Born in 1989, Andreas Ottensamer comes from an Austro-Hungarian family of musicians and was drawn to music early, receiving his first piano lessons when he was four. At the age of ten he began studying the cello at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, then changed to the clarinet under Johann Hindlerin in 2003. Andreas Ottensamer gained his first orchestral experience as a deputy in the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic and as a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. In 2009 he interrupted his Harvard studies to become a scholar of the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. He is now the principal clarinettist of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Dutch saxophonist Arno Bornkamp (born 1959) is the archetype of the modern virtuoso, feeling equally at home in traditional and contemporary repertoire. Hailed as a lyrical musician with a great sense of performance, Bornkamp studied at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam with Ed Bogaard and graduated in 1986 with the highest distinction. He has won many awards, the 'Silver Laurel of the Concertgebouw' and the 'Netherlands Music Prize' among the most noteworthy. The latter enabled him to go abroad, studying in France with Daniël Deffayet and Jean-Marie Londeix, in Japan with Ryo Noda as well as working with composers such as Luciano Berio and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Margarita Shaposhnikova, professor, Gnessin Russian Academy of Music, people's artist of Russia, founder, Saxophone School in the former CIS territory, authored handbooks and articles and taught winners of the most prestigious world contests, honored artists, and professors, who, in their turn, became founders of saxophone classes in Russian educational institutions of different levels.
Shirley Brill's career was launched with a performance as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. She has since performed with various international orchestras, such as the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester at the Berliner Philharmonie, the Hamburger Symphoniker conducted by Jeffrey Tate, the Symphony Orchestra of the National Theater of Prague at the Kölner Philharmonie, the Chamber Orchestra of Geneva, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Recently she has performed as a soloist with the Münchner Symphoniker at the Philharmonie im Gasteig.
At the moment, the French clarinettist Michel Lethiec is considered to be one of the most eminent figures on the world-wide classical musical scene. Besides his numerous concert and festival performances, he is also devoted to teaching and participates actively in the research and the distribution of the repertoire. He has played as a soloist and chamber musician with the most eminent performers such as A. Noras, L. Kovakos, G. Hoffmann, F. Helmerson, G. Sharon, R. and B. Pasquier, H. Shaham, Y. Bashmet, G. Caussé, P. Gallois, J. Menuhin, R. Gothoni, J.F. Heisser, J.-C. Pennetier, M. Rudy, V. Mendelssohn, P. Amoyal, J.J. Kantorow, P. Csaba, M. Martin, Y. Gandelsmann, I. Golan…. and the Talich, Enesco, Artis, Fine Arts, Amati, Prazak, Shangai, Lindsay, Chilingirian Quartets…
Since 1981 he is professor of saxophone at the Brussels ‘Conservatoire Royal de Musique’ and professor of orchestration and conducting at the Conservatory of Music of Esch-sur-Alzette (Grand Duchy of Luxemburg). Since 1983 he is a military bandmaster and for 21 years he was musical director of the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Air Force. Until August 31th 2008 Major Alain Crepin was appointed artistic director of all the bands of the Belgian Army.
Dragan Sremec (1958, Zagreb) graduated saxophone and earned his MA degree in the class of Josip Nochta at the University of Zagreb Academy of Music. He also graduated conducting in the class of Igor Gjadrov. He received further training in Paris with Daniel Deffayet as a French Government grantee and with Dr. Eugene Rousseau at the IU School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana as a Fulbright grantee. Dragan Sremec is professor of saxophone and the vice-dean at the Zagreb Music Academy, artistic director and founder of the International Saxophone Competition Josip Nochta, artistic director of the XVIII World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb 2018 and member of the International Saxophone Committee. In 2008, he founded the Saxophone Class at the Music Academy of Sarajevo University where he was teacher till 2016. He is the founder of the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet and for many years he was the principal saxophonist with the Zagreb Philharmonic and the Croatian Radio Television Symphony Orchestra.
Specializing in historical interpretation of the music on period instruments, this versatile performer stars also an important role in dissemination of contemporary music. We have dedicated and has premiered the "Concierto Ártico" for clarinet and orchestra by Zulema de la Cruz (2009), "Caceres: Rhapsody for clarinet, basset horn and orchestra" by Philippe Leloup (2009), "Concierto a cuatro" by Cristobal Halffter for clarinet quartet and orchestra (2011) and "Nen" by Sebastián Mariné for clarinet and string orchestra (2011).
Vitaly Katkov is the Vice-Rector for the Concert Activity of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Vitaly is renown Russian producer, concert manager and artistic director. He is the Honorary Worker of Culture, holder of honorable mentions by Deputy PM, Minister of Culture, Governor of Tver Region and the Order of St. Stanislav III awarded by Russian Imperial House. Vitaly graduated from the Central Music School in Moscow and the Moscow International University. In 1994 – 2002 Vitaly was a director chamber orchestra Russian Camerata at Tver Academic Philharmonic Society. During his work in there he made many significant projects such as International Festival Music and Diplomacy and organized concerts at Kremlin, Ministry of International Affairs and numerous embassies in Moscow. He took part in organization of the International J.S. Bach Festival in Tver in 1995-2002, Festival Musical Kremlin and other events with Moscow Philharmonic Society and Russian Fund of Culture.