Soprano Anna Leese made her debut in 2005 at age 24 at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (ROH) as Tamiri in Mozart's Il Re Pastore, while she was still in her final year of opera college in London. The ROH then had her understudy the part of Musetta in Giacomo Puccini's La bohème. She returned to sing the role, among several others roles, in her own right in 2008 on the main stage. Regarded as a rising star on the international opera stage, Anna has performed in numerous operatic roles throughout Europe, Canada, China and New Zealand. She has sung with performance greats including Andrea Bocelli, Jose Carreras and Dame Kiri te Kanawa.
This is folk music, but not as you know it. Pulling inspiration from a wide spectrum of genres, from swing to bluegrass, soul, r&b, rock and world music, Albi & The Wolves offer a decadent serving of double bass, guitar, and violin accompanied by Albi's smooth vocal stylings. These elements come together to create both a potent foot stomping rhythm and a captivating music and stage presence never experienced before.
With this love and respect of music in all its forms, Albi & The Wolves not only offer vibrant and refreshing original songs which burst open the seams of traditional folk music, but they also inject their signature sound into modern classics from artists as diverse as Micheal Jackson, and Pink Floyd.
Since the band's formation in 2014, they have excelled in New Zealand's live music scene, pulling in large crowds with their unique performance style, making it irresistible to dance. Their love of performing to a crowd and creating an energized atmosphere will come through in their debut album "One Eye Open" to be released 9 December 2016.
Founded over 40 years ago, St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra performs at St Matthew-In-The-City, Hobson Street in Auckland City, and is currently Auckland’s longest established chamber orchestra. Beginning as a string group formed to accompany performances of Bach Cantatas, the orchestra has developed into a classical symphony orchestra performing a wide repertoire of music. St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra is a non-profit cooperative made up of musicians who all play for their love of music. Orchestra members also contribute to all aspects of the Orchestra’s organisation.
Although it is an amateur orchestra, St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra rehearses and performs like a professional one. It rehearses for just one week – intensively – before each concert and rather than a resident conductor, engages a different guest conductor for each concert. This provides concertgoers with an exciting variety of chamber music performed to a very high standard in a dynamic venue.
Eduardo Strausser’s powerful and dynamic style was praised by Croatian newspaper Vecernji List, which singled him out as “unquestionably one of the new faces in the music world, and part of its exciting future” following his debut with the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra in spring 2017.
This season Eduardo returns to Berner Symphonieorchester and debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Oulu Symphony Orchestra. He is joined by Richard Galliano for performances with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, and conducts Bruckner’s Symphony No.4 with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, as well as all Beethoven programmes with I Pomeriggi Musicali, pianist Steven Osborne joins him in Milan.
Eduardo was Resident Conductor of the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo from 2014-2016. During his last season in São Paulo, Eduardo led performances of Strauss´ Elektra and Carlos Gomes´ Fosca, as well as performances of The Nutcracker with the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo and a Stefano Poda production of Mahler’s Symphony No.1.
From 2012 to 2014 Eduardo was Music Director at the Orchesterverein Wiedikon and the Kammerorchester Kloten in Zürich.
Eduardo has conducted Die Zauberflöte with the Meininger Hofkapelle, and in 2016 led Puccini’s La bohème at the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. As well as concerts at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in January 2017 he conducted performances of La bohème at the Teatro Verdi di Padova and the Teatro Sociale di Rovigo.
Besides his studies at the Zurich University of Arts, Eduardo worked with the visionary composer Karlheinz Stockhausen as part of a two-month course in Kürten, Germany. He has also participated in masterclasses with Bernard Haitink and David Zinman in Switzerland, and with Kurt Masur in New York. In 2008 Eduardo was selected to take part in the prestigious International Forum for Conductors at the Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, Germany, where he had the chance to work closely with composers György Kurtág and Brian Ferneyhough.
Eduardo is fluent in Portuguese, Romanian, German, English, Italian, French, Spanish and Hebrew.
South-African born counter tenor currently based in Belgium.
Kathryn is a concert pianist and ABRSM examiner in the United Kingdom.
Chilean cellist from Valdivia, Los Rios.
First violin of the Teatro Regio di Parma for 14 years, Michelangelo Mazza has gained great experience in the operatic field, working with such conductors as Riccardo Muti, Yuri Temirkanov and Lorin Maazel.
In 2014 he made his successful debut as Conductor on the podium of Theatro Municipal de Sao Paulo in Brazil leading Falstaff by Verdi, in 2015 he was invited back to conduct two new productions: Manon Lescaut and Così fan tutte. In 2014 he also conducted a series of symphonic concerts on the podium of Teatro Lirico di Cagliari.
In 2015 he also gained a great success conducting productions of I Pagliacci at National Theatre of Tirana and Rigoletto on the podium of Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania.
During his career of violinist, Michelangelo Mazza has served as first violin in such prestigious orchestras as Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana OSI of Lugano (Switzerland), Orchestra of Teatro Nacional de São Carlos de Lisboa and Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès (OSV) de Barcelona.
As soloist and concertmaster of Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Parma and Solisti dell’Opera Italiana he has held several concerts in the most prestigious concert halls in the world, including Carnegie Hall of New York, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Kioi Hall in Tokyo and Concert Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia.
As first violin of Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Parma, he has recorded all the operas by Giuseppe Verdi, a collection entitled “Tutto Verdi” for the label Unitel Classic.
The New Zealand based German flautist and conductor Uwe Grodd first gained worldwide recognition when he won First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 for the Best Eighteenth Century Orchestral Recording with his CD of Symphonies by J.B. Vanhal (8.554341).
Grodd has been involved in more than fifty commissions of new music and conducted the premières of the New Zealand operas Galileo by John Rimmer / Witi Ihimaera and Len Lye: The Opera, by Eve de Castro-Robinson / Roger Horrocks. For four years he was Artistic Director of the International Music Festival NZ. A graduate of Mainz University, Germany, he studied with teachers of international repute, including, André Jaunet, Robert Aitken and Sergiu Celibidache.
He is Professor of Flute and Conducting at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Architectural and performance photos for the Albany School of Music on Auckland's North Shore
Ben Hoadley returned to New Zealand in 2007 after nine years based in the USA and has since led a busy and diverse musical life as a performer, teacher and composer on both sides of the Tasman. Ben’s strong interest and commitment to New Zealand music has led him to collaborate with many composers and performers in the performance of new work and creation of new bassoon repertoire. Ben’s solo CD Arapatiki – works for bassoon by Gillian Whitehead – was a finalist in the 2013 NZ Music Awards. His most recent CD Southern Invention, also on the Atoll label, received 5 stars and a “Top 10 Classical for 2015” from William Dart in the New Zealand Herald. Since 2008 Ben has presented an annual series of concerts in Wellington and Auckland – New Zealand Music for Woodwind – which have introduced many works by established and emerging composers. His solo performances have been recorded for Radio New Zealand Concert FM, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and WGBH Classic ‘FM (Boston). Ben has also performed recitals of New Zealand bassoon music at the International Double Reed Society Conventions in Melbourne (2004) and California (2013).
Ben is principal bassoonist of the Sydney Omega Ensemble (Ensemble in Residence at Sydney’s City Recital Hall, Angel Place) and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra has been a regular guest principal with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. He has also worked with the NZSO, Stroma, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and as guest principal bassoonist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Hallé and Trondheim (Norway) Symphony Orchestras.
Ben studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, continuing on a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he became the first wind player in over a decade to receive the college’s highest award for performance, the Artist Diploma. He also received Fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Centre, the Australian National Academy of Music and the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.
Ben studied composition for several years with Edwin Carr and subsequently took classes at the Juilliard School in New York, working with Conrad Cummings. He most recently completed a Master of Music in composition at the University of Waikato, where he was awarded a Master’s Thesis Scholarship and 1st place in the Lilburn Awards.
Ben has taught at the University of Auckland’s School of Music since 2007.
David Squire is one of New Zealand’s most prominent conductors. A founding member of the NZ Association of Choral Directors, he is also a national conducting advisor and tutor, and a Governance Board member for the NZ Choral Federation.
David studied conducting and composition at the University of Auckland, and graduated with a Master of Music degree with first class honours in choral conducting. He has sung with many top choirs in New Zealand, including the Auckland Dorian Choir, University of Auckland Chamber Choir and the New Zealand Youth Choir. He was also a founding member of Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and the V8 Vocal Ensemble.
David has taught music in secondary schools for more than 25 years, directing choirs, orchestras and bands, including many groups that have won local, national and international awards. As a freelance itinerant teacher, David teaches in several secondary schools and also takes workshops and professional development courses throughout the country.
David is often involved in session and recording work, particularly as a conductor, adjudicator, clinician and singer, including a tour with George Benson as backing vocalist in 2010. He was the choral adjudicator and clinician at the Rhapsody Rotorua festival for four consecutive years. He presented workshops at the 2009 Sing Aotearoa Festival and the 2010 International Summer School of Choral Conducting, where he was a mentor and tutor. In 2011 he directed training workshops for choirs singing the anthems at the Rugby World Cup, and then conducted anthem choirs at seven matches. In 2012 he was a mentor and workshop presenter at the inaugural ACD Choral Connect convention, and in 2017 he was the guest conductor for the mixed honour choir at the AMIS Choral Festival in Abu Dhabi.
In 2011 he was awarded a New Zealander of the Year Local Heroes Medal for services to music education.
Eleanor Piccione is a classical guitarist based in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Concert pianist from Shenzhen, China.
Elizabeth Lau is the Music Director of the Mozart Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of Auckland Choral. She is a graduate of The University of Auckland where she completed a MMus in both orchestral and choral conducting , BMus(Hons) and Post-GradDipMus(Perf) degree in composition and double bass performance. Elizabeth studied conducting with Professor UweGrodd and Dr Karen Grylls, and piano accompaniment with Rae de Lisle.
Since graduating Elizabeth has attended conducting workshops in the Czech Republic as well as in New Zealand with distinguished conductors including, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kirk Trevor and Chun Yeh, Simon Halsey, Prof. Rod Eichenberger, Tecwyn Evans, Jo-Michael Scheibe and Anton Armstrong.
She made her conducting début with the Manukau Symphony Orchestra in 2003 and has since directed many ensembles. From 2004 until 2011, she served as the Music Director of MAA – the Chinese community choir and in 2009, Elizabeth was invited to conduct the Suzuki International Conference Orchestra in Melbourne, Australia. In recent years Elizabeth has worked with the APPA Symphony Orchestra during their annual music festival event held by the Auckland Primary Principals Association, Auckland Choral along with the Mozart Orchestra and MAA.
A highlight in 2012 was her appointment as assistant conductor for the world première of ‘ LEN LYE the opera ‘ by Eve de Castro-Robinson, a project under the auspices of the University of Auckland with a season in the Maidment Theatre,Auckland.
In 2013, Elizabeth completed her Master’s degree in orchestral and choral conducting at The University of Auckland when conducting a guitar concerto by Malcom Arnold, and various a capella choral music from early Renaissance to contemporary works sung by the University Chamber Choir.
As a freelance musician, Elizabeth divides her time between conducting, piano teaching and accompanying, and working as a repetiteur, chamber music coach and professional engagements as a double bass player.
Mrs Grace Liu, who took the first place honor in flute major to admit in the School of Music in Zurich, Switzerland and then had great influences from Zurich principal flute Maria Goldschmidt and well-known flute professor Mario Ancillotti also from other masters such as Sir James Galway, Felix Reggli, Aurele Nicolet, Peter Lukas Graff, etc. with great honor. Mrs. Grace Liu has taken the role of principal flute played numerous classical symphonies, conducted several concerts in Europe and worked with a few well-known conductors in Lugano Conservatory Youth Symphony Orchestra, such as, Giorfio Bernasoni, Denis Fedeli. At the year of 2010, Mrs. Grace Liu worked with the well-known Switzerland pianist Ulrich Koela to conducted her own recital and participated a modernist works ‘nine flute concert’ with live recording in Lugano Broadcast Music Hall.
The cast of Hair, North Shore Musical Theatre 2017.
Concert pianist and ABRSM examiner, based in London, United Kingdom.
Krissy Jackson is a Jazz and Folk violinist. Based in New Zealand she performs regularly with Albi & the Wolves, and also tours internationally.
Born in Taiwan, Richard Liu graduated with a MMus with First Class Honours in Piano Performance at the University of Auckland and a MMus in Accompanying at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London with full bursary. He studied under Bryan Sayer, Rae de Lisle, Sarah Watkins, Donald Bowick, Susan Tomes, Graham Johnson, Eugene Asti and Robin Bowman. After returning from his studies in London, he worked in various different roles as an artistic teacher in piano performance, artistic teacher in studio piano pedagogy, voice coach, staff accompanist, and assistant to various teaching studios at the University of Auckland.
He has collaborated with various organisations including Auckland Choral, Voices New Zealand, University Singers, New Zealand Opera, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Opus Orchestra, Waitakere Orchestra, Queenstown Violin Summer School and Westlake Girls High School. He was a tutor for the former University of Auckland Academy of Music and is now involved with the Pettman National Academy, Piano Program Coordinator for Albany School of Music & Remuera Music Academy, as well as adjudicating regional competitions, and examining for NZMEB.
Growing up in New Zealand with a Swiss father and South African mother, then moving to Switzerland in 2004 has given Simone quite a multicultural background. As well as classical music, Simone has travelled to Tokyo to perform in a concert dedicated to “World Peace” with a hip hop group; and when she was 8 years old toured China, Taiwan and Japan with the Swiss Kiwi Yodelers’ Group playing Appenzell music.
Simone has travelled around Switzerland and Europe not only playing in different ensembles like Spira mirabilis, Orchestra d’ella Svizzera Italiana, Camerata Bern, Geneva Camerata, 21st Century Orchestra, and various orchestras in Bern, but also as chamber musician and soloist in Switzerland, France and New Zealand.
In 2012 she became the Primarius of the Faust Quartett. This different type of music making requires a new higher level of musicianship and technical awareness. Combining the best skills of orchestral playing and soloist playing, being part a string quartet is one of the most challenging musical roles. Still being part of a team (albeit a smaller one) the responsibility of each musician is much greater – only one person per part, and no director. It requires meticulous preparation and is difficult, time-consuming work. However the results are ultimately truly rewarding. The benefit of this individual responsibility is the direct contact between the players, which in turn creates a more intimate connection with the audience – straight to the heart.
Through chamber music and orchestras the violin has taken her to places such as Austria, Australia, China, Denmark, England, France, Holland, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Singapore, and around New Zealand.
Simone was born in Auckland, New Zealand and started violin lessons with her twin brother as a pre-schooler. She attended St Cuthbert’s College as a scholarship student and continued on to complete her Masters at the University of Auckland with Mary O’Brien in 2004 and was awarded the Senior Prize for the highest postgraduate mark. During her time in New Zealand she won the National Chamber Music Competition twice, was concertmaster of various youth orchestras from the age of 11, appeared on National Radio and Television, and performed most of the major violin concertos as a soloist with orchestra.
She continued her studies in Switzerland completeing a Konzertdiplom with Monika Urbaniak at the Hochschule der Künste Bern and was the first ever New Zealander to be accepted into the Thy Chambermusic Course in Denmark. In 2007 she began studying with Giuliano Carmignola in his Soloist Class at Lucerne’s Conservatory of Music. She was awarded the Edwin Fischer Prize for best Soloisten Diplom 2009 and performed Chausson’s Poeme as the soloist with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in one of Europe’s best performance venues: the Kultur und Kongresszentrum Luzern.
In 2012 she was the soloist in Brahms’s Violin Concerto in Paris and won the position of co-soloist of the second violins in the Geneva Chamber Orchestra. Attending projects with Spira mirabilis she toured regularly to Italy, Germany, and England. In this ensemble she works with the top young musicians from Europe and the world. In 2008 she organised a recital tour to New Zealand with her pianist Petya Mihneva and part of the tour included a solo performance with St. Matthews Chamber Orchestra. This was such a success that it was repeated again in 2010 (this time including the South Island) culminating with a performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto. She has worked regularly with composers in NZ and Switzerland to realise their music for recordings and premier performances.
Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, with Music Director Dr Karen Grylls, made its début at the 1998 New Zealand International Arts Festival and later that year won awards at the Tolosa International Choral Competition in Spain.
Recent projects include appearances with Jack Body’s PASSIO, Tippet’s A Child of our Time and Brittens’ Requiem for the Fallen (all Auckland Arts Festival), Ross Harris’ Requiem for the Fallen (also NZ Festival and Dunedin Arts Festival) and a gala concert with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for the last New Zealand Festival.
Critically acclaimed recordings include Spirit of the Land, and Voice of the Soul.
VOICES New Zealand was formed in 1998 with Dr Karen Grylls as its Music Director. As a nationally selected choir of the highest calibre, VOICES is a chamber choir that is flexible in size, and capable of performing a wide repertoire. Many of the singers are alumni of the New Zealand Youth Choir.
With its distinct New Zealand sound, performing music from Aotearoa/New Zealand and infusing the qualities of its pacific origins into the classic choral repertoire, VOICES has established itself as the country’s premier national and professional choir. VOICES regularly performs at Arts Festivals around the country, collaborates with orchestras, Chamber Music New Zealand, Taonga Puoro and other artists across creative genres.
VOICES also tours internationally and is the choir-of-choice for arts festivals and special projects.
Sarah began studying violin in Auckland when she was 3, and performed as a soloist with APO, Aotea Youth Orchestra, Academy Orchestra of Auckland, and APPA Festival Orchestra, as well as a solo performance for Prince Charles.
She completed a Bachelor of music at Victoria University of Wellington with Wilma Smith, Vesa-Matti Leppanen and Donald Armstrong, where she was a finalist in the concerto competition, as well as leading and performing as a soloist with the Victoria University Orchestra. While studying, Sarah worked in 1st violins of the Vector Wellington Orchestra for 3 years, before taking up a contract with the NZSO.
Sarah continued her studies in Europe, first at Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam with Thijs Kramer, then moving to London to complete a Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music with Richard Deakin.
In 2009 Sarah moved back to New Zealand, and since then has performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestra Wellington. She is an active chamber musician, and previously was concertmaster of Bach Musica and the New Zealand Pops Orchestra.
Sarah is currently assistant concertmaster of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Liliana is a violinist with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Brazil.
Adriana is a viola player with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Brazil.
Evelyn is a violinist with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Brazil.
One of the leading flamenco and classical guitarist/composers of his generation, Adam del Monte has made it his life mission to fully express himself in these two genres, transcending labeling and convention. Always having incorporated a wide array of musical styles in his compositions, del Monte has embarked on a journey of creating a unique sound and language of flamenco that is both steeped in tradition and progressive in its openness to musical flavors from around the world.
Del Monte has recorded for Deutsche Gramophone – the featured flamenco guitar part in the double Grammy award winning opera “Ainadamar” by Osvaldo Golijov (2006), with soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Atlanta Symphony, conducted by Robert Spano. Since then he has toured this opera in, Carnegie Hall, NY, Lincoln Center, NY, Barbican Center, London, Colorado Music Festival, in Boulder, Chicago Symphony and many more.
Del Monte has recently composed his second flamenco guitar concerto, “Paisajes”, which was debuted and commissioned by the St. Monica Symphony. He has since performed it with the Moscow State Symphony in Tchaikovsky Hall and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, in Caracas, Venezuela.
He has also recorded “Avner’s Theme” by film composer John Williams for the sound track CD of the motion picture “ Munich” by Steven Spielberg. Other film credits include featured participations in Films such as Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz and Mr and Mrs. Smith with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, music by John Powell, and Toy Story 3, music by Randy Newman.
Del Monte has also performed with flamenco singer Enrique Morente and the Madrid Symphony Orchestra, as well as with Lole’ y Manuel. Del Monte was both influenced by and inspired the younger generation of flamenco performers who were beginning to depart from the previous virtual space of Spanish flamenco. Del Monte, too, set out in new directions, integrating years of traditional and leading –edge flamenco training as well as expanding his musicianship on the classical guitar. An eclectic awareness of jazz, world music and other contemporary forms led to new, creative renditions of flamenco repertoire.
He has been commissioned by the LA Guitar Quartet to compose a ‘progressive’ flamenco piece entitled ‘Cambio de Aire’. He has collaborated with Yusef Lateef and the Atlanta Symphony at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta GA. His flamenco debut CD on the Spanish label Sonifolk (1998), entitled: “Viaje a Un Nuevo Mundo” (Journey to a New World) was most favorably reviewed by Spain’s most acclaimed flamenco critic Angel Alvarez Caballero as well as Miguel Mora of El Pais an Alfredo Grimaldos of El Mundo.
Other discographies include: A Mel Bay Artist Video Series –a classical and flamenco recital. A GSP classical CD entitled “EZORDIO”.
In 1998, Adam performed in Spain on the TV program “Algo Mas Que Flamenco” with Lole Montoya.
He has composed a flamenco guitar concerto ;”Ensueño Flamenco” for guitar & orchestra which he premiered in Boston with the BMOP (Boston Modern Orchestra Project) in Jordan Hall, conducted by Gil Rose. In 1999 he returned to Granada to perform in the oldest “Peña Flamenca” “La Plateria”,as well as a tour in Switzerland with singer ,Curro Fernandez.
In February of 2000 he performed the Concierto de Aranjuez with the LA Philharmonic. In June 2000, he performed at the Hollywood Bowl, once with his flamenco ensemble and once with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and classical Spanish dancer Lola Greco.
Adam performed as soloist the Concierto de Aranjuez at Disney Hall several times. He has also performed the “Aranjuez” with the Pacific Symphony with Carl St. Claire. In 2005 del Monte took part in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music Series at Disney Hall, performing the “Histoire du Tango” by Astor Piazzolla with violinist Mark Kashper. He was a member of the Falla Guitar Trio from 2007-2012 where he performed extensively all around the US.
In 2008 he has performed his Flamenco Concerto and the Concierto de Aranjuez with the Ranana Symphonet, conducted by Nir Kabaretti.
First Prize Winner at the 1997 Stotsenberg International Classical Guitar Competition, del Monte is one of the new generations dynamic force in both flamenco and classical guitar. He studied flamenco & classical guitar in Spain, Israel & England. Beginning with his father, he continued his training with such famed Gypsy performers as Pepe “Habichuela”, Paco Cortez, Nino Miguel &Gerardo Nunez. His classical guitar teachers were Menashe Baquiche, Israel and Gordon Crosskey at Chethams School of Music and at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England. He has also appeared as both a solo artist and group performer in major venues such as LA’s Mark Taper Forum and the Wilshire Theater; the Teatro Real and the Conde Duque in Madrid; Manuel de Falla Auditorium in Granada; New Mexico St Francis Auditorium in Santa Fe; the International Guitar Festival in Israel, GFA in St Louis,’96, La Jolla ,’97 and Charleston, 99 GFA, Guitar Festival, the 500th anniversary of Columbus celebrations in Paris & Madrid.
Adam has been on the studio guitar department faculty at USC since 2000, where he teaches flamenco and classical guitar.
Del Monte playas a guitar by Erez Perelman.
Marisole is a Chilean violinist.
Alessandra is an Italian cellist resident in Madrid.
Bruna is a specialist in modern and traditional Brazilian dance and percussion.
Multitalented theater, opera and lighting director, Caetano Vilela has worked with directors including Werner Herzog, Gerald Thomas, Christoph Schlingensief, Aidan Lang, Emilio Sagi, Marcelo Tas, Iacov Hillel,Alejandro Chacon, Antunes Filho, etc
Apart from setting the lights, Caetano Vilela has also staged several operas including "Carmen", "Pagliacci", "Pierrot Lunaire", "The Fall of the House of Usher" (Philip Glass), "Il Barbieri di Seviglia ", "Condor " and "Fosca"(Carlos Gomes), "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" (Shostakovitch), "La Cenerentola", "The Telephone" (Menotti), "La Voix Humaine" (Poulenc), "Les Troyens", "La Bohème", "Der Fliegende Holländer/The Flying Dutchman", "Mefistofele" and others.
Cecilia is a harpist from Minas Gerais in central Brazil. Part of the renowned Harpiola Duo she performs regularly throughout South America and Internationally.
Cristina Manescu is a Romanian cellist with the Orchestra Sinfonica Municipal de Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Born in São Paulo, Cláudia Nascimento began her studies with Jean-Noel Saghaard, at the São Paulo Municipal School of Music. In 2001, she earned a Bachelor in Flute Performance from the São Paulo State University. Soon after that, Cláudia was awarded a scholarship by the Vitae Foundation to continue her studies in Paris, at the National Régional Conservatory in Rueil-Malmaison, with Prof. Philippe Pierlot, where she obtained a Premier Prix Superieur and a Prix d’Excellence et Perfectionement à l’unanimité. She was also honored with a gold medal in the Chamber Music class of Prof. Michel Moraguès. After the completion of her studies at the Conservatory of Rueil-Malmaison, Cláudia joined the music interpretation course of renowed Prof. Frédéric Chatoux, at the Conservatory in Poissy. Cláudia participated in some of the most important music festivals in Brazil, including Campos do Jordão, Curitiba, Itú and Brasília. She also attended Master Classes with well-known flutists, among which stand out Emmanuel Pahud, Davide Formisano, Jean-Claude Gérard, Jose Daniel Castellon and Michael Cox. She has been invited to perform in several orchestras and chamber music groups in Brazil and abroad, such as the Orquestra Experimental de Repertório, USP Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral (l’Eure et Loire) and Orchestre Ostinato (Paris). Cláudia Nascimento has had the opportunity to play under the baton of renowned conductors, such as Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Benjamim Zander, Günter Neuhold, Semyon Bychkov, Marin Alsop and Roberto Minczuk. She apperared as guest soloist with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (Osesp) and the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (OSB). Cláudia Nascimento was awarded twice in the Young soloist Competition of Orquestra Experimental de Repertorio and she was also the winner of the XVI Concours Européen de Musique in Picardy-France, in 2006. From 2008 to 2014, Cláudia Nascimento has been principal flute of OSB, frequently appearing as guest principal flute in OSESP during this period. In 2015, Cláudia Nascimento joined OSESP as principal flute.
Violin and Cello from Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
Jennifer Campbell is principal harpist with the Orquestra Sinfonica Municipal de Sao Paulo.
Andrea Cristina Vilella is a flautist with the Orquestra Sinfonica Municipal de Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Trumpeter, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Austrian violinist and conductor in Sao Paulo. Formerly concertmaster of the Orquestra Sinfonica Municipal de Sao Paulo.
Principal cellist with the Orquestra Sinfonica Municipal de Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Milena Salvatti is a cellist in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
String Quartet in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Ricardo Castro was born in Vitoria da Conquista, south-western city in the state of Bahia, in 1964. When he was nine months his family moved to Salvador, the capital, where at the age of three he revealed a clear interest and ease to play the piano, listening at home his older sister’s classes with their aunt.
At the age of five he joined the School of Music and Performing Arts of the Federal University of Bahia, drawing the attention of the piano teacher Esther Cardoso, a Margerith Long fellow, for his ability to play by ear combined with the skill to address and understand what he was shown. Despite his youth he was exceptionally accepted to enter this school. Three years later he made his debut in a solo recital playing among other composers Bach, Haydn, Diabelli and Villa-Lobos. At age 10 he was soloist in the Piano Concerto in D Major by Haydn, accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of the Federal University of Bahia. The music was unquestionably his first language.
From five to 18 years old he studied under the guidance of Esther Cardoso, attending master classes of Magdalena Tagliaferro, from who he received a brilliant comment: "Ricardo Castro is a great artist and a great pianist. He only needs to get older ... ".
Aged 16 he performed in Sao Paulo with the State Orchestra of São Paulo, conducted by Eleazar de Carvalho, the Piano Concerto in a Minor by Grieg.
In 1984 Ricardo went with his own resources to study in Europe, entering the Conservatory of Music in Geneva in the virtuosity class of Maria Tipo, where he remained for three years, and in the conducting class of Arpad Gerecz for two years.
First prize winner at Rahn Competition in Zurich in 1985 and Pembaur in Bern in 1986, he graduated from the Geneva Conservatory in 1987 with the "Premier Prix de Virtuosité avec Distinction et Felicitacions du Jury". In this same year he was ex-aequo winner of the International Competition of the ARD in Munich, starting his international career.
Shortly after he completed his piano studies in Paris with Dominique Merlet. Live and musical experiences with Friedrich Gulda, Alicia de la Rocha, Martha Argerich and Maria João Pires were fundamental in the construction of his aesthetic.
In 1993 he received the first prize in the prestigious "Leeds International Piano Competition" in England, becoming the first Latin American winner of the competition since its foundation in 1963. In celebration he was received at 10 Downing Street by Prime Minister John Major and played for the entire office of the British Government and some of the most important musicians of the era, including the conductor Sir Georg Solti.
Considered a "Marketing Dream" by the British press after winning the Leeds Competition he was invited to concerts with major orchestras such as the Gewandhaus of Leipzig, Tonhalle Zurich, BBC London Philharmonic, English Chamber, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, City of Birmingham, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Mozarteum of Salzburg. Concerts followed in the most prestigious concert halls such as Barbican Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London or Vienna Musikverein. Among the conductors with whom he has performed are Sir Simon Rattle, Leif Segerstam, Yakov Kreizberg, Kazimierz Kord, Gilbert Varga, Alexander Lazarev and Michioshi Inoue.
In 2003 began a piano duo with Maria João Pires. Together they gave a series of recitals in the major concert halls of Europe, among which the Viena Konzerthaus, Palau de la Música in Barcelona, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Tonhalle Zurich. In 2005 was released a CD of the duo, Resonance de l'Originaire by Deutsche Grammophon, with works by Franz Schubert solo and four hands. Several other CDs were recorded for BMG-Arte Nova, always with excellent reviews.
Despite this brilliant path, Ricardo Castro is more interested in sharing music in cooperative situations. "Music is also an art to communicate with the public and between musicians" he said in a interview.
Educational and social activities have always been a constant concern in his life. "I can not imagine keeping the musical knowledge for me. It needs to be shared not only in performances but also through education".
Ricardo Castro has taught since 1992 in the bachelor and master degree class at HEMU - Haute Ecole de Musique Vaud Valais Fribourg in Switzerland, where he works with an exclusive group of young professional pianists.
Always concerned about social programs for youth and children, in 2007 invited by the Government of the State of Bahia, he creates NEOJIBA (State Centres of Youth and Children's Orchestras of Bahia), a pioneering program in Brazil who for its eight years celebration more than 4500 children are beneficiaries. The Youth Orchestra of Bahia, the most advanced in the program, performed already for more than 200.000 people conducted by Ricardo Castro, who remains its Principal Conductor and Artistic Director. Together they went on several tours to EUA and Europe, doing performances with prestigious soloist like Martha Argerich, Midori, Maxim Vengerov, Maria João Pires, Jean Yves Thibaudet and Labeque sisters among others, in major concert halls such as Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Konzerhaus in Berlin, Santa Cecilia in Rome.
His great dedication to Neojiba as a teacher, conductor and manager, takes him to exercise unique expertise acquired in experiences with various personalities, institutions and cultures around the world.
This intense and busy life does not prevent him to continuously search for excellence at the piano, which can be recognized in festivals and concert halls that he performs to the delight of his admirers.
In 2013 he became the first Brazilian to receive the Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society, figuring since beside famous personalities in the history of Western music.