Renaud Capuçon, born in 1976 in Chambéry, entered the conservatory of his hometown at 4 years old, joined the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at 14, where he studied with Gérard Poulet and Veda Reynolds, and from which he returned three years later with a first prize for chamber music and a first prize for violin. He then studied with Thomas Brandis in Berlin and Isaac Stern. In 1995, he received the Prize from the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1998 Claudio Abbado chooses him as Konzertmeister of Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester which allows him to perfect his musical education with Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Daniel Barenboim and Franz Welser-Moest. At the same time, he began a career as a soloist but also as a chamber musician. In 2000 he was named “Rising Star” and “New Talent of the Year” at the Victoires de la Musique, which in 2005 awarded him the title of “Instrumental Soloist of the Year”.
In 2006, he received the Georges Enesco Violin Prize awarded by Sacem. He is the founder and artistic director of the Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival and the Festival Les Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, as well as a violin teacher at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne. Renaud Capuçon collaborates with the greatest conductors and the most prestigious orchestras. This season, Renaud will play alongside the big orchestras that are the Wiener Symphoniker, the Orchester of Paris, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Camerata Salzburg, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, without forgetting a tour in Asia with the Camerata Salburg Orchestra, a tour in Europe with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Passionate about chamber music, he collaborates with Martha Argerich, Nicholas Angelich, Kit Armstrong, Khatia Buniatishvili, Frank Braley, Guillaume Bellom, Yefim Bronfman, Maria Joao Pires, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gérard Caussé, Yuri Bashmet, Myung-Whun Chung, Yo Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, Truls Mork, Michael Pletnev, and his brother Gautier in the biggest festivals: Aix en Provence, Saint-Denis, La Roque d’Anthéron, Menton, Colmar, Hollywood Bowl, Tanglewood, Gstaad, Lucerne, Lugano, Verbier, Salzburg, Rheingau, Bucharest Festival Enescu, Amsterdam, Granada… His discography at Virgin Classics and Erato is immense. Renaud Capuçon plays the Guarneri del Gesù “Panette” (1737) which belonged to Isaac Stern.
Musical director and concertmaster
Oleg Kaskiv was born in 1978 in the small Ukrainian village Kremenetz into a family of musicians. He began playing violin at the age of 7 under the guidance of his violinists parents and later entered M.Lysenko National Academy of Music in Lviv. In 1996, Oleg won a scholarship to study in Switzerland at the famous “International Menuhin Music Academy”, which was founded by Lord Yehudi Menuhin in 1977. At the Academy, Oleg’s great mentor was Professor Alberto Lysy, who got his education directly from Lord Yehudi Menuhin and was his only pupil. Therefore, the tradition of the great romantic violin playing was passed on to Oleg. Today, Oleg Kaskiv is a soloist and main violin professor at the International Menuhin Academy. As a soloist, Oleg Kaskiv regularly performs with great success in his native country with the National Symphony of Ukraine, Odessa Philharmonic and Lviv Philharmonic Symphony Orchestras and worldwide: with the Camerata Lysy, Camerata de Lausanne, Symphonisches Orchester Zürich, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden.
He is a laureate of many prestigious violin competitions such as Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition (Belgium); International Oistrakh Competition (Ukraine); International Kotorovych Violin Competition (Ukraine), International Spohr Competition (Germany);
International Montreal Competition (Canada); International Premio Lipizer (Italy), International Niredgazi Violin Competition (Japan), International Dvarionas Violin Competition (Lithuania) and International Molinari Competition (Switzerland). He plays the ‘Caspar Hauser’ violin by Giuseppe Guarneri ‘del Gesù’ (c. 1724) generously provided by a Swiss private sponsor.
Assistant to Renaud Capuçon and violin teacher
First Prize of the Swedish International Duo Competition with pianist Nathanaël Gouin, and 3rd Grand Prize as well as Special Prize of the students of the Paris conservatories at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud international competition, Guillaume Chilemme is one of the most recognized violinists of his generation.
In 2010, after obtaining his Masters in Violin and Chamber Music with congratulations in the classes of Boris Garlitsky and Pierre-Laurent Aimard at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, he left to perfect his skills with Stéphane Picard and Eckart Runge (Quartet Artemis) in Berlin, then with David Grimal in Saarbrücken.
Selected by Seiji Ozawa from 2008 to 2013 to participate in the International Music Academy Switzerland, he benefits from the teaching of Nobuko Imaï, Pamela Frank, Sadao Harada, Robert Mann and Seiji Ozawa. Passionate about the repertoire of the string quartet, he founded with Marie Chilemme, Matthieu Handtschoewercker and Bruno Delepelaire, the Cavatine Quartet with which he won the same year two prizes at the Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition (ICMC). In August 2013, the quartet won the second Grand Prix at the prestigious International String Quartet Competition in Banff (Canada).
Guillaume Chilemme has formed a duo for many years with his friend Nathanaël Gouin. Their discography includes an album dedicated to Ravel and Canal sonatas (Label Maguelone) and a recording dedicated to Schubert’s music (Label Evidence). In addition, they regularly perform in trio with Yan Levionnois. Guillaume is invited to many festivals: Les Folles Journées de Nantes, Warsaw, Tokyo, Les Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, Musique à L’Empéri, Les Schubertiades de Schwarzenberg, Easter Festival in Aix-en-Provence, Festival de l ‘Orangerie de Sceaux, the Julitafestival in Sweden, the Festival des Serres d’Auteuil, La Roque d’Anthéron, the Festival des Arcs, the Easter Festival in Deauville… He performs there alongside musicians such as Frank Braley, Andreas Ottensamer, Renaud Capuçon, Gauthier Capuçon, Raphaël Pidoux, Michel Portal, Lise Berthaud, Paul Meyer, Emmanuel Pahud, Quatuor Voce, Alois Posch, Christian Ivaldi, Nicholas Angelich, Pierre Fouchenneret, Claire Désert, Adam Laloum, Victor Julien-Laferrière , Xavier Gagnepain, Florent Boffard, Emmanuelle Bertrand, Khatia Buniatishvili… Since 2016 Guillaume Chilemme has been the new solo violin of the Orchester d’Auvergne.
He is frequently invited as solo violin in various orchestras: the Capitole Orchestra of Toulouse, the Radio France Orchestra, the Malher Chamber Orchestra, the Symphonic Orchestra of Barcelona, the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, La Camerata de Salzburg… He was part of the artist collective Les Dissonances by David Grimal for many years. Guillaume Chilemme performs regularly as a soloist. He is notably invited by the Capitole Orchestra of Toulouse under the baton of Tugan Sokhiev, the Besançon Franche-Comté Orchestra, Les Dissonances ensemble, the Auvergne Orchestra… Since 2015, he has taken part in the “Adolph Busch Project ”, quartet created by Renaud Capuçon with Edgar Moreau and Adrien Lamarca. The four musicians perform in the largest halls in Europe (Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Musikverein in Vienna, Wigmore Hall in London … Since 2019, he teaches at the International Menuhin Music Academy (Switzerland). Guillaume Chilemme is a laureate of the Safran foundation (2015).
He plays a magnificent violin by Nicolas Lupot “Quatuor Château Pape Clément” from 1795, generously provided by Bernard Magrez.
Permanent viola teacher
However, he is also a particular champion of twentieth-century music, for this is an era when the viola most strongly emerged as a solo instrument. He plays works of Bartók, Britten, Martinu, and Stravinsky, and has had solo works written for him by Grisey, Hersant, Jolas, Lenot, Masson, Nunes, and Reverdy.
He was a participant in the world premiere of the string quartet Ainsi la nuit by Henri Dutilleux, commonly ranked with the quartets of Debussy and Ravel as the greatest French works in the form. Caussé has made over 25 compact discs on the major labels EMI, Philips, Erato, and Deutsche Grammophon, and has won the Charles Gros Academy Prize, the Gabriel Fauré Prize, the SACEM Prize, and the French Grand Prix du Disque.
His arrival at the Menuhin Academy in October 2021 is part of a long history traced over some five decades with Yehudi Menuhin:
In 1970, concert with Yehudi Menuhin, Salle Pleyel in Paris.
Then, with the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, conducted by Yehudi Menuhin, several “Concertante Symphony” by Mozart with Vladimir Spivakov. Also several International Juries chaired by Yehudi Menuhim.
The story continues with Alberto Lysy, a wonderful violinist, who takes up the torch from Yehudi Menuhim at the head of the Camerata… Concertante Symphonies which continue this musical weaving.
A new chapter therefore opens for him in October 2021. At the invitation of the Menuhin Academy and its Artistic Director, Renaud Capuçon, he joins this School of Excellence, and its long-term Ethics: that of transmission, sharing, requirement and inventiveness.
Permanent viola teacher
Born in 1976 in Podgorica, Montenegro, Ivan Vukčević, first studied at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, then graduated from the University of Western Australia (with distinction). While studying, in 1998 he won the Vose Prize Concerto Competition, playing Béla Bartók’s viola concerto with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. He has also won first prizes in several chamber music competitions, including the Margaret Bello Prize in 1996 and the West Australian Chamber Music Competition in 1995. He has been solo viola with the Australian Youth Orchestra and Camerata Australia , in world tours between 1996 and 1998, as well as the regular guest of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
lIn 1997, he received several scholarships, including the Youth Music Australia Opportunity Grant and the University of Western Australia Traveling Scholarship, which enabled him to come to study in Europe the same year and thus obtain his admission to the International Menuhin Music Academy, Gstaad, where he had Alberto Lysy and Johannes Eskaer as masters. He graduated from the Academy in 2001. During this time he was the solo viola of the Camerata Lysy, performing regularly as a soloist and in chamber music training in some of the most important places and festivals in Europe . In 2001, he won the Köckert Viola Competition (Zurich).
Ivan Vukčević was engaged in 2001-2002 as solo co-violist in the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (Norway) and, in 2008, as solo violist in the Sinfonieorchester Basel. Since 2002 he has been the solo viola of the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana (Lugano).
In 2008, he co-founded the Quartetto Energie Nove (Lugano), a world-renowned ensemble, with which he recorded remarkable critically acclaimed versions of the Quartets by Janácek, Prokofiev and Smetana for Dynamic. He has performed as a soloist in ensembles across Europe, Australia, North America and Asia. His interest in contemporary music and his ability to regularly give convincing interpretations have earned him the creation of numerous compositions and receiving the dedications of notable composers. Ivan Vukčević has advocated the viola as a remarkable solo instrument.
Since 2012, he has been a viola teacher at the International Menuhin Music Academy. He is also the artistic director of the Mediterranean Notes Music Festival in Tivat (Montenegro) which attracts some of the best soloists and chamber musicians in the world and represents the cultural highlight of the Montenegrin summer.
Ivan Vukčević plays on a rare and powerful Landolfi from 1753, as well as on a modern viola made by Bissolotti in 1991.
Permanent cello teacher
Cellist Clemens Hagen was born in Salzburg to a musical family. At the age of six he began to study the cello; two years later he was a student at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and he then went on to study at the Conservatoire in Basel under Wilfred Tachezi and Heinrich Schiff. In 1983 he received a special award from the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Karl Bцhm Award.
Clemens Hagen has performed with many illustrious orchestras, among them the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Camerata Academica Salzburg, the Freiburg Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR), the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Tokyo’s NHK Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has collaborated with conductors including Claudio Abbado, Sylvain Cambreling, Daniel Harding, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Manfred Honeck, Ingo Metzmacher, Horst Stein and Franz Welser-Mцst.
Clemens Hagen performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto at the Styriarte Graz with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Thomas Zehetmair and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. This project was produced by Warner Classics. He has toured Germany with the Houston Symphony Orchestra under Hans Graf. In 2006 Clemens Hagen returned to the Cleveland Orchestra for concerts under Osmo Vдnskд.
In addition to his solo recitals and regular concerts with the Hagen Quartet, he performs chamber music with Martha Argerich, Renaud Capuзon, Itamar Golan, Paul Gulda, Hйlйne Grimaud, Gidon Kremer, Oleg Maisenberg, Andrбs Schiff, Benjamin Schmid and Mitsuko Uchida.
Clemens Hagen has toured with the Radio Philharmonie Hannover NDR and Eiji Oue, performing in Vienna, Budapest and Zagreb. He has also performed trio concerts of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (arranged by Sitkovetsky) together with Mihaela Martin and Nobuko Imai in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Vienna.
For the opening concert of the Wiener Festwochen (Vienna International Festival) in 2009, Clemens Hagen was invited as a soloist to perform with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
His recordings include the Beethoven Cello Sonatas together with Paul Gulda for JVC Records and the Brahms Double Concerto with Gidon Kremer and the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Nikolaus Harnoncourt for Teldec. Recently Dabringhaus und Grimm released a CD featuring chamber music by Brahms and Pfizner, recorded with Benjamin Schmid and Claudius Tanski.
Clemens Hagen plays an Antonio Stradivari cello from 1698.
Permanent cello teacher
Born in Geneva in 1987, Lionel Cottet studied at the Juilliard School in New York, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, at the Hochschule in Zurich and the Conservatoire Supérieur de Genève, with Joel Krosnick, Clemens Hagen, Thomas Grossenbacher and François Guye. Appointed principal cello of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich in 2016, he also leads a career as a soloist and chamber musician on the biggest international stages : Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Berlin Philharmonic, Musikverein in Vienna, Suntory Hall in Tokyo. He has performed as a soloist with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Russian National Orchestra conducted by Mikhail Pletnev, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen and the Musikkollegium Winterthur. Passionate about chamber music, he plays in the biggest festivals : Marlboro, Bergen, Verbier, Gstaad alongside artists such as Itzhak Perlamn, Mitsuko Uchida, Igor Levit or in duo with his chamber music partner Louis Schwizgebel-Wang. He has also played with all 12 cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker as well as in this legendary orchestra.
Winner of numerous international competitions (Lutoslawski Competition in Warsaw, Brahms Competition in Austria, Astral Artist Auditions in Philadelphia) and finalist of the Eurovision Song Contest, he is also a winner of the Swiss Ambassador’s Award. Soloist of the Migros Kulturprozent and scholarship holder of the Leenards and Wilsdorf Fondations. From September 2022, Lionel Cottet will be the first cello of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, after having brilliantly won the audition. He will aslo perform as a soloist with the orchestra and its principal conductor Jonathan Nott at the opening of the season at the Victoria Hall in Geneva. His two albums recorded with Sony Classic (From Latin America to Paris and Romberg Concertos) were haghly praised by the press.
As a ture ambassaodr of music, Lionel Cottet participate in many awareness and educational programs with schools and communities with little access to classical music. He plays on a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello from 1852.
Pablo de Naverán
Permanent chamber music teacher and Humanities
Born in 1975 in Bilbao, Pablo de Naverán began studying cello at the age of 11 with Mihai Besedovschi. He was admitted at 17 to the prestigious International Menuhin Music Academy, Gstaad (Switzerland), where he studied with Lord Menuhin, Alberto Lysy and Radu Aldulescu, an experience which deeply influenced his career. He later joined Philippe Muller’s class at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he passed his academic degree, obtaining the highest grade.
He has won numerous prizes in national and international competitions, such as the Gaspar Cassadó International Cello Competition, the National Spanish Chamber Music Competition for Young Musicians, the first prize of the National Conservatory of Paris and the price of interpretation of the College of Spain in Paris.
Pablo de Naverán has performed in recitals and as a soloist in many countries: Switzerland, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Ukraine and Japan, and in high places of music such as the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), the Tokyo and Osaka Symphony Hall, the Victoria Hall (Geneva), the Romanian Athenaeum (Bucharest), the Tonhalle (Zürich), the Philharmonie (Berlin), the Teatro Arriaga ( Bilbao) and the Mozarteum (Salzburg). Given his particular interest in chamber music, he has been invited to perform in prestigious festivals: Cello-Fest (Belgrade), Festival de Radio-France (Montpellier), Menuhin Festival (Gstaad), Salzburg Festival, Midis- Minimes (Brussels), Prussia Cove (England), Festival do Estoril (Portugal), Festival of Torroella (Spain), Festival Lysy (Argentina), Incontri Musicali (Siena), Festival Ibérico (Spain), Festival di Pompei (Italy), Schubert Festival (Austria). Hailed by the international press for his exceptional musical talent and his communication skills, Pablo de Naverán has won over audiences and critics from an early age. His varied discography for houses like Dinemec Classics (Switzerland), Hilargi (Spain), Several Records (Spain) or Stil (France), has been enthusiastically received in the media and in the public.
At the age of 27, he was hired as a cello and chamber music teacher at the International Menuhin Academy in Switzerland, as well as a solo cellist at Camerata Lysy. He was a professor at the Higher Conservatory of Music of Extremadura (Spain) and he is currently a full-time permanent professor at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland (in Rolle) where he already gave regular lessons. He is also regularly invited to give master classes in Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and Portugal.
Pablo de Naverán plays on a Carlo Antonio Testore cello from 1723.
Permanent accompanist pianist
Born in Moscow, Russia, Olga Sitkovetsky studied piano and concertmaster skills at the College of Music affiliated with the Moscow Conservatory, and later at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
Olga Sitkovetsky has performed as an accompanist in numerous international violin competitions and has received numerous awards for her accompaniment. She has also participated in the International Musical Academies in Tours (France), Kent (England) and in summer courses in Italy and France.
In 1991, Lord Menuhin invited her as an accompanist to the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music in Surrey, England. Her work at the School from 1991-2000 has helped a number of students to win top prizes at major international competitions.
Olga Sitkovetsky now enjoys accompanying these former students, now accomplished musicians, in their tours all over the world. She participated in a recording celebrating Lord Menuhin’s 80th birthday.
In July 1998, Olga Sitkovetsky made her official American debut at the renowned Newport Music Festival in Rhode Island.
Olga Sitkovetsky has toured extensively in Italy, Belgium, Gilbraltar, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. 2002 and 2003 found her performing in some of the most prestigious concert venues in the world including Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, the Salzburg Mozarteum and the Vienna Konzerthaus. She has also recorded with various artists for Angel Records/EMI Classics, Dynamic, Naxos and ASV.
Piano accompanist for viola and cello classes
Versatile musician originally from the United States, Stephanie Gurga performs on the piano, harpsichord, as a conductor (maestro al cembalo), and as a singer. She studied piano at DePauw University in Indiana (USA) with Claude Cymerman, at the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris, and early music at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg im Breisgau. She earned a higher diploma as a harpsichord performing artist in the class of Prof. Dr. Robert Hill and a Master of Music in fortepiano. Additionally, she specialized in lied and opera accompaniment. Stephanie Gurga later studied singing with Patrice Berger, Christian Immler, and Graeme Danby. She also received training in conducting from Marcio da Silva with the support of Prof. Scott Sandmeier. As a conductor and maestro al cembalo, Stephanie Gurga is invited to lead opera productions by the Nouvel Opéra Fribourg, the Grimeborn Opera Festival in London, the OrQuesta Ensemble, L’Oriental de Vevey, and the Woodhouse Opera. Stephanie Gurga has performed as a soloist in concertos by Mozart, Bach, Gershwin, Glass, and Vaughan Williams with the Hastings Philharmonic, the Gensac Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Symphonic Ensemble, and the Valéik Philharmonik. She is also sought after as a pianist and harpsichordist in orchestras such as the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Zermatt Festival Orchestra, and the Lausanne Soloists. These projects have led her to collaborate with conductors and soloists such as Ton Koopman, Fabio Biondi, Renaud Capuçon, John Nelson, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Paul Goodwin, and Michael Hofstetter.
Stephanie Gurga also gives recitals and chamber music concerts at the Schubertiade in Sion, the National Music Museum in South Dakota, the Ritratti Festival, the Ticino Musica Festival in Lugano, the Lauenen Chamber Concerts, the Associazione Mozart Italia, the Swiss Chamber Concerts, the University Artist Series in Johannesburg, the “Artistes” Festival in Istanbul, the National Concert Hall in Taiwan, and Schloss Bad Krozingen. Additionally, she collaborates as a choir accompanist and preparer for the Ensemble Vocal de Villars-sur-Glâne, the Ensemble vocal de Martigny, Canto Classico Bern, Laudate Deum Lausanne, and the Neuer Basler Kammerchor. Stephanie Gurga is also the titular organist at the Church of Saint-Guérin in Sion.
An international musical artist, Stephanie Gurga performs in Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Czech Republic, Turkey, the United States, Brazil, South Africa, and Taiwan. Since 2010, she has held the position of accompanist at the Haute Ecole de Musique (HEMU) “Vaud-Valais-Fribourg” in Lausanne and Sion, Switzerland. Her accompanist activities also involve collaborations with the Menuhin Academy, the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, the Sion Festival, the Saline Royal Academy, and the Académie Musicale de Morges. In these institutions, Stephanie Gurga accompanies classes led by professors such as Janine Jansen, Tatjana Masurenko, Pavel Vernikov, Frédéric Kirch, François Salque, Diemut Poppen, Bo Yuan, Gerard Caussé, and Clemens Hagen, among others.
Recently, Stephanie Gurga has developed a project titled “Air(e),” featuring musical compositions for electronics and vocals that blend basso continuo accompaniment techniques from the Baroque tradition with modern synthesizer technologies to create a new harmonic language. This project is carried out with the support of the Valéik Ensemble and is the recipient of a research grant awarded by the Canton of Valais. In collaboration with the singer Annina Haug and percussionist Luca Musy, this project has been invited to festivals such as Les Jardins Musicaux, L’Azimut, Les Caves du Manoir in Martigny, and Schlosskonzerte Brig.