Gustav Mahler composed his only piece of chamber music while still a student: the unfinished Piano Quartet in A minor already hints at the uncompromising expressive force of the later symphonist. In 1988, it inspired Alfred Schnittke to write his own piano quartet, a work which echoes the elegiac spirit of Russian chamber music, as brilliantly exemplified in Rachmaninov’s First Piano Trio.
Boris Kusnezow is one of the most sought after collaborative pianists of his generation. He performs with eminent instrumentalists and singers worldwide. His performances have taken him to renowned concert venues such as the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, the Kioi-Hall in Tokyo, the Munich Gasteig and the Berlin Philharmonie.His artistic activities are documented in 12 CDs and numerous radio recordings. The German press (FAZ, Süddeutsche, Fono Forum, among others) have repeatedly praised him as a chamber musician and several of his CDs have been nominated for prizes, including the Opus Klassik and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Boris Kusnezow is in demand as an official pianist for some of the world’s most prestigious instrumental and singing competitions, most recently being invited to the ARD Competition in Munich, the Joseph Joachim Competition in Hannover and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.
Boris Kusnezow was born in Moscow and began his musical education at the traditional Gnessin Academy. He has lived in Germany from the age of eight and completed his musical studies in Hannover with Professor Bernd Goetzke. Thereafter followed first place at the German Music Competition, international awards such as Fellowship of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and scholarships from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. In addition to his active performing activities, he is founder of the piano chamber music academy »Chamber Lab« in Montecastelli/ Italy, organises an international music masterclass in Schloss Bückeburg (IMAS) and volunteers for the Loewe Foundation, where he focuses on the promotion of classical music. Teaching has become an important element in Kusnezow‘s artistic career. In 2020 he was appointed professor for piano chamber music at the University for Music and Theatre »Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy« Leipzig.
Mechthild von Ryssel, in Dahme in einem musikalischen Elternhaus geboren, erhielt ihren ersten Violinunterricht mit fünf Jahren in Görlitz bei Helmut Frenzel, später bei Maria Frenzel. Von der 7. Klasse an wurde sie an der Spezialschule für Musik Dresden bei Uta Maria Frenzel unterrichtet. Ihr Musikstudium absolvierte sie von 1980 bis 1986 an der Hochschule für Musik bei Reinhard Ulbricht, ebenfalls in Dresden.
Ihr erstes Orchesterengagement führte sie im Jahr 1986 als Vorspielerin der 1.Violinen zur Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz. Seit 1994 spielt Mechthild von Ryssel in der Gruppe der 2. Violinen der Staatskapelle Dresden.
Darüber hinaus ist Mechthild von Ryssel Mitglied zahlreicher Kammermusikensembles und Kammerorchester: so z.B. seit 1996 bei den Dresdner Kapellsolisten und seit 2006 bei Capella Musica, mit denen sie zahlreiche Auftritte im In- und Ausland absolviert.
The work of conductor and double-bass player Helmut Branny is astonishing in its artistic range and variety. Since 1994 he has been »Primus inter pares« of the Dresden Kapelle Soloists, an ensemble largely made up of members of the Staatskapelle, which he has regularly accompanied to Europe’s top classical venues, such as the Philharmonic Halls of Berlin and Cologne and La Scala in Milan, as well as to some of Asia’s great concert halls, for instance in Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul.
As a conductor he has collaborated with such brilliant soloists as Alison Balsom, Albrecht Mayer, Matthias Goerne, Nils Mönkemeyer and Lise de la Salle. Helmut Branny is also in great demand as a chamber musician, performing with the Academy for Early Music in Berlin and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. In addition to his work as a Staatskapelle player, Helmut Branny has been a professor for chamber music at Dresden’s College of Music since 2003.
Soprano Carolina Ullrich was born in Chile in 1982. She studied at the Papal Catholic University of Santiago de Chile and was awarded the honors »summa cum laude« upon graduation. In February, 2005, she came to Augsburg to continue her studies with Edith Wiens. In summer of 2005 she sang with great success the roles of Despina in »Cosi fan tutte« and Sister Constance in Poulenc´s »Dialogues des Carmélites«. In April, 2006, she sang Bach’s »Johannespassion« under the baton of Helmuth Rilling in
Stuttgart and Naples. As a student of the Bavarian Theater Academy in Munich, 2006, she sang the role of Serpetta in the opera »Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe«. Since the 2010/11 season she has been a member of the ensemble in Dresden at the Semperoper and will perform the role of Adele in »Die Fledermaus«, Susanna in »Le nozze di Figaro«, Zdenka in »Arabella« and Rose Maurrant in »Street Scene«.