Mathilde Qvist, Denmark
Double bassist Mathilde Qvist was born in 1996 and started piano lessons at Kolding Music School at the age of 7. In 2011-12 she attended piano classes at OrkesterEfterskolen, but shortly after changed to double bass as she had become deeply fascinated by the idea of playing in a symphony orchestra. The following year she entered MGK Kolding, specialising in double bass, and in these years she won several prizes at national youth competitions. In 2016 she entered The Royal Academy of Music where she studied for two years with Frank Christensen. She then continued her bachelor studies in Oslo at the Norwegian Academy of Music with Dan Styffe and Marius Flatby and in December 2020 she graduated with firsts. This autumn Mathilde will start her Master studies at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with Joel Gonzalez. Beside her studies she is an active chamber and orchestra musician and has performed at festivals in for instance Tokyo, New York and several European capitals.
Alva Rasmussen, Sweden
Alva Rasmussen was born in 1998 in the small town of Nyköping, Sweden, and started playing the violin at the age of 9 at the local music school. In 2014 she moved to Stockholm to study at Lilla Akademiens Musikgymnasium with Nina Balabina, where she eventually switched main instrument, from the violin to the viola. After graduating from Stockholm, Alva moved to Copenhagen to study in Prof. Tim Frederiksens class at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and in 2020 she received her bachelor degree with the highest marks in her final exam. In November 2019 Alva received the prize for best interpretation of the mandatory piece as well as an honorary mention for promising talent at the first Oskar Nedbal International viola competition in Prague. Since September 2020 Alva holds the position of alternating principal viola in Camerata Nordica, regional chamber orchestra of Kalmar, Sweden, where so far she has performed with musicians such as Philippe Graffin, Colin Scobie, Giovanni Guzzo, and Ellen Nisbeth.
Alexandra Moser, Austria
Alexandra Moser is an Austrian violinist, who is currently based in Basel and Vienna. The wish to become a musician one day was established soon in her life. Coming from a non-musical, but very supportive family, it was her own decision to start playing the violin at the age of four. A few years later she was accepted to the class of Prof. Lukas Hagen at Mozarteum University Salzburg as a pre-college student. National and international performances with local orchestras as a soloist followed. At the moment Alexandra is studying her Masters at the Musik-Akademie Basel with Prof. Barbara Doll. Alexandra Moser is a member of the Javus Quartett, which was founded in 2016 in Salzburg, Austria. The quartet is influenced particularly by Lukas Hagen’s guidance and continuous support. The Javus quartet performs regularly on stages in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, where they captivate audience and critics alike with their passion.
Martim Almeida, Portugal
Martim Almeida started his piano studies at the age of 7 with Klara Dolynay, in Coimbra, Portugal. At the age of 11, he started receiving musical advice from Brazilian pianist and pedagogue, Luiz de Moura Castro, in Portugal, Spain and the United States. Later, Martim began studying at the Coimbra Music Conservatory, with Catarina Peixinho, while being as well a private student of Portuguese pianist, Artur Pizarro, in Lisbon. He has received masterclasses from pianists such as Paul Badura-Skoda, Yekaterina Lebedeva, Guigla Katsarava, Nancy Lee Harper and Manuela Gouveia, having performed in Portugal, Greece, Norway and the United States. He is currently a student at Norges Musikhøgskole, Oslo, in the class of Kathryn Stott.
Absalon Quartet, Denmark
Absalon Quartet is a young and ambitious ensemble formed in 2020, based in Copenhagen. It has already achieved recognition as they were chosen as 1st prize winners of the Rued Langgaard Competition 2021. Formed by Thera Ortved and Andreas Lienhoeft on violins, Caroline Risbo on viola and Olga Chwaszczewska on cello. The ensemble works under the supervision of Professor Tim Frederiksen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music.
Elsa Klockenbring, France
Elsa Klockenbring, born 1996 in Strasbourg, France, began to play the violin at her earliest age. After seven years of private violin lessons with Russian Prof. Walery Gradow in Mannhein, she entered the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, by Haik Davtian, and in 2012 got her DEM diploma (Diplomes d’ tudes musicales). There she also completed a DEM of piano with Prof. Amy Lin. In 2018 she completed her Violin Bachelor Degree with high distinction af the University of Music in Trossingen by Prof. Ostertag and Prof. Winfried Rademacher and since then she is studying Master at the University of Music in Dresden, by Prof. Natalia Prishepenko. At the same time, she is member of the Orchestra Academy of the Staatskapelle in Dresden. She played as a soloist under the direction of various conductors and has taken part in several music festivals.
Bonded by a musical consensus and shared vision, the Heathcliff Trio emanated from a decade long collaboration between childhood friends Ashley Tong and Sebastian Kolin, who studied together at the Yehudi Menuhin School. Upon completing their individual studies, they encountered Danish pianist, Jonathan Siahaan, whose resonating philosophy pronounced him the final choice of a longlasting search. Despite their short existence, the trio brings together their extensive individual experiences in chamber music, and continues to strive towards the discovery of their own expression. The Heathcliff Trio is currently based in Copenhagen, and receives guidances from Tim Frederiksen, chamber music professor at ECMA/the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Peter Herresthal, violin professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, and Caroline Palmer, piano/chamber music professor at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Facebook page: Heathcliff Trio.
Zoe Canestrelli, Italy/USA
Zoe Canestrelli is a violist, born in Italy in 1995. From 2005-15 she studied with Prof. Mauro Righini at Conservatorio G. Verdi in Turin, and after 2 years at Conservatorio A. Pedrollo in Vicenza, she took her master’s degree in viola with Prof. Lars Anders Tomter at the Norwegian Academy of Music. At the moment she studies for her master’s in orchestra with Prof. Isabelle van Keulen in Luzern. Zoe Canestrelli has participated in several music festivals and masterclasses in Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Norway, most recently in 2020 when she took part in a summer course at Accademia Chigiana, Siena, with Prof. Bruno Giuranna, and the summer festival Cantiere Internazionale di Montepulciano. Zoe Canestrelli has performed as a violist with several orchestras, among others the Orchestra dell’Arena di Verona, Filarmonica del Teatro Regio di Torino and Biel Solothurn Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland.
Bram Mulders, the Netherlands
Bram Mulders is a pianist of Dutch nationality. His family moved to Norway when he was ten years old, and he started playing the piano at the age of 14. His sudden interest in the piano and classical music devevoped quickly as he took it further by attending a music specialized high school in Skien where he studied with pianist Gudrun Klakegg. In his last year of high school he received the Anders Vangen scholarship and had his concerto debut with Telemark Symphony Orchestra, playing Grieg’s a-minor concerto. After a one-year study at Toneheim, he started his undergraduate studies in piano performance at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, under the tutelage of English pianist Kathryn Stott, and Marianna Shirinyan, who was his chamber music teacher. Currently, Bram Mulders continues his studies with a postgraduate course at Guildhall with Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen.
Josef Alin, Sweden
Josef Alin was born in Stockholm 1995 and started playing the cello at the age of six. After four years of studies at the University of the Arts in Berlin with Prof. Jens Peter Maintz, he is a student at Edsberg music institution in Stockholm with Torleif Thed en and Jakob Koranyi. He has also taken part in master classes across Europe with cellists such as Gary Hoffman, Steven Isserlis, Anner Bylsma and Frans Helmerson. In 2017 Josef Alin won First Prize at the ‘International Anton Rubinstein Cello Competition’ and he has received numerous scholarships. He is an active chamber musician and has received tuition from ensembles such as ‘Artemis Quartet, ‘Brodsky Quartet among others. As a soloist and chamber musician he has given performances in most European countries.
Gemma Raneri, Italy
Gemma Raneri was born in 1992 in Catania. She approached music when she was 4 years old, by singing in a children’s choir, then started to play the violin at five. She studied in the Conservatory ”Vincenzo Bellini” of Catania and graduated when she was 18, with Stefano Pagliani. She has taken part in and won several national and international competitions as a soloist and in a string quartet. In 2016 and 2017 she played in the Alma Mahler Kammerorchester, and in 2019 she won the audition in Teatro San Carlo in Napoli. She completed her studies in Lorenza Borrani’s class in the School of Music of Fiesole and she has studied with Prof. Elisabeth Weber in the Musikhochschule in Lübeck. She is now attending her Performance Master with Isabelle van Keulen in the Hochschule für Musik in Luzern.
Sophie Knöchelmann, Switzerland
Sophie Knöchelmann, born 2002, started playing the violin at the age of five. She received her first lessons from Seraina Labhardt at the Basel Music School, where she soon was invited to join the orchestra and received chamber music lessons. She has continuously been an avid musician who took part in many different projects ever since. In 2010 she continued her studies with Hyunjong Reents. With her support, she successfully participated in several competitions and once played as a soloist with a local youth orchestra. She is a member of the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra and plays as a concert master in the Orchestra Giovane and Central-Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra. She is currently completing her bachelor’s degree with Isabelle van Keulen at Hochschule für Musik in Lucerne.
Focoso Quartet is a new group of young talented musicians from the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus. The quartet consists of Aoi Tomioka from Japan and Bai Yusen from China on violin, Sigrún Mary McCormick from Iceland on viola and Malthe Volfing Højager from Denmark on cello. The members of the group have received numerous scholarships, among others Carl Nielsen og Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Legatet talentpris, and Overlæge Finn Jensen and Hustru Kirsten Finn Jensen Fonden. In addition, the members of the group have performed concerts and participated in international masterclasses in countries such as Canada, China, Czechia, Norway, The Netherlands, and USA. The quartet has since its inception received guidance from Professor Henrik Brendstrup from the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus.