Pascal Siffert

Pascal Siffert is from Fribourg, Switzerland, but has lived in Sweden since 1996. He is section leader with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra’s viola section and has been a member of the orchestra since 1998. He is also section leader in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, of which he has been a member since 1990. In addition, he regularly plays with ensembles such as Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt and Camerata Salzburg.

Pascal Siffert studied under Sándor Végh at Mozarteum University Salzburg, and Keiko Wataya and Charles-André Linale at the Utrechts Conservatorium. He has also participated in master classes with Thomas Riebl at Prussia Cove in England.

Pascal Siffert is passionate about chamber music and often appears in Konserthuset’s various chamber music subscriptions. He also performs solos in viola concertos by Per Nørgård, Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Béla Bartók, for example. In 2015 he performed the solo in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote for cello, viola and orchestra with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and his colleague, cellist Johannes Rostamo.

Bendik Foss

Bendik B. Foss (1978) studied with Lars Anders Tomter at the Norwegian Academy of Music. In 2002 he joined the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra after brief stints in the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. After 8 years in OPO he left his position to pursue a freelance career.

Since 2009 Bendik is a member of the Cikada Ensemble, a flexible 10-piece formation dedicated to contemporary music. Cikada Ensemble tours and records extensively in different constellations, and have won numerous prizes and awards. Bendik is a member of Oslo Sinfonietta and Ensemble Ernst. He also performs with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and Oslo Camerata.

Bendik also holds a master’s degree in musicology from the University of Oslo, and once wrote an impenetrable thesis on cultural theory which at least six people have read.

Arthur Bedouelle

Arthur Bedouelle was born in Paris and had a very important musical experience when he was twelve years old:

− I played in a youth orchestra with the Jeunesse Musicale de Suisse, and discovered the joy of playing symphonic music and sharing this experience with such a large group of people. I remember having felt like a fish in the water from the moment I sat on stage, and since then, I haven´t looked back.

The musician who probably inspired and influenced him the most in the process of becoming a musician was Alexander Zemtsov, his teacher in London.

− He is someone for whom music making is completely natural, an instinctive and sensitive player always looking for freedom and easiness. I also have my heroes of the old times, such as Christian Ferras, a violinist whose expressivity is unmatched by anyone I can think of. Artists like those should, I believe, be our beacon in a milieu that is unfortunately sometimes getting more concerned with control and an artificial ideal of perfection than by generosity and expression.

− A place where everyone is young, fresh and enthusiastic

Arthur joined the Oslo Philharmonic in 2014. He loves seeing the sparkling eyes of his colleagues in the morning while arriving at work:

− It´s a privilege that I believe few share in this world. One of the most wonderful things in the Oslo Philharmonic is that people keep their enthusiasm and their will to play, every day, for their whole career. One of my colleagues told me one morning that she was as happy to play after twenty years as she was the first day she sat in the orchestra. I think this is truly wonderful: it´s a place where everyone is young, fresh and enthusiastic.

He enjoyed a warm welcome on his first day in the orchestra:

− The first day of my trial, my section had put a box of chocolate on my chair, to welcome me. To be unconditionally trusted from the first day is something very rare, a leap of faith that takes a lot of courage and generosity. From the moment I first played here, I have felt surrounded by loving people and trusted both as musician and as a human being. A place where the social aspect and the generosity of people is so intimately linked to the quality of the music making is a hope for all of us and I don’t think anymore that one can separate the human qualities of an individual or the way he behaves with his colleagues, with what he has to give on stage.

− We sometimes forget to listen by ourselves

Richard Wagner is one of Arthur’s favorite composers, though he rarely gets to play his music with the orchestra:

− My first experience in orchestra was a performance of Tristan and Isolde with Kirill Petrenko, in Germany. That piece is associated with some of my best memories and I hope to play it again. I am also very fond of Sibelius, who is for some reason terribly underrated in my home country.

Arthur thinks curiosity is an important key to great experiences in the concert hall:

− We are all very keen on listening to things we know already, but to discover something new is in itself the greatest joy. I also think that with an omnipresent media and every concert and artist being reviewed, hyped and criticized all the time, we sometimes forget to listen by ourselves. It´s very often the case that people ignored by the media have as much, or more, to offer than our music “stars”. My advice would be as follows: don´t only go for the big names: lots of them are unnecessarily inflated and some obscure musicians you may have never heard about are absolute geniuses!

When he´s not playing, Arthur loves being with people – or books.

− I am a very social person, I love company, making friends and sharing moments with others. I am also an avid reader, and find that the experience of a truly great book has a lot to do with listening to a great piece. I also play chess way too much, a virus I contracted a few years ago. Luckily and despite a lot of studying, I am still terrible at it.

Catherine Bullock

Catherine Bullock grew up in Lancashire England and got her first musical inspiration at home:

− I wanted to play an instrument after listening to my sister play the cello.

Her biggest influences musically have been from her partner Geoff Miles and the first concertmaster of the Oslo Philharmonic, Terje Tønnesen.

− They made me love music at a late stage in my twenties. Before that, I had been damaged by a tough schooling.

− Never read reviews

Catherine played in several British orchestras before joining Oslo Philharmonic in 1999; she played solo viola with Philharmonia Orchestra, and with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She also plays with Camerata Nordica and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.

She´s been a soloist with the Oslo Philharmonic several times. She´s had many great experiences with the orchestra and refrains from choosing a favourite. However, she has a suggestion for concertgoers in search of a good concert experience:

− My only advice to audience members is never to read reviews. This kind of criticism is not good. Perfection or imperfection is the least interesting aspect of a performance.

Her favourite composers are Strauss, Mahler and Mozart. She doesn´t have much time to spare for other activities than music:

− I enjoy being a mum when I´m not playing − with four small children there isn´t time for a hobby.

Mikhail Zemtsov

Mikhail Zemtsov first took violin lessons from his mother Loudmila Levinson at the age of five, later studying viola and composition at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He gained Soloist Diplomas with Distinction from ABRSM (GB, B. Dinerstein), the Hochschuele fuer Musik in Hamburg (Germany, M. Nichetianu) and the Maastricht Conservatory (Netherlands, M. Kugel).
Mikhail took conducting lessons and masterclasses with Lev Markiz, Juozas Domarkas, Neeme and Paavo Jarvi, Gianandrea Noseda and Daniel Raiskin.
He has participated in numerous International Festivals in Europe, the Far East and the Americas as chamber music partner to musicians including Bella Davidovitch, Boris Berezovsky, Dmitri Sitkovetski, Sarah Chang, Janine Jansen and Julian Rachlin. He has recorded six chamber music CDs for Sony Masterworks, Tower Records and Deutche Welle. His Solo CD ”The Last Rose of Summer” was placed as number 2 among the Top 50 of the TROS – Dutch Broadcast/TV Channel and it was given 9 points (excellent) in the biggest Dutch record-review magazine ”LUISTER”. Mikhail has been a prizewinner at the first International Viola Competion (Vienna) and the Elisa Meyer String Competion (Hamburg).
Zemtsov’s solo appearances include performances with the Moscow Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, Lima Philharmonic, New World Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony of Mexico, Luxembourg Philharmonic (R. Strauss ”Don Quixote” with Misha Maisky as cello soloist), Wiener Volksoper, Hamburger Symphoniker, Stavanger Symphon (Norway) and The Hague Philharmonic (Netherlands) with conductors including Neeme Jarvi, Jaap van Zweden and Dmitri Kitajenko.
Mikhail also plays as a duo partner with guitarist Enno Voorhorst (Duo Macondo). He founded the Zemtsov Viola Quartet together with his wife Julia, his brother Alexander and daughter Dana. Mikhail Zemtsov is currently principal violist with The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra (Residentie Orkest) a position he has held since 2001.
Mikhail Zemtsov is viola teacher at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and at the Utrecht Conservatory. He is chief conductor of the Utrecht Conservatory Strings and the Concerto Grosso Youth Orchestra in Rotterdam.

Rebecca Chambers

Rebecca Chambers grew up in Somerset, and started learning the viola at the age of 9. She then went on to become a pupil at Chethams School of Music. On leaving school Rebecca completed her studies as an ABRSM scholar at the Royal College of Music, where she learnt with Simon Rowland-Jones. Soon after leaving college she became a member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and then the Philharmonia Orchestra where she was co-principal viola. Rebecca has also been a member of the John Wilson Orchestra and has played as a guest principal with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and English Chamber Orchestra. In 2014 she joined the orchestra of English National Opera and in July 2016 was appointed principal viola.

Matan Gilitchensky

Matan Gilitchensky, Viola

Winner of the prestigious ”Aviv” competitions in Israel (AICF, 2010), for both Viola prize and Audience Choice prize categories. Won competitions and awards as a soloists and as a chamber musician also in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic and Spain.

As keen player of chamber music, he toured extensively throughout Europe and took part in many important festivals such as: Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein, Verbier Festival Academy and OCM in Prussia Cove, where he played alongside world-class partners as Guy Braunstein, Wolfram Christ, Frans Helmerson, Alban Gerhardt and Máté Szűcs to name a few.

Born in Israel, Matan graduated from the Buchamnn-Mehta School of Music in Tel-Aviv in Dr. Lilach Levanon’s class. In 2011, he moved to Berlin to continue his studies under Prof. Hartmut Rohde at the Berlin University for Arts. Since 2015, he serves as faculty in the same institute- as Prof. Rohde’s assistant and as a teacher for Orchestra Studies.

In season 15/16, Matan joined the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra as a co-Principal violist, playing already the succeeding season as a Principal Viola. As a guest, he played also with the Berliner Philharmoniker and as principal violist at the Köln Opera.

Barbara Buntrock

It is a poesy of tone that Barbara Buntrock seeks in her concerts: to furnish each note with its purpose, follow a musical line and find an expression that can move an audience. The daughter of a cellist and a violin-maker took her first violin lessons at the age of five and it was only just before the commencement of her tertiary studies that she discovered her love for the viola. Its deeper tones and timbres have attracted her ever since her first lesson on the instrument as a first-year student with Werner Dickel at the College of Music in Wuppertal.

Barbara Buntrock went on to study with Barbara Westphal at the Lübeck College of Music and completed a year abroad, as a scholarship holder of the Study Foundation of the German Nation and the German Foundation of Musical Life, with Heidi Castleman at the Juilliard School in New York. Following studies supplementary to her concert examination in the class of Tabea Zimmermann and Lars Anders Tomter at the Hanns Eisler conservatoire in Berlin, she graduated with distinction in 2012.

Barbara Buntrock has received valuable guidance from Seiji Ozawa, Nobuko Imai, Gabor Takács-Nagy, Kim Kashkashian, Yuri Bashmet, Anner Bylsma and Bruno Giuranna, some of it within the framework of the Verbier Festival Academy. From February 2009 to December 2010 she was also first solo violist in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, before giving up the post in favour of her solo and chamber projects.

Barbara Buntrock has won many international competitions, her most recent success being second prize in June 2012 at the Tokyo International Viola Competition. She had previously won prizes at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, the Concours de Genève, the International Music Competition in Markneukirchen, the International Primrose Competition and the German Music Competition (DMW). Her native city of Wuppertal awarded her its 2008 Von der Heydt Bursary, honouring the ”steady musical development and evolution of a young artistic personality” and her ”high degree of musicianship and expressive, sensuous playing”.

Barbara Buntrock has appeared as a soloist with such ensembles as the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Wuppertal, the Chamber Orchestra of the Electoral Palatinate, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bergisches Land, the South-West German Chamber Orchestra of Pforzheim and the Bochum Symphony Orchestra. She will make her debut in the Zurich Tonhalle this September, with the support of the Orpheum Foundation, during the 2013 International Orpheum Music Festival.

As a viola player, she finds special inspiration in chamber music, both in the spontaneous coming-together of a new grouping and in the teamwork of an established ensemble. Barbara Buntrock is a member of the Mariani Piano Quartet, with whom she was awarded a DMW scholarship in March 2011. She also plays regularly with the Leipzig String Quartet and has recorded two CD’s with them including the string quintets by Mozart and Mendelssohn.

In the upcoming season a recording together with pianist Daniel Heide will be released by the Cavi-music label with sonatas by Paul Hindemith and Rebecca Clarke as well as the suite by Ernest Bloch, which were all composed in 1919. Furthermore also the debut CD of the Mariani Piano Quartet will be released in autumn by the label Genuin with works by Frank Bridge, Bohuslav Martinu and Robert Schumann.

As its artistic director, she oversaw the foundation in 2011 of ”Festival 3B — Chamber Music in the Wuppertal Immanuelskirche”, named after the three great B’s of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms and dedicated to the chamber repertoire of all musical eras.

Since October 2015 Barbara Buntrock has held the position as professor of viola at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Dusseldorf.
She plays a viola built by Antonio Mariani, Pesaro, c. 1650, formerly played by the legendary violist Lionel Tertis.

Yuval Gotlibovich

A native of Israel, Gotlibovich holds first prizes in National and
International Competitions, among them: First Prize and the Fridolin
Rusch award at the 8th ”international Lionel Tertis Viola
Competition”, first prize at the 2004 ”Aviv” Competitions in Israel
and the 2004 American ”Fischoff” Chamber Music Competition as a member
of Trio di Colore.

Gotlibovich´s concert activities span through Europe, United States
and Israel. He has played as soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony
Orchestra, the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble, Texas Festival Orchestra
and the Ostrobothnian chamber orchestra . He Collaborated in Chamber
Music with world renowned artists such as: Menachem Pressler, Marc
Andre Haemlin, George Pludmahcer, Nubuko Imai, Janos Starker among
others. His concerts can be heard worldwide on networks BBC in the
U.K, CBC in Canada, IBA in Israel, FRA in France, Deutschlandfunk in
Germany and NPR in the United States.
He has appeared in recital in such venues as: Wigmore Hall in London,
and the Kennedy Center in Washington.

Live music for the 1919 movie ¨The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari¨ by
Gotlibovich for viola and cello duo had been premiered in Festival
¨Are More¨ in Vigo, Spain, Last year and is future to be performed in
the Haifa International Film Festival among various venues in Israel
and abroad.

He is a regular guest at festivals and summer courses such as Kuhmo in
Finland, Roundtp in Texas, Giverny and Villefavard in France and the
world viola congresses.

An album titled Chamebr Music of Jean Francaix, had been released
lately on xxi productions, featuring a premiere recording of the
original version of Rahpsodie for viola and piano (1946) and trio for
Clarinet, viola and piano

he has worked with Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Ensemble Callisto in
Chicago, ICTUS in Brussels, 216BCN in Barcelona and 21 in Israel; and
with Composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki , Henri Deutilleux, György
Kurtág and Sofia Gubaidulina . Composers Alexandre Eisenberg and
Justin Merritt have written Concertos for the Viola that were
dedicated and Premiered by Gotlibovich.

Gotlibovich had been the youngest Professor on the faculty of Indiana
Univetsity from 2004 to 2008. This year he will join the faculty of
Escuela Sperior de Musica Reina Sofia as assistnat Pofessor to Diemut
Poppen and will be Professor in Conservatorio Svizerra Italiana,

His main teachers include Atar Arad and Anna Rasnovsky.

Tim Fredriksen

Professor i viola och kammarmusiker vid Det Kgl. Danske musikkonservatorium.
Tidigare 1e konsertmästare i Danska Radiosymfoniorkestern. Primarie i Den Danske Kvartet. Soloviolast vid flera festivaler och många CD-inspelningar och solist med de flesta danska orkestrarna.