Marcos Madrigal was born in Havana, Cuba. In 2007, he graduated with honors from the The University of Arts of Cuba (ISA), under the guidance of the renowned professor and pianist Teresita Junco. He attended Master Classes at the Conservatory of Southern Switzerland in Lugano and at the International Piano Academy Lake Como, where he had the chance to study with Andreas Staier, Dimitri Bashkirov, Fou Ts’ong, John Perry, Malcolm Bilson and especially with his mentor William Grant Naboré.
He has performed in recitals, and as a soloist with orchestra, in many of the most renowned concert halls of the world, such as the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, the Auditorium Parco della Musica of Rome, the Queen Elizabeth Hall of London, the National Concert Hall of Dublin, the Auditorium Manuel de Falla of Granada, the Bucharest Opera House, the Volkstheater of Vienna, the Teatro Rossini of Pesaro, the Teatro delle Muse of Ancona, the Teatro Gentile da Fabriano of Fabriano, the Teatro Góngora of Córdoba and the Qintai Grand Theater of Wuhan, working with notable conductors, such as Claudio Abbado, Leo Brower, Paul Mann, Enrique Diemecke and Lorenzo Ramos. Madrigal has also collaborated in several projects with Oscar-winning composer Nicola Piovani, as well as with other distinguished composers in the film and theater world.
In 2015, he gave his celebrated debut in the United States at the Finney Hall in Oberlin, Ohio.
He has received numerous awards in several international competitions, among which are the International Piano Competition “Premio Jaén”(Spain), the “Panama International Piano Competition”, the International Piano Competition “María Clara Cullel” (Costa Rica), and the International Piano Competition “Ignacio Cervantes” (Cuba).
In 2012, he was awarded the International Award “Gold Medal Maison des Artistes”, granted by the Association for Culture, Arts, Science and Social Commitment at the Sapienza University of Rome.
Among his most recent recordings are Homo Ludens, with M° Leo Brouwer; Concert for Four Hands, with Cuban pianist Teresita Junco; the Opera Omnia for Piano and Orchestra of José María Vitier; a monograph dedicated to Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, Cuba, which was critically acclaimed and won numerous awards, among which are the Choc de Classica (France), the Melómano de Oro (Spain), the Cubadisco 2016 (Cuba), and the 5 stars of Diapason (France).
Madrigal has recorded live concerts and has participated in several programs for many Radio and TV channels all over the world, such as the BBC, Vatican Radio, Radiotelevisione svizzera (RSI), Radio Suisse Romande (RSR), and the Italian Rai Radio 3, which in 2013 broadcast a 5-episode documentary dedicated to his life with the title “Piano Libre – The other music of Cuba”.
Madrigal is the Artistic Director of Habana Clásica.
Born in Moscow in 1988 in the family of famous lawyers and philologists. He grew up in the atmosphere of passion love to a classical music, theatre, literature and art. Nikolay began playing the cello at the age of 5.
One of the first Nikolay’s teachers and mentors was Natalia Grishina – renowned cello pedagogue and artist. She instilled in him a love for the constant seeking of a beautiful tone. At the age of 9 he already debuted on stage of Moscow Conservatory Great Hall. Nikolay Shugaev graduated with distinction from Gnesin Moscow Music School – the famous school for exceptional talents and prodigy children. He was a pupil of Vera Birina – brilliant pedagogue and close friend of his family. Later he entered the studio in Moscow Conservatory of one of the most beloved students of Mstislav Rostropovich – Natalia Shakhovskaya where he spent five incredible years.
Studying chamber music in studio of renowned teacher and pianist Alexander Bonduriansky as well as in quartet classes of brilliant violinists Andrey Shishlov and Sergey Pishiugin were very important for Nikolay’s forming of musical taste and aesthetic values. In 2015 he graduated from the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, where he has been studying with renowned cellist and conductor Enrico Dindo. Mr. Robert Cohen – an outstanding British cellist had a strong artistic influence on Nikolay’s performing career.
Excellent combination of Russian-Soviet and Western European top cello schools, artistic exchanges during masterclasses with cellists such as David Geringas, Natalia Gutman, Gary Hoffman, Maria Kliegel, Ralph Kirshbaum and Misha Maisky leaded Nikolay to a big stage.
Nikolay has performed in the Russian festivals “Violoncello Generations” (Moscow),“D.Shostakovich”, “Beethoven Days in Moscow”, “Moscow Autumn”; “Art-November” Moscow, “Glory to the Maestro!” (Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation), in the programs of the Spivakov International Foundation and the international foundation “New Names” as well as at the “Aurora Chamber Music” and “Atelie-42” (Sweden), the Jeunesses Musicales (Croatia), “Cistermusica Festival” (Portugal), Festival Internacional de Musica “Pau Casals” Vendrell 2013 (Spain), Summer Events Engadina Classica 2013 and Ceresio Estate 2014 (Switzerland), “V.th Eilat Chamber Music Festival” (Israel), “The International Holland Music Sessions”, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Societa dei Concerti Milano 2014, Lugano Festival, Rome Chamber Music Festival. Mantova Chamber Music Festival.
Nikolay performs in prestigious halls such as the Great Hall, Small Hall and Rachmaninov Hall of Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, the Armoury Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin, the Kremlin Hall of Nijny-Novgorod M. Rostropovich Philharmonic, the Great Hall of Saint-Petersburg D.Shostakovich Philharmonic, the Sala Verdi Milano, the Auditorio RSI Lugano, the Salle Paderewski Lausanne, LAC-Lugano, the Auditorium Pau Casals, Concertgebouw – Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall – New York, Philharmonics of Bratislava and others.
He is a winner and laureate of many international competitions: VIII Concorso Internazionale Valsesia Musica, Italy (2007, First Prize), International Music Competition “Paper de Musica”, Spain (2007, I), XII International Competition of chamber music in Krakow, Poland (2008, I), Concorso Internazionale Citta di Pinerolo, Italy (2011, III), 38e Concours International de Musique de Lausanne, Switzerland (2012, III), “New Masters on tour” of TIHMS, American Fine Arts Young artist program, Val Tidone Chamber music competition and others.
He collaborates with conductors Igor Frolov, Pierangelo Gemini, Leonid Nikolaev, Alexander Skulskiy, Alexander Polishuk, Arturo Tamayo, Kevin Griffiths, Sasha Makilia and orchestras “Moscow Camerata”, “Gnessin Virtuosi”, Moscow Symphonic Orchestra, Nijny-Novgorod Philharmonic, Saint-Petersburg State Academic Orchestra, l’Orchestra Novecento Lugano, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Krasnoyarsk Symphony Orchestra.
Nikolay plays Swiss cello made by Michael Stüerzenhofecker and bow made by Benoit Rolland.
From 2017, he is Deputy Artistic Director of Habana Clásica.
GRAMMY Award winning Classical Producer of the Year (1992), Michael Fine is widely acknowledged as one of the top classical recording producers in the world. In addition to recording production, Fine has been active in artistic planning for orchestras including the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Gergiev Festival Rotterdam where he served as Artistic Manager, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France where he was Interim Artistic Director and with the Seoul Philharmonic where he was Artistic Advisor. Formerly Vice President of Artists & Repertoire at Deutsche Grammophon, he was the first American to hold the post of Artistic Director of the hundred year old label. Fine also has given lectures, talks, and seminars about the music and recording business – from the Juilliard School and Hamburg Hochschule fur Musik, to the keynote address at the International Organisation of Music Competitions, and served as a juror on several music competition panels.
Fine remains active as clarinetist with engagements at Festival Mozaic in California and the Tongyeong Music Festival in South Korea. He began composing in 2013: his music, including several concertos, string quartets and a variety of works for chamber ensembles is published by Le Chant du Monde in Paris and Donemus in The Netherlands. He has had works premiered in the United States, France, Spain, and Cuba where he served as composer-in-residence for the first Habana Clasica Festival.
Recordings produced by Michael Fine appear on labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Warners, SONY, Virgin Classics, EMI, BMG Classics, Telarc. KOCH and Naxos, and have won virtually every major award in the recording industry, including numerous Grammys, Edison Prize, Deutsche Schallplatten (now known as the ECHO award), Grammophone Award, Diapason d’Or, and Australian Music Award among others. He has multiple Platinum and Gold records to his credit in several countries, and has additionally been awarded prizes for his work for the Advancement of Women in Music, and was named Best Recording Producer by Classical Insites Global Classical Music Poll. In the past few years, Fine has produced many recordings with renowned artists and ensembles including Myung Whun Chung, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, Eliahu Inbal, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Paavo Jarvi, Emmanuel Pahud, Renaud Capuçon, Gautier Capuçon, Marie-Pierre Langlament, Sumi Jo, Nicholas Angelich, Bertrand Chamayou, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Quator Ebene among many others.
“Gilman is a name to watch,” wrote Classic FM Magazin in 2007, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described him as “an artist who identifies profoundly with the work.” Today Alexander Gilman is among the most renowned violinists and teachers of his generation, and since 2013 has been artistic director of the LGT Young Soloists.
Promoting young talent is especially close to Alexander Gilman’s heart. In recent years, alongside his activities as a soloist, he has been able to establish a position as an internationally recognized teacher. The fact that his students regularly win competitions demonstrates the high quality of his teaching work. “The interpretation of music comes from within, and is closely connected with how you live, feel and see life, as well as with the education that you have received,” says Gilman. By founding the LGT Young Soloists he has succeeded in founding a unique initiative for promoting talented young musicians and giving them a musical home. Alexander Gilman also holds master classes at universities and festivals worldwide, and is in demand as a juror at a variety of international music competitions.
Alexander Gilman was born in Bamberg and grew up in a Jewish Russian family of musicians. At the age of seven he made his debut at the Gasteig in Munich. From his sixteenth year he worked with the famous violin teacher Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York and attended master classes given by Itzhak Perlman, Aaron Rosand, Igor Ozim, Akiko Tatsumi and Mikhail Kopelman. Alexander Gilman completed his course of study at the Hochschule für Musik (High School for Music) in Cologne in Zakhar Bron’s master class with distinction, and then for his master’s degree moved to the Hochschule der Künste (High School of the Arts) in Zurich, where he also graduated with distinction.
Gilman’s career has been marked by the award of numerous prizes at international competitions in Europe and the USA. In 2006 he won the WestLB Music Competition. As part of this award, the Stradivari “Ex-Croall” dating from 1684 was made available to him and presented by Frank-Peter Zimmermann, who had previously played this instrument. In 2008, as holder of a bursary from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben (German Foundation for Music Life) and multiple prize-winner in the competition of the Deutscher Musikinstrumentenfonds (German Musical Instrument Fund), Alexander Gilman received on loan a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini.
Alexander Gilman worked with conductors such as Neeme Järvi, David Zinman, Bernard Haitink, Dan Ettinger, Michael Sanderling, Perry So and Conrad van Alphen. His chamber-music partners include Maximilian Hornung, Nils Mönkemeyer, Erik Schumann, Matan Porat and many others. As a soloist and teacher he is a popular guest at international music festivals.
For his CD recording with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Perry So with violin concerti by Barber and Korngold, Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy and the theme from the film Schindler’s List by Williams, Alexander Gilman was acclaimed in outstanding reviews. For this recording he received the prestigious Diapason d’Or prize and many other awards.
Thomastik-Infeld, the maker of violin strings, chose Alexander Gilman to be a Thomastik-Infeld Artist. He plays a violin made by Ferdinando Gagliano in 1795, an instrument that was kindly placed at his disposal by the Fahrenkamp-Schäffler Foundation.
Raquel Castro Pego
Raquel Castro Pego enjoys a versatile career as a performer and violin pedagogue.
In the past year she appeared as soloist with the Orquesta de Cámara Catalana, with the Chamber Orquestra of Havana, with the Orquesta de Cámara Música Eterna. and with the l Orchestra of the Festival Ciudad Monumental de Cáceres.
She appeared as guest artist in numerous national and international festivals such as International Music Festival of Aremore, “Vía Láctea” Music Festival, Kfar Blum (Israel),International Festival Terra Magica in Porêc (Croatia), in the Series of concerts Ottagono (Italy), Festival of Olot, Ponte das Artes Festival ( Galicia) , Sonar Festival (Barcelona), Festival Internacional de Panticosa,Cividale International Chamber Music Festival (Italy), Habana Classic Festival ( Cuba), Festival Internacional Ciudad de Cáceres, and she will make her debut this summer in the Luosto Classics (Finland) and in the autumm in the Ciao Festival ( China).
Mrs. Castro, during 2005 and 2006, was the first violin soloist of ENEMC (National Contemporary Ensemble of Spain), where she has performed numerous premieres and performed in Spain’s most important venues.
She was featured on “Diálogo coa vida, diálogo de muller “, a TV special on succesful woman in Spain, on channel TVG.
She received training in Spain (under the guidance of Lev Chistiakov) and London (Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the guidance of Detlef Hahn). She completed her studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, Jacobs School of Music, and thanks to the help of a Fulbright scholarship, atteined the Masters in Music with honors under the tutelage of Mauricio Fuks. During her studies in Bloomington Mrs. Castro has worked as an Assistant Instructor.
Since her graduation, she has been invited as teacher to Indiana University as part of Mimi Zweig´s team in her Summer String Academy, and as a Guest Professor as a substitute to Professor Fuks during a sabatical leave. Mrs. Castro, has gained national reputation as one of Spains leading pedagogue. Her students enjoy national and international success, as prize winners in various competitions, members of important European orchestras, ensembles, and teachers in main conservatories.
Mrs. Castro is also working in the formation of teachers in Spain, to cultivate high standard professional teaching at all levels. She has been a guest teacher in “ Conservatorio Superior de Música de A Coruña, “Conservatorio de Grado Professional” in Pontevedra, Ferrol, A Coruña, Málaga, Vic, Vilaseca, Reus, Tarragona and Santiago.
She taught Masterclass alongside international faculty at “ Juventudes Musicales” in Igualada, for Garnati Festival in Granada , for the Forum of Orihuela and Summer Courses in Porêc (Croatia ), in Ponte das Artes (Pontedeume ) and International workshops of violin as the Forum Musikae (Madrid), the Forum of Torrelodones and “l’Estate Musicale dell’Accademia” in Bergamo (Italy), Cividale International Summer Course and Festival ( Italy), Festival Internacional de Panticosa, Festival Internacional Ciudad de Cáceres.
Since 2004 she is professor of violin at the E.S.M.U.C. in Catalonia.
Lissy Abreu Ruiz
Lissy Abreu Ruiz was born in Havana, Cuba. In 2014 she graduated for her soloist diploma degree at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm under the guidance of prof. Henryk Kowalski. In 2011 she graduated for masters in solo performance and chamber music at the renowned Edsberg Slott Institute also part of the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm under the guidance of prof. Per Enoksson and Mats Zetterqvist. She also studied shortly at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne for prof. Svetlana Makarova.
She has attended to numerous international Master Classes with professors like: Milan Vitek, Dora Schwarzberg, Philippe Graffin, Igor Ozim, Gerhard Schulz, Mi-Kyung Lee, Pavel Vernikov, Svetlana Makarova, Ulf Wallin, Massimo Quarta and Antje Weithaas.
She has received numerous scholarships awards including Konstnärsnämden Arbetstsipendie, Längmanska Kulturfonden, Freemasons Stiftelse Jubelårsfonden & S:t Eriks, Royal Academy of Music Stockholm Scholarship, Willinska Stiftelsen, Petersenska Hemmet Sftiftelsen, Royal Academy of Arts Stockholm, Eduard Magnus and Marianne & Ary Paleys Stipendiefond.
Ms. Abreu performs regularly as a a soloist and in different chamber music constellations. The acclaimed Duo Abreu Sisters was founded 2005 with her sister and guitarist Ariadna Abreu Ruiz. Duo Abreu Sisters had a Swedish tour in 2012 in collaboration with the chamber music association Musik i Syd. Duo Abreu Sisters performs regularly in prestigious halls in both Sweden and Cuba. With Serbian pianist and friend Natasa Penezic she formed Duo Abreu-Penezic year 2010 and short after they had a debut concert at Kolarac Concert Hall in Belgrade and several concerts around Serbia.
As an orchestra musician Ms. Abreu has a vast experience there she is invited as regular guest player in world top orchestras like Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Orquestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, between others. From 2014 to 2016 Ms. Abreu was on full contract with Orquestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, OPL under the leading of chef conductor Gustavo Gimeno including several international tours and wonderful orchestra series/seasons with world soloists like Janine Jansen, Edicson Ruiz, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Hilary Hann, Leonidas Kavakos, and others with performances in Europe’s most prestigious concert halls like Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Wien, Palau de la Musica Valencia, and more. Due to her orchestra experience she has hold significant invitations to audition at the Berliner Philharmoniker and the New York Philharmonic.
Ms. Abreu is an official member of the Aurora Chamber Orchestra, ACO Sweden. An ensemble formed by world class string musicians under the leading of violinists such like Terje Tønessen, Svetlin Roussev, Nicolas Dautricourt and Gordan Nikolic.
Since 2016 she plays on a violin signed J.Shade as a loan from the string instrument foundation Järnåkersfonden.
David Nebel, born 1996 in Zürich, started to play violin at the age of five. His technical talent and musicality became apparent very early. A young violinist with promising perspective («Wunderkind mit Zukunftsperspektive») was the headline in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung which reported on David’s first solo concert with the Camerata Zürich. He was 9 and played Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. In 2009 David won the first price (with honours) of the Swiss Youth Music Competition and gave his first recital at the Tonalle Zürich.
At that time, David was studying at the Conservatory of Zürich. In the following years, he studied with Professor Valery Gradow at the Conservatorio di Ticino and then with Professor Boris Kuschnir at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna and with Professor Yair Kless at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. Since 2013 he is studying with Professor Alexander Gilman who is leading the LGT Young Soloists ensemble of highly gifted musicians. David is a founding member of this string ensemble, and is performing as soloist as well as accompanist at its numerous concert tours in Europe and Asia.
In spring 2017, David had his debut as soloist at the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra with F. Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy. One week later, he played Beethoven’s violin concerto with the Chernihiv Symphony Orchestra in the Ukraine. And the following week he was invited to the Classical Havana Festival in Cuba where he played the violin concerto of Mendelssohn and Bach’s double concert with two violins.
David performed as soloist on many famous concert stages, such as Liederhalle Stuttgart, Kulturcasino Bern, Palais Liechtenstein Vienna, Gasteig Munich (with live recording of the Bavarian broadcast), Shenzhen Concert Hall, China Pavillon Shanghai, Cape Town City Hall and Philharmonic Hall of Chernihiv.
In 2014, David achieved a remarkable success as youngest prize winner of the renowned Valsesia Musica Violin Competition in Italy. His mature interpretation of the Tschaikowsky violin concerto was widely praised. This was followed in 2015 by a first prize of the Istvàn Kertész competition in Switzerland with a CHF 10’000.- scholarship. In January 2017, he won together with Dusan Kostic the competition of the Radio-Television Belgrade Symphony Orchestra for young soloist with Bottesini’s Gran Duo for violin and double bass.
In April 2016, David Nebel produced a CD with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of the renowned conductor Kristjan Järvi. He recorded the violin concerto of I. Stravinsky and a premiere piece called «Nebula” for violin and orchestra composed by Kristjan Järvi himself. The release of this CD is expected in summer 2017. After the successful production of the first CD of the LGT Young Soloist (Italian Journey), a new CD (Russian Soul) will be published in June 2017, again with RCA Red Seal Sony Music. David recorded Tschaikowsky’s Valse Scherzo op. 23 with string orchestra.
David plays on a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin (Piacenza, 1746).
Performer, Composer and Teacher, Yuval Gotlibovich’s artistic activity is varied as it is interconnected. One of the sought after viola players of his generation, He performs regularly as a soloist, (most recently with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Orquesta de Cámara Música Eterna, The Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Catalan Chamber Orchestra), as a recitalist and is a regular guest in some of Europe’s main music festivals and venues. As an award winning viola player, He holds first Prizes at the Lionel Tertis (U.K), Fischoff (U.S.A) and ´Aviv´ competitions (Israel).
His Debut solo album for NAXOS with the viola music of Spanish Composer Ramón Paus in the first month of it’s Launch (December 2016) was ranked 6 in the labels top chart sales worldwide and received critical acclaim.
As composer His Arrangements of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in different musical styles are featured on a Sony Album with Trio Garnati.
This coming year, his sonata for viola and piano will be premiered at the Tokyo Opera House by Nobuko Imai and Izumi Tateno. Also to be premiered this year, 3 pieces for cello solo (by Erica Wise) and quartet for two winds and two strings at the Luosto Music Festival in Lapland.
A passion for combining performance, composition and improvisation, has led to the creation of original live music that accompanies films of the silent era. This live show was presented in cinema and music festivals in Finland, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Israel and Slovakia.
Gotlibovich is teaching in Switzerland and Spain and has been the youngest Professor on the faculty of Indiana University. His main teachers include Atar Arad, Anna Rosnovsky and Lilach Levanon.
Gotlibovich is the artistic director of the new festival “Ciudad Monuental de Cáceres” in Spain.
Anastasia Shugaeva was born in Zarinsk, a small town in Syberia. Having a brilliant violin technique and deep viola sound, her playing combines best traditions of Russian and European schools.
She graduated with excellence from famous Gnesin Moscow Music college for exceptional young talents (studio of Elena Ozol). In 2009 Anastasia graduated with excellence as well from the Moscow State Conservatory (Studio of Ludmila Shubina – Yuri Bashmet Department).
In April 2013 she has won a prestigious Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.
In 2015 Anastasia has graduated from Lugano Conservatory – class of Yuval Gotlibovich.
She participated in master classes of famous violists such as Jury Bashmet, Hartmut Lindeman.
Anastasia participates in various music festivals such as: Mantova Chamber music festival, Pordenone Chamber Music Festival, Habana Clásica Festival, Jeunesses Musicales. Croatia, Aurora Chamber music (Sweden), Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Italy), Moscow F. Mendhelsson festival.
Great musicians of young generation were her partners on a scene at various time: pianists Fatima Alieva, Zlata Chochieva, Andrei Korobeinikov, Yuri Favorin, Fazil Say, violinist Pavel Milukov.
Since 2017 Anastasia is a member of Swiss based Quintet “Empatia”. With the ensemble has recorded several cd-disks on the label Dynamic.
Sonja Kraus, originally from Germany, is an international cellist, teacher, and researcher whose musical career has taken her around the world. Early in her career, she frequently performed all over Germany and France with her piano trio. Orchestra tours took her to Japan, Venezuela and more than 10 countries in Europe.
In August 2012, Sonja moved to the US and has since performed as soloist or as part of chamber music ensembles in Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Nevada, California, and Puerto Rico. She recently had her debut in South America where she played the Saint-Saëns Cello concerto with the Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra in Ecuador.
In spring 2016, Sonja performed the D major cello concerto by Franz Anton Hoffmeister, which was its first performance in over 200 years. This performance featured her own scholarly edition of the piece, derived from her ongoing doctoral dissertation work.
Her research focuses on broadening the cello repertoire by identifying manuscripts and creating editions of unpublished cello works from the classical era. So far, she has found three cello concertos by Franz Anton Hoffmeister and is in the process of creating scholarly editions for these works.
Sonja has taught as a cello instructor at the Musikschule Unterensingen (Germany), as an assistant instructor at Indiana University Bloomington, and is currently on the faculty of the String Academy at the Jacobs School of Music. Since summer 2014 she is a cello teacher and staff coordinator at the cello camp “CelloChanWoods” near Ann Arbor Michigan. She also led masterclasses at the University of Nevada – Reno, Indiana State University – Terre Haute, and the Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo – Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Sonja was and is the recipient of a number of scholarships, amongst others the Eva Heinitz Scholarship from the Jacobs School of Music and the “Cusanuswerk”, a German study scholarship. She also won multiple competitions, most recently the Indianapolis Martineé Musicale Scholarship Competition and the Popper Competition during the Cello|Fresno Festival.
Michel Taddei leads a varied career as performer, educator, and administrator.
He is Principal Bassist of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony, the Fremont Symphony, the Pacific Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Napa Valley, and the Mendocino Music Festival, and is Assistant Principal Bass of the California Symphony. Other groups with which he has performed include the San Francisco Symphony, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, and he works frequently with recording orchestras at Skywalker Sound. Solo appearances with orchestra include the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra and of course the Orquesta de Cámara Música Eterna as part of Classical Havana’s inaugural season.
Chamber music is a passion for Michel — a founding member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, he has performed with groups including the Bella Trio, Empyrean Ensemble, Earplay, Quartet San Francisco, Musica Marin, Ensemble SF, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Saint Lawrence String Quartet, and at festivals including Aspen, Tanglewood, Valley of the Moon (on period instruments), Moab, the Musical Days at Forest Hill, French music festivals at Rive-de-Gier and Caves du Roussillon, and the Festival des sept Chapelles in Brittany. He has also performed with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble on multiple tours in the USA and in Central Asia.
Director of Artistic Administration at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley, California, he has consulted for the California Symphony’s El sistema-inspired program Sound Minds, and served as Education Consultant for Music at Kohl Mansion, in addition to spearheading musical initiatives for Crowden at high-impact schools in the area. Michel is also a sought after teacher, giving instruction in bass, chamber music, and leading orchestras at Crowden, and acting as a visiting artist for Music at Kohl Mansion. Michel has led the Crowden students on tours of Québec, the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, New Zealand, New York and Boston, the Southwest, Denmark and Sweden, and Washington DC. He coaches for the Oakland Youth Orchestra and Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, conducts and coaches for the Golden Gate Philharmonic in San Francisco, and also guest conducts annually for the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and teaches in their chamber music intensive.
Michel studied bass with Homer Mensch at the Juilliard School, and is a graduate of Columbia University, where he was a John Jay National Scholar. He interrupted his graduate studies in history at UC Berkeley to accept the invitation of Kent Nagano to become Principal Bass of the Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Lyon, where he played for over seven seasons, touring widely and making numerous recordings on labels including Decca, EMI, Erato, Nonesuch, Philips, and Virgin Classics. Michel also enjoys performing as a singer, with concert and opera appearances including works such as Stravinsky’s Renard, Bernstein’s Candide, and Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia.
Marina Seltenreich is co-founder of the LGT Young Soloists. She was born in Saint Petersburg in Russia, and first took piano lessons at the age of six at the art school for gifted children in Saint Petersburg. At the age of 15, Marina Seltenreich moved to Germany and graduated with distinction at the Hochschule für Musik (High School for Music) in Cologne in Prof. Karin Merle’s class. This was followed by two master’s courses, also completed with distinction, at the Musikhochschule Mannheim in the class of Prof. Ragna Schirmer and Prof. Paul Dan. She received additional musical impulses from professors such as Arbo Valdma, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Vladimir Krainev Anthony Spiri and Sorina Aust-Ioan.
As a pianist Marina Seltenreich regularly performs both as a soloist and in chamber music in major concert halls and at international festivals. Numerous tours have taken her across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, North America and South Africa. Her concert performances have been captured on a large number of radio, television and concert recordings, with broadcasters such as Bayerischer Rundfunk, WQXR New York, Rai Italia and NHK Japan.
Chamber music is particularly important to Marina Seltenreich. As a partner in chamber music and répétiteuse she has worked with renowned artists including Nils Mönkemeyer, Zakhar Bron and Franz Bartolomey. With her duo partner Alexander Gilman she has played works by Brahms, Prokofiev and Wieniawski, and received outstanding reviews for her CD that appeared on the OehmsClassics label. The Süddeutsche Zeitung attested her “rare perfection, sinuous articulation, beauty and clarity.” For years Marina Seltenreich has been répétiteuse in Alexander Gilman’s master class and accompanies his students across the globe at concert performances and music competitions.
Alessandro Stella has been a regular guest artist at the «Martha Argerich Project» in Lugano, Switzerland, since 2008 and his performances at the festival were included in the yearly compilation series of box sets that WARNER Classics dedicated to the Project, always receiving a warm welcome by music critics all over the world and winning important prices like the ECHO Klassik Award, the Gramophone Editor’s Choice and the Diapason D’Or.
In June 2014, WARNER Classics released the cd “The Pianos Trio – Live in Lugano” including all the performances previously published in the box sets and the first recording of “Vaalbara” by Carlo Boccadoro.
His concert appearances have brought him to numerous Italian and European cities (such as Atene, Berlino, Berna, Parigi, Roma, Tbilisi, Aix-en-Provence, Colonia, Dortmund, Liverpool, Lugano, Nizza, Salisburgo, Valencia) and on several occasions these performances have been broadcasted by important radio networks such as BBC, RAI, Bayerischer Rundfunk, RSI, Radio Clásica, WDR, Vatican Radio and many other members of the Euroradio Network.
In June 2014 he was for the first time in South America for a tour in the most important venues of Argentina (Teatro Coliseo, Buenos Aires; Teatro El Circulo, Rosario; Teatro El Libertador, Cordoba).
In February 2016 he performed in Tbilisi (Georgia) on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the Georgian composer Giya Kancheli. He premiered, in the presence of the composer, a selection of Miniatures for piano and a cycle of Songs with the mezzo-soprano Nino Surguladze.
Since 2005 he has collaborated assiduously with the «Isabella Scelsi Foundation» and has been engaged especially in “rediscovering” Giacinto Scelsi’s first artistic period. Supported by the Foundation, he has proposed successfully to the Italian and European audience original programs of Scelsi’s music for piano solo, for piano and voice and chamber music. The Italian label STRADIVARIUS has just released a CD including the world premiere recording of Scelsi’s early chamber works for violin, cello and piano, performed with the German violinist Markus Däunert and the Italian cellist Giovanni Gnocchi.
To his activities as a solo artist he adds his intense involvement with chamber music, regularly playing, with Giorgia Tomassi and Carlo Maria Griguoli, as a three pianos ensemble (The Pianos Trio) and with, among others, Mauro Conti, Giovanni Gnocchi and Marcos Madrigal.
Notable contemporary composers, like Carlo Boccadoro, Sergio Calligaris, Nicola Campogrande, Daniel Matrone and Matteo Sommacal, have written and dedicated important works to him, which he has created and often recorded.
His recordings, released by KHA Records and CONTINUO Records, include: «Ravel», dedicated to Maurice Ravel’s music for two pianos, with Giorgia Tomassi; «grieg | notturno», dedicated to Edvard Grieg’s piano and vocal music; «DEDICA», containing the first world recording of two new works for flute and piano, by Sergio Calligaris and Daniel Matrone, with Mauro Conti; «The Chain Rules», dedicated to the piano music of the italian composer Matteo Sommacal; the EP «En rêve – Live in Rome», including music by Chopin, Liszt, Grieg and Debussy and «Midwinter Spring», dedicated to the piano music of Giya Kancheli, Arvo Pärt and Pēteris Vasks.
Alessandro Stella studied with Raffaella d’Esposito at the «Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia» in Rome, then continued his studies with Franco Scala and Marco Di Bari and attended seminars and master classes with Bruno Canino, Maria João Pires, Maurizio Pollini, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Alexis Weissenberg and Christian Zacharias.
Ariadna Abreu Ruiz
Price winning guitarist Ariadna Abreu Ruiz has established her self as one of Cubas leading guitarists. Alongside her activities as a soloist and chamber music she is also a dedicated pedagogue with already one of her youngest students Ida Hedenberg who at the age of 11 won the Stockholm International Music Competition 2015.
Ms. Abreu was born in Havana, Cuba. In 2002 she graduated from the University of Arts Cuba (ISA) with the gold distinction diploma under the guidance of prof. Rey Guerra. In 2009 she took a master investigation degree based on her research for interpretation of Leo Brouwers music at the Academy of Music and Drama Gothenburg University. In 2011 she graduated for her masters for solo performance and chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.
She has received numerous awards among which are the Guitar People Prize Upcoming Talent Stockholm 2011, The IV Guitar International Competition and Festival of Torrent Valencia Spain with Mention of Honour 2002 and The X Edition International Competition and Festival of Guitar Havana 2000 holding the following prices: Prize ‘Best interpretation of Cuban Music’; Prize ‘Celedonio Romero’; Prize ‘Young Revelation of the Year’ and Prize ‘Association Hermanos Saiz’.
She has attended to several international masterclasses with professors like: Leo Brouwer, John Williams, Manuel Barrueco, Alirio Diaz, Timo Koronen, Roberto Aussel, David Roussel, Sergio and Odair Assad among others.
Ms. Abreu is regularly invited to competitions, academies and festivals as both teacher and jury member. Among those are the Stockholm International Music Competition, Guitar People Prize, University of Music in Piteå and the Oskarshamns Guitar Festival. She performs regularly as a a soloist and in different chamber music constellations.The acclaimed Duo Abreu Sisters was founded 2005 with her sister and violinist Lissy Abreu Ruiz. Duo Abreu Sisters had a Swedish tour in 2012 in collaboration with the chamber music association Musik i Syd. Duo Abreu Sisters performs regularly in prestigious halls in both Sweden and Cuba.
Ms. Abreu plays on a guitar made by the Spanish luthier Manuel Contreras (father) 1987.
Acclaimed by the critics, Josué Tacoronte, guitarist, composer and musical arranger was born in Havana, Cuba on October 17, 1977. He began his musical studies at the age of six with the piano teacher Antonio Penalver. At the age of ten, he enrolled in the Guillermo Tomas Conservatory of Guanabacoa, receiving his first formal classical guitar lessons by Rosario Castro. He continued his higher guitar education at the Amadeo Roldán National Conservatory graduating in 1996, under the tuition of professor Roberto Kessel. As a student he won four national contests at the Amadeo Roldán National Conservatory and received the first place for Best Interpretation at the Guillermo Tomas Contest. Since then he achieved a highly successful performance career.
In 1997 he ventured out into playing Spanish flamenco guitar working as a composer, music director and musical arranger at the Spanish Ballet of Cuba, and Aires Flamenco Company in Havana, Cuba; also In Mexico, with the Ballet Español Proart (2001-2010), Cale Bari, and Mexico Flamenco (2011-2013). During this time he attended a number of master classes both in Mexico and abroad with outstanding teachers such as Leo Brouwer, Jesus Ortega, Sergio Morales, Esteban Campuzano, Jorge Luis Garcel, Jorge Luis Zamora, David Russell and Costa Coscioli, as well as flamenco guitarists Antonio Rodriguez, Pedro Sierra, Paco Jarana, Jesus Torres, José Luís Rodriguez, Eduardo Rebollar, Pedro Sanchez and Antonio Rey.
One of his most important musical achievements has been his consistent contribution on research, musical arrangements, performance and recording of the Cuban guitar repertoire that includes pieces by composers such as Leo Brouwer, Ernesto Lecuona, amongst others, crossing over into other genres such as flamenco without losing Cuban essence.
In 2007 he recorded his first album “Josué Tacoronte y Skpao” with original music that took him back to performing again in Cuba. In 2010 he released his second album “Mexico Flamenco “. And in 2012 he recorded “Brouwer Flamenco” produced by Leo Brouwer itself and for which he was awarded “Best Concert Interpreter” at the International Festival CUBADISCO Awards, in May 2013.
He has given several guitar recitals in different concert halls and main theaters of Cuba. His performances have also taken him to countries such as Spain, Argentina, USA, Switzerland, Austria, Morocco, France, Dominican Republic, Peru and Mexico. He has performed at Leo Brouwer International Festival of Chamber Music (2012-2013-2014), Havana´s International Book Fair (2013), Dominican Republic International Book Fair (2013), International Guitar Festival of Lima- Peru (2012), International Guitar Festival of Arequipa (2012), IX CUBADISCO Festival (2013), International Guitar Festival of Paracho (2013), Iberica Contemporanea (2008-2009-2010), Festival International Cervantino (2008), Zacatecas International Music Festival (2008), International Guitar Festival of Zihuatanejo (2013), International Guitar Festival of Puebla (2012), International Guitar Festival of Ensenada, Mexico (2013). Festival International of Guitar Winterthur, Suiza (2014). XI Festival International of Guitar Querétaro, Mexico (2014-2015). Guitar Days in Valencia Spain (2014). Guitar Festival AMBACH in Goetzis, Austria (2014).International Guitar Festival “Sin Fronteras” Chihuahua, México (2015), Internacional Guitar Festival of Salamanca, Mexico (2015).
As a soloist, he has performed in Cuba with the Havana Youth Orchestra and in Mexico with the Queretaro Philharmonic under the baton of directors Jorge Lopez Marin and Esperanza De Velasco.
He has shared the stage with main artists of different backgrounds and genres such as: Juan Falu (Argentina) Berta Rojas (Paraguay) Niurka Gonzalez (Cuba) Edwin Vichot (Cuba) Ricardo Gallen (spain) Manolo del Valle (Cuba) Liuba Maria Hevia (Cuba) Adrian Lopez Nussa (Cuba) Compañía de Danza Contemporánea “Retazos” (Cuba) Havana Compas (Cuba) Conjunto Folklórico Nacional (Cuba) Rubén Gonzalez (Cuba – Dominicana), Silfredo Perez (Venezuela – Austria) Erika Escriba (Spain) Jose Luis Lara (Venezuela), Carlos Piñana (Spain) Joaquín Grilo (Spain) Diego Garcia (Spain) Juan Pinilla (Spain) Manolo Marin (Spain) Magela Oquendo (Cuba) Marcel Ege (Switzerland) Duo Agogo (Australia) Boris dias (Cuba- Mexico) Ignacio Perez (España), Diego Castro (Argentina), Arina Burceva (Ucrania), Paul Pigat (Canada) David Bedoya (Colombia) amongst others; and has taken part in recordings by Liuba María Hevia (Iluminame), La Boquita (Puntos suspensivos), Ragazzi (Que quede claro), Rosa Rodriguez (Alegría) etc.
Tacoronte has been a member of the jury in several international guitar competitions and has given a number of workshops and master classes in several International Guitar Festivals, Music Universities and Conservatories.
He performed as a guitar instructor at Centro Proart (2001-2010), Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Querétaro (2003- 2004) and currently performs at the Ensamble Music and Dance Academy as Director. He founded the Cultural-Ensamble Festival in Queretaro, México, now on its fourth edition.
He is an active member of The National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). The Cuban Association of Musical Author’s rights (SGAE). Alhambra Guitar, using new model flamenco guitar (Mengual & Margarit).
Julian Rowlands is a bandoneonist, composer and arranger specialising in tango, classical and contemporary music. The bandoneon is a free reed instrument that is renowned for the beauty of its sound, and for its remarkable expressive range and flexibility. Its playing techniques and repertoire were developed in Argentina, where it is the essential voice of the tango.
Julian received his degree in music from Southampton University and studied bandoneon with the leading Argentinian player Victor Villena.
Julian is the bandoneonist of leading UK tango ensemble Tango Siempre. He often appears on BBC TV “Strictly Come Dancing” and has played on “The One Show” , “Zingzillas”, ITV’s “Surprise Surprise”, BBC Radio 3’s “In Tune”, BBC Radio 4 “Front Row”, “The Tom Robinson Show” on Radio 6, and at major concert and theatre venues in the UK and Europe. He made his Radio 3 debut in 2010 accompanying bass-baritone Erwin Schrott in a live broadcast from the Royal Opera House, and his Wigmore Hall debut later that year playing Piazzolla’s “Five Tango Sensations” with the soloists of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Together with Ros Stephen and Jonathan Taylor of Tango Siempre, Julian created the score for the Olivier-nominated “Midnight Tango” starring Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone, and appeared in its 480 performances in the west end and on tour from 2011-2013. In 2014 Julian created the score for “Flying into daylight”, a play by Emmy award winning writer
Ron Hutchinson, and performed in the premiere production with Summer Strallen and Jos Vantyler. In 2015 Julian appeared in the Royal Opera production of Mahagonny by Kurt Weill at Covent Garden.
Other artists and ensembles with whom he has worked include the Philharmonia Chamber Players, the City of London Sinfonia, RTE Concert Orchestra, David Juritz and Craig Ogden of the London Tango Quintet, the Bristol Ensemble, Ivo de Greef, Adam Khan, Guillermo Rozenthuler and Javier Fioramonti. He performed in Piazzolla’s “operita” Maria de Buenos Aires and directed the ensemble in the Tête à Tête festival 2013. His recordings of Piazzolla works with the Santiago String Quartet
on the 2018 album “Language of the Heart have attracted praise from artists including Sting, Bob Geldof and Tom Robinson.
Julian regularly collaborates with soprano Ann Liebeck, creating arrangements and performing in the shows “Violetta’s Last Tango” with Cuban violinist Omar Puente and “Tangos for Angels and Demons” with the Tango Siempre septet, as well as recital programmes. Their album “Violetta’s Last Tango” was released in 2016.
Julian Rowlands’ repertoire includes the major works of Astor Piazzolla: the concertos, quintets, Tango Sensations and solo arrangements; the operas Maria de Buenos Aires (Piazzolla) and Mahagonny (Weill); solo classical pieces, traditional and contenporary tango arrangements, chamber music, and his own compositions.
Julian’s work as a composer and arranger includes the score for Midnight Tango (together with Ros Stephen and Jonathan Taylor), many traditional and nuevo tango arrangements for Tango Siempre productions, the incidental music for Flying into Daylight, the repertoire of the Tango Siempre septet and arrangements for Violetta’s Last Tango. His compositions include chamber and solo pieces for a variety of instruments.
Publications by Julian Rowlands in the Schott World Music series include “Argentinian Tango and Folk Tunes for Piano”, “Klezmer Piano” and “Klezmer Fiddle” (with Ros Stephen).
Recordings featuring Julian Rowlands on bandoneon include Malandras del Tango and Midnight Tango [DVD] with Tango Siempre, Violetta’s Last Tango with Ann Liebeck, Language of the Heart with the Santiago Quartet, and Gainsbourg Reimagined.
Guido López Gavilán
Composer and conductor, graduated as a choir director at the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory in Havana in 1966 and Orchestra Conductor at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow in 1973. Founding Director of the Chamber Orchestra “Música Eterna”. He was awarded the National Music Prize 2016 and the Cubadisco Grand Prize of that year. As a director, he has developed a successful career in which concerts are held in the Hall of the Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland), the Great Hall of the Academy Franz Liszt (Budapest, Hungary) and the Lisinsky Theater (Zagreb, Yugoslavia) As well as in other European cities in Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Spain and Italy.
In America he has also achieved great successes in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Chile, Guatemala and Paraguay. He has directed all Cuban symphony orchestras, highlighting his interpretations of the 9th. Beethoven’s symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra and the executions of his work Victoria de la Esperanza for symphony orchestra, choir, soloists, actors, dance and cinema. Particularly notable was his performance as Full Director of the Symphony Orchestra of the city of Matanzas.
As a composer, he has an extensive catalog that includes many different genres. His creative work deserves solid national and international recognition. He is frequently invited to participate in important events such as the Inter-American Composition Encounter organized by the University of Indiana, United States, to which he was invited with the highest category awarded, the Sounds of the Americas Festival organized by American Composer Orchestra Carnegie Hall, Juliard School and other major institutions in New York, as well as the Oregon Bach Festival during which his compositions were performed with great success.
He was invited to the Ibero-American Contemporary Music Festival held in Spain, the Latin American and Caribbean Music Tribune held in Argentina, the Franco Donattoni Festival in Mexico, the El Salvador Contemporary Music Festival and the Caribbean Composers’ Forums, held in Venezuela and Guatemala. He has been chosen among composers from all over the world to compose works with the purpose of being premiered especially in the Inaugural Concerts of the World Symposiums of Choral Music held in Minneapolis 2002 and in Barcelona 2017.
Several universities, colleges and conservatories from different countries have invited lectures and lectures, highlighting the recent tour of the Italian cities of Udine, Perugia, Adria and Ascoli Piceno in 2017. In 2016 he gave lectures and concerts with the Chamber Orchestra “Música Eterna” in the city of Seoul, Korea. In 2012 he made a successful tour directing the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba for more than twenty cities in the United States.
In 2010 he was invited by the Symphonic Orchestra of Winterthur, Switzerland, to conduct a concert exclusively with his symphonic-choral compositions, performed in the Musikkolegium with clamorous success of the public and the critic.
He was named Distinguished Guest at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in 2005. There the Symphony Orchestra, Choir and different chamber ensembles performed several of his works in conjunction with the Chamber Orchestra Música Eterna during several days of concerts dedicated to his compositions.
He is founder of the Superior Institute of Art of Havana, Senior Professor and Head of the Department of Orchestral Conduction. His work in the development of the Cuban Youth Symphonic Movement is very remarkable, founding and conducting various symphonic and chamber orchestras, that have achieved resounding success in events held in Cuba and other countries.His works have been awarded in the most important composition contests in Cuba. He is President of the Contemporary Music Festival of Havana, Founding Member of the Association of Latin American Composers of Music of Art and President of the Association of Musicians of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).
Daiana García has conducted all the symphony orchestras of Cuba,playing in the most important venues in the country. Since 2011 she has been music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Havana, which under her leadership has performed with prestigious national and international soloists, premiered new works, participated in all editions of Havana’s Leo Brouwer International Festival of Chamber Music, and appeared in the Havana Festival of Contemporary Music and Chamber Music Festival.
On two occasions in 2016, Ms. García and the Chamber Orchestra of Havana collaborated with Grammy-winning American artist Joshua Bell: during the violinist’s visit to Cuba in April sponsored by Barack Obama’s President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and again at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, where they performed in a “Seasons of Cuba” concert in the Rose Hall of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The latter event, which also included several renowned Cuban musicians and American singer-songwriter Dave Matthews, was filmed by PBS for a “Live at Lincoln Center” national broadcast.
From 2000 until 2013 Ms. Garcia worked as an assistant to the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatory Amadeo Roldán in Havana, and she directed the conservatory’s Chamber Orchestra from 2002 to 2008. With both ensembles she appeared in the most important venues in the capital, recorded for television programs, and participated in numerous festivals. From 2006 to 2008 she served as deputy director of Cuba’s Symphony Orchestra of Camagüey. Ms. García has conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba (NSOC) annually since 2004. She shared the podium with Chief Conductor Enrique Pérez Mesa during a national tour celebrating the orchestra’s 50th anniversary, and was named assistant conductor of the NSOC in 2015. Elsewhere in Latin America, Ms. Garcia has conducted Chile’s Symphony Orchestra of Concepción (2006); Metropolitan Youth Symphony Guatemala (2007), and Philharmonic Orchestra of Caracas (2011).
Ms. Garcia’s recordings include a CD featuring composer-pianist Aldo López-Gavilán and violinist Ilmar López-Gavilán with the Chamber Orchestra Amadeo Roldán; a live DVD of Aldo López-Gavilán Más allá del ocaso (Beyond the Sunset) with the Youth Symphony Amadeo Roldán; a 2011 recording of that composer’s music from Casa vieja (Old House) by the filmmaker Lester Hamlet; and a 2013 DVD chronicling the 30-year career of Cuban singer-songwriter Carlos Varela and featuring such performers as Ivan Lins (Brazil), Luis Enrique (Nicaragua), and Jackson Browne (U.S.).
Chamber Orchestra of Havana
The Chamber Orchestra of Havana is composed of young musicians graduated from the Higher Institute of Art. It made its debut in May 2006 conducted by maestro Iván del Prado, who was its conductor until 2010. During this period the orchestra took part in the recording of the DVD Cuba (2006), by the British rock band Simply Red and in Clásicos de Cuba (2007), together with César López and Habana Ensemble, this CD won the CUBADISCO Grand Prix 2008; both records were made live. In 2010, it recorded the CD “Música para Cuerdas“, under the conduction of maestro Iván del Padro and composed entirely by Cuban composers. This CD won a CUBADISCO Prize in 2013 in the genre of Chamber Music.
The Chamber Orchestra of Havana has performed leadered by outstanding international conductors such as Francesco Belli (Italy), Heribert Breuer and Thomas Gabrisch (Germany), Jonathan Hirsch (USA) and Leo Brouwer (Cuba), and with many relevant Cuban musicians. Since 2011 the orchestra is under the conduction of the young talented Daiana García. During this period tt has been invited to participate in prestigious events like: the III, IV, V and VI series of the International Festival of Chamber Music Leo Brouwer; the XXII and XXIII series of the Havana Contemporary Music Festival, X, XI and XII Chamber Music Festival, Jazz Plaza Festival 2011, Casa de Las Américas Prize 2012 , Havana International Guitar Festival in 2016, among others.
In 2013, the Chamber Orchestra of Havana was invited to take part in the DVD on the occasion of the 30 years of career of the Cuban songwriter Carlos Varela, in which performed with some international musicians such as Ivan Lins (Brazil), Luis Enrique (Nicaragua) and Jackson Browne (USA). Also, COH participed in the CDs “Imagen de las Aguas”, (2013, with pieces of Leo Brouwer), “Misa Cubana a la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre” (2015, Misa by José María Vitier) and “Una más” (2016, songs of the dominican songwriter José Antonio Rodríguez).
Recently, COH recorded finalized it second CD with all cuban cello concertos, accompanying the young cuban cellist Alejandro Martínez. In the V Chamber Music Festival Leo Brouwer, the COH received the Espiral Eterna Prize by Leo Brouwer Office and participated in several editions of that event accompanying distinguished cuban and international musicians: pianists Chucho Valdés (Cuba), violinist Henning Kraggerud (Norway), guitarists Ricardo Gallén and Carlos Piñana (Spain), accordionist Marco LoRusso (Italia), the guitar quartet Quaternagglia (Brazil) and the songwriter Fito Páez (Argentina).
On two occasions in 2016, Chamber Orchestra of Havana collaborated with Grammy-winning American artist Joshua Bell: during the violinist’s visit to Cuba in April sponsored by Barack Obama’s President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and again at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, where they performed in a “Seasons of Cuba” concert in the Rose Hall of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The latter event, which also included several renowned Cuban musicians and American singer-songwriter Dave Matthews, was filmed by PBS for a “Live at Lincoln Center” national broadcast.
Ann Liebeck studied for a BA in music at St Hugh’s College Oxford University, followed by an M.Mus at the University of Surrey where she wrote a thesis on Francis Poulenc’s song settings of Surrealist poets Paul Eluard and Guillaume Apollinaire. She then studied as an opera singer at the Royal College of Music where she gained her ARCM. She attended Masterclasses at the Britten Pears School Aldeburgh and Salzburg Mozarteum in French Song, Russian Song and German Lied with Hughes Cuenod, Galina Vishnevskay and Paul Schilhawsky.
She was awarded many prizes for singing while at RCM, reached the finals of all the major UK song competitions, Ferrier, Royal Overseas, and was awarded Countess of Munster Scholarship and the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize Bursery by Dame Gwyneth Jones. This took her to the Vienna State Opera where she began her 30 year career singing the Queen of the Night at Vienna Volksoper, Pittsburgh Opera USA, Prague National Theatre, Braunschweig Staatstheater,Scottish Opera, State Opera Prague and Brno. Her roles range from lyric coloratura soprano (Konstanze, Lucia, Norina, Zerbinetta,Gilda, Violetta,to most recently lyric/dramatic repertoire with Musetta, Countess-Figaro, Rusalka, Salome, Donna Anna, Elettra (Idomeneo) and Tosca.
She has performed in all major concert halls in London in repertoire ranging from Messiah, notably with Ross Pople and the London Festival Orchestra with whom she recorded both Messiah and Carmina Burana for Naxos and Carmen BMG Arte Nova, to Verdi Requiem, with Sir Colin Davis and most recently with Graeme Jenkins for the Dartington Festival ,to contemporary composers John Tavener and Paul Barker-Songs for Sylvia. She has a vast song repertoire in English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Czech. She speaks French, German, Italian and most recently Spanish.
She is much involved in Dance Theatre and performed Brahms Liebeslieder Valzer with the renowned Mark Morris Dance Company in Vienna, Rambert Dance on Riverside Stage in London and has been touring her own show Violetta’s Last Tango in major theatres in London since 2014.She still takes regular dance classes, ballet, contemporary and tango.
Her teaching career has taken her to the Universities of Oxford, Oregon USA and Perth Australia (masterclasses) and most recently in Havana at ISA. She is writing a Doctorate on Mozart Concert Arias and their singers.
Compañía Irene Rodriguez
Born in Havana, she began studying Spanish Dance in the Spanish Cultural Society “Centro Andaluz” (Andalusian Centre) of Havana. Within months, she began of the record, and as “an exceptional case” to take classes with the professional company Ballet Español de Cuba, since her talent was remarkable in spite of being a young girl. In 1993, she is admitted at the National Academy of Spanish Dances sponsored by this company.
In July 1999, after graduating as a dancer, she immediately became professional in the very same Ballet Español de Cuba, where, after being evaluated several times, she became Prima ballerina in 2007, as well as Specialized Professor and Reggiseur of First Level and Choreographer.
As prima ballerina, professor, reggiseur, and choreographer of the Ballet Español de Cuba, she successfully played several times all the leading roles of the plays presented by the company, as well as solo roles in all the shows of the company.
In September 2001, she detached herself from the Ballet Español de Cuba, creating her own company of Spanish dance.
In Cuba, she has performed in the main theatres through the island, and she has been interviewed for many radio and TV programs, as well as written or digital press, both in Cuba and abroad. As for international tours, she has performed with the company Ballet Español de Cuba and also as a soloist in the most prestigious theatres in Barcelona and Granada (Spin), Andorra, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico.
She has worked simultaneously as a dancer, professor, reggiseur, and choreographer in the Art and Teaching Unit of the Ballet Español de Cuba that is part of the National School of Arts (ENA), and in the National School of Arts (ENA) in the specialty of Ballet. For several years, she has taught dancing in Mexico during summer courses of the PROART Academy of Santiago de Querétaro where she has also performer as Qualifying Jury.
As a solo dancer, she has taken part in every edition of the Festival Ibérica Contemporánea celebrated in Querétaro (Mexico) where she has shared the stage with the world’s greatest in this genre.
Her work as a choreographer includes many acts that have been performed by the Ballet Español de Cuba, as well as choreographies that are part of plays presented by this company. Among her most recent choreographies, there are “Suite del Sombrero de Tres Picos” (Classic Spanish Style), “Al-Ándalus” (Flamenco) and the play in two acts “EMIGRANTES” (EMIGRANTS) showing various styles such as Afrocuban dances, neoclassical, and flamenco. We shouldn’t fail to mention that all have had great reviews and audience acceptance.
She also works as choreography consultant and reggiseur of the National Ballet of Cuba, specifically in the latest choreographies in Spanish style by the Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso. In several occasions, she has played as a guest dancer “Preciosa y el Aire”, by the Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso, together with solo dancers and the corps de ballet of the National Ballet of Cuba, that was included as part of important events such as the Closing Gala of the 23rd International Ballet Festival of Havana and the Gala for the 80th Anniversary of the Debut of Alicia Alonso. Also with the National Ballet of Cuba performs as a soloist in “Aires de Tradición”, by the choreographer Eduardo Blanco, released in December 2011.
In July 2009, she toured in Mexico as a guest artist of the Spanish bailaora María Juncal with the show “Tercera Llamada”, and in 2010, she danced in the Festival Cuna del Flamenco (Cradle of Flamenco) in Granada, Spain. In January 2012, she founded her own company: Compañía Irene Rodríguez, with the best reviews from the start.
In addition to being a dancer, she graduated with a Golden Diploma in Theatre Art (Acting) from the High Institute of Arts (ISA) of Cuba (she has performed several times as an actress and she has a Master in Theoretical Studies of Dancing by the very same High Institute of Arts (ISA) of Cuba.
Obini Bata, folklore female band unique of its kind in Cuba, was created in June of 1994 by the first “bataleras” of Cuba.
These women faced the existing taboo and the difficulties resulting from the presence of females in the musical performance with a folklore percussion set, specifically with the bata drums band. These instruments are closely related to all our music, providing a contribution to musicology and to the development of Cuban popular traditional music, as well as to dance and theater, since their sound is heard in shows where all theses specialties are mixed, and where the importance and strength of women in the country’s cultural and artistic process is present, as well as their emancipating character.
Obini Bata is formed of highly qualified women, coming from higher and middle levels of the art schools, with great vocation and respect for what they do. They maintain a research and technical-professional work to achieve a level of performance on stage, in accordance with the folklore stage they are in.
They are directed by MSc. Eva Despaigne, who has a vast experience and years of work in the art area, as a dancer, musician, singer, director, dance maître, professor, and advisor in Cuba and abroad.
With an intense energy on stage, they do a great show in which they combine dance, percussion and singing, presenting a wide panorama of our folklore or popular-traditional music. They offer different dance genres, such as afro and all related to it, the rumba complex (yambu, guaguanco and Columbia), chacha, danzonete, mambo, son, guarachas, conga and comparsas, as well as the chancleta dance, all together with the folklore percussion set and oral expressions like cries, sayings and tongue twisters, expressions our Cuban character, in a proposal of live interaction with the audience.
These artists are also prepared to offer music, dance and percussion workshops in this trip through the Cuban music, if there is the possibility and interest in doing that; they can also give lectures on these topics.
Obini Bata has remain in the cultural and artistic avant -garde of the country, accomplishing not only the objectives for which it was created, but also the responsibility of representing our culture internationally in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa, showing its quality, versatility, skills and Cuban origin.