Liza Ferschtman, violin

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Dutch violinist Liza Ferschtman is known for her passionate performances, interesting programs and communicative qualities on stage. The daughter of Russian musicians, Liza Ferschtman grew up constantly surrounded by music. One of her earliest major influences was the violinist Philipp Hirschhorn, a close family friend. She received her formal training from Herman Krebbers at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and David Takeno in London. In 2006 she received the highest accolade awarded to a musician in the Netherlands, the Dutch Music Award.

Liza Ferschtman’s worldwide appearances include: BBC National Orchestra of Wales and London Philharmonic, Dallas and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, Essen Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Weimar and Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique and Flanders Symphony Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra of Prague, Malmö Symphony and Bergen Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic as well as virtually every Dutch orchestra, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philhamonic. Amongst the Conductors with whom she has worked are: Stefan Blunier, Frans Brüggen, Christoph von Dohnányi, Claus Peter Flor, Neeme Järvi, Yakov Kreizberg, Zdeněk Macál, Jun Märkl, Gianandrea Noseda, Marc Soustrot, Leonard Slatkin, Thomas Søndergård, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Mario Venzago, Jan Willem de Vriend and Jaap van Zweden.

An avid chamber musician, Liza Ferschtman has collaborated regularly with artists such as Jonathan Biss, Nobuko Imai, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Christian Poltera, Lars Anders Tomter and Alisa Weilerstein, counting as her duo partners Enrico Pace and Inon Barnatan. Appearing at venues such as Alice Tully Hall (New York), Wigmore Hall (London), Musikverein (Vienna), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Liederhalle (Stuttgart) and Beethoven Haus (Bonn), she is also present at major international Chamber Music festivals. Moreover, Ms. Ferschtman has been the artistic director of the Delft Chamber Music Festival since 2007, one of the most admired festivals in the Netherlands.

Recent highlights have been the performance of Bach’s complete solo works in Amsterdam and a concert tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer of which The New York Times wrote: “…with Dutch violinist Liza Ferschtman bringing refined beauty and character to the solo part of the Bernstein [Serenade] …the concert was nothing short of revelatory”. In 2015/16 she will be looking forward to concerts with the Residentie Orkest The Hague, the Nuremberg Symphony, Staatskapelle Weimar, and Bremen Philharmonic. She will further perform a tour with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra through Germany. Chamber music projects with different partners take her to the Schumannfest Düsseldorf, to Utrecht, Amsterdam and the Norwegian Risør Festival.

Liza Ferschtman’s recording of the Beethoven Concerto and Romances was received with great critical acclaim, as were other recordings with concertos by Dvořák and Röntgen, solo works by Bach and Ysaÿe (STRAD CD choice of the month), and duo works by Beethoven and Schubert. Her latest CD features solo works by Bach, Biber, Bartók and Berio (Challenge Classics).

Daniel Rowland, violin

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Hugo Ticciati, violin

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Garteh Lubbe, viola

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Julian Arp, cello

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Tomas Nuñez-Garcés, cello

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Niek de Groot, double bass

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Dutch double bassist Niek de Groot is one of today’s leading soloists. Originally a trumpet player he started playing the double bass at 18. Within an unusually short time he became principal bass with several European ensembles, including a 10 year tenure as first solo bass with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

After his formal studies he further developed his skills at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada. Niek’s playing has benefited a great deal also from attending masterclasses with eminent cellists Frans Helmerson, Lluìs Claret, Laurence Lesser and in collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, György Sebök and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Since 2006 Niek de Groot has dedicated himself entirely to chamber music and solo performances. He performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician at the best known concerthalls and music festivals. A new well received solo CD for Nimbus was released in June 2015. In 2016/17 Niek will record for both BIS-records and the Audite label.

His repertoire includes a great deal of contemporary music and he has worked closely with composers such as Kurtág, Stockhausen, Saariaho, Vasks and Gubaidulina.

In 1996 Niek was appointed Senior Professor for Double Bass at the Folkwang University of Arts, Essen, becoming the only French Bow playing bassist ever to teach in such a position in Germany. He also taught at institutions in Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and regularly gives master classes worldwide. Many of his former and current students play in Europe’s foremost orchestras and ensembles.

Through his career, Niek de Groot has played on rare double basses by Cerutti, Bajoni and the 1680 Amati. Presently he owns an instrument by Cesare Candi and most recently he received the lifelong privilege to play the world famous Domenico Montagnana double bass from 1747. His bows are especially made for him by Jochen Schmidt, Dresden.


Christoffer Sundqvist, clarinet

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Christoffer Sundqvist (b. 1978,) has been principal clarinettist in the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2005, makes regular solo appearances with orchestras and in chamber repertoire and teaches the clarinet at the Sibelius Academy and in master classes. A versatile musician, he has a repertoire ranging from the standard works to new commissions.

In recent years Christoffer has been the soloist with almost all the professional Finnish orchestras. Topping the list of solo engagements with orchestras abroad have been the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony, the Basel Symphony, the Estonian National Symphony, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Jukka-Pekka Saraste, John Storgårds, Sakari Oramo, Okko Kamu, Hannu Lintu, Anna-Maria Helsing and Eugene Zigane. He is also a regular visitor at European music festivals.

Also an active chamber musician, Christoffer was one of the founders of the Arctic Hysteria wind quintet in 1997. Another line-up important to him is the Plus Ensemble. He has played with many other chamber ensembles, given recitals in Finland and abroad and premiered works by Finnish composers Pehr-Henrik Nordgren, Atso Almila, Magnus Lindberg and others.

In order to generate new clarinet repertoire, Christoffer works in close partnership with composers. His collaboration with Sebastian Fagerlund has resulted in a Clarinet Concerto that has won widespread international acclaim, and he has also premiered the works Fuel (2010) and Sonata (2011).

Christoffer has been Artistic Director of the Jakobstad Sinfonietta and is, together with composer Sebastian Fagerlund, Artistic Director of the Rusk Chamber Music Festival founded by them in Pietarsaari/Jakobstad in 2013. The idea of this festival held at the end of November is to bring together top musicians of international renown. In the space of a few days, sometimes surprising events bring people and the arts together in joint experiences.


Bram van Sambeek, bassoon

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Bram van Sambeek (b. 1980) was the first bassoonist ever to receive the highest Dutch Cultural Award in 30 years: The Dutch Music Prize, handed out to him personally by Minister of Culture Ronald Plasterk in 2009. On this occasion, Bram played the bassoon concerto by Gubaidulina with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and chief conductor Seguin. De Telegraaf newspaper wrote about this performance: “He uses his instrument freely as a mouthpiece, conjures the finest timbres, and is technically capable of doing anything.” In 2011 he won a Borletti Buitoni Trust Award, and he has been admitted to The Chamber Music Society Two programme of New York’s Lincoln Center.

Bram van Sambeek performs regularly as a soloist with orchestras such as Sinfonia Rotterdam and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Recently, he played concertos by Villa Lobos, Mozart, Gubaidulina. Many composers, such as Vanessa Lann and Sebastian Fagerlund, have written concertos for him. Last season Bram expanded his soloist activities with many orchestras like The Gothenborg Symphony, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Oulu Symphony, the South Netherlands Philharmonic and the Combattimento Consort.

From 2002 until 2011 Bram was Principal Bassoonist of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and since 2009 he has been teaching the bassoon at the Conservatories in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Last season he started teaching exclusively at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Bram has taught masterclasses at universities like Bloomington, Indiana, the Royal College in London, and the Hochschule für Musik Köln.

He played regularly as a Guest Principal with (among others) the London Symphony Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

As a chamber musician he has worked regularly with Alexei Ogrintchouk, Jörg Widmann, Reto Bieri, Clara Andradas de la Calle, Hervé Joulain, Radovan Vlatkovich, Liza Ferschtman, Christoph Pregardien, Pekka Kuusisto, Nicolas Altstaedt and Rick Stotijn. In 2010 Bram was offered a Carte Blanche series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and in 2015 he received a “Wild Card” consisting of many adventurous concerts at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, also in Amsterdam. He is a regular guest at festivals like the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Storioni Festival, Orlando Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and has investigated concert practice in cooperation with Radio Kootwijk Live, experimenting with innovations such as playing people to sleep.

Bram is very much interested in playing any style he likes, which leads him to work with rock musicians like Sven Figee in Konzerthaus Berlin, Jazz musicians like Joris Roelofs at the famous North Sea Jazz Festival, Arabic musicians like Kinan Azmeh in the Morgenland Festival, and improvisers like Ernst Glerum in the “Apples and Olives” festival in Zürich. Recently he has started his own festival “Liquid Music Festival” which is inspired by the water around the venue: Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. The name receives its deeper meaning from fluently combining extremely different styles of music and creating a flow of one concert consisting of 17 parts with a three days duration, including the nights. It will take place from 7-9 July 2017.

Bram decided to start playing the bassoon when he was ten years old, beginning his studies with Fred Gaasterland and continuing later with Joep Terwey and Johan Steinmann at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. After his graduation, he took private lessons with Gustavo Núñez. In addition, he has participated in masterclasses with Brian Pollard and two of the most important bassoon soloists in the world: Klaus Thunemann and Sergio Azzolini. Bram also plays on a very special bassoon, an instrument that used to belong to both of these men.

About working together with Bram, Yannick Nézet-Séguin remarked in a television interview available at “I think he is able to fall in love with many aspects of the music, and doesn’t set himself too many boundaries.” In another interview about Bram, Valery Gergiev remarked: “…all in all a combination of being artistically involved, motivated and being gifted, being a very nice person, and also being a little bit unusual!”

On his debut cd with Brilliant Classics, called ‘Bassoon Concertos’, he presented a very accessible programme of bassoon concertos by Vivaldi, Du Puy, Villa Lobos, and Olthuis, receiving rave reviews like this remark in the Dutch music magazine Luister: “Judging by his playing, Mr van Sambeek awaits a golden future.” In march 2012, Brilliant Classics released his second cd “Bassoon-Kaleidoscope”, which includes different chamber music pieces, as well as a rock song. In 2015-2016 Bram has performed the two new bassoon concertos by Sebastian Fagerlund and Kalevi Aho and recorded them for the BIS label with whom he has an on-going cooperation.

Last year he was the spokesman of the “Save the bassoon” campaign set up by the Holland Festival. This lead to a lot of international attention and publicity for the instrument in the London Times, the Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung and played on many television shows.

Hervé Joulain, horn

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“Through his unlimited art, Hervé Joulain inscribes himself into legendary horn players’ trail, Dennis Brain and Barry Tuckwell” (Michel Le Naour “Le Monde de la Musique”)

Hervé Joulain opens a royal way, carrying his instrument as a soloist with 120 different orchestras, playing concerti from Haydn, Mozart, Schumann, Weber, Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Britten…

His faultless course (several international prices) also brought him to perform with Paul Tortelier, Vadim Repin, Boris Berezowski, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Boris Belkin, Nathalia Gutmann, Pinchas Zukerman, Ian Bostridge, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Itamar Golan, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Barry Douglas, in France and in all eastern and western Europe, U.S.A., Canada, and Israel.

Hervé Joulain was appointed principal horn in the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, Orchestre National de France, Symphonica Toscanini. He has been directed by Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Metha, Daniel Baremboïm, Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel, Seiji Ozawa and Bernard Haïtink, Claudio Abbado, and have also played first with Berlin Philarmonic, New York Philarmonic, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe…

His radiance has led him to record about 20 CD’s and videos.

Hervé Joulain gives Master Classes in France, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, Italy, England, Korea, Japan, Australia, Nederlands and at the Mahler Academy.

Natacha Kudritskaya, piano

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Raoul Björkenheim, electric guitar

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NOVIA University of Applied Sciences visual arts & music

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Visual arts students, music students and teachers work together with the artistic directors Christoffer Sundqvist, Sebastian Fagerlund and the composer in residence Jesper Nordin with different programmes, projects and workshops at the RUSK festival. Experimential aspects and co-operations are in focus where sound meets the visual. Music- and sound landscapes created with acoustic, analog and digital means gets visualised through time based media such as video projection, lighting, performance, installation operations and vice versa.

Participants: Carina Ahlskog (va), Jonathan Bäckström (mu), Moa Cederberg (va), Eleonora Hagström (va), Toto Kruse (mu), Mikaela Nordman (va), Victor Nyblom (mu), Michel Ruths (va), Malin Rönn (va), Sarah Salmi (mu), Mirka Sulander (va), Henrik Sundström (va), Sebastian Sundqvist (mu), Matilda Wikström (mu), Albert Braun (va), Joakim Finholm (va), Mats Granfors (mu)