Accompanists
 
Lidy Blijdorp
The Netherlands
Lidy Blijdorp, a graduate of the Conservatoire National in Paris (where she was taught by Michel Strauss), is currently completing her studies under Gary Hoffman at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel. She has won numerous prizes in major competitions, including at the Cello Biennale in Amsterdam, the Grachtenfestival competition, and the Princess Christina Competition; in 2014, she won the Prix de l’Académie Maurice Ravel. She is a great lover of chamber music, in which she has performed in the world’s great concert halls, with Maria João Pires, for example, with whom she gave a recital in Madrid in 2015.
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Gideon den Herder
The Netherlands
The cellist Gideon den Herder, born in 1986, studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory under Monique Bartels and in Salzburg under Clemens Hagen. He completed his studies, under Thomas Grossenbacher in Zurich, where he qualified as a soloist. He has also followed classes in the baroque cello given by Jaap ter Linden and Roel Dieltiens. With the Trio Ottone, he won the A Tre early music competition in Trossingen (Germany) in 2009. Gideon den Herder is the cellist of the Van Baerle Trio and has been a member of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague since 2014.
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Katharina Litschig
Katharina Litschig works all over Europe with orchestras and a variety of ensembles, as a chamber music partner, continuo cellist, and soloist. She studied in Zürich under Roel Dieltiens and later in Leipzig under Peter Bruns. Also inspired by classes she took with Kristin von der Goltz, she quickly developed a passion for early music and specialised in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century repertoire, which she studied under Jan Freiheit. Katharina Litschig is currently a co-principal cellist of the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin. She is also a member of the Spira Mirabilis ensemble and a founding member of Ensemble Tamuz, a group from Berlin that specialises in the Classical and Romantic repertoires.
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Karel Steylaerts
Karel Steylaerts studied at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium Brussel under Carlo Schmitz and at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Cologne under Maria Kliegel. A laureate of the Tenuto Competition, he is the principal cellist of the Brussels Philharmonic and a member of TrioFenix. His recording of Bach’s Cello Suites was recently released by Etcetera Records. He is a member of the board of directors and of the selection committee of the FBN Van Gestel instrument fund set up by the Fondation Roi Baudouin. He teaches at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles. He plays an 1834 Lorenzo Ventapane cello.
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Emilie Wallyn
France
After advanced studies at the conservatories of Boulogne-Billancourt and Paris, Émilie Wallyn continued her musical researches in the field of early music under the direction of specialists such as Christophe Coin and Bruno Cocset at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris. With her cello, she journeys through different epochs, engaging with composers and exploring their works and their choice of instruments within a variety of ensembles, including Il Seminario Musicale, Pulcinella, the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. For ten years now, she has been co-soloist in the Les Siècles orchestra, to which she has made a major musical and educational commitment. She teaches the cello and chamber music at the Conservatoire du Kremlin-Bicêtre and shares her enthusiasm with audiences keen to learn more about music in discovery workshops at the Philharmonie de Paris.
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Daniel Blumenthal
United States of America, °1952
Born in Landstuhl (Germany), Daniel Blumenthal is of American origin. He began his musical studies shortly after his fifth birthday and is a graduate of the University of Michigan (Bachelor of Music) and the Juilliard School in New York (Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts). He has won several international competitions : Sydney and Leeds in 1981, Geneva and Busoni in 1982, and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1983. He enjoys an international reputation as a soloist, concert musician, and chamber musician. Daniel Blumenthal is professor op piano performance at the Brussels Conservatory and the Thy Chamber Music Festival in Denmark. In 1995 he served on the jury of the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition. He has recorded over 80 CDs. Daniel Blumenthal is honorary member of Icons of Europe and musical advisor to this not-for-profit cultural association.
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Thomas Hoppe
Thomas Hoppe has collaborated with many renowned musicians and singers, including Itzhak Perlman, Antje Weithaas, Tabea Zimmermann, Alban Gerhardt, Jens Peter Maintz, and Frans Helmerson. After studying under Lee Luvisi, he continued his training at the Juilliard School of Music, where he worked for Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman’s studio. As a pianist for the ATOS Trio and for the wind ensemble 4.1, he has performed to acclaim at many concerts all over the world. For almost twenty years, he has accompanied the candidates at international competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth Competition, the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hanover, and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. He teaches masterclasses in musical accompaniment and in chamber music all over Europe, and also performs with quartets such as the Shanghai Quartet, the Modigliani Quartet, the Mandelring Quartet, and the Simply Quartet. Thomas Hoppe lives in Berlin with his family and has been a professor of chamber music at the Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen since 2018.
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Anna Naretto
Anna Naretto has made chamber music and Lieder performance the focus of her career as a pianist. She has partnered many leading artists and has been a guest at international festivals such as the Dresdner Musikfestspiele, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Barge Music, Herkulessaal, the Frankfurter Kulturwoche, and the Kronberg festival. As a vocal coach and orchestra member, she is also actively involved in the world of opera (Oper Frankfurt and Staatstheater Darmstadt). She supplements her artistic activities by teaching at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt. She collaborates regularly with teachers such as Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Wolfgang Boettcher, and Nobuko Imai at several prestigious academies, such as the Kronberg Academy, the Carl Flesch Akademie in Baden-Baden, Forum Artium, the Weimarer Meisterkurse, and the Jeunesses Musicales Germany. She regularly works as an accompanist for international competitions such as the ARD Music Competition in Munich and the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb. She studied under Sergio Verdirame, Rainer Hoffmann, Andreas Meyer-Hermann, Charles Spencer, and the members of the Altenberg Trio. She completed her musical education by taking masterclasses taught by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Irwin Gage, Andrea Lucchesini, Emilia Fadini, and Jesper Christensen.
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Takashi Sato
Japan, °1983
Born in Akita, Japan, in 1983, Takashi Sato is recognised as one of the most outstanding Japanese pianists of his generation. He has won prizes at several competitions, including the Music Competition of Japan 2001 (1st prize), the Schubert International Piano Competition 2007 (1st prize), the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2010 (laureate), and the Città di Cantù International Piano Competition 2011 (1st prize). After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts with top honours in 2006, he studied with Arie Vardi at Hanover University for Music and Drama until 2011, when he was awarded the Diplom-Konzertsolist. He also attended the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna under the tutelage of Roland Keller. Alongside his accomplishments as soloist, working with numerous orchestras including the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Osaka Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony, and the Belgian National Orchestra, he is equally appreciated as an adept chamber musician and has collaborated with many renowned artists, including Karl Leister, Horigome Yuzuko, Watanabe Reiko, Sato Shunske, and Kamio Mayuko. A recording of Edvard Grieg’s complete sonatas for violin and piano with Sato Shunske was awarded a Grand Prize by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan at the National Arts Festival in 2007. Since 2014, he has been giving a recital series, ‘Schubert-Zyklus’, in Tokyo, presenting the complete works for piano of Franz Schubert.
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Jonas Vitaud
France, °1980
Jonas Vitaud started to study the piano at the age of six and the organ at the age of eleven. Trained by Brigitte Engerer, Jean Koerner, and Christian Ivaldi, he won four first prizes at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris. A laureate of several international competitions (Lyons, ARD from Munich, Trieste, and Vienna), both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, he has performed at prestigious festivals such as the festival of the Lille Piano(s) Festival, Piano aux Jacobins, Août Musical in Deauville, the Festival de la Chaise Dieu, the Fêtes musicales de Nohant, the Festival Chopin de Bagatelle, the Richard Strauss Festival in Germany, the Musical Autumn in Caserta (Italy), the iDans festival in Istanbul, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, and the French May in Hong Kong.

He has performed with orchestras such as the Orchestre du Capitole and the Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse, the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie, the Moravian Philharmonic, the Munich Radio Orchestra, and with vocal (e.g. Sequenza and Les Solistes de Lyon) and contemporary-music ensembles. He is keenly interested in chamber music, which he has played with Bertrand Chamayou, Hwang Sumi, Christian-Pierre La Marca, Geneviève Laurenceau, Yann Levionnois, and the Quatuor Zaïde, among others. Passionate about contemporary music, he has worked with modern masters such as Henri Dutilleux, Thierry Escaich, György Kurtag, and Philippe Hersant. Jonas Vitaud has taught at the CNSM in Paris since 2013. In 2016, Jonas Vitaud was awarded a Grand Prix as an instrumental soloist by the Académie Charles Cros. He is also an associated artist of the Fondation Singer-Polignac.
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