The young piano trio Rafale carries the French name for a gust of wind, which can mean gale force winds, a warm air stream or even a cool breeze. Together, agitation and calm are a metaphor for movement in the form of music.
An offer to perform Ravel’s piano trio in the spring of 2008 brought the three young students of the Zurich University of the Arts together. After the concert, they decided to pursue working together. Since September 2009 the trio has been coached by Professor Eckart Heiligers in Zurich. Within a short period of time, the young trio obtained numerous awards. Most recently, Trio Rafale won both the jury prize and the audience prize at the Migros Culture Percentage Chamber Music Competition in 2013. Before that, Trio Rafale won the first prize at the prestigious Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition 2011, held every four years. In April 2011 they received the second prize at the Concours International de Musique de Chambre de Lyon. They also received a second prize in 2010 at the International Commerzbank Chamber Music Award in Frankfurt am Main.
During a master class with Eckart Heiligers in Ochsenhausen, Germany they were selected as the winners of the Bruno-Frey-Music Award 2010. Furthermore, they were distinguished with the first prize at the Concours national pour Trio ins-trumental Geraldine Whittaker Prix 2010 of the Jeunesses Musicales de Suisse. Part of the prize was a concert in Radio Studio Geneva with live simulcast on Radio Suisse Romande. The Trio Ra- fale received valuable artistic input from Bernhard Greenhouse and at the Schaffhauser Meisterkurse in February of 2010. Since its foundation the trio has performed numerous concerts in all major cities in Switzerland and was a guest in 2012 at the Lenzburgiade and the Hitzacker Musiktage among others. In 2013 the Trio Rafale was on tour with the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven‘s Triple Concerto. Their debut CD with works by Schumann and Ravel appeared in 2012.
Maki Wiederkehr, piano
was born in 1986 in Solothurn and received her first piano instruction at the age of three. A year later, she also began violin lessons. In 2003, she began attending piano classes with Prof. Homero Francesch. After finishing secondary school in 2004, she also began studying the violin, but since the summer of 2005, she decided to concentrate on piano studies with Prof. Francesch. Maki Wiederkehr completed her music education diploma with distinction in January 2009, receiving the Werner and Berti Alter prize for pedagogy, and also received her performance diploma in April 2009 with distinction. In September 2011, she earned a solo performance diploma with Ravel’s “Concerto for the left hand“ and completed her studies with a certificate of advanced studies (CAS) in the summer of 2012, studying with Prof Homero Francesch at the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 2010, she has taught piano classes at the music school of the Basel Music Academy. Maki Wiederkehr has been awarded several first prizes in competitions in Switzerland and Italy, including the Rahn Musikpreis Competition in 2012, which allowed her to play a concert in the Tonhalle in Zurich. Moreover, she received the annual prize for piano of the Curt and Marianne Dienemann Foundation, Lucerne, in 2010, and a scholarship from the Canton of Solothurn and the Kiwanis Chamber Music prize in 2009. She was awarded scholarships from the Migros Culture Percentage in cooperation with the Ernst Göhner Foundation (2009/2010), from the Kiefer Hablitzel Foundation (2007/2008) and from the Friedl Wald Foundation (2006).
Daniel Meller, Violin
was born in 1986 in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He received his first violin instruction at the age of nine with Lucyna Mroczkowska and later with Carole Haering at the Conservatoire de Neuchâtel. In 2003, while preparing for the Swiss secondary school exam at the Denis-de-Rougemont school in Neuchâtel, he was accepted into the class of Nora Chastain at the Zurich University of the Arts as a pre-college student. In June of 2010, he completed his performance diploma with distinction and earned a solo performance diploma in November of 2012. In 2011-12, he received further artistic inspiration from David Takeno in London as an Erasmus student. Daniel Meller attended master classes of Ana Chumachenco, Benjamin Schmid, Isabelle van Keulen, Viktor Pikaizen, Bernhard Greenhouse, David Halen and Sylvia Rosenberg. He won several first prizes at the Swiss Youth Music Competition. He was also awarded third prize in the Charles-Hennen-Concours in Holland and received a scholarship from the ”Maurice Rubeli“ Foundation of Neuchâtel in 2003. In 2006, he won first prize at the “Duttweiler-Hug“ violin competition at the Zurich University for the Arts and received an Aspen scholarship from David Zinman in 2007. Also, he was awarded the Kiwanis chamber music prize and the Friedl Wald scholarship in 2008. Daniel Meller has appeared in several festivals, among others in Musikwoche Braunwald, Herbst in der Helferei, Cereiso Estate and Les Schubertiades d’Espace 2. In 2008, he was invited to the Davos Festival, where he performed Helena Tulve’s violin concerto with the Swiss Camerata under the baton of Jean Deroyer. From 2008 to 2010, Daniel Meller was acting associate concertmaster of the Sinfonie Orchester St. Gallen.
Flurin Cuonz, violoncello
was born in 1986 in Winterthur and took his first cello lessons at the age of eight with Alfred Felder. In 2001, he began lessons with Rebecca Firth at the Zurich Conservatory. After completing secondary school in 2006 he studied with Thomas Grossenbacher at the Zurich University of the Arts, where he completed a music education degree with distinction. In 2009, Flurin Cuonz began studying in a master degree programme with Clemens Hagen at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, which he completed in 2012 with distinction. From 2001 to 2006, Flurin Cuonz was a member of the Zurich Youth Orchestra, serving four years as principal cellist. After successfully completing an internship during the 2008-09 season at the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, he was hired as an extra player. Flurin Cuonz has received valuable artistic input from artists such as Alexander Neustroev, Christian Proske, Eckart Heiligers, Walter Grimmer, Alexander Rudin, Martin Löhr, Christophe Coin and Bernhard Greenhouse. Flurin Cuonz has taken awards in various competitions, such as first prize in the ”Enrico Mainardi“ cello competition at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg (2010) and first prize at the Kiwanis competition for cello at the Zurich University of Arts (2008). Flurin Cuonz was also successful in various stipend competitions, most recently in 2012, winning a music prize from the Kiefer Hablitzel Foundation (co-foundation of the Hedwig Collard-Scherrer Foundation). In 2009 and 2010 he was awarded a stipend at the instrumental music competition of the Migros Culture Percentage (supported by the Ernst Göhner Foundation) and was also accepted by the concert agency of the Migros Culture Percentage. In April 2011, Austrian Radio, Ö1-ORF featured a radio portrait of him as well as an internet profile. Flurin Cuonz plays a cello built by Peter Westermann in 2003.