Anna Tsybuleva

Born in a small village in the Caucasian foothills, Anna Tsybuleva shot into the international spotlight in 2015 when she was crowned First Prize Winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition and honoured with critical acclaim such as “A pianist of rare gifts: not since Murray Perahia’s triumph in 1972 has Leeds had a winner of this musical poise and calibre” (International Piano Magazine). Initially, Anna had been taught the piano by her mother at the age of 6; with 13 she was admitted to study with Lyudmila Roschina at Moscow’s Central School of Music and later at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. Upon graduation with distinction she went for two years to Carlos Martinez-Mehner in Basle, before returning to Moscow to obtain a postgraduate degree.

Following a busy career as a recitalist, as well as a soloist with many orchestras, Anna Tsybuleva performs throughout the UK, the rest of Europe and Asia.

This year, she gives recital debuts in, amongst others, KKL Lucerne, Salle Cortot in Paris and in the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. Apart from numerous concerts in Russia, Spain, China and Germany the absolute highlight of the current season is a recording of a new work for piano and orchestra with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop. Moreover, her second in a series of CDs with Chopin’s solo piano music will be released. Anna’s previous recordings were enthusiastically received by audiences and the media: her first solo CD with works by C. P. E. Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms, released in 2017, and the Second Brahms-Concerto with DSO Berlin and conductor Ruth Reinhardt in 2021.

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Stefan Blunier

Swiss conductor Stefan Blunier studied the piano, horn, composition and conducting in his Swiss hometown of Berne and at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany. After first engagements at the local opera houses in Mainz, Augsburg and Mannheim, as well as with the Belgian National Orchestra, he became Music Director at the Darmstadt State Theatre. From 2008 to 2016 he served as Music Director at Opera Bonn, and simultaneously – from 2010 to 2013 – as principal guest conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra. Further engagements in the field of opera took him to Geneva, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Oslo and, as a regular guest conductor, Deutsche Oper Berlin. Apart from his work at opera houses, he has conducted concerts at numerous venues around the world, including Tokyo, Taiwan, Frankfurt, Porto, Leeds, Stuttgart, Bratislava, Budapest, Malmö, São Paulo and Belgium. In 2021 Stefan Blunier becomes chief conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Portugal.

Gergely Madaras

Gergely Madaras has been Music Director of Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège since 2019. He regularly appears as a guest conductor with orchestras including the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic and BBC Scottish Symphony, Hallé, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Hungarian National Philharmonic and Hungarian Radio orchestras, the Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen and Luxembourg Philharmonic orchestras as well as with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Münchener Kammerorchester and Academy of Ancient Music. As an opera conductor he has appeared at the English National Opera, Dutch National Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève and Hungarian State Opera. While his repertoire is rooted in the classical and romantic periods, he maintains a close relationship with new music. He collaborated with composers George Benjamin, Péter Eötvös, György Kurtág, Tristan Murail, Luca Francesconi, Philippe Boesmans and Pierre Boulez.

Antti Siirala

The Finnish pianist Antti Siirala has established himself as one of the finest pianists of his generation. His rich palette of sound colours, his differentiated and songful phrasing and expressive intelligence are praised frequently. Antti Siirala is the winner of numerous international competitions, including the Leeds International Piano Competition. In 1997 he won the International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna as the youngest laureate in its history. This resulted in the performance of all Beethoven piano works at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in the following years and a focus on Beethoven in Siirala’s repertoire.

He performs with renowned conductors like Herbert Blomstedt, François-Xavier Roth, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Sakari Oramo, and with orchestras like the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker, the Radio Symphony Orchestras of HR, NDR, SWR and WDR, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Wiener Symphoniker, City of Birmingham Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Residentie Orkest, Götenborgs Symfoniker, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo. He regularly performs chamber music with partners like Carolin Widmann, Baiba Skride, Lawrence Power, Tanja Tetzlaff, Jan Vogler and Sharon Kam.

Milestones in his career were recitals in the piano series of the Berlin Philharmonic, at the Lucerne Festival and at the Ruhr Piano Festival, at concert halls like Cologne’s Philharmonie, London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York or Zurich’s Tonhalle. Furthermore, Antti Siirala was artist in residence for three years at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, featured in its series Junge Wilde.
Recent highlights were his debut with the Belgrade Philharmonic with the Grieg Piano Concerto and the German premiere of Thomas Adès Three Berceuses with Lawrence Power at the Moritzburg Festival. The upcoming season will see Antti return to the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra Mainz under Eva Ollikainen and to the Prague Symphony Orchestra under Pietari Inkinen.

CD recordings, for which he received the Editor’s Choice Award of Gramophone Magazine several times, were published by Sony (Schubert’s Trout Quintet with newly composed variations) and Naxos (works by Brahms and Schubert transcriptions). Other recordings include the last three Beethoven sonatas (AVI-Music) and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto (SONY, with The Knights, Colin Jacobsen and Jan Vogler).

Antti Siirala is professor for piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.

Rena Shereshevskaya

Rena Shereshevskaya is a graduate of the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory and a postgraduate of this institution, a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France), a laureate of the Ippolitov-Ivanov International Prize in Musical Education and an Honorary Professor of the Moscow Ippolitov-lvanov Musical and Pedagogical Institute. She taught at the Central Special Music School for Gifted Children at the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory for 12 years before joining the Ippolitov-lvanov Music Institute as a professor of piano and head of a piano chair. In 1993 she was first invited as a guest professor to France, where she has been working ever since. At present she is a professor of piano at the Paris Alfred Cortot Superior Music School and at the Rueil-Malmaison Conservatory. She gives masterclasses all over the world (France, USA, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Monaco, China, amongst others) and serves as a member or head of jury at international piano competitions. Many of her students became prize-winners of major competitions, for example Rémi Geniet (2nd Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, Brussels, 2013), Lucas Debargue (4th Prize and the Special Prize of the Association of Music Critics at the 15th Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow, 2015), Alexandre Kantorow (1st Prize and the Grand Prix at the 16th Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow, 2019). At the same time, Rena Shereshevskaya continues to play chamber music with internationally renowned musicians and in duo with her daughter Victoria, a mezzo-soprano. Moreover, she is the artistic director of a festival she conceived, Artistic Dynasties and Families.

Pietro De Maria

An active concert pianist, Pietro De Maria has played as soloist with the best known orchestras, with conductors of the stature of Roberto Abbado, Gary Bertini, Myung-Whun Chung, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Daniele Gatti, Alan Gilbert, Eliahu Inbal, Marek Janowski, Ton Koopman, Michele Mariotti, Ingo Metzmacher, Gianandrea Noseda, Corrado Rovaris, Kwamé Ryan, Yutaka Sado and Sándor Végh.

Born in Venice in 1967, De Maria studied piano with Giorgio Vianello and Gino Gorini. Revealing a precocious talent, he won First Prize at the Alfred Cortot International Piano Competition in Milan at the age of 13. He graduated from the Conservatory of Venice and continued his studies with Maria Tipo at the Conservatory of Geneva, where he obtained the Premier Prix de Virtuosité with the highest honours in 1988.

His repertory ranges from Bach to Ligeti and he is the first Italian pianist to have played Chopin’s complete piano works in six public concerts. More recently, he has been focusing on Bach, presenting both books of The Well-Tempered Clavier as well as the Goldberg Variations in his concerts.

He has recorded Chopin’s complete piano works, The Well-Tempered Clavier and the Goldberg Variations for Decca, receiving important acknowledgments from international publications of prestige such as Diapason, International Piano, MusicWeb-International and Pianiste.

De Maria has also recorded three Sonatas by Clementi for Naxos, a live recital at the Miami International Piano Festival for VAI Audio, Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano with Enrico Dindo for Decca and a CD with selected piano works by Fano for Brilliant Classics.

Pietro De Maria is Academic of Santa Cecilia and is a professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. He is a member of the Scuola di Maria Tipo teaching team organized by the Academy of Music in Pinerolo.

Andreas Haefliger

Coming from a rich tradition, pianist Andreas Haefliger won many plaudits for his Beethoven Perspectives recitals on disc and at major halls and festivals, and is also much sought-after as a chamber musician. Born into a distinguished Swiss musical family, he grew up in Germany, going on to study at the Juilliard School in New York. He was quickly recognised as a pianist of the first rank, and engagements with major US orchestras followed swiftly – the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Pittsburgh, Chicago and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestras among them. In his native Europe he appeared with the great orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra and Vienna Symphony. Andreas Haefliger is well recognised as a superb recitalist, making his New York debut in 1988. He has ongoing regular relationships with the Lucerne and Edinburgh Festivals, Vienna Konzerthaus, and other major halls across North America and Asia. Moreover, he is a regular guest at London’s Wigmore Hall with his Perspectives series, in which he performs the complete piano works of Beethoven alongside works by other composers from Mozart to Ligeti. This series has formed the focus of his solo recital appearances and recordings in recent years, the latest CD being volume 7 of the corresponding series released by BIS. Since Coronavirus struck in March 2020, Andreas Haefliger resides in the Swiss mountains and has used this period of enforced reflection to work on Beethoven’s monumental Hammerklavier Sonata, culminating in an art movie of his performance in the Alpine surroundings. The film is being taken up by cinemas and TV stations and received its world premiere streaming at the Aspen Festival 2020. The world premiere recording of Dieter Ammann’s Gran Toccata with Susanna Mälkki and the Helsinki Philharmonic, coupled with concerti by Bartók and Ravel was released on BIS in October 2020. The first live performance of the Ammann was given at the BBC Proms 2019 with the BBC Symphony and Sakari Oramo, closely followed by the North American premiere with the Boston Symphony and Susanna Mälkki. It was co-commissioned for Andreas Haefliger by Boston together with the Vienna Konzerthaus, Munich Philharmonic, Lucerne Festival and Taipei Symphony.

John Fiore

Born in New York City to a musical family, Mr. Fiore received his earliest musical training from his father, a pianist and choral director, and his mother, a singer. His family moved to Seattle, where he studied piano, cello and other string instruments. Mr. Fiore began his professional musical activities at age 14 as a pianist and coach for the Seattle Opera’s annual production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, a job which he continued for six summers. He later attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. In 1981, he joined the staff of the Santa Fé Opera, where he developed an affinity for the operas of Richard Strauss.

Within a short period of time, he became a prized assistant in three of North America’s most respected companies: the San Francisco, Chicago Lyric and Metropolitan Operas. In the summer of 1986 he went to Europe, assisting Zubin Mehta for Die Meistersinger in Florence, and then to the Bayreuth Festival, where he worked with Daniel Barenboim on Tristan und Isolde.

During this period he also freelanced as an assistant to the great Leonard Bernstein. John Fiore made his debut at the San Francisco Opera conducting Gounod’s Faust in 1986, thus beginning his own conducting career.

In 1990 he embarked on an international symphonic career as well, making debuts on three continents. Since then Mr. Fiore has continued to build his repertoire and orchestral relationships. In the summer of 1996, stepping in for Robert Shaw, Mr. Fiore made a critically acclaimed debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl conducting Verdi’s Requiem. In North America, he has since conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and New York Chamber Symphony, to name but a few. In the United States, he has appeared frequently at the Metropolitan Opera as well, leading over one hundred performances of nearly a dozen operas, and he has long enjoyed relationships with both the Chicago Lyric, San Francisco, and Santa Fe Operas, and also has been to the Houston Grand Opera to conduct Tannhäuser.

Mr. Fiore has got orchestral engagements all over Europe and has been the Music Director of several leading opera companies including the Norwegian Opera, where he served from 2009 through 2015 as the institution’s first music director in over a decade. He was also formerly Music Director of the Deutsche Oper-am-Rhein (1998-2009), where he kept an intensive and extensive schedule conducting in the company’s two houses in the neighboring Rhineland cities of Düsseldorf and Duisburg. Concurrent with his appointment at the Deutsche Oper-am-Rhein, Mr. Fiore was also General Music Director of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, and led full seasons of symphonic concert repertoire.

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