Kristoffer Dolatko is one of the leading violin teachers in Denmark. He graduated from Feliks Nowowiejski School of Music in Gdansk (Poland) where he studied with Professor Krystyna Jurecka, continuing his studies at the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk in the class of Professor Henryk Keszkowski.He moved from his native Poland to Denmark in 1990 where he started to teach in Northern Jutland and play in the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. As a result of his distinguished teaching, Kristoffer Dolatko was invited to be a member of the jury of the Jacob Gade Youth Violin Competition in Vejle. In 2002 he began teaching at the Aarhus Musikskole - one of the best music schools in Denmark. For many years he has enjoyed a very close collaboration with Alf Richard Kraggerud and is often invited to Norway (Barratt-Due Musikkinstitut and Valdres Sommersymfoni). In 2008 he was appointed to the position of violin tutor at the famous and prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, where he is working at present with some of the most talented children from Great Britain and abroad. In 2012 he accepted a teaching position at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus. His students have been awarded many prizes at regional, national (Danish) and international competitions. Kristoffer Dolatko is continuously exploring and searching for new methods of teaching, practising and developing talented young musicians in the best possible way. He has been Assistent Director of the Astona International Summer Music Academy for many years.
Detlef Hahn made his London debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1981. The press on that occasion praised his playing with such attributes as "irresistibly chic", "with a keen sense of fantasy", "Stylish and telling", "technical expertise and fine musicianship". He has since given concerts worldwide, broadcast for German, Austrian, Swiss and Australian radio, as well as for Swiss, German and Hong Kong television. In addition to his playing career, Detlef Hahn also enjoys a world-wide reputation as a teacher. This has led to invitations to give Masterclasses from Europe to the Far East and Australia, often combined with recitals. In the UK he has been Professor and Honorary Fellow at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Since 2012 he he accepted a professorship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He also teaches at the Hochschule der Künste, Bern, Switzerland and is Professor at the State Academy Oslo, Norway. In addition to this, he also teaches regularly at the Kuenstlerhaus Boswil and Valdres Festival, Norway and runs his own courses in Austria and Italy. Detlef Hahn records for the ASV Label in England. His latest CD’s with the complete music for violin and piano by Szymanowsky, as well as the complete works for violin and piano by Korngold were highly acclaimed by the critics. He has been a member of the faculty of the Astona International Summer Music Academy for more than twenty years.
Alf Richard Kraggerud is one of the most successful and respected violin teachers in Scandinavia. His students have won numerous international prizes over the past twenty years. Several of his protégées presently enjoy extensive careers, performing with major orchestras, participating in prestigious festivals, as well as appearing frequently in the media, both nationally in Norway and abroad. One of the first to receive Mr. Kraggerud’s mentoring in practicing skills was his younger brother, Henning Kraggerud, today considered one of the most interesting and exhilarating violinists of his generation. In 1992, after having completed his studies in pedagogy and violin with honors at the renowned Barratt Due Institute of Music (Oslo, Norway), he continued to study conducting in London (classes at the Royal Academyand Morley College). In 1999 he assumed responsibilities for the talent section (pre-school) of the Barratt Due Institute of Music, an institution at the international forefront of musical education. Presently, he is the co-director of Barratt Due. Alf Richard Kraggerud is the founder of the Valdres Sommersymfoni in Norway (initiated in 1994) and has been a member of the faculty of the Astona International Summer Music Academy for many years.
The Belgian-Israeli violist Nathan Braude has performed in many of the world's most prestigious concert venues including the Wigmore Hall in London, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris,
Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Köln Philharmonie and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Nathan Braude has also appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the “Brussels
Philharmonic”, “Orchestre National de Lille”, “Orchestra della Svizzera italiana”, "Stavanger Symphony Orchestra", “Gürzenich Orchester, Köln”, “Australian Chamber
Orchestra”, “Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège”, “Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen”, “Limburgs Symfonie Orkest”, “Solistes Européens Luxembourg”. Festival appearances include
“Progretto Martha Argerich” in Lugano, “Ravinia Festival” in Chicago ,‘’Festival de Radio France” in Montpellier’’, "Oxford International Chamber Music Festival",
Stavanger International Chamber Music Festival" amongst many others.
Nathan's numerous chamber music partners have included artists such as Patricia Kopachinskaja, Vilde Frang, Priya Mitchell, Ilya Gringolts, Mischa Maisky, Sol Gabetta and his wife Polina Leschenko. His début recording for the Fuga Libera label with the complete works for viola, by the Belgian composer Joseph Jongen, has been released to great critical acclaim. Other recordings include the Dvorak piano quartet op.87 released on EMI Classics as part of the “Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2012” series and Brahms horn trio (viola version) for the Warner Classic label. Prior to his position as first principal violist at the Gürzenich Orchester, Köln, Nathan has held solo viola positions at the Brussels Philharmonic and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
Since September 2017 Nathan is a professor of viola at the Royal College of Music in London.
French cellist Francis Gouton has given concerts as a soloist and chamber musician in many of the major concert halls and festivals on all continents, such as the Columbia University in NYC, Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, the Wigmore Hall in London, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney Opera House, Berlin Schauspiel Haus, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, the festivals of Ludwigsburg, Lyons (musicades), Gstaad, and Saint Barthélémy in the French carribean, with chambermusic partners such as Thomas Brandis, Josef Silverstein, Ana Chumachenko, Nelson Goerner, Anton Nel , Emmanuel Pahud, Bruno Pasquier, Jean-Claude Pennetier, the Jerusalem Quartet among others. As a soloist he played with the Stuttgart state orchestra, the Stuttgarter chamber orchestra, Realfilharmonia de Galicia (Spain) Orquestra sinfonica de Maracaibo (Venezuela), the Wurttemberg chamberorchestra Heilbronn, the Izmir National orchestra (Turkey), and in Japan with Century Orchestra Osaka, The Kanagawa Philharmonic orchestra Yokohama and the Gunma-, Nagoya- and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras. As an eclectic musician he performs the 6 Bach Suites as well as contemporary music, such as concertos by Josef Tàl, Isang Yun and Philip Glass, or the sequanza XIV by L.Berio. A passionate teacher, Francis Gouton is a professor at the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts (Germany) and gives master classes across the world, he is guest professor at the Jimei university Xiamen and the TongJi university Shanghai in China, passing on to his students the teaching of his masters Maria Kliegel, Janos Starker and Pierre Fournier. Invited to Venezuela many times in the project "el sistema", he also went to Haiti in January 2011 to teach in a school in Port-au-Prince, who was devastated during the 2010 earthquake. Francis Gouton plays a Cello by Domenico Montagnana, Venice 1734, and a violoncello made for him by Jean-Fédéric Schmitt- Lyon 2010. He has been a member of the faculty of the Astona International Summer Music Academy for many years.
Born in Paris in 1962, François Killian demonstrated musical and pianistic talent at an early age, which led him, at age 13 to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in Jean and Geneviève Doyen's class. Two years later, George Cziffra heard him playing a Concerto of Scriabin with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France and encouraged his vocation. For several years, François continued his study at the CNSM of Paris with Ventsislav Yankoff and at the same time studied chamber music, harmony and counterpoint. In 1980, he won the first prizes for piano and chamber music. The same year, François Killian was admitted to postgraduate studies in the advanced course and won, age 19, the ARD International Piano Competition in Munich. Wishing to improve his repertoire, he left France for two years to study at the Musikhochschule Hanover with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. This was the beginning of his career on the other side of the Rhine. He recorded with many radio stations, and in 1986 he passed the Konzertexamen. François Killian was invited to play under the batons of Theodor Guschlbauer, Emmanuel Krivine, Hubert Soudant and Jesus Lopez-Cobos. He was invited to play at the Salle Gaveau in Paris, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, at the Philharmonic and the Konzerthaus of Berlin, at the second Music Festival of la Roque- d'Anthéron, at France Musiques, and at the Wigmore Hall. He is particularly appreciated for his interpretations of Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann or Brahms but also Ravel or Szymanowski. Killian won a prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw and Palma de Majorca (1985), at the Milosz Magin Competition of the Friends of Polish Music (1987), at the GPA of Dublin (1988) and at the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel-Aviv (1989). It was in 1996 at the finals of the Monte-Carlo Piano Masters, broadcast live from the Opera, that François Killian, accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo, conducted by Jean- Bernard Pommier, made his name with his interpretation of Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand. In 1998, he replaced with great success, as underlined by the press, the pianist Krystian Zimerman at the Festival "Music and Friendship'' of Biel, playing the Second Concerto of Rachmaninov, conducted by Grzegorz Nowak. At the moment, most of his concerts are taking place in Germany, in particular in the Palatinat, where in 1999, he performed in 10 concerts the complete works of Chopin. Chamber Music : The founding in 1999 of the European Fine Arts Trio with Tomasz Tomaszewski, first concertmaster of the Deutsche Opera Orchestra of Berlin and Pi-Chin Chien, prize winner of the Leonard Rose Competition of Washington, was successful. It won the Fryderyk Polish Prize for the best recording of chamber music with the trios of Chopin and Debussy (DUX). The trio also recorded for the "Musiques Suisses'' label, the triple concerto of Paul Juon (1872 - 1940) with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Cracow conducted by Tomasz Bugaj. EFAT is the outstanding interpreter of the work of this composer.
Jonathan Brett-Harrison was born in Cambridge, England and studied the viola with Prof. Nannie Jamieson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. After completing his studies he was a member of several orchestras in Europe, most notably of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. From 1987 to 1990 he concertised with the Chamber Soloists of Lucerne and in 1991 conducted the Bohuslav Martinu Chamber Orchestra for the first time. More concerts in the former Chechoslovakia followed in March 1992. Jonathan Brett-Harrison, conducts various orchestras in Switzerland and has conducted in Germany, Italy, Mexico and the USA. He has been a member of the faculty of the Astona International Summer Music Academy for more than twenty years.