A doctor of musicology and the winner of four first prizes at the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse in Paris (music history, aesthetics, pedagogy and musicology), Emmanuel Hondré is the head of the concerts and shows department at the Philharmonie de Paris. He previously served as the music editor at the Cité de la Musique (1997), as well as the head of the cultural service at the Musée de la Musique (2002) and the production manager at the Cité de la Musique and Salle Pleyel (2005). Every year, he currently puts together a season of 500 concerts in this complex of five halls: it is a themed season open to all music genres, intending to make music more democratic. He is also regularly invited to work with young professionals to help them prepare for a career in music (Paris, Lyon, Saint-Étienne, Geneva, Moscow, Amsterdam and Shanghai). He is a member of various expert panels aimed at exchanging musical projects, including at the Diaphonique Franco-British fund for contemporary music (London), the Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles d’Île-de-France (DRAC) – musical commission, the French-American Cultural Exchange (New York), and Impuls – the Franco-German fund for contemporary music (Berlin). Last but not least, he is regularly invited to be a jury member at international competitions: International Competition of Opera Singers – Galina Vischnevskaïa Opera Centre in Moscow (2012), Saint Petersburg International Competition of Opera Singers (2015), Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition (2016 & 2018), Lyon International Chamber Music Competition (2017), Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition (2019), and Beijing Composition Competition (2019).
Canadian violinist Martin Beaver was First Violin of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet from June 2002 until its final concert in July 2013. As such, he appeared to critical and public acclaim on the major stages of the world including New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Berliner Philharmonie, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Sydney Opera House.
As a member of the Tokyo String Quartet, Mr. Beaver was privileged to perform on the 1727 Stradivarius violin from the “Paganini Quartet” set of instruments, on generous loan to the quartet from the Nippon Music Foundation. Recordings of the Tokyo String Quartet during his tenure notably include the complete Beethoven quartets on the Harmonia Mundi label.
Mr. Beaver’s concerto and recital appearances span four continents with orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra and under the batons of Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Raymond Leppard, Gilbert Varga and Yannick Nézet-Séguin among others. Chamber music performances include collaborations with such eminent artists as Leon Fleisher, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Sabine Meyer and Yefim Bronfman.
Mr. Beaver is a regular guest at prominent festivals in North America and abroad. Among these are: the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla SummerFest, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Edinburgh Festival (U.K.) and Pacific Music Festival (Japan).
Following his early studies with Claude Letourneau and Carlisle Wilson, Mr. Beaver was a pupil of Victor Danchenko, Josef Gingold and Henryk Szeryng. He is a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth, Montreal and Indianapolis competitions. Subsequently, he has served on the juries of major international competitions including the Queen Elisabeth and Montreal violin competitions, the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Beaver has been the grateful recipient of generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts. This includes Arts Grants for his studies at Indiana University, Career Development Grants and the 1993 Virginia-Parker Prize. In 1998, through the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Canada Council awarded Mr. Beaver the loan of the 1729 “ex-Heath” Guarnerius del Gesù violin for a four-year period.
A devoted educator, Mr. Beaver has conducted masterclasses throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He has held teaching positions at the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of British Columbia and the Peabody Conservatory. More recently, he served on the faculty of New York University and as Artist in Residence at the Yale School of Music, where he was awarded its highest honor – the Sanford Medal. He joined the faculty of the Colburn School in Los Angeles in August 2013 where he is currently Professor of Violin and Chamber Music.
Martin Beaver is a founding member of the Montrose Trio with pianist Jon Kimura Parker and cellist Clive Greensmith.
Mr. Beaver performs on a 1789 Nicolo Bergonzi violin.
Francesco Dillon (born in Turin, 1973) already has a brilliant international career to his credit, characterised by the originality and variety of the repertoire that he has embraced. As a soloist he has performed on such prestigious concert stages as the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Herkulessaal of Munich, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Jordan Hall in Boston and the Colon Theatre of Buenos Aires, with such orchestras as the Italian National Radio Orchestra (RAI), the Southwest Radio Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna, the Orchestra of the Colon Theatre, Ensemble Resonanz, Oulu Sinfonia Finland, and the Tuscany Regional Orchestra (ORT). Most recently he made an acclaimed debut with the Philharmonic Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, conducted by Susanna Mallki.
Having graduated in Florence under the guidance of Andrea Nannoni, he continued his studies with Anner Bijlsma, Mario Brunello, David Geringas and Mstislav Rostropovich, thereafter studying composition with Salvatore Sciarrino.
In 1993 he was one of the founders of the Quartetto Prometeo, a chamber group of international acclaim and winner of numerous prizes (Prague Spring, ARD Munich, Bordeaux) and recently honoured with the Leone d’Argento award of the Biennale Musica of Venice. Dillon is also a stable member of the Alter Ego ensemble which is regularly invited to the major contemporary music festivals around the world. His passion for chamber music has led to performances with musicians such as Irvine Arditti, Mario Brunello, Giuliano Carmignola, Piero Farulli, David Geringas, Veronika Hagen, Alexander Lonquich, Enrico Pace, Jean-Guihen Queyras.
The profound interest in contemporary music which he has always cultivated has led to solid collaborations with the major composers of our time: Gavin Bryars, Ivan Fedele, Luca Francesconi, Stefano Gervasoni, Philip Glass, Vinko Globokar, Sofija Gubaidulina, Jonathan Harvey, Toshio Hosokawa, Giya Kancheli, Alexander Knaifel, Helmut Lachenmann, David Lang, Alvin Lucier, Arvo Pärt, Henri Pousseur, Steve Reich, Fausto Romitelli, Kaija Saariaho, Salvatore Sciarrino and with cult experimental musicians such as Matmos, and Pansonic, William Basinsky and John Zorn.
Dillon’s performances have been transmitted by such important broadcasters as the BBC, RAI, ARD, Radio France, ORF, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and WDR.
He has recorded for the ECM label, as well as Kairos, Ricordi, Sony, Stradivarius, Die Schachtel and Touch.
He recently recorded for the first time, Variations by Salvatore Sciarrino which received the Diapason d’Or prize, and Ballata by Giacinto Scelsi, both with the Italian National Radio Orchestra (RAI). As a duo with the pianist Emanuele Torquati, he has brought out three CDs of rare music of Schumann and the complete works for cello by Franz Liszt for Brilliant Classics.
Along with his concert activity there have been teaching experiences in institutions such as the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Royal College in London, Liszt Academy in Budpest, Premio Borciani/Teatro Valli in Reggio Emilia, School of Music of Fiesole, Tokyo music University, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow, the Pacific University in California, Untref-Buenos Aires, Manchester University.
From 2010 he has been artistic director of the season of contemporary music Music@villaromana in Florence.
Kim Kashkashian, internationally recognized as a unique voice on the viola, was born of Armenian parents in Michigan. She studied the viola with Karen Tuttle and legendary violist Walter Trampler at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. Since fall 2000 she has taught viola and chamber music at New England Conservatory.
Following Grammy Award nominations for several previous recordings, Kashkashian received a 2012 Grammy Award in the “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” category for Kurtág and Ligeti: Music for Viola, on the ECM Records label. Kashkashian’s recording, with Robert Levin, of the Brahms Sonatas won the Edison Prize in 1999. Her June 2000 recording of concertos by Bartók, Eötvös and Kurtág won the 2001 Cannes Classical Award for a premiere recording by soloist with orchestra.
In 2016, Kashkashian was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Kashkashian has worked tirelessly to broaden the range of technique, advocacy, and repertoire for the viola. A staunch proponent of contemporary music, she has developed creative relationships with György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Giya Kancheli, and Arvo Pärt, and commissioned works from Peter Eötvös, Ken Ueno, Thomas Larcher, Lera Auerbach, and Tigran Mansurian.
Marlboro and the Viennese school represented by her mentor, Felix Galimir, were major influences in developing her love of chamber music. Kim Kashkashian is a regular participant at the Verbier, Salzburg, Lockenhaus, Marlboro, and Ravinia festivals.
She has long-standing duo partnerships with pianist Robert Levin and percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky, and played in a unique string quartet with Gidon Kremer, Daniel Phillips, and Yo-Yo Ma.
As a soloist, she has appeared with the great orchestras of Berlin, London, Vienna, Milan, New York, and Cleveland, and in recital at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, Kaufmann Hall, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, as well as in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Athens, and Tokyo.
Kashkashian’s musicianship has been well represented on recordings through her association with the prestigious ECM label in a fruitful collaboration that has been continuous since 1985.
Kim Kashkashian has taught in Bloomington, Indiana, and in Freiburg and Berlin, Germany, and now resides with her daughter in Boston.
Kim is a founding member of Music for Food, an initiative by musicians to fight hunger in their home communities.
“The viola is still in a state of flux, of experimentation.”
Violinist Anthea Kreston leads a varied and interesting life. She was the first American violinist to be a member of a major European string quartet, Germany’s Artemis Quartet,
and enjoys a robust international touring and recording career. She was Professor at the Universität der Künste Berlin and Master Teacher at the Queen Elizabeth Chapel in Brussels.
An avid writer, she has written for major classical publications such as Strings and Chamber Music Magazine, as well as penning a weekly music blog for Slipped Disc which clocked in as one of the top-5 most read music blogs internationally. She has produced and hosted a variety of podcasts (notably a series of podcasts for the Pierre Boulez Saal for their Quartet Festival), and curated the Fortnightly Music Book Club, which brought music lovers, musicologists, performers and authors together for in-depth discussions.
She has an incredible husband and two funny and generous daughters. Her recent release on Warner Classics is Shostakovich Quartets and Piano Quintet with the Artemis Quartet and pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja won the Diapason d’Or.
The San Diego Reader said of her “…Anthea is a soloist of the Heifetz-Shaham-Vengerov caliber, whose musical instincts could make even a mere bagatelle thrill the soul and stir the senses to a frenzy.” She made her solo debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and performs frequently as a concertmaster, soloist and chamber musician. She is equally at home as the Director of the Majestic Chamber Music Series, as well as founder and Executive Director of the Inside Music Academy.
Anthea has won awards from Chamber Music America for her groundbreaking work with abused children and AIDS patients in Hartford, CT. Anthea holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Cleveland State University and a performance degree from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Jana Kuss was born in East Berlin in 1975 and began playing the violin at the age of six. As a student Jana won many first prizes and scholarships from the German Republic and was given the use of a violin made by J.B. Vuillaume by the Mannheim Sinfonima Foundation
When she was 14 years old and still at school, she founded the Kuss Quartet together with Oliver Wille. For many years they were taught and accompanied in their progress by Eberhard Feltz, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall they met Walter Levin who invited them to masterclasses in Paris, Salzburg, Spain and the Netherlands.
In 2001, Jana and her colleagues were invited to study at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and were the first quartet in the now famous programme founded there by members of the Cleveland Quartet.
As leader of the Kuss-Quartet, Jana has won numerous prizes and competitions. These include the Deutscher Musikrat and the Premio Borciani in Reggio Emilia (Italy).
In 2002 and 2003 the Kuss-Quartet studied with the Alban Berg-Quartet at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne where they completed their studies.
Jana Kuss studied the violin with Eberhard Feltz, Adelina Oprean, Thomas Brandis and Michelle Auclair. As a 16 year old she met György Kurtag for the first time, with whom she subsequently studied many of his works.
In her role as a member of the Kuss-Quartett she has been invited to teach chamber music at the Kronberg Academy, Indiana University, as well as Universities in Berlin, Hamburg and Japan.
She has performed with many musicians including Kim Kashkashian, Miklos Perenyi, Sharon Kam and Pierre-Laurent Aimard as well as sopranos Mojca Erdmann and Juliane Banse.
Jana Kuss is one of „100 Brains of Tomorrow“, an initiative of Germany – „Land of Ideas“
In 1977 Alexander Lonquich won the First Prize at the Casagrande Competition: since then he has given concerts in all the main musical centres of the world; he has collaborated with orchestra conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Ton Koopman, Emmanuel Krivine, Heinz Holliger, Sandor Vègh and many others. In the chamber music field, Alexander Lonquich collaborates with esteemed partners such as Nicolas Altstaedt, Vilde Frang, Joshua Bell, Isabelle Faust, Carolin Widmann and Jörg Widmann, to name a few. Alexander Lonquich has received numerous awards from Italian and international critics, such as the “Diapason d’Or” and the “Premio Abbiati” (as ‘best soloist’ in 2016).
In the role of conductor/soloist he collaborated with the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilarmonie, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre des Champs Elysées, the Filarmonica della scala, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Alexander Lonquich is a regular guest of internationally renowned festivals including Schubertiade, Lockenhaus, Mozartwoche Salzburg in Austria, Beethovenfest Bonn and Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspielen in Germany. Among the most relevant engagements outside Italy we mention collaborations with the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, the Münchener Kammerorchester, the Camerata Salzburg. Very active also in the recording field, his most recent publication (October 2018) is a double CD for the Alpha-Outhere label entitled “Schubert 1828” and containing the Sonatas D958, D959 and D960. Since 2014 Alexander Lonquich has been Principal Conductor of Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. In 2013 he created, together with his wife Cristina Barbuti, ‘Kantoratelier’, a theatrical space where his favourite subjects – psychology, music and theatre – are studied and developed thanks to workshops, seminars and concerts.