Meet the Artists 2017
Peter Rainer, Concertmaster
Peter Rainer, Concertmaster
Peter has been iPalpiti’s Concertmaster since 1994. In his native Germany, he is concertmaster and a founder of the Kammerakademie Potsdam, and leads an active career as a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. He is the founder and leader of the Persius Ensemble, focusing mainly on repertoire written for the classical nonet, and has released three CDs; a CD with nonets by Spohr, Clementi and Mozart was chosen by Berlin-Brandenburg Radio (RBB) as one of the best releases of 2007. In 2008 he founded the Merlino String Quartet and has been member of the Max Brod piano trio from 2012. 2016 the piano trio released a CD of compositions by Robert Kahn, a wonderful discovery of romantic music in style of Johannes Brahms. Since 2007, Peter has been on the faculty of the “Universität der Künste” (University of the Arts) in Berlin and of the “Stern Institute” for young talented students. He has worked as the assistant to Professor Schmieder at the Holland Music Sessions, at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas and at Temple University in Philadelphia. Music-loving children know Peter Rainer through the many interactive concerts he developed for them in the past 20 years, such as Till Eulenspiegel, Ferdinand the Bull, The Horse on the Violin to mention a few. In 2010 he appeared at the “Musikfest Schloss Wonfurt” together with “iPalpiti” alumni Tibi Cziger, Caroline v. Bismarck and Eliah E. Sakakushev, and continues to collaborate with iPalpiti alumni international musical projects. Peter studied violin in the U.S. with Professor Eduard Schmieder at the Meadows School of the Arts, where he received his Artist Certificate in 1994 and his Master of Violin Performance degree in 1995. Upon his return to Germany, he was concertmaster of the Brandenburgische Philharmonie in Potsdam from 1996 to 2000. In 2005 he received a commendation from the City of Los Angeles for his leadership of iPalpiti and his contributions to culture.
Davide de Ascaniis
Davide de Ascaniis
Violinist/Italy"Exquisite control." —Baltimore Sun "His dazzling finger work, musicality, pizzicato and incredible cadenzas evoked the wizardry of Paganini." —Brooklyn Eagle
One of the few violinists in the world who performs the entire set of the 24 Paganini Caprices in a single recital, in 2010 Davide made his solo debut in Taiwan performing at the Taipei Arena for an audience of 15,000 and received rave reviews from the press. Last season, his solo performances included concerts in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, as well as recital and chamber concerts in Baltimore and throughout Italy. He has performed in Disney Hall in Los Angeles as an iPalpiti artist, at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Music Center in New York. Born in Italy in 1991 to a family of pianists, Davide's first professional engagement was in 2000 in France, performing the Bruch concerto with orchestra. Since then he has embarked on an international career: early highlights including solo concerts in Rome/Auditorium Parco della Musica, Venice/Teatro La Fenice, Milan/Teatro dal Verme, and Tokyo/Suntory Hall. After earning a Master's Degree cum laude from the Conservatorio in Vicenza at the age of 16, he was awarded a Diploma at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and studied in New York with Albert Markov. Winner of prestigious awards in Italy and abroad, Davide de Ascaniis has performed at many festivals throughout the world, both as soloist and chamber musician. These have included Orford, Chelsea, iPalpiti, Parnassos, Mozarteum, Dino Ciani, Bologna, Bled, Asahikawa and Nippon Foundation festivals.
Azer began his musical studies at the age of eight. At 14, he was accepted in the Musical College of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory in the class of Professor Maria Keselman from which he graduated in 2007 at the age of 20 with an equivalent of a Bachelor Degree Diploma. Azer participated in master classes and festivals in Dortmund in Germany, Britten-Pearce Orchestra in Great Britain, and Volga Regional Young Symphony festival.
Recipient of the Ministry of Culture Russian Federation’s Stipend, Azer is a Laureate of numerous national competitions. In 2007 Azer received a Diploma at the 14th Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy, and a special iPalpiti prize for participation in the iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates in Los Angeles. In the fall 2010, Azer was accepted into Bachelor of Music Program at Boyer College at Temple University in the class of Professor Schmieder, where, subsequently he completed his Master's degree in 2013, and currently pursues a Doctoral degree in Music Performance. Last year, Azer formed the Philadelphia-based The Amaranth Piano Trio with several performances in its debut season. He is a member of iPalpiti since 2009, including East Coast residency and in concerts at the Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall, and Los Angeles festivals. In 2012, he performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as a winner the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music.
Born and raised in Toronto, Conrad has established himself as a foremost performer and teacher in his native Canada. A review in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald praised “the full, sweet, seductive intensity of Chow’s sound”, and his performance alongside Ani Kavafian with the Columbia Festival Orchestra was hailed as “ornate and satisfying” by the Albany Times Union. He is a prize-winner of the 2006 International Stepping Stone Competition in Quebec and the David G. Whitcomb Foundation’s Young Artist of 2003. Conrad began his violin studies at the age of three at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. His Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are from Indiana University’s School of Music, studying with Miriam Fried. Conrad completed his DMA from the State University of New York, Stony Brook (under noted violinists Pamela Frank, Ani Kavafian, and Philip Setzer), and later pursued further post-doctoral work with Eduard Schmieder at Temple University in Philadelphia. He studied chamber music with the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet and is appearing in chamber music performances with Paul Biss, Christina Dahl, David Finckel, and Miriam Fried. His string quartet was winner of the Indiana University Kuttner String Quartet Competition, performing as the quartet-in-residence for the 2001-2002 seasons.
As soloist, he appeared with numerous orchestras. Recital performances have included the St. Cecilia Concert Series, University of Toronto’s Hart House Sunday Concert Series, broadcast on CBC Radio, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Qingdao Music Hall in China, New York’s Staller Center for the Arts, Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio and George Weston Recital Hall, and 2010 Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall debut. As a member of the prestigious iPalpiti orchestral ensemble of international laureates since 2008, he performed at Carnegie Zankel Hall, Disney Hall in LA, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and Israel. Being a teacher of one of the leading precollege private violin studios in Canada; his students are winners in many important national and provincial competitions and have made solo debuts with Canadian orchestras, in 2010 he has been appointed to a faculty position at the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music’s elite pre-college academy. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the 2006-2007 seasons, and was member of the faculty at the Summit Summer Music Festival in New York in 2010. Dr. Chow has served as jury member and adjudicator of various Canadian competitions and is a presenter of master classes in Canada, the United States, and Asia.
iPalpiti AmbassadorCatharina Chen’s Website
“…beautiful tone, technically brilliant…charismatic and elegant…” — Bergens Tidene
Born in Oslo, Norway in 1985, Catharina began studying violin at the age of 5 with her father. Since the age of 8, she has soloed with all major orchestras in Norway. Well known to Norwegians through television and radio broadcast programs, Catharina is the recipient of numerous awards, and the youngest musician in Norway ever to be awarded the highly respected and prestigious Oslo City Culture Prize (2004).
In 2011, Catharina was appointed and holds position of the concertmaster and soloist of the Norway National State Opera. She has given solo and chamber concerts in international arts festivals in Norway, Italy, China, Malaysia, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, France, and South Africa, and has been a soloist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in Tchaikovsky and Beethoven Violin Concertos in consecutive seasons 2008-09. A Graduate of Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo, a leading institution in Norway, where she studied with Arve Tellefsen and Henning Kraggerud, she continued her music education in the USA with the renowned Professor Eduard Schmieder, earning an Artist Diploma from Temple University in Philadelphia. Catharina is a Grand Prize winner in the third International Gnessin Violin Competition in Moscow, Russia (2003), and the 2nd Prize winner at the Jeuness Musicale International Violin Competition in Bucharest, Romania (2007). An iPalpiti artist since 2004, named iPALPITI AMBASSADOR in 2013, Catharina has performed on the stages of Mozarteum Grosse Hall Salzburg, Carnegie Hall in New York, was a featured soloist at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 2008, Carnegie Zankel Hall in 2009, and in Israel in 2011. Catharina has been invited as solo recitalist to numerous concert series in California.
In her native Norway, Catharina continues to be an attraction for the important musical and government occasions: in May 2008, she was the only artist invited to perform at the opening of the prestigious Bergen International Arts Festival, with King and Queen of Norway in attendance. Winning the prestigious “Intro Classic” prize from State Concert Norway resulted in 2009-2011 engagements from solo recitals in New York, Washington, Milan to “Live Classical, Catharina with friends” in Tønsberg, Eurovision in Oslo, and tours with The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra” and Oslo Camerata in Spain and Brazil, recitals in Holland, four weeks of touring across Norway, tour across China, India, and world premiere of “the Moon” by Martin Romberg during Expo in Shanghai.
1st prize Enescu • Special iPalpiti prizeWebsite
Violinist/FinlandKreeta-Julia Heikkilä’s Website
“Kreeta-Julia Heikkilä, through means of her technical ability and passionate playing, proved why she is one of the most interesting Finnish violinists of our time.” (HBL 6/2014)
Kreeta-Julia Heikkilä served as a concertmaster of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, Oulu Symphony and Vaasa City Orchestra in Finland. During this season she was guest concertmaster of London BBC Symphony Orchestra, Arctic Symphony Orchestra and iPalpiti Orchestra. As a soloist, Heikkilä has played with orchestras and given concerts as a soloist and chamber musician across Europe, South-Korea, USA and Russia. In recent years, she has performed at many leading festivals: the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Oulu Music Festival, Riihimäki Summer Concerts, Rauma Festivo, PianoEspoo and the Helsinki Festival in Finland, the Riga New Music Festival and the Classica NordicBaltic Conference in Latvia, the Ecuentro de Musica de Santander in Spain, Festival International De Musique De Chambre En Charente and the Music Alp Music Weeks in France, the iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates in Los Angeles, the Gumi International Music Festival in Korea, the Harmos Festival in Portugal and the Lake District Summer Music Festival in the UK. She has been a prizewinner at numerous national and international competitions as well as winner of numerous awards, including the prestigious Pro Musica and Nordea Awards. Kreeta-Julia is also an artistic director, founder and a violinist in TEOS - Finnish Chamber Music Series in Helsinki and is currently a violinist in the Copenhagen-based Trio Nord (Jacob Shaw, cello and Kristoffer Nyholm Hyldig, piano). With the Finnish pianist Roope Gröndahl (Duo Teos) she has played concerts in Finland and abroad, concentrating in the repertoire of Finnish chamber music for violin and piano. Kreeta-Julia graduated with distinction from the London Royal College of Music in 2012 and from the Sibelius Academy in 2015, where she studied under Jan Repko, Tuomas Haapanen, Mi-Kuyng Lee and Päivyt Meller. Heikkilä plays an Andrea Guarneri (1680), kindly on loan from The Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Noco Kawamura was born in Morioka, Japan. She started playing violin at the age of four, and received a Winner’s Medal at the Children’s Competition of Japan at ten. Noco studied at the famous Toho Gakuen School of Music from 1998 to 2001 with Professor Kyoko Suzuki and continued at Toho Gakuen University in Tokyo where she received her Bachelor's degree in 2005. She was selected as a soloist for the Graduation Concert, named Yomiuri New Young Artist in Tokyo and awarded Meiji Yasuda Quality of Life Scholarship. During her studies at the Toho, she had numerous chamber music classes with the Tokyo Quartet. After the graduation, Noco worked as a first violin player in the professional orchestras: New Japan Phiharmonic Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmony Orchestra, performing in concerts under eminent conductors such as Lorin Maazel and Myung-whun Chung. In 2007 she performed as a soloist with orchestras across Japan. In her participation of Mozarteum Summerakademie in Salzburg, she met Professor Eduard Schmieder, and moved to USA to study with him at the SMU’ Meadows School of Arts in Dallas in the Artist Certificate Program, and followed him to Temple University in Philadelphia where she received her Master's degree. As a soloist and chamber musician Nobuko has performed in Switzerland, France, Germany, and Japan, including music festivals such as Figeac Chamber Music Festival in France, Kusatsu and Hakuba in Japan, Lenk in Switzerland, Baden-Baden in Germany, and Lake George Music Festival.
She was invited to join iPalpiti in 2008, and has been playing in its Los Angeles festivals and east coast. As a member of iPalpiti orchestral ensemble of international laureates she performed in prestigious concert halls including Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Carnegie Hall in New York. She formed piano "Primavera Trio" in 2011 and since, has been touring throughout Japan; its 2013 concert was broadcast and received great attention from the media. The trio released debut CD album "Chapel Concert" in 2014, and in May 2015 was invited to perform in the largest music festival in Japan "La Folle Journee au Japon - Area Concert". Noco actively performs in solo recitals and ensembles in Japan and USA, including Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra.
Born in Omsk, Russia in a family of musicians, Alexandr began to play the violin at the age of five with professor Muralev, an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation and the concertmaster of the Omsk Symphony Orchestra. Winner of a number of national and international competitions, including First Prize at the Jyvaskyla International Competition 2011 in Finland, and numerous awards from prestigious Russian organizations, he concertized throughout Russia as a soloist with chamber and symphony orchestras. In 2009, Alexandr toured Finland as a member of a Novosibirsk “Bright Bows” ensemble, and was assistant concertmaster of the International Symphony Orchestra that took part in an International Forum Russia-Asia in Indonesia in 2011 and in Thailand in 2012. That same year he graduated cum laude from Novosibirsk Conservatory (under Professor Marina Kuzina-Koifman) where he was a concertmaster of the Symphony Orchestra from 2009. He participated and performed at the summer festivals, including Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg. Prior to his arrival to the United States, he was a leader of a string quartet which premiered compositions of contemporary Russian composers. Alexandr received his Master’s from Temple University’ Center of the Arts, where he studied with Professor Schmieder (2012-2016), and served as a concertmaster of the Temple University Symphony Orchestra. He performs in chamber and solo music recitals in the Philadelphia area. His interests include photography and he is also a certified personal trainer.
Samuel Nebyu is the Grand prize winner of the 2015 National ASTA (American String Teachers Association) Solo Competition, the “Remember Enescu” International Violin Competition (Romania, 2013), the Flame International Violin Competition (Paris, 2008), and a winner of the Beverly Hills National Auditions (CA, 2014). Born in Hungary of African-American and Jewish-European descent, Samuel spent most of his early childhood in Asia. He began playing the violin at the age of six. At fifteen, he was admitted to the Young Talents Program at the Brussels Royal Conservatory where he received tutelage from the renowned musicians, including Igor Oistrakh. He was violinist-in-residence for several years at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium. Currently, he is studying at Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University under Laura C. Carnell Professor of Violin and Artistic Director of Strings, Dr. Eduard Schmieder. Samuel has performed at prestigious music festivals around the world, including the Eilat Music Festival (Israel), the Mozarteum Festival (Salzburg), the Ravello Festival (Italy), and the Summit Music Festival (New York). As a soloist, he has performed with orchestras such as the Bacau Philharmonic and the Valcea Symphony (Romania), and the Brussels Philharmonic. He has given recitals and performed as a soloist in magnificent venues such as the Peles Castle in Romania, the Wiener Saal in Salzburg, the Alice Tully Hall in New York, and the Centre of performing arts in Brussels (BOZAR). On May 11, 2016 he was awarded the Clifton Emerging Artist Award and gave a recital in Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
iPalpiti alumnus 1999www.kazuhirotakagi.com
Born in Oakland, California, Joseph began his violin studies at the age of 5. He has studied with Yayoi Numazawa of the Philadelphia Orchestra, James Lyon and Max Zorin of The Pennsylvania State University, and Eduard Schmieder of Temple University. Graduate of the Pennsylvania State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance, he was honored to receive the Creative Achievement Award, given out to only one exceptional student. Winner of the many competitions in Pennsylvania, Joseph received first prize in the PSU Philharmonic Concerto Competition performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto (2008). He returns to State College every summer for the Penn's Woods Music Festival under the direction of Maestro Gerardo Edelstein. Kauffman founded and performed with the “Valens” Piano Quartet, which received First Prize in the MTNA Chamber Music Competition. Most Recently, Kauffman - along with his cellist colleague Yoni Draiblate - founded a chamber music concert series in the Wayne Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. As a chamber musician – both violinist and violist - Kauffman was featured live on the classical radio in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
In 2008, Kauffman was accepted into the international class of Prof. Eduard Schmieder in master’s degree program at Temple University, which he completed in 2011 with the distinction, and the Albert Tashjian Prize for excellence in performance. He frequently served as concertmaster for the TU Symphony Orchestra and TU Opera Theater.
In 2010, Kauffman was selected to join the acclaimed iPalpiti orchestral ensemble of international. He has performed on major concert stages including Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center, and the Kennedy Center, amongst others. He has participated in master classes with world-class soloists and ensembles, including Jaime Laredo, Philip Setzer, Martin Chalifour, the Shanghai, Emerson, the American, the Tokyo quartets, and many others.
Currently, Joseph is continuing his violin studies in the DMA program at Temple University, where he is also a teaching assistant. He teaches a talented class of students at the NBS School, maintains a thriving private violin studio, and leads an active performance career. Together with a iPalpiti alumnus cellist Yoni Draiblate, he has founded MUSIC TRANSFORMS concert series in Philadelphia.
Born in 1987, Ankara, Turkey, is a member of Eskisehir Greater Municipality Symphony Orchestra. His M.A.in Viola is from Lausanne Conservatory (Bruno Pasquier’s class) and B.M. in Viola from Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, where he has been awarded with a full scholarship. He also attended master classes of James Creitz, Rusen Gunes, and Tatiana Masurenko at the Ayvalik International Music Academy. Can joined the Bilkent Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2001 and was its Principal Viola 2005- 2008. Other leading positions were at Bilkent Youth Virtuosos (2006 -2008), touring Turkey and Germany as Co-Principal with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Damiano Guiranna (2007), and in summer 2008, as the Principal Viola in the Greek-Turkish Youth Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.
In 2009, he became a member of the Camerata de Lausanne under the leadership of Pierre Amoyal. He has performed in many chamber music and solo concerts all over the world including Turkey, Switzerland, France, Russia, Singapore, Greece, Germany, Cyprus and participated in festivals such as the Cannes Festival, the Montebello Festival, the Saint-Riquier Festival, the International Students Chamber Music Festival in Stuttgart, the Youth composers and Youth performers, World Music Day, the Festival of Castle of Ankara, and VEKAM Art Festival. He has also performed at television and radio broadcasts on Mezzo, Radio Suisse Romande (La Tribune des Jeunes Musiciens) and Turkish National Television and Radio.
Graduate of The Buchmann-Mehta School of music at the Tel-Aviv University, the Hochschule für Musik in Köln, and the Mozarteum University, Salzburg, working, among others, with Professors Hillel Zori and Clemens Hagen, Ofer received regular guidance from his mentor Professor Uzi Wiesel. Ofer performed as a soloist with many orchestras around the world such as the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, the Jeaner Philharmonie, Georgische Kammerorchester Ingolstadt, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and the Haifa Symphony. His Debut Recital in the Carnegie Hall New York took place in February 2010. Ofer is regularly invited to teach and perform in many concerts, recitals and festivals around Europe and Israel, where he had the opportunities to collaborate with numerous appreciated musicians such as Howard Klug, Rudolf Koelman, Ida Bieler, Ludwig Mueller, Tomer Lev, James Maddox, Vladimir Ivanov, Boris Giltburg and many others. In 2015 Ofer joined the "Aviv" quartet for concert tours around Israel and Europe including concerts in the "Gaia Festival" Switzerland and the Wigmore Hall in London. Prize winner of the “Bucchi” International Competition for Cello playing in the 20th-21st centuries, Rome, 2011. the "Enerico Mainardi Competition," Salzburg 2012, the Buchman-Mehta school of music competitions in the Solo instrument and Chamber music categories as well as special prizes in the "Allegro Vivo" festival in Austria, and the "Paul Ben-Haim" competition in Israel, Ofer is a Winner with Excellence of the American-Israel Cultural Foundation. A founding member of the "Testore Quartet" and the "Testore Ensemble," this ensembles won several prizes and have had the opportunities to perform in many festivals and concert venues such as the Arnold Schoenberg Center, Vienna and the ORF RadioKulturhaus, Vienna, the "35th Musical evenings of Piran," the "Tartini Festival" in Slovenia, and in the 2nd "Salzburg Chamber Music Festival". In 2014 Ofer was one of the principal cellists of the Jenaer Philharmonie, Germany; since 2010, Ofer is a Principal Cellist of the "Salzburg Chamber Soloists". As part of his artistic values Ofer puts emphasis on performing and recording Israeli compositions such as the full Cello repertoire by Paul Ben-Haim, "Kaddish" by M. Kopytman and "Confession" by N. Sheriff.
Welcome Jaani Helander, our “emergency “ cellist, who, on a DAY NOTICE was “plucked” from his vacation in Zagreb to replace iPalpiti French cellist. Member of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Jaani went straight to rehearsals from Los Angeles airport, playing on a cello given on loan by Cauer Violins, and he also will join iPalpiti soloists in two concerts performing in Enesco String Octet July 21 at UCLA, and July 24 broadcast concert at Los Angeles County Museum. All the while, he is a perfect iPalpiti member, performing in daily concerts, moving toward grand-finale at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Graduate of the famed Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in May 2012, Georgy moved to Italy to study with Giovanni Sollima and earned a diploma of “Master of Cello” at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in December 2015. He performs at major festivals and venues worldwide along/and with such world-renowned musicians and actors such as Natalia Gutman, Giovanni Sollima, Enrico Dindo, Rocco Filippini, Monika Leskovar, Boris Andrianov, Eliso Virsaladze, Elsa Lila, Moni Ovadia and others. As a composer, among his recent projects there is a series of compositions for cello solo named The Traveler’s Diary (originally Breviario per Nomadi) that has been used as a background for various shows by the Italian national television RAI and a few films. His first solo (as a cellist and composer) album Cello Drive was sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld and will be released by UK label North2North in June 2016. Besides performing and writing music Georgy founded Association of young musicians “Creative Laboratory GOSH Projects” which is actively promoting the cultural exchange between Russian and Italian musicians organizing Italo-Russian master classes, lectures and workshops in Rome and in Moscow. He is a founder of the International Music Festival “Masters of Music” held each year in Moscow since 2013. In Los Angeles, Georgy had the chance to work with two Grammy Awards winner composer Walter Afanasieff. He plays a cello by Ernst Liebich (Breslau, 1890) . “…amazed by his talent, creativity and technique as well as his ability to passionately connect with and communicate through his Cello. We decided to take him on board as one of our endorsers for our new Versum Cello Strings" - Zdenka Infeld CEO Thomastik-Infeld Vienna. After two years of successful collaboration with the organization NAMM show, in 2016 Georgy was chosen as an official artist who represents NAMM show in Classical section.
Republic of South Africa
Bassist/Republic of South Africa
South African bassist Mariechen Meyer was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1989. She started her double bass studies with Peter Guy in Bloemfontein, and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Stellenbosch in 2011 on the string scholarship under the Dutch pedagogue and performer, Roxane Steffen. From a young age she was appointed principal bassist of several orchestras such as the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of South Africa, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in USA, and the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra. Mariechen has been invited to numerous international chamber festivals, among which are the International Chamber Festival in Stellenbosch (South Africa), MUSICA MUNDI International Chamber Music Course and Festival for Young Musicians in Belgium, the Stift Festival in The Netherlands, and the Interlochen Summer Camp in Michigan, USA, where she worked with Leon Bosch, Lawrence Hurst, Jack Budrow and Zoran Markovic. As a soloist Mariechen has performed with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra (2004) and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (2008).
Currently, Mariechen pursuing her Doctoral Degree at the University of North Texas in Denton, where she also completed her Master’s Degree, studying with the world-renown double bass pedagogue and soloist Jeff Bradetich. In 2013 she was a winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition, second prize winner of the Mid-Texas Symphony Solo Competition and a semi-finalist in the prestigious solo competition if the International Society of Bassists. She plays on a modern Rumano Solano bass, owned by Gudrun Raschen. This is her third season with iPalpiti.
Jacopo has performed at major festival and venues throughout the U.S. and Europe including the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Harmos Festival in Oporto, Accademia Chigiana in Siena (IT), and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2011, Jacopo formed the “Mephisto Piano Duo” with Sergio Baietta, and performed throughout Italy; he also has been performing regularly in duos with violinist Anastasiya Petryshak and clarinetist Alessandro Beverari. Winner of numerous international competitions including the International Piano Competition San Dona` di Piave, Premio Crescendo in Florence, International Liszt Competition in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills National Auditions, Jacopo has performed recitals throughout Europe and the United States. He has also taught at the Conservatory of Verona “E.E. Dall’ Abaco” from 2012 to 2014, and in 2010 Mr. Giacopuzzi worked as collaborative pianist at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels. Jacopo has been invited to serve on competition juries and to give presentations and concerts throughout California. Jacopo studied in Weimar at the Liszt Hochschule, earned his first Master`s Degree in Piano performance in 2009 under the guidance of Virginio Pavarana, Master`s in Sound Design (with Mauro Graziani) at the Conservatory of Verona in 2012, and in 2014 obtained his diploma at the International Piano Academy of Imola “Incontri col Maestro” with Leonid Margarius. Jacopo is a graduate in Piano Performance from University of Southern California (2016). This season he is selected as an iPalpiti artist to participate in 2016 iPalpiti Festival of international laureates in Los Angeles.
*iPalpiti Soloists in Encinitas
**iPalpiti Featured Soloists:
iPalpiti Alumnus Juan-Miguel Hernandez, violist/Canada
iPalpiti Junior Samuel Nebyu, violinist/Hungary
iPalpiti Alumnus Kazuhiro Takagi, violinist/Japan
Artistic Advisor Lynn Harrell, cellist/USA
iPalpiti Special Prize Gyehee Kim, violinist/Korea
Critics around the world say
“iPalpiti provides polish for talented young professional musicians from around the world.”
Los Angeles Times
“…a fitting name for the vibrant string orchestra from which the conductor Eduard Schmieder elicited a lively pulse…the ensemble was particularly noteworthy for its unity of purpose and blend. It was as if the musicians’ hearts were beating to the same buoyant rhythm…lustrous, polished tone and graceful phrasing.”
New York Times
“…rich sonorities [of iPalpiti] audibly took the audience’s breath away – especially whenever concertmaster Peter Rainer, whose technically immaculate tone throughout the night was sweet and thrilling, had a few bars to play – showed that iPalpiti had charms to soothe a hall well filled with music lovers of all ages.”
“This was an invigorating world-class performance by young players with technique to burn and a palpable desire to live every note.”
Los Angeles Times
“…the highlight of this astonishing musical odyssey was the sold-out performance at Disney Hall with elegant Maestro Eduard Schmieder at the helm, conducting this world-class group with a brilliant sense of balance, tension and phrasing.”
Beverly Hills Outlook
“…The musicians played with vivid unanimity and committment… The playing was masterly…”
Los Angeles Times
“iPalpiti played with striking unity and spirit and had an infectious way of making music…All [artists] clearly stimulated each other musically, showing mutual inspiration and respect.”
The Strad Magazine
“…cool display of virtuosity… unified to an often a startling degree…”
Los Angeles Times
“[iPalpiti] performance can be called righteously overwhelming…”
Noord Holland Dagblad
“Exhilaration, thrills, and awe conquer audiences…. These are the stock and trade of Young [iPalpiti] Artists International.”
Los Angeles Times
“When one hears these musicians play, one realizes there is a connection between the title and the musical outcome…when it comes to 24 very talented string players (some have independent successful careers) and a conductor who leads them with great musicality, the result is naturally captivating and exciting.”
Ora Binur, Ma’ariv Daily, Jerusalem
“…an astounding demonstration of seamless and beauteous string playing… memorable, luminous, deeply moving performance…”
Los Angeles Times