veli-matti puumala

 tuomari puumala credit Saara Vuorjoki Music Finland.jpg

(c) Saara Vuorjoki


Veli-Matti Puumala (born 1965) established himself as one of Finland's most talented composers during the 1990s. He studied with Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Acade­my, Helsinki from 1984 to 1993 and attended Franco Donatoni’s courses at the Accademia Chi­gia­na in Siena in 1989 and 1990. Since 2005 he has been Professor of composition at the Sibelius Academy. In 2011 he was awarded the Erik Bergman Jubilee Prize in recognition of his excellent, versatile work continuing the ethical and spiritual tradition of Modernism.


pierre amoyal

tuomari kuva Amoyal credit V. Purdom.jpg

(c) V. Purdom



Pierre Amoyal is well known to music lovers. He has played with the greatest conductors and orchestras in the most prestigious concert halls of the world. This virtuoso is also the lucky owner of the one of the most beautiful violins ever made : the famous "Kochanski," a Stradivarius that was stolen from him in 1987, and which was miraculously recovered four years later by the Italian Carabinieri.

When Amoyal was only twelve years old, he completed his studies at the Paris Conservatory with a First Prize. The prodigy then left for Los Angeles to study with the legendary Jascha Heifetz. The two spent five intense years together, culminating in chamber music concerts and recordings with cellist Gregor Piatigorski.

At the age of 22, he made his European debut with the late Sir Georg Solti and the Orchestre de Paris, followed by appearances in all of the major European capitals, as well as in the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America and in the Far East. Amoyal has played under the most important conductors of the last three decades: von Karajan, Ozawa, Boulez, Maazel, Solti, Pretre, Sanderling, Rozhdestvensky, Rattle, and Myung Whun Chung, to name only a few. His first appearance with the Berlin Philharmonic under Maestro von Karajan in Berlin was followed by many subsequent performances with this orchestra, including the German premier of the Dutilleux Concerto under Lorin Maazel. In 1985, he made his recital debut in Carnegie Hall, which received outstanding critical acclaim.


He was the youngest musician ever to be nominated as a professor at the Paris Conservatory. Following his move to Switzerland, he took up a teaching post at the Lausanne Conservatory. Also in Lausanne, he initiated a novel music academy dedicated to the violin/piano repertoire, which he hosts annually with Bruno Canino. Pierre Amoyal is a very touching example of a virtuoso whose exceptional talents neither diminished his love of hard work, nor development of the most essential human qualities.



serguei azizian

tuomari kuva Serguei Azizian.jpg


Serguei Azizian was born in Armenia in 1957. For almost twenty years he has been living in Denmark, where he has won great respect for his work as a leader of the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. 


Serguei Azizian has performed as a soloist with orchestras in St. Petersburg, with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also particularly active as a chamber musician. 


Serguei Azizian has taught at the Conservatoire in St. Petersburg, and he is now Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. 




sigrún edvaldsdóttir


Sigrún Edvaldsdóttir started playing the violin at the age of five. She graduated from the Reykjaviks Music conservatory with a soloist degree in 1984 where she Studied with Gudny Gudmundsdottir and from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1988 with a Bachelor degree where she studied with Jascha Brodsky and Jaimee Laredo. She also studied privately with Mr.and mrs.Roland and Almita Vamos.


She was a founding member and 1.violin of the Miami string quartet from 1988-1990.She participated in numerous chambermusic Festivals such as the Marlboro Festival,L´Emperi Festival in Aix en Provence,the Kuhmo and Korsholm Festivals in Finland and the Sangat Festival in Mumbai,India. She is also a regular artist at "Music Festival at Sea" with P.O.Cruises and has sailed to the most exotic places with them.


She has won several prizes in International Violin competitions like the 2.nd prize in the Leopold Mozart competition in 1987,the 5th prize in the Carl Nielsen competition 1988, 3rd prize in the "International West Palm Beach competition in 1989, 3rd price in the 1990 Sibelius competition, 2nd  prize in the "Lexus international violin competition in 1992 and 2nd prize in the "Carl Flesch competition"that same year. She was awarded the Icelandic Optimist price in 1992 for her work in music and her positive outlook and was knighted by the president of Iceland in 1998.She has appeared in recital at the Wigmore hall in London and the Weill recital hall in New York.In 2005 she performed all the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano at the Reykjaviks Arts Festival.


She enjoys playing new music and has had Violin Concertos written for her and works dedicated to her. She has recorded with Naxos, Chandos, ITM and Steinar labels. She was mentioned as one of the most interesting violinists og the future in Henry Roths book: Violin Virtuosos from Paganini to the 21st century published in 1997 and in "Le monde de la Musique"in 1998.  She has toured China in recitals recently and has participated in the "Reykjavik Midsummer Music"Festival at Harpa in the past years where Artistic Director is the Icelandic pianist Vikingur Ólafsson. She has been Concertmaster at the the Danish Royal Opera for a time but has held the position of one of the two 1.Concertmasters at the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra since 1998 and has performed as a soloist with them several times with the last time being  performance of the Brahms dobbel concerto for violin and cello in 2011. She will perform the Sibelius concerto with the Winnipeg Symphony orchestra in the fall of 2014.



pekka kauppinen

tuomari kuva Kauppinen.jpg


Pekka Kauppinen was born in Lappeenranta and studied at the Sibelius Academy and the Copenhagen Conservatory. His teachers included Seppo Tukiainen, Milan Vitek and Igor Bezrodnyi. He graduated from the Sibelius Academy with a Master of Music degree in 1998.


Kauppinen’s varied musical career was launched with his winning 1st prize in the Kuopio Violin Competition and reaching the finals of the Sibelius Violin Competition at the turn of the 1990s. He has appeared with nearly all Finnish orchestras, and he has recorded the violin concertos of Tauno Marttinen and Uuno Klami with the Lahti Sinfonia under Osmo Vänskä and the Kymi Sinfonietta under Dima Slobodeniouk. He has performed chamber music at the Lemi-Lappeenranta Music Festival and at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival.


In his day job, Pekka Kauppinen has been leader of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra for 20 years. He is also leader of the Finnish Chamber Orchestra, and he has been on tour with Valery Gergiev’s World Orchestra for Peace.


Kauppinen has been a part-time lecturer at the Sibelius Academy since 2012.



sung-ju lee




This acclaimed violinist launched her career with a New York Debut in 1977 as a winner of "Young Concerts Artists" and was immediately recognized as "a first-rate violinist" by the New York Times. Upon graduation from the Julliard School (where she studied with Ivan Galamian, Margaret Pardee, and Dorothy Delay), Sung-Ju Lee was awarded the First Kreisler Fellowship for graduate studies.


Her list of accomplishments is impressive, beginning with her appearance as, a soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic at age of 9. In the U.S. she has performed with the orchestras of Saint Louis, Seattle, Baltimore, Florida, Duluth, Roanoke among numerous others. Around the world, she has performed as soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Taiwan Symphony, KBS Symphony and Orquest Sinfonica in Caracas, Venezuela. 


She has played solo recitals in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington D.C., Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and many other cities. Some of her residencies and master classes were given at th Universities of Arizona, Louisiana, Iowa, West Texas, Idaho, San Diego and Stanford and Dartmouth and Amherst Colleges. In 1994, Sung-Ju Lee was appointed as a professor at the prestigious Korean National University of Arts in Seoul, Korea.( Since moving to Korea, she has been actively performing in her native country. 




2010121200655_Cho-Liang-Lin21 credit Paul Body.jpg

(c) Paul Body


Violinist Cho-Liang Lin is lauded the world over for the eloquence of his playing and for the superb musicianship that marks his performances. In a concert career spanning the globe for more than thirty years, he is equally at home with orchestra, in recital, playing chamber music, and in a teaching studio.


Mr. Lin’s concert engagements reflect his wide-ranging musical activities. Performing on several continents, he appears as soloist with orchestras of Detroit, Toronto, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, San Diego and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; in Europe with the Bergen Philharmonic, Stockholm Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, and the English Chamber Orchestra; and in Asia with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Malaysia Philharmonic, and Bangkok Symphony. 


In recent seasons, Mr. Lin has expanded his orchestral engagements to include performances as both soloist and conductor. He completed season-long residencies with the Shanghai Symphony and with the Singapore Symphony which included engagements as soloist and conductor, participating in chamber music, and giving master classes.  In 2012/13, Mr. Lin returns to play and conduct with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan and the symphonies of Detroit, San Antonio, and Shanghai. 


As an advocate for music of our time, Mr. Lin has enjoyed collaborations and premieres with composers such as Tan Dun, Joel Hoffman, John Harbison, Christopher Rouse, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lalo Schifrin, Paul Schoenfield, Bright Sheng, and Joan Tower.  An avid chamber musician, Mr. Lin appears at the Beijing Music Festival, as well as his perennial appearances performing at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Aspen Music Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. 


As Music Director of La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest since 2001, Mr. Lin has helped develop a festival that once focused primarily on chamber music into a multidiscipline festival featuring dance, jazz and a burgeoning new music program commissioning composers as diverse as Chick Corea, Stewart Copeland, Leon Kirchner, Christopher Rouse, Wayne Shorter, Kaija Saariaho and Gunther Schuller. In Asia, Mr. Lin serves as Artistic Director of Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, and he was recently appointed Artistic Director of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Music Summer Camp where he also conducts performances and serves as a member of the string faculty. 


Cho-Liang Lin’s extensive discography includes recordings for Sony Classical, Decca, Ondine, Naxos and BIS. His albums have won such awards as Gramophone’s Record of the Year, as well as two Grammy Award nominations. His recordings reflect the breadth of his distinctive career including the standard violin concerti from Mozart to Stravinsky, chamber music from Brahms to Ravel and contemporary music from Chen Yi to Christopher Rouse.  His most recent discs include Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Sejong and Anthony Newman, violin works of Bright Sheng and Gordon Chin on Naxos, and the First Violin Concerto by George Tsontakis on Koch. Upcoming plans include recording a violin concerto by Joan Tower with the Nashville Symphony.


Born in Taiwan in 1960, Cho-Liang Lin began his violin lessons when he was 5 years old with Sylvia Lee. At the age of 12, he went to Sydney to continue his musical studies with Robert Pikler. Inspired by an encounter with Itzhak Perlman while in Sydney, he traveled to New York in 1975 to audition for Perlman’s teacher, the late Dorothy DeLay, at the Juilliard School. He was to study with Miss DeLay for six years. At the age of nineteen Mr. Lin made his New York debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival and soon thereafter with the New York Philharmonic and his concert career was launched. In 2000 Musical America named Mr. Lin its Instrumentalist of the Year.  He was invited to join the faculty of the Juilliard School in 1991. More recently he was appointed professor of violin at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He plays the 1715 "Titian" Stradivarius.




gerhard schulz

Gerhard Schulz


Gerhard Schulz was born 1951 in Linz Austria into a family of musicians and studied with Franz Samohyl in Vienna, Sandor Vegh in Düsseldorf und Shmuel Ashkenasi in USA. He was a founding member of the Salzburg String Trio, the Schulz Ensemble and 1st violinist of the Düsseldorf String Quartet. As a member of the worldfamous Alban Berg Quartet for over 30 years, he played regularly in the most important music centres of the world. As exlusiv artists the quartet recorded most of the repertoire for EMI records and got numerous awards for it. 


After the ABQ stopped playing in summer 2008 Gerhard Schulz founded the Waldstein Ensemble (a piano quartet) and enjoys a busy life as a performer as well as a teacher . In 2009 he gave his debut as a conductor with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. 


Since 1980 he has been professor for violin at the University for Muscic in Vienna and from 1993 to 2013 guest professor for chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany. Since October 2013 he teaches also chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart





krzystof wegrzyn


(c) Florian Wallenwein


Krzysztof Wegrzyn was born in Gdansk, Poland. He studied in Warsaw, Freiburg and London. His musical personality has been strongly influenced by Zenon Brzewski, Wolfgang Marschner, Yfrah Neaman and Dorothy DeLay. He was a laureate at renowned international competitions (Spohr, Montreal) and was the winner of the Karol Szymanowski- and Rodolfo Lipizer Competitions.


His concert activities have taken him around the world and he has made numerous recordings for radio, television and CD. His broad repertoire also features works by Lutoslawski, Ligeti, Nono, Schnittke, Pärt and Penderecki. Krzysztof Wegrzyn served as concertmaster of the Hanover State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra for many years and since 1993 has been a professor at the University of Music and Drama Hanover. Many of his students have won prizes in major international competitions and have become members of leading German orchestras. Krzysztof Wegrzyn regularly holds master classes in Europe, the United States and Asia including at   the Holland Music Sessions, the Ishikawa Music Academy, the Great Mountains International Music Festival, the Bowdoin Music Festival, the Aurora Scandinavian Master Classes the Keshet Eilon and the Conservatories in New York, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo. He has served on the juries of numerous international competitions (e. g. the Tchaikovski, Kreisler, Paganini, ARD and Sendai). Furthermore, he has also been greatly involved in chamber music and has founded the Ensemble ‘il gioco col suono’.


In 2004 he was awarded the State Music Prize. Krzysztof Wegrzyn is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover. He plays a venezian violin of Domenico Montagnana.