Henja Semmler - Violin
Born in 1979, the Berlin violinist Henja Semmler is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician. She is a laureate of the L. Spohr Competition, Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, Premio Franco Gulli and numerous German conservatory competitions, which have lead to concert appearances in Europe, the United States and Japan. As a member of the Kastalia Quartet and the violin duo Duo Briner-Semmler, as a soloist and as a chamber music partner of musicians such as Kolja Blacher, Tabea Zimmermann and Natalia Gutman, Henja has performed at some of the most prominent European festivals such as the Berliner Festwochen, Rheingau Musikfestival and Heidelberger Frühling, as well as with the Young Artists in Concert Davos. At the age of 17, Henja gave her debut as a soloist in the Philharmonie in Berlin and subsequently appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Staatskapelle Weimar, World Youth Orchestra and Davos Festival Orchestra. A founding member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, she works regularly with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding and Pierre Boulez.?Henja also dedicates herself to early music performance practice, contemporary music, and playing the viola. She received her training from, amongst others, Rainer Kussmaul, Thomas Brandis and Gerhard Schulz. Her studies also benefited from the generous support of the Studienstiftung, the DAAD and the Deutscher Musikinstrumentenfonds.
Rouven Schirmer, born in 1976, is active as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician. Winner of numerous prizes at national and international chamber music competitions, Rouven is the duo partner of pianist Konrad Maria Engel and founding member of the Berliner Cellharmoniker. With these ensembles, he has performed in renowned concert halls such as the Philharmonie in Berlin and at music festivals across Europe and Asia. Rouven was a recipient of scholarships from the Studienstiftung and the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb; from 2000 to 2002, he was also a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker's Karajan Academy. During this time, he played under conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado. As a soloist, Rouven has performed with various orchestras and gave the German premiere of Jan Novák’s Capriccio for Cello and Orchestra. Rouven studied with Friedrich-Jürgen Sellheim, Klaus Heitz and Wolfgang Boettcher, and received further musical training from Ludwig Quandt, Ralph Kirshbaum and Heinrich Schiff. He regularly appears on radio and television broadcasts and has released several CDs.Jonathan Aner - Piano
Born in Israel in 1978, Jonathan Aner has performed as a soloist with Israel's leading orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta. He has won major piano and chamber music international competitions in Melbourne, Florence, Senigallia, Berlin and Weimar, and also at the European Chamber Music Competition in France. Described as “a chamber musician par excellence” (Frankfurter Rundschau), Jonathan is a member of the Brillaner Duo with clarinetist Shirley Brill. He has collaborated with such leading artists as violinists Guy Braunstein and Daishin Kashimoto (concertmasters of the Berliner Philharmoniker), violists Tabea Zimmermann and Brett Dean, as well as with the Borromeo and the Vogler String Quartets. In addition to appearing in such prestigious concert halls as the Berliner Philharmonie, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Carnegie Hall in New York, Jonathan has performed at the Bergen International Festival and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. A former student of Arie Vardi, Jonathan also worked closely with pianists Murray Perahia and András Schiff while concurrently studying fortepiano with Zvi Meniker. Since 2010, Jonathan Aner has been a professor of chamber music at the Academy of Music "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin.