2021 September 8-19
Franz Schubert – Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major, D. 898
Robert Schumann – Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47
2021 September 8-19
Blythe Teh Engstroem
Blythe Teh Engstroem, the American violinist and violist did the majority of her studies at Indiana University in Bloomington where she studied with Nelli Shkolnikova, Mimi Zweig and Josef Gingold for the violin and Atar Arad for the viola. She later continued her studies with Andres Cardenes in Pittsburgh.
Blythe is a passionate chamber musician and has had the honor of collaborating with many artists including Menahem Pressler, Yuja Wang, Lisa Batiashvili, Renaud Capuçon, Leonidas Kavakos, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Kim Kashkashian, Lawrence Power, Nobuko Imai, Gautier Capuçon, Gary Hoffman and the Quatuor Ebène. She is currently a member of the Serafino Quartet.
She has performed in numerous festivals, such as the Miyazaki Festival in Japan, Schloss Elmau and Cappenberg in Germany, and Bellerive and Verbier Festivals in Switzerland.
She was instrumental in creating the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and works closely with the orchestra’s music director, Gábor Takács-Nagy. The Chamber Orchestra tours internationally with such prominent artists as Martha Argerich, Joshua Bell and Martin Fröst, and made its first recording with Maxim Vengerov for EMI. She has been the Chamber Orchestra’s concertmaster, and currently leads the viola section.
“A mesmerizing, heroic soloist” (The Strad), Alexander Ramm is one of the most sought-after cellists of his generation. Having emerged on the international stage as the silver medalist of the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition, he has recently attracted much attention and critical praise with his recording of Benjamin Britten’s Cello Suites, which was made with titanium pins in his left elbow following a freak accident. Enthusiastic comparisons to Rostropovich (The Strad, Pizzicato.lu) and the Listeners’ Choice award of The Violoncello Foundation have placed this album among the most acclaimed recordings of cello repertoire.
Alexander’s regular collaborations with Vladimir Jurowski, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Spivakov, Mikhail Jurowski, Antoni Wit, Alexander Sladkovsky and other prominent artistic partners have taken him to Philharmonie de Paris, London’s Cadogan Hall as well as to Linz’s Brucknerhaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, Tokyo’s Nikkei Hall and to many of the most prestigious stages in the UK, Germany, Lithuania, Sweden, Austria, Finland, South Africa, Japan, France and Russia, including Mariinsky Theatre and Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.
Almost straight after the Tchaikovsky cello competition, Alexander was invited by legendary Russian Firma Melodia to record the Shostakovich concerto with the Tatarstan Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Alexander Sladkovsky.
Before Alexander’s success at the Tchaikovsky International Competition (Moscow, 2015), he won the Third Beijing International Music competition (Beijing, 2010) and First National Music Competition (Moscow, 2010). In 2013 Mr. Ramm became the first Russian laureate of the most prestigious Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki.
Alexander Ramm was born in Vladivostok, then moved to Kaliningrad and studied at Glière Children Music School (class of Svetlana Ivanova). He continued his education at Chopin College of Performing Arts in Moscow (class of Maria Zhuravlyova). In 2012 Alexander graduated from Moscow Conservatory (class of People’s Artist of the USSR Prof. Natalia Shakhovskaya,). Alexander also studied at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin with Frans Helmerson.
Generous support from the Amsterdam-based Schreve family and Ms. Elena Lukyanova in Moscow has allowed Alexander Ramm to own a cello made by the Cremonese luthier Mr. Gabriel Jebran Yakoub.
The pianist Elena Bashkirova once said, “Chamber music is music’s soul,” and this belief is evident in her work as a soloist, accompanist, ensemble musician, and program planner. Her approach to all aspects of music is one of empathetic collaboration and communication.
Among the highlights of the 2020/21 season for Bashkirova – subject of course to the uncertainties of the pandemic – are recitals in St. Petersburg, in the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, and at the Ruhr Piano Festival. Song recitals with Georg Nigl and Martina Gedeck are planned in Munich, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, and at the Heidelberg Frühling festival. As a soloist, Elena Bashkirova will perform Mozart’s Concerto in G Major KV 453 and Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Tonkünstler Orchestra, the Odessa Philharmonic, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, and the Sofia Philharmonic. A South American tour is planned, as well as chamber music concerts in Paris, Geneva, and other cities with international soloists from the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival.
Bashkirova comes from a Russian musical dynasty going back generations. Born in Moscow, she began her studies at the age of 15 in the class of her father, the legendary piano pedagogue Dmitry Bashkirov. Together with violinist Gidon Kremer, with whom she has often performed as a duo and has made a number of recordings, Elena Bashkirova left the Soviet Union in 1978 and moved to Paris. She has been influenced by her work with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Sergiu Celibidache, and Michael Gielen. Since 1992, she has lived in Berlin with her husband, Daniel Barenboim.