Barbara Krieger studied German and English literature and musicology in Mainz before studying voice at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, where she graduated with honours in 1996. She already began concertizing during her studies and participated in international competitions. She was a prize winner at the renowned Aslico voice competition of La Scala. Her first engagements and tours led the singer - initially a mezzosoprano - to Salzburg, Erfurt, Klagenfurt, Zagreb and to the Vienna Klangbogen Festival. In 1997, she was a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera. Afterwards, she appeared as a lyric-dramatic soprano at prestigious opera houses including Gran Teatru del Liceu Barcelona, in Bregenz, Leipzig, Karlsruhe and at the Nationaltheater in Weimar, among others.
Other career highlights include a concert tour with the world-famous bass-baritone Bryn Terfel (2007) and her appearance at Festival MúsicaMallorca with Verdi's Messa da Requiem in Teatre Principal de Palma. In 2008, Barbara Krieger performed in a gala concert with star tenor Roberto Alagna and in the summer of 2009, she gave a riveting performance at Classic Open Air in Berlin, this time with José Carreras at her side. In 2007, Barbara Krieger initiated the CLASSIC OPEN AIR concert series in Dresden in front of the Frauenkirche and from 2007 to 2011 brought thousands of music lovers together to help various charity organisations.
The Belenus Quartet was founded in 2004 and is currently being coached by Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet), Isabel Charisius (Alban Berg Quartet) and Claudius Herrmann (Gringolts Quartet). From 2009-2014, the quartet studied with Isabel Charisius at the Lucerne School of Music. During 2010/2011 they also studied with Walter Levin (LaSalle Quartet) and Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet) at the Basel Conservatory. From 2008-2012, the quartet was instructed by Stephan Goerner.
The Belenus Quartet was awarded first prize and the audience prize at the 9th international competition "Franz Schubert and Modern Music 2015". As a finalist in the Migros Culture Percentage chamber music competition in 2013, the quartet was taken on by the concert management of the Migros Culture Percentage. The quartet also won 1st prize at the "Interpretation competition for contemporary music 2012" at the Zurich Conservatory of Fine Arts as well as the "Kiwanis Competition 2012". They were awarded third prize at the "Hans Schaeuble Competition" 2012. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, they were prize-winners at the "Orpheus Swiss Chamber Music Competition". The Quartet was awarded with the special prize for best Haydn interpretation at the 1st "Sandor Vegh Competition" in 2012. The Belenus Quartett have above all given concerts in Switzerland and Germany. Their repertoire spans from early Haydn quartets to contemporary works.
Ben Heit studied jazz piano at the Wurzburg College of Music where he was a pupil of musicians such as Chris Beier and Billy Elgart. He also studied classical piano and composition. He was awarded the Bavarian Jazz Award for the Hubert Winter Quartet, and he later created his own quartet in Berlin. He took lessons from John Hicks, and this was followed by performances domestically and abroad (Paris, Casablanca, Prague and many more), as well as for the Goethe Institute.
Since 2001, the pianist has been living in Trier, from where he has also sought contact with other musicians in neighbouring countries. He met his French musician colleagues at a jam session in Luxembourg and developed a European quartet concept with them. His compositions and piano playing are noticeably influenced by Bill Evans, McCoyTyner, Thelonious Monk and Joachim Kühn.
The Ben Heit Quartet predominantly performs its own compositions, contemporary improvised music with a European focus, which aims to avoid known redundancies and utilise new formative structures, without compromising on improvisatory freedom and spirit for playing.
The programme is topped off with a few foreign compositions which, when re-harmonised and rearranged, are given a new feel.
Other members of the Ben Heit Quartet:
Damien Prud`homme - Saxes
Jean-Luc Déat - Bass
Christian Mariotto - Drums
For further information - www.ben-heit.de
Carl St. Clair has been music director of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years, an orchestra he has a close relationship with and which he has built up and given its renown today. It is the largest orchestra in the USA among those which have been founded in the past 50 years. From 2008 to 2010, Carl
St. Clair was music director of the Komische Oper Berlin. There he directed numerous symphony concerts as well as successful new productions of “La Traviata” (director Hans Neuenfels), the premiere of Christian Jost’s “Hamlet” and a new production of Reimann’s “Lear” (director Hans Neuenfels) which was praised by critics and the public and championed by the composer.
Carl St. Clair was music director of the Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle in Weimar from 2005 to 2008. There he initiated and conducted a highly-praised new production of the complete “Ring”. From 1998 to 2005, Carl St. Clair was a guest conductor of the SWR Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, with whom he recorded the complete symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Carl St. Clair is a regular guest conductor of many important orchestras worldwide. In the US, he has conducted the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Detroit, Atlanta and Houston Symphonies. In Germany he has conducted the radio orchestras of Frankfurt, Cologne, Hannover, Hamburg and Leipzig as well as the Frankfurt Museumsorchester.
As a champion of contemporary music, Carl St. Clair and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra have commissioned leading composers of our time such as Philip Glass, William Bolcom and
Among the many honours that Carl St.Clair has received, the “National Endowment for the Arts – Seaver Conductors Award”, the highest national honour in the US, is worth mentioning.
Carl St. Clair studied opera and orchestral conducting at the University of Texas with Walter Ducloux, a student of Felix Weingartner and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa and Kurt Masur are among his musical mentors.