Until 2011, Jonathan Darlington was music director of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra and has held the same position with the Vancouver Opera since 2002. His passionate yet refined approach to music making has done much to increase the popularity and quality of both orchestras.
A graduate of Durham University and the Royal Academy of Music, he began his career as freelance pianist, accompanist and répétiteur in France. His work was influenced early on by such outstanding musical personalities of our time as Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Muti and Olivier Messiaen. He made his conducting debut in 1984 at the Parisian Théâtre des Champs Elysées with Francesco Cavalli’s baroque opera Ormindo, and in 1991, as deputy to the Music Director Myung-Whun Chung at the Paris Opéra with Le nozze di Figaro.
A charismatic enthusiasm and an acute sensitivity with regard to orchestral colour and balance are the hallmark of Jonathan Darlington’s work. His vast symphonic and operatic repertoire ranges from the baroque to the contemporary, with an emphasis on lesser known (contemporary) works outside the European mainstream. Numerous world and national premieres of works such as Trojahn’s La Grande Magia or Kagel’s Broken Chords attest to his commitment to contemporary music. Renowned for his broad repertoire, he gives regular guest appearances with major orchestras and opera houses the world over.
Jonathan Darlington is both a “Laureate” (LRAM) and “Fellow” (FRAM) of the Royal Academy of Music, London, and is proud to hold the distinction of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
Website of Jonathan Darlington
Junko Inada graduated the Piano Performers’ course at the High school attached to the Tokyo College of Music at the head of the class with the highest award. After graduating, she studied at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and graduated with Premier Prix in both piano and chamber music classes. Then she continued her studies at Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris where she was granted the Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste. She has won many national and international prizes in such competitions as the Student Music Concurs of Japan, the Music Competition of Japan, the Sofia International Piano Competition. But above all, most re-markable prize she was awarded was the 3rd prize in the Rachmaninov International Music Competition in Moscow in 1997 (the 2nd prize was not awarded). Since then Ms. Inada has been making a great career performing in Europe including France as well as in Japan. She has been consecutively invited to Lourmarin Festival in France, regularly taking part in “Summer Concert Series” in Paris where she won so good reputation that she came back in August of 2012. In Japan, too, she has had many solo and chamber music concerts, has appeared on Radio and television, including such programs as NHK “Play Chopin”, NHK
“FM Recital”, NHK “Masterpiece Recital”, Tokyo Broadcasting System Tele-vision. The program “This week’s pianist” on Classica Japan with Mr. Takayoshi Isayama as an emcee will introduce her performance of Poulenc from her recital.
Also Ms. Inada enjoys an established reputation for her witty and hilarious comments. She is highly regarded for her dynamic pianism with a scale far beyond a typical Japanese pianist, and is considered one of the most promising pianists in Japan, constantly appearing in public.
Ms. Inada has played with many renowned orchestras such as the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Sofia Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. She gained high reputation for her Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto in 2001 and 2nd Piano Concerto in 2005 both with the Tokyo New City Philharmonic Orchestra. In spring 2002, she started her recital series “IMAGINATION” which contained a series of concerts celebrating the 130th anniversary of Rachmaninov’s birth, and the series reached the 10th recital in 2010.
In autumn 2004, Ms. Inada released the first CD “TABLEAUX” which has gained high reputation and popularity, despite the fact that it was her first recording. The recording won the praise of many critics; “dignified virtuosity with dazzling sound”, “sensitive but brilliant pianism”. Ms. Inada studied with Katsuko Miura, the late Toyoaki Matsuura, Jean-Claude Pennetier, Alain Planès, the late Germaine Mounier.
Kolja Blacher (violin) studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York with Dorothy DeLay, and then with Sandor Vegh in Salzburg. He has performed with major orchestras worldwide, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, the NDR Symphony, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with conductors such as Kirill Petrenko, Vladimir Jurowski, Dimitri Kitajenko, Mariss Jansons, Matthias Pintscher and Markus Stenz, among others.
His repertoire includes solo works of Johann Sebastian Bach to Luciano Berio, but also the great violin concertos of the Romantic and Classical eras as well as contemporary pieces for violin and orchestra (for example those by Magnus Lindberg, Kurt Weill, Hans Werner and Bernd Alois Zimmermann). Always open for something new, he performed the German premiere of Brett Dean's "Electric Preludes" for six-stringed electric violin with the Munich Chamber Orchestra.
In the past five years, his so-called “Play-Lead” concerts have captured Blacher's interest. Leading the orchestra from the desk of the concertmaster, he has worked regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Festival Strings Lucerne, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Camerata Bern, the Dresden Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Komische Oper in Berlin. This is a performance practice which is more and more in demand, from St. Antonio to Kuala Lumpur to a residency with the Duisburg Philharmonic. As "Artist in Residence" of the Duisburg Philharmonic, Kolja Blacher presented four different types of programmes in 2014/2015.
He is enthusiastically re-invited whenever he works with orchestral musicians and leads performances from the concertmaster's desk.
Kolja Blacher is already looking forward to the coming 2015/2016 concert season including projects with Yan Pascal Tortelier and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Südwestdeutschen Philharmonie Konztanz (play-lead), the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn (play-lead), a solo recital in Toppan Hall in Tokyo and further concertos with orchestras in Japan.
Kolja Blacher has recorded a number of award-winning CDs. Among others, they have received distinctions such as the "Diapason d'Or". For example, he has recorded CDs with Claudio Abbado, with whom he has had a long-term artistic partnership from his performances with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. In May of 2015, his fall 2013 recording of Arnold Schonberg's Violin Concerto with the Gürzenich Orchestra under Markus Stenz appeared, immediately topping the list of best recordings of orchestral music in the 3/2015 edition of the German Record Prize.
After serving as professor in Hamburg, he now teaches in Berlin at the Hanns Eisler School of Music. Growing up as the son of the German-Baltic composer Boris Blacher, Kolja Blacher still lives with his family in his city of origin, where he was concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic for six years, until finally deciding to make his way as a soloist.
Kolja Blacher plays on the so-called “Tritton” Stradivarius made in 1730. It is on generous loan from Miss Kimiko Powers.
was born in 1992 in Padua, Italy. She began to play the piano at the age of four with Laura Palmieri. In 2009, she concluded her professional studies with “summa con laude” from the National Academy Santa Cecilia in Rome in the class of Sergio Perticartoli. Leonora Armenllini also studied composition at the C.Pollini Conservatory of Padua with Giovanni Boonato. Since 2011, she has doing her postgraduate studies with Lylia Zilberstein at the Academy for Music in Hamburg, preparing for her master degree.
Additionally to her studies, Armellini took part in international masterclasses, where she was tutored by eminent musicians such as Lilya Zilberstein, Marian Mika, Pietro De Maria, Eliso Virsaladze, Jeffrey Swann, Claudio Martinez Mehner, Matti Raekallio and Michel Béroff.
In spite of her very young age – she produced this first solo CD at the age of 21 years – Armellini has performed already worldwide in many important concert halls. Among them are Sala Santa Cecilia in Rome, Teatro Dal Verme in Milan, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Piccinni in Bari, Salle Cortot in Paris and – at the age of 17 – Carnegie Hall in New York. For her age, she has an unusual amount of experience playing concertos with orchestra, appearing with the Orchestra of Teatro Verdi in Trieste, the Torino Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of Teatro La Fenice, Kiev Chamber Orchestra and the National Philharmony of Ukraine. She has collaborated with conductors such as Claudio Scimone, Zoltan Pesko, Anton Nanut, Alexander Rabinovich-Barakovsky, Damian Iorio, Daniele Giorgi, Giordano Bellincampi, Christopher Franklin, Corrado Rovaris, Maximilian Warm, Raffaele Napoli and Emilian Madey. Her strong love for chamber music has brought her together with artists like Jeffrey Swann, Sonig Tchakerian, Laura Marzadori and the Trio Broz.
In 2009, Leonora was awarded first prize at the International Piano Competition Camillo Togni in Brescia, and in 2010 she received an outstanding performance award at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. She has appeared in several TV broadcasts and appeared live in concert for the series “Sunday Concerts at Quirinale”, broadcast by Radio3. Last but not least, Leonora has recorded both Chopin Concertos, collaborating with the Orchestra of Veneto conducted by Anton Nanut and Alexander Rabinovich-Barakosky.