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Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz

(The Philharmonic Orchestra of „Staatstheater Mainz“)


The Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theatre of Mainz leads cultural life in the town of Mainz for over 125 years. Its history begins in 1876, when the mayor Franz Schott founded a town orchestra, that could soon boast of a long list of well known visiting conductors: Richard Strauss, Hans Pfitzner, Hans Rosbaud, Gustav Mahler, Karl Schuricht, Erich Kleiber, Hans Knappertsbusch and Eugen Jochum. Since the 1980‘s the Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theatre of Mainz, under the Musical Directorship of Mladen Basic, Peter Erckens, Stefan Sanderling, and since the summer of 2001 Catherine Rückwardt, the first female music director in Mainz, has become one of the most important orchestras in the Rhine-Main region.

In addition to participation in Opera and ballet performances at the State Theatre – including also world premieres – the Orchestra presents itself also in various concert series, covering not only the repertoire from Baroque to the present day, but makes its mark through unusual and interesting Programme planning, that is also
open to experiments, and moreover makes a large contribution to children and youth work. In this area, the orchestra works regularly with respected visiting conductors and soloists.

Roberto Cominati


Roberto Cominati
Born in Naples in 1969, Roberto Cominati won the Alfredo Casella competition in Naples in 1991 and the First Prize at the International Competition Ferruccio Busoni in Bolzano in 1993; this last award launched his career and gained him the favour of both critics and major Italian concert promoters alike. In 1999, he was awarded the Jacques Stehman Prize by the audience of RTBF and TV5 France at the Brussels Reine Elisabeth Competition.

Since then, Roberto Cominati has been invited to perform at the most prestigious venues and festivals including the Salzburger Festspiele, festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Festival di Brescia e Bergamo, Settimane Musicali di Stresa, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Lingotto in Turin, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Gasteig in Munich, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Staatsoper in Hamburg, Staatsoper in Dresden, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Teatro Municipal in Saõ Paulo, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Concert Hall, Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.

He has appeared with leading European orchestras as well as in Japan and Australia, under the baton of important conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Andrey Boreyko, Leon Fleisher, Daniel Harding, Eliahu Inbal, Yuri Ahronovitch, Michael Pletnev, David Robertson and Aleksandr Lazarev.

In January of 2015, he gave his debut in the Concertgebouw series “Master Pianists”.

Roland Maria Stangier - organ


Roland Maria Stangier has been Professor of Organ and Improvisation at Folkwang University in Essen since 1994. Since 2003 he has been the curator of the Kuhn organ in the Essen Philarmonie and has also been the organ curator at the Philharmonie Mercatorhalle in Duisburg. Since 2010 he is also titular organist at the Kreuzeskirche in Essen.

After studying in Würzburg and Paris with Zsolt Gárdonyi and Daniel Roth among others, Roland Maria Stangier received a bursary from the Air bridge memorial bursary (Bourse du memorial du pont aérien) from the Berlin Allies, the first organist to receive such an award, studying in Paris and Strasbourg with Daniel Roth and André Fleury.
After his studies, he became cantor and organist in Schopfheim, Berlin and Solothurn (Switzerland), director of sacred music at the Church of St. Peter in Hamburg and led the Hamburg Bach Choir; after this he taught at the conservatory in Bremen and at the Erzbischöfliche Kirchenmusikschule Berlin (Archiepiscopal School for Sacred Music Berlin).

Roland Maria Stanier was awarded three times in competitions and initiated the Maurice Duruflé International Improvisation Competition in Hamburg. He has given concerts all across the world and has recorded numerous CDs as a conductor and organist.

Website of Roland Maria Stangier

Susanna Yoko Henkel - violin


Susanna Yoko Henkel belongs to the leading violinists of the young generation. In 2007, the German “Welt am Sonntag” declared her to be one of Anne Sophie Mutter’s heiresses, the renowned US music journal “Strings” featured her on the cover of its January 2007 issue, and her recordings were highly praised in the trade press.

Susanna Yoko Henkel was born into a German- Japanese musical family and began to play the violin at the age of two, receiving lessons from her mother. Later, she received instruction from Conrad von der Goltz. At the tender age of 12, she enrolled at the Academy of Music in Freiburg/Germany, where she became a young protégé of Prof. Rainer Kussmaul. Later, she spent five years completing her studies at the Munich Academy under the tutelage of Ana Chumachenco.

During her studies Susanna Yoko Henkel already won numerous prizes at international competitions, among them the “Queen Elisabeth Competition” in Brussels, the “Mozart Competition” in Salzburg and the “Tibor Varga Competition” in Sion. In 1998 she placed first at the German Music Competition in Berlin, followed by a scholarship from the Dortmund Mozart Society and the “Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben”.

Her achievements in competitions were followed by an intense career as a performing soloist, appearing with leading orchestras such as the Berlin Radio Broadcasting Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestras of the SWR and the MDR Leipzig, the Symphony Orchestras Aachen and Duisburg, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the Mozarteum Salzburg and the KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul. In 2003 Susanna Yoko Henkel was engaged as a soloist for the acclaimed “Toyota Classics” tour, leading to performances of the Mendelssohn violin concerto in Southeast Asia.

In addition to her career as a soloist Susanna Yoko Henkel is a passionate chamber musician. In 2006 she founded her own chamber music festival in Zagreb/Croatia. It is now well established as one of the country’s major cultural events and has been televised by Croatian public television HTV since 2007. Among her partners in chambermusic are Itamar Golan, Lauma Skride, Pavel and Maxim Rysanov at renowned music festivals such as the Ansbacher Bachwoche, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, the Rheingau-Musik-Festival and the concerts in the Paris Chatelet. During the 2009/2010 season, Susanna Yoko Henkel is “Artist in Residence” of the Duisburg Philharmonic and in this capacity will not only perform and record Tschaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, but also take part in several Chamber Music projects
and Youth events.

Her discography includes the Complete Recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, the chamber music works of Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofjev and Richard Strauss, the solo works of Ysaye, Bartók and Isang Yun and duo works for violin and violoncello by Handel/Halvorsen, Eisler, Schulhoff and Kodály.

Susanna Yoko Henkel performs on the 1710 “Ex Leslie Tate” Stradivarius, kindly loaned by a private owner.

Website of Susanna Yoko Henkel

Thomas Trotter - organ


Thomas Trotter is one of the most widely acclaimed British musicians. The excellence of his musicianship is reflected in his international musical partnerships. As a soloist, he has performed with, amongst many others, conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly and Sir Charles Mackerras. He is regularly asked to perform on major historical instruments such as those at St Ouen in Rouen, St Bavo’s in Haarlem (Netherlands), Weingarten Abbey in Germany and Woolsey Hall of Yale University. He regularly appears in the festivals at Salzburg, Berlin, Vienna, Edinburgh and in London’s BBC Proms and performs with leading orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic, and in the USA with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious award for Best Instrumentalist, the first organist to receive this accolade. The roots of Thomas Trotter’s career are also to be found in his special relationship with the town of Birmingham. He was appointed Birmingham City Organist in 1983, in succession to Sir George Thalben-Ball. He is also Organist at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey in London and is visiting Professor of Organ at London’s Royal College of Music. He was organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and he later continued his studies with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris where he took the Prix de Virtuositè in her class. He won First Prize at the St Albans International Organ Competition in 1979 and made his debut in London’s Royal Festival Hall the following year. Birmingham City University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2003, as did the University of Birmingham in 2006. In addition to his weekly recitals in Birmingham, Thomas Trotter also performs throughout the USA and Europe. He is a prolific recording artist, and his CD versions of works by Mozart and Olivier Messiaen have won major awards.