For more than sixty-five years, the Borodin Quartet has been celebrated for its insight and authority in the chamber music repertoire. Revered for its searching performances of Beethoven and Shostakovich, the Quartet is equally at home in music ranging from Mozart to Stravinsky.
The Borodin Quartet's particular affinity with Russian repertoire was stimulated by a close relationship with Shostakovich, who personally supervised its study of each of his quartets. Widely regarded as definitive interpretations, the Quartet's cycles of the complete Shostakovich quartets have been performed all over the world, including Vienna, Zurich, Frankfurt, Madrid, Lisbon, Seville, London, Paris and New York. In recent seasons the ensemble has returned to a broader repertoire, including works by Schubert, Prokofiev, Borodin and Tchaikovsky, while continuing to be welcomed and acclaimed at major venues throughout the world.
The Borodin Quartet was formed in 1945 by four students from the Moscow Conservatory. Ten years later, it changed its name from the Moscow Philharmonic Quartet to the Borodin Quartet. The current members of the Quartet are Ruben Aharonian, Sergey Lomovsky, Igor Naidin and Vladimír Balshin.
In addition to performing quartets, the members of the Borodin Quartet regularly join forces with other distinguished musicians to further explore the chamber music repertoire. Their partners have included Yuri Bashmet, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Oleg Maisenberg and Christoph Eschenbach. The Quartet also regularly gives master-classes.
For its sixtieth anniversary season, the Borodin Quartet performed cycles of the complete Beethoven quartets at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Musikverein, Vienna. Gala concerts honouring the Quartet's contribution to musical history were performed in Moscow and at London's Wigmore Hall and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris. The ensemble was also heard in recital in Madrid, Rotterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Munich, Lisbon, Barcelona, Athens, Köln, Istanbul, Zurich, Berlin, Moscow, New York and London, playing the music of Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich – and of course Borodin.
The Quartet's first release on the Onyx label, featuring Borodin, Schubert, Webern and Rachmaninov, was nominated for a Grammy in the 2005 "Best Chamber Performance" category. The Borodin Quartet has produced a rich heritage of recordings over several decades, for labels including EMI, RCA and Teldec. Among its Teldec recordings, those of Tchaikovsky's Quartets and Souvenir de Florence, Schubert's String Quintet, Haydn's Seven The Seven Last Words of Christ and a disc of Russian miniatures all received acclaim. The Tchaikovsky disc was honoured with a Gramophone Award in 1994. The CD label Chandos recorded and released the complete Beethoven quartets as part of the sixtieth anniversary celebration.
Vladimír Bukač is top Czech leading viola player. Born in 1964 he studied at both the Conservatory, the Academy of the performing Arts, Prague and Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg. Already during his studies he gained attention by being awarded prizes in several domestic and international competitions.
After graduation Vladimír Bukač lived in Japan where he was engaged as both a soloist and chamber musician dividing his time between violin and viola. His viola playing has proved to be a particularly fruitful aspect of his career. In 1993 Vladimír Bukač has become a violinist and later a violist of the renowned Talich string quartet which has been considered for many years to be one of the world's finest string quartets, represents Czech musical art over the whole Europe, Japan, North & South America, South Korea, making records and giving master classes.
As a soloist and chamber musicians Vladimír Bukač has appeared in a number of prestigious venues and made a several acclaimed viola CD ́s, or some recordings for Czech radio or BBC. Some of his CD ́s were voted one of Classic CD magazine's "Choices of the Month" and was also praised with similar enthusiasm from The Strad, Gramophone.
He is also a much sought-after professor of viola at the Music University in Dresden (Germany) and regularly teaching at various master classes such as Royal Northern Colleague of Music, Czech-french musical academy Telc, Prague Music Performance Institute & Festival. Apart from these activities, Vladimír Bukac has been repeatedly invited as jury member of international competitions (L.Tertis, ARD ect...)
He plays a rare Italian viola built by Santini Lavazza and G.P. Guadagnini, Milan 1725/75.
Robert Cohen made his concerto debut at the age of twelve at the Royal Festival Hall London and throughout the following forty years of his distinguished international career, has been hailed as one of the foremost cellists of our time. "It is easy to hear what the fuss is about, he plays like a God" (New York Stereo Review), "A virtuoso of genius" (Nurnberg Nachrichten), "Robert Cohen is a divinely gifted cellist. Cohen is one of the few musicians, whose every tone speaks to people" (Keskisuomalainen, Finland).
Invited to perform concertos world-wide by conductors Claudio Abbado, Antal Dorati, Sir Mark Elder, Mariss Jansons, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Sir Roger Norrington, Tadaaki Otaka, Sir Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Osmo Vanska. Robert Cohen has also collaborated in chamber music with Yehudi Menuhin, the Amadeus String Quartet (including their CD of Schubert Quintet on DGG) , Fine Arts Quartet, Bruno Giuranna, Massimo Quarta, Thomas Zehetmair and Krystian Zimerman and his regular duo partnership with pianist Heini Kärkkäinen. He also directs the Charleston Manor Festival in the south of England.
His musical education was also exceptional; early studies with the legendary William Pleeth, followed by Jacqueline du Pré, André Navarra and Mistislav Rostropovich. Cohen became an inspirational teacher himself; his much published views on the art of learning, performing and communicating music have led to masterclasses world-wide. He is a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London and at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano.
Robert Cohen made his recording debut at age 19 with the Elgar Cello Concerto and London Philharmonic (EMI) which earned a silver disc. He has recorded extensively for BIS, EMI, Deutsche Gramophon, Sony and under long term contract to Decca.
Robert Cohen won the Suggia, Young Concert Artists (New York), Piatigorsky and Unesco International competitions. He is an 'Honorary Fellow' of the Royal Academy of Music. He has also had several compositions written and dedicated to him. Most recently Sally Beamish Cello Concerto No.2 'The Song Gatherer'.
Cohen has been the subject of many TV documentaries and has created special projects for City of London Festival 'Les Six' - poetry, literature and film - Royal Ballet School 'Collaborations', 'Robert Cohen's Cello Clinic' (www.celloclinic.com) and 'Cohen Pod Talks' (www.thecohenpodtalks.com). Cohen will curate a classical music channel for HiBrow.TV at the invitation of film producer Don Boyd.
The essence of Cohen as communicator is summed up by 'The Guardian' who observed "Cohen can hold and audience in the palm of his hand".
He plays the 'Ex Roser' cello by David Tecchler. Rome 1723.
Anastasia Injushina began her piano studies at the age of four, and soon she studied at St. Petersburg conservatoire in the Lubov Rudova class. Already then she toured the country as an orchestra soloist, and at the age of ten she premiered in the famous hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonie.
In 1991 Injushina moved to Finland to study at the Sibelius-Academy with Viathcheslav Novikov. She graduated in 1997 with excellent grades. When still studying, she was awarded the divided II position at the national Maj Lind piano competition. In 1996 Anastasia Injushina won the prestigious München ARD competition together with her duo partner, cellist Sennu Laine. This victory meant a leap in her solo career, but also helped Injushina develop herself as a chamber musician in an international level.
After her studies, Anastasia Injushina has made numerous radio and television recordings, for such broadcasting companies as ARD1, Bayerische Rundfunk, Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk, Norddeusche Rundfunk and Finnish broadcasting company YLE. She has been invited to perform at several international music festival, among which Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg, MDR-Sommer, Kuhmo Chamber Music and Mikkeli Music festival. Ms. Injushina has continued to give concerts around Europe and South America, both as a soloist and a chamber musician.
One of the thriving forces of Anastasia Injushina's career has been her special relationship with chamber music. After many years of work, this love for music developed into a decision to build up a new chamber music event in Helsinki. Since 2009, Anastasia Injushina has been the artistic director of her own Helsinki Chamber Music Festival.
Teemu Kauppinen studied double bass under Jussi Javas at the Sibelius Academy and Peter Schlüssler at the Cologne University of Music. He has also participated in Franco Petracchi's master classes in Italy. His debut concert took place in Helsinki in 2000.
Since the spring of 2011 Kauppinen has been part of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Before this appointment he was a freelance orchestral musician, working with a number of orchestras in the Helsinki region, as well as the Deutsche Kammerakademie in Germany, Norhern Sinfonia chamber orchestra in England and the Galicia Symphony Orchestra in Spain. He is a member of Virtuosi di Kuhmo chamber orchestra and Savonlinna Opera Festival orchestra.
Kauppinen is an active and sought after chamber musician, who has performed at the Naantali Music Festival, Crusell Music Festival in Uusikaupunki, the Korsholma Music Festival and the Oulu Music Festival.
Teemu Kauppinen teaches double bass at Sibelius Academy and Espoo Music Institute.
Tero Latvala began studying the violin at the Sibelius Academy youth department at the age of seven, under the tutelage of Leena Siukonen-Penttilä. Once he started at the university, he studied first under Ari Angervo, and later with Tuomas Haapanen. Latvala's career as a professional musician started with a stint as the 2nd concertmaster of the Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera in 1988. He was named the 1st concertmaster of Tapiola Sinfonietta in 1990. In the fall of 2004 he started work as the 1st concertmaster of the Lappeenranta City Orchestra. Since the fall of 2011 Latvala has worked as the alternating 1st concertmaster of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. Latvala has also familiarized himself with leading an orchestra from the concertmaster's chair or as a soloist. He has led quite a few performances like this with Tapiola Sinfonietta, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra, Lohjan City Orchestra, Lappeenranta City Orchestra, Finnish Chamber Orchestra, etc. Performed in thi manner, his repertoire includes many of the central works from the classic period of the violin and orchestral canon. Latvala has also performed as the soloist for many city orchestras under the direction of other conductors. In the spring of 2001 Latvala, together with pianist Timo Koskinen, performed all of Beethoven's sonatas for piano and violin in a series of four concerts. Latvala has recorded Vivaldi's Four Seasons with the Vox Artis chamber orchestra and been featured as a soloist and leader on several critically acclaimed recordings by the Tapiola Sinfonietta. He received the City of Espoo Art Award in 2002. Tero Latvala regularly performs as a chamber musician at noteworthy festivals. He taught violin at the Sibelius Academy from 2002 to 2004 and has been a lecturer of violin and orchestral studies since 2005.
Cellist Trey Lee has been making a sensation across continents since winning First Prize at the International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition. Hailed "a Miracle" by GRAMOPHONE and "a Master of subtle transition" by The STRAD, Trey enthralls audiences with his virtuoso playing that combines intellectual sophistication with emotional depth and sensitivity. His orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall won him a standing ovation with critic Anthony Tommasini from the NEW YORK TIMES declaring him "the excellent cellist… with enveloping richness and lyrical sensitivity". In his collaboration with the Netherlands Philharmonic at the Royal Concertgebouw Hall, Trey again received a standing ovation with the critics praising him a "Star Musician."
Trey's recent invitations included a tour with the Munich Chamber Orchestra under maestro Alexander Liebreich, world premieres of Kirmo Lintinen's Cello Concerto and Liping Wang/Chaoming Tung's "Dream of the Red Chamber" (chamber orchestra version) with Finland's Avanti! under maestro Dmitri Slobodeniouk, as well as a special concert initiated by United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, alongside maestros Tan Dun, Lu Jia, and coloratura soprano Sumi Jo.
In 2011, Trey's invitation highlights include Phoenix Television's special international live broadcast concert with the China Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of Dream of the Red Chamber Symphonic Poem for Cello and Symphony Orchestra, as well as return engagements from the Kuhmo Festival and the Macao Orchestra, among others.
Matti Hirvikangas studied viola under the direction of such teachers as Bruno Giuranna and Tibor Varga at the Detmold Academy of Music. Since then he has served as Principal Viola with the Oslo Opera, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and presently with the Finnish National Opera.
Matti Hirvikangas has earned a reputation as an eminent chamber musician and has, for many years, lent his support to the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and served as a member of the Jean Sibelius Quartet.
Born in the Ukraine, Vjatseslav Novikov studied in Kiev under the supervision of legendary professor T. Toplin. For a decade, Novikov played chamber music in the Kiev Trio, which he had founded. In addition he played with several international top vocalists and instrumentalists. Being the number one pianist in Ukraine, he held regular concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg and performed in all of the Soviet states.
After Novikov moved to Finland a more peaceful time started. In addition to teaching young professionals he performed in Finland, Germany and Ukraine. A new time of success began in 1994 when he performed at Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and won the hearts of the critics and the audience. Since then, he has had acclaimed concerts not only in Finland and Ukraine, but also Japan, Russia, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Brasil, Belgium and Estonia.
Kaisa Ranta studied voice in Oulu and Turku, graduating as singing teacher. Starting in 2004, she studied voice under Marjut Hannula at the Sibelius Acadamy in Helsinki. She graduated as a Master of Music, with excellent grades in 2008. She also took lessons with the Slovakian professor Eva Blahovan and attended national and international master classes with Udo Reinemann. At present, professor Elisabeth Werres is her teacher.
The young soprano's first stage performances were in Ilkka Kuusisto's Muumin Opera in Turku (2002) and Stephen Sondheim's Musical Pimeä metsä (Wood, 2003/2004). Subsequently she performed Papagena/Die Zauberflöte in Nilsiä and the title role in Marko Autio's opera for children, The Pearl of Adalmina at the Turku Music Festival. In the fall of 2005, she debuted as Queen of the night at the Sibelius Academy's Opera Studio, where she also performed in Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera and Kuusisto's Miehen kylkiluu (Man's rib).
In 2004 she won a mention as a promising young talent as the Lappeenranta Singing Competition. She won First Prize in 2006.
She was also a semi-finalist at the Mirjam Helin Singing Competition in Helsinki, 2009.
In 2006, as well as the autumn of 2007 she performed the title role in Zaïde at the Finnish National Opera During the 2008/09 season she sang in the opera Freischütz.
During the 2009/10 season, Ms Ranta returned to the Finnish National Opera as Nanetta in Verdi's Falstaff, and as 1. Nymph in Dvorak's Rusalka as 1.Nymph. During the 2010/2011 season Kaisa Ranta will sing the roles of Julietta in Korngold's Die tote Stadt and Marian in Linkola´s Robin Hood at the National Opera.
Ms. Ranta is an active concert singer with a versatile repertoire. Especially her interpretations of Richard Strauss' lieds have been praised. In addition to Finland, she has performed in the Czech Republic, England, Japan, and USA. She has performed as a soprano soloist in W.A Mozart's Requiem, C-minor mass and Exultate, jubilate -motet, Beethoven's Mass in C major, Pergolesi's and Scarlatti's Stabat Mater, A. Salieri's La passione di nostro Signore Gesu Cristo, Händel's the Messias and Eternal Source of Light Divine, Bruckner's Requiem, J. Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Haydn's St. Cecilia Mass (Slovakia), Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratorio, J.S. Bach's St. John Passion and Christmas Oratorio and Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (cantata), Rutter's Requiem, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem, and Orff's Carmina Burana.
Ms. Ranta recorded Rutter's Requiem and Cantus with the Händel Choir in 2006. She also recorded songs by Leevi Madetoja with the Tapiola Chamber Choir in 2007. In the spring of 2008, Ms. Ranta performed the premier of Neito by Uljas Pulkkis with YL (male voice choir) and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Niina Selin began her clarinet studies in Rovaniemi in 1985, and moved south to the Sibelius Academy in 1994. From there she graduated in 2000 in direction of Reijo Koskinen. Selin has also studied with Pekka Ahonen, Kullervo Kojo, Charles Neidich and Joy Farrall. In 1995 Selin was named the solo clarinettist of Finnish National Opera orchestra, where she continues to work today.
In addition to her concerts in the Opera Orchestra, she has performed as a freelance musician in most Finnish leading orchestras. Chamber music holds a very special place in her heart. In 1997 she was awarded 2nd prize athe the international Crusell Chamber Music competition.
Since then, Niina Selin has actively played chamber music both in Finnish National Opera own chamber music concert series and several Finnish festivals.
In December 2005, Henri Sigfridsson was awarded first prize and the audience prize in the 1st International Beethoven Competition Bonn presented by Deutsche Telekom AG, and shared the special prize for chamber music with semifinalist Hyo Sun-Lim from South Korea.
The pianist from Finland, born in 1974, has been a guest for many years at international festivals such as the Augsburg Mozart Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Lucerne Festival, Musical Olympus in St. Petersburg, Kissinger Sommer, Davos Festival, Festival der Raritäten Husum, Gidon Kremer's Lockenhaus Festival or the Ravinia Festival (USA). He has appeared several times in concert with well-known European symphony orchestras including the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, MDR Orchestra Leipzig, Belgrade Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille, Weimarer Staatskapelle, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Academica Salzburg and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under famous directors like Georg Alexander Albrecht, Vladimír Ashkenazy, Lawrence Foster, Dennis Russel Davies Leif Segerstam, Okko Kamu, Sakari Oramo, Osmo Vänskä, John Storgårds, or Neville Mariner. Since 2000 he has regularly been performing in Japan and was invited for a major tour of the country in the 2004/2005 season.
In July 2000 he won second prize and the audience prize at the Géza Anda Competition in Zurich. In 1994 he won first prize at the international Franz Liszt Competition in Weimar (Germany) and in 1995 he won the big Scandinavian Nordic Soloist Competition. In 2001 he received the North Rhine-Wesphalia incentive award for young artists.
Henri Sigfridsson feels a very deep commitment to chamber music – he has performed with artists such as Boris Pergamenschikow, Leonidas Kavakos, and Gidon Kremer. In 2003, he founded a trio with the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaya and the cellist Sol Gabetta which soon established itself on international concert stages.
Henri Sigfridsson first studied at the Turku Conservatory and in Erik T. Tawaststjerna's class at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. In 1995 he joined Pavel Gililov's class at the Academy of Music in Cologne. From 1995 to 1997 he also attended Lazar Berman's master class in Weimar.
Henri Sigfridsson has been appointed as a professor in Essen Folkwang University from the beginning of April 2011. He continues also as a visiting professor in Hanns Eisler High School in Berlin.
The charismatic violinist Svetlin Roussev, began his musical education in Ruse, Bulgaria. He graduated from Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in 1994, and won numerous prizes at many international competitions (Sendai, Indianapolis, Long-Thibaud, Melbourne among others).
Roussev performs a wide ranging repertoire, from the Baroque to the contemporary. He is also renowned for his renditions of Slavic compositions and is one of the foremost champions of Bulgarian music.
No surprise, then, at his being acclaimed the 2006 Bulgarian Musician of the Year. In 2007, Bulgaria honored him, yet again, with the Cristal Lyra, distinction awarded by the Ministry of Culture.
Svetlin Roussev is regularly invited guest soloist with various orchestras worldwide and has performed under the baton ofmost celebrated conductors, in world's great concert halls.
Currently Roussev is the concertmaster of the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and The Seoul PhilharmonicOrchestra. He is also currently violin master at his alma mater.
SvetlinRoussev plays on a 1720 Amati-Stradivarius violin lent by Amundi.
Susanna Yoko Henkel belongs to the leading violinists of the young generation. In 2007, the German Welt am Sonntag chose her to be one of Anne Sophie Mutter's heiresses, the renowned US music journal Strings featured her on the cover of one issue, and her CDs were highly praised by the media.
Susanna Yoko Henkel was born into a German-Japanese musicians' family and began to play the violin at the age of two, receiving lessons by her mother, who herself had been studying with the legendary American teacher, Joseph Gingold. At the tender age of 12 she enrolled at the Music Academy in Freiburg/Germany, receiving lessons by Rainer Kussmaul. She later attended the Munich Academy for five years to complete her studies with Ana Chumachenco.
Already during her studies Susanna Yoko Henkel won eminent prizes at international competitions, among them the "Queen-Elisabeth" competition in Brussels, the "Mozart Competition" in Salzburg and the "Tibor Varga" Competition in Sion. She won the first prize at the German Music Competition in Berlin, followed by a scholarship by the Mozart Society Dortmund and the "Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben" Trust Award.
Since then, she has worked intensely as a soloist, appearing with leading orchestras, such as the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the orchestras of the SWR and MDR stations, Symphony Orchestras of Aachen and Duisburg, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra and the KBS Symphony Orchestra from Seoul. In 2003 Susanna was engaged as the soloist for the acclaimed "Toyota Classics" tour, which saw her perform the Mendelssohn violin concerto throughout South-East Asia.
In addition to her career as a soloist, Susanna Yoko Henkel is a passionate chamber musician. In 2006 she founded the Zagreb International Chamber Music Festival. It is now well established as one of the country's major cultural events and has been televised by Croatian public television HTV since 2007. Her chamber music partners include Pavel Gililov, Lauma Skride, Itamar Golan, Milana Chernyavska, Jing Zhao and Maxim Rysanov. She is regularly invited to leading international chamber music festivals, such as the Ansbacher Bachwoche, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, the Rheingau-Musik-Festival and the concerts in the Paris Châtelet Theatre.
During the 2009/2010 season, Susanna Yoko Henkel was "Artist in Residence" of the Duisburg Philharmonic and in this capacity has not only performed and recorded Tschaikovsky's Violin Concerto, but also took part in several Chamber Music projects and Youth events.
Her discography includes the complete recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, chamber music works of Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofjev and Richard Strauss, solo works of Ysaye, Bartók and Isang Yun and duo works for violin and violoncello by Handel/Halvorsen, Eisler, Schulhoff and Kodály.
In September 2010, her most recent CD was released, a recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Susanna is especially committed to caring for future generations; she has been appointed as professor of violin at the Cologne University of Music in 2010.
Susanna Yoko Henkel performs on the 1710 "Ex Leslie Tate" Stradivarius, kindly loaned by a private proprietor.