Catherine Rückwardt was born in Los Angeles. In the last few years she has become one of the most sought after conductors in Germany. She is Music Director of the Mainz Staatstheater since 2001, and her innovative programming, large repertoire and the widely recognised, highly praised “Mainz Orchestral Sound” (“Mainzer Klang”) have made the music profession take notice of her.
After studying the piano and violin in Hamburg and Lübeck and a first position as conductor at the theatre in Bremen, Catherine Rückwardt received a call to the Opera House at Frankfurt am Main, where she conducted Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Strauss to much acclaim. Her work in Mainz began with the reopening of the renovated Opera House with the sensational success of a staged version of Handel’s oratorio ”Saul“. Productions of ”Tosca“, ”Lohengrin“, ”Ariadne auf Naxos“, ”Freischütz“ and ”La Traviata“ followed. In an exceptionally productive collaberation with the Director and Stage Designer Gottfried Pilz, she brought Peter Ruzicka’s Music Theatre Piece ”Celan“ to the Rhine-Main region.
Moreover Catherine Rückwardt is also a welcome visitor to many orchestras in Germany and the USA, in particular the ”Ensemble Modern“, the orchestras in Bremen, Darmstadt und Frankfurt, and various Radio Companies like SWR and WDR. Her work as a pioneer in her field has been honoured by international associations for women in employment, and by the Bremen Senate. She was awarded the ZONTA Arts Prize in 1999.
Chao Wang was born in 1990 in Beijing and began his piano lessons at the age of four years, before he entered the Central Middle School in Beijing, an elite education facility. Showing an outstanding talent in music, he performed his first public recital at the age of six. In 2008 he moved to Germany to study at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin with Micheal Endres and Fabio Bidini; in 2011 he enrolled at Universität der Künste Berlin to continue his studies with Klaus Hellwig. He was awarded the Gisela and Erich Andreas and the Ottilie Selbach Redslob scholarships in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Chao has been unusually successful since his early youth. He was awarded so far in not less than thirteen renowned international piano competitions. Among them were, while he was only 16 years old, 3rd Prize at Takamatsu International Piano Competition as the youngest contestant, the 2nd Prize at the 4th The Muse International Piano Competition in Greece and the 22nd Epinal International Piano Competition in France. Furthermore he won the “Paul Streit” Prize at the 65th Geneva International Piano Competition in Switzerland.
As a consequence of all this, Chao is more and more becoming popular worldwide. He has performed so far with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Lorraine Symphony Orchestra, TIPC Symphony and Takamatsu Symphony Orchestras in Japan, Santorini Chamber Orchestra in Greece, Chinese Youth Symphony Orchestra. During the last years, he gave dozens of recitals and concerts in China, Japan, Germany, France and Italy. Thus various international media already reported about him, referring to him as “one of the most promising young pianists”.
In October 2013 Chao collected his most important award so far – the Grand Prix at the European Piano Competition in France. As part of the first prize, this debut recording was produced by sponsorship of KAWAI.
Daria Kameneva was born in 1987 in Moscow, Russia and began her piano studies at the age of five. At six she entered Music School No. 1 of Reutov. While still a student, she won several youth competitions and was consequently accepted in 2002 to study at the Moscow Music College with Natalia Suslova. In 2006, she joined the class of Stanislav Igolinsky at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Gradually she began to play concerts in Moscow and Russia and today she appears regularly in solo and chamber performances. Daria Kameneva is a laureate of the Vladimir Spivakov Foundation and a scholarship recipient of the “New Names” Foundation, Cultural Foundation and held a scholarship from the President of Russia.
Internationally, Daria is also beginning to make herself known. In 2008, she won second prize at the Chamber Music Competition in Kazakhstan and in 2010 she was selected by the Tchaikovsky Conservatory to represent Russia at the Kyoto Int’l Music Students Festival in Japan. Moreover, she was prizewinner at the 2011 Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona. Her greatest success thus far was 2011 the first prize at the European Piano Competition in France, which eventually led to the production of this CD.
In spite of her young age, Daria Kameneva has a broad repertoire including works ranging from Bach to music of the 21st century, including solo works as well as a great range of chamber music and concertos. Daria Kameneva appears regularly on the important stages of Moscow such as the Bolshoi, Rachmaninoff and Maly Halls of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and the Moscow International Performing Arts Center. Not only does she appear frequently in her native Moscow and Russia, she has also performed in France, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Spain and Sweden.
(Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra)
Creating sound experiences and music with high precision in order to create unforgettable concert evenings and strong lasting impressions - the 93 musicians of the Duisburg Philharmonic from fifteen nations are constantly working on the perfect sound.
The Duisburg Philharmonic was founded in 1877 and is one of Germany's leading orchestras today. The repertoire of the orchestra ranges from the baroque to modern music. At the beginning of the twentieth century, one critic wrote “If you want to keep up with the latest in contemporary works, you have to go to Duisburg”, so modern music follows a long tradition. Back then, “new music” was written by composers such as Max Reger and Richard Strauss, who introduced their works in Duisburg themselves.
Internationally renowned conductors like Kirill Petrenko, Antoni Wit, Alun Francis, Carl St. Clair, Stefan Solyom and Axel Kober have recently worked with the Duisburg Philharmonic. Jonathan Darlington left a lasting impression with his work as music director from 2002 to 2011. His predecessors were Alexander Lazarew and Bruno Weil, among others. Jonathan Darlington developed exciting alternatives to conventional programme planning during his tenure. For the concert season 2009/2010, the Duisburg Philharmonic was awarded “best concert programme” from the German Association of Music Publishers. They were awarded the renowned Echo Klassik prize in 2011 for their CD recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with violin solist Yoko Henkel.
Giordano Bellincampi has crafted the orchestra with great success as its General Music Director since 2012. The list of soloists which have performed with the orchestra is exquisite: pianists Imogen Cooper, Barry Douglas and Boris Giltburg, violinists Frank Peter Zimmermann, Pinchas Zukerman, Daniel Hope and Isabelle Faust, cellists Antonio Meneses, Sol Gabetta and Steven Isserlis, just to name a few.
The orchestra is a regular guest at internationally renowned festivals. At the Ruhr Triennial, the Duisburg Philharmonic performed with world-class stars like Vesselina Kasarova, Anna Netrebko and Neil Shicoff. In 2011, the Duisburg Philharmonic celebrated a triumphant success at the Ruhrtriennale with a performance of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolda” under Kirill Petrenko. According to the German newspaper "Die Welt": "in spite of a cast of celebrated singers, the orchestra remains the star of this performance, always attentive, music-making in the spirit of singing, sticking close to the very nature of music".