Maurizio Sciarretta

Cathy-Di Zhang

Enrico Meyer

Alberto Casadei

Jitka Hosprová

Giovanna Salvatori

Alessandro Maffei

Maurizio   Sciarretta

Violin

Born in Bologna, Italy, Maurizio Sciarretta graduated from the “G. B. Martini” Conservatory of Music in his native city under the tutelage of Maestro Luigi Rovighi in 1995. He furthered his studies in Italy with Maestro Renato Zanettovich at the “Scuola di Musica di Fiesole” in Tuscany and with Maestro Massimo Quarta in Bologna.

In Lübeck and subsequently Köln in Germany, he was the only Italian student under Maestro Zakhar Bron of the famous Russian school of David and Igor Oistrakh. They later performed together in concert in Bologna n 1998 for the “Conoscere la Musica” Association to great success.

He was then accepted for advanced study at the Scuola di Alto Perfezionamento “Walter Stauffer” Academy in Cremona under Maestro Salvatore Accardo before finally completing his studies under the renowned Romanian concert violinist Eugène Sarbu in London, UK.

He participated in masterclasses with distinguished Italian and foreign teachers including Franco Gulli, Enzo Porta, Cristiano Rossi, Viktor Tretiakov, Thomas Brandis and Pavel Vernikov.

From a very young age, he played as soloist with the Orchestra del Conservatorio “G. B. Martini” and with the Teatro Comunale di Bologna Orchestra.

In 2001 he completed a successful tour in Romania and Bulgaria playing Sibelius’s Concerto with the “Oltenia” Philharmonic Orchestra of Craiova and with the “Jora” Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau under the direction of the Maestro Ovidiu Balan.

In February 2002 he held a concert together with Maestro Eugène Sarbu and the Chamber Orchestra of Bologna for the event “Musica Insieme in Ateneo” playing the J. S. Bach Concerto for two violins. It was at this performance where Sciarretta was described as “one of the most promising violinists of the new generation”. Also that year in Gstaad, Switzerland, he inaugurated the celebrated international festival “Les Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” playing alongside world  famous musicians such as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lynn Harrell, Grigorij Sokolov, Cecilia Bartoli, Vadim Repin and others.

Maurizio Sciarretta has won numerous national and international awards including First Prize and the special “Paolo Borciani” for the best performance of the Sonata  at the International Violin Competition “Michelangelo Abbado” in Milan (2002). Apart from his work as a soloist, he also dedicates time to chamber music and often performs in ensembles in Italy and abroad.

From 2001 to 2004 he was a part of the Orchestra Filarmonica “Arturo Toscanini” of Parma, Italy, which performed numerous concerts in Italy and abroad under the direction of famous conductors, such as Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Georges Prêtre, Mstislav Rostropovich, Charles Dutoit, Yury Temirkanov and others.

Maurizio Sciarretta is a professor of violin at the acclaimed “Incontri col Maestro” Imola Academy and is also the assistant to Maestro Zakhar Bron in his Masterclasses in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and abroad.

He plays a J. B. Vuillaume made in Paris in 1850.

Jitka   Hosprová

Viola

Jitka Hosprová symbolizes the contemporary and dynamic classical musician. Her passion for the viola makes audiences take notice of this overlooked instrument, she explores the fascinating viola literature and inspires composers to write new works.

Jitka studied at the Pilsen Conservatoire and graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under the tutelage of doc. Jan Pěruška. After completing her studies, she furthered her mastery of the instrument thanks to the guidance of Italian viola virtuoso Luigi Alberto Bianchi. During her studies, Jitka gained valuable international experience and received several significant awards both as a soloist and as a chamber musician.

As the founding member of the Bennewitz quartet, Jitka worked under the guidance of several world-famous quartets – Amadeus Quartet, Alban Berg Quartet, Smetana Quartet, and others. In 1999, she facilitated a CD recording in association with the L. Janáček, H. Krása and Pavel Haas quartets. The high quality of her chamber musicianship make her a frequent guest player in leading Czech quartets – Janáček Quartet, Wihan Quartet, Martinů Quartet, Epoque Quartet and the Apollon Quartet. Together with harpist Kateřina Englichová and flautist Carlo Jans, she founded the Bohemia Luxembourg Trio in 2005, giving concerts all over Europe and releasing 2 CDs. Recently, Jitka has expanded the range of her chamber music projects, starting the Grand Duo with Italian violinist Maurizio Sciaretta, and the Pragart Trio with mezzo-soprano Eva Garajová and pianist Ivo Kahánek.

As a soloist, she has performed at various internationally renowned music festivals – Présence, Rheingau Sommer, Kulturtage Dresden, Prague Spring, Prague Autumn, Český Krumlov, Moravian Autumn, Smetana’s Litomyšl , Dvořák Prague, March Music Days in Ruse, Santander, and others. She has given solo concerts in London, Vienna, Paris, Stockholm, Rome, Milan, Santiago de Chile, Brazil, Hong kong, Washington D.C., and New York. She has played in most European countries.

Jitka is featured on dozens of recordings and live concerts for Czech and French radio broadcasts. Many viola compositions were world premiered by her. Composers Zdeněk Lukáš, Josef Vejvoda, Emil Viklický, Adam Skoumal, Ladislav Kubík, Michal Müller, Tomaž Svete and Gillaume Connesson dedicated their pieces to her. Jitka has released CDs with labels Supraphon, Arco Diva, Neos and Multisonic.

Jitka Hosprová has performed with leading Czech and world orchestras – Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra ORF, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Orchestre de Pau, France Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Athanor Rome, Curitiba Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic, Brno Philharmonic, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, The Czech Philharmonic Collegium, and many others.

Jitka has shared the stage with various prominent musicians and singers – Luigi Alberto Bianchi, Mario Hossen, Václav Hudeček, Ivan Ženatý, Štefan Margita, Adam Skoumal, Dante Millozzi, Eric le Sage, Jitka Čechová, Lubomír Brabec, and with distinguished conductors – Vladimir Ashkenazy, Elli Jaffe-Israel, Bertrand de Billy, Jacques Mercier, Rastislav Štúr, Massimiliano Matesic, Leoš Svárovský, Ondřej Kukal, Gian Luigi Zampieri, and others.

Jitka is the founder and director of the “Procházky uměním” Music Festival.

She plays a Czech-made viola by Petr Zdražil from 2012.

Alberto   Casadei

Cello

Alberto Casadei is one of the most exciting young Italian cellists of today. As well as performing as a soloist and chamber musician, he is also a composer and is passionate about writing and performing his own genre of music. He holds a Master of Arts and Advanced Diploma from the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied under Felix Schmidt, Moray Welsh, Sung-Won Yang, Colin Carr and Mario Brunello.

In 2018, he completed a successful solo Europe Tour with the Signum Saxophone Quartet where he performed at the A. Ponchielli Theatre in Cremona, Salone Estense in Varese, Schloss Elmau, the Kaiser Friedrich Halle in Mönchengladbach, Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht and at the Philharmonie in Haarlem.

Last season, Alberto performed Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto no.1 at the Maison de la Culture de Nevers, the Popov Septet under Valery Gergiev at De Doelen in Rotterdam, in Trio and in Quartet for the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana Festival in Rimini, in Trio at the Umberto Giordano Theatre in Foggia and in Quartet for the Festival “Le Printemps du Violon” in Paris.

Alberto has performed with orchestras including the Virtuosi Italiani in Verona, the Filarmonica Marchigiana, the Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans, the Uto Ughi per Roma Orchestra in Rome and the National Philharmonic of Ukraine in Kiev.

He has performed in various great halls including the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Cortot Hall in Paris, Royal Albert Hall in London, Teatro Comunale of Bologna, Teatro G. Verdi of Pisa, Teatro Massimo of Pescara, the Fondazione Cariplo Auditorium and Teatro Manzoni in Milan, Teatro A.Ponchielli in Cremona and Teatro G. Rossini di Pesaro.

He has collaborated with conductors Valery Gergiev, David Crescenzi, Marius Stieghorst, Marco Zuccarini, Michele Mariotti, Nicola Paszkowski, Edward Higginbottom and he has performed with musicians Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Daniel Jobim, Vanessa Da Mata, Lyda Chen-Argerich, Guo Gan, Salvatore Accardo, Bruno Giuranna, Rocco Filippini and Hector Ulises Passerella.

Internationally, Alberto has won numerous competitions including the London Grand Prize Virtuoso in London, UK (2015), the London Making Music Award for Young Concert Artists in London, UK (2014), the Gaetano Zinetti Chamber Music Competition, Italy (2009), the Astor Piazzolla “Libertango” Competition, Russia (2008), the CIDIM “Nuove Carriere”, Italy (2008), the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Competition, Italy (2004) and the Antonio Janigro Cello Competition, Croatia (2002). At the Royal Academy of Music, he is the winner of the Wilfrid Parry Prize (2012) and the Cavatina Trust Competition (2013).

In orchestras, Alberto has held the positions of Principal Cello for the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, for the Arena di Verona Orchestra and the Orchestra Mozart under Claudio Abbado.

Alberto frequently gives masterclasses and is a professor of cello at the Music Conservatory Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali “P. Mascagni” in Livorno, Italy.

This summer, Alberto released his new composition “Insanity” for voice, cello and electronics under VEVO as a follow up to his first composition, “In memory of Piazzolla” for cello solo.

Alberto Casadei first started studying cello with his father Claudio Casadei and at the age of five he won his first competition. He graduated from the Conservatory “G.Rossini” in Pesaro with Distinction and also completed studies with David Geringas, Natalia Gutman and Gary Hoffman all at the Scuola di Musica of Fiesole, with Franco Maggio Ormezowski in Perugia, Boris Baraz at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Bergamo, Rocco Filippini at the “Stauffer” String Academy in Cremona and chamber music with Konstantin Bogino at the Imola Academy “Incontri col Maestro”.

He plays a Domenico Rogieri cello made in 1698, which once belonged to Pablo Casals and a Yamaha Silent Cello SVC 210 personal Gold edition.

Cathy-Di   Zhang

Singing/Opera

In concert, Cathy-Di has performed with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra in China under Dane Lam at the Suzhou Grand Theatre, Shanghai Concert Hall and the NCPA in Beijing as part of the iSing! International Young Artists’ Festival. Previously, she has also performed Mozart with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève at Victoria Hall in Geneva, Switzerland, conducted by Arie van Beek and was a soloist in the closing concert of the “Rencontres Musicales de Chaon” Festival with the Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans under Marius Stieghorst in France. Australian soprano, Cathy-Di Zhang studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She graduated with 2 degrees, a Master of Arts (Vocal Studies) – Distinction with Dip.RAM for an outstanding final recital and an Advanced Diploma in Opera Performance. She furthered her training on the ENO “Opera Works” Programme for English National Opera, also in London. Since then, she has performed all over Europe and China and showcases her versatility as a performer of opera, lieder, chamber music and the oratorio repertoire.

In opera in Germany, Cathy-Di has performed the roles of Mimi (La bohème) for Opera @ Stone in and the role of Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) directed by Arila Siegert for Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg with the Kammerakademie Potsdam Orchestra under Ivo Hentschel. In Nice, France for Les Azuriales Opera she performed the role of Nella (Gianni Schicchi) directed by Alessandro Talevi. Other roles include the title role of Massenet’s Cendrillon and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) for Royal Academy Opera in London and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) and Lisa (La sonnambula) as a young artist for Pacific Opera Company in Sydney, Australia. Also in London, Cathy has worked for English National Opera’s “Opera Squad” singing scenes of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni).

In concert, Cathy-Di has performed with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra in China under Dane Lam at the Suzhou Grand Theatre, Shanghai Concert Hall and the NCPA in Beijing as part of the iSing! International Young Artists’ Festival. Previously, she has also performed Mozart with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève at Victoria Hall in Geneva, Switzerland, conducted by Arie van Beek and was a soloist in the closing concert of the “Rencontres Musicales de Chaon” Festival with the Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans under Marius Stieghorst in France.In recital with piano, Cathy-Di has performed Chinese art songs at the Jinji Lake Recital Hall in Suzhou with renowned Chinese pianist Fugen Wei. In chamber music in Italy, she has performed in quartet (with violin, cello and piano) for the Sonora ’16 Festival at the Stadttheatre “Teatro Puccini” in Merano and at the Teatro E. Novelli for the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana in Rimini and in trio, (with cello and piano) at the Teatro Umberto Giordani in Foggia.

In competitions, Cathy-Di is the winner of the Audience Prize in the Les Azuriales International Singing Competition and was a semi-finalist in the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in Dublin, Ireland, both in 2016. She also received both a Voice Scholarship and afterwards a Postgraduate Fellowship from Independent Opera UK and was the winner of the Australian Opera and Auditions Committee’s Opera Award, for which she gave a concert in the Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House.

Cathy-Di was chosen to participate in many prestigious Summer Programmes. She participated in the Georg Solti Accademia firstly at the Fondazione Cini in Venice, Italy and then for the bel canto summer course in Castiglione della Pescaia, Tuscany. With them, she also took part in the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland for concerts and further masterclasses. In France, she participated in the “Mozart Residency” for Festival Aix-en-Provence.

Cathy-Di has participated in masterclasses in opera and lieder with conductors Richard Bonynge and Edward Gardner, director John Copley and world renowned singers including Barbara Bonney, Thomas Hampson, Barbara Frittoli, Mariella Devia, Luciana Serra, Ann Murray, Susan Bullock, Angelika Kirchschlager and Felicity Lott.

Upcoming concerts include more chamber music in trio and quartet in Santarcangelo di Romagna and Castelfranco Veneto, both in Italy. Also, in early March 2019, she has been invited as a guest soloist singing in Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra for their season opening concert under Dane Lam.

Cathy-Di   Zhang

Singing/Opera

In concert, Cathy-Di has performed with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra in China under Dane Lam at the Suzhou Grand Theatre, Shanghai Concert Hall and the NCPA in Beijing as part of the iSing! International Young Artists’ Festival. Previously, she has also performed Mozart with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève at Victoria Hall in Geneva, Switzerland, conducted by Arie van Beek and was a soloist in the closing concert of the “Rencontres Musicales de Chaon” Festival with the Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans under Marius Stieghorst in France. Australian soprano, Cathy-Di Zhang studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She graduated with 2 degrees, a Master of Arts (Vocal Studies) – Distinction with Dip.RAM for an outstanding final recital and an Advanced Diploma in Opera Performance. She furthered her training on the ENO “Opera Works” Programme for English National Opera, also in London. Since then, she has performed all over Europe and China and showcases her versatility as a performer of opera, lieder, chamber music and the oratorio repertoire.

In opera in Germany, Cathy-Di has performed the roles of Mimi (La bohème) for Opera @ Stone in and the role of Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) directed by Arila Siegert for Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg with the Kammerakademie Potsdam Orchestra under Ivo Hentschel. In Nice, France for Les Azuriales Opera she performed the role of Nella (Gianni Schicchi) directed by Alessandro Talevi. Other roles include the title role of Massenet’s Cendrillon and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) for Royal Academy Opera in London and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) and Lisa (La sonnambula) as a young artist for Pacific Opera Company in Sydney, Australia. Also in London, Cathy has worked for English National Opera’s “Opera Squad” singing scenes of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni).

In concert, Cathy-Di has performed with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra in China under Dane Lam at the Suzhou Grand Theatre, Shanghai Concert Hall and the NCPA in Beijing as part of the iSing! International Young Artists’ Festival. Previously, she has also performed Mozart with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève at Victoria Hall in Geneva, Switzerland, conducted by Arie van Beek and was a soloist in the closing concert of the “Rencontres Musicales de Chaon” Festival with the Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans under Marius Stieghorst in France.In recital with piano, Cathy-Di has performed Chinese art songs at the Jinji Lake Recital Hall in Suzhou with renowned Chinese pianist Fugen Wei. In chamber music in Italy, she has performed in quartet (with violin, cello and piano) for the Sonora ’16 Festival at the Stadttheatre “Teatro Puccini” in Merano and at the Teatro E. Novelli for the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana in Rimini and in trio, (with cello and piano) at the Teatro Umberto Giordani in Foggia.

In competitions, Cathy-Di is the winner of the Audience Prize in the Les Azuriales International Singing Competition and was a semi-finalist in the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in Dublin, Ireland, both in 2016. She also received both a Voice Scholarship and afterwards a Postgraduate Fellowship from Independent Opera UK and was the winner of the Australian Opera and Auditions Committee’s Opera Award, for which she gave a concert in the Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House.

Cathy-Di was chosen to participate in many prestigious Summer Programmes. She participated in the Georg Solti Accademia firstly at the Fondazione Cini in Venice, Italy and then for the bel canto summer course in Castiglione della Pescaia, Tuscany. With them, she also took part in the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland for concerts and further masterclasses. In France, she participated in the “Mozart Residency” for Festival Aix-en-Provence.

Cathy-Di has participated in masterclasses in opera and lieder with conductors Richard Bonynge and Edward Gardner, director John Copley and world renowned singers including Barbara Bonney, Thomas Hampson, Barbara Frittoli, Mariella Devia, Luciana Serra, Ann Murray, Susan Bullock, Angelika Kirchschlager and Felicity Lott.

Upcoming concerts include more chamber music in trio and quartet in Santarcangelo di Romagna and Castelfranco Veneto, both in Italy. Also, in early March 2019, she has been invited as a guest soloist singing in Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra for their season opening concert under Dane Lam.

Giovanna   Salvatori

Flute

Giovanna is the Founder of the Musical Association “ClassicAllMusic”, which aims to promote music culture in the region and focuses on music education. She organises musical events, festivals, masterclasses and courses and an annual International Music Competition for Young Musicians “Luigi Zanuccoli”, which is looking forward to its 17th edition in 2019.

She acquired her diploma in Flute at the Music Conservatory “G. Rossini” in Pesaro where she won a scholarship for graduating with full marks. She then completed further studies in Switzerland with G. Schek and P. L. Graf.

Giovanna is particularly interested in chamber music and has performed in Italy and abroad with various ensembles, in particular in trio (flute, cello and piano) and in duo with guitar. She has recorded extensively with the Italian national radio, RAI.

She has collaborated with various orchestras including the Orchestra Rossini of Pesaro and the Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana. She won the audition for the position of Principal Flute for the Orchestra Sinfonica Umbra where she performed for various esteemed festivals in Italy and abroad including the Sagra Musicale Umbra, the Festival of Bratislava and the Festival of Spoleto.

Giovanna also plays jazz and light music with various groups like the “Rimini Fellini Ensemble” and the “Classic Tango Ensemble”, with which she has made recordings and gave many performances.

Since 1983, Giovanna has been a professor of Flute at the Music Conservatory “Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali G. Lettimi” in Rimini, Italy.

Enrico   Meyer

Piano

Enrico obtained his diploma from the Girolamo Frescobaldi Music Conservatory in Ferrara with full marks in 1980 under the tutelage of Maestro Alfredo Sperance (Uruguay). He then went on to study at the “Académie de Musique” in Sion (Switzerland) under Maestro Roberto Szidon (Brazil), with whom he later performed piano duets with in Germany. He then undertook further studies with Maestro Franco Scala (Italy) at the Imola Academy.

He has won numerous awards in national piano competitions (including: Overall First Prize in the “A.M.A. Calabria” competition in 1979, First Prize at the “Coppa Pianisti d’Italia” Competition in 1979 and overall First Prize in the “Rassegna Nazionale Giovani Concertisti” Competition in 1981).

As a concert pianist, he has performed extensively in Italy and abroad playing in major theatres and concert halls in Vienna, Baden, Oslo, Trondheim, Strasbourg, Bucharest, Istanbul, Ankara, Zagreb, Athens, Thessaloniki, Nairobi, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Montevideo, Bogota, Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok.

He has recorded works in various countries in Europe, South America, and Asia, including premieres of works dedicated to him by contemporary Italian, Austrian, Norwegian and Spanish composers.

In 1982, he was appointed the the Head of Piano Studies at the Music Conservatory Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali “G. Lettimi” in Rimini and has been teaching there ever since. From 2005-2009, he was the Principal of the Music Institute.

He has given masterclasses in piano interpretation and chamber music in Brazil (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the “Marcelo Tupinambà” Music Faculty in Sao Paulo) and Columbia (with the Bogota Youth Symphony Orchestra). He frequently invited to act a a member of the jury in piano and chamber music competitions.

For many years, he has also been a regular contributor to the monthly magazine “Compact Disc Classic”, where he was a reviewer of new recordings.

Alessandro   Maffei

Piano

Alessandro Maffei studied with Mario Delli Ponti, graduating with the highest distinction and receiving the gold medal “Papa Pio V Ghislieri”.

Among his teachers were Michele Campanella, Alain Feinberg, Stephen Hough and Gyorgy Sandor. In 1990 he obtained a full scholarship to study at the Conservatory of St. Louis (Missouri, U.S.A) and then at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Oberlin, Ohio, U.S.A.), where he completed his Artist Diploma under the guidance of Prof. Robert McDonald (currently teaching at the Juilliard School of New York).

Since his debut in 1987 at the Circolo della Stampa of Milan he played both as a solo pianist and as a chamber musician in prestigious international concert halls, such Teatro alla Scala (Milan), Settimane musicali (Stresa), il Chatelet Theater (Paris), Ongakunotomo Hall (Tokyo), Nakas Conservatory (Athens), Palau de la Musica (Valencia), at the Ravello Festival, Cervo Festival and many others in France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Greece, U.S.A. and Japan.

He has collaborated violinist Marco Rizzi for many years with whom he recorded for the Belgian label “Plein Jeu”, for SARX Records and for the Italian label Symposium.

He is currently the Principal of the Music Conservatory Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali “G, Lettimi” in Rimini, where he has been teaching piano since 2002. He is also a jury member is various competitions and gives masterclasses in chamber music at the Academy of Saluzzo.