Naomi Watts

Naomi became a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018 and has enjoyed playing with English National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra as well as completing various trials. She has recently returned from a tour of South East Asia playing principal cello with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
Naomi is a member of the Caversham Ensemble with whom she has performed concertos on a number of occasions and is vey passionate about chamber music. She has taken part in Chamber Music Festivals in Sweden, Switzerland, France and at IMS Prussia Cove with the Bernadel Quartet.
When not playing the cello, Naomi enjoys continuing attempts to learn Portuguese and is also training to become yoga teacher with the Yoga Academy.

Naomi studied at the Purcell school of Music from the age of fourteen and graduated from the Royal College of Music with distinction in 2011. During her time at the RCM she performed at Cadogan Hall, Wigmore Hall and appeared on Television in America playing the Amarylis Fleming Stradivarius Cello for a CBS news programme.

Ziga Faganel

Žiga Faganel studied violin in Ljubljana and Los Angeles at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California, where he graduated in the class of Alice Schoenfeld. He has established himself through numerous competitions, also as a member of Tetraktys string quartet and Slovenian Philharmonic string quartet. He further perfected his skills mostly in Austria,  under Rainer Küchl and Peter Götzel. He has performed as concertmaster in Slovene as well as in international youth orchestras. Along recitals and playing in various orchestras home and abroad, he devotes himself primarily to chamber music, string quartet and baroque music performed on period instruments. During his studies and professional carrer he has collaborate with many famous artists and conductors like Yoyo Ma, Itzak Perlman, Midori, Bobby McFerrin, Sting, Carl St. Clair, Sir Neville Marriner and others. He is a member of Slovenian Philharmonic,  and of the baroque music ensemble Musica Cubicularis with which he recorded a CD of Tartini sonatas in 2008. Since 2009 he is actively engaged in promoting Tartini’s music. One of his pasions is perfonming chamber music in a house concert setting which brings chamber music to more intimate listening environment where it used to belong. He has many times performed on Tartini’s own violin which is taken care by the Maritime museum of Piran.

Sadie Fields

Violinist Sadie Fields enjoys a diverse career as soloist and chamber musician. Sadie discovered the violin at the age of seven when her primary school went to see the famous Axelrod collection of Stradivarius violins. Her talent was quickly apparent, and she began concertizing at an early age. Sadie performs across North America, the UK, and continental Europe, and her concerts have also brought her further afield, including to the Middle East, East Asia, and New Zealand. Sadie indulges her great love of chamber music at festivals around Europe and at IMS Prussia Cove, and she is the violinist of Belgium-based Trio Khnopff.

Sadie has been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio New Zealand, NDR (Germany), and Swedish radio. As a recording artist, she has recorded extensively for BIS Records with the Swedish ensemble Camerata Nordica, and has released two discs with Champs Hill Records. The first, a disc of Mendelssohn chamber music, was chosen as BBC Music Magazine’s Editor’s Choice and ‘Chamber Disc of the Month’ for September 2014, and was also ‘Chamber Music Disc of the Quarter’ by the German Record Critics’ Award Association (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik). Sadie’s second disc for Champs Hill is the complete Brahms Sonatas with pianist Jeremy Young, which received glowing reviews in both Europe and North America.

Sadie holds a PhD from the Royal Academy of Music (2015). Her practice-led doctoral research addresses practical and philosophical ideas associated with the concepts of learning and ‘tradition’, focusing on her own engagement with Bartók’s violin writing. Sadie has won awards from over twenty UK and international associations, and has been a Leverhulme Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music and the Edison Visiting Fellow at the British Library.

Principal teachers include György Pauk, Yair Kless, and Atis Bankas, and Sadie has also been guided and mentored by Ivry Gitlis, Ida Haendel, and Ferenc Rados. As a teacher herself, Sadie teaches violin and chamber music, and she has given masterclasses at conservatoires and universities in China and the UK.

Natalia Kotarba

Natalia Kotarba is a Polish violinist born in Cracow, currently based in Brussels. She holds degrees Cum Laude from the Academy of Music in Cracow and from the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, where she also pursued her Concertmusicus (artist diploma) programme in the class of Philippe Graffin. From January 2019  with  ”Karski” string quartet, she is also joining the String Quartet Studio at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Natalia embraces keenly all aspects of a musician’s life. Among the artists she has had the opportunity to collaborate with in a chamber music setting are Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, Philippe Graffin, Gordan Nikolic, Krzysztof Penderecki and the Oxalys Ensemble. She has appeared at music festivals such as Midis-Minimes and Ysaye’s Knokke in Belgium, Harmos Festival in Portugal, Istanbul Music Festival in Turkey, Elba Isola Musica d’Europa festival. She is part of the Belgian Sonos Ensemble, artist-in-residence in Tongeren (Belgium) for the season 2018/19. Natalia has also collaborated with orchestras such as Deutsches Radio Kammerorchester, Le Concert Olympique and Polish Art Philharmonic. She has had the honour to perform at Bozar in the presence of the monarchs of Belgium and the Netherlands during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Benelux in June 2018. Natalia is a laureate of the Polish National Chamber Music Competition in Bydgoszcz in piano trio category (2014) and a laureate of La Fondation Chopin, a Belgian institution who awards prizes for succesful music students at the beginning of their careers (2017). Most recently, as a member of the newly formed Karski Quartet she has been awarded the Grand Prix of the 4th International Music Competition Triomphe de L’Art in Brussels (November 2018). She has had the opportunity to develop her skills in masterclasses with renowned artists and pedagogues such as Miriam Fried, David Waterman, Alasdair Beatson, or Quatuor Ebene. She has also been strongly influenced by jazz improvisation lessons she took as a teenager with the renowned Polish jazzman Jarosław Śmietana. Natalia finds it important in her work to be open to different styles and kinds of music, which helps her create personal and honest interpretations of musical works. She is also a dedicated teacher and a great enthusiast of music-educational projects which help introduce children and young adults to the beautiful world of music. In August 2018 she served on the faculty during the Masterclasses for young musicians in Oslo, teaching violin and chamber music.

Veronika Novotna

In 1985 Veronika started to play the violin at the age of 4 tought by her father-a violin teacher. In 1992 she got the 2nd prize at the International Violin Competition of Jaroslav Kocian in Ústí na Orlicí. In 1994 she started studies at the Music Conservatory of České Budějovice. She graduated in 2000 with S. Prokofiev’s violin nr.2 g-minor and A. Dvorak’s Romance in F minor. During her studies she was a member of the Euregio Symphony Orchestra, which brings together musicians from Austria, Germany and Czech Republic, from 1997-1999. In 1997 she played as a soloist with Vilnius Philharmonic Orchestra with C. Saint-Saense’s violin concerto.

In 2000-2006 she has became the soloist and concert master of the Czech Chamber Orchestra (ČKF). With them she was touring in Europe- venues in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Monaco, Belgium and Germany.

Since 2006 until 2010 she played with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (CNSO) functioning as a soloist and assistant concertmaster. She has been touring with them through Japan and Europe. With CNSO she also had extensive recording experience in classical and film music as well as pop music. 

Since 2010-present she is a member of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. 

She plays an instrument built in 1987 by Vladimír Pilař.

Simona Bonfiglioli

Simona Bonfiglioli är född och uppvuxen i Borås, men är numera bosatt i Basel, Schweiz. Hon studerade i Stockholm och Berlin, och frilansar nu runt om i Europa. Hon turnerar regelbundet med bl.a. Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Det Norske Kammerorkester, Amsterdam Sinfonietta och Camerata Bern, har suttit som stämledare i Kringkastingsorkesteret i Oslo samt i Det Norske Opera och Balett, och gästar som konsertmästare i I Tempi Kammerorchester samt Luzerner Sinfonieorchester i Schweiz. Hon är även en passionerad kammarmusiker.

Giovanni Sollima

Giovanni Sollima was born in Palermo in 1962 into a family of musicians. He studied in Palermo, Salzburg and Stuttgart, and, still a teenager, embarked on a brilliant international career of cellist, collaborating with Claudio Abbado, Martha Argerich, Jorg Demus and Giuseppe Sinopoli.

Alongside the soloist career, his creative curiosity led him to explore new frontiers in the field of Composition: his unmistakable style is characterized by contaminations between different genres: minimalism, rock, electronic and ethnic music from all over the Mediterranean area, with echoes of ancient and baroque music, on the basis of a thorough classical training.

His music has been played by classical performers such as Yo-Yo Ma, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano, Daniele Gatti, Gidon Kremer with the Kremerata Baltica, Ivan Fischer, Mischa Maisky, Viktoria Mullova, Yuri Bashmet with the Moscow Soloists, Sol Gabetta, Katia and Marielle Labeque, Ruggero Raimondi, Mario Brunello, Bruno Canino, La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Il Giardino Armonico, the Accademia Bizantina, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker Strings, the Berliner Konzerthausorchester, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Manchester Camerata, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the pop stars Patti Smith, Larry Coryell, Mauro Pagani, Stefano Bollani, Elisa (protagonist of his opera Ellis Island).

For cinema and television he composed for Peter Greenaway (The Tulse Luper Suitcases and Nightwatching), John Turturro (Evidence for a Sicilian Tragedy), Carlos Saura (La Jota), Anatolij Vasiliev (L’Asino), Marco Tullio Giordana (One Hundred Steps and The Best Youth), Lasse Gjertsen (Daydream). For the theater he wrote and performed music for directors such as Robert Wilson, Alessandro Baricco, Peter Stein. In 2006 Peter Greenaway chose his music for the large installation staged in Amsterdam in the fourth centenary of Rembrandt. In the dance field he collaborated with many great choreographers, such as Karole Armitage, Bebe Miller and Carolyn Carlson who, at the Venice Biennale, made him play on stage, among the dancers, using his scenic charisma.

As a soloist, or with different instrumental groups, he performed his compositions all over the world:  the Carnegie Hall, the Merkin Hall and the Brooklyn Academy Music in New York, La Scala in Milan, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Wigmore Hall in London, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, the Istanbul International Festival, the Tokyo Summer Festival, the Sydney Opera House, the Tanglewood Festival, the Auditorium of Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Venice Biennale, the Ravenna Festival, the Kronberg Festival, the Kunstfest in Weimar, the Lockenhaus Festival, the Amsterdam Biennäle, the Piatigorsky Festival in Los Angeles, the opening of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai with La Scala Orchestra, with tours in the UK, Holland, the U.S.A., Canada, Russia, Japan, China, Australia. Prestigious venues, as well as alternative ones, nearer to the younger audience, such as the Knitting Factory in New York, a real underground temple, when the Pulitzer Prize Justin Davidson describes him as ”The Jimi Hendrix of the Cello”. Remarkable is the cello performance in the Sahara Desert and the one underwater in a sicilian’ gebbia (a tank for irrigation’ water).

In 2012 he had been the main creator and the artistic director of the explosive musical ensemble of the 100 Cellos, which in six years had performed with his ”Itinerant Festival” in Rome, Milan, Budapest, Turin, Ravenna, Lucca and Palermo.

The Municipality of Milan commissioned to Sollima the sound theme for Expo 2015, which inaugurated the new exhibition hall for the Pietà Rondanini by Michelangelo.

On June 2, 2017, for the Festa della Repubblica, he performed a concert at the Quirinale in front of the Presidents of the Republic and of the Chambers, and all the ambassadors from all over the world.

In October 2018, he has been awarded the prestigious Anner Bijlsma Award in occasion of the Cello Biennale in Amsterdam, where he was ‘Artist in residence’.

Among the many cd, we remember Aquilarco for Point Music/Universal (on invitation by Philip Glass), Works and When We Were Trees for Sony, Neapolitain Concertos and the Sonatas for Cello by Giovanni Battista Costanzi for Glossa Music, Caravaggio, 100 Cellos live in Rome and Aquilarco live in New York for Egea Music, Onyricon, Il Caravaggio rubato and A Clandestine Night in Rome for Decca.

Sollima plays a cello Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1679) and, since 2010, he’s been teaching at the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, where he was awarded the title of Academician. Moreover he uses in his creations western and eastern acoustic instruments and electrical and electronic tools, mixed with others of his own invention, such as the aquilarco, and others especially made for him, like the tenor violin present in the paintings of Caravaggio and an ice-cello that in the winter of 2007 he played at 3200 meters above sea level, in an igloo’ theatre built in a glacier of the Dolomites.

He publishes his works with Casa Musicale Sonzogno in Milan.

 

October 2018

 

 

Willem Stam

Canadian/Dutch Cellist Willem Stam was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. In 2006 he moved to The Netherlands where he completed his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees under the guidance of Dmitry Ferschtman. Willem regularly performs a large variety of different styles and genres of music including continuous work with living composers. Hе performs regularly as soloist, chamber musician, and conductor in a large variety of ensembles and settings.

In 2016 Willem became the Artistic Coordinator of Aurora Music.

He is also the founding cellist of the Ysaÿe Trio, an ensemble that released its first CD of trios by Beethoven and Ysaÿe in 2013 and it’s second CD of symphonic arrangements of works by Beethoven and Mahler for piano quartet in 2015. Willem is also a founding member of the New European Ensemble, a state-sponsored ensemble based in the Hague which has performed extremely varied projects, worked with a lot of new music, and organized social outreach projects all over Europe.

Willem studied in Canada with Beth Sandvoss and John Kadz. He has played for and worked with many of the worlds leading cellists and pedagogues and brings this background into his own teaching including masterclasses given in Canada, South America, and Europe. Willem teaches privately at home and through the internet where he regularly gives masterclasses and lessons to cellists around the globe.

Willem plays a Stefano Scarampella cello (Mantova, 1918) made available by the National Instrument Foundation of The Netherlands.

 

Truls Mørk

 

Truls Mørk’s compelling performances, combining fierce intensity, integrity and grace, have established him as one of the pre-eminent cellists of our time.

 

He is a celebrated artist who performs with the most distinguished orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philharmonia and London Philharmonic orchestras and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. In North America he has appeared withthe New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Conductor collaborations include Mariss Jansons, David Zinman, Manfred Honeck, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Christoph Eschenbach, amongst others.

 

During the 2016/17 season Truls Mørk will be Artist-in-Residence with the Gothenburg Symphony   which will include both concerto performances and chamber music. He continues to give regular recitals at major venues and festivals throughout the world – he was one of the featured artists at the 2016 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles and will return to the Verbier Festival in 2017.

 

A great champion of contemporary music, Truls Mørk has given in excess of 30 premieres. These include Rautavaara’s Towards the Horizon with the BBC Symphony Orchestra/John Storgårds, Pavel Haas’ Cello Concerto with Wiener Philharmoniker/Jonathan Nott, Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto for Three Cellos with the NHK Symphony Orchestra/Charles Dutoit and Haflidi Hallgrimsson’s Cello Concerto, co-commissioned by the Oslo Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony and Scottish Chamber orchestras.

 

With an impressive recording output, Truls Mørk has recorded many of the great cello concertos for labels such as Virgin Classics, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Ondine, Arte Nova and Chandos many of which have won international awards including Gramophone, Grammy, Midem and ECHO Klassik awards. These include Dvořák’s Concerto (Mariss Jansons/Oslo Philharmonic), Britten’s Cello Symphony and Elgar’s Concerto (Sir Simon Rattle/CBSO), Miaskovsky Concerto and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante (Paavo Järvi/CBSO), Dutilleux (Myung-Whun Chung/Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France), CPE Bach (Bernard Labadie/Les Violons du Roy), Haydn’s Concertos (Iona Brown/Norwegian Chamber Orchestra), Rautavaara’s Towards the Horizon (John Storgårds/Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra) as well as the complete Bach Cello Suites and Britten Cello Suites. His most recent recordings include Shostakovich’s Concertos with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko, works for cello and orchestra by Massenet with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Neeme Järvi and the Saint-Saens Concertos together with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Neeme Järvi.

 

Initially taught by his father, Truls Mørk continued his studies with Frans Helmerson, Heinrich Schiff and Natalia Schakowskaya. In his early career he won a number of competitions such as the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition (1982), Cassado Cello Competition in Florence (1983), the Unesco Prize at the European Radio-Union competition in Bratislava (1983) and the Naumberg Competition in New York (1986).

 

Lynn Harrell

Lynn Harrell’s presence is felt throughout the musical world. A consummate soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, conductor and teacher, his work throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia has placed him in the highest echelon of today’s performing artists.

Mr. Harrell is a frequent guest of many leading orchestras including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, and the National Symphony. In Europe he partners with the orchestras of London, Munich, Berlin, Tonhalle and Israel. He has also toured extensively to Australia and New Zealand as well as the Far East, including Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In the summer of 1999 Mr. Harrell was featured in a three-week “Lynn Harrell Cello Festival” with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. He regularly collaborates with such noted conductors as James Levine, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Temirkanov, Michael Tilson Thomas and David Zinman.

In recent seasons Mr. Harrell has particularly enjoyed collaborating with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist, André Previn. In January 2004 the trio appeared with the New York Philharmonic performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Maestro Masur conducting.

An important part of Lynn Harrell’s life is summer music festivals, which include appearances at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Aspen and Grand Tetons festivals, and the Amelia Island Festival.

On April 7, 1994, Lynn Harrell appeared at the Vatican with the Royal Philharmonic in a concert dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The audience for this historic event, which was the Vatican’s first official commemoration of the Holocaust, included Pope John Paul II and the Chief Rabbi of Rome. That year Mr. Harrell also appeared live at the Grammy Awards with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, performing an excerpt from their Grammy-nominated recording of the complete Beethoven String Trios (Angel/EMI).

Highlights from an extensive discography of more than 30 recordings include the complete Bach Cello Suites (London/Decca), the world-premiere recording of Victor Herbert’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields led by Marriner (London/Decca), the Walton Concerto with Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (EMI), and the Donald Erb Concerto with Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony (New World). Together with Itzhak Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mr. Harrell was awarded two Grammy Awards – in 1981 for the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio and in 1987 for the complete Beethoven Piano Trios (both Angel/EMI). A recording of the Schubert Trios with Mr. Ashkenazy and Pinchas Zukerman (London/Decca) was released in February 2000. His May 2000 recording with Kennedy, “Duos for Violin & Cello,” received unanimous critical acclaim (EMI). Most recently, Mr. Harrell recorded Tchaikovsky’s Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo Theme, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2, and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Gerard Schwarz conducting (Classico).

Lynn Harrell’s experience as an educator is wide and varied. From 1985-93 he held the International Chair for Cello Studies at the Royal Academy in London. Concurrently, from 1988-92, he was Artistic Director of the orchestra, chamber music and conductor training program at the L.A. Philharmonic Institute. In 1993, he became head of the Royal Academy in London, a post he held through 1995. He has also given master classes at the Verbier and Aspen festivals and in major metropolitan areas throughout the world. Since the start of the 2002-03 academic year, Mr. Harrell has taught cello at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Lynn Harrell was born in New York to musician parents. He began his musical studies in Dallas and proceeded to the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the first Avery Fisher Award.

In June, 2010  along with his wife, violinist Helen Nightengale, he founded the HEARTbeats Foundation, a 501(c) charity. Based in Los Angeles, the HEARTbeats Foundation strives to help children in need harness the power of music to better cope with, and recover from, the extreme challenges of poverty and conflict, in hope of creating a more peaceful, sustainable world for generations to come. Mr. Harrell serves as a board officer and Artist Ambassador, a capacity that allows him to work directly with children in in need.

He makes his home in Santa Monica, CA