Aliisa Neige Barrière

...was born into a French-Finnish family in Paris where her music studies included violin, piano, chamber music and choral as well as orchestral conducting.

    In 2011-2012 she studied violin with Renee Jolles in New York at the Preparatory Division of Mannes College of Music, as well as orchestral conducting and chamber music. As a winner of the Concerto Competition she played the first movement of the Khachaturian Concerto at Symphony Space, New York. In 2012, she continued her studies in Paris, in the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional with Suzanne Gessner (violin) and Judy Chin (piano), where she received her Prix de Perfectionnement. After winning the New School Competition in New York, Barrière was awarded a full scholarship for four years of studies at Mannes College of Music, where she studied from 2013 with Lewis Kaplan and Laurie Smukler (violin), Michael Adelson and David Hayes (conducting) and was part of the Mannes Baroque Players.

    She is currently finishing her master's degree with Peter Herresthal at the Norwegian Academy of Music where she appeared as a soloist in Vivaldi's Spring and Winter under the direction of Øyvind Bjorå, and from where she holds a Bachelor's Degree.

    Since her move in 2016, Barrière has been been very active in Norway, where she was a founding member of two ensembles; Ensemble Temporum and Ensemble +47, mainly dedicated to new music and since 2018 is the violinist of ÄÄNI-kollektiivi, based in Helsinki.

    Barrière's diverse interests have led her to be invited to play in ensembles such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Oslo Sinfonietta, Barokksolistene, or the Parisian chamber ensemble Secession Orchestra. 

    As of 2018, she also resumed her conducting studies and attended masterclasses with Atso Almila and Luke Dollman and is currently studying under Jorma Panula at the Panula Academy.

Photo: Maarit Kytöharju

Janne Valkeajoki

...is one of the most interesting and promising musicians of the young generation of classical accordion players.

    Janne has performed widely in Finland and in Europe both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. He has performed in many festivals including the Acht Brücken Cologne, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, International Organ Festival of Nuremberg, Days of New Music Bamberg, The Night of New Music Munich, Oulu Music Festival, Kauniainen Music Festival, Musica nova Helsinki and the Helsinki Chamber Summer Festival. He has also given recitals and concerts at the accordion festivals of Vilnius, Kokkola and Ikaalinen among others. He has appeared as a soloist with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lappeenranta City Orchestra, St. Michel Strings, Jyväskylä City Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra of the Sibelius Academy among others and with such conductors as Hannu Lintu, Jaakko Kuusisto, Vytautas Lukocius and Sian Edwards. In March 2018 Valkeajoki played the world premiere of a new solo accordion piece ”Accordion Jubilees” by Magnus Lindberg at the Helsinki Music Center, in a concert that was radio broadcast by Finnish Broadcasting Company.

    In 2015 Valkeajoki won the the renowned international XXIII Arrasate Hiria accordion competition in Spain with distinction. Moreover he also was awarded the prize for the best interpretation of the compulsory piece by Sofia Gubaidulina. Among his other achievements can be mentioned a first prize in the national youth accordion competition “Nuori Virtuoosi” in 2005 and a third prize at the 2010 edition of the international Arrasate Hiria accordion competition in Spain, that time being the youngest competitor of the competition.

    Janne has studied at the Sibelius Academy with Matti Rantanen, Heidi Velamo and Veli Kujala and currently he is doing his postgraduate (Meisterklasse) diploma at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg in the class of professor Stefan Hussong.

    In addition to accordion Valkeajoki started his studies in orchestral conducting at the age of 14 at the Sibelius Academy with the professor Jorma Panula. During his studies he has conducted the Kuopio, Seinäjoki and Joensuu City Orchestras, Jyväskylä Sinfonietta, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Hofer and Nürnberger Symphoniker among others.

    At the moment he is doing his master’s studies in orchestral conducting with professor Ari Rasilainen at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg.

Photo: Maarit Kytöharju

Aleksi Barrière

...discovered theatre as an interdisciplinary art form while working on various performances as an actor, dramaturge and assistant with stage director Sarah Méadel, with whom he later co-directed his first show, Ionesco’s The Lesson, in 2006. At that time he also started working as a translator of drama (including Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream into French), a stage-borne approach to text that has since then remained central to his protean activities.

    While studying philosophy (at the Sorbonne University), then stage directing and scenography (at the Theatre Faculty of Prague), he kept on gorging on various influences, by collaborating as an assistant with director Peter Sellars (Santa Fe Opera, 2008) and as a director and a scenographer with the multimedia art group Image Auditive, on a version of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck (Royal Festival Hall, London, 2009) and a staged video-concert (Miller Theater, NYC, 2014). Video as a medium is a defining part of his approach, both within his stage performances and in dedicated formats. He has also accompanied as a dramaturge the making of a chamber version of Wagner’s Ring by the company T&M, under Antoine Gindt’s stage direction (European tour in 2011).

     His activity as a stage director unfolds on an international level: after various shows in Czech Republic, spanning from Elizabethan repertory to the theatre of Jean Genet and collective creations, he crafted a version of Kim B. Ashton’s opera the boy, the forest and the desert (Grimeborn Festival, London, 2011) and has been invited by such hosts as the National Conservatory of Music in Paris (La Voix humaine, 2013) and the READ Festival in Helsinki (Babel, 2014). But it is mainly within the company La Chambre aux échos, which he founded with conductor Clément Mao-Takacs, that he develops the original and committed forms of music theatre that are his main focus. Driven by works of the contemporary era and a craving for interdisciplinarity and porosity between forms and audiences, the collective has recently toured i.a. in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark and Poland, and its version of Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone (premiered in 2013) was performed in Norway and the US last season. In 2018 he will be a guest director at the Trap Door Theatre in Chicago and the Staatsoper Hamburg.

    As an author of both literary and theoretical texts, his output has been set to music by Kaija Saariaho, and he has written many articles for reviews (théâtres & musiques, Tempus perfectum, Music & Literature…), institutions such as the Paris Opera, and art books and catalogues. He is also active as a lecturer and teacher in various educational programs in schools and hospitals, an endeavor that is also key to the outreach philosophy of La Chambre aux échos. He collaborates as an artistic advisor to the programs of Clément Mao-Takacs’s ensemble Secession Orchestra, for which he has written many texts about music and the arts.

    He has received scholarships from the Bayreuth Festival (2011) and the ENOA network (for workshops at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2010 and at the LOD in Ghent in 2012), and since 2015 from the Akademie Musiktheater Heute of the Deutsche Bank. He is currently writing a doctorate thesis about the work of Peter Sellars, and his commented anthology on the subject of theatre/music relationships is to be published by the Philharmonie de Paris.

Martin Hirsti-Kvam

...is a composer who works in different fields of expression: from acoustic ‘concert music,’ to more conceptually oriented works using electronics and visual elements, always in an attempt to give new perspectives and reflection to what constitutes music, listening and live performance.
He is a member of the Norwegian Composers’ Society and co-founder of +47 ‒ ensemble for contemporary music.

He was a participant in the ”Next Generation” programme at the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2014 (Workshop with Esbjerg Ensemble), and received in 2018 the prestigious Kranichsteiner Musikpreis from the International Musik Institut in Darmstadt.

Photo: Stephen Hutton

Photo: Uli Ulises

Thomas Kellner

...is a German actor based in Berlin. 

    Kellner is known for his versatility both on the theater stage and on television and movie screens, where he appears speaking his native German, but also English and French. 

   Kellner is no stranger to working with musicians, and among other things, works regularly with the French musical theater company 'La Chambre aux Échos'. This collaboration has brought him to participate in two major production; firstly in the production Violences, a diptych combining Hans-Werner Henze's screen music for Katarina Blum and a newly written piece by Juha T. Koskinen, Ofelia/Tiefsee for actor, solo viola (Vladimir Percevic) and orchestra. In this production, Kellner switches from German to French, to English and embodies a plurality of characters with astonishing ease.

This production, premiered in a preliminary version at the Festival Présences of Radio France, Paris, was recently reworked for the Musica Nova Festival, in Helsinki, at the Finnish National Opera, where it was presented three times in performances which were applauded by the Finnish press. 

His second notable musical collaboration with La Chambre aux Échos is a theatrical version of Kaija Saariaho's Graal Théâtre, her violin concerto, where he shares the stage with norwegian violinist Peter Herresthal. This production toured in Paris, Oslo, Stavanger, Angers and Nantes and is soon to be repeated in Finland.

Jakob Kullberg

...studied in a.o. Amsterdam, London, Zagreb, Vienna and Copenhagen, with Harro Ruijsenaars, Dmitri Ferschtman, Valter Despalj, Mats Lidström, Morten Zeuthen and Anner Bylsma.

    Top prize winner at international solo and chamber music competitions, twice winner of the Danish Grammy, most recently in 2013 for his concerto CD ’Momentum’ which was also nominated for the coveted Gramophone Award in London and chosen for ’Album of the Week’ with Q2 Music, New York.
    In 2011 he was awarded the ’Gladsaxe Music Prize’ and has been artist in residence for, amongst others, the Tivoli Garden Concert Hall, the International Carl Nielsen Violin Competition and New Music Orchestra, Poland.

Jakob’s recent debut with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London as well as with Ensemble Intercontemporain at one of their inter-sessions in Paris received excellent reviews, and he looks forward to concerto debuts with the Bergen Philharmonic and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. He is scheduled to record Per Nørgård’s Remembering Child with Sinfonia Varsovia in December 2014. In the 2016/17 seasons he will embark on a two-CD recording project with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds comprising concertos by Saariaho and Nørgård as well as the two cello concertos by Shostakovich.

    He has returned frequently to prestigious international festivals such as the Aldeburgh Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Huddersfield Festival and Bergen International Festival.

    Jakob enjoys a unique working relationship with the Danish composer Per Nørgård, who has composed and dedicated numerous works for him; the two have developed a rare dialogical collaboration in which the composer utilises the creative potential of the cellist in an experimental composition process.
    He is also a notable interpreter of the work of Bent Sørensen and in 2011 he moved to Paris to focus on his collaboration with Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. 
    In 2013 he was appointed to the Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme and has been the artistic director of the Open Strings Cello Academy since 2004.

 

Photo: Kåre Viemose

Víctor Martínez Jara

...born in Astorga (Spain), is a clarinetist based in Oslo.

He began his musical formation in the Music School of his native town, and went on to the Conservatorio Profesional “Ángel Barja” de Astorga, finishing Pofessional Degree with Honors in 2013. In addition, he received the Extraordinary Prize from the county of Castile and León for his performance throughout his degree. After starting his Bachelor's degree in the Conservatorio Superior de Salamanca, he completed his degree in 2018 at the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, with professor Leif Arne Pedersen.

    He is currently completing his master's degree in the same institution, working with Leif Arne Pedersen and Björn Nyman. He has attended actively to numerous Masterclasses where he has worked with renowned clarinetists such as Miguel Espejo Plá, Justo Sanz, Venancio Rius, José-Franch Ballester, Harri Mäki, Andreas Sundén, and Yehuda Gilad, among others.

   He is an avid chamber musician and orchestral player that has worked with multiple chamber music formations over the years, winning the Second Prize at the National Chamber Music Competition of Ávila (Spain) in 2014 with “Satoff” Clarinet Quartet.

  He has also been a regular member of Ungdomssymfonikerne (Norwegian Youth Orchestra) and has performed with orchestras such as the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra or KORK (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra), with whom he most recently performed Gustav Mahler's 3rd Symphony.

Mike McCormick

 

...is an Oslo-based guitarist, laptop performer and composer originally from Yellowknife, Canada. Though his primary expression is through music performance, Mike’s creative output draws from a variety of disciplines, including conceptual and performance art, electroacoustic music, twentieth-century literature, and various notated and improvised music traditions. After graduating from the jazz department at the University of Toronto in 2015, he completed the NoCom: Nordic Masters program in spring 2017 after studies in Oslo, Gothenburg, and Copenhagen. Since August 2017, he has been pursuing a Master’s degree in Music Performance Technology at Norges musikkhøgskole in Oslo under the tutelage of internationally renowned electroacoustic composer Natasha Barrett. Mike has been fortunate enough to perform extensively in Canada, in India, and all across Europe,and his creative work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, The SOCAN Foundation, Norsk Jazzforum, and Fond for Utøvende Kunstnere.

Jonas Skaarud

...is a Norwegian composer, born in 1990, living in Oslo, Norway. He works mainly with acoustic music, often chamber music. He is fond of writing quiet and fragile music.

    He holds a BA in composition from The Norwegian Academy of Music and The Liszt Academy of Music in Hungary, and in 2017 he finished his MA at the Norwegian Academy of Music. He is currently working as a freelance composer.

    Besides composing, he is the chairman of UNM Norway, founding member of Ensemble +47, and producer for Ensemble Temporum.

    He is also a member of The Norwegian Society of Composers and NyMusikks Komponistgruppe.

Photo: Radostina Ivanova

Lauri Supponen

...is a composer based in Finland. He grew up in Brussels and studied composition at the RCM in London and UdK in Berlin, graduating from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in autumn 2016.

    Lauri’s works have been premiered by leading contemporary music ensembles such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern and BBC Singers at major festivals around Europe and North America. Close collaboration with instrumentalists forms the nucleus of his method.

    Lauri also regularly performs as an oboist and contrabassist, recently at the indie music festival Flow with Korvat Auki Ensemble and ainoregina.

    His work is supported by Kone Foundation.
 

Photo: Ayako Higurashi

Ensemble Temporum

...is a contemporary music ensemble based in Oslo. The ensemble had its debut at the Ultima festival in 2016, performing Gerard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum and a commission from Tim Mariën, and it was broadcasted on Norwegian radio (NRK P2).

Since then, they have  given concerts in Norway at the Only Connect Festival, Periferien concert series, Ung Nordisk Musikk in Bergen, but also in Finland at the Kaivos Festival, performing works by Spahlinger, Matre, Kúrtag, Schönberg, Crumb, Grisey, Streich, Dusapin, Messiaen, Ravel, and most recently, a commission by Jon Øivind Ness.

Ensemble Temporum consists of a sextet and conductor Kai Grinde Myrann.

Helen Benson, flute / Lauri Sallinen, clarinet /

Aliisa Neige Barrière, violin / Bénédicte Royer, viola /

Inga Grytås Byrkjeland, cello / Sanae Yoshida, piano

Mioko Yokoyama

...is a Japanese composer, she got Bachelor's and Master's Degree in composition at Tokyo University of the Arts studying with Eisuke Tsuchida, Prof. Kenjiro Urata, and Prof. Manabu Kawai.

    During her Bachelor's degree, she received the Ataka prize for her orchestra piece.

    She is currently pursuing a second Master's Degree in composition with professor Veli-Matti Puumala at the Sibelius Academy, with 3 years of scholarship from the YAMAHA Music Foundation. She has received the Martin Wegelius grant.

    She has participated in masterclasses such as Creative Dialogue with Magnus Lindberg, Time of Music with Mauricio Sotelo, and Opus XXI with Miroslav Srnka. Her pieces have been performed in Japan, Finland, the U.S., Germany, Austria, Iceland, and Norway, at music festivals such as Ung Nordic Musik, Ultima Oslo contemporary music festival.

    She has received commissions from pianist Haruhi Hata and bassoonist Hiroshi Muranaka, and her pieces have been performed by Geidai Philharmonia, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, and Améi Quartett.

    She was selected as one of the composers for the ULYSSES-Journeys in 2017.

Photo: Agnes Hvizdalek

Bathos

   Bathos is a percussion trio based in Oslo, consisting of Håkon Drevland, Geir Strande Syrrist and Simen Brenden. They have studied together for 4 years and played together in many different contexts, and they have a wide range of experiences to base their musical interaction on. They had their own debut concert in the fall of 2018 at the Norwegian Academy of Music, playing both well established pieces from the classic percussion repertoire, as well as newly written pieces by local composers.

   The trio are concerned with challenging themselves technically, musically and interactively through existing repertoire, but are also working actively with premiere performances and cooperating with composers. 

The group won their class in the chamber music competition at the Norwegian Academy of Music January 2019, playing the trio version of Rolf Wallin's «Stonewave».

Photo: Niklas Østergaard