Accompanists
 
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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So-Jin Michaela Kim
So-Jin Kim has emerged as one of the most versatile musicians of her generation - and as one of the most sought-after. She has won a number of international awards, in a variety of fields: piano, chamber music, and lieder. She was also awarded a grant by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben (Hamburg). Her concerts are regularly recorded by the WDR, the MDR, the BR, the SWR, and France Musique. As an accompanist, she is regularly invited to perform at prestigious operatic institutions and festivals, including the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and the Münchner Biennale. From 2012 to 2017, she taught in a vocal repertory class at the Musikhochschule in Augsburg; she currently works at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. Born in Düsseldorf in Germany, she was admitted to Barbara Szczepanska’s class at the Robert-Schumann-Musikhochschule in Düsseldorf at the age of 14. She later studied under Alain Planès and Pierre Laurent Aimard at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris. She went on to further study in the field of lieder under Helmut Deutsch at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich and in private lessons given by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
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Joseph Middleton
Joseph Middleton specialises in lieder accompaniment and chamber music. He has won great renown in this field, becoming the first accompanist to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award, in 2017. Described in the BBC Music Magazine as ‘one of the brightest stars in the world of song and lieder’, he has performed and recorded with the world’s leading singers. Joseph Middleton is Director of Leeds Lieder and a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London; he holds the post of Musician in Residence at Pembroke College in Cambridge, where he organises series of song recitals, while also directing the Pembroke Lieder Scheme. He is a frequent guest in the world’s leading music venues, where he appears with internationally renowned singers, and already has an extensive, award-winning discography to his name. This season’s highlights include a series of concerts for BBC Radio 3 at the Belfast International Festival and his return to Wigmore Hall in London. He will appear with Carolyn Sampson at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at the Konzerthaus in Vienna and will also perform in Barcelona, in Frankfurt, and in Japan. His other engagements include recitals with Angelika Kirchschlager, Sir Thomas Allen, Christiane Karg, Miah Persson, Mary Bevan, and Christopher Maltman.
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Philippe Riga
Belgium
Philippe Riga is a pianist, harpsichordist, and fortepianist. He graduated from the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels and the Lemmens Luca Instituut in Leuven and went on to further studies under leading figures of the musical world such as Christophe Rousset and Helmut Deutsch. He is a laureate of the Fondation Royaumont. He has taken part in many concerts in Belgium and abroad, both as a soloist and with singers, including José Van Dam, Udo Reinemann, Hélène Guilmette, Veronica Cangemi, and Gabrielle Philiponet. He has performed at the Festival de Radio France in Montpellier and at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, as well as at masterclasses given by Helmut Deutsch, José Van Dam, Andreas Scholl, Tom Krause, June Anderson, and Dietrich Henschel. He has also performed and recorded as a soloist with the Anima Eterna ensemble, conducted by Jos Van Immerseel. Philippe Riga is currently a pianist coach at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and also teaches accompaniment at the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels.
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David Zobel
David Zobel combines his career as a pianist accompanist with that of a singing coach in France and abroad. Throughout the last ten years, he has been the regular pianist for the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. His first recording with her, a CD entitled The Deepest Desire, was acclaimed by critics worldwide and received a Diapason d'Or for 2007. David Zobel also accompanies other singers, including the French tenor Yann Beuron and the U.S. baritone Stephen Salters. He has collaborated with the tenor Carl Ghazarossian over many years; their first recording, of French songs, Les donneurs de sérénade, came out in 2015 on the Hortus label. He has also been regularly involved with several international competitions, including the Hans Gabor Belvedere in Vienna, the Queen Elisabeth in Brussels, and the Operalia Competition founded by Plácido Domingo. David Zobel also works as a singing coach at a number of theatres in France and abroad. He has played under the world’s leading conductors. He took part in the Russian stage premiere of Pelléas et Mélisande, which was conducted by Marc Minkowski, which was awarded the Golden Mask for the ‘Best Opera of the Year’. David Zobel is a graduate of the Conservatoire National in Paris and of the Juilliard School in New York. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship.
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