Teachers 2023

For the 2023 season, we have once again been able to recruit renowned lecturers to teach in 16 courses for plucked, wind, string and keyboard instruments as well as singing and song composition. Shortly all teachers for the upcoming season will be published.

Sheila Arnold

Sheila Arnold belongs to a generation of pianists who feel as much at home on the modern concert grand as on the fortepiano: the symbiotic feedback between the two instruments never ceases to inspire her.

Her repertoire spans keyboard music ranging from the 1700’s to world premieres of contemporary music. Very early on, her triumph as a finalist at the Clara Haskil Competition in 1995 and the Mozart Prize awarded by the Wiesbaden Mozart Society at the Salzburg International Mozart Competition reflect her special affinity with that composer: Sheila Arnold’s Mozart renditions have always been euphorically acclaimed by reviewers and audiences worldwide.

Ms. Arnold studied under the guidance of Heidi Köhler and Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, and went on to garner a considerable number of first prizes and successes at German and international competitions. She was also selected for a series of scholarships and awards, leading to extensive worldwide appearances since her youth. Many of them were recorded for radio and television broadcast, as well as on CD. Renowned music festivals have invited Ms. Arnold to perform in Europe and the US. She has collaborated with well-known orchestras such as Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Bonn Beethovenhalle and Prague Chamber Orchestra, and with conductors such as Jesús López-Cobos, Marc Soustrot, and Michael Hofstetter. Her chamber music partners include the likes of Nina Janssen, Sergio Azzolini, Wilhelm Bruns, Ralf Manno, Guido Schiefen, Michael Faust, Isabelle Faust, Alexander-Sergei Ramírez, the Mandelring Quartet, and many others. Inspiring encounters and collaborations with renowned musician colleagues have taken place at Festivals such as the Spannungen Chamber Music Festival (Heimbach) or the Music Festival in Hambach (Neustadt).

Sheila Arnold’s previous CD with works by Brahms and Schumann was released in 2010 and featured as a CHOC selection in Classica, the French classical music magazine. Her CD recording on Franz Schubert has been highly acclaimed by leading critics and her recent Solo CD „Ecoutez!“ on works by Claude Debussy, Toru Takemitsu and John Cage has entered the Longlist of the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis. Same as her latest CD, which has been released this year and covers works for the Romantic Guitar and Fortepiano with guitarist Alexander-Sergei Ramirez which has met enthiusiasm in the international press. In 2006 Sheila Arnold was appointed piano professor at Cologne Musikhochschule. She is frequently invited as member of national and international piano competitions and gives regular masterclasses. Many of her students have won prizes and scholarships at national and international competitions. Moreover she is co-editor of the Wiener Urtext New Edition 2020 of the „Piano Pieces“ including fingering and notes on interpretation.

„… with this new album, in my opinion Sheila Arnold has established herself as one of the greatest of today’s great keyboard artists….

„… Without exception, this is the most eloquent, poignant, and revelatory Schubert piano playing I can remember ever hearing.  …“ FANFARE

“Wondrous timbre enchantment and variegated colors, paired with masterful touch and phrasing.” SWR2 Klassikmarkt

Markus Bellheim

In 2000, Markus Bellheim won the International Messiaen Competition in Paris; the beginning of an extensive concert career that has taken him throughout Europe, to Asia and America.

The pianist, born in Hamburg in 1973, is a guest at important festivals and concert series (Beethovenfest Bonn, Kasseler Musiktage, La Roque d'Anthéron, Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte, etc.).

Renowned orchestras such as the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre philharmonique de Nice, Malmö SinfoniOrkester invite Bellheim to perform works of the classical repertoire with them. He also performs with established contemporary music ensembles such as Ensemble Modern and Ensemble Intercontemporain. Recently, Markus Bellheim has worked with conductors Sylvain Cambreling, Jonathan Nott and composers Steve Reich, György Kurtág and Wolfgang Rihm, among others. He is also a chamber music partner of renowned artists such as Ingolf Turban, Wen-Sinn Yang, Eduard Brunner, Marisol Montalvo and the Minguet Quartet.

Markus Bellheim has performed Olivier Messiaen's complete works for solo piano several times to great public acclaim. He performs Messiaen's most important work for solo piano and orchestra, the Turangalîla Symphony, worldwide.

Following the CD recordings of the complete solo works of Wolfgang Rihm and the Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen on the NEOS label, the piano concerto by Bruno Maderna with Markus Bellheim and the Hessian Radio Symphony Orchestra was released there most recently. This recording was awarded many prizes, including the German Record Critics' Prize. Bellheim's recording of Messiaen's Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine with the Kremerata Baltica, released by ECM on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, received special attention.

Markus Bellheim regularly gives master classes at home and abroad. He taught at the conservatories in Würzburg and Mannheim and was appointed professor of piano at the Munich University of Music and Theatre in the winter semester of 2011. He works as a freelancer and author for the Munich-based G. Henle Verlag.

Ida Bieler

American-born Ida Bieler has set a standard in the course of her unusual career, as a musician of extraordinary scope.

Following an unconventional course, her experience and repertoire span all facets of solo and ensemble performance, bringing her acclaim from critics and public alike for her uniquely personal and communitive interpretations.

Launched into recognition by winning international competitions on three continents: Gold Medal, Public Prize and Contemporary Music Award at Rome’s International Competition „Valentino Bucchi“, the International Violin Concours Dr. Luis Sigall, Vina del Mar, Chile, the International Competition for Chamber Music „Vittorio Gui“ in Florence and New York’s Concert Artists Guild Award, she has since appeared regularly as soloist with orchestra, recitalist and chamber musician at all music capitals throughout the world.

Ida Bieler has performed and been a frequent guest artist in major international festivals, such as; the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, the Beethovenfest Bonn, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Schubertiade in Hohenems, the Ravinia Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Casals Festival Puerto Rico, Paris Festival Châtelet and Tivoli Festival. She has collaborated with artists such as Karl Engel, Gerhard Oppitz, Leonard Hokanson, Konrad Elser, Mischa Maisky, Boris Pergamenschikow, Gérard Caussé, Radovan Vlatkovic, Marie-Luise Neunecker, Patrick Messina, as well as members of the Guarneri, Amadeus and Emerson Quartets.

Ms. Bieler’s artistic focus and repertoire, staggering in extent, stretches from the Baroque to contemporary composition. Her performances and recordings of complete work cycles, from Bach’s Solo Sonatas and Partitas to the complete sonatas of Bartók, Hindemith, Corigliano and Penderecki, have received acclaim usually reserved for the „specialist“ in each of several styles. She has premiered works by Aribert Reimann, Volker David Kirchner ,Moritz Eggert; and with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico under the direction of the composer, she gave first performances of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Metamorphosen – Concerto per violino ed orchestra no. 2.

Ida Bieler’s CD catalogue boasts an exceptionally wide and stylistically varied range of solo and chamber music repertoire. Awards have included the Cannes Classical AwardEcho Klassik Preis, Fono Forum Stern des Monats, Repertoire „10“ and the Strad’s „Chamber Music Selection of the Month“.

As a chamber musician, Ms Bieler was a member of Germany’s legendary Melos String Quartet from 1993 until the quartet’s retirement from the concert stage in 2005. She performed and recorded with the Ensemble Villa Musica, from 2001 until 2015 she was violinist of the Xyrion Piano Trio and Heine Quartet, Düsseldorf. She founded the Reynolda Quartet of UNCSA, in residence at the Reynolda Museum of American Art and Faculty Quartet of the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts.

One of the first women to win a concertmaster position in a major European orchestra, Ida Bieler served from 1983-1988 as concertmaster of the „Gürzenich Orchester“, Symphony and Opera Orchestra of Cologne. In 1988, she became professor for violin at Frankfurt’s, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, in 1993 received the appointment of Full Professor at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Bieler was Visiting Professor for violin and chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and from 2009 to 2022 she was a Professor at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Graz, Austria. Since 2013 has been „Artist-Teacher“ of Violin at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and in 2015 she became the Artistic Director of UNCSA’s Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute. Most recently, she has joined the faculty of NYU’s Steinhardt School of Music and Performing Arts.

Ida Bieler has led international masterclasses regularly at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Hindemith Institute Blonay/Switzerland, the Stiftung Villa Musica Rheinlandpfalz, Landesmusikakademie Schloss Ochsenhausen, Landesmusikakademie North-Rhine-Westphalia, the Oberstdorfer Musiksommer, and as well at major universities and music schools in the USA, Israel, Canada, Hongkong, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Ida Bieler is artistic director of the newly founded International Chamber Music Academy of Southern Germany, taking place for the first time in summer 2022.

One of the most successful and sought-after teachers in Europe today, her support of young musicians has included initiating and serving as artistic director of the „Rheinische Streicherakademie“ of NRW, the „Streicherakademie Ochsenhausen“ in Baden-Würtemberg, and the „Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Rhein-Ruhr e.V.“ Ida Bieler serves as mentor to the „Ida Bieler International School of Music“ (IBISM) in Cologne, Germany. She is founder and patron of the IBISM Scholarship Fund for String Studies at the UNCSA.

Her initiative, the Vivaldi Project Düsseldorf, a teachers’ training program aimed at educating underprivileged children, has been awarded Germany’s coveted „Ideen für die Bildungsrepublik“ prize for 2011.

Ida Bieler has served on prestigious international competition juries including; „Franz Schubert and Modern Music“ International Competition Graz, the Tromp International String Quartet Competition Eindhoven, Charles Hennen Chamber Music Concours, the Spohr Competition for Violin Weimar, the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, Wettbewerb des Kulturkreises des BDI, the Stiftung Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz, Grand Prix d’Eurovision, the „Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben“ Hamburg and „Kultur macht stark. Bündnisse für Bildung“ – competition of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany.

Working together with Germany’s Schott Verlag, she has edited new editions of works by Edward Elgar, Franz Ries, Pierre Rode, Bedrich Smetana, Josef Suk, Henri Vieuxtemps and Karol Szymanowski. In 2022, Ida Bieler’s edition of two pieces for violin and piano by Antonin Dvorák will be released.

Ms. Bieler received her early musical education at the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts studying with Ruggiero Ricci and Marc Gottlieb. She continued her studies at the Juilliard School in New York, graduating as a student of Oscar Shumsky and Felix Galimir. Gaining important artistic impulses from her work with Nathan Milstein in London and Zurich, she ultimately earned the Konzertexamen degree as a student of Max Rostal at Cologne’s Hochschule für Musik, Germany.

She plays a violin from Thomas Balestrieri Cremonensis, Fecit Mantuae. Anno 1753.

Ralph van Daal

Ralph van Daal was born in Roermond (Netherlands). He began learning the oboe at the age of nine.

As a young student, he went to the Maastricht Conservatory at the age of 17, where he studied oboe (with Prof. Peter Steyvers) from 2001 to 2006. He graduated with distinction. At the same conservatory he also studied singing with Prof. Mya Besselink. From 2006 to 2009 Ralph van Daal studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich with Prof. François Leleux and graduated with a soloist's diploma. His first temporary contracts took him to the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne and the Duisburg Philharmonic. In 2011 he was engaged as a permanent principal English hornist with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. The following year, at the suggestion of Simone Young (GMD of the Hamburg State Opera), he was awarded the Eduard Söring Prize, which helps to promote the artistic development of young musicians.

He continues to play regularly as a substitute principal oboist and principal English horn in orchestras such as the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra Stockholm, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hanover State Opera, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, the Bavarian State Opera Munich and the Radio Symphony Orchestra Hilversum under conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Semyon Bychkov, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Andris Nelsons, Ivan Fischer, Daniele Gatti and Kent Nagano.

As a soloist he plays with orchestras such as the Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz, the Hofer Symphoniker ,Sinfonia Varsovia and Heritage Sinfonietta.

Ralph van Daal has given several master classes in Germany, Spain, Colombia, Sweden, Portugal, Poland, China and the Netherlands. As professor of oboe, van Daal was for several years associated with the Rotterdam and Maastricht Conservatories of Music. He is currently professor of oboe at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf.

Ariadne Daskalakis

Ariadne Daskalakis is an exceptional violinist with a passionate interest in the historical development of musical language.

Born in Boston (USA) to Greek immigrants, she studied violin at the Juilliard School with Szymon Goldberg and in Berlin with Ilan Gronich and Thomas Brandis. She supplemented her training with studies at Harvard University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993, and passed her concert exam at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin, both with distinction. The violinist has won prizes at several competitions, including the ARD Munich International Music Competition in 1998 and the St. Louis Symphony Young Artists String Competition in 2000. The 1st prize at the Berlin Gyarfas Competition in 1992 enabled her to borrow a violin by Antonio Stradivarius until the end of her studies. She has also been awarded prizes by the Harvard Music Association, the New England Conservatory and the Dortmund Mozart Society. In 2000 she was appointed professor of violin at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne.

Consistently praised for her passionate mediation, flawless technique and clear, full sound. Ariadne Daskalakis has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Ensemble Oriol Berlin, the Athens National State Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Radio Orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Kammerakademie Potsdam and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. Some performances are without a conductor, others have been led by such esteemed colleagues as Dimitris Agrafiotis, Sergio Azzolini, Dennis Russell Davis, Michael Sanderling, Jörg-Peter Weigle and Sebastian Gottschick, her husband. She has performed in halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie Chamber Music Hall, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Herkulessaal and Prinzregententheater in Munich, the Dortmund Konzerthaus, Prague's Rudolfinum, the Paris Théâtre du Champs-Elysées and Jordan Hall Boston. She has made guest appearances at the Bachtage Ansbach, the Berliner Festwochen and at the "Debut im DeutschlandRadio". Ariadne Daskalakis' repertoire spans epochs from the early Baroque to the modern, with a focus on J. S. Bach, Viennese Classicism and the Second Viennese School. Her stylistic versatility was reflected in her collaboration with the Manon Quartett Berlin and in recitals with piano or harpsichord. She has worked with composers such as Caspar Johannes Walther, Christoph Coburger, Johannes Harneit, Georg Kröll, Augusta Read Thomas and John Zorn. A close collaboration and numerous own rehearsals connected her with the Ensemble Oriol Berlin. As a baroque violinist she played with the Ensemble Selva della Musica and was co-founder of the Ensemble Vintage Cologne in 2008.

With pianist Roglit Ishay, she recorded the complete sonatas for violin and piano by Joseph Joachim Raff and Gabriel Fauré (on Tudor and Carpe Diem). For Naxos she recorded works by Lutoslawski, Szymanowski and Janacek for violin and piano, together with Miri Yampolsky, her partner in the ARD competition. Her recording of Tartini violin concertos with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra under Helmut Müller-Brühl was awarded "CD of the Month" by Naxos as well as "Concerto Selection" by "The Strad" magazine.

Saskia Fikentscher

comes from Munich, where she teaches baroque oboe, chamber music and performance practice as an honorary professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater.

After studying recorder at the Musikhochschule Freiburg and with Pedro Memelsdorff, Bologna, and baroque oboe lessons with Katharina Arfken, Basel, she continued her studies at the Rotterdams Conservatorium with Han Tol (recorder) and at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag with Ku Ebbinge (historical oboes). Chamber music courses and historical performance practice studies with Reinhard Goebel and Prof. Robert Hill rounded off her specialisation. 

For the past 25 years, her busy concert schedule, CD, radio and TV/Youtube recordings have taken the freelance baroque oboist and recorder player around the world as a soloist with various ensembles and baroque orchestras (e.g. with Main-Barockorchester, Elbipolis, Stiftbarock Stuttgart, Nova Stravaganza, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Concerto Köln, Musica Antiqua Köln, Ensemble Exploration(Belgium), the ensembles of the Berlin Philharmonic: Berliner Barocksolisten and Concerto Melante, Czech Ensemble Baroque and Ensemble Inégal Prague, Norsk Barokkorkester, as well as many years with the Freiburger Barockorchester) With Léon Berben, harpsichord, and Kristin von der Goltz, baroque cello, she has had regular chamber music activities for 2 decades. 

In 2005, the musician won the ECHO KLASSIK in the Early Music category with the ensemble "Nova Stravaganza". In the musicology competition "Premio Internazionale 'Latina' di studi musicali 1991/92" she won first prize with a paper on ornamentation in the time of Arcangelo Corelli. This was followed by publications at "Libreria Musicale Italiana" (Lucca, Italy,1997) and in "The Recorder Education Journal" (Bloomington, USA, 2000).

From 2000 - 2007 Saskia Fikentscher held a teaching position for baroque oboe, chamber music and performance practice at the Folkwang - Musikhochschule Essen. Since March 2009 she has been teaching this combination of subjects at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. In 2019, she was appointed honorary professor here.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Kristin von der Goltz

Cellist Kristin von der Goltz studied with Christoph Henkel in Freiburg and William Pleeth in London, where she was a member of the New Philharmonia London under the then principal conductor Guiseppe Sinopoli.

Since that time she has also been intensively involved with the baroque cello and historical performance practice.

From 1991 to 2004 she was a member of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, with whom she released numerous CDs and toured worldwide. In 2006 she became a member of the Berlin Baroque Soloists, an ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2009 to 2011 she was principal cellist of the Munich Chamber Orchestra. Kristin von der Goltz is a regular guest as artistic director with the Norwegian orchestra "Barokkanerne Norwegian Barocke".

From 2002 to 2009 she was a lecturer for baroque cello at the Munich University of Music and Theatre. From 2004 to 2009 she taught an early music class for gifted children and young people on the modern cello at the Hochschule für kath. Kirchenmusik Regensburg. The equal treatment of the modern and the baroque cello has always been of great concern to her, both on the concert stage and in her teaching. Kristin von der Goltz is currently professor of baroque cello at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and at the Munich University of Music and Theatre.

The cellist has released four well-reviewed solo CDs on the Raumklang label with sonatas by Jakob Klein, caprices by D'all Abaco , sonatas by Antoine Dard and sonatas by Andrea Caporale and Johann Ernst Galliard.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Ulrike-Anima Mathé

Ulrike-Anima Mathé, a native of Germany, has become a household name on international concert stages through decades of worldwide concert activity as a highly esteemed soloist and enthusiastic chamber musician.

Reviews praise her interpretations for their intense expressiveness, intimate magic and musical poetry, for effortless technical mastery and clever shaping. Her repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the present.

As a soloist she has worked with renowned orchestras worldwide, such as the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Belgian National Orchestra, and many European radio orchestras. She has performed at the Berlin and Lucerne Festwochen, the festivals in Schwetzingen, Ludwigsburg, Lockenhaus and is a regular guest at major international chamber music festivals.

In addition to numerous live radio recordings, her artistic personality is documented in highly esteemed CD recordings of Max Reger, Hartmann, Korngold and many others.

In the 1980s she was awarded several first prizes at renowned competitions, such as the "European Violin Competition" in Vienna, the "German Music Competition" in Bonn and the "Young Concert Artists Auditions" in New York. She also won the coveted audience prize at the "Concours Reine Elisabeth" in Brussels.

Ulrike-Anima Mathé studied violin with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York and with Tibor Varga in Detmold and also owes special musical inspiration and encouragement to Sándor Végh and Rudolf Serkin. Invitations to the Marlboro School of Music (USA) and the International Musicians Seminar in Cornwall, as well as the study of historical performance practice in Basel are further important stages in her artistic development.

Since 1999 she has been teaching with great enthusiasm as a violin professor at the HfM Detmold. She also directed the instrumental ensemble of the Baroque Academy there for many years.

Martti Rousi

Martti Rousi is one of the leading cellists of his generation. He has been equally succesful both as an international soloist and an educator.  In 1986 Rousi won the silver medal at the VIII Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow. Since that he has been  performing with leading Scandinavian and European  orchestras like Helsinki, Stockholm and Oslo Radio symphonies,Copenhagen philharmonic,CBSO in Birmingham, Mariinsky orchestra,Moscow symphony, Polish and Hungarian national orchetras, Statsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfaltz, Shanghai and Johannesburg philharmonic working with conductors like Esa-Pekka Salonen, Valeri Gergiev, Okko Kamu, Osmo Vänskä, Sakari Oramo, Olli Mustonen, Ari Rasilainen, Leif Segerstam,  Emmanuel Krivine, Bernhart Klee, Joseph Swensen and Muhai Tang. Rousi has an extensive repertoire with smaller orchestras from baroque to modern appearing with Moscow, Munich , Ostrobotnia,, Tallinn  and Toulouse chamber orchestras.

During 1990s Rousi played in piano trio with violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Peter Nagy, performing also Beethoven triple and Brahms double concertos. In recitals he appears with pianists like Olli Mustonen, Kathryn Stott, Henri Sigfridsson, Laura Mikkola, Massimo Somenzi and Juhani Lagerspetz. He is also invited to many leading chamber music festivals all over the world. Between 1993 and 2009 Rousi was the artistic director of Turku music festival, during his years many legendary artists like Svjatoslav Richter, Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Azkenazy, Valeri Gergiev and Lang Lang appeared there.In 2010 he became the artistic director of SIBAFEST in Helsinki, 2010-2011 he was artistic director of Sibelius –series at Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna. 2012 he was named artistic director of Suvisoitto in Sysmä.  2019 he became the director of a new Cellofest in Helsinki which gathers exiting young soloists to leading concert halls in Finland.He has been serving as a jury member for major international competitions like the XIV Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow 2011and 2015,Vittorio Gui in Florence, Lyon International duo competition, Eleanore Schoenfeld competition,, Classic Strings in Vienna, Mravinsky competition, Solistpriset in Stockholm and Paulo cello competition in Helsinki.

His most important teachers have been Arto Noras, Janos Starker, Natalia Gutman, Valter Deshpalj and William Pleeth.

Since 1995 Rousi has been a professor of cello at the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. His cello class there is attracting talents from all around the world. In 2016 he was invited to be a guest professor at the Shanghai conservatory of music.In 2010 Rousi formed a cello ensemble Sibelius academy cello virtuosi with his best students and since they have been performing in prominent concert halls like Mariinsky concert hall, Tampere talo and Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna. Summer 2017 they were invited to prestigious Stars of the White Nights festival. Rousi is invited to do masterclasses in leading academies on all continents, he regularily teaches at the House of Music in St Petersburg. His recordings include several solo and chamber recordings for ONDINE  and FINLANDIA labels. He plays on cellos by Carlo Giuseppe Testore from 1690 and J-B Lefevre from 1760, his favourite bow is a FX Tourte from 1810.

Thomas Seyboldt

Thomas Seyboldt, lied pianist, solo répétiteur, musicologist, author and editor, has taught at conservatoires since 1990, first in Karlsruhe and from 2010 at the Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts.

He leads a lied class at the Musikhochschule Lübeck and gives interpretation courses in Europe and Asia. Since 2004 he has been a visiting professor for Lied interpretation at the University of Music in Xi'an / China. "Franz Schubert: Lieder (live)", the latest CD release by the lied duo Hans Christoph Begemann (baritone) and Thomas Seyboldt, was named CD of the month by "Opernwelt" in January 2018 and is on the longlist 1/2018 from the "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik". "A revelation", says Opernwelt editor-in-chief Albrecht Thiemann. The "magnificent Schubert recitals" are "five hours of lieder art that meets the highest standards, even eclipsing some of what is currently considered the ultimate in Schubert interpretation wisdom." The recordings were produced live by SWR and released on the award-winning Berlin independent label "bastille musique". They include the complete Hölty Lieder and Schiller Ballads, selected Goethe settings, a reissue of the much sought-after but now out-of-print "Winterreise" and the introductory lectures given by Walther Dürr.

As a Lied pianist, Seyboldt performed Schubert's entire Lied oeuvre from 1993-2001. His broad repertoire also includes all the major lied composers. As artistic director of the "schubertiade.de - Forum für Liedkunst", he attaches great importance to a programme design that makes connections audible and that is often literary in orientation. Extensive seasonal programmes such as "Robert Schumann - The Song Year 1840" or thematic festivals such as the "Heinrich Heine Days" are as much a part of this concept as integral performances of the songs of Johannes Brahms and - as a world premiere - of Schubert's vocal ensembles. In the LIEDERWENDE project of the "schubertiade.de", he gives space to the current Lied work of living composers and has so far had Wolfgang Rihm, Wilhelm Killmayer and Moritz Eggert as guests. He opens up new horizons with the major theme "Lieder ohne Grenzen" (Songs without Borders), which opens up diverse connections to different cultural areas - in the 2013/14 season: Italy with a focus on Michelangelo, Petrarch and Goethe.

Thomas Seyboldt was a partner of Christiane Hampe, Ulrike Sonntag, Heidrun Kordes, Birgid Steinberger, Sarah Wegener, Thomas Quasthoff, Scot Weir, Lothar Odinius, Tilman Lichdi, Richard Salter, Hanno Müller-Brachmann as well as violinist Ulf Hoelscher and Isabel Charisius, violist in the Alban Berg Quartet. He and the baritone Hans Christoph Begemann have worked together intensively as a Lied duo for more than 25 years.

In spring 2016, the duo's top-class SWR studio recording "Wolfgang Rihm: Goethe-Lieder" was released by "bastille musique". The CD contains first recordings of Rihm's ge

Ulrike Sonntag

Ulrike Sonntag first studied school music and German language and literature in Stuttgart, then singing in Romania and at the UdK Berlin with Prof. Hartmann-Dressler.

She took intensive courses with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Aribert Reimann and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. She was a prize-winner at several competitions. While still a student, she made her debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Oriane in Amadis by Joh. Chr. Bach and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Permanent opera engagements took her via Heidelberg and Mannheim to the Staatstheater Stuttgart in 1988.

From 1991 to 1994 she was a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera, where she appeared as Susanna, Zdenka, Musetta, Marzelline, Sophie, Micaela, Pamina and Donna Elvira. Guest contracts connected her with the opera houses in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Magdeburg, Monte Carlo, Cairo, Trieste, Cagliari and Tel Aviv. Under Wolfgang Gönnenwein she sang Ännchen at the Ludwigsburg Festival in Loriot's production and Pamina in Manthey's production. At the Opera Festival in St. Margarethen she sang Micaela. In addition, Ulrike Sonntag pursued an international concert career, as evidenced by numerous radio, television and recordings, as well as CD and DVD recordings.

Her repertoire includes works from the baroque to contemporary music. The soprano has been a guest at festivals in Salzburg, Vienna, Frankfurt, Berlin, Montreux, Schwetzingen and has performed with many important orchestras and conductors throughout Europe, Russia, the USA, China, South America and Japan. Lied singing also plays an important role, Ulrike Sonntag has given lieder recitals at venues such as the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Philharmonie Köln, the NDR Hannover, the Ludwigsburg Festival, the Rheingau Festival, with Hermann Prey in Bad Urach, the Heidelberger Schlosskonzerte, the Weilburg Castle Concerts, at the Lake Constance Festival at Achberg Castle, at the Munich Biennale, at the Traunstein Music Festival, at Babenhausen Castle, at the Schubertiade at Ettlingen Castle, at the Ulm Summer Music Festival, in Weimar, Lisbon, Lausanne, Paris, Barcelona, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Montevideo, Asuncion, Paris and Paris. Petersburg, Montevideo, Asuncion and Cordoba.

In 2008, a tour took her to Vladivostok for two recitals and a master class on the theme of "The Magic Flute". She sang Hindemith's Marienleben at the Hindemith Days in Berlin, Frankfurt, Mannheim Salzburg, Bern, Milan, at the Bodensee Festival and in Madrid. Lied CDs have been released with the Mignon Lieder by Schubert, Schumann and Wolf, as well as with songs and chamber music by Darius Milhaud.

The CD "Herbsttag" contains settings of Rilke poems. Ulrike Sonntag has also distinguished herself internationally as a teacher. Since April 2005 she has held a professorship for singing at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart. Numerous students have received prizes and engagements (Koblenz, Regensburg, Innsbruck, Mannheim, Nuremberg, Antwerp, Vienna).

Pauliina Tukiainen

The Finnish pianist Pauliina Tukiainen has made a name for herself as a versatile interpreter as well as a sought-after professor for song interpretation. She studied piano in her home country and in Frankfurt am Main.

During her song studies with Hartmut Höll and Anne Le Bozec in Zurich and Karlsruhe, she was awarded numerous prizes and scholarships. She received further artistic impulses from Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Ralf Gothóni, Thomas Hampson, Christoph Prégardien and Wolfgang Rihm.

Pauliina Tukiainen has performed in Europe at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Tonhalle Zurich, the Oslo Konserthus, the Hugo Wolf Academy, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Lake Constance Festival, the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, the Enescu Festival in Bucharest and in South Africa, India and Vietnam. Pauliina Tukiainen has a long-standing artistic and programmatic collaboration with the Bonn Schumannfest, where she has also created a podium for younger Lied duos.

Concert recordings have been made for numerous German and foreign radio stations. After her debut CD "Mirrors" with works by Sibelius and Saariaho, which was also highly praised in the press, further recordings were released on the Coviello Classics label with songs by Berg, Debussy, Schumann, Strauss and Wagner as well as a premiere recording of Wolfgang Rihm's "Ophelia sings". Their CD "Serious Songs" with baritone Arttu Kataja on Alba Records was nominated "Album of the year" by Finnish Radio 2020. The duo's latest recording is Schubert's Winterreise, released by Alba Classics in January 2022.

In addition to her concert activities, she has taught Lied interpretation at the conservatories in Frankfurt am Main and Freiburg and is in demand as a lecturer at master classes, workshops and as a juror at competitions. Since October 2017, Pauliina Tukiainen has been Professor of Lied at the University Mozarteum Salzburg.

Dorothea Wirtz

The coloratura soprano Dorothea Wirtz completed her studies, with Elisabeth Grümmer at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Berlin and with Hanno Blaschke at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich.

Acting classes at the Max Reinhard Institute in Berlin and training as a breathing teacher completed her education.

Permanent engagements followed from 1978 at the Bavarian State Opera, the Kassel State Theatre and the Zurich Opera House, where she appeared in roles such as Blonde, Olympia, Rosina, Despina, Queen of the Night, Adele, Marzelline, Gilda and Adina. In addition, she cultivated a rich concert, oratorio and lied repertoire.

Guest engagements took her to Berlin (Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Deutsche Oper), Vienna (Staatsoper and Volksoper), Stuttgart, Cologne, Madrid, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence (Maggio Musicale) Catania, Palermo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, among others.

In 1979 she won the Mozart Festival Competition in Würzburg.

She has performed at various festivals: Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Rheingau Festival, Salzburger Jännerwochen...

During her career Dorothea Wirtz sang under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Carlos Kleiber, Ferdinand Leitner, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph Eschenbach, Karl Richter, Heinrich Hollreiser, Nicolaus Harnoncourt and with colleagues such as Hermann Prey, Edita Gruberova, Hildegard Behrens, Martti Talvela. Matti Salminen, Kurt Moll etc.

Radio and television recordings as well as recordings and CDs were made during these years.

From 1995-2000 Dorothea Wirtz was professor of singing at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. In 2000 she was appointed to the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg. International master classes complement her teaching activities.

Dorothea Wirtz's students have won prizes in many competitions, have been engaged by national and international opera houses or have successfully pursued teaching activities.