Internationally celebrated, Sarah Christian has won numerous competitions, such as the “Louis Spohr” Competition in Germany and the International Violin Competition “Kocian” in the Czech Republic. She completed her studies with Prof. Antje Weithaas at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin, where she holds a teaching position since 2013 . She was a student of Prof. Igor Ozim at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg from which she graduated at the age of 20 with the high honours.
An acclaimed performer of chamber music, Sarah Christian was a finalist in the Violin-Piano Duo category at the 2010 Deutsche Musikwettbewerb in Bonn, which led to a fellowship in the concert agency “Konzerte junge Künstler”. More recent projects include the festivals “Spannungen in Heimbach” and the Schwetzingen Festival, where she plays regularly with Lars Vogt, Jörg Widmann, Tanja Tetzlaff and others. 2015 brought about the debut season of Carte Blanche in Augsburg, a self-initiated chamber music series of which Christian is co-artistic director together with cellist Maximilian Hornung.
Sarah Christian pursues a busy concert schedule, which has already led her to many European countries as well as, China, Japan, South America and the United States. As a soloist she has played with many ensembles including the the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, the Camerata Salzburg, the Auckland Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of Klagenfurt, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the “Via Nova” Choir Munich, as well as with the Philharmonic Orchestras of Hermannstadt, Germany and Timisoara, Romania.
In 2013, Sarah Christian began as the first concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. In addition to continuing projects with world-famous conductors and soloists, she especially enjoys the opportunity to lead the orchestra from the first desk. Excelling in this role, she has already made a name for herself and is a regular guest concertmaster at other orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Kammerakademie Potsdam.
Hed Yaron Mayersohn, born 1989 in Tel Aviv, is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München and the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, where he received distinctions. Hed is a recipient of scholarships and awards from institutes such as the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, the foundation Freunde Junger Musiker Deutschland and the Verbier Festival Academy.
Hed won prizes in various competitions, such as Aviv (Israel) and Königin Sophie Charlotte (Mirow, Germany). He is fascinated by music of different epochs and styles and plays regularly solo and chamber music concerts. Since 2013 he is a member of the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and plays regularly in the orchestra’s programs.
Lena Eckels was born in Detmold / Germany and began to play the viola in the age of ten. She studied with Prof. Barbara Westphal and Prof. Lars-Anders Tomter. As a soloist she has won the GWK Förderpreis 2004 and 1st prize at the Brahms Competition (Pörtschach/Asutria) 2005. Lena attended master classes with Kim Kashkashian, Yuri Bashmet and Nobuko Imai among others.
She has been a member of the Swiss-German Amaryllis Quartet for 10 years The quartet has won the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2011 and appeared regulary in concert series and festivals including the Lucerne Festival, Heidelberger Frühling, The Chelsea Music Festival NYC, The Huntington Estate Music Festival Australia, Schwetzinger Festspiele and has performed in Viennas Musikverein, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Wigmore Hall and the Melbourne Reciatal Centre. The group was winner of the Jürgen Ponto Kammermusikpreis 2012, the highest endowed award for chamber music in Germany and was awarded with an ECHO Klassik for the recording „White“. She is a member of the German-Israeli „Else Ensemble“ – a young ensemble that collaborates regulay with diplomatic and multi-cultural institutions and initiates innovative, cross-disciplinary concerts. In 2018 Lena was appointed professor of viola at the Musikhochschule Lübeck /Germany and is regulary performing in festivals and concerts all over Europe.
Daniela Shemer, born in 1988 in Jerusalem, is a member of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra since 2009, and a passionate performer of chamber music and contemporary repertoire. Based in Germany, Daniela was a member of the International Ensemble Modern Academy, and holds a Master’s degree from the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts.
In 2013 Daniela Joined the Lucerne Festival Academy, and later the Academy’s Ensemble. As a chamber and orchestral musician, Daniela has performed in four continents, and has worked with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierr Boulez, Peter Eötvös and Steven Sloane. Daniela appeared in master classes with cellists such as Mischa Maisky, Janos Starker, Frans Helmerson and David Geringas. After completing a Bachelor’s degree at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, as well as a military service in the position of Excellent Musician in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), Daniela continued to study one year in The Royal Conservatoire The Hague, where she studied cello with Michel Strauss, as well as electronic music in the Sonology department. She has repeatedly received scholarships from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation, the Varon Foundation and from the Barenboim-Said Andalusian Public Foundation.
Valentin Scharff is assistant principal cellist in the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra since 1999. He received prizes in the Mendelssohn Competition Freiburg and in the International Chamber Music Competition in The Hague.
Valentin Scharff was a student in the class of Professor Christoph Henkel in the Freiburg School of Music and attended masterclasses with renown musicians such as Frans Helmerson, Arto Noras, Siegfried Palm and János Starker. An enthusiast performer of chamber music from a young age, he received coaching from acclaimed ensembles such as the Brandis and Vermeer quartets. As member of different chamber groups he performed in festivals such as Lucerne, Le Arcs, La Prés and Beethoven Festival in Bonn. Valentin Scharff gave concerts all over Europe, the USA and Japan.
Viola Wilmsen is the principal oboist of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO), after holding the same position for three years at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. She studied with Diethelm Jonas, Jacques Tys and Dominik Wollenweber. In 2009 she was awarded first prize at one of the most prestigious oboe competitions, the International Sony Competition held in Japan.
She was the first woman and the first German to win this competition. Furthermore she received first prizes at international contests in Italy, Poland, Germany and England. As a soloist she has performed with orchestras such as the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan, Astana Chamber Orchestra, Yokohama, Haydn Orchestra, Hamburger Camerata and the Münchener Kammerorchester.
Shelly Ezra studied with Yitzhak Kazap (Tel-Aviv), Sabine Meyer, Reiner Wehle and Diethelm Jonas (Lübeck), and with Martin Spangenberg (Weimar). She was awarded prizes in various competitions, such as the ARD Competition Munich, International Music Competition Freiburg, Braunschweig Classix Festival Competition and the Max-Reger Chamber Music Competition, Karlsruhe.
She received prizes and scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, and from the Villa Musica, Yehudi Menuhin and Stockhausen foundations. Shelly performed as a soloist with the Bavarian Radio Symphony orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Collegium Musicum Basel, Jena Philharmonic, the Classical-Philharmonic Bonn, Philharmonic of the Nations, Camerata Moravia, and with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra. She worked with some of the leading artists in the field and recorded for the NDR and MDR, Radio Bremen, German Radio, Radio Berlin-Brandenburg, Netherlands Radio, Israeli classical radio station The Voice of Music, as well as for the Australian, Finnish and Serbian radio stations.
Teddy Ezra was born in Beer-Sheva, Israel. He studied with Yitzhak Kazap, Chen Halevi (modern clarinets) and Ernst Schlader (historical clarinets). Teddy received the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships, as well as scholarships from the Petach Tikva Conservatory and a full scholarship from the Siena Music Academy. He won 1st prize in the DAAD competition for all instruments, and was awarded the Baden Wuerttemberg Art Foundation prize.
His pioneering work, introducing historically informed way of playing historical instruments in modern music, and mastering playing on both historical and modern instruments, earned him the reputation of one of the youngest most promising artists in south Germany. As a soloist Teddy performed with the Südwestdeutschen Philharmonie Konstanz, Kammerphilharmonisches Wernigerode, Bern Chamber Chor Orchestra and the Tuttlinger Chamber Orchestra. He made several recordings for the Israeli classical radio station The Voice of Music, for the South West Radio station (SWR Germany), Deutschland Radio, for the Israeli National Television, for the Czech National Radio and for the French channel ARTE. He played in various music festivals such as the Donaueschingen music festival, Magdeburg Music Sinus Tone festival, the Schwarzwald music festival and Riva del Garde music festival.
Born in Israel, Mor first played cello and only later began studying bassoon, with Gad Lederman and Maurizio Paez. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and studied at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin under Prof. Klaus Thunemann and Prof. Volker Tessmann.
He received scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and from the Karajan Akademie of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and won numerous prices, among them 1st price of the Aviv Competition in Tel Aviv. Mor was a member of the west-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and was the 1st bassoonist at the Orquesta Del Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia. He is a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007, and a member of Ensemble Berlin, Ensemble Berlin-Prag and the Philharmonisches Oktett. He also performs on historical instruments.
Pianist Naaman Wagner is active as a recitalist, chamber musician, and champion of contemporary music. As a recitalist and chamber musician he has performed extensively in Israel, Europe, and Asia and has frequently recorded for the Kol Hamusika radio station in Israel. Also active in the field of contemporary music, he is a member of the 21st Century Ensemble, with whom he has appeared as soloist in Israel, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Tbilisi under the baton of Ilan Volkov and Zsolt Nagy, among others, playing countless world-premieres of new works as well as many 20th and 21st century masterpieces.
He has appeared at the chamber music hall of the Philharmonie in Berlin, Mendelssohn-Saal and Mendelssohn-Haus in Leipzig, at the Künstlerhaus in Munich, as well as at the Tel Aviv museum, Jerusalem Theater, the Jerusalem Music Center. His festival appearances include the Kol Hamusika Festival in the upper Galilee, the Israel Festival, and the Abu-Gosh festival, among others. A multifaceted musician, Wagner holds a B.A. from the Jerusalem music Academy studying piano under Eitan Globersohn and conducting under Evgeny Tsirlin, as well as a Diploma which he earned at the Hochscüle für Musik in Hannover, studying under Prof. Arie Vardi.