Arie Vuyk

Arie Vuyk

Arie Vuyk was born in 1969 in Krimpen aan den IJssel, and currently lives alternately in Rotterdam and Antwerp. After developing self-taught, he won the Parkstad Cabaret Festival in 2001, and the Griffioen Cabaret Festival in 2004. Audience Award. Since then, he has made more than ten full-length programs. In 2016, he tried out some new material at the Twentse Lente festival, winning the festival. He was a lyricist for Het Groot niet te Vermijden, among others, and he directed the stand-up opera Orfeo for the Comedy Café in Amsterdam. Arie Vuyk wrote the biography of Het Groot niet te Vermijden, published by publisher Trichis. Eleven of his jokes appear in Het Grootste Citatenboek ter Wereld, publisher Lannoo. He was the first to translate Marcel Proust's novel Jean Santeuil into Dutch. An independent excerpt from it appeared as a gift book at Donner Rotterdam, in 2022. Arie made an international tour of comedy clubs in New York and Reykjavik in the spring of 2019. In 2020, he was commissioned by KRO-NCRV to make a conference about corona, which aired. His corona performance HAMSTEREN! received funding from the Performing Arts Fund, the Professional Development Platform, the Municipality of Rotterdam and Stichting Droom en Daad. Former Cameretten winner Bert Schuiling directed this performance. In 2023, the biography he wrote about the composer Simeon ten Holt, entitled Vleugels, was published. In 2023, Arjan Evertz will make a documentary about Vuyk's life and work, entitled Between Buddha and Stage. In March 2024, his new performance Op Dreef! will premiere in theater De Schuur in Zevenbergen. He is currently writing a book on Buddhist meditation: Extinguish Your Fire, Then Your Light Shines. It will be published in 2024. In addition to performances in the Netherlands and Belgium, he also runs his own theater De Kijkdoos, in Rotterdam.

Boudewijn Jansen

Boudewijn Jansen is a conductor with a broad repertoire, focusing on opera and oratorio. After studying piano and orchestral conducting, supplemented with choral conducting, cello, organ and voice, he worked with the Nederlandse Reisopera and the Stichting Kameropera Nederland, among others, and conducted virtually all Dutch orchestras and prominent choirs, such as the Nederlands Kamerkoor, the Nederlands Concertkoor and the VU Chamber Choir. He is also conductor of the Bach Cantorij Baarn and of the Student Choir Amsterdam.

Since 2003 he has been artistic director of the Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam, with which he has performed Verdi's Requiem, Symphony 9 by Beethoven and Ein deutsches Requiem by Brahms, among others. Annually, in collaboration with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, he performs Bach's Matthäus Passion in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Since 1994, Boudewijn Jansen has been on the musical staff of De Nationale Opera. He made his debut in Het Muziektheater with Jenufa (Janáček), and here he conducted Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) andLa Cenerentola (Rossini). He provided several rehearsals for the Chorus of The National Opera and conducted it at the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander. He is a much sought-after teacher and as such involved in the Kurt Thomas Course, the Conductors' Workshop, the Utrecht Conservatory and NKK NXT (training program of the Nederlands Kamerkoor).

Elizabeth Fadel & Mike del Ferro

Elizabeth Fadel & Mike del Ferro

Elizabeth Fadel (b. 1985) is a Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and composer based in the Netherlands. Her music freely expresses her classical education as a Pianist and harpsichord player, and her heritage, making every note sound simultaneously firm and tender, full of life and energy. Fadel began her career in Brazil, where she quickly gained ground and began collaborating with important names such as the singing group Boca Livre and the legendary Paulo Moura. In 2010, she decided to take a big step and moved to the Netherlands to study harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Since then she has been touring, recording and teaching in Europe and Brazil. In 2021 she released her first solo album Blue in Choro, to very good reviews. Fadel also acts as an ambassador of Brazilian culture, participating in educational projects such as the Choro School - EPM Holanda. She is also a teacher at Codarts, and she has performed with bigger names in the Netherlands, such as Ronald Snijders, Fleurine Mehldal and as a piano duo with Mike del Ferro, as well as in larger venues such as Bimhuis, Lantaren Venster and North Sea Jazz Festival. De internationaal bekroonde pianist en componist Mike del Ferro is een gerenommeerde Nederlandse jazzpianist en muzikale ontdekkingsreiziger wiens carrière wordt gekenmerkt door een onverzadigbare nieuwsgierigheid naar de diverse geluiden van de wereld. Hij heeft samengewerkt met grootheden als Toots Thielemans, Branford Marsalis, Jack DeJohnette, Randy Brecker, Oscar Castro Neves, Deborah Brown, Erik Truffaz, Jorge Rossy, Scott Hamilton, Richard Galliano en vele anderen. Mike werd geboren in Amsterdam en zijn muzikale reis voerde hem over de continenten, waardoor hij een rijk tapijt van wereldwijde invloeden in zijn werk verweeft. Zijn vader was operazanger Leonard del Ferro, die zong en opnam met Maria Callas en samenwerkte met Leonard Bernstein. Al op jonge leeftijd toonde Mike een uitzonderlijke aanleg voor muziek, vooral piano. Hij verfijnde zijn vaardigheden door formeel onderwijs aan het Conservatorium in Amsterdam. In de loop der jaren heeft Mike del Ferro zijn eigen plekje in de jazzwereld veroverd door zijn klassieke opleiding te combineren met een grote waardering voor improvisatie. Zijn pianospel wordt gekenmerkt door virtuositeit, gevoeligheid en het vermogen om muzikale grenzen te overschrijden. Hij navigeert moeiteloos door verschillende stijlen en integreert elementen van Latijnse, Afrikaanse en wereldmuziek in zijn composities en optredens. Mike del Ferro geeft ook pianomasterclasses over de hele wereld, soms in combinatie met zijn succesvolle Clinic "Self Management for Musicians".

Jan-Willem Schaafsma

Jan-Willem Schaafsma

Jan-Willem Schaafsma studied at the Royal Conservatory and received his master's degree at the Dutch National Opera Academy. After his master he sang Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Britten), Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart) and Lenski (Yevgeni Onegin, Tschaikovsky), among others. He sang solos with the NPS Saturday matinee, De Nationale Opera, Opera Zuid and the Nederlandse Reisopera (title role in Bernstein's Candide). He also played roles in productions by Baroque Opera Amsterdam and Opera2Day. In 2021, he appeared with De Nationale Opera in A Song for the Moon and with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century in Zauberflöte & Die Schauspieldirektorin. His concert repertoire ranges from Monteverdi to Berio, and in it he has worked with the major orchestras of the Netherlands. Among other things, he sang the arias in the very first Matthäus Passion ever conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw. Jan-Willem sang with orchestras such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, North Dutch Orchestra, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra, philharmonie zuid nederland and The Dutch Bach Society. He has worked under conductors such as Ed Spanjaard, Edo de Waart, Ivor Bolton, Cristian Macelaru, Kenneth Montgomery, José Esandi, Shunske Sato and Reinbert de Leeuw.

Katrien Baerts

Belgian soprano Katrien Baerts has been noted for her powerful and sensual voice as well as for her profound and heartfelt interpretation. Season 2023/24 starts for Ms. Baerts with her debut as Kristin in the opera 'Julie' by Boesmans at the Lausitz Festival in Germany. Further highlights of the season include 'Mysteries of the Macabre' by Ligeti with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Sylvain Cambreling, her debut with the Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Philharmonie in Paris conducted by Pierre Bleuse with the latest vocal work by Thomas Larcher, 'The Living Mountain', and a tour with Kurtag's 'Kafka Fragmente', among others at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Eindhoven and at the Bijloke in Ghent. In addition, she will perform a series of performances with music by Missy Mazzoli with the Flemish Radio Choir, the 'Maeterlinck Lieder' by Zemlinsky with Het Collectief, 'Carmina Burana' at the Muziekgebouw aan het IJ in Amsterdam and a concert series with singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright together with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Ruhrtriënnale, Ms. Baerts made her acclaimed debut as the leading role of Theodora in a new production of Olga Neuwirths 'Bählamms Fest'. She was praised for her vocal and theatrical abilities at the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi 2023 in a newly staged version of 'Harawi' by Messiaen. At the Salzburger Festspiele, she has been heard in the role of Sie in 'Begehren' by Beat Furrer, and at the National Opera in Amsterdam, she made her debut as eine Fünfzehnjährige in a new production of 'Lulu'. She made her first appearance in Tokyo with 'House of the Sleeping Beauties' by Kris Defoort. Ms. Baerts performed several world premières: at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam as Clara in Loevendie's opera 'The Rise of Spinoza', as well as the title role in Zuidam's 'Suster Bertken'. In Jakarta, Indonesia, Ms. Baerts created the title role in Prabowo's dance-opera 'Gandari' and Jan-Peter de Graaf wrote a mono-drama about a flat-earther for her, called 'Parallax'. Further roles include Pamina in 'Die Zauberflöte', Micaëla in 'Carmen', Despina in 'Così fan tutte', Miss Wordsworth in 'Albert Herring', Stimme des Falken and Hüter der Schwelle in 'Die Frau ohne Schatten', and Amore and Valletto in 'l'Incoronazione di Poppea'. Ms. Baerts has worked with stage directors such as Pierre Audi, Lotte de Beer, Silvia Costa, Kenza Koutchoukali, Johan Simons and Floris Visser. In the Summer of 2023, Ms. Baerts was re-invited to the Salzburger Festspiele to perform Grisey's 'Quatre chants pour fanchir le Seuil' with Klangforum Wien, led by Ilan Volkov, while her latest album featuring 'l'Icone paradoxale' by the same composer with the WDR Sinfonieorchester has been awarded the 'Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik'. Her debut at the Barbican Center in London was enthusiastically received by the press. In addition to 20th-century music such as 'Lonely Child' by Vivier and 'Mysteries of the Macabre' by Ligeti, Ms. Baerts' concert repertoire includes the 'Stabat Mater' by Pergolesi, Bach's 'St. John Passion', 'Grosse Messe in c' by Mozart, 'Ein Deutsches Requiem' by Brahms, Mahler's '4th Symphony' and 'Les Illuminations' by Britten, with orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Baerts has worked with conductors as Richard Egarr, Vladimir Jurowski, Oliver Knussen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Carlo Rizzi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Bas Wiegers. Ms. Baerts is a graduate of the Dutch National Opera Academy and was selected to take part in the 'International Lied Masterclasses' by Udo Reinemann and guest professors. She was a semi-finalist of the Queen Elisabeth Competition and obtained a Master's degree at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in both voice and violin.

Myrthe Helder

Myrthe Helder

Myrthe Helder (violin) was accepted to the Royal Conservatory in The Hague at the age of seven. In the next twenty years she studied at the conservatories of The Hague, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Wien. In the Netherlands she completed her studies with a 9.5 in Vienna with Auszeichnung and the highest distinction. In addition to her studies, she took master classes with: Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov, the Amadeus Quartet, the Alban Berg Quartet, the Guarneri Quartet and the Fine Arts Quartet.

She has won several awards including the Prix d'Harmonie, the Charles Hennen Competition and The Canetti International Violin Competition. She has played recitals and chamber music concerts throughout Europe and the United States in venues such as De Doelen, The Concertgebouw, the Wiener Musikverein and Carnegie Hall. As a soloist, she has played with various orchestras in Europe including Bruch's Scottish Fantasy and Prokofiev's 2nd Concerto.

Together with Leonard Besseling, Myrthe is the artistic director of Club Classique, known for its many performances at Podium Klassiek, formerly Podium Witteman. With Club Classique she sets up the most diverse projects; from theater performances with Abdelkader Benali to the grandiose Moonlight Concert in the Park at the Euromast. Club Classique is also frequently invited to concert halls and major festivals such as Wonderfeel and the Grachtenfestival.

Nienke Nasserian @Martin Sieper

Nienke Nasserian

Soprano and classical music theater maker Nienke Nasserian Nillesen graduated cum laude in 2018 from the Master of Music Music Music Theater Classical program at the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg. She also obtained her Bachelor here in 2016.

At the age of eight, Nienke Nasserian began playing the clarinet. At the age of fifteen she decided to take singing lessons as well, at first mainly jazz and musical repertoire. She did several preparatory courses in Amsterdam, Maastricht and Tilburg. At eighteen, she chose classical repertoire. She studied Classical Solo Singing for half a year at the Conservatory in Maastricht, and then completed her studies at the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg. Nienke performed in several productions with Silbersee, Opera Zuid and the Opera Forward Festival, among others.

Nienke Nasserian has created three autobiographical classical music theater performances. Nienke is now performing her third production, MTOTO, which forms a triptych with her previous works MASAI and MZUNGU. In this performance, storytelling, classical singing and electro-acoustic music are interspersed to create a mantra about loss.

Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor

Founded in 2005 by Caro Kindt, Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam (NVA) is a classical vocal education with specialization in opera and musical theater, open to all children and youth from 4 to 21 years of age. NVA's choirs won several international awards. In 2010, 2012, and 2018, the Youth Choir won silver in the prestigious International Cantemus Festival in Nyíregyháza, Hungary. In 2017 and 2022, they received the first prize Summa Cum Laude in the highest category of the European Youth Music Festival in Neerpelt, Belgium. NVA choirs are regularly heard and seen on national media. In 2013, NVA contributed to the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander. In addition to renowned children's choir repertoire, NVA performed a large number of operas as its own production: Humperdinck's Haensel und Gretel, Britten's The Golden Vanity and The little Sweep, Philip Glass' The Witches of Venice, and Hans Krása's famous children's opera Brundibár. Since December 2013, NVA has annually realized the acclaimed Christmas Play, developed in collaboration with conductor and baroque pioneer Ton Koopman. Since 2016, NVA has been the regular children's chorus partner of National Opera & Ballet; upcoming seasons include the productions Turandot, Der Rosenkavalier and Animal Farm. Together, NO&B and NVA provide education days in which children are trained for the opera profession. NVA's regular partners are also Cappella Amsterdam, Amsterdam International Comunity School and Muziekschool Amsterdam. NVA's choirs regularly collaborate with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. NVA's students have been conducted by Mariss Jansons, Markus Stenz, Lahav Shani, Ton Koopman, Marc Albrecht and Lorenzo Viotti, among others.

Olga de Kort

Olga de Kort

Musicologist and music journalist Olga de Kort was born in Istra (Moscow region) and has lived in the Netherlands since 1998. She studied cultural studies and piano in Russia, journalism in France and musicology (Utrecht University), piano and organ (HKU/Conservatorium, Utrecht) in the Netherlands. As a musicologist, Olga specializes in Russian music and culture and the reception of Russian music in the Netherlands. She gives lectures, courses in music history and regularly participates in international music conferences with contributions on the reception of Russian music in the Netherlands, especially the music of Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Skrjabin, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. As a music journalist, she has over 400 publications to her name in Dutch classical music magazines including Luister, Pianist, Preludium, De Klank and PianoBulletin.


Percussiegroep van het Conservatorium van Amsterdam

Six top young percussionists from the Conservatory of Amsterdam will collaborate on Friday, Dec. 8, on the grand parts of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. The group includes Yifan Du, Oier Cáceres, Telmo Gorrochategui, Bruce Zhou Runhang, Marcel Wheatly and Gerben Jongsma.

Camille & Chloë Beniest

Pianoduo Camille & Chloé Beniest

Belgian sisters Camille and Chloé Beniest (ages 19 and 15) are two multi-talented performers. They perform as piano soloists, singers, actresses and as a piano duo. As a duo, despite their age, they have won many prizes, including at the Princess Christina Competition (2021, 2023 and 2023), Concours International de Piano de Brest (France, 2023) and the Appassionata International Competition in Namur (Belgium, 2023). In 2022 the sisters won with conviction the 3rd Piano Duo Festival Concours, and so they return to the festival this year with a virtuoso program at Jerusalem Church.

Caspar Vos & Frank Peters

Pianoduo Frank Peters & Caspar Vos

The origins of duo Frank Peters and Caspar Vos date back almost 25 years, when Caspar began his piano lessons with Frank. During the years that followed Caspar developed an ever closer bond with the repertoire in which Frank also felt at home since his early childhood; the Russian piano virtuosos. Besides the works of Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Skrjabin, the music of Nikolai Medtner stands out for both of them. Both Caspar and Frank feel a strong mission to bring the repertoire of this forgotten great to the attention of the general public. For Caspar this resulted so far in his successfully received solo album "Ego" with sonatas and Skazki, for Frank in a 5-part full-length recording of Medtner's complete Lieder repertoire together with Ekaterina Levental. The desire to also perform his works for 2 pianos eventually shaped the duo. Frank Peters studied with Jan Wijn at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. After winning several prizes at national and international competitions, including the International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, he has played on all major stages in The Netherlands, throughout Europe, Russia, China, Australia and in the USA. As a soloist he has performed with The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, The Residentie Orkest, The Gelderland Orchestra, and the Polish National Radio Orchestra, among others. He is also a much sought-after partner in chamber music and for several years the pianist of the Hexagon Ensemble. He has been heard at numerous international festivals. Together with mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Levental, Frank is recording Nikolai Medtner's integral song oeuvre for Brilliant Classics. The 4 CDs already recorded , in a series of 5, are receiving high praise internationally. In Russia, their work was awarded the Pure Sound Award. Frank Peters is principal study teacher at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and regularly gives master classes in Italy, France, Belgium and China. Pianist Caspar Vos graduated Cum Laude from the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Since then he has performed frequently both nationally and internationally as a solo pianist. He won the first prize of 'The Grand Dominique Competition'. The albums he has released have been received with great praise. In addition to being a solo pianist, Caspar is in great demand as a chamber musician and regularly teaches at the conservatories of Amsterdam and The Hague. He also works as director and programmer for the Festival Jong Talent Schiermonnikoog.

Piano duo Scholtes & Janssens

Pianoduo Scholtes & Janssens

Lestari Scholtes and Gwylim Janssens have been a piano duo since 2003. Today they are recognized as one of the most promising piano duos of their generaKon. Their debut at Car- negie Hall in May 2009 was hailed as 'it might as well have been 25 or 30 fingers, so grand and fused was their sound. Sublime duo in top form'. The duo is known for their mesmerizing sound, very high technical dexterity and their intense and energetic performances. This has earned them concerts throughout Europe and in the United States, Dubai, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Georgia, Mongolia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Chile and Bolivia.

Their concerts have been broadcast nationally and internationally on television and radio, including Radio4, BBC3, Kol Hamusica (Israeli radio) and Klara. They have also soloed with orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Residentie Orkest, the Brabant Orchestra, Sinfonia Rotterdam and the Israel Symphony Orchestra. The duo has been featured at various festivals, including the Festival of Bath, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, TonLagen- Dresdner Festival der zeitgenössischen Musik, Braunlage Maikonzerte, Basilica Festival of Flanders, Klevische Klaviersommer, Almere Chamber Music Festival, Festival Classique and the International Piano Duo Festival Poland.

The duo was winner of more than a dozen (inter)national competitions, including the prestigious Vriendenkrans Concours of the Concertgebouw, the Concours Musical de France, the International Chamber Music Competition Almere 2009 and IBLA Grand Prize International Music Competition and was named Radio 4 Talent of the Year in 2010. Lestari and Gwylim are regular judges at various (inter)national competitions. They also gave many master classes at various conservatories worldwide.

The duo initiated the annual Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam, which had its first edition in October 2013.

As a piano duo, they studied with the renowned piano duo Gil Garburg and Sivan Silver at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hanover. Together they attended many master classes with Nikolai Petrov, Alexander Tamir, Victor Derevianko, Alon Goldstein, Peter Takács, Paul Lewis, Jean-Bernard Pommier and Menahem Pressler, among others. Both began their training in the Young Talent Class of the Brabant Conservatory with Ton Demmers. Lestari followed her Bachelor and Master studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Jan Wijn; Gwylim completed his Bachelor phase at the Fontys Conservatory with Ton Demmers and followed his Master studies at the Codarts Conservatory with Bart van de Roer.

In November 2010, their debut CD was released with works by Rachmaninoff, Debussy and Ravel, under the label of QuattroLive. In May 2014, their second CD "Paris!" was released by Etcetera Records with works by Stravinsky, Debussy and Ravel. This CD was awarded a Luister10 and a 5-star review in the Nederlands Dagblad. Their 3rd CD of works by Mozart and Schubert was released in 2021 by Challenge Records International. BBC Music Magazine wrote about this CD: 'They breathe together, agree on relaKve dynamics and tonal color and understand the balance of the textures.' and awarded the CD no less than 4**** stars.

Duo Shalamov

Pianoduo Shalamov

The Shalamov Piano Duo, established in 2009, is an astonishing example of a special musical formation: two individual pianists, musicians and artists, performing in an extraordinary symbiosis; two personalities, with their individual ideas and emotions, unified in their music making. Winning the 1st prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in September 2015 is surely one of their most extraordinary recognitions. Alina and Nikolay not only received the highest evaluation from the jury, but were also awarded the audience prize, as well as the prize for the best performance of the obligatory composition by Ferran Cruixent, commissioned especially for the competition that year. This success has now become part of the 64 year old history of the ARD Competition during which only three first prizes have been awarded in the Piano duo category. Alina and Nikolay began playing together as a duo in Bulgaria, under the supervision and direction of Professor Milena Mollova, a world renowned Bulgarian pianist and one of the few students of the legendary Emil Gilels. In 2011 Duo Shalamov moved to Madrid (Spain) after being accepted at the prestigious school of music “Reina Sofia”. For the period from 2011–2013, the young couple had the chance to expand their repertoire and work with a number of great musicians. Their studies in Madrid were rewarded by being invited to play at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, and at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona – two of the most important concert halls in Spain. In 2014 Alina and Nikolay proceeded with their Master studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock, having the wonderful opportunity to extend their musical knowledge and experience while studying with Prof. Hans-Peter und Prof. Volker Stenzl, both renowned musicians and pedagogues themselves. In 2016 the duo made its debut in the renowned Henry le Boeuf concert hall in Bruxelles, giving a recital as part of the Steinway Prizewinner Concerts series. In addition to their musical quality, the concerts of the Shalamov piano duo are always characterised by special dramaturgies. For example, on New Year’s Eve 2020, Alina and Nikolay Shalamov were invited by the Gewandhaus Leipzig to perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in the version for two pianos by Franz Liszt – augmented by timpani – together with solo timpanist Tom Greenleaves, representing the Gewandhaus Orchestra. In January 2021, both presented a video production of Sophia Gubaidulina’s “Variations on a Theme S-H-E-A” for two pianos (one of them with a different skordatura) from the Chamber Music Hall of the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg. The latest step on Alina and Nikolay Shalamov’s career ladder is the founding and artistic direction of the Berlin Piano Duo Festival. This was launched in March 2023 with concerts, premieres of two commissioned compositions, workshops, master classes and children’s concerts.

Raoul Steffani @Dana van Leeuwen

Raoul Steffani

Raoul Steffani is this year’s winner of the Nederlandse Muziekprijs, the highest award that can be given to a musician by the Dutch State. He will receive the prize in October 2023 from the State Secretary for Culture Gunay Uslu during a concert with ASKO|Schönberg in the Muziekgebouw aan het IJ. He previously won the GrachtenfestivalPrijs 2018, among other prizes. He is a member of Equilibrium, Barbara Hannigan’s young artists’ programme. Recently, Raoul sang the role of Ramiro in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole at the Opéra National de Lyon, after which he was invited to sing Ned Keene in Britten’s Peter Grimes in Friesland and Ramiro at the Opéra de Toulon. In 2022, he made his debut at De Nationale Opera in Operetta Land. Other recent highlights include Bach’s St John Passion (Jesus) with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Mark Padmore in Brussels, Paris and London, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Ensemble Domestica, Frank Martin’s Ode à la musique with the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Marcus Creed, several Matthäus Passion concerts with Phion (Jesus) conducted by Reinhard Goebel and with philharmonie zuidnederland (aria’s) conducted by Duncan Ward and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Residentie Orkest conducted by Anja Bihlmaier. As a soloist, he has previously worked with conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Vladimir Jurowsky, Sigiswald Kuijken, Ed Spanjaard, Otto Tausk, Jos van Veldhoven and David Zinman. Since the beginning of his career, Raoul Steffani has had a great passion for the Lieder repertoire. He has given recitals at Oxford Lieder Festival, International Lied Festival Zeist, Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. He has recorded two solo albums for Challenge Classics with pianist Gerold Huber: Love’s Spring (2021) featuring songs and duets by Robert and Clara Schumann with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená. About his debut album Deep in a dream, featuring early works by Schumann, Grieg, Sibelius and Berg, the international press wrote: “This is all first-rate, refined singing with lucid diction, elegant technique, and a palpable affinity for what he is singing. (American Record Guide, 2018) In October 2022, Alpha Records released the album Sehnsucht, with Barbara Hannigan, Camerata RCO and Raoul Steffani, featuring his performance of Berg’s Vier Gesänge Op. 2 in a new orchestration. Raoul studied at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna and with Margreet Honig at the conservatories of Amsterdam and Tilburg, where he graduated summa cum laude. He took master classes with Thomas Hampson, Christa Ludwig, Dame Felicity Lott and Elly Ameling, among others. From 2016 to 2018, he was a member of the Dutch National Opera Academy, where he sang the role of Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. In addition to his vocal studies, Raoul studied Swedish language and culture at the University of Amsterdam.

Toonkunstkoor @Jonathan Andrew

Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam

Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam is an ambitious concert choir, alternating major choral works with intimate programs reflecting the choir's versatility. The repertoire ranges from Sweelinck to composers of today. Besides compositions from the 19th century, the great choral works from the 20th and 21st centuries have special attention.

When the Maatschappij ter Bevordering der Toonkunst was founded in 1829, Amsterdam was one of the first departments to establish its own choir. Over the years, Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam has grown into a musical institution that upholds the choral tradition in the capital. Made up of well-trained amateur singers, in its long history the choir has sung under such great conductors as Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, Eduard van Beinum, Anton Kersjes, Hartmut Haenchen, Ken-ichiro Kobayashi, Jean Fournet, Yehudi Menuhin, Bernard Haitink, Jan Willem de Vriend and Marc Albrecht. Every year Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam sings Bach's Matthäus Passion on Good Friday in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Starting in 1899, Willem Mengelberg performed it annually and so it became a tradition. Since 2008, the annual performance on Palm Sunday in De Philharmonie in Haarlem has also become a tradition. In addition, the choir performs at least one production of its own each season. With this variety of concerts it reaches a wide audience in Amsterdam and surroundings. Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam is regularly invited by professional orchestras. In recent years the choir has collaborated with the Residentie Orkest, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, The Ballet Orchestra, the Orchestra of the East, the Dutch Chamber Orchestra and the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, among others.