AOIFENÍBHRIAIN HULDAJÓNSDÓTTIR IANANDERSON STEFANHADJIEV NIKOLAIMATTHEWS
AOIFE NÍ BHRIAIN | VIOLIN, IRELAND
Aoife began studying the classical violin at an early age with the Young European Strings School of Music in Dublin, Ireland. She made her orchestral debut at the age of 9 with the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra and has since gone on the perform as soloist and record with various orchestras in Europe and Asia including the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Esker Festival Orchestra, l'Orchestre de Chambre Ariege, MuKo Orchester Leipzig and HMT Felix Mendelssohn Symphony Orchestra.
Aoife has won prizes for both Irish traditional and classical music including All Ireland Titles at the Fleadh Cheoil, Bonn Óir Sheáin Uí Riada, The Fiddler of Dooney, a TG4 Gradam Ceoil Award, Camerata Ireland Young Musician of the Year Award, the Campus Internazionale da Musica, Pontino Festival Young Musician Award and 2nd Prize at the Concours International du Violon Marie Cantagrill and 3rd Prize at the Vasco Abadjiev International Violin Competition. Aoife is also honoured to have been nominated onto the board of Directors of the Irish Traditional Music Archives as of 2016. Other awards include the Bill Whelan Bursary for exceptional musicians, the Prix d'Or from the Conservatiore de Pays de Loire, Nantes, an award from Music Network Ireland for the purchase of an instrument, Leipzig Live Music Now Scholarship with the Osmosis Quartet and a scholarship awarded by Herr Dr. Bunge for further studies in Leipzig.
Aoife has collaborated with musicians from all genres including singer songwriter and Oscar winner Tim Robbins and his band of Rogues, Kate St John, Declan O Rourke, Camille O Sullivan and Kris Drever. Traditional artists Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill, Mick O Brien and Emer Mayock, Julie Fowlis, Padraig Rynne, John Sheahan and many others. She has performed chamber music with acclaimed classical pianist Eliso Virsaladze, Barry Douglas, Mariana Sirbu, Massimo Paris, Finghin Collins, Tatjiana Masurenku, Frank Reinecke, Andrei Banciu and recorded and collaborated with Golden Globe nominee Brian Byrne and also Grammy Award winning producer Judith Sherman. Aoife is also a past member of the Irish National Youth Orchestra and EUYO.
Aoife recently completed her Masters Degree in HMT Leipzig Germany having completed her Bachelor under the guidance of Prof. Mariana Sirbu.
HULDA JÓNSDÓTTIR | VIOLIN, ICELAND
Hulda Jónsdóttir was born in Iceland in 1991 and started playing the violin at age four. She completed a diploma exam from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2009 under the tutelage of Guðný Guðmundsdóttir. From 2009-2015 she studied with Robert Mann, David Chan and Laurie Smukler at The Juilliard School in New York completing a Master of Music degree.
Since completing her studies, Hulda relocated to Germany where she plays regularly with Ensemble Resonanz in addition to other freelance activities. As a soloist she has appeared with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, as well as with other orchestras in Iceland and the chamber orchestra of Morelos, Mexico. As a chamber musician she has performed at festivals such as the Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern and the PODIUM festivals in Germany and Norway. As an orchestral musician she has held a contract with Philharmoniker Hamburg has played as guest with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, and as second concertmaster of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Since September 2006 she plays on a violin by Vincenzo Sannino and a bow by Victor Fetique on generous loan from the Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation in Chicago.
IAN ANDERSON | VIOLA/COMPOSER, SCOTLAND
"dem tollen Bratschisten Ian Anderson" ("the great violist Ian Anderson") | Benedikt von Bernstorff, Der Tagesspiegel; IMOGEN at the Berlin Konzerthaus, May 2016
★★★★ – BBC Music Magazine, for Duo van Vliet’s debut album, Lachrymae ReVisited, July 2017
Ian Anderson plays in many different ensembles, including yllwshrk (alternative rock band, ‘yellow shark’, where he plays guitar and writes music), Duo van Vliet (viola and accordion duo), Scottish Ballet (where he holds the position of Principal Viola), and Wooden Elephant. He is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London (undergraduate viola with James Sleigh, where he won the Maurice Loban Prize for viola final recitals) and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow (postgraduate composition with David Fennessy).
yllwshrk have received grants from both Arts Council England and Creative Scotland towards the recording their debut album, due for release in August 2019 on Irish experimental label, Diatribe Records. It will feature collaborations with the London Contemporary Orchestra, Scottish singer-songwriter Siobhan Wilson, the Maxwell String Quartet, members of Yurodny Ensemble, and dancers and choreographers from Scottish Ballet.
Recent highlights include playing on Radiohead’s latest album A Moon Shaped Pool as part of the London Contemporary Orchestra; the release of Duo van Vliet’s debut album Lachrymae ReVisited on Orchid Classics (shortlisted for Recording of the Year at the 2018 New Music Scotland Awards); and the launch and development of Wooden Elephant.
Ian is a former Principal Viola of the European Union Youth Orchestra, and plays on a 2003 John Dilworth viola, purchased with support from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund.
STEFAN HADJIEV | CELLO/KAZOO, BULGARIA
Stefan Hadjiev has distinguished himself as a versatile, innovative soloist and chamber musician in the international concert scene. A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Stefan has always looked beyond the main-stream and standard definitions of music-making and has dedicated himself to a very varied repertoire, with the aim of removing the boundaries between musical genres.
2018 will see Stefan performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto in a concert tour with the Stuttgart Philharmoniker, a CD release of cello and piano music with pianist Veneta Neynska, and many more concerts and festival appearances, including gigs with loop based improvised music, and collaborations with artists from other music styles.
Recent engagements include a critically acclaimed performance of the 2nd Cello Concerto of D. Shostakovich with the State Orchestra of Kassel (Germany) and conductor Yoel Gamzou, and the world premiere of Cello Concerto by Michael-Gregor Scholl. Stefan also recently guested with the Lipkind Quartet for recordings and concerts in Tonhalle Zurich with Schubert’s Quintet, Opus 163. He joined the Bulgarian music producer Georgi Atanassov-Minstrell in the process of creating the original music and sounds for the experimental dance-theatre piece Ion at the Red House, Sofia. Ion became one of the most interesting plays during the last theatre season in Sofia, receiving highly positive reviews and an IKAR (the Bulgarian Theatrical Awards) nomination. Stefan is also a member of the International Mahler Orchestra and its spin-off IMOGEN - a project based collective of musicians formed by conductor Yoel Gamzou, which aims to search for new formats in performing classical music.
Stefan has always had a strong interest in other musical genres as he collaborated with artists such as Paul Frick, Gilles Apap, and bands from UK and Bulgaria. Stefan is a co-founder of 180° - of one of the most innovative festivals in Sofia (Bulgaria) for experimental music and interdisciplinary arts.
NIKOLAI MATTHEWS | DOUBLE BASS, NORWAY
Nikolai Matthews is an Oslo-bas(s)ed double bass player. He appreciates low frequencies more than high, and therefore started playing bass. Even after 22 years of bass playing he doesn't regret that decision. He is active in all kinds of groups and orchestras. He finds chamber music to be the most fun because of the possibility and necessity to communicate very actively both musically and verbally. In his time off he tries not to talk too much, focuses on raising his kids to become good critical thinkers, and enjoys his guilty pleasure of chips and guacamole on average 3 times per week. He previously had the space to brew his own beer, but currently lacks the kitchen facilities.
He owns two basses, one 4-string and one 5-string. Had he only bought one he might have had better kitchen facilities.
His current main priorities of bass playing are the chamber orchestra Ensemble Allegria, the PODIUM festival in Haugesund (co-artistic director), Krantz (a chamber music concert series in Oslo), Arctic Philharmonic (for orchestral gigs; seriously great bass section) and Wooden Elephant (a Trojan horse created by Ian Anderson which plays music by giants through an augmented string quintet).