teachers 2024

For the 2024 season, we have once again been able to enlist renowned instructors who will teach in 17 courses covering plucked, wind, string, and keyboard instruments, as well as vocals and songwriting. Soon, all instructors for 2024 will be displayed here.

Markus Bellheim

Markus Bellheim performs as a pianist on international stages and festivals. His recordings have been honored with various awards, including the German Record Critics' Award.

His career was shaped by winning the international Messiaen Competition in Paris in 2000 and by his artistic collaboration with Yvonne Loriod. Markus Bellheim's concert repertoire includes, among others, the complete piano works of Olivier Messiaen and Johann Sebastian Bach, the latter being another focal point in Bellheim's work. He regularly conducts masterclasses both domestically and internationally. Since the winter semester of 2011, he has been a professor of piano at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. Additionally, he works as a freelance contributor and author for the G. Henle Verlag in Munich.

For more information, visit: http://www.markus-bellheim.com/


Georgios Demertzis

Born in Chalkida, he studied violin with Stelios Kafantaris and Max Rostal and has worked as soloist with renowned orchestras and conductors, and he has also participated in chamber ensembles and festivals all over the world.

He founded the New Hellenic Quartet, who, in their 20 years of activity, became synonymous with the recording and propagation of Greek compositions. A large part of his work as a soloist and as a chamber musician is recorded and circulated globally, putting forward the works of Skalkottas, Theodorakis, Sicilianos, Respighi, and Nielsen, among others. Leading Greek composers like Dragatakis, Sicilianos or Antoniou dedicated to him some of their last works. He has, and continues to be, deeply involved in the pedagogical aspect of the violin, as much in Greece as abroad, giving regular lessons and seminars everywhere from Brazil to China. He was formerly a professor at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, USA. Today, he teaches in Athens and at the Heraklion Conservatory, where he is is the artistic director.


Michael Faust

Michael Faust began his training in his hometown of Cologne under Cäcilie Lamerichs and later continued in Hamburg with Karlheinz Zöller and in Basel with Auréle Nicolet.

In addition to national and international awards, he became the first German musician to receive the prestigious 'Pro Musicis Award 1986' in New York.

The English magazine "Gramophone" describes Michael Faust as "a splendid flautist and artist," "Fono Forum" calls him a "distinguished soloist," and the French "La Traversiere" refers to him as an "interprète à découvrir." In 2012, the works for flute by Mauricio Kagel were released (Naxos): "Michael Faust is a brilliant player who is fazed by none of the music’s demands." In 2014, a CD featuring works for flute by Peteris Vasks was released (Naxos).

Solo concerts have taken him to almost all countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Japan, and China. Conductor Lorin Maazel was impressed by Michael Faust's "large, blooming tone and pronounced musicality," while conductor and composer Gunther Schuller wrote: "Rarely do you encounter such pure tone brilliance, richness of color, and technical superiority. It is a joy to hear him play!"

Numerous composers have written works for Michael Faust, including Mauricio Kagel, York Höller, Robert HP Platz, and Peteris Vasks. As a soloist, Faust has performed in many countries in Europe, America, and Asia. His career as an orchestral musician led him, at the age of 20, to the position of principal flutist with the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome, later to the same position with the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic under Sergiu Celibidache. Since 1988, he has held the position of principal flutist with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne.

Michael Faust's dedication to education is documented through numerous masterclasses. He has been teaching at the Robert Schumann University of Music in Düsseldorf since 1988 and has held a professorship there since 2012.

In 2011, he initiated the "Gargonza Arts" project, providing several artists from various disciplines with the opportunity to collaborate and find new inspiration through scholarships at the Castello di Gargonza in Tuscany, Italy, and the Podere Le Capanne/Sinalunga.

Photo: Peter Adamik

Michael Foyle

Michael Foyle is particularly praised for his playing with "captivating conviction" (The Daily Telegraph) and performances "full of sparkling details, tonal beauty, and concise rhythmic clarity" (The Strad).

He launched his career by winning the Netherlands Violin Competition in 2016.

He regularly performs at venues such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Great Hall in Moscow, including concert appearances with the Royal Philharmonic, English Chamber, or Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

His recordings of the complete works for violin and piano by Beethoven, Lutoslawski, and Penderecki with pianist Maksim Stsura have been highly praised by the press, earning 5 stars in the BBC Music Magazine.

In addition to his diverse concert activities, Michael Foyle was appointed as a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2016, becoming the youngest violinist in the institution's 200-year history. Since October 2021, he has been a Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne.

Ulrich Hermann

Ulrich Hermann is a Professor of Bassoon at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne.

He began his studies at the Music University in his hometown of Stuttgart in 1990, completing them with distinction in 1994. In 1995, he became a member of the Stuttgart State Orchestra, where he served as the principal bassoonist until the end of the 2021/22 season.

As a prize-winning competition participant, soloist, and member of several chamber music ensembles, including the Camas Quintet, Trio Gabriel, Stuttgart Woodwind Soloists, Ensemble Faboé, and the Württemberg Wind Quintet, he has performed throughout Europe, the USA, and Japan.

Ulrich Hermann is also highly regarded as an educator. Since 1991, he has built a bassoon class that consistently produces prize winners in national and international competitions. He regularly conducts masterclasses for bassoon and chamber music and serves as a juror in competitions in Europe and Japan.

From 2001 to 2009, he taught bassoon at the University of Music in Würzburg, and several of his students have since become members of leading orchestras.

Since 2009, he has held a professorship for chamber music with wind instruments at the University of Music in Stuttgart. In 2017, he received a professorship for bassoon at the University of Music in Mainz, in 2021 a professorship for bassoon at the University of Music in Trossingen, and in 2022 a professorship for bassoon at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne.

Thomas Heyer

Tenor Thomas Heyer hails from Waldniel am Niederrhein. Initially, he studied music education and German literature in Cologne before pursuing studies in singing and vocal pedagogy.

His singing career has taken him across Europe, North America, and Africa. Thomas Heyer has participated in various radio and television productions (WDR, BR, 3-Sat, HR, Arte, BfBS, etc.), resulting in several CDs. In the concert realm, his repertoire includes major oratorio roles within his vocal range, performed in nearly all major European concert halls. From Bach's Evangelists to the entire classical and romantic sacred repertoire, including Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde," his Eighth Symphony, and Verdi's Requiem. On the opera stage, he has portrayed Mozart tenor roles and performed in Belcanto operas. Currently, he sings tenor roles in the dramatic repertoire. Lieder recitals are another focal point of his artistic endeavors.

Thomas Heyer has been passionately teaching for over 25 years. In addition to his professorship in singing at the University of Music and Performing Arts Frankfurt am Main, he serves as a guest lecturer at various European universities and leads masterclasses in Germany, Italy, Slovenia, France, Poland, New Zealand, America, and Canada. His students are engaged in various international opera houses (Hamburg State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, La Scala in Milan, among others), winners of international competitions, and educators and professors at universities and conservatories.

Skerdjano Keraj

At the age of 6, Skerdjano Keraj began his violin studies at the "Liceu Artistik Jordan Misja," a music school for gifted children in Tirana.

After successfully completing his artistic exams with distinction in violin and chamber music under the guidance of Prof. Andreas Reiner at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, he further earned his concert diploma with honors studying with Prof. Werner Scholz in Berlin and Rostock.

In 2001, Keraj was awarded the Folkwang Prize for Music, and he is also a laureate of the International Chamber Music Competition in Thessaloniki. From 2003 to 2015, he served as the concertmaster of the Aachen Symphony Orchestra and the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern. As a guest concertmaster, he collaborated with renowned orchestras, including the Stuttgart Philharmonic, WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne, Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Opera Vlaanderen Gent/Antwerp, Radio Symphony Orchestra Tirana, and the SWR Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart. Additionally, he undertook engagements as a soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster across Europe.

Keraj is a regular jury member at the International Violin Competition "Queen Sophie Charlotte" in Mirow (deputy chairman), the "International Szymon Goldberg Competition for Violin and Viola" in Meißen, and the "International Competition for Violin Kloster Schöntal." As a guest professor, he conducts masterclasses in Italy, France, Poland, and Germany.

Since 2008, Skerdjano Keraj has been teaching violin, chamber music, and orchestral literature at the Aachen branch of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. Since 2015, he holds a full professorship for violin and serves as the Vice Dean and Deputy Director at the Aachen location.

His students have achieved success in international competitions and secured positions as concertmasters, principal players, section leaders, tutti players, and academy members in prestigious orchestras such as the Komische Oper Berlin, the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg, WDR Radio Orchestra, Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, German State Philharmonic Orchestra of Rhineland-Palatinate, and the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne.


Jacob Leuschner

Jacob Leuschner, born in 1974 in Freiburg, studied in Freiburg and Lübeck. His key mentors were Helmut Barth, Michel Béroff, Konrad Elser, and Leonard Hokanson.

Since 1989, he has been performing as a soloist and sought-after chamber music partner in many European countries, Japan, South Korea, China, and the USA. He has been a guest at numerous international festivals and participated multiple times in the promotional project "Bundesauswahl Konzerte Junger Künstler" by the German Music Council.

Awards at significant piano competitions attest to his artistic standing, including Viotti (Vercelli), Beethoven (Vienna), Schubert (Dortmund), Mozart (Salzburg), Leeds, Rina Sala Gallo (Monza), German Music Competition, German University Competition - to name just a few.

He is also the recipient of the Possehl Music Prize, the Kai-Uwe-von-Hassel Prize, and the Wiesbaden Mozart Prize. Jacob Leuschner taught at the University of Music Lübeck and was a guest professor at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT in Weimar. From 2008 to 2014, he held a professorship at the University of Music in Cologne before accepting a position at the University of Music Detmold. He regularly conducts masterclasses in many European countries, Japan, China, and Korea.

His repertoire spans from the Virginalists to the present day, with a focus on the masters of the Viennese Classical period. He has performed complete cycles of piano sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert in concert series.

In addition to serving as a juror in international piano competitions and as an editor, he has extensively explored historical keyboard instruments. He is the founder and artistic director of the Brahms Piano Competition Detmold.

His discography includes numerous chamber music works, such as the complete works for cello and piano by Reger (Oehms Classics), as well as late Beethoven sonatas and Liszt transcriptions. In 2017, along with two solo CDs, a complete recording of the sonatas for piano and violin by Mozart with the violinist Keiko Urushihara was released (Nippon Acoustic Records), receiving enthusiastic acclaim from the Japanese specialized press.

Today, Jacob Leuschner is one of the most distinguished and versatile German pianists of his generation.

Brigitte Lindner

Brigitte Lindner, born in Munich, began her career as a soloist with the world-renowned record label EMI-Electrola while studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.

To this day, her early successful productions, such as the opera "Hänsel und Gretel" conducted by Heinz Wallberg and "Die Zauberflöte" under the direction of Bernhard Haitink, continue to find success. Her vocal development was guided by Hanna Scholl-Völker, Helen Donath, and Nicolai Gedda.

Her first fixed engagement led her to the State Theatre in Braunschweig, where she tackled roles like "Gretel" (Hänsel und Gretel), "Maria" (West Side Story), "Valencienne" (Die lustige Witwe), among others. Under the direction of Giuseppe Sinopoli, she sang the role of the "Hirtenknaben" in Richard Wagner's "Tannhäuser" at the Bayreuth Festival under the direction of Wagner's grandson, Wolfgang Wagner. She also participated multiple times in the Ludwigsburg Festival under Wolfgang Gönnenwein.

Her career as an opera singer took her to many stages in Germany and abroad, resulting in numerous CD productions with EMI-Electrola, Dabringhaus und Grimm, and CPO labels. She collaborated with artists such as René Kollo and Francisco Araiza in gala evenings held at venues like the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Kölner Philharmonie, and the Bad Ems Festival. Countless radio recordings for WDR, BR, NDR, and Deutschlandradio/DLF followed, and she gained visibility on ARD and ZDF television stations. Additionally, Brigitte Lindner hosted the program "Klassik, Pop etc." on DLF for several years.

She performed in concerts with notable conductors, including Karlheinz Bloemeke, Willi Boskovsky, Klaus Donath, Peter Falk, Wolfgang Gönnenwein, Bernhard Haitink, Michail Jurowsky, Toshiyki Kamioka, Bernhard Klee, Willi Mattes, Enrique Ricci, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Stefan Soltesz, and Heinz Wallberg, to name a few.

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Lindner has been dedicated to educational work. From 2002 to 2009, she taught singing classes at the Hochschule für Musik Köln locations in Aachen and Wuppertal. In 2009, she was appointed Professor of Singing and Singing Pedagogy at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln and has been the Dean of the Department of Singing, encompassing Music Theatre, Lied/Concert, and Singing Pedagogy, since the summer semester of 2019.

Brigitte Lindner shares her experience and knowledge in masterclasses and serves as a jury member in international competitions, including Jugend musiziert. She expanded her expertise by exploring EDU-Kinesthetics and Music-Kinesiology, offering courses and lectures that integrate kinesiology, singing, and music.

Since September 2014, Brigitte Lindner has been the President of the "BDG-Stiftung Gesang" (BDG Foundation for Singing) of the Bundesverband deutscher Gesangspädagogen (BDG), the Federal Association of German Singing Pedagogues.

Christoph Prégardien

"His lyric tenor voice had a youthful glow, yet he sang with plaintive beauty and piercing insight." The New York Times

Precise vocal control, clear diction, intelligent musicality, and an ability to get to the heart of everything he sings all ensure Christoph Prégardien’s place among the world’s foremost lyric tenors. Especially revered as a Lieder singer, he kicks off the 2022/2023 season together with his collaborator on the piano Michael Gees in a BBC Lunchtime Concert at London's Wigmore Hall before the two give joint recitals on a tour through Japan with all three Schubert cycles. In other recitals, Christoph Prégardien can be heard with Roger Vignoles at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, ​​with Julius Drake at the Vienna Konzerthaus, at the Théâtre de l'Athénée Paris, and at the Schwetzingen Festival, as well as with Stefan Litwin on tour in the USA. Together with his son Julian Prégardien he presents Father & Son concerts at Oxford Lieder, at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and with the Orchester de Chambre de Paris and Lars Vogt at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris. He also interprets Mahler songs with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra under Jonathan Darlington and Schubert arrangements by Brahms, Reger, Berlioz, and Webern with the MDR Symphony Orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies. In the summer 2023, Christoph Prégardien will once again be in the spotlight at Wigmore Hall, presenting two recitals with Stefan Litwin and Julius Drake, as well as a special Handel program devised with baroque violinist Leila Schayegh and her ensemble La Centifolia, which will be repeated at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.

Christoph Prégardien regularly appears with renowned orchestras the world over. He has worked with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, as well as the Boston and San Francisco Symphonies, alongside conductors such as Barenboim, Metzmacher, and Thielemann. His wide orchestral repertoire includes the great baroque, classical, and Romantic oratorios and passions, as well as works from the 17th and 20th centuries. In opera, his roles have included, among others, Tamino, Almaviva, Fenton (Falstaff), Don Ottavio, Titus, Ulisse, and Idomeneo.

His extensive experience singing the Evangelist roles, together with his close working relationship with conductors such as Nagano, Chailly, Herreweghe, Harnoncourt, Luisi, and Gardiner, have provided the perfect base for his increasing dedication to conducting the works of Bach. Following the success of his conducting debut in 2012 leading Le Concert Lorrain and the Nederlands Kammerkoor, he now regularly conducts renowned ensembles like the Balthasar Neumann Choir, Dresdner Kammerchor, Collegium Vocale Gent, and RIAS Kammerchor.

The singer has recorded much of his repertoire on a discography of over 150 albums, which have received awards such as the Orphée d’Or of the Académie du Disque Lyrique, the Edison Award, the Cannes Classical Award, and the Diapason d’Or. For the label Challenge Classics, he has recorded Schubert’s Schwanengesang with Andreas Staier and Die schöne Müllerin with Michael Gees, which was selected as Editor’s Choice by Gramophone magazine and awarded the MIDEM Record of the Year. Shortly thereafter followed recordings of Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with Julia Kleiter, Between Life and Death, Wanderer, and the Grammy-nominated Winterreise disc – all with Michael Gees – as well as Father and Son with his son Julian Prégardien. His Schubert CD Poetisches Tagebuch with Julius Drake was awarded the German Critics’ Award 2016. His most recent releases include a recording of cantatas by Telemann and Bach with the Vox Orchester for Sony (where he appears as a baritone for the first time), along with Schumann's Dichterliebe and Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder with Michael Gees for Challenge. In collaboration with the Warsaw Chopin Institute, Christoph Prégardien released a recording of Paderewski, Moniuszko, and Duparc songs together with pianist Christoph Schnackertz, as well as a new recording of Schubert’s Schwanengesang and Schumann’s Liederkreis Op. 39 (with Julius Drake).

Teaching remains an important part of Christoph Prégardien’s musical life. Following many years at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zurich, he gives masterclasses for young singers worldwide and since 2004 has been a professor at the Academy of Music in Cologne.

Martti Rousi

Martti Rousi was born in 1960 into a family of musicians. He is internationally recognized both as a soloist and as a teacher.

After playing the piano for 2 years, he began his cello studies, inspired by the strong Finnish cello school. He studied at the Turku Conservatory with Timo Hanhinen and Seppo Kimanen. In 1979, he enrolled at the Sibelius Academy to continue his studies with Arto Noras. In 1982, he won the 1st prize at the Turku Cello Competition, leading to invitations as a soloist from all major Finnish symphony orchestras. In 1985, he received a Fulbright scholarship to study with Janos Starker at Indiana University, winning the annual cello competition there. Between 1977 and 1983, he regularly attended masterclasses with William Pleeth and Valter Dešpalj and received private lessons from Natalia Gutman.

In 1986, Rousi won the Silver Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Since then, he has performed with leading orchestras such as the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Helsinki, Stockholm, and Oslo, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the CBSO in Birmingham, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the State Philharmonic Rheinland-Pfalz, and the philharmonic orchestras of Shanghai and Johannesburg. He has collaborated with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Valery Gergiev, Okko Kamu, Osmo Vänskä, Sakari Oramo, Olli Mustonen, Ari Rasilainen, Leif Segerstam, Emmanuel Krivine, Bernhard Klee, Joseph Swensen, and Muhai Tang.

In the 1990s, Rousi played in a piano trio with violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Peter Nagy. In recitals, he has performed with pianists such as Olli Mustonen, Kathryn Stott, Henri Sigfridsson, Laura Mikkola, Massimo Somenzi, and Juhani Lagerspetz.

He is frequently invited to numerous leading chamber music festivals worldwide. Between 1993 and 2009, Rousi served as the artistic director of the Turku Music Festival, hosting legendary artists such as Sviatoslav Richter, Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Valery Gergiev, and Lang Lang. In 2010, he was appointed as the artistic director of Sibafest in Helsinki, and in 2010-2011, he was the artistic director of a Sibelius series at Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna. In 2012, he became the artistic director of the Suvisoitto Festival in Sysmä. He has been a jury member at major competitions such as the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (2011, 2015), the Vittorio Gui Competition in Florence, the Solistpriset in Stockholm, and the Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki.

Since 1995, Rousi has been a professor of cello at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, attracting talents from around the world to his cello class. In 2016, he was invited as a guest professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2010, he founded the Cello Ensemble Sibelius Academy Cello Virtuosi with his top students, performing in prestigious concert halls such as the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, Tampere Talo, and Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna. In 2017, the ensemble was invited to the "Stars of the White Nights" festival in St. Petersburg.

He has been invited to conduct masterclasses at leading music schools on all continents and regularly teaches at the St. Petersburg Music House. His discography includes several solo and chamber music recordings for the labels Ondine and Finlandia. He plays cellos by Carlo Giuseppe Testore from 1690 and Jean Le Febvre from 1760, with his favorite bow being a François Tourte from 1810.


Thomas Seyboldt

Thomas Seyboldt, song pianist, solo coach, musicologist, author, and editor, has been teaching at music conservatories since 1990, initially in Karlsruhe and from 2010 at the University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart.

He leads a song class at the University of Music Lübeck and conducts interpretation courses in Europe and Asia. Since 2004, he has been a guest professor for song interpretation at the University of Music in Xi'an, China. "Franz Schubert: Lieder (live)," the latest CD release of the song 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 for the "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik" (German Record Critics' Award). Opernwelt editor-in-chief Albrecht Thiemann finds it "a revelation," stating that the "magnificent Schubert recitals" represent "five hours of song art that meets the highest standards, even overshadowing some of what is currently considered the last word in Schubert interpretation." The recordings were produced live by SWR and released by the award-winning Berlin independent label "bastille musique." They include the complete Hölty songs and Schiller ballads, selected Goethe settings, a reissue of the coveted but previously sold-out "Winterreise," and introductory lectures by Walther Dürr.

As a song pianist, Seyboldt performed the entire song works of Schubert from 1993-2001. His extensive repertoire also includes all significant song composers. As the artistic director of "schubertiade.de • Forum for Song Art," he emphasizes program design that makes connections audible and is often literary-oriented. Extensive season programs such as "Robert Schumann – The Song Year 1840" or theme festivals like the "Heinrich Heine Days" are part of this concept, as are integral performances of the songs of Johannes Brahms and, as a world premiere, Schubert's vocal ensembles. In the project LIEDERWENDE of "schubertiade.de," he gives space to the current song compositions of living composers and has hosted Wolfgang Rihm, Wilhelm Killmayer, and Moritz Eggert so far. He explores new horizons with the broad theme "Songs Without Borders," opening diverse connections to different cultural spaces – in the 2013/14 season: Italy with a focus on Michelangelo, Petrarch, and Goethe.

Thomas Seyboldt partnered with Christiane Hampe, Ulrike Sonntag, Heidrun Kordes, Birgid Steinberger, Sarah Wegener, Thomas Quasthoff, Scot Weir, Lothar Odinius, Tilman Lichdi, Richard Salter, Hanno Müller-Brachmann, and the violinist Ulf Hoelscher and Isabel Charisius, violist in the Alban Berg Quartet. He has had a more than 25-year intensive collaboration with baritone Hans Christoph Begemann as a song duo.

In the spring of 2016, the high-quality SWR studio recording of the duo "Wolfgang Rihm: Goethe-Lieder" was released by "bastille musique." The CD includes first recordings of Rihm's complete Goethe and Schiller settings from 2004 to 2014 and was awarded the "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik" (German Record Critics' Award) (Bestenliste 3/2016). Concert tours have taken Seyboldt to several countries in Europe and South America. CD productions, including a "Winterreise," television recordings, and numerous radio recordings for various European broadcasters document his work. The premiere CD of the men's quartet "Schubert hoch vier," founded and led by him, was released in 2006 by Carus and received the international record award "Pizzicato Supersonic Award."

Henri Sigfridsson

Henri Sigfridsson, born in 1974, has established himself on many important concert podiums in Europe in recent years.

He has given impressive concerts at the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the philharmonic halls in Cologne, Budapest and St. Petersburg and the Herkulessaal in Munich. The crowning glory of his competition successes is the Beethoven Competition Bonn 2005, where he won first prize, the audience prize and the chamber music prize.

Henri Sigfridsson has successfully participated in many competitions. In 1994 he won the 1st prize at the international "Franz Liszt Competition" in Weimar and in 1995 the great Scandinavian competition "The Nordic Soloist Competition". In 2000 he won the second prize and the audience prize at the Geza-Anda Competition in Zurich. In 2001 he was awarded the Forderpreis for young artists by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Finn has been a guest at many international festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, Beethoven Festival Bonn, Styriarte, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Lucerne Festival, Kissinger Sommer, Augsburg Mozart Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad and Lockenhaus Festival. As a soloist he has appeared in orchestral concerts with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Weimar State Orchestra, the RSO Helsinki, the Camerata Salsburg and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lawrence Foster, Sakari Oramo, Alexander Lazarev, Georg Alexander Albrecht, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach and Dennis Russell Davies. Since 2000, he has been regularly invited to Japan.

Ulrike Sonntag

Ulrike Sonntag initially studied music education and German studies in Stuttgart, then singing in Romania and at the University of the Arts (UdK) Berlin with Professor Hartmann-Dressler.

She participated in intensive courses with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Aribert Reimann, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.

She won prizes in several competitions. During her studies, she made her debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Oriane in Amadis by Joh. Chr. Bach and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Fixed opera engagements led her through Heidelberg and Mannheim in 1988 to the State Theater Stuttgart. From 1991 to 1994, she was a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera, where she performed roles such as Susanna, Zdenka, Musetta, Marzelline, Sophie, Micaela, Pamina, and Donna Elvira. Guest contracts connected her with opera houses in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Magdeburg, Monte Carlo, Cairo, Trieste, Cagliari, and Tel Aviv.

Under Wolfgang Gönnenwein, she sang at the Ludwigsburg Festival as Ännchen in the production by Loriot and as Pamina in the production by Manthey. At the Opera Festival in St. Margarethen, she performed as Micaela.

In addition, Ulrike Sonntag pursued an international concert career, as evidenced by numerous radio, television, and record, CD, and DVD recordings. The repertoire includes works from the Baroque to contemporary music.

The soprano was a guest at festivals in Salzburg, Vienna, Frankfurt, Berlin, Montreux, Schwetzingen, and performed with many leading orchestras and conductors throughout Europe, Russia, the USA, China, South America, and Japan.

Lied singing also plays an important role, and Ulrike Sonntag gave song recitals, among others, at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Philharmonie Cologne, NDR Hannover, the Ludwigsburg Festival, the Rheingau Festival, with Hermann Prey in Bad Urach, the Heidelberg Castle Concerts, the Weilburg Castle Concerts, the Bodensee Festival at Schloss Achberg, the Biennale Munich, the Traunstein Music Days, at Schloss Babenhausen, the Schubertiade at Ettlingen Castle, the Summer Ulm Music Days, in Weimar, Lisbon, Lausanne, Paris, Barcelona, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Montevideo, Asuncion, and Cordoba. In 2008, a tour took her to Vladivostok for two song recitals and a master class on the topic of "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 songs 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 made a name for herself as an educator internationally. Since April 2005, she has held a professorship for singing at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart. Numerous students have received awards and engagements (Koblenz, Regensburg, Innsbruck, Mannheim, Nuremberg, Antwerp, Stuttgart, Prem/Russia, Bayreuth Festival, Braunschweig, Halle, Detmold, Darmstadt, Bielefeld, Bremerhaven, Flensburg, Zurich, Salzburg, Vienna, Strasbourg, Stralsund, Saarbrücken, Landestheater Salzburg, Görlitz, Bari, Munich State Opera, Semperoper, and many more).

She has led numerous international master classes: at the Oberstdorf Music Summer, at the Stuttgart Music Festival of the Bach Academy Stuttgart under Helmuth Rilling and Hans-Christoph Rademann, four times at the Conservatoire National Supérieure de Paris, at the music academies in Bucharest, Riga, and Budapest, at the Opera Academy Henfenfeld, on La Palma. Since 2014, annually at the Palazzo Ricci Montepulciano/Italy, in 2017 at the Sydney Conservatium of Music and at the University of Aveiro/Portugal, in 2018 at the State Conservatory in Yerevan/Armenia, in Porto/Portugal, in The Hague, and in Venice/Italy, in the summer of 2019, two master classes in New Delhi and Pune in India. In 2019 and 2020, she was part of the teaching team at the Margreet Honig Summer Academy at Schloss Weinberg/Austria. In 2021, she was a guest at the Talent Summer Courses in Brescia/Italy and at the Music Academy in Lodz/Poland, in 2022 at Haus Marteau in Upper Franconia, in 2023 at the Music Academy in Gdansk.

Pauliina Tukiainen

Finnish pianist Pauliina Tukiainen has gained recognition as a versatile interpreter and a sought-after professor of Liedgestaltung. She studied piano in her home country and in Frankfurt am Main.

During her Lied studies with Hartmut Höll and Anne Le Bozec in Zurich and Karlsruhe, she received numerous awards and scholarships. She also gained artistic inspiration from Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Ralf Gothóni, Thomas Hampson, Christoph Prégardien, and Wolfgang Rihm.

Pauliina Tukiainen has performed in Europe, including venues such as the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Tonhalle Zurich, the Oslo Konserthus, the Hugo-Wolf-Akademie, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Bodensee Festival, the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, the Enescu Festival in Bucharest, as well as in South Africa, India, and Vietnam. She has maintained a long-standing artistic and programmatic collaboration with the Bonner Schumannfest, where she has created a platform for younger Lied duos.

Recordings of her performances have been made by various German and international broadcasting companies. Following her debut CD "Mirrors," highly praised in the press and featuring works by Sibelius and Saariaho, she released additional recordings with the label Coviello Classics, including songs by Berg, Debussy, Schumann, Strauss, and Wagner, as well as a premiere recording of Wolfgang Rihm's "Ophelia sings." Her CD "Serious Songs" with baritone Arttu Kataja at Alba Records was nominated as the "Album of the year" by the Finnish Broadcasting Company in 2020. The latest recording by the duo is Schubert's "Winterreise," released by Alba Classics in January 2022.

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

Matthias Wierig

Matthias Wierig studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln under Pi-hsien Chen and soon discovered his passion for art song.

He continued his studies in the Liedgestaltung class of Jürgen Glauß and in the master class of the renowned American song accompanist Irwin Gage in Zürich. Additionally, he received instruction in master classes led by Graham Johnson.

Numerous performances have taken the song pianist to prestigious festivals and concert halls, including the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Bad Kissinger Sommer, Styriarte Graz, Festliche Tage Alter Musik Knechtsteden, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Freunde des Liedes Zürich, and the chamber music series of the Komische Oper Berlin.

In 2002, he was appointed as a professor at the Hochschule für Musik Saar in Saarbrücken. There, as well as at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, he leads a class for Liedgestaltung, from which his students have consistently emerged as prize winners in national and international competitions.

Since 2023, Matthias Wierig has served as the program director for the Master's program in Liedgestaltung for Pianists at the HfM Saar.

He has been an assistant in numerous master classes led by Rudolph Piernay, Anna Reynolds, Christa Ludwig, Brigitte Fassbaender, and Marilyn Horne, and collaborates closely with Barbara Schlick, Brigitte Lindner, Ruth Ziesak, Markus Schäfer, Thilo Dahlmann, and Eva Vogel.

Matthias Wierig has served as a judge multiple times at the Bundeswettbewerb Jugend Musiziert and, in addition to his university duties, teaches Lied interpretation in master classes throughout Europe.

Dorothea Wirtz

The coloratura soprano Dorothea Wirtz completed her studies with distinction under the guidance of Elisabeth Grümmer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Berlin and with Hanno Blaschke at the University of Music in Munich.

She supplemented her education with acting lessons at the Max Reinhard Institute in Berlin and training as a breath educator.

Her fixed engagements began in 1978 at the Bavarian State Opera, the State Theater Kassel, and the Zurich Opera House, where she performed roles such as Blonde, Olympia, Rosina, Despina, Queen of the Night, Adele, Marzelline, Gilda, and Adina. In addition, she cultivated a rich repertoire of concerts, oratorios, and lieder.

Guest engagements took her to various cities, including 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, and Mexico City.

In 1979, she won the Mozartfest Competition in Würzburg.

She performed at various festivals, including the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Rheingau Festival, and Salzburg January Weeks.

Throughout 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 alongside colleagues like Hermann Prey, Edita Gruberova, Hildegard Behrens, Martti Talvela, Matti Salminen, Kurt Moll, and others.

Radio and television recordings, as well as recordings on vinyl and CD, were made during these years.

From 1995 to 2000, Dorothea Wirtz was a professor of singing at the University of Music in Cologne. In 2000, she was appointed to the University of Music in Freiburg. International masterclasses complement her pedagogical activities.

Students of Dorothea Wirtz have become prize winners in many competitions, engaged in national and international opera houses, or pursued successful careers in pedagogy.