the double bass. After finishing his initial studies, he moved to the UK where he graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 2005. Soon after he moved to Japan as a founding member of Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, where he was principal double bass. In 2008 he was a member of UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra and Lucerne Festival Academy under the direction of Pierre Boulez. From 2009 Joan has been a member of the prestigious Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, touring the world with internationally-renowned conductors and soloists. Joan is currently principal double bass with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and teaches at New Zealand School of Music.
Performer, improviser, collaborator, anthropologist and specialist Māori composer Rob Thorne is a diverse and original explorer in the evolving journey of taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instruments), fusing ancient voices with modern sounds and technology.
Rob’s combined musical and academic experience and skills are multitudinal. With 25 years performance experience in bands and solo, predominantly within alternative rock, free noise, experimental and improvisational sound art, his work with traditional taonga pūoro has seen him complete a MA in Social Anthropology, and incorporate this diverse experience to blending the modern with the ancient: a format that is now being picked up and utilised by many taonga pūoro players. He has travelled the country to research museum collections, teach and lecture, present as keynote, demonstrate, collaborate and perform, working academically and musically with both traditional and sonic masters including Richard Nunns and Phil Dadson. His Post-Graduate Diploma research became a museum exhibition ‘Kōauau: The Music Within’, which toured nationally for five years.
In 2012 he received Creative New Zealand funding for his debut taonga pūoro album, Whāia te Māramatanga (Rattle Records) which was was nominated for Best Traditional Album at the Waiata Māori Music Awards, received nomination for the Taite Music Prize, and completed a highly successful national tour.
In 2017/18 he was the Jack C Richards Composer-in-Residence at New Zealand School of Music. Working with Kent Macpherson, he devised ‘Te Koki’, an electro-acoustic acousmatic composition that imagined a pre-colonial Aotearoa/NZ dawn chorus, which was presented to full houses. In 2018 he was commissioned by New Zealand String Quartet to write a new collaborative work with taonga pūoro. Tomokanga for pukaea, pūtōrino, pūtātara and string quartet premiered at the 2018 New Zealand Festival. The concerto styled show also included works by composers Gillian Whitehead, Gareth Farr and Salina Fisher, and poetry by Maori language expert Dr Vincent Olsen-Reeder.
Naoto Segawa is a dedicated contemporary musician who specialises in marimba performance. He has won numerous awards in competitions including the 14th KOBE International Music Competition, 6th Romania International Music Competition and JILA Music Competition. Naoto actively seeks to perform the works of up-and-coming composers, premiering many new compositions, including pieces by Joshua Pangilinan, David Taylor, Tsu-Chin Hsu, Kongmeng Liew and Simon Eastwood. His teachers include Yoshiko Kanda, Sumire Yoshihara, Jonathan Fox and Kunihiko Komori.
Naoto plays an Adams’ Artist Classic 5 octave model marimba.
2019 Adam Troubadours
The Adam Troubadour Quartet Programme is a two-year career development experience for four young string players. The programme includes learning and performance opportunities provided by Adam Chamber Music Festival, Adam Summer School and Chamber Music New Zealand. As well as performing in two free-entry concerts in the 2019 Adam Chamber Music Festival, the Troubadours will present a series of programmes in the community.
Claudia Tarrant-Mathews – violin
Claudia has a BMus in Violin and Piano Performance at NZSM and will be undertake her Masters in 2019 (at a UK school to be determined). She was in the NZSO Fellowship Programme in 2017, and in 2018 performed Bartok’s 2nd violin concerto with the NZSM orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Young. 2019 is her seventh year attending Adam Summer School. Claudia plays an 1825 Italian violin, said to be partially an original Antonius Gagliano, with replacements by subsequent Gagliano family members.
Sofia Tarrant-Matthews – violin
Sofia completed her BMus in Piano and Violin Performance at NZSM in 2017 and is currently finishing her Honours Degree. She is a recipient of the Barbara Finlayson Scholarship Award (2019), the NZSM Chamber Music Award, and the NZSO Fellowship Programme (2016). 2019 is her fifth year attending Adam Summer School. Anna plays a German violin made by luthier Arnold Voigt (1864-1952).
Grant Baker – viola
Grant completed his BMus at NZSM in Classical Performance Viola with Gillian Ansell in 2018, and is in the NZSO Fellowship Programme for 2019. This year will be his sixth Adam Summer School. Grant plays a viola made by Nigel Harris of Harris and Sheldon makers in London in 2007, loaned by Gillian Ansell.
Olivia Wilding – cello
Olivia completed her BMus in Classical Performance Cello with First-Class Honours at NZSM in 2018, and is in NZSO’s 2019 Fellowship Programme with the aim to pursue post-graduate study overseas. She is currently principal cello of Wellington Youth Orchestra. 2019 is her fourth year attending Adam Summer School. Olivia’s cello is generously loaned by Reka and Arnold Solomon.
As well as performing in two free-entry concerts in the 2019 Adam Chamber Music Festival, the Troubadours will present a series of programmes in the community.