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.
The young piano trio Rafale carries the French name for a gust of wind, which can mean gale force winds, a warm air stream or even a cool breeze. Together, agitation and calm are a metaphor for movement in the form of music.
An offer to perform Ravel’s piano trio in the spring of 2008 brought the three young students of the Zurich University of the Arts together. After the concert, they decided to pursue working together. Since September 2009 the trio has been coached by Professor Eckart Heiligers in Zurich. Within a short period of time, the young trio obtained numerous awards. Most recently, Trio Rafale won both the jury prize and the audience prize at the Migros Culture Percentage Chamber Music Competition in 2013. Before that, Trio Rafale won the first prize at the prestigious Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition 2011, held every four years. In April 2011 they received the second prize at the Concours International de Musique de Chambre de Lyon. They also received a second prize in 2010 at the International Commerzbank Chamber Music Award in Frankfurt am Main.
During a master class with Eckart Heiligers in Ochsenhausen, Germany they were selected as the winners of the Bruno-Frey-Music Award 2010. Furthermore, they were distinguished with the first prize at the Concours national pour Trio ins-trumental Geraldine Whittaker Prix 2010 of the Jeunesses Musicales de Suisse. Part of the prize was a concert in Radio Studio Geneva with live simulcast on Radio Suisse Romande. The Trio Ra- fale received valuable artistic input from Bernhard Greenhouse and at the Schaffhauser Meisterkurse in February of 2010. Since its foundation the trio has performed numerous concerts in all major cities in Switzerland and was a guest in 2012 at the Lenzburgiade and the Hitzacker Musiktage among others. In 2013 the Trio Rafale was on tour with the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven‘s Triple Concerto. Their debut CD with works by Schumann and Ravel appeared in 2012.
Maki Wiederkehr, piano
was born in 1986 in Solothurn and received her first piano instruction at the age of three. A year later, she also began violin lessons. In 2003, she began attending piano classes with Prof. Homero Francesch. After finishing secondary school in 2004, she also began studying the violin, but since the summer of 2005, she decided to concentrate on piano studies with Prof. Francesch. Maki Wiederkehr completed her music education diploma with distinction in January 2009, receiving the Werner and Berti Alter prize for pedagogy, and also received her performance diploma in April 2009 with distinction. In September 2011, she earned a solo performance diploma with Ravel’s “Concerto for the left hand“ and completed her studies with a certificate of advanced studies (CAS) in the summer of 2012, studying with Prof Homero Francesch at the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 2010, she has taught piano classes at the music school of the Basel Music Academy. Maki Wiederkehr has been awarded several first prizes in competitions in Switzerland and Italy, including the Rahn Musikpreis Competition in 2012, which allowed her to play a concert in the Tonhalle in Zurich. Moreover, she received the annual prize for piano of the Curt and Marianne Dienemann Foundation, Lucerne, in 2010, and a scholarship from the Canton of Solothurn and the Kiwanis Chamber Music prize in 2009. She was awarded scholarships from the Migros Culture Percentage in cooperation with the Ernst Göhner Foundation (2009/2010), from the Kiefer Hablitzel Foundation (2007/2008) and from the Friedl Wald Foundation (2006).
Daniel Meller, Violin
was born in 1986 in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He received his first violin instruction at the age of nine with Lucyna Mroczkowska and later with Carole Haering at the Conservatoire de Neuchâtel. In 2003, while preparing for the Swiss secondary school exam at the Denis-de-Rougemont school in Neuchâtel, he was accepted into the class of Nora Chastain at the Zurich University of the Arts as a pre-college student. In June of 2010, he completed his performance diploma with distinction and earned a solo performance diploma in November of 2012. In 2011-12, he received further artistic inspiration from David Takeno in London as an Erasmus student. Daniel Meller attended master classes of Ana Chumachenco, Benjamin Schmid, Isabelle van Keulen, Viktor Pikaizen, Bernhard Greenhouse, David Halen and Sylvia Rosenberg. He won several first prizes at the Swiss Youth Music Competition. He was also awarded third prize in the Charles-Hennen-Concours in Holland and received a scholarship from the ”Maurice Rubeli“ Foundation of Neuchâtel in 2003. In 2006, he won first prize at the “Duttweiler-Hug“ violin competition at the Zurich University for the Arts and received an Aspen scholarship from David Zinman in 2007. Also, he was awarded the Kiwanis chamber music prize and the Friedl Wald scholarship in 2008. Daniel Meller has appeared in several festivals, among others in Musikwoche Braunwald, Herbst in der Helferei, Cereiso Estate and Les Schubertiades d’Espace 2. In 2008, he was invited to the Davos Festival, where he performed Helena Tulve’s violin concerto with the Swiss Camerata under the baton of Jean Deroyer. From 2008 to 2010, Daniel Meller was acting associate concertmaster of the Sinfonie Orchester St. Gallen.
Flurin Cuonz, violoncello
was born in 1986 in Winterthur and took his first cello lessons at the age of eight with Alfred Felder. In 2001, he began lessons with Rebecca Firth at the Zurich Conservatory. After completing secondary school in 2006 he studied with Thomas Grossenbacher at the Zurich University of the Arts, where he completed a music education degree with distinction. In 2009, Flurin Cuonz began studying in a master degree programme with Clemens Hagen at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, which he completed in 2012 with distinction. From 2001 to 2006, Flurin Cuonz was a member of the Zurich Youth Orchestra, serving four years as principal cellist. After successfully completing an internship during the 2008-09 season at the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, he was hired as an extra player. Flurin Cuonz has received valuable artistic input from artists such as Alexander Neustroev, Christian Proske, Eckart Heiligers, Walter Grimmer, Alexander Rudin, Martin Löhr, Christophe Coin and Bernhard Greenhouse. Flurin Cuonz has taken awards in various competitions, such as first prize in the ”Enrico Mainardi“ cello competition at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg (2010) and first prize at the Kiwanis competition for cello at the Zurich University of Arts (2008). Flurin Cuonz was also successful in various stipend competitions, most recently in 2012, winning a music prize from the Kiefer Hablitzel Foundation (co-foundation of the Hedwig Collard-Scherrer Foundation). In 2009 and 2010 he was awarded a stipend at the instrumental music competition of the Migros Culture Percentage (supported by the Ernst Göhner Foundation) and was also accepted by the concert agency of the Migros Culture Percentage. In April 2011, Austrian Radio, Ö1-ORF featured a radio portrait of him as well as an internet profile. Flurin Cuonz plays a cello built by Peter Westermann in 2003.
Windwerk is the German word for the blower of a church organ. Both instruments, the saxophone and the church organ, operate with wind. So they called their ensemble WINDWERK:
Martin Sebastian Schmitt - Saxophone
Martin Sebastian Schmitt - Saxophone
Martin Sebastian Schmitt was born in 1969 in St.Wendel and studied jazz (Saxophone, German flute) at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz under Peter Reiter, Jörg Kaufmann and Rainer Heute, Jazz Composition and Arrangement course under Prof. Joachim Ullrich and Prof. Ed Partyka Masters courses and workshops with Joe Lovano, Benny Golson, Roman Schwaller, Vincent Herring, Lee Konitz, Herb Geller, George Robert, Gunter Hampel, Dick Oatts and Peter Herbolzheimer Award-winner at the international jazz event "generations 2000" in Frauenfeld (Switzerland) Freelance composer, arranger, instrumentalist, conductor Saxophone teacher at the Wiesbaden College of Music and Art and at the Peter Cornelius Conservatory in Mainz www.msschmitt-musik.de.
Volker Krebs - Organ
Volker Krebs was born in 1974 in Wiesbaden and studied Catholic Church Music A at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz under Gabriel Dessauer, Prof. Gerhard Gnann, Prof. Hans-Jürgen Kaiser and Prof. Alfred Müller Other studies in Louis Robillard's Master Class (Lyon), under Jean-Pierre Leguay (Dijon) Master Courses with Oliver Latry, Guy Bovet, Heinz Wunderlich, Wolfgang Zerrer Scholarship winner of the Richard Wagner Association (1999), the DAAD (2001) and Johannes-Gutenberg University (2002) Deanery cantor in Bleialf since 2004.
For further information - www.duowindwerk.de