Raphaela Danksagmüller, Recorder and duduk
Raphaela was born in Ried i.I., Austria. After completing her studies at the Wiener Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, cum laude, she continued studying Recorder at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Walter van Hauwe. As a soloist and member of various ensembles Raphaela performed in Europe, Asia and the United States. Raphaela performed as a guest with the Nieuw Ensemble, the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, the Nederlands Vokaal Laboratorium, the Nederlands Kamerorkest, the Nederlands Kamerkoor, the Residentie Orkest and the Hermes Ensemble.Raphaela is a member of the Renaissance ensemble Mezza Luna, Ensemble Thouraya and Zerafin. She was awarded prizes at the International Recorder Symposium Calw in Germany, the Early Music Festival in Brugge/ Belgium and at the International Gaudeamus Competition in the Netherlands. Since 2002 Raphalea has been studying Duduk with Gevorg Dabaghian in Yerevan, Armenia.
Matthijs Koene, Pan flute
Matthijs concluded his studies Cum Laude at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Already during his studies, Matthijs developed a new technique that allowed him to meet the very different tones, articulations and dynamics that are specifically used to play classical and modern music. His vision and playing style has a high technical level as well as a musical expression that brings the Pan Flute to a completely new level. Up to now, more than 70 works have been written for Matthijs.
With his Pan Flute-guitar duo, Verso, he won several awards including the Vriendenkrans and Concertgebouw prize in 2003, the prize for contemporary music of the Comradio Competition in Barcelona and the IBLA Grand Prize in Italy. Together with Verso he performs regularly at international venues. In 2007 the duo played in Carnegie Hall in New York. Matthijs also works closely with the organist Jos van der Kooy and he plays in various contemporary music ensembles.
Since September 2005, Matthijs Koene is professor for Pan Flute at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.
Kristina Fuchs, Voice
Kristina Fuchs was born in Biel, Switzerland. She studied voice at the Swiss Jazz School and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where she graduated MA cum laude. Next to that she followed workshops and master classes, studied classical Indian singing in Bangalore, India, and voice technique according to the Lichtenberger method of sound-oriented singing.
She won the Christa Widlund prize for talented young singers in 2005.
She has performed in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, Finland, India, Russia, England and Ireland. She performed as a soloist in concert halls like the North Sea Jazz Festival, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, National Concert Hall Dublin and many jazz and classical venues. The press writes: ““Fuchs’ voice is velvety, seductive without imposing for one moment. She improvises in a playful manner. Perfectly natural a piece of Indian scat comes along, a Swiss alpine echo or a jazz lick – all in service of the music; it’s not about her self. Kristina Fuchs is one with her band. Only very few singers have this ability.” (Volkskrant 2005)
Kristina Fuchs has released four Cd’s under her own name, containing many of her own compositions.
Next to her performance practice as a jazz and improvising singer she is also a performer of contemporary classical music. She has performed work from a.o. Theo Loevendie, Yannis Kyriakides and Donnacha Dennehy.
Kristina Fuchs is principal teacher for jazz voice at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp (Artesis).
Fang WeiLing, Erhu
Born in China, she completed her Erhu studies at the Conservatory of Shanghai.
When she was fifteen she gave her debut as a soloist, during the final demonstration-ceremony of young performing artists in Shanghai.
During her professorship at the Conservatory of Shanghai she was sent abroad together with other Chinese top-musicians various times in order to promote Chinese music. Except for China, she played concerts in Singapore, Portugal, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Finland.
In the Netherlands she performed with the Restidentie Orkest, the Radio Philharmonisch Orkest, the Storioni Trio and the Nieuw Ensemble. She played recitals in RASA and did projects with a.o. Global Rebop and Het Ming Principle with jazz musicians. She was also selected for a showcase on the first World Music Day in the Netherlands.
About her performance with Snowflower (a Belgian Pop Band), Dirk Fryns from “De Tijd” wrote: ”The way she melts Chinese classical music with pop and jazz stimulates the imagination, just like translations of old Chinese love poems present us a peculiar perspective on an universal phenomenon.”
Cassandra Luckhardt, Viola da Gamba
Since winning the prize for Best Individual Performer at the 1998 Van Wassenaer Competition for Early Music in Den Haag, Cassandra Luckhardt has established an international reputation as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician and teacher on both cello and viola da gamba. In performance, Cassandra has played and recorded as principal cello and gamba with The Academy of Ancient Music, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Il Complesso Barocco and the King’s Consort. As a chamber musician, Cassandra is in equally high demand, demonstrating her flexibility as soloist with Musica ad Rhenum, the Apollo Ensemble and La Suave Melodia. She has performed all over Europe as well as in China, Australia, Japan, Russia, Israel, the U.S. and throughout her adopted home of The Netherlands. Her recording with Musica ad Rhenum of the Suites for viola da gamba as part of the complete chamber music of Francois Couperin has been highly acclaimed as “magnificent and indispensable” and “… a particular highlight.” Her recent recording of the Bach Sonatas for Viola da Gamba exhibits “a give and take full of playfulness, sensitivity, musicality and collegiality” as well as “a beautiful performance which leaves no wish unfulfilled.” In 2015, she will perform as solo gambist with the Royal Orchestra of the Concertgebouw.
Cassandra received her Bachelor of Music and her Bachelor of Arts degrees cum laude from Oberlin College, Ohio, in 1992 and her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory in 1994. She moved to Paris in 1994 to study at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique under the auspices of a Harriet Hale Woolley grant, awarded that year to only three other artists in the United States. In 1996, she received third prize at the Early Music Competition for Ensembles in Bruges and in 1999 won the Public Prize at the Utrecht Early Music Festival. In 2001, Cassandra finished her studies at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, graduating with degrees on both viola da gamba and baroque cello.
Cassandra plays a cello built by Sebastian Kloz, Mittenwald ca. 1760 and a gamba after Guillaume Barbey, Paris 1690 by John Pringle, USA 1987. She also plays an instrument awarded by the Nationaal Muziekinstrumentenfonds, a cello built by Roger Hargrave after Montagnana, 1736.
Dario Calderone, Double bass
Dario Calderone has studied doublebass with Massimo Giorgi, Franco Petracchi and Stefano Scodanibbio. Between 2001 and 2007 has collaborated as solo doublebass in various orchestras. Since 2007 dedicates mainly to the diffusion of music composed during the last 40 years.
In 2008 moved to The Netherlands, where he stil plays as a member of Nieuw ensemble, Ensemble MAE and Nieuw Amsterdams Peil, with Heleen Hulst and Gerard Bowhuis, and the Atlas Ensemble. He has collaborated with a number of composers, among others Louis Andriessen, Salvatore Sciarrino, Bernhard Lang, Robert Ashley, Christian Marclay and Yannis Kyriakides, inspiring them in the composition of their works.
His activity spaces from solo performances to chamber music, having been regularly invited by the major contemporary musical festivals in the world. In 2013 he founded together with Yannis Kyriakides, Ann La Berge, Wiek Hijmans, Gareth Davis and Reinier Van Hout the ensemble MAZE, a group deeply involved in radical experimentations in the field of conceptual composition.
He regularly gives masterclasses at the Tashkent conservatory and at the Amsterdam Conservatory. In 2002 wins the first price at W. Benzi solo doblebass competition, and in 2006 wins the stipendium price of the IMD of Darmstadt. He recorded a number of CDs for Stradivarius, Attaca records, Wergo and Unsounds. In 2015 will be tutor in the renowned “impuls Academy” in Graz (Austria).
Enric Monfort, Percussion
Spanish percussionist Enric Monfort is an experienced musician in the classical, contemporary and crossover music scenes. After his studies in Castellón (Spain) with Josep Vicent (where he graduated Cum Laude with Honors), the Amsterdam Percussion Group in the Netherlands and Emmanuel Séjourné in Luxembourg, Monfort has stablished himself as a versatile musician that creates and works in a very wide variety of fields.
He has worked with Koninkijk Concertgebouw Orkest, Nederlands Philharmonish Orkest, Nederlands Kamerorkest, Orquesta del Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, Orquesta del Palau de les Arts de València, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid (Teatro Real), Orquesta de Córdoba, Orquesta Pablo Sarasate de Pamplona,…; Percussion Group The Hague, Amsterdam Percussion Group, Ensemble Residencias, Barcelona 216, Insomnio, Axyz Ensemble, Neopercusión, N Collective, Ziggurat Ensemble, MAE Ensemble and the Barton Workshop, to name jut a few. As a soloist, he’s performed in The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Spain, South Korea, Turkey and Austria.
Enric Monfort’s interest in musical diversity has brought him to collaborate with artists like B.C.Manjunath, Antonio Canales, Jorge Pardo, Arcángel, Ttukunak, Timuçin Sahin, and a long etc. He is percussionist with The Black Pencil, Duometrie and artistic director of Kimbala.