Katerina Chatzinikolau was born in 1990 in Herne to a Greek family. She received her first violin lesson in Greece at the age of four.
After moving to Germany in 1996 she received private lessons from Monique Mead. She has won many competitions, including 1st prize of the Golden Classical Music Awards 2020, the international eMuse (2017), Jugend musiziert (2007), International Thöne-Competition (2015) as well as 2nd prize at the “Junger Solist” 2017. She also won the Alois-Kottmann-Prize (2016). She performed at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Philharmonie Köln, rbb-Rundfunksaal Berlin, Beethovenhalle Bonn, Königlichen Theater Thessaloniki, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Liederhalle Stuttgart and Ruhrtriennale und im Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen.
She was concertmaster at the Bergische Symphoniker from 2017-2019 and at the Studio Musikfabrik
2010-2013. She has participated in several festivals of new music, among them Acht Brücken Festival.
Johann-Peter Taferner was born in 1984 in Hamburg and as a child was musically influenced by his
mother, a professional singer. He studied with Ralph Manno in Cologne.
He is the solo clarinetist of the Hamburg Camerata and the director of Bad Neunahrer QuAHRtett.
Additionally, he is a member of the Hamburg Wind Quintet. Concert tours as chamber musician have lead him to the USA, the Middle East and Europe. His students have won prizes at the Jugend Musiziert competition and continued their high education in Germany.
Mark Schumann was born in 1988 in Dormagen near Cologne. He gave his debut performance as a
soloist with the A minor cello concerto by Saint-Saens when he was 11 year old, followed by concerts
with a number of well-known orchestras such as the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra, the Brandenburg
State Orchestra, the Yomiuri Japan Symphonie Orchestra and the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra.
He has performed in the Tonhalle in Düsseldorf, the Philharmonie in Cologne and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
In 2010 he took part in chamber music course at the “Chamber Music Connects the World” in Kronberg, where he played with Gidon Kremer and Yuri Bashmet together.
In June 2010 he performed with Christoph Eschenbach and Tzimon Barto at the “Klavier- Festival Ruhr”.
In the same year he was awarded the “European Culture Award”. 2011 he completed a Germany tour with the “Klassische Philharmonie Bonn” under the direction of Heribert Beissel.
Besides his solo performances he is – together with his siblings – a member of the “Schumann Quartett”, which is cared by the Alban Berg Quartet and Professor Harald Schoneweg (Cherubini Quartet).
Mark Schumann holds a scholarship of the German Music Foundation and the “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes” and plays a cello of “Carlo Giuseppe Testore” (1710).
Itai Sobol was born in 1976 in Tel Aviv. He started receiving piano lessons at the age of seven and composition four years later. He studied piano and composition at the Rubin Academy of Music (Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude), where he won the composers‘ competition in 1997, as well as jazz piano and composition at the Rimon school and the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany. Among his teachers were Pnina Salzman, Yaron Gottfried, John Taylor, Klaus Oldemeyer, and Johannes Fritsch.
In 2002 he made his first appearance as a soloist with the renowned Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, playing an improvisation on the rondo from Beethoven’s first piano concerto. The concert was broadcasted on Israeli TV. Other projects, which combined different music styles followed, for instance „Chopin meets Jobim“ (Cologne Romantic Night 2005).
In December 2006 was the premiere of his first piano concerto, a piece commissioned and performed by the New Haifa Symphony Orchestra under the conduction of maestro Noam Sheriff and with the composer as soloist.
In 2013 he won a special prize with his Trio Harmobeat at the Bellan International Competition in Paris in the category jazz/fusion
As an arranger he wrote for world renowned musicians like clarinetist Sabine Meyer, Soprano Simone Kremes, singer Maryam Akhondey and for Alliage Quintet.
He has gained scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Israeli Musicians Fund (2000) and participated in concert series of Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now organization (2007-2010).
Music doesn’t come to life without the right instrumentalists who perform it.
So I’m glad that Katerina, Johann-Peter and Mark have joined me on this journey of recording my compositions and arrangements. Not only did they play with great musicianship and virtuosity, but they also came up with their own ideas of improving the pieces, and thus made the best out of my music.
The working process was a joy, both the rehearsals and recording sessions. It’s amazing what could be accomplished when there is devotion and passion involved.
Recorded in the Reverside Studios in Cologne, Germany.