Ulrike Payer counts among the most versatile pianists of our time. Having been born into a theatre-based family in Wuppertal, Ulrike Payer studied in Brussels, Cologne and Hannover, winning several international prizes. She is a regular guest at festivals throughout the world, for example at Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Delfter Kammermusikfestival, Peking Festival, Usedomer Musikfestival, La folle journée au Japon.

Radio-, CD- and TV recordings document the wide variety of the artist’s work.

As a pianist, Ulrike Payer distinguished herself not only in the world of classical music, but also as an interpreter of Tango Argentino. In recent years, she has co-operated with Isabelle van Keulen, Christian Poltéra, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Alisa Weilerstein, Sol Gabetta and Saschko Gawriloff.

Matthias Kirschnereit grew up in Namibia and later studied with Renate Kretschmer-Fischer at the Detmold Hochschule of Music. He has been a laureate of many national and international competitions, including the German Music Competition in Bonn, the Géza Anda Competition in Zürich and the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia. Kirschnereit concertizes with numerous ensembles including the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Festival Strings Lucerne. A resident of Hamburg, Kirschnereit became Professor of Piano at the Rostock Hochschule of Music and Drama in 1997.

Julian Riem was born in Munich in 1973 and studied with Michael Schäfer at the Munich Hochschule of Music as well as Michel Béloff at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris.He pursued higher studies with Rudolf Buchbinder at the Music Academy in Basel and was awarded top marks for his Soloist Diploma in 2003. Julian Riem was a winner of international piano competitions in Modena, Madrid and Florence and received a scholarship from the German Music Competition. He performs regularly as a soloist, chamber musician and lied accompanist, and has appeared at international festivals including the Liszt-en-Provence piano festival, Musica Mundi in Brussels, the European Music Academy in Aix-en-Provence, the Sándor Vegh International Chamber Music Academy in Prague, the Sofia Music Summer, the Rolf Liebermann Podium in Hamburg, Les Muséiques in Basels, the Munich Biennale and the Munich Opera Festival.

Yoko Kikuchi was born in Japan in 1977 and studied piano with Kyoko Tanaka. She continued her studies at the international piano academy Incontri col Maestro in Imola, Italy in 1996. In January 2002, she won the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg, which led to two performances with the Mozarteum Orchestra and Ivor Bolton in 2003, as well as appearances with conductors including Gerd Albrecht, Laurence Forster, Alexander Dmitriev, Hubert Soudant, Ivor Bolton, HK Gruber, Dennis Russell Davis, Christian Arming and Hanns Martin Schneidt.

She is much sought after as a chamber musician in varying configurations.

© Steven Haberland

© Marco Borggreve

Mona Asuka Ott was born in 1991 in Munich and made her orchestral debut aged 13.
This was quickly followed by appearances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Edo de Waart, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and Ivor Bolton, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Münchner Symphoniker and Staatskapelle Weimar. Performances in Japan have included the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Kanazawa and New Japan Philharmonic at Suntory Hall.
Solo performances have taken her several times to the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Festival La Roque d’Anthéron, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Kissinger Sommer, Moritzburg Festival, Burghofspiele Eltville, Europäische Wochen Passau, Stuttgart’s Liederhalle and Zurich’s Tonhalle.
In July 2014 Mona Asuka Ott was Artist-in-Residence at the Boswil Music Summer festival. 

© Marie Staggat

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