Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev, born in Moscow in 1993, comes of a family of musicians. His grandmother is the worldwide renowned pianist and professor Tatiana Nikolaeva. He graduated with honors from the Moscow Conservatory Prepatory School, where he studied with Alexander Mndoyants from 2000 to 2011. In 2011, he began studies at the Moscow Conservatory, currently with Sergey Dorensky, as well as his assistants – Nikolai Lugansky, Pavel Narsesjan and Andrey Pisarev.
He had his concerto debut at the age of nine with the Bryansk Philharmonic Orchestra (Bach, F-minor concerto).
During his school years, Arseny won five international youth piano competitions, including the New Names Competition in Moscow. A highlight of 2012 was Arseny’s triumph at the V. International Scriabin Piano Competition in Moscow.
He appears regularly at the Great, Small, and Rachmaninoff Halls of the Moscow Conservatory as well as at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. He has also made concert appearances throughout Europe, Asia and North America (Carnegie Hall, New York; Severance Hall, Cleveland etc.). He has also participated in music festivals in Moscow, throughout Russia (e.g. “Kremlin Music Festival”), Lithuania (Kaunas, Siauliai), Germany (Rheingau Musik Festival), France (Les pianos folies, “Liszt en Provance”) and Macedonia (“Ohrid Summer”) as well as many others.
Arseny has appeared with orchestras such as the Evgeny Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Bergen Philarmonic Orchestra. In August 2013, Arseny received second prize and the special prize for the performance of Russian music at the Cleveland International Piano Competition. In October 2014, he was awarded second prize at the Grieg International Piano Competition in Bergen.
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