WIND INSTRUMENT

SHARON BEZALY

Flute

Described by The Times (UK) as ‘God’s gift to the flute’, Sharon Bezaly is hailed as a flautist ‘virtually without peer in the world today’ classicstoday.com. She has inspired renowned composers as diverse as Sofia Gubaidulina, Kalevi Aho and Jeff Beal to write for her, and has to date twenty dedicated concertos which she performs worldwide.

 

Collaborating with the major orchestras of the word including those of Minnesota, Leipzig, London, Seoul, Taiwan, Cincinnati, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Gothenburg, The Hague, Lahti, São Paulo, Salzburg, and Singapore, she has performed with many esteemed conductors including Osmo Vänskä, Neeme Järvi, Zubin Mehta, Alan Gilbert, Lan Shui, Martyn Brabbins, and John Neschling. In chamber music she collaborates with musicians like Gidon Kremer, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Ronald Brautigam and has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Sydney Opera House and at the BBC Proms. Sharon Bezaly has always had a great interest in contemporary music and is now the world’s living flautist with the greatest amount of concertos and chamber music inspired by and dedicated to her from more than two dozen composers, among which are Kalevi Aho, Christian Lindberg, Haukur Tómasson, Sofia Gubaidulina, Zhou Long, Uljas Pulkkis, Mari Takano, Anders Hillborg, Sally Beamish, Yiu-kwong Chung, Brett Dean, Chen Yi, José Serebrier, Adina Izarra, Jeff Beal and Ge, Gan-ru. Sharon’s collaboration with her record label, BIS, has produced dozens of exciting recordings with repertoire ranging from the flute’s core repertoire, like Mozart, Ibert and Nielsen, to the breaking of new ground with repertoire by the composers that have dedicated their works to her. They have won her the highest accolades, including the Diapason d’Or (Diapason), Choc (Monde de la Musique), Editor’s Choice (Gramophone) and Stern des Monats (Fono Forum). She plays on a 24-carat gold flute, specially made for her by the Muramatsu team, is a top prize winning graduate of the Conservatoire de Paris, a BBC New Generation Artist ( 2006/08 ), the first wind player to be Artist in Residence for the Residentie Orkest ( 2007/08 ), and was elected a full member of the Royal Swedish Academy in May 2018.

KARL-HEINZ STEFFENS

Clarinet

Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of distinction in both operatic and symphonic worlds and is in great demand as a guest. 

Recent seasons have seen him work with ensembles such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Lyon National, Munich Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozarteum and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestras and frequently with the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig and Stuttgart. This season he returns to Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Filhamonica Teatro Regio Torino and continues his appearances in Scandinavia with the Helsinki Philharmonic and a Brahms symphony cycle with Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. He also makes his North American debut with the Toronto Symphony. Last season he concluded his cycle of Brahms works with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducting the Requiem and appearing as soloist in the composer's Clarinet Quintet.

Equally at home in the opera house, Steffens gave the Norwegian premiere of Pelléas and Mélisande at the Norwegian National Opera where he has also conducted productions of Cosi fan Tutte, Fidelio and Calixto Bieito's Tosca. He has appeared several times at the Teatro alla Scala leading performances of Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and Götterdämmerung, and recently made his Zürich Opera debut with Cosi fan Tutte. He is regularly invited to the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where this season he conducts performances of Fidelo. 

Prior to his conducting career, Steffens was a highly respected solo clarinettist who also held several orchestral positions culminating in the successive posts of Principal Clarinet with the Bavarian Radio and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. 

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