Prof. Julius Berger


For more than 40 years it is hardly to imagine the music scene without the cellist from Augsburg. Not just because he is a splendid performer that has been titled “the Prophet of cello” (W.-E.v.Lewinsky) by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung after his second recording of Bachs’ Cello-Suites: Julius Berger enriched the music world in diverse ways, as a performer, a teacher, an explorer and a thinker that doesn’t like beaten paths.

Bergers’ formative teachers were Fritz Kiskalt (Munich, Germany), Antonio Janigro (Salzburg, Austria), of whom he was the assistant for many years, and Zara Nelsova (Cincinnati, USA) . He had close contact with Mstislav Rostropovich, where he took studies initially and with whom he had numerous concert afterwards.

Important impulses for Berger’s artistic life came from collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, Olivier Messiaen, Sofia Gubaidulina and Gidon Kremer, who invited him numerous times to the Kammermusikfestival at Lockenhaus (Austria).

Julius Berger is requested as a solist and an instrumentalist wordwide, recorded various CDs and educates young talents. A lot of his former students are already acting as professors or solo-cellists in well-known orchestras, e.g. the Leipziger Gewandhausorchester.

That Julius Berger does not make a difference between the historical and the contemporary, but rather, in the sense of his teacher and friend Mstislav Rostropovich seeks the contact to living composers and promotes the emergence of new works by assignments and premieres certainly belongs to his great merits. Recent examples include works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Franghiz Ali-Zhadeh, Adriana Hölszky, Manuela Kerer, Krzysztof Meyer, Wilhelm Killmayer, Johannes X. Schachtner, Markus Schmitt, Giovanni Bonato, Hong Jun Seo, and others. In 2014 Julius Berger, together with his wife Hyun-Jung, they have premiered “Two Paths” by Sofia Gubaidulina for two violoncellos and orchestras at the “Seoul International Festival”. The work was performed as a European premiere at the Beethovenfest Bonn 2015.

Julius Berger also made an important contribution to the literature of his instrument by rediscovering and recording the works of Luigi Boccherini and Leonardo Leo as well as the oldest literature for violincello solo by Gabrielli and degli Antonii. He is at the same time editor of most of the works in exemplary Urtext editions.

Recently Julius Berger devoted himself mainly to researching the intellectual background of large standard works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and others. In his series “From the Idea to the Work” at the University of Augsburg, which he initiated, he develops language, sound, and historical references.

For many years, Julius Berger has been the artistic director of the festivals in Eckelshausen (Germany) and Asiago (Italy) and President of the International Instrumental Competition Markneukirchen (Germany).

In 2009, he was appointed a full member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz.

Julius Berger is looking for relaxation in the mountains. He is a passionate photographer and author of poems.

Jury category cello

Prof. Mats Lidström


Porträt von Prof. Mats Lidström mit Cello

As an international soloist and chamber musician, Mats Lidström has gained a reputation for performances of great insight and virtuosity. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, currently living in London, Mats combines performing with teaching and composing.


Mats studied with Ms.Maja Vogl at the Gothenburg (Göteborg) Conservatoire for six years before continuing with Leonard Rose for four years at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts (1977-81). Chamber music coaching with Claus Adam, founder-member of the Juilliard String Quartet ( and a student of Emmanuel Feuermann ), Alexander Schneider (violinist with the legendary Budapest String Quartet), Misha Schneider ( student of Julius Klengel ), Joseph Fuchs and William Lincer ( principal violist of the New York Philharmonic under Toscanini and Bernstein for 29 years ).

Additional cello coaching with Pierre Fournier, Janos Starker and Lynn Harrell. Also coaching in renaissance music with Suzanne Bloch, daughter of composer Ernest Bloch.

Mats plays the ‘Grützmacher Rocca (Joseph Antonius Rocca 1857)

TEACHING                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Appointed professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1993 (Honorary Associate in 1998),Mats Lidstrom has given masterclasses at conservatories in San Francisco, Cleveland and Oberlin, as well as in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, the UK and Sweden. Prior to the Royal Academy, he taught at the Gothenburg University, Sweden.

Mats is the founder of the annual summer course EXPANSION for cellists, which aims to be less of the standard ‘masterclass’ and more about providing the students with technical fundament needed for expressing musical ideas. Hence the motto: ‘Imagination promises musical expression, but a solid technique delivers it’.


As a soloist he has performed and recorded with some of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche S.O.Berlin, Czech Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony, with conductors such as André Previn, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Litton, Maxim Shostakovitch, Leif Segerstam and Marios Papadopoulos.


As a chamber musician, Mats has performed in many of the major halls, including Alice Tully Hall and The Y (New York City), Théâtre du Châtelet and Cité de la Musique (Paris), Musikverein (Vienna), Gulbenkian (Lisbon) , Berwald Hall in Stockholm, the University Hall ( hall of the Nobel Peace Prize) in Oslo, and the Barbican-, Wigmore-, Queen Elizabeth- and Royal Festival Halls of London.


His research of the neglected but beautiful repertoire for his instrument, has resulted in several highly acclaimed and award-winning CD’s (including ‘Record of the Month’ and Record of the Week by the BBC Music Mag. and The Guardian, the French Diapason d’Or for the research of the music by Charles Koecholin). He appears as soloist and chamber musician on EMI, Deutsche Grammophone, Decca, BIS, Hyperion,  Musica Sveciae, Opus 3, Caprice Records, as well as on his own label


Several appearances on TV and radio throughout Europe, Japan, S America and the U.S (including guest-appearances on Andy Warhol’s TV show Interiors), at present four times a guest on Radio 3’s In Tune  ).


Festivals include Aspen, Kingston, Pensacola (USA), Cello Encounter (Rio de Janeiro) and festivals in Holland, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.


Mats has worked as Principal Cellist with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Swedish Opera and the Norrköping S O (Sweden). In addition he has worked as guest-principal with the London Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Britten Sinfonia and St. Martin’s-in-the-fields of London, The Scottish BBC and Royal Scottish National Orchestras,The Royal Concertgebouw, Los Angeles and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras, Bergen Philharmonie, Bournemouth- and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, and the major symphony orchestras of Sweden. Mats is currently the solo cellist of Oxford Philomusica, a shared position with fellow cellist Peter Adams.

Mats is a coach for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, also appearing with them as their soloist at The Barbican in 2013 and 2014.


Mats’ compilation of orchestral excerpts for Boosey&Hawkes, The Orchestral Cellist, prompted the founding of his own publishing company (distributed worldwide by Spartan Press). Besides his own compositions and transcriptions, it offers the series if Bach was a cellist which lives the fantasy that everything Bach wrote was intended for the cello (the series currently include concertos for one and two cellos, a version for cello and piano of the Italian Concerto and a set of 10 encores transcribed from various Bach works). Its aim is to make cellists focus on more Bach than the solo suites and the gamba sonatas.

Also published by is his The Essential Warm-up Routine for Cellists, how to warm-up all facets of cello-playing on a daily basis. His 200 page scale book The Beauty of Scales is made possible through a research grant from the Royal Academy of Music (in addition to the standard scales, the book contains chapters on how to practise scales, as well as a selection of additional scales, such as pizzicato-, artificial harmonic-, and blues scales). Currently under way is a compilation of etudes from past cello masters called Heritage.


Compositions include Rigoletto Fantasy for cello and orchestra on Verdi’s opera, Interlude for string quartet and orchestra, Maze of Love for voice, piano and orchestra, Marche Triomphale for two pianos and percussion ( 2012 Commission), Carnival in Venice for violin and two cellos (EMI), My Heart Is In The East  Raoul Wallenberg In Memoriam for solo cello (performed at the centenary celebrations and at the Swedish Parliament and members of the US Congress, 2012),  A philosopher in waiting for solo recorder, The Sea Of Flowers Is Rising Higher, elegy for solo cello in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales (Hyperion), Aphrodite’s Rock, a Mediterranean souvenir for solo cello, Christmas Cookies for mezzo-soprano and 3 cellos, Suite for solo cello.

For cello and piano:

Suite Tintin – 9 scenes from The Adventures of Tintin (, four sets of pieces for young players (Spooky Pieces, Traffic, Ballroom Dances and Hotel Suite),Concert Suite (extract from his melodrama The Stamp King, premiered at the Wigmore Hall, London Dec.2010, narrated by Sir Terry Waite),Through Windows of Of Thine Age, a Swedish rhapsody (for Prime Minister Olof Palme, premiered at the WIgmore Hall Dec.2011), four Love Songs, and Le Cygne, in honour of  Camille Saint-Saëns.


Of the many transcriptions for cello as well as other instrumental combinations, composers include Bach, Schumann, Kreisler, Scriabine, Gershwin and Cole Porter. For his Suite de Pulcinella (cello and piano version of the 1949 orchestral score), Lidstrom has obtained a performance license from the Stravinsky Estate. Currently in preparation for publication is a suite for cello and piano of J-Ph Rameau’s Castor et Pollux through research of both the 1737 and 1754 versions, as an attempt to add Rameau to cellist’s repertoire. Mats’ transcription of Air vif from Les Boréades has been recorded for Hyperion.


During the 2004-05 season, Mats Lidstrom was the Artistic Director of the festival From Sweden in London, the greatest undertaking for Swedish classical music abroad by the Swedish Government. His passion for repertoire choices and music history in general resulted in an orchestral and chamber music festival which produced 35 concerts all performed in the major venues of London.

Ps. Mats comes from a family with more than a hundred years of involvement with the arts as opera soloists, instrumentalists in principal positions, prima ballerinas, conductors and painters. His ancestor, Rickard Dybeck, wrote the Swedish national anthem.

Prof. Josef Schwab


Prof. Valentin Erben


Valentin Erben was born in 1945 in Pernitz, lower Austria. Since 1947 his family lived in Augsburg, Germany. His mother, a pianist, and his father, an amateur violinist and cellist, often invitides friends and musicians to make housemusic together.

This way Valentin Erben got in contact with music very early. He received his first „cello“ – it was a converted viola – at the age of four years. After his first steps with the cello, shown by his father, he started taking lessons in the age of eight years with Paul Freidel, who was the principal cellist ot the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and a student of Julius Klengel.

Influenced by many beautiful musical experiences and meetings – for example numerous concerts at the Hercules Hall in Munich, including unforgetable impressions like listening to Rudolf Serkin, the Veghquartett as well as the representatives of the great french cello tradition like Pierre Fournier, Maurice Gendron and Paul Tortelier. He also made a trip to Pablo Casals in the french Pyrenees. Because of all these impressions, Valentin knew that he want to become a cellist.

1960 Valentin Erben began his cello studies with Walter Reichardt at the Munich Academy of Music. In July 1963 he attended a masterclass at Siena. This experience was very important for his future: he met the famous cellist and pedagogue André Navarra.

1964 he finished his degree at the Academy in Munich and then contiued his studies in Vienna with Tobias Kühne, a former student of Navarra. In February 1965 he performed Schumann cello concerto in the Great Hall of the Wiener Konzerthaus.

From 1965 to 1968 Valentin Erben studied with André Navarra at the Conservatoire in Paris, which was a very important time for him. He also studied chamber music with Jean Hubeau and Joseph Calvet. He received the „Premier Prix“ for cello and chamber music.

In September 1968 he won the international cello competition ARD in Munich.

Back to Vienna, in spring of 1969 he was co-founder of the Alban Berg Quartet. A union of four musicians that should mark the international string quartet scene for almost 40 years.

From 2004 to 2007 Valentin Erben was a also a member of the Lucern Festival Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado.

In June 2013 Valentin Erben retired from the University of Music in Vienna., where he has tought for over 40 years.

Valentin Erben plays the famous cello by Matteo Goffriller 1722 - "Ex - Pierre Fournier" and "Ex - Yoyo Ma" – kindly on loan from Merito String Instruments Trust GmbH. 

To a busy schedule of concerts as a soloist and chamber musician, additionally he gives musica lectures, masterclasses in chamber music, collaboration with composers, singers and dancers.

Prof. Alexandra Guțu


Acclaimed in over 20 countries on 4 continents, the Romanian cellist ALEXANDRA GUȚU started her career at the age of 12.
She obtained her Diploma at Music Academy of Bucharest (prof. Serafim Antropov). Because of her exceptional talent, she could continue her studies at „Conservatoire Superieur de Musique” Paris (Joseph Calvet) and „Mozarteum Academy” Salzburg (Antonio Janigro).
Alexandra Guțu is First Prize winner of the Valentino Bucchi International Competition (Rome, Italy), as well as „Pablo Casals” Competition (Budapest, Hungary), „Francesca Serato” (Bologna, Italy), „Gaspar Cassado” (Florence, Italy) and finalist at „Tchaikovski” (Moscow, Russia) and „Spring in Prague” (Tchekoslovakia).
She performed in several big cities and capitals in Europe, Asia, North and South America, as soloist with major orchestras and in Recitals. She has a large Concert and Recital repertoire, which includes masterworks or less known compositions from early Baroque music to the latest contemporary music, with a special dedication for Romanian composers. She is an ideal recitalist and Chamber music performer.
The artist recorded and appeared live in Radio and TV broadcasts in Romania, Italy, Canada, and is extensively touring U.S.A., Japan, Brasil, Cuba, Hawaii, and various
European countries (as well as giving master classes across the country and abroad).

Gavriel Lipkind


“ Gavriel Lipkind, an intriguing and dynamic musician on stage, is also a person of great creativity and thought, intellectual involvement and kindness [...] ” (Anna von Bülow, portrait review of Lipkind’s Solitude Cycle project)

Born in 1977 in Israel to a family of immigrants from Moscow, Lipkind enjoyed a stellar rise to fame in his early years and appeared in some of the world’s most prestigious venues with orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic and the Baltimore Symphony, working alongside outstanding musicians such as Zubin Mehta, Philippe Entremont, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Yehudi Menuhin, Pinchas Zukerman, Yuri Bashmet and Gidon Kremer. Having graduated from three major academies on three continents and won more than a dozen top prizes in major competitions, Lipkind found himself at the pinnacle of his youthful achievements. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote of him: „ A new star ascends the cello sky [...] The young Israeli cellist is one of the major musicians to have entered the music scene […] “ (Ellen Kohlhaas, 1997)

In spite of his fulminant success as a young cellist, Lipkind decided aged 23 to take a sabbatical and focus wholly on the innermost aspects of his musicianship. With a Glenn Gouldian precognition he relocated into a small village in the Taunus mountains near Frankfurt and spent the next three years working reflectively on his repertoire, liaising with composers and experimenting with new instrument setups. During this period Lipkind’s lifelong fascination with recordings and the studio found fruitful ground. Concluding over three years of his active retreat he released among other recordings his rendering of Bach’s Cello Suits. These recordings revealed a conceptual musician with an own compositional voice and a true expressive virtuoso with a deep knowledge of the cello. Shortly thereafter, a whole series of albums featuring major cello concertos, an album titled ‘In Search of New Worlds’ showcasing the Lipkind Quartet as well as half a dozen recital programs for live broadcast were released, putting Lipkind in a unique niche of his own. 

“ Gavriel Lipkind proves that he is certainly the finest cellist playing today “ (Bernard Greenhause)

160000 sold copies of exclusive editions and four reprints later, these recordings have long become celebrated jewels and collector’s items in the music world. Off stage, Gavriel Lipkind inspired hundreds of cellists, string players and ensembles around the world by sharing his modus vivendi in masterclasses and organising special retreat courses for musicians.

Over the past year Lipkind was often referred to by the press as “The Cello Maverick”. His touring with outstanding orchestras and conductors such as the Mariinsky Theatre under Valery Gergiev, Brussels Philharmonic under Anthony Wit and Michel Tabachnik, and Tokyo Metropolitan under Eliyahu Inbal – became a small part of a rich spectrum of activities.

“ [...] played from memory with the unbridled panache of a rock artist ” (Irish Times), his solo recitals carry the impact of dramatic musical confessions; “ These painfully truthful, dynamic, intimate performances force listeners to hand-over the control over their body and mind ” (Single Voice Polyphony review in Pizzicato magazine).

At the age of 40, Gavriel Lipkind has taken the most daring step in his career to date. Convinced that producing sleek video content of great performances is key to the future relevance of classical music, Lipkind moved to the Netherlands and took over a famous monumental building in the heart of the old city of Utrecht. He established – a media corporation that operates a new kind of concert venue that is specialised in filming acoustically performed recitals. Hundreds of top artists will soon come to be filmed at ConcertLab in a new innovative way.

“ [...] a significant percentage of listeners left the hall in tears. ” (The Strad)

Gavriel Lipkind plays a unique Italian cello labeled "Aloysius Michael Garani (Bologna, 1702)" estimated, however, to have been completed in the years 1670- 1680; An enigma which has come to be known as “The Zihrhonheimer cello”. This instrument has been made available thanks to the generous support of D. & M. P. 

Prof. Dr. Gustavo Tavares


Cellist Gustavo Tavares is a Doctor of Musical Arts and a versatile musician, playing frequently with classical as well as jazz and popular artists.

He has performed throughout his home country, Brazil, and in some of the most famous concert halls and festivals around the world. He has appeared as a soloist as well as a conductor with many orchestras, including the Orchestra d’Archi Italiana, the National Theater Orchestra in Brasí­lia, and the Johannesburg Philharmonic.

He has been described as “one of the most important Brazilian names in the classical music of our time” (Correio Braziliense, 3.27.2005) and is considered a specialist on Latin American music. In 1995, together with clarinettist Paquito d’Rivera and pianist Pablo Zinger, he created the ensemble Triangulo, which according to American critic C. Berg helped “redefine the basic assumptions of chamber music.” With this ensemble he has presented a diverse Latin American music repertoire for audiences throughout the world, and the ensemble recorded several CDs. One of the ensemble recordings was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001, and yet another was listed as “Record of the Year, 1997″ by the Brazilian newspaper”O Estado de São Paulo.”

Also active as an arranger, his work has been performed and recorded by artists such as YoYo Ma and the Buenos Aires String Quartet. He has been a student of Antonio Janigro at the Stuttgart Musik Hochschule, in Germany, where he graduated with the highest marks in 1986, and, while working towards his Doctorate, was also Bernard Greenhouse’s assistant at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Gustavo Tavares enjoys teaching and this activity has brought him in contact with talented young musicians, not only in well established conservatories and festivals of many countries but also in poor neighborhoods of Africa and the Americas.

Prof. Edward King

New Zealand

New Zealand-born musician and teacher Edward King has pursued a varied career combining a busy concert schedule with leading a cello class at the Leopold Mozart Centre in Augsburg. While studying with James Tenant, Julius Berger and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, he established himself in Europe, winning prizes at the Witold Lutosławski International Cello Competition, the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition and the Krzysztof Penderecki International Cello Competition, where he was awarded a special prize by Penderecki himself.

Edward has a wide-ranging repertoire, and he has a particular interest in the music of living composers, having had several commissions dedicated to him. A recent recording of Arvo Pärt's music with the Gražinytė-King Duo was praised in Gramophone Magazine: "this performance of one of the best I have heard, balancing dizzyingly on the fine line between delicacy and power".

Edward recognises the nature of music as a universal language and enjoys experimenting with different genres, including interdisciplinary projects and improvisations. He is a member of the O/Modern Chamber Orchestra and a founding member of hear now berlin. a sextet dedicated to contemporary chamber music. Edward plays on a modern German instrument built by Robert König in Markneukirchen.

Prof. Marcin Zdunik


Polish cellist, soloist and chamber musician. His repertoire ranges from renaissance to contemporary music, he improvises, composes and performs his own arrangements.

Marcin Zdunik has been invited to perform at prestigious festivals - The BBC Proms Festival in London, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano and Chopin and his Europe in Warsaw. Giving solo concerts in many European countries, the USA and Korea Marcin Zdunik has co-operated with many renowned ensembles, e.g. the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and distinguished conductors, such as Andrey Boreyko, Antoni Wit and Tadeusz Strugała. He regularly shares the stage with reputable musicians - Nelson Goerner, Gerard Causse, Krzysztof Jabłoński, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Jose Gallardo and Modigliani Quartet. He performed with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet and Tatjana Grindenko at the festival Chamber Music Connects the World in Kronberg.

He has performed as a soloist at many renowned concert halls, e.g. the National Philharmonic Concert Hall in Warsaw, the Rudolfinum in Prague, Carnegie Hall in New York, Cadogan Hall in London, Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, the Hermitage Theatre in St. Petersburg, Konzerthaus Dortmund and the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava. In the season 2016/17 he held the title of „Artist in Residence” of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw.

In 2007 Marcin Zdunik won the first prize at the VI Lutoslawski International Cello Competition in Warsaw (Poland). He was also awarded the Grand Prix for an outstanding performance of Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto and received nine other prizes. In 2008 he represented the Polish Radio in Bratislava (Slovakia) at the International Forum of Young Performers (IFYP) organized by the European Broadcasting Union where he won the 2008 New Talent title.

In 2010 he got Polish TV Culture Award, Gwarancje Kultury and Fryderyk Music Award 2010 for the album: Haydn, Denisov „Cello Concertos”. More recently he recorded complete Robert Schumann’s works for cello and piano (2014, with Aleksandra Świgut), Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s “Fantasia for cello and orchestra” (2015, with Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra and Andres Mustonen) and a duo album „Bach Stories” including works by Johann Sebastian Bach and improvisations related to them (with Aleksander Dębicz, Warner Classics 2017). In 2022 he got awarded a prestigious Fryderyk Prize for two of his latest CD’s: Words of Mystery. Music for cello and choir album recorded with Camerata Silesia choir under the baton of Anna Szostak and Paweł Mykietyn Cello Concerto with the Symphony Orchestra of National Forum of Music in Wrocław directed by Bassem Akiki. Another of his recent recordings - complete Chopin Chamber Music performed with pianist Szymon Nehring and viola player Ryszard Groblewski was warmly received by the critics in Europe.

Zdunik studied with reputable musicians - Julius Berger (Augsburg University) and Andrzej Bauer (F. Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw). He also graduated from the University of Warsaw earning the master’s degree in musicology. He is currently a member of instrumental faculty at the Music Academy in Gdańsk (Poland) and at the Fryderyk Chopin Music University in Warsaw (Poland). He holds a title of professor since April 2021.

Prof. Csaba Onczay


Csaba Onczay is one of the leading cellists of his generation. He received the Kossuth Prize (1993), the highest award given to any performing artist in all of Hungary. His excellent interpretation of Kodály`s Solosonata op.8., he was awarded the Liszt Prize in Budapest, Hungary (1976), and the Meritorious Artist (1986). He was also awarded the prestigious Bartók-Pásztory Prize in 2004. In 2019 he was presented by the Japanese Government award "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon". He is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.
He has won various international prizes. They include: First Prize at the International Pablo Casals Competition in Budapest, Hungary (1973); First Prize at the International Villa Lobos Competition of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1976).
He is Professor Emeritus of Cello at the Liszt University of Music in Budapest, Hungary, where he resides today. He was a Visiting Professor at Freiburg University of Music, at Oberlin Conservatory in OH. From 2006 to 2009 he was a Visiting Professor at the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a regular faculty member of the Summer String Academy at the IU Jacobs School of Music. Parallel with his activity of interpreter since 1978, he regularly holds master courses in Hungary, Europa, USA, Japan and Asia.
In addition to numerous concert recordings for radio and television, he has concertos of C.P.E. Bach, Schumann, Lalo, Villa Lobos, Dohnányi and also all the sonatas of Beethoven and all the solo suites of Bach. He is associated with the presentation of several contemporary music (Akutagawa, Gubaidulina, Dutilleux, Landowski, Lutoslawski, Penderecki); many Hungarian composers (Levente Gyöngyösi, Miklós Kocsár, Kamilló Lendvay, Sándor Szokolay) has written and dedicated their works especially for him.
He appears as a soloist in some of the most prestigious concert halls of Europe, America, Korea and Japan. He has amassed outstanding successes with numerous orchestras including the Wiener Symphoniker, the Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, the RAI Orchestra as well as many orchestras in the United States.
Mr. Onczay founded an orchestra in Florence, Italy in 2000. He is invited as soloist and chamber music player to many international festivals, including: Pablo Casals Festival Prades; Springfestival Budapest; Beaumaris Festival Gifu; Springfestival Prague. He is the Artistic Director of the Niederstotzingen Musiktage in Germany and of the Summer Courses at the Festetics Castle in Keszthely, Hungary and Bergamo, Italy.
His participation at the Wolf Trap Festival in USA in 1984 was received with great enthusiasm.
Musical America reported about him: “Csaba Onczay brought to life the score’s quick-changing moods and its variety of color, ranging from indomitable of Hungarian dance to lyric folksong and brooding melancholy.”
Le Monde reported about him in August 1990: “More significant was the successful presence of Hungarian cellist Csaba Onczay, with an extraordinary concentration, connected to a sound of “velvet” – disregarding any effects -... vivacious, deep, passionate and sometimes with a “ghostly” character ... close to Casals for saying shortly”.

Jury category double bass

Prof. Frithjof-Martin Grabner


Studied double bass with Prof. Achim Beyer and Prof. Konrad Siebach, and with Prof. Gerhard Bosse chamber music in Leipzig. He has already performed as a graduate and winner of international competitions in numerous symphony concerts as soloist and as a continuo player of the great oratorios.
Grabner was engaged as a solo bass player for 18 years at various orchestras. For example at the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and the Staatsoper "Unter den Linden"
He has played with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Symphoniker, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Dresden Philharmonic, the mdr Symphony Orchestra and many others .
Frithjof-Martin Grabner was and is a member of renowned ensembles such as the Bach Collegium Stuttgart, the chamber orchestra "Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach" Berlin, the Leipziger Consort, the Berlin Bachakademie and the Frankfurt Chamber Orchestra "Skyline Symphony", the Gaechinger Cantorey Stuttgart, Saxon Baroque orchestra, Thuringian Bach Collegium and the Capella fidicinia Leipzig.
He played radio, television and CD recordings.
Concert tours have led him through many countries in Europe, Asia and America.
Grabner taught at the University of Music "Hanns Eisler" Berlin and has been a professor for double bass at the University of Music and Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig since 2001.
He has taught masterclasses in Brazil, Germany, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, USA and the Czech Republic as well as at various international music festivals.
Grabner is the juror of international competitions. Since 2015 he is chairman of the contrabass jury of the International Instrumental Competition in Markneukirchen. Grabner is also the artistic director of the Mühldorfer Sommerakademie in Bavaria.

Prof. Miloslav Jelínek

Czech Republic

Miloslav Jelínek graduated from the Conservatoire in Kroměříž (prof. Miloslav Gajdoš) and then from the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (prof. Jiří Bortlíček). During his study he participated in a number of interpretation competitions and won a lot of awards. Miloslav Jelínek was for 23 years a chief of the double bass group in the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra. At present he has been professor at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, at the University of Ostrava, at Music Academy Karol Lipinski in Wroclaw, Poland (2012 – 2015) and at Brno Conservatory.  He is  honorary professor at the Beijing Conservatory.  Miloslav Jelinek is the founder and chairmen of the Czech Society of Double Bassists. He cooperates with many chamber ensembles - (for example Janáček String Quartet, Brindisi String Quartet, Wallinger Quartet, RIX Quartet). Every year in September he organizes International Double Bass Convention in Brno, Czech Republic. He has made a great number of radio, television and CD recordings and together with his wife  Marcela Jelínková  (piano)  give extensively double bass recitals in the Czech Republic as well as abroad. He performs as soloist with symphony orchestras - (Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc, Lower Silesia Philharmonic, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra of South Bohemia, Brno Chamber Orchestra, Czech Chamber Soloists and many others).  Also he is leader of the Brno Double Bass Orchestra. Miloslav Jelínek presents many contemporary pieces, which were written for him. For example Jiří Matys, Tony Osborne, Miloš Štědroň, František Emmert, Leoš Faltus and the other.

Miloslav Jelínek is giving numerous clinics and master classes through the world (China, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Latvia, Singapore, USA etc…).

Prof. Graham Mitchell

Great Britain

Graham Mitchell was appointed as the Head of Strings at the Royal Academy of Music in August 2022. He is also the Serge Koussevitzky Senior Professor of Double Bass at the Royal Academy and the Double Bassist with the Nash Ensemble.

He was Principal(Solo) Bass with the English National Opera Orchestra from 2011-2023 and a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra from 1998- 2011. He is a regular guest with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. As a guest principal(solo) bass, Graham has led the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philharmonia and the London Symphony Orchestra. Abroad he has led the Royal Concertgebouw, Stuttgart Radio(SWR) and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe,

Graham studied with Duncan McTier at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. On finishing his studies, the following year he was asked to become a professor of Double Bass at the Royal Academy.

Graham was 1st prize winner in the 1998 Scottish International Double Bass Competition, Scotland, and a prize winner in the 2001 Izuminomori International Double Bass Competition, Japan.

Over the years Graham has performed and recorded for various radio and TV stations around the world with many soloists and chamber ensembles including Anthony Marwood, Steven Isserlis, James Crabb, Pekka Kuusisto, Matthew MacDonald and Imogen Cooper; the Florestan, Gould, and Kungsbacka Piano Trios, the Belcea and Takacs Quartets and the Aronowitz Ensemble.

In 2007 Graham was invited by Steven Isserlis to perform at the IMS Prussia Cove Chamber Festival followed by a national tour and concert at the Wigmore Hall. This resulted in IMS Prussia Cove winning the chamber prize at the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. He has recently performed the world premiere of Thomas Ades – Novenyek - for the 50th anniversary of IMS Prussia Cove at the Wigmore Hall, London. His recording of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with Paul Lewis and the Leopold String Trio is praised as “one of the finest modern Trouts available” (The Sunday Times).

Graham plays on a 1750 double bass attributed to Testore. He is extremely thankful to the Stradivari Trust for their support.

Prof. Mette Hanskov


Mette Hanskov was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. She studied at the University of Performing Arts and Music in Vienna with Prof. Ludwig Streicher and graduated in 1980 with unanimous distinction.
Since 1979 she has been a member of the Salzburg Soloists and has been active as a soloist as well as a chamber musician in large parts of the world.
Among several CDs she has recorded, there are also two solo CDs.
Mette Hanskov was a founding member of the CHAMBERORCHESTRA OF EUROPE under the direction of Claudio Abbado and since 1985 has played as 1st solo bass at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen ("DET KONGELIGE KAPEL").
Mette Hanskov taught for more than 35 years at the Southern Danish Music Academy "Carl Nielsen ACADEMY" in Odense (Denmark) and has trained numerous young bassists who play in professional orchestras, teach at music schools, compose or play with various bands.
She is particularly committed to bringing classical music to new audiences, making it enjoyable and easier to play for everyone. With this in mind, she has conducted a string orchestra, a symphonic wind orchestra and several symphony orchestras for amateurs for many years.
In a time when little classical music is communicated through media, she is looking for new ways for classical music, mixing different styles of music to reach a group of people who normally do not listen to classical music.
In 2016, Mette Hanskov founded the Audience Orchestra of the Copenhagen Opera on the understanding that anyone who is interested can play. Since then, she has been leading the orchestra and arranging all the pieces herself. For those who need it, she simplifies voices, making the music playable for everyone and for all instruments.

Prof. Marek Kalinowski


Marek Kalinowski graduated from the State Higher School of Music in Krakow, in the double bass class of prof. Czesław Ząbek. During the years 1980-93 he was a member of the Polish Radio and Television Orchestra.

Marek Kalinowski was awarded in the Ciechańśki National Double Bass Competition (1983). In 1986 he premiered and recorded Concert for double bass and orchestra by Juliusz Łuciuk. As a soloist, he has performed with Capella Cracoviensis, Polish Radio and Television Orchestra in Krakow, Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, Częstochowa Pilharmonic Orchestra and Zielona Góra Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since 1991, Marek Kalinowski is the leader of double bass section in the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2013, he took part in the recording of the Juliusz Łuciuk’s piece Spełnienie for violin, cello and double bass, which was included on the album Omaggio a L'Aquila - Spełnienie published by Acte Préalable. As a chamber musician, he performed at concerts organized by the Krakow Philharmonic, as well as at the Krakow Composers’ Festival and the Krakow Cello Spring.

Since 1995 he has been teaching at the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow. In 2018 he was awarded the title of professor. He was a juror of the 50th International Double Bass Competition in Markneukirchen in 2015.

Prof. Alexandra Scott

Great Britain

Alexandra Scott has held an artistic professorship in double bass at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München since 2020. She has already taught as a professor of double bass at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe since 2012. In addition to her academic teaching activities, she regularly passes on her experience to young musicians as a lecturer for the European Union Youth Orchestra, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Master classes have also taken her to the Royal Academy of Music in London and to the universities in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo. She has been a jury member at the German Music Competition, the German National Competition Jugend Musiziert and the Double Bass Competition of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Born in England, she began her musical education at the Yehudi Menuhin School with Caroline Emery and was subsequently a student of Chi-chi Nwanaku in London for many years. She later studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Duncan McTier and Graham Mitchell and graduated with distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the class of Rinat Ibragimov. During her studies she was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Verbier Youth Orchestra.

Alexandra Scott received further impulses from Klaus Stoll, Janne Saksala and Esko Laine as a scholarship holder at the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. She was subsequently engaged by the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hanover as principal double bass. From 2007 to 2020 she was the leader of the double bass section of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, she performed with her orchestra under the direction of Mariss Jansons in 2015 and gave a solo recital in New York in 2017 as part of the annual conference of the International Society of Bassists.

In addition to her busy teaching and orchestral activities, she devotes herself intensively to chamber music. With partners such as Lisa Batiashvili, Vilde Frang, Gautier Capuçon, Reinhold Friedrich, Julia Hagen, Valeriy Sokolov and Eduard Brunner, she has performed at numerous internationally renowned festivals. Guest engagements have taken her to the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, among others. As a founding member of the baroque ensemble "l'Accademia giocosa", she is also interested in early music and historical performance practice.

Prof. Petru Iuga


The Romanian double bassist Petru Iuga is one of the most successful classical musicians of his generation. During his musical training in his homeland, the 20-year-old student came to the attention of Yehudi Menuhin, who enlisted him for his International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad (Switzerland). After continuing his studies at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern and the Conservatoire  National  Supérieur  de  Musique  de  Paris,  he  became  a  member  of  the  Ensem-ble  Orchestral  de  Paris (Orchestre de Chambre de Paris)  and  first  double  bass  with  the  Munich  Chamber  Orchestra.  Petru  Iuga has  won  numerous  prizes  at  renowned  double  bass  competitions,  including  first  prize  at  the 1999 International Instrumental Competition in Markneukirchen and in 2001 another first at the International Double Bass Festival in Capbreton (France). Since then, he has been pursuing a worldwide  concert  career  and  makes  guest  appearances  as  a  soloist  with  leading  European  orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra. Petru Iuga is professor for double bass at the Staatliche Musikhochschule und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim and also teaches part-time at the Haut Ecole de Musique de Lausanne, Switzerland.He regularly stages master classes all over the world in which he discovers and encourages numerous talented young double bass players. In recent years alone he has given master classes a.o.  in  Russia,  Italy,  Portugal,  Israel,  Japan,  Uruguay,  China  and  Canada,  where  he  has  held  a  guest  professorship  at  the  renowned  Orford  Master  Classes  since  2017.  He  has  made  several  CDs  as  a  chamber  musician  and  he  regularly  gives  concerts  with  famous  fellow  musicians.  In  2009 he recorded a CD with the Carmina Quartet. His invention, ErgoBass, a knee support for double bassists that facilitates an ergonomic and healthier playing position, is used world wide by many musicians. 

Prof. Dorin Marc


Dorin Marc is professor of double bass at the Nuremberg University of Music.
He completed his double bass studies in his home country Romania at the University of Music Bucharest with Prof. Ion Cheptea.
In addition to his first engagement with the Philharmonic Orchestra "Transylvania" Cluj-Napoca, he was principal double bass in the Orchestra Internationale d'Italia. From 1992-2003 he was principal double bass of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and from 1998 at the same time lecturer at the Nuremberg Academy of Music. In 2003 Dorin Marc was appointed professor at the Hochschule für Musik Nuremberg.
Both in his home country and internationally, Dorin Marc has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Special Jury Prize in 1979 and second prize in 1985 at the ARD Competition in Munich, third prize in 1979 and first prize in 1981 at the International Double Bass Competition Markneukirchen, the silver medal and the "Fr. Liebstoeckl" prize in 1983 at the Geneva Music Competition and first prize in 1991 at the Competition of the International Society of Bassists in Mittenwald.
Dorin Marc has performed throughout Europe and given numerous master classes.
His students have won prizes at international double bass competitions such as the ARD Competition in Munich, the International Instrumental Competition in Markneukirchen, the J.M. Sperger Competition and the International Competition in Brno (Czech Republic).
Many students have received solo positions in renowned orchestras.

Prof. Dan Styffe


Dan Styffe, born in Sweden has had most of his professional career based in Norway. After studies with Göran Nyberg, Knut Guettler and Gary Karr (he also worked as Karr´s assistant in 1981-82) he made his Oslo solo-debut 1985 and after that he has been very active as soloist and chamber musician. He regularly performs in international chamber music festivals and as soloist.  He also participates in many international double bass conventions around the world like Paris, Berlin, Wroclaw, Penn State, Odense, San Fransisco, Brno, Copenhagen, Iceland, Rochester, Prague, London, Ithaca and Lucca. He has also been jury member on international bass competitions f.ex. ISB, BassEurope, Markneukirchen and Sperger.
Styffe has recorded seven critically acclaimed solo CD´s on SIMAX Classics . He recently recorded with violinist Dora Schwarzberg and Øystein Birkeland for ContraClassics and a CD with music by French composer Bernard Salles for the label Fabra. Styffe has also recorded for the English label Prima Facie. New recordings are being planned.
He has commissioned many new pieces and works regularly together with many composers for example Rolf Martinsson, Fredrik Högberg, Teppo Hauta-aho, Bernard Salles, Paul Ramsier, Rune Rebne, Henrik Hellstenius, Jon Øyvind Ness, Gisle Kverndokk, John Persen, Asbjørn Schaatun, Terje Viken, Ruben Sverre Gjesrtsen and Christian Lindberg, Marcus Paus and Laurence Crane.
A new Concerto by Swedish Christian Lindberg was premiered with the Beethoven Orchestra in Bonn,  February 2018.
In April 2011 Styffe premiered and recorded on CD Rolf Martinsson´s Concerto No 1 with Oslo Philharmonic/ Saraste and later same year he recorded Fredrik Högberg´s concerto “Hitting the First Bass” with Tromsø Chamber Orchestra / Holthe. Styffe performed the world premiere of this concerto with The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Leader Isabelle van Keulen.
After his studies Styffe got the Principal Bass position in The Norwegian Opera Orchestra and later Principal Bass with The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (under Iona Brown´s leadership). Now he is Co-Principal in The Oslo Philharmonic (under Mariss Jansons, André Previn, Jukka Pekka Saraste, . Vasily Petrenko and Klaus Mäkelä).
Styffe was a member of the chamber ensemble Borealis.
Styffe is working together with many international musicians and the closest partners are so far violist Catherine Bullock, pianists Gonzalo Moreno and Ingrid Andsnes and cellist Øystein Birkeland.  Late 2011 he recorded duos with violinist Peter Herresthal.
Styffe works as Professor of Double Bass at The Norwegian Academy of Music and at Barratt Due´s Institute of Music, Oslo.
Dan Styffe plays a Gasparo da Saló double bass made in Brescia, Italia approx. 1580. This instrument is owned by the foundation Dextra Musica/ Sparebankstiftelsen DnB NOR.

Official pianists category cello

Mr. Andreas Hecker (Germany)
Ms. Yukie Takai (Japan)
Mr. Radosław Kurek (Poland)

Official pianists category double bass

Ms. Tomoko Takahashi (Japan)
Ms. Zsuzsa Bàlint (Hungary)
Ms. Anja Kleinmichel (Germany)