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Claudius Herrmann was born in Mannheim in 1967 and began taking Cello lessons at the age of eight. From 1987 to 1991 Herrmann studied under Prof. David Geringas at the Lübeck Academy of Music. Herrmann has been the solo Cellist in the Zurich Opera House Orchestra since 1992. In 2013 he was invited to be principal cellist at the Bayreuther Festspielorchestra.

As a chamber musician he performed in the last years at music Festivals such as those in Lucerne, Gstaad, Ascona, Kuhmo and Prades as well as in major music halls such as the Wiener Musikverein, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall London, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Kölner Philharmonie, Berliner Konzerthaus and in March 2001 in the Carnegie Hall in New York. Since 2011 he has been the cellist of the Gringolts Quartet. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras like the Hamburger Symphonikern, Stuttgarter Philharmonikern, the Moscow Tchaikowsky Symphony Orchestra as well as the Orchester der Oper Zürich («Don Quixote» with Franz Welser-Möst).

Claudius Herrmann has numerous CD recordings to his credit. Beside about 20 chamber music CDs, which won several international prizes (e.g. the «Choc de la musique» in France) he has also recorded 3 CDs of Cello Sonatas by Brahms, Reinecke and Herzogenberg.

Claudius Herrmann plays an Instrument with an especially beautiful tone by Giovanni Paolo Maggini (ca.1600) an loan to him from the Maggini Foundation of Langenthal.

Silvia Simionescu, international well-known violist enjoys a diverse career as a performing musician that has taken her all over the world. Her appearances in major venues such as Auditorium Barcelona, Philarmonia Saint Petersbourg , KKL Luzern , Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, Zurich Tonhalle, Casals Hall in Tokyo, Beethoven Halle Bonn , Wigmore Hall, Mozarteum Salzburg have been praised for her exceptionally passionate, intense and intelligent musicianship. Born in Romania, Silvia Simionescu took up playing the violin at the age of seven. She joins the International Menuhin Music Academy, in Switzerland, where she studies violin and viola with Yehudi Menuhin , Alberto Lysy and Johannes Eskaer.

Prizewinner in several international competitions, among others 1st Prize in the Brescia International Competition and 1st Prize of the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition (as a member of Trio Ligeti) she has performed as soloist in Romania , Japan and Italy. Over the years she was invited to perform in important chamber music Festivals like: „Mont Fuji Festival“, „Folles Journées de Nantes“, Kuhmo Festival, SangatFestival(Bombay)Menuhin Festival (Switzerland)) , West Cork Festival (Ireland). As a passionate and devoted chamber musician she has the great opportunity to enrich her artistic experience playing with great artists such as Joshua Bell, Carolin Widmann, Ana Chumacenco, Alberto Lysy, Bruno Giurana , Leon Fleischer, Alexander Lonquich ,Jurg Widmann,Cristian Poltera . Since 2009, she is a member of Gringolts String Quartet and highly enjoys the most amazing masterpieces of the string quartet repertory.

Anahit Kurtikyan pursued her studies in Switzerland with renowned Tibor Varga after completing her studies in her native Armenia. She has won numerous national competitions. As a member of Amati Quartet she has given concerts throughout Europe, the United States and Japan in such halls as The Wigmore Hall, Cité de la Musique, Musikhalle Hamburg, Liederhalle Stuttgart and Tonhalle Zurich. Her orchestral experience includes working with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2000 with which she toured Australia extensively. An avid chamber musician, her partners include such names as Rudolph Buchbinder, Steven Isserlis, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, David Geringas, Diemut Poppen, Eduard Brunner, Paul Meyer and many others.

 

Since 2001 Ms.Kurtikyan has been leading the second violin section with the Zurich Opera Orchestra with which she has played over 100 productions, including those on period instruments under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bernard Haitink, Franz Welser Möst, Zubin Mehta, Daniele Gatti, Fabio Luisi ans William Christie to name just a few. Anahit plays a 1733 violin by Camillo Camilli from Mantua.

Despite his youth, Ilya Gringolts can already look back on fifteen extraordinarily successful years of his violinist career. His inquisitiveness regarding new musical challenges has shown him to be an outstanding musical personality.

After studying violin and composition in Saint Petersburg with Tatiana Liberova and Jeanna Metallidi, he attended the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Itzhak Perlman. In 1998 he won the International Violin Competition Premio Paganini, as youngest first prize winner in the history of the competition. As soloist he devotes himself particularly to contemporary and to seldom played works. He has premiered compositions by Peter Maxwell Davies, Augusta Read Thomas, Christophe Bertrand, and Michael Jarrell. Apart from this, he is also interested in historical performance practice. At the Verbier Festival in summer 2010, he played the complete cycle of the Bach Sonatas on a baroque violin, accompanied by Masaaki Suzuki. He is also first violinist of the Gringolts Quartet, which he founded in 2008.

In the 2013/14 season Ilya Gringolts can be heard as soloist with the Bamberg Symphony (conducted by Eivind Aadland), the Copenhagen Philharmonic (Santtu-Matias Rouvali), the Iceland Symphony (Ilan Volkov), the BBC Scottish Symphony (Ilan Volkov), the Taipei Symphony (Oleg Caetani), the Columbus Symphony (Thomas Wilkins), and the Galician Symphony Orchestra (Osmo Vänskä). He will be performing chamber music at the festivals of Verbier and Gstaad, and, together with Maxim Vengerov, at the Barbican Centre in London.

Previous to this, Ilya Gringolts had already performed with leading orchestras over the whole world, such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Birmingham Symphony, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the BBC Symphony, the Sao Paulo Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony, the NHK Symphony, the Hallé Orchestra and both orchestras of SWR.

Ilya Gringolts can be just as frequently heard in recital programs. He is a regular guest at the festivals of Lucerne, Kuhmo, Colmar and Bucharest (Enescu Festival), as well as at the Serate Musicali of Milan and in the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic. Playing chamber music, he collaborates with artists such as Yuri Bashmet, Lynn Harrell, Diemut Poppen, Nicolas Angelich, Itamar Golan, Peter Laul, Nicholas Hodges, and Jörg Widmann.

After numerous critically praised recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and Hyperion, Ilya Gringolts has with three recent releases on the Onyx label devoted himself to the music of Robert Schumann: the violin sonatas 1-3 with Peter Laul (2010), the piano trios, played with Dmitry Kouzov and Peter Laul (2011), and the string quartets and piano quintet, with the Gringolts Quartet and Peter Laul (2011). In 2006, the CD Taneyev – Chamber Music together with Mikhail Pletnev, Vadim Repin, Nobuko Imai and Lynn Harrell received a Gramophone Award. In the coming months, Orchid Classics will release a solo CD containing all Capricci of Niccolo Paganini as well as a new recording of the three string quartets by Johannes Brahms. Apart from his position as violin professor at the Zurich Academy of the Arts, he is also a Violin International Fellow at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. Ilya Gringolts plays a 1718-1720 Stradivarius, which was made available to him by a private collection.

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