Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation. Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and spirited presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high-profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today.
Winner of the 2020 GRAMMY Award for “Best Classical Instrumental Solo,” as well as “Best Female Artist” at both the 2012 and 2013 Classical BRIT Awards, Nicola’s live performance at the 2020 GRAMMY Awards marked the first classical solo violin appearance at the Premiere Ceremony in over ten years. Nicola was appointed a CBE in 2019, awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music (2017), and an MBE in 2013. Aside from extensive touring with the world’s most exceptional orchestras and ensembles, Nicola is one of the leading advocates for quality music education and has worked with over 4,000 students and 700 teachers. She has formalised her vision and expanded her commitment to the education of young people and supporting of music teachers by establishing a charitable organisation: The Benedetti Foundation.
In the 2019/2020 season, Nicola makes her debut with the Wiener Symphoniker and undergoes a tour of Asia with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati. She will also reunite with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and embark on a tour with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra led by Thomas Søndergård. She performs the Marsalis Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony and James Gaffigan and with Cristian Măcelaru firstly with the Gothenburg Symphony and then again with the Orchestre de Paris. Nicola has also been appointed as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Artist in Residence for 2020 which will include a concerto performance with Sir Andrew Davis, a European tour and education sessions and masterclasses.
Piano, Harpsichord & Fortepiano
Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the fortepiano, harpsichord, and modern piano.
Kristian is an Artistic Director of the Freiburger Barockorchester and Principal Guest Director with the English Concert. He is a regular guest with leading ensembles including Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester; and has guest-directed (from the keyboard) the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik, Collegium Vocale, Juilliard 415, Kammerakademie Potsdam and Dunedin Consort (St Matthew Passion).
He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Giovanni Antonini, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore & Matthias Goerne.
Kristian’s rich and award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart. Recent releases include Winterreisse with Mark Padmore, Bach sonatas for violin and harpsichord with Isabelle Faust and a recording of Haydn piano sonatas.
In the 20/21 season, Kristian appears as a soloist with Essener Philharmoniker/Richard Egarr, Les Arts Florissants/William Christie, Kammerorchester Basel/Giovanni Antonini, Orchestre National de France/Emmanuel Krivine and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Klaus Makela. His play-direct visits include Orchestra of the Eighteenth-Century, Concerto Copenhagen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester and English Concert. Kristian gives solo recitals, continues his close recital partnership with Anne Sofie von Otter and new collaborations with Voces 8 and Niek Baar.
Violin & Conductors
Violinist Guy Braunstein was born in Tel Aviv and studied under the guidance of Chaim Taub and later in New York with Glenn Dicterow and Pinchas Zuckerman.
He started performing as an international soloist and a chamber musician at a young age and has since performed with many of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors. His chamber music collaborations have included projects with Issac Stern, András Schiff, Zubin Mehta, Maurizio Pollini, Yefim Bronfman, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle, Mitsuko Uchida and Angelika Kirschlager to name a few.
He was the youngest person ever to be appointed concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2000, a position he held for twelve years before leaving to pursue his solo career.
Recent highlights include the position of Artist-in-Residence with the Trondheim Symphoniker for the 17/18 season which showcased Guy’s multi-faceted musicianship with projects as both conductor and soloist. Further highlights include concerto debuts with Maggio Musicale Fiorentino & the Tampere Philharmonia. Recent conducting highlights include debuts with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra as well as returns to the Pierre Boulez saal for recital performances at the Elbphilharmonie with the Hamburger Symphoniker, where he holds the position of Associate Artist.
In 19/20, Guy will be Artist in Residence with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and will return to the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Symphoniker Hamburg as both soloist, conductor and in play-direct capacities. Other highlights include debuts with the Vancouver Symphony and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s as well as concerts with the Dresdner Philharmonie, Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, Orquestra Sinfonica de Barcelona, Lapland Chamber Orchestra and Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s and extensive touring with the Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra
Guy plays a rare violin made by Francesco Roggieri in 1679.
The pianist Elisabeth Brauß has been praised by Gramophone Magazine for “the maturity and sophistication of her thoughtful interpretations” which “would be the pride of any pianist twice her age”. Born in Hannover in 1995, Elisabeth is quickly establishing herself as one of the most exciting and versatile musicians of her generation. She is currently a member of the BBC New Generation Artist scheme.
In addition to winning first prize at the International Steinway Competition in Hamburg, and the International Grotrian Steinweg Piano Competition in Braunschweig, Elisabeth was awarded the Prätorius Musikpreis Lower Saxony Prize in 2012. Further accolades include the main and audience awards at the TONALi Grand Prix in Hamburg (2013) and first prize at the Kissinger KlavierOlymp (October 2016).
Elisabeth has worked with orchestras including Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, BBC Scottish Symphony, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Ulster, BBC Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestras. In the 20/21 season, she works with Kristiansand Symphony, Munster Symphony, Staatstheater Stuttgart and Staatsphilharmonie Nurnberg Orchestras.
A keen chamber musician, Elisabeth collaborates regularly with the violinist Noa Wildschut and the 20/21 season sees visits to Alte Oper Frankfurt, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and LAC Lugano. She also collaborates with trumpeter Simon Hofele, appearing in Germany and the UK.
Elisabeth is also in demand for her solo recitals and appears at venues including Wigmore Hall, Schleswig Holstein Festival and Snape Maltings Festival.
In May 2017, her debut CD featuring works by Beethoven, Prokofiev, Chopin and Denhoff, was released by Oehms Classics. It received critical acclaim and was named as ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Gramophone Magazine.
Formed in 2005, Chiaroscuro Quartet comprises violinists Alina Ibragimova (Russia) and Pablo Hernán Benedí (Spain), the Swedish violist Emilie Hörnlund and cellist Claire Thirion from France. Dubbed ‘a trailblazer for the authentic performance of High Classical chamber music’ in Gramophone, this international ensemble performs music of the Classical and early Romantic periods on gut strings and with historical bows. The quartet’s unique sound – described in The Observer as ‘a shock to the ears of the best kind’ – is highly acclaimed by audiences and critics all over Europe.
Their growing discography includes recordings of music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Haydn. Recent releases include Schubert ‘Death and the Maiden’ & String Quartet, D.173 and Haydn Op.76. Future releases include Beethoven Op.18 and Mozart ‘Prussian’ Quartets.
Chiaroscuro Quartet was a prize-winner of the German Förderpreis Deutschlandfunk/Musikfest Bremen in 2013 and received Germany’s most prestigious CD award, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2015 for their recording of Mozart’s Quartet in D minor, K. 421 and Mendelssohn’s Second String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13. Among the ensemble’s chamber music partners are renowned artists such as Kristian Bezuidenhout, Trevor Pinnock, Jonathan Cohen, Cedric Tiberghien, Nicolas Baldeyrou, Chen Halevi, Malcolm Bilson, Christian Poltera and Christophe Coin.
Recent engagements included their enthusiastically received debut concerts at Vienna Konzerthaus and Philharmonie Warsaw, their first US tour and a return visit to Japan. Other highlights have taken the ensemble to Edinburgh International Festival, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, London’s Wigmore Hall, Auditorio Nacional de Música Madrid, Music Festival Grafenegg, The Sage Gateshead, Auditorium du Louvre Paris, Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon, West Cork Festival and Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh for a residency.
In the 20/21 season, Chiaroscuro Quartet give concerts in the UK, including Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, a residency at Turner Sims and appear at numerous other venues and festivals including Boulez Saal & Konzerthaus Berlin, Beethovenfest Bonn, Helsinki, Japan, China and North America. Since 2009, Chiaroscuro Quartet have been artist-in-residence in Port-Royal-des-Champs.
Chiaroscuro Quartet are grateful to Jumpstart Jr Foundation for the kind loan of the 1570 Andrea Amati violin.
Conductor, cellist & keyboardist
Jonathan Cohen has forged a remarkable career as a conductor, cellist and keyboardist. Well known for his passion and commitment to chamber music Jonathan is equally at home in such diverse activities as baroque opera and the classical symphonic repertoire. He is Artistic Director of Arcangelo, Music Director of Les Violons du Roy, Artistic Director of Tetbury Festival and Artistic Partner of Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
During the 20-21 season he returns to Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (BBC Proms) and Handel and Haydn Society. He makes his debut at Staatsoper Berlin performing Orfeo with Freiburger Barockorchester and Vocalconsort Berlin in a production by Sasha Waltz Company. Other debuts include Kobe City Chamber Orchestra and Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and he continues his fruitful collaboration in Quebec with Les Violons du Roy.
Jonathan founded Arcangelo in 2010, who strive to perform high quality and specially created projects. He has toured with them to exceptional halls and festivals including Wigmore Hall London, Philharmonie Berlin, Kölner Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Salzburg Festival and Carnegie Hall New York. They made their Proms debut at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2016 and returned to the Proms in 2018 to present Theodora to a sold-out Royal Albert Hall. They continue with a busy recording schedule to continued acclaim with recent releases such as “Arianna” with Kate Lindsey on Alpha records and Grammy nominated Buxtehude trio sonatas.
Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire, Imogen Cooper is internationally renowned for her virtuosity and lyricism. Recent and future concerto performances include the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, Sydney Symphony with Simone Young and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard.
Imogen has a widespread international career and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival, NHK and London Symphony Orchestras. Her recital appearances have included Tokyo, New York, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, Prague and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg.
Imogen is a committed chamber musician and performs regularly with Henning Kraggerud and Adrian Brendel. As a Lieder recitalist, she has had a long collaboration with Wolfgang Holzmair in both the concert hall and recording studio. Her recent recordings for Chandos Records feature music by French and Spanish composers, Beethoven, Liszt and Wagner.
Imogen received a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2007 and was the recipient of an award from the Royal Philharmonic Society the following year. In 1997 she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music and in 1999 she was made a Doctor of Music at Exeter University. The Imogen Cooper Music Trust was founded in 2015, to support young pianists at the cusp of their careers, and give them time in an environment of peace and beauty.
Veronika Eberle’s exceptional talent and the poise and maturity of her musicianship have been recognised by many of the world’s finest orchestras, venues and festivals, as well as by some of the most eminent conductors.
Sir Simon Rattle’s introduction of Veronika aged just 16 to a packed Salzburg Festpielhaus at the 2006 Salzburg Easter Festival in a performance of the Beethoven concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker, brought her to international attention. Key orchestra collaborations since then include the London Symphony (Rattle), Concertgebouw (Holliger), New York Philharmonic (Gilbert), Montreal Symphony (Nagano), Munich Philharmonic and Gewandhaus Orchestras (Langree), Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Janowski), Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester (P.Järvi), Bamberger Symphoniker (Ticciati, Nott), Tonhalle Orchester Zurich (M.Sanderling), NHK Symphony (Kout, Stenz, Norrington) and Rotterdam Philharmonic (Rattle, Gaffigan, Nézet-Seguin).
Born in Donauwörth Southern Germany, she started violin lessons at the age of six and four years later became a junior student at the Richard Strauss Konservatorium in Munich with Olga Voitova. After studying privately with Christoph Poppen for a year, she joined the Hochschule in Munich, where she studied with Ana Chumachenco 2001-2012.
Veronika Eberle plays the Aurea Stradivari, on generous loan from the Habisreutinger Stiftung.