Master Classes Schaffhausen, Switzerland, 4 to 10 February 2008



Valeriy Sokolov – Born in 1986 in Kharkov, Ukraine, Valeriy Sokolov was awarded the Study Grant Prize at the International Pablo Saraste Competition in Pamplona, Spain in 1999 which provided him with a scholarship to study with Natalia Boyarskaya at the Yehudi Menuhin School, England. Valeriy Sokolov is in ever-increasing demand for his astonishingly mature interpretations of some of the most difficult works in the violin repertoire. Recent and forthcoming concerto performances include with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris and many others. Highlights also include his own festival in Kharkov, Ukraine (now in its second year). He has worked with such esteemed conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ivor Bolton, Andrey Boreyko, Susanna Mälkki, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Peter Oundjian, Vasily Petrenko, Kwamé Ryan, Hubert Soudant and Yan Pascal Tortelier.

Wen-Sinn Yang – The Taiwanese cellist was born in Bern in 1965 and studied with Claude Starck in Zurich and Wolfgang Boettcher in Berlin. He was the first principal cellist in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for 16 years. He often plays with the Orchestra as a soloist.
After having won the first prize at the Geneva International Competition in 1991, he has been invited regularly to important concert halls in Europe and Asia as well as to international festivals. The distinguished conductor Lorin Maazel wrote about Wen-Sinn Yang: «He plays technically at the highest level with a lovely, full sound and impeccable intonation. He phrases sensitively and has the fullest grasp of the philosophical dimensions of the music he plays.» Yang‘s broad repertoire is well documented on more than 30 CDs.
A DVD with J. S. Bachs 6 Solo Suites was published in 2006 in collaboration with the Bavarian TV. Since 2005 he teaches at the University for Music in Munich.

Werner Bärtschi has never given up to look after the specific character and aesthetic value of each single piece of music. Therefore his interpretations are regarded as particularly spontaneous and intense. He has played on all continents and at festivals such as Gstaad, Lucerne, Zurich, La Roque d‘Anthéron, Antalya and Salzburg. Broadcast-, tv- and filmappearances as well as numerous CDs give evidence of his succesful activity as a pianist. The focus of his teaching is to develop from the individual personality of each student the aesthetical goals and the ways to achieve them. His approach to music as a composer is helpful. Thus he is able to appreciate the rich complexity of the past‘s masterpieces. Bärtschi‘s talent for communication allows him to transmit his insights effectively.

Ralf Gothóni – has a many-sided worldwide career as pianist, chamber musician, conductor, composer and pedagogue. His tight concert schedule have included major festivals (Berlin, Edinburgh, Salzburg, La Roque de Antheron, Prades, Prague, The Proms, Ravinia, Seoul etc.), orchestras and recording studios. Gothóni appears regularly both as a soloist and conductor, conducting often from the keyboard. As chamber musician he performs regularly at the important festivals. Very close to Gothónis heart is the contact with young musicians; he has been professor for chamber music in Berlin, Hamburg, Helsinki, London, in Madrid at the Instituto de Musica Camara, Reina Sofia and in Karlsruhe, Germany. He also gives master classes worldwide and is invited as juror at the major piano competitions. Mr Gothóni’s repertoire as composer includes chamber operas, chamber music and songs. In the 80‘s, during Gothóni‘s artistic directorship, the Savonlinna Opera Festival expanded to its format of today. He has also been successful as a writer of three books with essays about musical phenomenology. 


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