View At Norfolk Concerts An Artist's Life Is Never Done, a humourous montage of some of our artists' off stage moments.

To view an artist's biography just click onto her or his name. To hide the biography click onto the name again.

AGNES LANGER

Born in Budapest in 1992, Agnes Langer began playing the violin at the age of 7, studying with Ágota Béres. At a very early age, she showed great talent and after only 2 years of study, Agnes won second prize at the 10th János Koncz National Competition for Young Violinists. Since then, Agnes has gone on to win First Prize at the 2003 Eduard Zathurecky Competition and at the 8th Zoltán Kodály National Solfege Competition in 2005.

In 2005, Agnes moved alone to Germany to study with Prof. Anne Shih at the Hochschule für Musik Mainz, at the same time attending the Waldorf School there. Her study in Germany is made possible by financial support from a source impressed with her talent and potential. She went on to win first prize at the 2006 Bartók National Violin Duo Competition and especially, the coveted Körösföi – Kriesch Aladŕr Prize for promising young artists in 2007. Just recently, Agnes won First Prize as well as a special prize for best performance of a Hungarian work at the Zathureczky National Violin Competition in Budapest.

Agnes has been invited to perform with orchestras in such repertoire as Saint – Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, his Third Concerto, and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. She has also been invited to perform in recitals in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, and England. She accomplished the amazing feat of learning all 24 Paganini Caprices. She won First Prize and a special prize for the best performance of a Hungarian piece at the Zathureczky National Violin Competition for young violinists.

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IGOR TSINMAN

Born 1984 into a family of professional musicians in Moscow, Igor Tsinman began playing the violin at the tender age of 3. In 1999, he became a protégé of the Spivakov Foundation,given the opportunity of performing in many cities in Russia, Croatia and Germany.

In 2002, he graduated from the Central Music School in Moscow, class of Leonid Lundstrem, and continued his studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music, class of Prof. Sergey Kravchenko, also in Moscow. In the same year he attended master classes with Prof. Klaus Arp and Prof. Wolfgang Guttler and took First Prize at the Classical Heritage International Competition in Moscow. In 2005, he participated in the International Vaclav Huml Violinist Competition in Zagreb/Croatia.

Since 2006, Igor has studied at the Hochschule für Musik Rheinland-Pfalz, class of Prof. Anne Shih. He was awarded special scholarships to attend the Casalmaggiore International Festival near Cremona/Italy in 2006 and 2007. He was also chosen to play the first solo part in Arvo Pärt’s Tabula rasa with the Orchestra of the Hochschule f. Musik and invited later to work with the composer himself in this work which led to a performance in Switzerland at which the composer was in attendance. Igor Tsinman has also played under conductors such as Alexander Lazarev and Fuat Mansurov, and given recitals in Germany, Italy, England and Austria. In 2007, he was a semifinalist at the International “George Enescu” Violin Competition.

Igor plays on a ca.1678 Francesco Ruggieri from the State Collection in Russia.

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PAVEL KOLESNIKOV
2012 Honens Prize Laureate


Image credit © Colin Way

Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov equates music with fine perfumes. He believes both speak to the heart and the subconscious. It’s no wonder, therefore, that The Telegraph (London) describes his playing as having “brilliance, but also a caressing, almost sly intimacy”. Kolesnikov, who was named Honens Prize Laureate in 2012, studies at Moscow State Conservatory with Sergey Dorensky, at London’s Royal College of Music with Norma Fisher and at Brussel’s Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel with Maria João Pires. He made his recital debut in the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in 2008 and has since played both as soloist and collaborator throughout Russia, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. He was a featured artist at the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy in 2005 and 2006 and the Verbier Festival and Academy in Switzerland in 2007 and 2009. Recent and upcoming engagements include debuts at Berlin’s Konzerthaus, London’s Wigmore Hall and New York’s Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, solo and collaborative performances at Spoleto Festival USA and the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, and performances with l’Orchestre National de Belgique and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to music, Pavel is passionate about literature; he considers Tolstoy the literary incarnation of Beethoven.

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LASZLO FENYOE

Mstislaw Rostropowitsch described Kronberg im Taunus as the „cello world capital“ – and this is the very town where László Fenyö gained entrance into the cello elite. In September 2004, he not only won First Prize at the Pablo Casals World Contest, but also received a special prize for the best first performance of Graziane Finzi´s Variations, composed specifically for the contest.

In Hungary, his home country, László Fenyö has been one of the most popular soloists lately. Most of his concerts – around twenty per year – are recorded or broadcast live by the Hungarian Radio, whether solo performances, chamber music evenings or concerts with a grand orchestra. The 32-year-old musician has already played with all major Hungarian ensembles. Additionally, in March 2005 he received the highly prestigious Franz-Liszt-Prize as a state award.

He started his musical education in Hungary. He was only 13 years old when in 1988 he was accepted at the Franz Liszt Music Academy, Budapest, from his local music school. Between 1994 and 1998, he studied in Lübeck under the instruction of David Geringas. He expanded his horizon at master courses with Miklós Perényi and Siegfried Palm, among others. At present, his mentor is Bernard Greenhouse, the doyen of chamber music.

His unusually wide repertoire ranging from Bach to Krenek and Haydn to contemporary composers, his accurate sense of style, and his technical brilliance are responsible for his long record of successes at different contests. As early as 1987, he won First Prize at the Hungarian National Cello Contest; then he achieved success in Paris, Budapest and Christchurch; he earned the Pierre Fournier Special Prize in Geneve, and in Kronberg he also managed to convince the illustrious jury, consisting of renowned members like Rostropowitsch, Natalja Gutman, Kurt Masur, and others.

His rich orchestral experience and the delight of re-discovering rarely played solo pieces bring his musical profile to a whole. After having the principal cello position by the Radio Symphony Orchestra Budapest and the Philharmonia Hungarica, he is at present principal cellist of the Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt (Germany). He is regular guest on all important stages in Europe, the USA, in Asia, as well as at major music festivals, such as the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, where he played together with Leonidas Kavakos and Boris Berezowski.

Besides engagements in Hungary and Germany, László Fenyö is planning to play in Seoul, in Sofia, in Cyprus and in Finland in 2007/2008. He will play concerts under the baton of K. Penderecki. Two of his new CD-recordings are released in 2007, one at Aulos/Musikado on which he plays chamber music together with pianist Oleg Pollianski, and the other at hr.music.de with the cello concertos by J. Haydn (D Major) and D. Shostakovich (No. 1), where he is accompanied by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Grant Llewellyn. László Fenyö plays a Matteo Goffriller cello of year 1695.

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ANNE SHIH

Anne Shih was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1968, and the quote published above was written about her by the legendary Josef Gingold, the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music at the Indiana University School of Music, and it is this excellence that has been the hallmark of Anne Shih’s career. Anne Shih was the eldest of three sisters, born into a family that loved music but had no tradition of playing or performance. Anne began playing the violin when only five years old, and without any teacher, in what was to her a natural process. She only began taking formal lessons some two years later. Her sisters, Patricia, leader of the Borealis String Quartet, and Connie, pianist partner of Steven Isserlis and others, exhibited similar talents as genuine young prodigies.

Anne made her recital debut in Vancouver at the age of just eleven years old, and then made her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic just one year later. By this time Anne was equally proficient as a pianist, exhibiting the same extraordinary natural talents as she had with the violin. She had begun taking piano lessons when she was ten, and after less than 18 months of study, she earned the top medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music for the Grade 8 Examination. She later studied with the noted pedagogue Lee Kum-Sing and began to perform publicly as an equally adept violinist, violist, and pianist, throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Anne was also heard, as both violinist and pianist, on television and radio in Canada, the United States, Korea, and Europe. In 1986, she was featured, along with sisters Patricia and Connie, in the documentary “Which Way to Carnegie Hall?” which then received the Gold Medal at the 1986 International Film Festival in New York.

From 1986-91, she studied with her beloved mentor,Josef Gingold, at Indiana University, and then served as his last teaching assistant as well as class pianist. She was recipient of the university’s 1988 International Student Academic Achievement Award for outstanding scholastic performance. She has also worked with Denes Zsigmondy in both Seattle and Europe, receiving the Mozarteumspreis in Salzburg.

In 1991, at the age of 22, Anne was appointed Visiting Professor at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and then went on to become the Chairperson of the String Department at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. She later became one of the youngest - ever tenured C4 Professors of Violin in Germany, at the Hochschule für Musik Mainz, a position she still holds. She has served as the Director and Conductor of the International Strings, a chamber ensemble, and has also conducted the Hochschulorchestra. Many of her students have won prizes at international competitions in Europe, including the Yfrah Neaman and Yankelevich International Competitions. They hold top positions in orchestras in Europe and Asia; others have become successful teachers in Hong Kong, Korea, Germany, United States, Canada and Czechoslovakia.

Anne has also taught and performed at various Festivals, including the Casalmaggiore Festival, the Auer Music Festival, the Holzhausen Musiktage, the Euro Arts Festival, and the International Beethovenfest in Bonn. Highly sought after as a pedagogue, she has given annual masterclasses throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

In the 90`s Anne was the co-founder (with Douglas Gowan)of the Wisconsin Virtuosi Artist Series in Milwaukee, which was based at the historic Pabst Theatre, and is presently Artistic Director of Norfolk Concerts in the UK, the Casalmaggiore International Festival and the MING Connection Mainz e.V. She directs the Mainzer Virtuosi which is rapidly garnering international attention. She presents concerts in both the UK, and elsewhere in Europe. Anne has also served as a jury member at Canadian and international competitions.

Anne had notable successes, including performing as violinist and pianist on one program in Wigmore Hall, with colleagues Raphael Wallfisch, Ruth Killius of the Zehetmair Quartet and her sister Patricia who is leader of the Borealis Quartet. This remarkable tour de force led to an invitation to play all the Grieg Sonatas in Wigmore later that year. Recent reviews, published in such newspapers as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany, have described her as being “Brilliant and Virtuoso”, “Germanys’ next Superstar”, “Virtuoso and Spiritual” and “Phenomenal”.

Anne Shih plays on a Giuseppe filius Andrae Guarnerius of 1711.

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EMMA KIRKBY

Originally, Emma Kirkby had no expectations of becoming a professional singer. As a classics student at Oxford and then a schoolteacher she sang for pleasure in choirs and small groups, always feeling most at home in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. She joined the Taverner Choir in 1971 and in 1973 began her long association with the Consort of Musicke. Emma took part in the early Decca Florilegium recordings with both the Consort of Musicke and the Academy of Ancient Music, at a time when most college-trained sopranos were not seeking a sound appropriate for early instruments. She therefore had to find her own approach, with enormous help from Jessica Cash in London, and from the directors, fellow singers and instrumentalists with whom she has worked over the years.

Emma feels privileged to have been able to build long-term relationships with chamber groups and orchestras, in particular London Baroque, the Freiburger Barockorchester, L'Orfeo (of Linz) and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and now with some of the younger groups such as the Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium.

To date she has made well over a hundred recordings of all kinds, from sequences of Hildegarde of Bingen to madrigals of the Italian and English Renaissance, cantatas and oratorios of the Baroque, works of Mozart, Haydn and J. C. Bach. Recent recordings include: Handel: Opera Arias and Overtures 2 for Hyperion, Bach wedding cantatas for Decca, Bach Cantatas 82a and 199 for Carus; and four projects for BIS: with London Baroque, one of Handel motets and one of Christmas music by Scarlatti, Bach and others; with the Royal Academy Baroque Orchestra the first recording of the newly-rediscovered Gloria by Handel; and with the Romantic Chamber Group of London, Chanson d'amour: songs by the American composer Amy Beach, who died in 1944.

More recent recordings: an anthology, Classical Kirkby, devised and performed with Anthony Rooley, on the BIS label, 2002; Cantatas by Cataldo Amodei, also for BIS, 2004; with Fretwork, consort songs by William Byrd, for Harmonia Mundi USA, 2005.; Scarlatti Stabat Mater with Daniel Taylor, for ATMA, 2006; Honey from the Hive, songs of John Dowland, with Anthony Rooley, for BIS, 2006: and Musique and Sweet Poetrie, also for BIS, 2007; lute songs from Europe with Jakob Lindberg.

In 1999 Emma was voted Artist of the Year by Classic FM Radio listeners; in November 2000 she received the Order of the British Empire, and in June 2007 was delighted to be included in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for appointment as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. BBC Music Magazine, April 2007, in a recent survey to find “The greatest sopranos,” placed Emma at number 10. While such things are inevitably parochial, partial, controversial, and outdated as soon as they appear, she is pleased at the recognition this implies for an approach to singing that values ensemble, clarity and stillness alongside the more obvious factors of volume and display.

Despite all the recording activity, Emma still prefers live concerts, especially the pleasure of performing favourite programmes with colleagues; every occasion, every venue and every audience will combine to create something new from this wonderful repertoire.

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ALEXANDRA SAMOUILIDOU

Born in Athens (Greece), in 1980, the Lyric Coloratura Soprano Alexandra Samouilidou began her music studies in Greece and completed her diploma in 2005 with all-round excellence in the class of Rossitza Troeva.
Since April 2008 she is studying at the class of Prof. Claudia Eder at the Musikhochschule in Mainz.
As member of the"Junges Ensemble" of the State Theatre of Mainz, she is currently performing in productions such as:
C. W. Gluck’s "La Semiramide riconosciuta", (as Tamiri), J. Strauss’ "Die Fledermaus", (as Ida) and W. A. Mozart’s "Le nozze di Figaro" (as Barbarina).
She has been winner of the 2008 "Meistersinger" competition in Neustadt (public's prize) and the Rheinsberg Chamber Opera Festival, (2007: participation in the vocal ensemble in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amor and 2008 in Schumann's “Myrten” ), and taken part in many concerts in Greece and Germany, among others with the Villa Musica in Schloss Engers.

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FELIX KOCH

Felix Koch studied cello with Michael Flaksman in Mannheim, with Martin Ostertag in Karlsruhe and with Rainer Zipperling (Baroque cello) in Frankfurt, where he also studied music education. He received the Saarbrücken Cultural Prize for Young Musicians, the prize of “early music” by the Federation of German Industry and the “Telemann-Chamber Music Prize” Magdeburg. Since 2007 he has been the artist director of “Forum Alte Musik Frankfurt am Main”. He has performed both as chamber musician and soloist at international festivals, broadcasts and concerts of NDR Hamburg, DeutschlandRadio Kultur, Hessen Radio (HR), the Leipzig Bach Festival, the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, the festival Resonanzen in Vienna and was invited to Milano, Yaroslavl (Russia) and New York. He has performed on CDs with the Baroque orchestra La Stagione Frankfurt and his own ensembles “Mediolanum” and “Neumeyer Consort”. Since 2008 he has been the director of the Neumeyer Choir of the academy of ancient music Saarbrücken. Felix Koch teaches concert pedagogics/ music mediation at the College of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main.

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MARKUS STEIN

Markus Stein studies harpsichord in Frankfurt with Prof. Harald Hoeren and organ with Prof. Martin Lücker. In 2005 he gets a scholarship of
the Academy of ancient music in Saarland/Germany. He was member of masterclasses with Jesper Christensen, Prof. Michael Schneider, Prof. Petra Müllejans and Prof. Karl Kaiser. In 2003 Markus Stein founded the Chamber Choir “Collegium Cantorum Merzig” and is the artistic director of this choir, which mainly perform the great baroque oratorios of Bach and Händel.

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JONATHAN CHAN

Born in June 1990 in Burnaby, B.C. Canada, Jonathan began piano and violin lessons at the age of 4. His prodigious talent has been recognized by many prominent musicians and his already great experience as a performer belies his young age of 18.

Jonathan’s performing experience began at the age of 5. 3 years later, he had his first performance with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Since then he has appeared as a concerto soloist in both violin and piano with numerous orchestras in North America. At the age of 15 he performed the Paganini 24 Caprices and at the age of 16 performed the 6 Solo sonatas of Ysaye; monumental works which are rarely heard in complete performances by virtuosos of any age because of their transcendental difficulty and extreme demand for endurance and concentration.

Amongst his numerous prizes and awards for violin, piano and chamber music, Jonathan is a three-time, National First Grand Prize winner of the Canadian Music Competition with overall highest marks. In 2000 and 2003, he was invited to perform for the former Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien. The second concert was a retirement concert for Mr. Chrétien at the Air Canada Center in which he shared the stage with renowned artists such as Oliver Jones, Paul Anka, and the late legendary pianist, Oscar Peterson. In 2004 Jonathan and a young pianist, Kit Armstrong, replaced an ailing Daniel Barenboim for the Vancouver Recital society’s opening concert of the season at the Orpheum. Since that date, he was re-invited to perform many times for the VRS in solo concerts and chamber projects. Jonathan’s other accomplishments include First Place in the National Strings of the Performing Arts BC and Second Place in the Morningside Music Bridge International Concerto Competition in Shanghai, China where he performed Khachaturian Violin Concerto with the Shanghai Opera Symphony.

Jonathan began his violin and piano education at the Vancouver Academy of Music in BC., Canada, under the tutelage of Taras Gabora, Laurie Hill and Lorraine Ambrose. Upon high school graduation, he was awarded the Arts Bowl in recognition of his outstanding contribution to visual and performing arts.

As a scholarship winner of the Max Jaffa Violin Fund, he is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music Honours at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama studying violin with David Takeno and piano with Caroline Palmer.

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ELINA BUKSHA

Elina Buksha
Image credit: Janis Deinats

Born in Latvia in 1990, Elina Buksha is considered one of Latvia's foremost up and coming musicians.

Elina has been playing violin since the age of 5, having been a student of Latvian violin professor Ojars Kalnins until 2009. Since 2011 Elina studies with french violinist Augustin Dumay in prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium and with Ana Chumachenco in masterclasses in France, Germany and Switzerland.
She have performed both as soloist and chamber musician in Sweden,Russia, Finland, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Italy, Romania,Belgium,Germany and others. She has also performed in concert halls such as in Finland, Tampere Philharmonia , Russia , St. Petersburg, National Academic Chappell and Moscow, Concert hall “Russia”, Germany, Laeiszhalle Musikhalle in Hamburg, Flagey and Bozar concerthalls in Belgium.
Since her debut with Liepajas Symphony Orchestra in Latvia, at age of 12, when she performed W.A.Mozart Violin Concerto Nr.5, Elina has important concert appearances in her native Latvia, which have included regular collaborations with Latvian National Symphony orchestra ,Latvian National Opera Symphony orchestra,Collegium Musicum Riga, and others. Her recordings are regularly broadcasted by Latvian National Radio and Television.

In 2012 Elina had succesful debuts with Sinfonietta Riga,performing F.Mendelssohn Double concerto with Latvian pianist Vestards Shimkus and Royal Chamber orchestra of Wallonie, performing W.A.Mozart Violin Concerto Nr.4, under direction of Augustin Dumay. She also performed in „Festival de Wallonie” and festival „A la Francaise” in Belgium.
Elina Buksha debut CD entitled Ave Maria, recorded in Riga's Doma Cathedral, also featuring soprano Inessa Galante was released in 2008. Since age of 14, Elina is artist of concert agency „Herman Braun Foundation” in Latvia.

In 2013 Elina received Latvian Great Music Award, the highest honor in Latvian music for "Debut of the year". The award has been previously awarded to such musicians as Gidon Kremer, Baiba Skride,Elina Garancha, Andris Nelsons and others.

Elina plays Domenico Montagnana violin 1723 ,given to her from Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
Future engagements in 2013, include recitals in Belgium, Holland, England, Switzerland, Latvia, France and collaborations with such orchestras as Liege Royal Philharmonics, Sinfonia Varsovia, Royal Chamber orchestra of Wallonie and others.

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TIAN-YU ZHOU

Tian-Yu Zhou

20 year old pianist Tian-Yu Zhou is a 4th year Bachelor Degree of Music scholarship student at the Vancouver Academy of Music studying with Prof. Lee Kum-Sing, who has been her teacher since she was thirteen.

During season 2013-2014, Tian-Yu is invited to concertize in the United States, UK, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and China giving solo recitals with various recital programs including Bach Goldberg Variations which she first gave a public performance 2 years ago. Tian-Yu was also featured in a show at Beijing Music Station, 97.4fm's “Classics at Pop Times”. In 2014 summer, Tian-Yu will be attending international music festivals in Poland and Italy. Tian-Yu will also perform concertos with orchestras including Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 and Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in China, Hong Kong & Canada.

Tian-Yu has toured in Asia successfully on four occasions between 2010-2013, performing in provinces and cities including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Nanning, Guilin, SiChuan, and WuHan. In 2012, She was featured live on RTHK radio 4. Tian-Yu has also performed in the United States, at Casalmaggoire International Festival in Italy, the Holland International Music Session, the CBC Glenn Gould Studio, the Orford Arts Centre, Barrie International Colour of Music Festival, and at the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival.

Tian-Yu has performed 12 concertos with orchestras including Beethoven Concerto No. 2 & 4, Mozart Piano Concertos, Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1 & Double Concerto for Piano and Violin, Chopin Concerto No. 1 & 2, Liszt Concerto No. 1, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 & Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Schumann Piano Concerto and etc. Tian-Yu has performed in many prestigious concert halls both inside and outside of Canada including Orpheum Theatre, Massey Theatre, KayMeek Theatre, JianFa Concert Hall, BianZhong Concert Hall, Munetsugu Hall and more.

Born into a family of musicians and learned to play the piano with her mother at the age of four. Ms. Zhou had her first public performance at age five. At the age of nine, she received a scholarship to study with Marina Geringas at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. When she was ten, she was named “Wonder Kid” by Toronto CCTV and was featured in a broadcasted interview.

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