Andrey Baranov, violin

Winner of 2012 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition and laureate of 2010 Indianapolis, Sendai, Unisa, Oistrach and Paganini (Moscow) international competitions, the young Russian Violinist is among the most recognized violinists of today.

Baranov is a founding member of David Oistrakh quartet, an outstanding ensemble established in 2012.

Baranov’s interpretation of Tchaikovsky concerto has been hailed by Franken Post as ‚charmed with an instinct for  tone color’‚resembalance to legendary Jascha Heifitz’,  and Strad Magazine article reported Baranov’s performance of Benjamin Britten’s violin concerto as ‘Best of all was Andrey Baranov of Russia. His was a performance of real authority, full of power and purpose, and the only one really to show the concerto for the complex and enigmatic piece that it is. In the second movement, particularly, he found real personality where the others had mostly just played the notes. Baranov’s performance knocked spots off the others and was by some distance the most powerful reading of this elusive work I have ever heard.’

Born in  St Petersburg in 1986 into the family of musicians, Baranov began playing the violin at age of five. He attended the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St-Petersburg and Consevatoire de Lausanne. He studied with L. Ivaschenko, V. Ovcharek, P. Popov, P. Amoyal and has taken masterclasses from Pauk, Kushnir  Issakadze and Kashkashian among many others.

Since making his major debut  in 2005 at St Petersburg Philharmonie hall under V. Petrenko and the Philharmonic Orchestra, Baranov has since performed on world’s renowned stages such as Bozar Brussels, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Großer Saal Mozarteum, Cadogan Hall London and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.
Future engagements include concerto appearances at Konzerthaus Berlin, Gewandhaus Leipzig, St-Petersburg Philharmonic Hall as well as recitals across Europe, USA and in Japan.

He has released 2 CDs in 2010, a recital program recording, as part of  the prize given by Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in recognition of his achievement, as well as Tchaikovsky concerto recording with Hof Symphoniker conducted by Arn Goerke released in co-production with  Bayerischer Rundfunk.

In 2013 there are two new CD release planned, a live performance of Shostakovich Violin Concerto with St-Petersburg Philharmonic under Signum (UK), and Rimsky-Korsakov/Heifetz „fight of the Bumblebee“ , Glazunov’s Grand Adagio and Rimsky-Korsakov Piano Trio under Hänssler Profil (Germany).

Many of Branov’s performances have been broadcasted worldwide-on BR Klassik, Radio Orpheus, YLE Radio  (Finland), WFYI, WFMT Chicago (USA) and NHK Sendai (Japan).

Baranov has already appeared with leading international orchestras including MusicAeterna Orchestra, St-Petersburg Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic, Royal Phiharmonic London, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Bruseels Philharmonic and National orchestra of Belgium under conductors T. Currentzis, V. Petrenko, N.Alekseev, M. Tabachnik, W. Weller, E. Krivine and K.Yamashita among others.

In 2008 Baranov was the 1st prize winner both in Benjamin Britten International Violin Competition in London  and H. Mateau International Violin  Competition in  Germany. Baranov is also laureate of Liana Issakadze Competition (St-Petersburg), China International Competition and Seoul International Competition.

At the age of only 23 Baranov was appointed position at Conservatoire de Lausanne as teaching assistant to Pierre Amoyal. Baranov has since been in demand in teaching at international masterclasses-he has been invited to institutions in Bangkok, Chicago, Riga and more.

In 2011 Baranov joined MusicAeterna Symphony orchestra in Perm State Theater as guest concertmaster by the personal invitation of  maestro Teodor Currentzis.

Upon winning the Queen Elisabeth Competition Baranov played on Ansaldo Poggi ex-Milstein (1947) kindly loaned by Munetsugu Hall-Yellow Angel Foundation in Japan.

Currently Baranov plays also on Stradivarius (1708 )Huggins kindly loaned by Nippon Music Foundation.

Miki Aoki, piano

“… Technical excellence, refined details, incredibly convincing sense for sound.“
(Wiesbadener Kurier)

Born in Tokyo, Miki Aoki made her orchestral debut at the Royal Festival Hall in London with National Symphony Orchestra at the age of 12.

A pianist of diversity, Ms Aoki appears as soloist, chamber musician, accompanist and teacher throughout Europe, Asia and USA.

Recent and upcoming engagements include South East Asia tour, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Sion Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival (USA), Valdres Festival (Norway), concerto performance with Washington Sinfonietta (USA) and concerts in Austria, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Turkey, Thailand, UK and Switzerland.

Ms Aoki signed an exclusive contract in 2011 with German Label Hänssler Profil and her first CD of Z. Kodaly’s piano works was released in the fall of 2011 with cricital aclaim. BBC Music magazine called it „… a genuinely memorable performance“.

The second CD, ‘The Belyayev Project“ combination of solo piano works by Liadow, Glazunov and Blumenfeld as well as the piano Trio of Rimsky-Korsakov is planned to be released in 2013.

Ms Aoki performed on stages of such prestigious venues as St. Martin-in-the Fields, St. John’s Smith Square, Royal Festival Hall and Purcell Room at South Bank Centre, Barbican centre (U.K.), Laeizhalle, Bechstein Haus (Germany), Musicasa, Munetsugu Hall (Japan), Wiener-Saal Salzburg, as well as in festivals Mecklenburg-Vorpommen, Salzburger Festspiele, Rheingau, Otzberger Sommerkonzerte (Germany), Menuhin Festival (Switzerland), Beaulieu-sur-la Mer (France), Tembi Festival (Inodnesia), Phnom Penh International Music festival (Cambodia) and International Classical Music Festival. (Myanmar).

In 2006 Ms Aoki was invited by Itzhak Perlman to his Chamber Music festival in Long Island, USA.

Ms Aoki has appeared as a soloist with National Symphony, London Soloist Chamber Orchestra, Hamburg Camerata and Washington Sinfonietta.
Her solo and chamber music performances have been broadcasted on NDR-North German Radio, RBB-Radio Berlin Brandenburg, BR Classics, WDR, Radio Suisse Romande and Hessicher Rundfunk.

Much sought after accompanist, Ms Aoki receives invitations regularly to accompany in international masterclassses and competitions. Since 2007 Ms Aoki plays every summer at the Mozarteum Summer Academy and in April 2009 was invited to play for the violin master class at Kronberg Academy in Germany. She plays for the masterclasses of today’s most respected violinists as, M. Vengerov, C. Tetzlaff, D. Weilerstein and M. Fuks.

Collaborating musicians include Pierre Amoyal, Andrey Baranov (2012 winner of Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition), Francois Salque, Elisabeth Vidal, Andreas Brantelid, Kuss Quartet, Ariel Quartet, members of prestigious orchestras such as Gewandhaus Leipzig, Munich Philharmonic, Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, Tornhalle Zuerich and Orchestre de la Radio Suisse Romande.

Ms Aoki started playing the piano at age 4 and moved to London at age 9 where she joined the Purcell School of Music. She holds degrees from Indiana University and Yale University. In 2007 Ms Aoki completed Konzertexamen degree at Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater Hamburg with distinction. (Mit Auszeichnung).

Her teachers include Roshan Magub, James Gibb, Reiko Neriki, György Sebök, Boris Berman and Evgeni Koroliov.

Alexey Zhilin, cello

Born in Leningrad in 1987 into a family of musicians Alexey Zhilin started playing the cello at the age of four. He made his concerto debut with Orchestra in Nizhny Novgorod at the age of thirteen. By the age of seventeen he won the third prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Japan.

Since winning his first competition in Moscow at the age of twelve,  Zhilin continues to win numerous prizes in international competitions.Most recently he won second prize at the International Cello Competition  Dr. Luis Sigall (Chile) and was a semifinalist at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition. In 2010 he won top prizes in International Brahms Competition (Austria), and All Russian Competition. In previous years he was a gold medal in the Mravinsky Competition (St-Petersburg), String Instrument Competition Geradmer (France), St-Petersburg Chamber Music Competition, and was the second prize winner in International Elsky Competition (Belarus).

Zhilin’s performance of Russian composer Boris Tishenko’s second cello sonata can be heard on the CD released in Russia.

Trained at Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in St Petersburg under the tutorage of professor Anatoly Nikitin, Zhilin has also participated in masterclasses of distinguished artists as Yo Yo Ma, D. Geringas, T. Tsutsumi, V. Despaj, I. Monigetti and many others.

Zhilin regularly performs throughout Russia and abroad.