TICC is proudly presenting this year's academy instructors:
Øyvor Volle - violin
Annabelle Meare - violin
Berit Cardas - viola
Bjørg Lewis - cello
The Vertavo Quartet is internationally recognised as one of the most masterful string quartets playing today. Since their formation in Norway in 1984, their dynamic and deeply thoughtful performances have captivated audiences. In June 2005, the quartet was honoured with the Grieg-Prize: a prize bestowed on artists of high international standing and whose former recipients include Leif Ove Andsnes, Truls Mørk and the Grieg Trio. Just ten years previously in 1995 they had won First Prize at the 2nd Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition where they were also awarded the Audience prize and the Critics' prize. Vertavo now play at all the major concert venues in the world. They tour extensively throughout Europe and also in Japan and the US. Vertavo have formed partnerships with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Leif Ove Andsnes, Lambert Orkis, Steven Kovacevich, Håkan Hardenberger, Martin Fröst, Sabine Meyer, Isabelle van Keulen. In 2015 they undertook a quintet tour with the renowned British pianist Paul Lewis. The quartet's discography is a diverse one and includes Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Debussy, Bartok, Nielsen, Asheim, "Les Vendredis" (Russian vignettes of the turn of the 20th century) all for SIMAX Classics, as well as the Mozart clarinet quintet with Martin Fröst for BIS Records. Vertavo Quartet are Artistic Directors of Vertavofestivalen held annually in Norway.
Vertavo String Quartet. Photo: Rune Kongsro
Nicolas Van Kuijk - violon
Sylvain Favre-Bulle - violon
Emmanuel François - alto
François Robin - violoncelle
Currently BBC New Generation Artists, the Van Kuijk Quartet’s international accolades boast First, Best Beethoven and Best Haydn Prizes at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, First Prize and an Audience Award at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, as well as becoming laureates of the Aix-en-Provence Festival Academy. Further to this, they join the ECHO Rising Stars roster for the 2017/2018 season.
Following such high success early in their career, the ensemble is an established presence at major international venues, performing at the Wigmore Hall, London; Philharmonie de Paris, Auditorium du Louvre, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and Salle Gaveau, Paris; Tonhalle, Zurich; Wiener Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Vienna; Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Berliner Philharmonie; Kölner Philharmonie; Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Tivoli Concert Series, Denmark; Konserthuset Stockholm; and at festivals including the BBC Proms, Cheltenham, Heidelberg, Lockenhaus, Davos, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier/Radio France, Evian, Auvers-sur-Oise, Stavanger (Norway), Concentus Moraviae (Czech Republic), Haydn/Esterházy (Hungary), and Eilat (Israel). Further afield, they tour each season to North America and will make their Carnegie Hall debut this season. May 2020 will see them return to Australia with debut appearances at the Sydney Opera House (Utzon Room), Melbourne Recital Centre, and UKARIA in Adelaide alongside a residency at the Canberra International Music Festival. Following a celebrated tour to China, Japan, and Taiwan last season they will return to each country in 2021.
Van Kuijk Quartet. Photo: Andrea Vega
Winner of the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg in 2016, where she also got the special prize for the best interpretation of the commissioned work, Saskia Giorgini is considered one of the most interesting pianists of the young generation. She is praised for her “unerring technique, a beautiful and moving sound, a phrasing full of fantasy and a pure musicality” (Salvatore Accardo).
Saskia Giorgini has appeared in acclaimed recitals and live radio recordings in important halls and festival all around the world, and has played together with important orchestras, such as Lodz Philarmonic Orchestra in Poland, CBC Radio Orchestra in Canada, Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra in Latvia, Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra, L’Orchestra Archi De Sono, l’Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, under the baton of conductors as Mario Bernardi, Gérard Korsten, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Antonello Manacorda, Andrea Battistoni and Massimiliano Caldi. A special affinity for chamber music brings her regularly together with renowned partners: Ian Bostridge, Martin Fröst, Janine Jansen, Gilles Apap, Mario Brunello, Thomas Demenga, Friedemann Eichhorn, Dora Schwarzberg and many others. She received a special award for the best interpretation of a work by Frédéric Chopin in the International Piano Competition Ferruccio Busoni 2015. In the Prix d‘AmadèO in Aachen 2012 she won the second prize as well as the Mozart Prize and the Audience Award.
Saskia Giordini. Photo: Christine Rechling
Violist and director Jennifer Stumm has blazed a courageous creative path, her diverse projects mixing a searching intellectual curiosity, irrepressible musical enthusiasm and committed advocacy for social opportunity. Known for the seductive power and “opal-like beauty" (Washington Post) of her sound, Jennifer appears on the world’s great stages like Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Sala São Paulo, and the Wigmore Hall, London. Her solo career was launched after victories in three major international competitions: William Primrose, Geneva, and Concert Artists Guild (where she was the first violist ever to win First Prize) and she swiftly earned a reputation as one of the world's outspoken voices for the expressive possibilities of her instrument.
Jennifer Stumm is Professor of Viola at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna, International Chair of Viola Studies at the Royal College of Music, London and gives masterclasses around the world. Stumm is founder and director of Ilumina, the São Paulo-based festival and social initiative, which has ascended rapidly to prominence as a modern model for 21st century creativity and efficient artist-led advancement of diverse talent. Ilumina unites leading international soloists with the best rising talent from Latin America, working and performing side-by-side at the Ilumina festival and on tour around the world. She is also an enthusiastic speaker and writer, and she recently spoke at NASA about how the arts can help innovate toward a better world, and her viral TEDx talk about the viola and the blessings of being different, “The Imperfect Instrument», was named an editor’s pick of all TED talks and led to a solo debut at the Berlin Philharmonie.
Jennifer Stumm. Photo: Angela Murray