2022 EDITION

Esmé Quartet         

Wonhee Bae       Yuna Ha          Jiwon Kim          Yeeun Heo

violin I                     violin II                        alto                                    cello

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Winning the first prize and sweeping four of the special prizes, among them the Mozart and Beethoven prizes, at the 2018 London Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition the Esmé Quartet made a sensational entrance into the string quartet world. Subsequently, they were invited and started touring internationally playing concerts at festivals and concert halls such as the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, the Wigmore Hall and throughout the UK, at the Flagey Musiq3 Festival in Brussels, Auditori di Barcelona, the Opéra de Lille, the Heidelberg String Quartet Festival, the Haydn String Quartet Festival in Schloss Esterházy in Fertöd, Hungary and Classic Esterházy in Eisenstadt, Austria. In the summer of the same year, they were named as the quartet in residence at the Aix-en-Provence festival and also appeared at the McGill International String Quartet Academy in Montreal.

In 2019, the quartet was awarded the HSBC Laureate of the Festival Aix-en-Provence and the first prize of the 55th Possehl Musikpreis Lübeck. They recorded their debut CD with works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Unsuk Chin, and Frank Bridge on the label Alpha Classics. The recording was released in early 2020 and has achieved critical acclaim with a 5 star review from Diapason d’Or and was named as one of the best classical albums of 2020 by WQXR radio in New York.

They were named the first Artists in Residence at the Lotte Concert Hall, Seoul, Korea for the season 2020/2021 and in October 2020, the quartet was awarded the Hans-Gál Prize by the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz and the Villa Musica Foundation. 2021 will see return invitations to the Festival Musiq3 and Wigmore Hall, an Italian tour and return engagements in Germany and Portugal. In 2022 the quartet will perform on tour for the first time in North America and Japan.

The name of the quartet , "Esmé", is borrowed from an old French word meaning ‘being loved‘. Based in Germany, the group was formed in 2016 at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne and is comprised of four Korean musicians that were in their youth acquainted with each other as friends and shared common interests and passions in music, the arts, and life. The quartet has been mentored in masterclasses with artists such as Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartet), Alfred Brendel, Eberhard Feltz, Andraś Keller, Christoph Poppen and Jonathan Brown (Cuarteto Casals). Esmé studied with Heime Müller (Artemis Quartet) at the Hochschule für Musik Lübeck, Germany, and is currently studying with Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet) at the HMTM Hannover.

"Here are four young musicians that play with depth and maturity, which, and even this cliché can be swept off the table, does not depend on age."

Strings Magazine, USA

"It was the Esmé’s monumental Schubert Quartet that was the Michelin-starred meal."

Diapason, France

★★★★★

The lyricism and airy limpidity of the four performers give these movements a profoundity and unexpected allure.

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Lana Trotovsek

violin

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Since her debut with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under Valery Gergiev in 2012, Lana Trotovsek has performed with the world's finest orchestras and in the most prestigious venues, including the Wigmore Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus, Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven. International Festivals: Rheingau, Aix en Provence, Shanghai International Arts Festival, Santander International Festival, Dubrovnik, Bad Kissingen, St Magnus International and Aldeburgh. Her performances are broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Arte TV (France) and RTV (Slovenia). In 2005, her passion and talent were rewarded with the Prešeren Prize, the highest academic award for the arts in Slovenia. She plays on a Pietro Antonio dalla Costa violin from 1750. Lana Trotovsek is admired for her expressive playing and unique musicality. "Trotovsek is an emerging voice to watch "Philadelphia Enquirer . "A warm sound and formidable technique,Weaving magical spells" La Vanguardia "Freshness, depth and insight" Broad Street Review.

Maria Canyigueral

piano

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One of the leading figures of the new generation of Spanish pianists, Maria Canyigueral did her undergraduate studies at the Conservatori del Liceu in Barcelona with a at the Conservatori del Liceu in Barcelona and then obtained a Master of Arts in Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Maria Canyigueral quickly established herself on the international piano circuit. She has won several international competitions, including the Concours International de Piano d'Île de France (Paris); the Pirani Piano Trio Prize with Ianthe Ensemble (London) and the Antón García Abril International Chamber Music Competition (Granada), collaborating with Nicolas Bacri, Antón García Abril, Joseph Phibbs, Konstantia Gourzi and Moritz Eggert on his own project 'Avant-Guarding Mompou' which premiered at the Conway Hall in London in 2018, co-produced by Instituto Cervantes, Arts Council England, Institut Ramon Llull, Fundació Mompou and the fashion brand Lilly e Violetta. Presented at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona and the Fundación Juan March in Madrid in 2019.

Lana Trotovsek and Maria Canyigueral violin and piano soloists regularly perform or record as a duo.
Their album of works by C. Franck, Granados, Skerjanc and Finzi (Hedone Records, 2016) won a gold medal at the Global Music Awards. "Theatrical Beethoven with an extroverted, room-filling soliloquy, instantly turning into a confessional whisper". Tim Homfray the Strad "The compact, full-bodied, astonishingly clear sound of the Trotovsek-Canyigueral duo gives the impression of sounding like one instrument" Nuvol Madrid.

They occasionally form a trio with cellist Sébastien Hurtaud.

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duet  Sonate César Franck

trio   Clara Schumann

Sébastien Hurtaud

cello

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"The virtuosity of a Feuerman and the soul of a Rostropovich" (Fanfare Magazine).
Vibrating, transmitting, travelling and creating are at the heart of the young cellist's career. Trained at the Paris Conservatoire in the class of JM Gamard and Michel Strauss, then at the Royal Northern College of Music with Karine Georgian, his playing is inspired by these two great schools of cello. As a soloist and chamber musician, he travels the world as a guest of major orchestras and festivals. Influenced by the world of opera, he appeared as guest solo cellist at the Opera de la Monnaie, but very quickly turned to a solo career. Winner of international competitions such as the Naumburg Foundation in New York and Aldo Parisot, Sébastien Hurtaud is the only Frenchman to have won the prestigious Adam cello competition in New Zealand.

Marie Laure Garnier and Célia Oneto Bensaid exceptional concert Olivier Greif

« One of the most complicit, imaginative and bewitching duos of the young French scene» Classica

Marie Laure Garnier

soprano

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Révélation lyrique 2021 aux Victoires de la musique classique, la soprano Marie-Laure Garnier débute son parcours artistique en Guyane puis au CRR de Paris. En 2009, elle intègre la classe de chant lyrique de Malcolm Walker au Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. Après un brillant Prix de chant, elle obtient un Diplôme d’Artiste Interprète ainsi qu’un Master de Musique de Chambre.

Marie-Laure Garnier est lauréate de plusieurs concours, notamment du Concours International de chant de Mâcon en 2014, de la Fondation Cziffra en 2015. Au Concours Nadia et Lili Boulanger 2017, la soprano remporte le prix de la Mélodie Française aux côtés de la pianiste Célia Oneto Bensaid. Elle est nommée « Jeune Talent d’Outremer 2018 » par le Réseau des Talents d’Outremer et remporte le Prix Voix des Outremer 2019. Elle est également nommée Lauréate de l’Académie Orsay-Royaumont et Lauréate HSBC du Festival lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence.

L’artiste, prometteuse, se produit en récital sur des scènes prestigieuses : Théâtre des Champs Elysées, la Philharmonie de Paris, le Capitole de Toulouse, le Festival de La Chaise Dieu, etc. À l’étranger,  Oxford Lieder Festival, Auditorium Reina Sofia à Madrid, Salle Bourgie de Montréal, Wigmore Hall de Londres, Orangerie du Manoir de Skebo en Suède, Schumann Hauss en Allemagne, Théâtre du Bolchoi à Moscou. À l’opéra, on retrouve la soprano dans des rôles hauts en couleurs tels que La Cantatrice dans Reigen de Boesmans, Tosca de Puccini, Gerhilde dans La Walkyrie de Wagner et Ygraine dans Ariane et Barbe Bleue de Dukas au Capitole de Toulouse.

Au disque, on découvre Marie-Laure Garnier avec Le Promenoir des amants et l’hommage à Olivier Greif Les Chants de l’âme, parus chez le label B.Records, ainsi qu’avec le disque Alexandre Dumas et la musique, paru chez Alpha. En scène, on entendra la soprano très prochainement, en Guyane, dans une tournée de concerts Life is a Cabaret, aux côtés de la pianiste Célia Oneto Bensaid mis en scène par Alexandre Ethève. Elle incarnera la 5ème Servante dans Elektra de Strauss au Capitole de Toulouse en juin prochain.

Célia Oneto Bensaid

piano

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Célia Oneto Bensaid a obtenu cinq prix au CNSM de Paris avec les meilleures distinctions

 Elle suit l’enseignement de Rena Shereshevskaya depuis 2010 puis à l’Ecole Normale Alfred Cortot où elle obtient le diplôme supérieur de concertiste en 2018.

Personnalité singulière et engagée, Célia choisit avec soin les répertoires qu’elle défend sur scène. Elle crée de nombreuses pièces dont elle est dédicataire pour certaines de David Hudry, Thomas Lacôte, Diana Syrse, et Camille Pépin dont elle enregistre les œuvres de musique de chambre dans un disque qui paraît en février 2019 chez NoMadMusic (Choc Classica, FFF Telerama…).

Chambriste recherchée, on la retrouve sur scène notamment aux côtés de Renaud Capuçon, Violaine Despeyroux, Elsa Dreisig, Marie-Laure Garnier, Olivia Gay, Léa Hennino,  Héloïse Luzzati, Fiona McGown, Raphaëlle Moreau, Xavier Phillips, François Salque…

Lauréate de nombreux concours internationaux en solo et en musique de chambre (Piano Campus, Fondation Cziffra, concours Nadia et Lili Boulanger, concours Bonneton, concours Fauré, concours Poulenc), elle reçoit le prix du public de la Société des Arts de Genève en 2017. Elle se produit régulièrement en solo, en musique de chambre et avec orchestre (orchestre de la Garde Républicaine, orchestre de l’opéra de Toulon, ensemble Appassionato etc.) et dans des festivals et salles telles que la grande Philharmonie de Paris, Piano aux Jacobins, le festival de la Roque d’Anthéron, l’Esprit du Piano à Bordeaux, la Folle Journée de Nantes, le Grand Théâtre de Harbin (Chine), le Salamanca Hall (Japon), la Salle Bourgie (Montréal), le Wigmore Hall (Londres), Festival du Périgord Noir, Piano en Valois.

 Elle se produit régulièrement à l’étranger (Etats-Unis, Japon, Russie, Italie, Angleterre, Espagne, Suède, Suisse, Algérie, Chine). En 2017, elle est soutenue par la fondation Safran, et devient  lauréate de Pro Musicis et de la Banque Populaire. Elle est également lauréate de la fondation Royaumont et devient en 2018 lauréate HSBC de l’Académie du festival lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence et devient en 2020 la première lauréate dans la catégorie “Musique Classique” du Trophée K2.

En 2021, parait son deuxième CD solo chez NoMadMusic “Metamorphosis” autour de Glass, Pépin et Ravel qui est encensé par la critique (Coup de coeur de Renaud Capuçon sur RTL, 5 étoiles Classica etc.).

Sur la saison 21/22, Célia fera ses débuts notamment à l’Auditorium de l’Opéra de Bordeaux, et au Théâtre des Champs Elysées à Paris, mais également au festival “Nouveaux Horizons” à Aix-en Provence dont les concerts sont retransmis sur Arte Concerts et France Musique.

Un disque consacré aux 18 pièces de Dante de Marie Jaëll pour piano solo paraîtra également en 2022 chez le label Présence Compositrices  crée par Claire Bodin. 

Anne-Marie Fijal

pianist-composer

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Anne-Marie Fijal graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris with unanimous first prize in piano, instrumental ensemble, musical aesthetics and third cycle in chamber music. She participates in performances with painters, dancers and writers.

Through a constant dialogue between her work as a performer and as a creator, Fijal creates the link between visionary works such as Beethoven's Sonata opus 111, Schumann's Kreisleriana and one of her own works. CD Sourdes Clameurs.

In 2021 she recorded a Liszt disc - the B minor sonata and the 2 lugubrious Gondolas.
Fijal has composed about forty instrumental works as well as an opera "Le Baiser" based on a short story by Robert Walser, which was premiered at the Banff Festival in Canada. She works with sound and electroacoustics. In association with performances, she composes for the cinema (including F.W. Murnau's film "La Terre qui flambe", music commissioned by zdf/arte), the theatre and dance, Carolyn Carlson, Karin Vyncke, concerts and recordings with the great Colette Magny, and writes the score for Nancy Huston's Jocaste for the theatre.
Dramatic and Musical Critics Prize 1989

She arrives, Fijal, music inside, music outside, with her earthly clues. She sits down at the keyboard and it is not as usual, because she knows that no heaven without earth. That no angelic song without a tenebrous belly. And above all, no me without the other, the others. She is a unique artist because of this. She wanted - and then in an astonishing way knew - to open the piano; to open it in a universe. Keys ivory strings leather wood. Air water fire metal. The elements. The emotions. Caress and cry. This thing, to touch it all, to make it breathe, to rumble; to cross the spaces, the times, the extremes of articulation of disarticulation, rain pearls and military hammering, Sturm and drang, exquisite delicacy.
Nancy Huston

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Portrait A.M.Fijal 02/10/21

 Maciej Nerkowski                    Leszek Lorent

Baritone

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percussion

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The percussionist Leszek Lorent and the baritone Maciej Nerkowski form a duo that focuses on contemporary music. The duo's repertoire includes many contemporary creations. International festivals and concerts. They are winners of the International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition in Krakow and the AES in Amsterdam. They regularly collaborate with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw, the Polish Radio Orchestra, the Great Theater and the National Opera.

Maciej Nerkowski graduated from the Faculty of Singing at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.
His repertoire is vast: Haydn, S.Moniuszko, Strauss, Donizetti, Puccini, Off, Berstein, Xenakis. 

Twice winner of the first prize at the Pieśń wieczorna Moniuszko competition in Białystok, laureate of the Österreichische Kulturforum Warschau, Société Générale scholarship holder, 2nd prize at the International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition in Krakow: Junctions and Fryderykata. recordings:(Zygmunt Stojowski-Prayer for Poland Op.40 Homage to Josquin Desprez by Stanisław Moryto; RES TUA by Miłosz Bembinow.
Since 2000 he has been singing solo in Poland and abroad.
He currently cooperates with the L.T.L. Opera Studio (Laboratorio Toscano per la Lirica), the Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic as well as the Grand Theatre in Poznań, the Grand Theatre and the Polish National Opera in Warsaw.

Leszek Lorent is a Doctor of Musical Arts, winner of national and international competitions. A graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, L. Lorent specialises in multi-percussion and instrumental theatre. As a specialist in this field, he participates in research sessions and conferences in Poland and abroad. Lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, where he heads the New Music Studio. Scholarship from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Scholarship from the President of the Council of Ministers, Société Générale Prize, Scholarship from the Zairian Authors' Association, Rector's Prize from the UFC, Mloda Polska Scholarship, Scholarship for outstanding young scientists from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Writings: Percussion Sketches ( Cultura Animi 2014). Percussion Works of Marcin Blazewicz (Cultura Animi 2015)
Solo albums: Eidos (For-tune), Kundalini. Lorent plays Blazewicz ( Requiem Records), Tonisteon (Requiem Records) - nominated for the Fryderyk Award 2017.

"The central episode Kassandra, which occupies a significant part of the first part of Xenakis' Oresteia, is probably the most astonishing passage in the entire work. It develops a stunning duet between a baritone who makes intense forays into a high counter register, and a particularly rich and active percussion. This amazing confrontation is embodied here by the Polish Scontri duo, consisting of the incredible 'baritone-high counter' Maciej Nerkowski and the percussionist Leszek Lorent. The singer moves with disconcerting ease from one register to another, investing himself completely in the drama of his text."