Leo Philipp Schmidt

Composer, Painter, Multi-Media Artist, Author

"... Leo Philipp Schmidt Composer - one who makes a great deal of amazement with mysterious patterns that make one addictive ..." He comes from a parental home marked by painting. Since his childhood, he has been involved with fine art. At the age of sixteen, he joined the program of international rock greats as a rock musician. Leo Philipp Schmidt's compositions range across the styles up to contemporary music. His compositions have been performed and recorded by many international artists. At the  Playboy's Millennium Edition the CD - Contemporary X composed, arranged and recorded by Leo has been elected as  Best Classical album. He was nominated for the German Record Critics' Prize and participated at the Championat de la Francophonie, the Toronto Music Week. Leo had radio charts placements in Canada and set plays to music. This was followed by numerous radio and television programs including a portrait broadcast on ZDF together with John Cage and the artistic design of the television anniversary broadcast Classical Music on ZDF.

Hanna Michel

Author, Dramaturge, Director 

Hanna Michel was born in Berlin. She founded Valle Venia with Leo Philipp Schmidt. Her main focus is on the philosophical, ethical and international aspect of the Valle Venia concept.

She is the author of scripts, director and dramaturge.


Hanna plays piano and percussion.

Adam Dowling

Drummer (MIR Canada)


Asif and Shehab were born in Sri Lanka, grew up in London, England, and have been pursuing their music with passion ever since in their home, Halifax, Canada. Drummer, ADAM DOWLING and the Illyas brothers crossed paths along the way and clicked instantly; mutually agreeing that pop music could fuse meaningful song writing with new elements in instrumentation, performance and arrangement. Their songs are catchy, sweet, powerful, sad, sometimes simple, sometimes complex; but anything but boring and predictable. They seamlessly blend elements of drum, guitar and bass, with dance, hip hop, rock and traditional world music instruments while never veering too far from the core fundamentals of great pop music - powerful rhythms, meaningful thought provoking lyrics, memorable melodies, rooted in soulful emotion.


Alexis Milligan

Performing Artist (Canada)

Alexis is a multi-faceted performing artists and passionate arts educator from Halifax, Nova Scotia. The primary focus of her career is as a movement specialist and she has created choreography and movement for many theatre Companies in Halifax and Toronto. She was an Apprentice Movement Coach for The Stratford Festival of Canada and is the Staging Consultant for Christopher Norton's Micro-Musical Series (Boosey&Hawkes). She has spent seven seasons with Two Planks and Passion Theatre induding 18 months as Director-in- Residence, Rosalind As You Like It (Merritt Nominee - Best Actress), Sissa, Beowulf {Merritt Nominee - Best Supporting Actress) and co- creator 937 (Winner - Fringe Hit and Best Drama Atlantic Fringe Festival 2013).

Alexis is a long-time Company member with internationally acclaimed puppet theatre Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, and was a principal puppeteer on CBC's You & Me and The MightyJungte (Gemini Award: Best Pre-School Production). Other Film/TV credits include: Seed (ACTRA Award Nominee - Best Actress); Some Things Wont Sleep (Foglight Productions); mr. d (CBC); Blackbird (A71 Productions/Jason Buxton), and Haven (SyFy/Showcase). Her directing credits include: How Often Do I Dream...(Winner - Best Solo Show Atlantic Fringe Festival 2014); Avenue Q, 13, Into The Woods (Neptune Theatre School); Fishing (Off The Leash Creative Ltd.).

Currently Alexis is the movement director of the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario

Alexis is the founding director of Transitus, a multi-disciplinary performing arts Company specializing in human puppetry and the artistic practice of non-verbal communication.


Alex Schwers

Drummer (Germany)

Alex Schwers from Gladbeck in the Ruhr area began to teach himself  the drums at the age of 9 after seeing a performance of the NDW band Trio.He has toured with many bands since he was 16 and can be heard on quite a number of  national and international productions.
For example, he recently received a platinum album for his work on the latest release of the Hip Hop Band Deichkind.
He has been drummer of the Hamburg punk band Slime since 2010.
Together with FM Einheit from the Einstürzende Neubauten and Caspar Brötzmann, he recently established a new project and now is increasingly involved in avant-garde sounds.

Alinde Quartett

String Quartet (Germany, France, Italy, Spain)

International Award Winner (Antonio Salieri Prize)

Ana Zivkovic

Violin (Serbia)

Ana started playing the violin in the Primary School of Music in her hometown, Belgrade. It was also in the Serbian capital that she carried her studies at Music School Dr. Vojislav Vuckovic. After graduating from the Faculty of Music in Belgrade under Professor Dejan Mihailovic in 2002, she continued devoting herself to the violin studies at Mannheim Music Academy, Germany, in Professor Roman Nodel’s class until 2005. Four years later, she attained her Master’s by playing Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy as a soloist, with the Baden-Baden Symphony.

The musician has been awarded first place in State Serbia in 1996, second place in Novi Sad National Award in 1996 and the International Award in Paris. On two occasions, Ana has also received the Stresa International Award, in Italy – first in 1994 as a soloist and then in 1995, alongside a trio, ranking second.

From 2000 to 2002, she was a member of the String Quartet of the Dusan Skovran Chamber Orchestra, in Belgrade, and served as assistant concertmaster of the Mannheim Chamber Orchestra. Before moving to Belo Horizonte, Ana worked with the Badische Staatskapelle orchestra ,Karlsruhe, Germany, and with the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen.Since 2011 she is a member of the first violins of the Orchestra filarmonica de Minas Gerais , Brazil

Anna Carewe

Cello (Great Britain)

Versatility is a special feature of the English cellist Anna Carewe: Many years of experience as a solo cellist of the Ensemble Oriol Berlin and the Kammerakademie Potsdam has made her feel at home in both Baroque and contemporary music. She has premiered over 100 works. Performing with renowned formations such as the Ensemble Modern, L'art pour l'art, the Isang Yun Ensemble and the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin led her on concert tours through several countries in Europe and Asia as well as Australia and the USA.

Increasingly, Anna Carewe also plays on historical instruments. The Manon Quartet Berlin, of which she is a member, has given numerous concerts on both modern and classical instruments, ia. at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music and as Quartet in residence of the Tanglewood International Music Festival. As a baroque cellist, she has performed with the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble under Thomas Hengelbrock and is increasingly in demand as a continuo player on four- and five-stringed cellos.

She is the founder of the Sheridan Ensemble and plays in the duo Carewe / Bott.

Anna Carewe studied at the "Royal Academy of Music" in London with Florence Hooton and David Strange, where she completed her concert exam with distinction at the age of 20, before she went to Berlin. There she counts her teacher, Prof. Wolfgang Boettcher, among her most important influences, as well as her time as a scholarship holder of the orchestra academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. From early childhood on her musical understanding has been influenced by her father, the conductor John Carewe.

Anna Lytvytska

Soprano (Moscow-Vienna)

John Campbelljohn

Blues-Slide Guitar Player (Canada)

Multiple Award Winner/Nominee John Campbelljohn is a hard hitting Atlantic Canadian musician who's live show has resulted in a steadily increasing fan following. John has been at it for over twenty years, following the tradition of the ones like Duane Allman, Sonny Landreth, George Thorogood, Jeff Healey, and Mick Clarke. He's a seasoned professional who knows what the crowd wants because he's been there a thousand times.
John Campbelljohn was born August 18th, 1955 in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. He grew up in the midst of the lively, musical culture of kitchen parties and fiddling jamborees that Cape Breton is so famous for. But John went against the locally popular stream of Celtic Music - what inspired him was BB King, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and the Blues.


At the age of 14 John got serious about playing guitar, his fathers guitar. Duane Allman playing 'Statesboro Blues' had a most profound effect on John. From that time on, up to the present, John Campbelljohn dedicated himself wholeheartedly to playing slide guitar. He worked hard, and inspired to go back to the source, John studied the music of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Elmore James, Son House, Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, Robert Johnson and many others. Later he discovered the Sonny Landreth "behind the slide” technique and began to apply it to the blues genre. Growing up in a musical environment, John's talent and devotion to musicianship helped his song-writing and singing skills to develop naturally.

2003 Slide Guitarist of the Year, Real Blues Awards
2003 Guitarist of the Year - Nominee, Maple Blues Awards
2002 Blues Artist of the Year - Nominee, East Coast Music Awards
2001 Canadian Blues Slide Guitarist of the Year, Real Blues Awards
1999 Dutch Mason Award, MVP Award, Harvest Jazz & Blues
1999 Blues Artist of the Year, East Coast Music Awards
1999 Canadian Blues Slide Guitarist of the Year, Real Blues Awards
1999 Canadian Blues Debut Album of the Year, Real Blues Awards
1998 SOCAN Songwriter of the Year - Nominee, Maple Blues Awards
1998 Blues Guitarist of the Year - Nominee, Maple Blues Awards
1994 Male Artist of the Year - Nominee, East Coast Music Awards
1994 Album of the Year - Nominee, East Coast Music Awards
1992 Unsigned Artist of the Year, East Coast Music Awards

Ariadne Daskalakis

Violin (Greece-USA)

Ariadne Daskalakis was born and raised in Boston. She began her violin studies with Eric Rosenblith and Szymon Goldberg, and continued in Germany with Ilan Gronich and Thomas Brandis. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and two further degrees from the Hochschule der Künste Berlin - the Diplom and the Konzertexamen - all of which she received with honors.


As soloist and chamber musician Ariadne Daskalakis has concertized extensively in the USA, Canada, Europe, Israel and Japan. She has given concerto performances with orchestras including the English Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Oriol Berlin, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Bryn Philharmonic, the Kammerakademie Potsdam and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. She was also a concerto soloist with Sir Yehudi Menuhin in the Mann Auditorium in Tel-Aviv. She has given recitals in venues such as the Kammermusiksaal of Berlin's Philharmonie, the Max-Keilberth-Saal in Bamberg, Carnegie Recital Hall, Barnes Hall at Cornell University and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. She was a featured soloist at the Bachtage Ansbach, the Berliner Festwochen and in the series "Debut im Deutschlandradio".


Ariadne Daskalakis won prizes at the St. Louis Symphony 2000 Young Artists Competition, the International Competition of the ARD Munich in 1998 (with pianist Miri Yampolsky) and the Gyarfas Violin Competition in Berlin in 1992. She was awarded further prizes from the Harvard Music Association, the New England Conservatory and the Dortmund Mozart Society.


Ariadne Daskalakis is first violinist of the Manon Quartet Berlin, which was founded in 1995 and has concertized thoughout Germany and in Austria, Denmark and the USA. Ariadne Daskalakis also served for several years as a leading member of the Ensemble Oriol Berlin, rehearsing and leading concerts without conductor. Both the Ensemble Oriol and the Manon Quartet feature programs with a broad range of repertoire, often involving historical performance practice.

Artiom Ordiyants


Balu Rajendrakurups

Percussionist (India)

Balu Rajendrakurup S is a South Indian Percussionist and a Carnatic Vocalist. He was born in Kerala, India into a family with a musical background.  Hence, it was no surprise that he started learning Carnatic Music and Tabla from the age of five along with his sister.

Later he had the opportunity to be trained by famous Mridangists in India at the age of 10.In addition Balu learned classical vocal in Chennai.

He started performing at the age of 12 and won several contests at youth festivals and academies. Furthermore, he performed for Indian media like radio and TV. His unique South Indian percussion techniques impressed world music artists, which explains why he collaborates with so many of them.

Known for adapting traditional South Indian percussion instruments to modern instruments like Djembe and Cajon, he formed a music group in Germany called “Amano”, performing all around Europe and passes on the art to new generations in multiple music schools in Germany.

Bernhard Forck

Violin (Germany)

Bernhard Forck is also member of the "Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin" and specialises in historical performance. The Ensemble Oriol Berlin contributed to the Valle Venia CDs "Contemporary X" and "The Event".


Berlin Music Ensemble

The Berlin Music Ensemble was founded in 2011 and consists of musicians from Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin, Komischen Oper Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin as well as freelance musicians.
The Ensemble specializes in CD recordings and soundtracks for international film and television productions including Holy Motors (Directed by Leos Carax, starring Edith Scob, Eva Mendez, Denis Lavant and Kylie Minogue) and the song, "Who Were We", from the film's soundtrack, performed by Kylie Minogue.

Berlin Music Ensemble has also collaborated with a number of established international acts including Olafur Arnalds, Malky, Flying Steps, Ketan &Vivan Bhatti for recordings, concerts and Live Shows and has also recorded music for films like Into the Forest (music by Max Richter) and the Flowers of Yesterday (music by Annette Focks).
Additionally, the Berlin Music Ensemble regularly collaborates with well known German directors, composers, actors and and has recorded for many television movies shown on German TV networks including Arte, 3Sat and ZDFKultur.

The Berlin Music Ensemble has won the Reel Music Award 2017 and received the Quarterly Critics‘ Choice from the renowned German Record Critics Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik) in 2018 in the category best film music, for the recording of the George Martin album.

The press has been extensively reported worldwide about the album, among others in the Australia‘s classical magazine Limelight, BR Klassik, Deutschlandfunk, Classical Radio Boston, NMZ and the Rolling Stone magazine.

Bettina Langehein



Bettina Langehein was born in 1989 in Baden-Baden and grew up in Alsaße, France. 

She studied acting at the university of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. This is where she played first professional roles at the "Schauspielhaus Graz" in 2012, e.g. in "Faust" directed by Peter Konwitschny and "Katzelmacher" directed by Nina Mattenklotz. 

After graduating in 2015, she obtained her first engagement at the "Staatstheater Nürnberg". She played in Nuernberg from 2015-2019. 

A long trip through Asia in 2019 made her reflect about the world of drama and lead her to expand and deepen the connection to her instrument - the body. 

A Yoga teacher training in Bali was the seed of a second passion that came into her life - Yoga.

She now also teaches Yoga and loves the combination of both acting and teaching.  

Bettina lives in Nürnberg.

Caroline Haffner

Piano (France – Monaco)

Born in Paris, Caroline Haffner (born Princess Caroline Murat) started to study piano at the age of four and became Alfred Cortot's pupil in Lausanne before going to l'Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris where she studied under Samson François. Awarded the Grand Prix Concours International de Genève by unanimous decision, she has played in all the world's major concert halls and collaborated with the leading conductors and orchestras.Currently Artistic Director of the Gala de la Fondation pour l'Enfance (Chateau de Versailles, December 2004) Princess Murat will also be the Artistic Director for the concerts of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the United Nations next year. She has also agreed to work with the Spoleto Festival in 2005 and is liaising with Plácido Domingo's 'Operalia' world opera competition to bring it to the Spoleto Festival for the first time in 2005.

Princess Murat is one of the founders of the Verbier Festival and organizes the Piano Academy each year. She also founded the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad. Her own career as a pianist (under the name of Caroline Haffner) has taken her around the world to all the great concert halls.

As President of the APMC Princess Murat supervises the young musicians studying under the Association's scholarship programme. She is artistic director and performs for the Gala des Coeurs, a charity event in Geneva which combines an orchestral concert with 80-110 musicians from a renowned, international orchestra including a piano concerto at the Victoria Hall with a gala dinner afterwards for 300 paying guests. This is held at the Beau Rivage Hotel in the presence of the artists and the event's self-proclaimed 'Godmother' the Italian actress, Mme Sophia Loren.

Princess Murat has appeared regularly on television in programmes dedicated to her music and as artistic director. These include CNN, ARTE, TV5, BBC, TSR1, TSR2 and local television around the world.

Princess Murat is President of the Association pour la Promotion de la Musique Classique (APMC) registered in Geneva, Switzerland. Through the APMC Princess Murat works internationally in support of young musicians and charitable causes.

Carla Oya

Choreographer Spain

Choreographer of international events -TV shows -Film coaching

John Cranko School (Stuttgart)
Master class with Marcia Haydée
Classical ballet dancer
Conservatory of Valencia

Catherine De Léan

Actress (Québec-Canada)

Catherine de Léan graduated from drama school at the Conservatoire d'art dramatique in Montreal in 2005. In 2004, she debuted in Europe, where she participated in the production JEDIWO - a street theater project in Saint Malo, Miliau and Brouage, France. Her film career began with a starring role in Stéphane Lapointes' LA VIE SECRÈTE DE GENS HEUREUX film, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Whistler Film Festival in Canada. Many other film projects followed, including À VOS MARQUES!, PARTY, LA CAPTURE and LE BANQUET. In 2012 she was honored by the Canadian Academy of Film and Television with the "Genie Award" for Best Actress for her performance as the lead role in NUIT # 1 production. In addition to Matthias Schweighöfer, Catherine played the role of Nathalie in the film SCHLUSSMACHER produced by Pantaleon Films and the 20th Century Fox of Germany.


Catherine de Léan also played a leading role alongside Pierre Deladonchamps (nominated César), Gabriel Arcand (nominated César) in the –A Kid-, directed by Philippe Lioret.

Chris Hirson

Saxophone (New York- USA)

Christopher Reinhardt

Actor (Germany)


Clemens Hund-Göschel


Clemens Hund-Göschel (piano), born in Frankfurt/Oder, received his piano diploma at the HfM "Hanns Eisler" Berlin. This was followed by a master's degree in "Specialized Musical Performance - Contemporary Music" in Basel, which he completed with distinction. He received further inspiration from musicians such as Birgitta Wollenweber, Yukiko Sugawara, Nicolas Hodges, Marino Formenti, Ian Pace and Manuel Nawri.

He is interested in new performance concepts, which he realizes with the Eunoia Quintet and the Ensemble Inverspace, among others. He is particularly interested in interdisciplinary exchange with other art forms and sciences as well as in the mediation of contemporary music.

Clemens Hund-Göschel has given numerous world premieres of works by Isabel Mundry, Heinz Holliger, Mike Svoboda, Carola Bauckholt, among others, and has collaborated with composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Salvatore Sciarrino, Hèctor Parra and Helmut Oehring. In his busy concert schedule, he has performed at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Berlin State Opera, the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, the Odessa Philharmonic, the "CrossSound Festival" in Alaska, Wien Modern, the Salzburg Biennale, the Teatro del Canal and the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, the WEF in Davos and the Philharmonie Luxembourg.

Dennenesch Zoudé

Actress ( Germany) 

Dennenesch Zoudé is a native of Ethiopia and has been living in Germany since the age of two. She is known as Germany's first dark-skinned TV Commissioner Carol Reeding in "Police Call 110". Since then, the popular and successful actress repeatedly slips into various roles. Particular attention is paid to the ARD production "Meine Mutter Tanzend".

The ZDF sends the versatile Berliner as a presenter to Washington for the inauguration of Barak Obama. Although this was an exciting new task, she remains true to acting.

 In 2010, Dennenesch Zoudé plays the lead role in German / American production "Never forget that I love you". The film has been premiered at the Emden Film Festival and nominated for the prestigious Bernhard Wicki Prize.

In 2011 ZDF achieved a sensational quota with the TV drama "Family Secrets" shot in Germany and Kenya, again with Dennenesch Zoudé in the lead role.

In 2012, the non-fiction bestseller "All Power to the Children" is filmed with her in Cape Town.

In 2013, Dennenesch Zoudé embodies the role of Saleema in the historical drama "Götz von Berlichingen".


She is privately involved in the Foundation Fairchance, an educational institution for children

Dilhan Kantas

Viola (Turkey)

The violist Irem Dilhan Kantas was born in Bursa / Turkey.
For her, music means "the fullness of my life and the most faithful companion of my life".
At the age of 12, she was accepted to the State Conservatory of Uludag University Bursa and then studied at the Ankara State Conservatory with Prof. Betil Basegmezler.
As part of an Erasmus scholarship at the Leipzig Conservatory she was taught by Prof. Tatjana Masurenko. Afterwards she continued her studies with Prof. Claudia Bussian.After completing his diploma, Dilhan went to the Masters degree program at the University of Arts Berlin under Yuta Nishiyama.
Already during her studies she played with youth orchestras as well as professional orchestras in Germany, at numerous festivals like "Bachfest, Leipzig", "SWR Festspiele, Schwetzingen" and "Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festspiele".
As a scholarship holder of the "Villa Musica, Rheinland-Pfalz" she has performed together with renowned musicians such as Daniel Gaede, Andreas Lehnert, Wolfram Christ, Jenz Peter Maintz, Christian Rieger and Midori Seiler.
"She attended masterclasses with Tatjana Masurenko and the Apple Hill Summer Chamber Music Festival in the USA.
Dilhan was an academician of the "Komische Oper, Berlin".
In 2015, she has been invited to Japan as a chamber music teacher for the Chichibu International Music Festival.
She is a member of the "Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, Leipzig" and a passionate chamber music player in various occupations.

Faust Quartett

String Quartet (Germany , Switzerland , New Zealand)

International Award Winner (ARD International Music Competition)

Hakim Ludin

Percussion  (Afghanistan)

The percussionist Hakim Ludin was born in the Afghan capital of Kabul where he received tabla lessons for five years. In 1975 he came to Germany as a student. In 1977 he founded the Jazz formation Sohra. From 1981 to 1987 Ludin studied percussion at the College of Music in Karlsruhe. In addition he undertook on composition work offered to him by the Badische Staatstheater Karlsruhe and by other theatres. Hakim Ludin took part in many record productions, among others the recording of "Unchain My Harp" with the harpist Rüdiger Oppermann (Biber/Vollton) and in 1996 he published his solo album "The Silk Road" for Brother Records. He also published three books on percussion. For Valle Venia Hakim Ludin played on the CDs "Tracks", "Tracks II", "The Children Of The Seas" and "The Event".

Hans-Peter und Volker Stenzl

Piano Duo (Germany)

They leave a lasting impression for their consistently high quality of playing on commercial Recordings and fascinate their concert audiences with their consummate technique, their playing which seems to emanate from a single source, and their incredible sense of style. They are equally at home playing together on one piano or at two instruments.
The critics have time and again heaped superlative praise upon the duo: "Yet again their musical sensitivity and their technical imperturbability were to be admired", "flashing and electrifying“, "unpretentious yet mysterious playing with a dazzling synchronization of four hands and twenty fingers". The Stuttgarter Nachrichten testified to the "fraternal sorcerers" "excellent timing and hyper
Since winning the prestigious Munich ARD competition, the Stenzls have played in nearly all European countries, in West Africa as well as in North and South America, Japan, Hongkong  China and Tokyo.
Hans-Peter and Volker Stenzl are highly-respected jury members at national and international music competitions including "Jugend musiziert", Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, ARD, Dranoff/Miami, Palma d´Oro/Finale Ligure and Reding-Piette.
As committed professors they pass on their experience at the music colleges in Rostock and Stuttgart and in masterclasses.

Jessica Rhaye

Singer / Songwriter (Canada)

Finalist in The International John Lennon Songwriting Competition, Canadian Music Week's National Songwriting Competition and CBC TV’s Great Canadian Music Dream, Jessica Rhaye is armed with undeniable talent; captivating audiences with both her unforgettable voice and contemporary folk music.


Over the past three years Jessica Rhaye has recorded and released her own Independent “self-titled” CD, has been nominated for three East Coast Music Awards including, Best New Artist, Pop Artist of the Year and Female Artist of the Year and performed on the Award show in a tribute to Anne Murray. Jessica Rhaye accomplished all of these musical honours while completing her major in graphic design. Her graphic work also garnered her the“Dr. H. Hagerman Award” for illustration.


Jessica Rhaye has supported shows for Randy Bachman, Crush and Great Big Sea, to name a few, and has shared the stage with Matt Mays, Nathan Wiley, Ennis Sisters and Dahmnait Doyle. She performed during the NB Excellence in Arts Celebration and was also invited by Mir to participate as a special guest, along with Bruce Guthro and Grammy Award winner Colin Hay, from the band “Men at Work”, on the 2002 Mir Supershow in Halifax, NS and during the same event at the 2003 Atlantic Scene Festival in Ottawa, ON.

Josep Castanyer-Alonso

Violoncello (Barcelona)

Josep Castanyer-Alonso was born in Barcelona and studied violoncello in the class of Prof. Maria Kliegel at the University of Music and Dance Cologne. He finished his high school diploma at the age of 16 and at that age was admitted to the class of Prof. Kliegel in Cologne as one of the youngest students of the university. From September 2015 he completed a master program with the Alinde Quartet at the Conservatorio Reina Sofía in Madrid with Günter Pichler.

At the age of 6 he received his first cello lessons and at the age of 12 he was accepted into the integrated music school "Oriol Martorell" in Barcelona. At the age of 13, he also attended the Liceu Music Academy in Barcelona as a junior student of Prof. Peter Thiemann and also received lessons from Prof. Lluís Claret.

He has attended several masterclasses and festivals (including AIMS Festival, Verbier Festival, Forum Artium and Accademia Chigiana) and has been taught by professors such as Gustav Rivinius, Christoph Richter, Roël Dieltiens, András Schiff, Alain Meunier, Lynn Harrell, Gábor Tákacs-Nagy, Ferenc Rados, Antonio Meneses, Michel Strauss, and others

Joss Turnbull

Percussion (UK- Germany)


Juliane Flaksman

Violoncello (Germany)

The cellist Juliane Flaksman performs as soloist and specialises in chamber music. She studied at the Stuttgart College of Music and at the Conservatory of Schaffhausen. She was a member of the symphony orchestra of the Saarländischer Rundfunk, a German radio station. She played for Valle Venia on the CDs "Contemporary X" and "The Event".

Junko Fujii

Cello (Japan-China)

Kaleb Simmons

Singer (Canada)

Nova Scotia native Kaleb Simmons received national attention this past year by becoming one of Canadian Idol's Top Ten finalists.
But his signature is his phenomenal beat-boxing vocal abilities, which were showcased during an ECMA performance.
His Canadian Idol performances wowed judges and fan alike for his originality, and charismatic personality.

Katrin Hansmeier

Actress Germany

Katrin Hansmeier completed her studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. Afterwards she was an ensemble member at the Volkstheater Rostock.

Since then, film and television has been her focus.

 Katrin Hansmeier is also a trainer at the German Institute for Humor.

Larry Bjornson

Bass Canada

Larry Bjornson's music education began at Detroit's Centre for Creative Studies Jazz Workshop, led by trumpet great Marcus Belgrave. Bjornson flourished in this environment as have the likes of Kenny Garrett, James Carter, Geri Allen, Rodney Whitaker and Bob Hurst to name only a few. Larry continued his studies earning a bachelor of music in jazz performance at McGill University in Montreal then continued graduate studies in performance at Wayne State University back in Detroit. Upon returning to Detroit, Larry became a regular bassist for his mentor Marcus Belgrave maintaining a busy concert, club and touring schedule. During this time he also became a member of the Michigan Opera Theatre orchestra, Detroit's Opera. Larry has performed with a very broad spectrum of artists ranging from The Moody Blues, Nell Carter, Mitsou, top jazz musicians; Charles MacPherson, James Carter and Charles Tolliver to backing up personalities like Joan Rivers, and Regis Philbin. Larry is currently a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force Band, and resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his wife and three children.

Laura Maria Heid

Actress (Swiss-Germany)

Laura Maria Heid is a delicate appearance, but with tremendous energy and power. This certain contrast is indicative of the range of Laura's playful possibilities. She is the brat and the girl next door, the punk and the best of class, the it-girl and the mountaineer. Visually, the native Swiss is unmistakable with her slightly Asian appearance. After studying acting in Berlin, Laura quickly gained a foothold in her profession and since then has appeared in numerous different formats. 

Leandro Saint-Hill

Saxophone (Cuba)

Born in Cuba, Leandro Saint-Hill discovered the saxophone when he was 11 years old. After studying at the José White Music School, he taught at the Conservatory in Las Tunas. Moving to La Havana allowed Leandro to work with such greats as Tanja, Beatriz M., Carlos Maza Quintet and El Médico de la Salsa.

Leandro went to Hamburg. His soundtrack for the road movie "Cuban Dreams" earned him a Grammy nomination. In addition, he has collected with Patrice, G. Rubalcaba, Mercado Negro, J. Barreto, Isolanos, Willy Chirino, musical "Hope" and many other studio and stage experience.

In addition to his band (Saint-Hill Colectivo) and his work as a music teacher, Leandro also successfully participates in other projects such as Omar Sosa, Cuarteto Chanchullo, Trilok Gurtu, Tony M. & The Cuban Power and Fabiola Saccomano.


With his unique style, Leandro St. Hill is one of the most popular saxophonists of the Latin-Funk scene.

Leila Weber

Viola (Germany)

Leila Weber studied Viola with Wolfram Christ at the University of Music Freiburg/ Breisgau and with Walter Küssner at the Music University Hanns Eisler Berlin from where she graduated. Tabea Zimmermann and Jörg Widmann gave additional musical guidance to her.

Already at the age of 15, she played in a string quartet with which she won various competitions and scholarships among others at the Fellhauer Foundation and in Los Angeles at the Idyllwild Arts Festival.

She has performed with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Ensemble Resonanz Hamburg, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Faustquartett and Miranda Quartet. For many years, she has been working closely with the orchestras of "El Sistema" in Venezuela, where she teaches regularly. In 2016, she founded Hangarmusik, an orchestra for refugee children.

Mathilde Irrmann

Acress (France)

Mathilde Irrmann is a French actress based in Berlin. She recently interpreted Vicky in the two seasons of the German series Bad banks

Mathilde studied acting at the Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Strasbourg and graduated 2014. Mathilde's extensive work in the French theatre scene includes authors like Molière, Marivaux, Beaumarchais with director Jacques Bachelier and TPH/HPD: Histrionic personality disorder, a self-directed show reflecting on the actor’s work. She also interpreted Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. After relocating to Berlin, she decided to experience acting in front of the camera. 2016 she played in the German TV movie A  summer in southern France (Ein Sommer in Südfrankreich). As a French women working in German and English mainly, languages have always been of major importance to her as they open new perspectives on the world and facilitate empathy for one another.

2016 she started working behind the camera in documentaries and music videos. 2017 she directed her first short film Piensa en me. In 2019 Mathilde contributed to the radio KCRW Berlin with her own stories. She is currently preparing a feature documentary about Balkan artists dealing with their traumatic experience from the war co-directing with Greg Blakey (Wedgetail). 

Now, in between acting, directing and her artistic works, Mathilde is continuing to explore various mediums to help focus attention towards issues and topics she believes are worth being discussed to find new ways to shape our future.

Max Solo

Guitar (Russia)

Max Solo is an exceptional guitarist who combines so many different styles. Drawing on this wealth, he creates his own unmistakable way of playing.

The Russian-born Max Solo not only has a musical talent, but also speaks 4 foreign languages, including English, his native language Russian, German and Japanese.

Max Solo studied at the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering. He then completed a post-graduate degree at the Technical University of Berlin. Simultaneously with his studies in Moscow, he took a music course at the "May Lian's Guitar School" in Moscow.

He was a prizewinner at the Russian National Guitar Competition and won the 1st Prize at the Star FM Pop for Rock Contest in Berlin.

Max Solo has been involved in CD productions with Alexey Vitakov, Joana Zimmer, Stella Nova and Blind Bankers and others.

In addition to the music program at Aida Cruises, he has participated in various musical productions such as Hair, Rocky Horror Show, the Karl Marx Musical, We Will Rock You.


And he was and is represented at numerous festivals from the Carnival of Cultures to the Chiemsee Reggae Summer.


Magdalena Makowska

Violin (Poland)

Magdalena Makowska was born in Warszawa, Poland. She received her first violin lessons at the age of six from D. Wolnomiejska in her hometown. There she also studied at the F. Chopin Music Academy under Miroslaw Lawrynowicz. Then she continued her studies at the University of the Arts in Berlin with Tomasz Tomaszewski and the Artemis Quartet. At the same time she graduated with her string quartet at the European Chamber Music Academy , among others with Hatto Beyerle. She is a laureate of several solo and chamber music competitions (inter alia, in the monastery Schöntal, Takasaki and Weimar) and has appeared as a soloist in numerous European countries, as well as in Japan and the United States.

Magdalena Makowska is a permanent member of the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.


Mari Sawada

Violin - Japan Germany

Mari Sawada, Tochter japanischer Eltern, ist in Essen, Deutschland, geboren und aufgewachsen. Im Alter von vier Jahren begann sie mit ihrer Mutter Geige zu spielen. Später wurde Prof. Keiko Wataya ihr Lehrer und eine wichtige Bezugsperson. Ihr Studium führte sie von Utrecht über Aachen nach Berlin, wo sie seither lebt. Seit 2007 spielt sie mit dem Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop in Berlin, dem sie sich sehr verbunden fühlt und das ihr sehr am Herzen liegt. Weitere prägende Menschen in ihrem Leben sind Charles André Linale, Michael Vaiman, Joyce Tan und vor allem ihre Familie.

Marit Vliegenthart

Violin (The Netherlands)

Marit Vliegenthart is a dutch violinist and lives in Berlin. She studied at the Manhattan School of Music with Yoko Takebe and Michael Gilbert and the Amsterdam Conservatory with Vera Beths where she received her Master Degree. As a teenager she studies with Bouw Lemkes for ten years. At this moment Marit has a contract with the first violins at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. As a freelance violinist Marit plays regularly with ensembles and orchestras like the Kammerakademie Potsdam, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Komische Oper Berlin, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. Marit is a member of the chamber orchestras Le Concert Olympique and Metamorphosen Berlin. Since 2016 Marit is the artistic leader of the chamber music festival Kamermuziekdagen Oudewater. During her studies Marit played in the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester, European Union Youth Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and the Britten-Pears Orchestra. Marit has also been the concertmaster of the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands.

Martina L. Smith

Mental health speaker, Podcast host , Model, Actress Canada

Martina L. Smith setzt sich leidenschaftlich für ein Leben mit Sinn ein. Sie arbeitet als Sprecherin für psychische Gesundheit und ist Gastgeberin des Life Out Loud Podcast. Um sich kreativ zu betätigen, erkundet Martina neue Möglichkeiten als Model und Schauspielerin in verschiedenen Rollen. Inspiriert durch die Verbindung von Kunst und psychischer Gesundheit,

Martina hat ein Diplom in Human Services (Schwerpunkt Suchtberatung) vom Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) sowie einen BA (hons) in Psychologie von der Mount St. Vincent University.

Martina freut sich darauf, Teil des B.A.S.S.-Projekts zu sein, um ihre kreative Ausdrucksweise zu fördern.

Michael Flaksman

Cello (USA)

The American cellist Michael Flaksman took part in the master classes of Pablo Casals and played chamber music with among others Sándor Vegh, Rudolf Serkin and Denes Zsigmondy. He was solo cellist in several orchestras and held several professorships. Since 1991 Flaksman has been professor at the Mannheim College of Music where he has been deputy vice chancellor since 1999. Since 1996 Flaksman has been artistic director of the summer festival in Ascoli Piceno in Italy. He recorded among others the complete works for cello and piano of Gabriel Fauré, the solo suites of Johann Sebastian Bach, the cello repertoire of Johannes Brahms as well as a large amount of chamber music on CD. Flaksman can be heard on the Valle Venia CD "The Event" and "Contemporary X".

Miguel Pérez Iñesta

Conductor  Clarinettist (Spain)

Miguel Pérez Iñesta studied piano, clarinet and dance in Asturias, Spain, before moving to Berlin in 2003, where he continued his studies with clarinetist and conductor Prof. Karl Heinz Steffens at the Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule. Between 2005 and 2007 Miguel was a member of the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2008 he founded his own new music ensemble, Zafraan Ensemble, where he is currently part of the Artistic Direction team.

Miguel concentrates his activities around four principal tasks: conducting, his Ensemble Zafraan, solo and his appearances as a guest musician with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

He has conducted in France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Norway and has been engaged as assistant musical director at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Staatsoper Berlin for different opera productions. His work with stage directors like Sabrina Hölzer, Matthias Rebstock, Iñigo Giner Miranda or Daniel Pfluger has contributed to open even more his view of music as a very expressive and accurate communication tool.

Miguel returns every year to the Podium Festival Esslingen, where he always proposes his novel and refreshing personal view on the works he conducts. In the last few festival editions, he has been working on space and listening experience, recontextualizing the pieces played by changing the place they are presented in, encouraging the audience to move or even making the sound source (the musicians) move around/among the audience, following different patterns and turning the concert into a 360 degrees experience.

He has worked repeatedly with the Experimentalstudio of the SWR and some of his concerts have been retransmitted live by Deutschlandfunk, RBB Kulturradio, SWR, Deutschland Radiokultur and Radio Nacional de España.

Mizar Quartett

String Quartet (Germany)

Moa Johanne Meinich

Singer/actress (Norway)

Jessie Brown

Singer –Vocal Coach (Canada)


Jessie Brown -A great singer-vocal coach with an unbelievable, multi-faceted voice,


grounded by the breathtaking wild landscape of the Canadian Atlantic coast.


Nadja Bobyleva

Actress (Russia-Germany)

Nadja Bobyleva was born in 1983 in Moscow and attended the art and theater school Klass-Center at the age of seven. Nadja came to Germany at the age of nine and initially lived in Cologne. Many years of acting classes with Bettina Dorn and her mother Natascha Bobyleva created the basis for her first film engagement in 2000 - ENGEL & JOE - a feature film debut - and subsequently provided numerous film and television offerings. Nadja began her acting studies in 2002 at the University of Music and Drama in Hanover. In parallel, she completed 2004 a year of residence at the State Theater Arts Academy in St. Petersburg. Following her apprenticeship in Hannover, Nadja played in 2006 alongside other engagements the Laura in DIE GLASMENAGERIE at the Theater an der Glocksee.


Later, Nadja moved to Los Angeles, where she was a regular member of a theater for the following years. In 2004, she received the Günter Strack Television Award for her roles in the TV productions THE FRIEND OF MY MOTHER, RAUS INS LIFE and TATORT-Janus. One year earlier, she was nominated for the Förderpreis Deutscher Film for her portrayal of 17-year-old Klara in the television film RAUS INS LEBEN. In addition to numerous film and television roles, she played the Katje in the Movie Bridge of Spies, directed by Steven Spielberg.


Natalia Tsarikova

Singer Finland-Russia

From Saint Petersburg - now living in Helsinki.

Complete 5-year opera singing education in Milan- Italy

Ballads and songsinger

Natalie Plöger

Bass (Germany)

Olga Holdorff

Violin (Germany, Greece)

Olga Holdorff, born in Berlin, studied at the University of the Arts in Berlin with Jan Tomes, Tomasz Tomaszewski and at the University of Music and Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" in Leipzig with Mariana Sirbu and Lothar Strauss. She has performed at the Komische Oper Berlin, at the Staatstheater Braunschweig, at the Staatsoper Hannover, at the Berliner Symphoniker, as well as in various chamber music formations, among others with the Ensemble Zwischentöne and at the Ensemble Modern Sommerakademie.

Her teaching for the Foundation Barenboim-Said in Palestine, master classes and concerts for El Sistema led her to Venezuela for several months, funded by the Goethe-Institut and the German Music Council. She is the founder of the Berlin Music Ensemble.

Olvido Ruiz

Singer (Cuba)

Olvido Ruiz Castellanos is a singer and recording artist from Havana, Cuba. She began her career alongside her mother, the famous singer Jaqueline Castellanos (aka La Dama del son) and had her debut on Cuban television already at the age of five. She began her formal musical education at the age of 8 at the National Academy of Arts and Music (Paulita Conception) studying violin, piano and choir direction.

Olvido became the youngest member and lead singer of the well-known female band Azucar performing in Cuba and touring across Latin America as well internationally which finally lead to the band winning the prize Cuba’s Most Beloved Band on Cuban national television.

During her time in Cuba she was involved on various albums directed by maestro Joaquin Betacourt and other Cuban producers in collaboration with Cuban record company EGREM.

In her early twenties, she moved from Havana to Barcelona and performed at numerous concerts and festivals throughout Europe, where she also had the opportunity to be an opening act for legendary vocalist Celia Cruz as well as the Afro Cuban All Stars.

At the beginning of the year 2000 she founded a Latin Hip-Hop project and recorded a new version of Buena Vista Social Club´s song Chan Chan that lead to a record deal with Sony Music in Germany. The song became a success and the music video was played regularly on MTV, VIVA etc. In the following period she collaborated and recorded with renown German Latin jazz pianist Sebastian Schunke (album Vida Pura) as well as with renown producer Meeco (album Amargo Mel) along with famous musicians such as Ron Carter, Eddie Henderson and David Friedman.

In 2008, Olvido founded together with Grammy nominees Klazz Brothers the project Cuba Nova that lead to the release of the album Agua by Sony BMG and touring throughout the world.

In 2012, she was invited as a special guest by one of Germany’s most famous Hip Hop groups Die Fantastischen Vier to participated at a MTV unplugged concert, which included the release of a corresponding DVD.

The following year, she became lead singer of the show Caribbean Cocktail, directed by Rey Rodriguez and toured through Benelux.

In 2014, she collaborated with funk legend Bootsy Collins for whom she recorded her composition Siento Bombo which was released on his album The Funk Capital of the World”.

Recently, she recorded a new album Perlas de Cuba with Cuban pianist Lazara Cachao and now is working on a new solo project. She is regularly invited as a Soloist and tours with various artists such as Marialy Pacheco, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and The Lithuania Philharmonic Orchestra. Being gifted with a fantastic voice and a unique stage presence along with being a passionate singer, Olvido mesmerizes the audience. Her feeling and talent allows her to adapt to any musical style from classical music to salsa, jazz, pop, rock, funk, dance music and Latin jazz.

Owen ‘O’Sound’ Lee


Owen 'O'Sound' Lee is an artist, musician, songwriter, vocal arranger and producer from Toronto, Ontario. Owen grew up singing in church, and after studying vocal performance he studdierd jazz at York University. Owen has shared the stage and performed with numerous critically acclaimed artists

Owen expanded his musical reach to the east coast of Canada when he relocated to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Owen has received numerous awards and nominations. Most recently, he was named the 2022 Songwriter of the Year by the African Nova Scotian Music Association. He was nominated for African Canadian Artist of the Year in 2021 for both Music Nova Scotia and the East Coast Music Association, and for Hip-Hop Recording of the Year for the East Coast Music Association.

O'Sound is also the touring keyboardist for Classified and has toured Canada extensively with the platinum-selling artist/producer.

In September 2022, Owen was honored with the late Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee Medal for exceptional service to the arts, community service and volunteerism.

Rayna Valeva

Bass (Bulgaria)

Rayna Valeva was born in Varna, Bulgaria and completed her Abitur (German university entrance examination) in Double Bass and Singing at the German Nationales Kunstgymnasium, a secondary school specializing in the Arts, at the age of 18. In the same year, she had won first prize in the German national youth competition "Jugend Musiziert".

Rayna, a prize winner of the Academic Competition Sofia, studied at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold (Detmold College of Music), first on the diploma study programme and then on the Master's Course in cooperation with the Orchesterzentrum NRW.

She regularly plays with the Detmold chamber orchestra and in the world music ensemble Vinorosso. She has gained further experience with the renowned symphony orchestra of the NDR Hamburg and with the Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra, Herford.

won first prize in the German national youth competition "Jugend Musiziert".

Regina Stötzel

Actress, Director

Sam Brown

Singer/Songwriter (Great Britain)

The British singer-songwriter became famous with solo albums such as the unforgettable ,STOP' and recordings and gigs with Pink Floyd, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Jon Lord, Jools Holland and many many more. Sam Brown took part with George Harrison's last recordings and the Concert for George.
Sam Brown sings the leading vocals on Valle Venia's Fragile album.

Sebastian Gottschick

Viola (Germany)

The German conductor Sebastian Gottschick was born in Düsseldorf. He studied violin with Thomas Brandis in Berlin and composition in Köln (Jürg Baur) and Munich (Wilhelm Killmayer). He was awarded scholarship from the "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes" and from the German academic exchange program "DAAD". He studied conducting first in Hamburg and then in New York at the Juilliard School, in the prestigious class of Otto Werner Müller. There he received his Master of Arts in 1989.
In 1989, he joined the Ensemble Oriol Berlin as concertmaster. From 1993 through 1999 he was Artistic Director. During that time, the Ensemble has developed into one of Germany's leading chamber orchestras, with CD and radio productions and tours in Europe, to the USA and Mexico. Under Gottschick's leadership, the ensemble performed repertoire of all musical styles from early baroque to modern. He is currently Guest Director, conducting numerous concerts in Berlin (Berliner Festwochen 2000 and 2001) and on several tours.
Also an avid conductor of opera, Sebastian Gottschick has acted as one of the Musical Directors of the Neue Opernbühne Berlin since 1994. With their productions, he has been invited to Spain and Portugal, and in January 2001 to Gran Canaria (with that season's successful performance of Händel's "Flavio"). He was guest conductor at the Berliner Kammeroper, the Potsdam Hans-Otto-Theater, the Basel Theater and the La Fenice Opera in Venice. Recent guest appearances include the Klangforum Wien, the Athelas Sinfonietta Kopenhagen, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, the Radio Symphony Stuttgart, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Ensemble Basel, Ensemble United Berlin, the European Community Chamber Orchestra, and the Ensemble Modern.
Sebastian Gottschick's work as a composer earned him the Düsseldorf Composition Prize in 1976. His chamber music and orchestral works have been recorded by several German radio stations.
Alongside his work as a conductor, Sebastian Gottschick continues to perform regularly as violinist or violist. With the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra he performed B.A. Zimmermann's "Antiphonen". Since 1994, he is violist of the Manon Quartet. Sebastian Gottschick's discography includes CD recordings with the Ensemble Oriol, the Ensemble Moments Musicaux, the Athelas Sinfonietta Kopenhagen, and the Manon Quartet

Shivani Dhunna

Actress- Modell (Canada)

Solitha Shortte

Coach-model- manager-owner of Soli Productions (Canada)

Stephan Kocheise


Sy'zan Vocal Ensemble

Choir (Germany-Italy-France)

Judith Devise

Chiara Fürniss

Henriette Götz

M. Rodriguez Luengo

Edna Rieger

Bettina Sander

Larissa Maria Schnadt

Nora Steuerwald

Kathrin Wagner

Elena Walter

Kathie Gertz



Theresa Schergaut

Actress ( Germany)


Sarah and Susan Wang

Piano Duo (USA)

Taiwanese-American twin sisters Susan and Sarah Wang are an internationally renowned piano duo team. Originally from the New York City area, they have appeared numerous times in concert in Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Steinway Hall in New York City. Currently the sisters are living in Germany and actively performing world-wide as a piano duo team as well as teaching and performing solo and chamber music. Susan and Sarah are recent prizewinners in the prestigious ARD International Two Piano Competition in Munich 2010. The sisters won 2nd prize in the world-renowned Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition in 2008. In addition, the sisters hold third prize in the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Preis in Berlin in 2009, third place in the 4th International Piano Duos Competition in Bialystok, Poland in 2008, and second prize in the Ellis National Duo Competition in the United States.

Orchestral performances include the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra in Munich as well as with the Munich Rundfunk Orchestra, the Norddeutscher Philharmonic Orchestra in Rostock, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, the Florida Classical Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Michigan Symphony under Kenneth Kiesler.

The twin sisters were born and raised in Ridgewood, NJ. They began piano and violin studies at the age of seven. They studied piano with Dmitry Rachmanov at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division. Susan and Sarah both attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where they received their Bachelor degrees in piano performance under the tutelage of Professor Louis Nagel. In 2007 they each completed their Masters degree in piano solo at Manhattan School of Music with Dr. Marc Silverman.

The sisters successfully completed their Konzert Exam studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany in 2012 with Professors Hans-Peter and Volker Stenzl. They currently hold teaching positions in public and private schools in Rostock, Schwerin and Berlin. Susan and Sarah have given outreach performance programs in the states of California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York as well as in many cities in Germany.