Gwendolyn Masin is a concert violinist, educator, artistic director, author, and PhD researcher. She performs internationally to praise from press and audiences, creating with musicians, artists and orchestras from all over the world. Described as “a natural performer with an authority most violinists would envy” (The Irish Times), the violinist’s virtuosity is not coincidental – Gwendolyn Masin is the descendant of a long line of professional musicians from Central and Eastern Europe. Aged five, she gave her debut performance in the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. Ever since, her love of the stage is tangible at every appearance: “Gwendolyn IS Music”, The Independent observed. Chamber music was part of her earliest musical experiences, one she still seeks out to enjoy wherever she can. Gwendolyn has long specialised in creating alternative means that bring more music, to more people. She founded the GAIA Music Festival in 2006 in Stuttgart and in 2009, relocated the festival to Thun. Born out of the wish to play music in deep connectedness with others, Gwendolyn, and the more than 180 musicians who have performed at the festival since its inception, find in GAIA a retreat from the hectic pace of touring life and unity with one another and GAIA’s cherished audience.
Wouter was born in the Netherlands in a family known for its musical tradition. After graduating under the guidance of the renowned violinist Herman Krebbers, he embarked on an adventurous musical journey. He is one of the founding members of the famous Storioni Trio and the annual Storioni Festival. He had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many wonderful musicians such as Ray Chen, Nelson Goerner and Gidon Kremer. Wouter played as a soloist with a.o. The Academy of St. Martin in the fields and holds the position of 1st concertmaster of the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague.
His latest projects include leading/conducting various orchestras in Korea, the Netherlands and Poland. ‘For me, the magic of making music lies in the unlimited possibilities it offers me to connect with other people anywhere.’
Benedict Kloeckner is a highly regarded representative of the new generation of cellists and has won numerous international competitions. He performs worldwide as a soloist with first-class orchestras such as the NDR Radio Sinfonieorchester, Deutschen Radiophilharmonie, Deutschen Staatsphilharmonie, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Kremerata Baltica, alongside with conductors including Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Sanderling, Howard Griffiths, Heinrich Schiff, Simon Gaudenz, and Ingo Metzmacher.
As a chamber musician, Benedict Kloeckner performs with Sir András Schiff, Anne Sophie Mutter, Anna Fedorova, Gidon Kremer, Christoph Eschenbach, Fazil Say, Lisa Batiashvili, Yuri Bashmet, and Christian Tetzlaff. 2014 he founded the International Music Festival Koblenz whose Artistic Director he is.
A keen interpreter of contemporary music, Benedict Kloeckner has performed works for cello and orchestra by Wolfgang Rihm, whose cello concerto “Temptation” he performed in Munich, and by Howard Blake, who wrote a cello sonata for him.
Benedict Kloeckner studied with Martin Ostertag in Karlsruhe and improved his skills studying with Frans Helmerson and Gary Hoffman at the Kronberg Academy.
Maximilian Randlinger, born in Traunstein in 1988, discovered his great passion for chamber music while studying with Andrea Lieberknecht at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. In 2009 the flutist founded the canorusquintett together with former members of the Bundesjugendorchester. The ensemble has since been awarded various prizes, including the first prize and the special prize of the International Henri-Tomasi Competition and the special prize of the ARD Music Competition for the best interpretation of the commissioned work. CD recordings and live recordings with the Bayerische Rundfunk and Südwestrundfunk as well as their performance at the Rheingau Music Festival 2019 are proof of the success of the canorusquintet.
As a soloist Maximilian Randlinger won the first prize in the 4th International Music Competition Markt Oberstdorf as well as a scholarship of the German Music Competition 2014. He performed with the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester, the Südwestdeutsche Kammerphilharmonie Pforzheim, and the Theater für Niedersachsen Hildesheim, among others.
In the seasons 2018/19 - 2019/20 he has been engaged by the Bayerische Staatsorchester. Prior to this he gained experience with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Augsburger Philharmoniker, and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, among others.
Maximilian Randlinger was a scholarship holder of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, the association "Live Music Now" Hannover and Munich as well as the Villa Musica, Rhineland-Palatinate.
Tomoko Akasaka is a versatile violist who is appreciated for her extraordinary charisma and stage presence as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She first started playing the violin at the age of five. After her studies in Budapest she returned to Japan where she switched to the viola studying at the Toho Tokyo University. After that, Tomoko continued her studies at the Geneva Music Conservatory with Nobuko Imai, whose assistant she was at the same time. Simultaneously she was a guest professor at the Music Conservatory of Neuchâtel.
Her musical relationship with György Kurtág influenced her profoundly. She also regularly collaborates with Helmut Lachenmann and Toshio Hosokawa and has performed and performed numerous contemporary works for viola. Tomoko Akasaka joined the Amaryllis Quartet in 2016. Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Daniel Hope, Juliane Banse, Heinz Holliger, Menahem Pressler, Julian Steckel, Andreas Ottensamer, Daishin Kashimoto, the Kuss Quartet, and many more are the chamber music partners she performed with at international music festivals such as Salzburg Festival, Kronberg Cello Festival, and Schubertiade.
She has appeared as soloist with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Kremerata Baltica, the Orchestre de Chambre Genève, and the Japan Chamber Orchestra under conductors such as Seiji Ozawa , Johannes Kalitzke, and Günther Herbig.
The violinist Suyeon Kang, born in South Korea and raised in Canada and Australia, has lived in Europe since 2007 where she cultivates a diverse and colourful musical life. After winning the Australian Young Perfomer of the Year award at the age of 16, she performs worldwide as a soloist. Suyeon Kang is also a passionate chamber musician and has performed with Julian Steckel and Daniel Gaede at various festivals. In 2014 she was invited to Chamber Music Connects the World in Kronberg, where she performed with Stephen Isserlis, Christian Tetzlaff, and Gidon Kremer. The same year she founded the Boccherini Trio, which is dedicated to the rediscovery and performance of Boccherini's countless works for string trio.
Suyeon Kang has received numerous awards, including the first prize and the audience award at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand in 2015 and third prize at the Princess Astrid International Music Prize in Norway in 2016.
As a soloist she has already performed with many European, Australian, and Asian orchestras and as a guest concertmaster with the Munich Chamber Orchestra and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, among others. Since 2014 she is a member of the Camerata Bern and the European Chamber Orchestra Spira Mirabilis. She also performs with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève and the Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
Hervé Joulain has played as soloist with 120 orchestras worldwide, performing the horn concertos by Haydn, Mozart, Schumann, Weber, Saint-Saëns, Strauss, and Britten. He also is very fond of chamber music, which he cultivates with partners such as Pinchas Zukerman, Boris Berezowski, Boris Belkin, Vadim Repin, Schlomo Mintz, Yuri Bashmet, Natalia Guttmann, Paul Tortelier, Renaud Capuçon and Gidon Kremer, throughout Europe, Canada, America, and Israel.
At the age of 20, Hervé Joulain became principal horn of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Marek Janowski and then of the Orchestre National de France. He has played under the baton of important conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Metha, Daniel Baremboim, Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel, Seiji Ozawa, Eliahu Inbal, Kurt Mazur, Charles Dutoit, Riccardo Muti, Bernard Haitink, and Claudio Abbado.
From 1994 to 1998 he was Assistant professor for horn at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. He has also given master classes in 22 countries. His great interest in contemporary music has led him to collaborate with composers such as Nicolas Bacri, Philippe Hersant, Kristoph Penderecki, Gérard Grisey, Michael Levinas, Tristan Murail, and Sebastian Fagerlund.
The Argentine José Gallardo, born in 1970, is one of the most sought-after chamber music pianists in the world. At the age of 5, he began to take piano lessons at the Conservatory in Buenos Aires. Later, he continued his studies with Prof. Poldi Mildner at the Department of Music at the University of Mainz, Germany. At that time, he already discovered his passion for chamber music. He was musically inspired by artists like Menahem Pressler, Alfonso Montecino, Sergiu Celibidache, Rosalyn Tureck and Bernard Greenhouse. José Gallardo received numerous national and international awards. He was invited to numerous musical festivals, such as the Verbier Festival, Lucerne Festival, Chopin and his Europe Warsaw, Kronberg Academy Festival, City of London Festival, Budapest Academy Festival and the Rheingau Music Festival. In chamber music José Gallardo collaborated among others with Gidon Kremer, Vilde Frang, Janusz Wawrowski, Nils Mönkemeyer, Tomoko Akasaka, Andreas Ottensamer, Miklós Perényi, and Maximilian Hornung. He performs in Europe, Asia, Israel, Oceania and South America.
Since 2008 he has been teaching at the Leopold Mozart Centre, University of Augsburg. Together with Andreas Ottensamer, he is the artistic director of the chamber music festival "Bürgenstock Festival" in Lucerne.