Sayaka SHOJI

Japanese violinist, Sayaka Shoji has become internationally recognised for her musicianship, brilliant technique and enduring strength on the concert platform and has developed an extensive repertoire including newly commissioned works as well as masterworks by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Sibelius and Shostakovich.

In her early career she established collaborations with the likes of Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons and Sir Colin Davis and has performed with leading conductors including Yuri Temirkanov, Zubin Mehta, Semyon Bychkov, Myung-Whun Chung, Gianandrea Noseda and Paavo Järvi. Shoji has worked with renowned orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, London Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Czech Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, The Mariinsky Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as giving festival appearances in Lucerne, Verbier and for Prague Spring Festival.

Highlights in the 2020/21 season include recital tours with pianist, Víkingur Ólafsson across Europe and Japan as well as collaborations with Saburo Teshigawara on solo works by Bach and Bartok at Philharmonie de Paris. She is regularly reinvited by the Philharmonia Orchestra and St Petersburg Philharmonic and further ahead will make a return to the Wigmore Hall. Alongside her concert activities, Shoji will premiere her experimental video project, ‘Synesthesia’; the transformation of her internal musical image into a visible form of expression. The product of several years work, Shoji will give a live performance of the project in Paris this autumn.

Last season’s highlights included UK and Japanese tours with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy and Esa-Pekka Salonen respectively, as well as tours with Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Penderecki and Yuri Temirkanov.

A prolific recording artist, Shoji has released several albums on Deutsche Grammophon including Sibelius and Beethoven Violin Concertos with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov. With duo partner, Gianluca Cascioli she has recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin and most recently released a live disc recorded at the Musikverein, Vienna with Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich led by Yutaka Sado featuring Bernstein Serenade. Other live recordings include sonatas by Mozart, Schubert and Brahms recorded with Menahem Pressler.

In 1999 Shoji took first prize as the youngest and first Japanese winner of the Paganini Competition and went on to win the Mainichi Art Award in 2016, one of Japan’s most prestigious awards, presented to those who have had a significant influence on the arts. She plays a Recamier Stradivarius c.1729 kindly loaned to her by Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.

Jean-Jacques Kantorow

The French violinist and conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow began the violin at the age of 6 at the Nice Conservatoire. He was only 13 years old when he won a place at the prestigious Paris Conservatoire to study in René Benedetti’s class, and graduated one year later with a 1st prize.

From 1962 -68 Jean-Jacques won prizes in at least 10 international violin competitions, including 1st prizes in the Carl Flesh competition in London, and the Paganini competition in Genoa, and he was 1st winner in the Geneva and Tibor Varga competitions. In 1970 Jean-Jacques won a grant from the Sacha Schneider foundation.

As a concert violinist, Jean-Jacques has played all round the world giving over 100 concerts a year and receiving rave reviews; « Jean-Jacques Kantorow is a great violinist, a spectacular talent, the most prodigiously original violinist I have heard in this generation » ( Glenn Gould)

Jean-Jacques likes to play chamber music as an antidote to the sometimes lonely career of a soloist. With pianist Jacques Rouvier and cellist Philippe Muller he formed a trio which won 1st prize in the Colmar international chamber music competition in 1970. He was also a member of the Ludwig and Mozart string trios.

Since 1970 Jean- Jacques has held chairs teaching the violin in several Conservatoires, including Paris, Basel and Rotterdam, and given master classes all over the world. In 2019 he starts teaching regularly at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki for annual series of master classes.

To deepen his understanding of music, Jean- Jacques was naturally drawn to conducting. From 1983 he became Musical Director of several orchestras, including the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, the Granada Orchestra, the Auvergne Chamber Orchestra which he conducted for 10 years and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris.

Jean- Jacques has made over 170 recordings as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor, with numerous important record labels such as Denon, EMI, Erato, CBS, BIS etc. with many recordings receiving international awards.

Gordan Nikolitch

Gordan Nikolić was born in Brus, Serbia in 1968 and began playing violin at the age of seven. He entered the Young Talent Institute at the age of 9.
He graduated with the highest acclaims at the Musikhochschule Basel in the class of Jean-Jacques Kantorow in 1990. He also studied with  Walter Levin, Hans Werner Henze, Witold Lutoslawsky and György Kurtág, developing an interest in both baroque and contemporary music. He is the winner of several international awards, which include the Tibor Varga, Niccolò Paganini, Cità di Brescia, and Vaclaw Huml prizes.

After being leader of the Orchestre d’Auvergne, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and later with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the London Symphony Orchestra, he often conducted the Chamber Orchestra of the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, Manchester Camerata, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Lille and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.

In 2000, he was appointed “Prince Consort Professor” for string ensembles at the Royal College of Music. In September 2003, he became a professor at the Guilhall School of Music in London and the Royal College in Rotterdam. In 2017, he started teaching at the Hoschule für Musik in Sarrebruck.

In 2004, he became Artistic Director of the Nederlands Kamerorkest in Amsterdam. He was principal guest conductor at the Manchester Camerata, musical director of the Saint George Strings Chamber Orchestra in Belgrade and created the independent orchestra BandArt in Spain.

He has performed as a soloist with prestigious orchestras and under conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Arie van Beek, André Previn, Daniel Harding, Myung Wung Chung, Bernard Haitink, Laurence Foster, Marc Albrecht, Jakob Kreizberg.

Gordan Nikolic has made many recordings for various labels (Alpha, Pentatone, LSO Live, Olympia, BNL, Warner Classics, Onyx Classics) For the label Tacet, he recorded Gound’s symphonies as well as Mozart’s violin concerti and last symphonies.

Gordan Nikolic plays a Paul Belin made in 2016 and a Venetian Petrus Guarnerius kindly lent by an anonymous sponsor.

Kirill Troussov

Supported and guided by Sir Yehudi Menuhin at a young age, Kirill Troussov is now widely recognised as one of the leading violinists of his generation. The international press describes his playing : “…impressive elegance, irreproachable technique, an exceptional musical sensitivity and sonorities of immaculate beauty…” Kirill Troussov is a regular guest in prestigious concert halls and renowned international music festivals all over the world.

Collaboration with celebrated conductors such as Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Daniele Gatti, Lawrence Foster, Jiri Belohlàvek, Michail Jurowski, David Stern, Christoph Poppen, Vladimir Spivakov, Mikko Frank and Louis Langrée as well as with major orchestras such as the Staatskapelle Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de France, Radio Orchestra of Hessischer Rundfunk, Radio Symphony Orchestra of Baden-Baden, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and Bamberg Symphony Orchestra has brought him among others to Tonhalle Zürich, Berliner Philharmonie, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Palais des Beaux Arts Brüssel, Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, De Doelen, NCPA in Beijing, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid, Verbier Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Festival and Menuhin Festival Gstaad.

Passion for chamber music and friendship connects Kirill Troussov with artists like Sol Gabetta, Yuja Wang, Daniel Hope, Joshua Bell, Gautier und Renaud Capucon, Yuri Bashmet, Mischa Maisky, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Julian Rachlin, Christian Zacharias und Natalia Gutman.
Substitution for Gidon Kremer in Paris, Asia Tour with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, his spectacular performance at the BBC Proms and his activity as jury member at international competitions, a.o. at the “Schoenfeld International String Competition”, are just  some of numerous highlights of his past concert seasons.

His international awards include the European cultural award “Pro-Europa”, the Davidoff-Prize of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the international Yamaha Prize and the Reuters-Prize of the Verbier Festival.

Kirill Troussov regularly gives master classes at the Mozarteum Salzburg, European Music Intstitute Vienna, in Cremona, Milan, Madrid, Dublin, Berlin, Munich ,Oslo, Budapest, USA and Hong Kong.

Kirill Troussov’s recordings – among others for EMI Classics, Warner Classics, Dabringhaus und Grimm, Naxos and Farao Classics –  have been repeatedly awarded by the international press. Furthermore he is to watch with Yuja Wang on her DVD with Kurt Masur. His recent CDs “Emotions” (MDG) and “Memories” (MDG) have been highly praised by the international press and the public – among others by “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and the french music magazine „Diapason“.

He completed his studies with Zakhar Bron and Christoph Poppen. His mentors have been Igor Oistrach, Herman Krebbers und Sir Yehudi Menuhin.

Kirill Troussov plays the Antonio Stradivari violin “Brodsky” of 1702, on which violinist Adolph Brodsky performed the world premiere of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto on Dec 4, 1881.

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