Hardly anyone would consider combining a soprano, harp and tuba in a musical trio. Three musicians from Wuppertal (Germany), Elena Fink, Manuela Randlinger and Hartmut Müller dared to defy the odds when they formed the Trio Euphony (Greek for “beautiful sound”) in 2007.
Imagine the combination of a vocal part with two instruments, which can hardly be considered the “dream team” among the orchestral instruments. On one hand the “silvery” harp with its delicate, filigree timbre, on the other hand the “dark” tuba with a certain ponderousness and breadth, and sonorous depth in the lower, as well as an incredible density in the higher registers. However, facts and figures do not solely define the unusualness of the Trio Euphony. It is the aesthetic transmogrification of sounds, as well as artistic excel-lence and ability of its members, which facilitates a vivid diversity and renders sheer overwhelming new sound experiences.
Within this slightly disconcerting stylistic diversity, the vocal part (soprano) functions as a linking element, and can generally be said to make the whole thing work. Is not the human voice the most adaptable of all instruments and able to overcome the rifts of what seems to be irreconcilable? The soprano works like a mediator among the two very contrasting instruments, harp and tuba, moving freely and independently, with great warmth and ease.
ELENA FINK, SOPRANO
A much awarded and versatile coloratura soprano with almost 50 roles in her repertoire, Elena Fink was nominated in 2010 as Opera Singer of the Year in the state of NRW, Germany, for her interpretation of the title role in W. Rihm’s Proserpina. She has appeared as Adina in Donizetti’s Elixir of Love for Bonn Opera, as well as Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld at the Staatstheater in Gärtnerplatz, Munich.
The Queen of the Night is one of her most notable roles, which she has sung to great acclaim at many of the major opera houses in Germany, including the Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Hamburg, Opera Halle, The Mozart Festival of Schwetzingen and the Staatstheater Mainz.
In addition to classic opera and oratorio repertoire, Elena Fink also performs in modern works such as Las Canciones/Daams (2001), Macbeth/Sciarrino (2006), and is a sought-after concert singer who performs regularly at venues such as the Philharmonic Halls of Berlin, Cologne, Essen and Luxembourg, as well as the Alte Oper Frankfurt and the Festival Hall of Baden-Baden. In addition to her CD production with the Trio Euphony, she has recorded with labels such as DW, Universal, SWR and WDR under conductors such as P. Falk, C. Meister, Hans-E. Zimmer, H. Max and T. Kamioka.
Since 2001, she has been engaged at the Wuppertal Opera as a soloist. In 2008 she not only had role debuts as Violetta, Susanna and Lakmé and a much-lauded appearance at the Bach Festival in Leipzig, but also a concert tour of Japan.
Elena Fink performed the role of Elettra in Idomeneo in 2011 and thus opened up a new path of more dramatic roles to add to her repertoire. Concert appearances in 2012 included perfor-mances in Koupio/Finnland, Istanbul/Turkey, as well as recurring appearances at the AMUZ in Antwerp/Belgium.
MANUELA RANDLINGER-BILZ, HARP
Manuela Randlinger-Bilz started her first harp lessons at the young age of 7. From the age of 11 until obtaining her highschool-diploma, she was a student of Marianne Buck-Oberascher and later of Werner Karlinger at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 1997 she started studying at the Music Conservatorium in Würzburg, where she was taught by Prof. Gisèle Herbèt and graduated 2004 (Konzertexamen). During her training years she was engaged at the National Theatre Orchestra of Mannheim, where she was able to acquire a large operatic repertoire and gaining experience as a soloist.
She has been the principal harpist of the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra since 2002, plays regularly with the Radio Orchestra of Saarland and the WDR Symphony Orchestra, and toured with the latter to Japan in 2003. Manuela Randlinger-Bilz has released CDs taken from both radio and studio recordings, and a DVD comprised of live performances on ARTE.
In addition to her orchestral work, she performs frequently as a soloist with various chamber ensembles both locally and internationally,in 2004 she performed a touring concert of Mozart works for flute throughout Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. In 2006 Manuela Randlinger Bilz was the recipient of a scholarship from the Richard Wagner Society of Solingen and Bergisches Land, was awarded the Förderpreis from the Enno Springmann Foundation in 2011, and since 2009 has been a lecturer for harp in Düsseldorf.
HARTMUT MÜLLER, TUBA
Hartmut Mueller received his first music lessons from his father, starting off by playing the trumpet. Several years later, he switched to the tuba, and studied in Wuppertal and Aachen as a student of Walter Hilgers. While still a student, he played in many renowned German symphony orchestras, for example the WDR-, NDR- and the HR-symphony orchestras. After playing as a member in the RSO Saarbruecken, he was offered the position of principal tubist in the Wuppertaler Sinfonieorchester, a post he has held since 1988.
Besides playing in orchestras, he soon discovered the opportunites that the tuba has to offer in chamber music and solo repertoire. Thus, he became a member of several chamber music ensembles, such as the HR-Brass, Rhein-Brass, Philharmonic-Brass and the Remscheider Blechbläserensemble.
Performing as a soloist and being one of the founding members of the Melton Tuba Quartett, he quickly gained much acclaim and obtained his reputation as a world-class musician in
Germany and abroad. His career has brought him to concert venues in the USA, Japan, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. Further special projects include solo recordings with the WDR-symphony orchestra, a live recording of tuba concert by Ralph Vaughn Williams with the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, and in November 2011 he was part of the world premiere of the first composition for four tubas and symphony orchestra together with the Duisburg Philharmonics, the Dresden Philharmonics as well as the Bamberg Philharmonics.
Hartmut Müller plays on instruments by Melton and B&S.