FESTIVAL - ACADEMIA MUSICIANS AND FACULTY
Violin - Judith Choi Castro
Judith is the Artistic Director of the Festival Academy of Music Tenerife. She graduated with a Masters degree from the Royal Academy of Music, after also studying at the Royal College of Music, London and the Manhattan School of Music, New York. She now performs worldwide as a chamber musician and orchestral player.
Judith is also an experienced orchestral player and regularly performs with world renowned orchestras including the London Sinfonietta, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She is currently playing a violin by Lavazza made in 1740, kindly on loan from the Harrison Franck Foundation, London.
For more information please visit her website :
Violin - Andrea Kim
German violinist Andrea Kim, has performed as soloist and chamber musician in several international music festivals including her solo debut at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik
Festival in 2006 and her solo concert live recorded with the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra in November 2010 under the direction of K. Järvi. In 2007 she and her piano duo partner won the German Music Competition, resulting in over thirty duo recitals in the 2008/2009 season. In February 2009 the duo competed at the international Schubert competition in Graz, Austria and won the special prize for best interpretation of the modern work.
Born in 1978 in Germany, Andrea began the violin at the age of four.
In 1997 she went on to study with Thomas Brandis in Berlin. During her studies she had many orchestral experiences, including Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, E UYO and in 2000 was concertmaster of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra. This resulted in concert tours in Canada, USA and Europe and further tours with Mahler Chamber Orchestra (with conductors as C.Abbado, S.Ozawa, P.Boulez, D.Harding). In 2003 Andrea continued her studies in Vienna with Gerhard Schulz, violinist of the Alban Berg Quartet.
Andrea has collaborated with such artists as Thomas Brandis, Sabine Meyer, Wenn Sinn Yang , Ulf Hölscher. She also plays regularly with Ensemble Modern and Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
Since 2006, Andrea has been assistant concertmaster of the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra under Paavo Jarvi. In 2010, her dedication and love of chamber music drove her to start her own chamber music festival in the Frankfurt area. Her goal is to bring friends together to play and to donate the proceeds to a good cause.
Since January 2017 she is first violinist of the Bavarian Radio Symphonie Orchestra.
Violin - Soojin Han
‘Soojin is a wonderful violinist with extraordinary subtlety and great expressiveness…and remarkable instrumental mastery’- Gidon Kremer
Born in Korea, Soojin moved to the UK with her parents when she was two.
She began the violin at the age of eight and entered the Yehudi Menuhin School before transferring to the Purcell School under Felix Andrievsky’s tutelage.
After graduating, she took lessons with Zakhar Bron and mentor Kyung-Wha Chung.
She studied at Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Music in London and is also an alumni of Kronberg Academy (Further Masters) where she worked with Ana Chumachenco.
Soojin has performed as soloist with orchestras such as the London Symphony, Poznan Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Korean Symphony, Zhejiang Symphony, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, L'Ensemble Ricercata de Paris, and has given concerts throughout the UK, Europe and the Far East in venues including nearly all of the major London concert halls, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Warsaw Radio Hall, Suntory Hall, Operacity and Bunkamura Orchard Hall, Tokyo, Osaka Symphony Hall, Hangzhou Grand Theatre and Sejong Arts Centre and Seoul Arts Centre.
Her performances have been broadcast live on Polish, Dutch, Korean and US Radio.
Soojin won 2nd prize as the youngest competitor and the youngest ever top prize winner at the Wieniawski International Violin Competition 2001 in Poznan, Poland where she was also awarded 7 other special prizes including the Critics and Journalists Prize and the Polish Radio Listener’s Award.
She also won first prize at the Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition 2002 and the Bayreuth International Competition 2006.
Other awards include the Musicians Benevolent Fund’s Manoug Parikian Prize 2001, Royal Philharmonic Society's Emily Anderson Award 2002, the LSO Scholarship Competition 2002, Martin Music Scholarships, Hattori Foundation Scholarships, an Allcard Award from the Worshipful Company of Musicians and a Countess of Munster award.
Her love of chamber music has taken her on several occasions to participate in Open Chamber Music at IMS Prussia Cove, Cornwall since 2003. She also performed various chamber works with Andras Schiff, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet and Frans Helmerson at ‘Chamber Music Connects the World’.
Piano - Aurélien Pontier
Pianist Aurélien Pontier first performed on the stage of the Paris Opera at the age of
nine. He came to the notice of Emmanuel Krivine, and was invited at a very young age to perform as a soloist with the Orchestre National de Lyon under Sylvain Cambreling and Péter Csaba, playing concertos by Mozart and Chopin.
At the age of 13 he entered the Conservatoire de Paris (class of Jean-François Heisser), being the youngest student of this institution. He graduated three years later with a First prize in piano and chamber music.
He is First-prize winner of the Vladimir Krainev Competition in Kiev ( Ukraine ) as well as Third Prize at the International Piano Competition in Chioggia ( Italy). He has played with numerous orchestras such as Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Padova-Venezia Orchestra, Kharkov Philarmonia, Camerata Bohemiana of Pragua with renowned conductors like Sylvain Cambreling, Peter Csaba, Enrique Mazzola.
A chamber music lover, he plays with distinguished artists such as Tatjana Vassilieva, Marc Coppey, Bertrand Chamayou, Roger Tapping, David Grimal, François Salque. Since few years, he has made a successful duo with the french violonist Matthieu Arama and recorded a CD for Brillant Classics.
He has given solo performances in some of the greatest Hall including the Great Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Auditorium du Louvre, l'Arsenal de Metz, the Opera de Paris, the Opera de Bordeaux, in various countries such as Italy, England, Germany, Swiss, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia,USA, Canada.
Piano - John Paul Ekins
In great demand as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician, John Paul Ekins has given performances throughout the UK, and overseas, and he has been broadcast on the BBC, on Romanian national television and radio, and on Polish television. In 2009 he graduated from the Royal College of Music with First Class Honours, was awarded the James Anthony Horne Scholarship by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study with Charles Owen, where he graduated with Master of Performance (Distinction) in 2011. He was the recipient of a Music Education Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, and receives generous support from Making Music, The Concordia Foundation, The Razumovsky Trust and The Keyboard Charitable Trust.
He has performed at a number of prestigious venues in the UK and abroad, including Bucharest's Athenaeum, Zurich's Tonhalle, Prague's Martinu Hall, Bergen's Troldhaugen, Krakow's Florianka Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Fairfield Hall and Steinway Hall, Birmingham's Symphony Hall, Oxford's Holywell Music Room, Bath's Pump Room, Bristol's Colston Hall and Belfast's Ulster Hall. As a concerto soloist he has performed works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Gershwin with orchestras throughout the UK. His concerto highlight thus far was performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at the Royal Albert Hall with Southbank Sinfonia.
John Paul was particularly honoured to be presented to Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip at a Reception for Young Performers at Buckingham Palace, and international competition successes have brought him as many as 19 awards and prizes.
You can find out more information on John Paul at www.jpekinspianist.com or follow him on Twitter @jpekinspianist.
Cello - Raúl Mirás López
Born in A Coruña, Spain, Raúl began to play cello with Ilia Keilin and graduated from Musikene with Asier Polo. He continued studying in Musik-Akademie Basel with Thomas Demenga and in Hochschule für Musik Rostock with Julian Steckel.
He has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and has performed in several festivals including the Zermatt Festival, Akademie Rutesheim, Festival Turina, Gustav Mahler Academy, Montreux Festival and Lucerne Festival.
He carries out an intense activity as a chamber musician. He has worked with A. Mercero, S.Azzolini, A. Kernjank, Walter Levin, Rainer Schmidt, and has studied string quartet with Natasha Prishepenko in the Universität der Künste Berlin. Member of the Joven Orquesta Nacional de España and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Raúl was also academist of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. He usually collaborates with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Plural Ensemble, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Sinfónica de Galicia, OBC and Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana playing under the direction of D.Afkham, D. Gatti, V. Jarousski, C Davis, H. Blomstedt and M. Janowski.
Since 2015, he is Professor at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón (Zaragoza) and
from season 2018/2019 Raúl is Principal cellist of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife.
Cello - Lowri Blake
As solo cellist, chamber musician, teacher, singer and BBC radio presenter, Lowri Blake has had an eclectic and diverse career, with over two hundred performances on BBC Radio and Television and numerous CD recordings, including several on her own label, Lowri Records. She has appeared as soloist with major British orchestras and regularly performed as recitalist at the Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre in London, and throughout the UK and Europe. As well as giving first British performances of cello and piano works by Lutoslawski and Schnittke, Lowri has commissioned new works from British composers including several for her unique cabaret duo with Peter Buckoke, A Man, A Woman and a Double Bass, in which Lowri sings and plays at the same time. Lowri was a regular presenter of Building a Library on the popular CD Review on BBC Radio 3 and also presented her own series Page to Performance on BBC Radio 4.
Until 2005 Lowri was Professor of Cello at the Royal College of Music and at Trinity Laban in London, and she continues to be much in demand as an examiner and jury member at conservatoires in both the UK and in France. Lowri directs Cellos at Belle Serre, now in its tenth year, holding master classes and summer courses in the south of France.
Viola - Sviatoslav Belonogov
Principal Viola at the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (OST) since 1997, Sviatoslav has also incorporated the viola d'amore into his musical resources. A graduate of the Russian Music Academy under the tutelage of Professor Vyacheslav Trushin, he was awarded Master of Fine Arts Degree in 1992. During his training he was principal viola at the Young Symphony Orchestra of Socialists Countries, under the baton of Ádám Medveczky and Jiří Belohlavek, and member of the International Quartet (1983-1987).
Sviatoslav was a prize-winner of the USSR National Viola Competition in Lvov (1988), and a laureate of the Dmitri Shostakovich String Quartet Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia (1993). He was soloist of the State Symphony Orchestra of Moscow (1989-1990) conducted by Vassily Sinaisky and Vladimir Ponkin, member of the National Orchestra of Russia (1990-1994) conducted by Mikhail Pletnev, and also soloist at the chamber orchestra camera Moscow Virtuosi (1994-1997) conducted by Vladimir Spivakov.
Sviatoslav Belonogov has toured under the baton of such world-renowned conductors as Mikhail Pletnev, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yehudi Menuhin, Vassily Sinaysky, Vladimir Spivakov, Mariss Jansons, Lu Jia, Vasily Petrenko, performing at venues as well known as the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Musikverein of Vienna, London's Royal Festival Hall, Châtelet Paris, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Sala delle Benedizioni in the Vatican, Concertgebow Amsterdam, and Auditorio Nacional de Música de Madrid.
Highlights of Sviatoslav’s performances include the Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet by E. Chausson at the festival of Colmar, France (1996), with violinist Vladimir Spivakov and pianist Brigitte Engerer; Double Concerto by M. Bruch, with clarinettist Pierluigi Bernard, under Christian Badea (2000); Sonata per la Gran Viola and Orchestra by N. Paganini; and the Sonata da Chiesa by F. Martin both versions: for viola d'amore with strings and also with organ with Olesya Rostovskaya, organ.
Flute - Mihi Kim
Mihi Kim is currently pursuing her career as an international soloist in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She regularly gives master classes in France and abroad and has taught in Germany, Korea, Taiwan, Serbia, Japan, Slovenia, USA, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, England, Chile and Russia, and will soon appear in Brazil, Canada and China.
She currently is Professor at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris “Alfred Cortot” for Flute and Piccolo and at the CRD Conservatory of Issy-Les- Moulineaux, Paris. She has also been a member of the Ensemble Multilatérale since 2004 and is a Miyazawa International Artist, promoted by Miyazawa Flutes Inc. Japan, USA and Alto Musique - Flute Studio France.
For more information please visit her website :
Conducting- Jung Chul Choi
Jung Chul Choi studied orchestral conducting and composition with Armando Blanquer in Valencia, Spain and the technique of conducting with Lawrence Leonard and George Hurst in England.
Firstly trained as a trombonist, Jung Chul was principal of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 1988 and professor of the Conservatoire Superior of Santa Cruz, Tenerife until 1998. He then founded and became Principal Director of Arona Music School until 2007.
In 2000, he won the Ganigo Prize in Spain and in 2012 was awarded by the Prime Minister of South Korea for his international music work.
Jung Chul has conducted around the world to countries such as Italy, Norway, Russia, South Korea and Spain and currently is in the process of publishing his methods of conducting techniques.