2023 Festival

    Alberto Nones

    Piano | Italia / Italy

    Alberto Nones is an Italian pianist and historian of music who is internationally acclaimed for his recordings and performances of works by Chopin. His concert at the Mendigorria International Music Festival focuses on a Music-for-Peace charity project he devised in March 2022: playing music by Russian composer Rachmaninov and Ukrainian composer Silevestrov wherever he can, side by side; all revenues of the connected album (Anima Records, 2022) go to Nawal Soufi, an Italian-Moroccan activist who aids refugees from all wars. Nones sees music as part of a larger cultural engagement. He graduated summa cum laude in Piano from the Conservatory of Music in Trento, specializing with Masters like Franco Scala and Paul Badura-Skoda, and in parallel graduated in Philosophy magna cum laude from the University of Bologna, went on to study at the London School of Economics, where he earned an M.Sc. in Political Theory, and completed his education in the humanities with a Ph.D. in International Studies at the University of Trento. He has held prestigious research fellowships, as Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and as Fulbright and Post-Doc Fellow at Princeton University. His musicological publications alone comprise four monographs, three edited volumes, translations, encyclopedia entries and many articles.

    He is Full Professor with tenure in the History of Music at the “G.Puccini” Conservatory of Gallarate, where he also teaches Chamber Music. His many recordings include Chopin’s Complete Mazurkas (Continuo Records, 2016), Chopin’s Complete Fantasies (Convivium Records, UK, 2022),  Brahms’s Sonatas for Piano and Violin by Brahms (with renowned violinist Franco Mezzena, Luna Rossa Records, 2017), and “Pietro Cimara: L’Infinito, Art Songs for Soprano and Piano” (with soprano Nunzia Santodirocco, Da Vinci Classics, 2019).

    Nones started his concert activity in the 1990s after winning several prizes at numerous piano competitions, among which a first prize at the “Coppa Pianisti d'Italia”. He has given concerts and talks in Italy, France (including as Invited Specialist at the Sorbonne), Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic (at Villa Loew-Beer), Spain, Portugal, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Switzerland, the UK, the USA, Russia (for the Istituto Italiano di Cultura at Saint Petersburg), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, Nigeria, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates.

      Alberto Urroz

      Piano, Director Festival | España / Spain

      Acclaimed Spanish pianist Alberto Urroz is a solo artist, also active as chamber and vocal collaborator, who has delighted audiences and critics throughout Europe, Asia and America.

      A successful debut in 2008 at New York’s Carnegie Hall boosted his international career, been commissioned by important cultural institutions such as the Prado Museum, Madrid National Auditorium, Conde Duque Auditorium, the Santander and Peralada International Festivals, the Royal San Fernando Fine Arts Academy, the Juan March Foundation, the Cervantes Institute in Berlin, Lisbon and Manila, Festival Percusos and Festival Terras Sem Sombra in Portugal; the Music Talent Festival in Brescia, Italy; the German Embassy in Madrid; the Las Canals, Binic and Hyères Festivals in France; the Iberian Foundation for Spanish Music, La Maison Française (NYU) and the Georgia State University in USA; the Italian Culture Institute in Madrid, Lisbon and Strasburg, etc. He has performed  in such halls as the Madrid National Auditorium, Conde Duque Cultural Centre, Museo del Prado Auditorium, Palacio de Festivales de Santander, the Gayarre Theatre, the Baluarte Auditorium, the Weill Recital Hall and Elebash Recital Hall (NY), Salle du Munsterhof (Strasburg), Bolivar Hall (London), the Sejong Center (Seoul), Kopleff Recital Hall (Atlanta), the Oslo Music Academy, the Amsterdam Conservatory, the Tel Aviv Philarmonie, the CCP (Manila), etc.

      Mr. Urroz’s discography includes his first solo album “Spain Envisioned”, “Scarlatti Sonatas” and “Brahms Complete Violin Sonatas” on Ibs Classical label and “Pauline Inspired: melodies by and for Pauline Viardot” with mezzo Laure de Marcellus on Centaur Records.

      Alberto Urroz is Founder and Artistic Director of the Mendigorria International Music Festival in Spain. President of EPTA Spain, he was appointed EPTA European President in 2021. Dr. Urroz was granted an honorary award to the best Doctoral Thesis for his dissertation “Optimization of the didactic-learning process of piano technique” (UAX, 2017) and he is piano professor at Alfonso X University and Arturo Soria Conservatory in Madrid. He has also been cofounder and Artistic Director of the I Madrid Shigeru Kawai Piano Competition. He studied at Madrid Royal Conservatory, Tel Aviv University and in NYC with Joaquín Soriano, Pnina Salzman, György Sándor and Oxana Yablonskaya.

        Andion Fernández

        Soprano | Alemania / Germany

        The Spanish-Philippine soprano Andión Fernández was born in Manila.  A soloist of the Deutsche Oper  Berlin from 2001 to 2010, she graduated with honors from the UniversitätderKünste, Berlin, and studied voice with Karan Armstrong and contemporary music with Aribert Reimann.  

        She is aprizewinner of Operalia International Opera Competition (Plácido Domingo World Opera Contest, Hamburg) and the Cardiff Singer of the World competition , and has sung in the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, theFestspielhaus in Baden Baden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Gulbenkian Auditorium in Lisbon, the Kallang Theatre and Victoria Theatre in Singapore, the Glazunov Hall in St Petersburg, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.  Among her major roles are Susanna ( Le nozze di Figaro), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Muse/Niklausse  (Les contes d´Hoffmann), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Fuchs (Das schlaue Füchslein), Tatjana (Eugen Onegin).  She has worked with many distinguished conductors, including L. Foster, M. Jurowski, L. Hager, C. Hogwood, K. Nagano, C. Thielemann, M. Viotti and A. Zedda.  As Agnes in Michail Jurowski´s world premiere recording of Emil von Reznicek´s Ritter Blaubart she received rave reviews.

        Andión Fernández sang the solo part in her husband Jeffrey Ching’s Fifth Symphony, “Kunstammer” at its world premiere in Berlin under Michail Jurowski in 2006.  Her creation of the title role of Ching’s acclaimed opera DasWaisenkind (The Orphan) in 2009 was unanimously praised by European critics: “a singer who sweeps one away, vocally and dramatically“ (Klaus Geitel, Berliner Morgenpost).

        In 2011 Andión Fernández premiered Ching’s Broken Madrigals in St Petersburg and Berlin.  In January 2012 she sang in the world premiere of Ching’s Concerto da camerawith the Erfurt Philharmonic.  She made her Hong Kong ArtsFestival debut in March 2012, premiering Ching’s Horologiasinica at a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hong Kong City Hall, and returning to the festival in 2014 to create the role of Helyas in Ching’s chamber opera Before Brabant.

            Beñat Erro

            Clarinete | España / Spain

            Beñat Erro Díez is a young basque clarinettist. Born in Pamplona, he has been playing the clarinet since the age of six. At the age of 11, he auditioned and started his studies at the Professional Music Conservatory “Pablo Sarasate”, from which he graduated in 2019 with his End of Degree Extraordinary Prize. During his time there he achieved feats such as winning the “Fernando Remacha Chamber Competition”, or receiving an Honourable Mention in the Silverstein Global Clarinet Contest (SGCC 2019). In 2019, Beñat auditioned at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he was offered a place and a scholarship; he is currently completing his undergraduate course at the School. His three main clarinet mentors have been Mikel Juaniz, José Ángel Cabezón, and Andrew Webster, but he has also been greatly influenced by renowned teacher José Luis Estellés.

            Furthermore, he has attended masterclasses led by many other international clarinetists and pedagogues such as Martin Fröst, Michael Collins, Andreas Sunden, Burt O’Hara, Yehuda Gilhad or Andrew Marriner. Beñat is currently a finalist in the Guildhall School Clarinet Prize, and he is also a member of the Joven Orquesta Nacional de España (JONDE).

                Piano Duo Xin Wang & Florian Koltun

                Piano | Alemania / Germany

                Xin Wang & Florian Koltun met in 2008 as freshmen at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln / Germany and formed their dynamic musical partnership shortly thereafter. They have since toured extensively, with notable recitals in Germany, Switzerland, Netherland, Belgium, Poland, France, Austria, Italy, Spain, China and Hong Kong.

                They are regularly a welcome Piano Duo at diverse well-known concert Halls like Berliner Philharmonie, Schloss Elmau in Germany, Qintai Concert Hall in Wuhan, Concert Hall in Xiamen, Henan Art Center in Zhengzhou, Concert Hall in Ningbo, Poly Grand Theatre in Hohhot and many others. The Piano Duo Xin Wang and Florian Koltun appeared with many famous orchestras, among them Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Rotterdam, Sinfonieorchester Aachen, Zagreb Soloists, Karlsbad Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra and Berliner Camerata under the baton of famous conductors like Christopher Ward, Conrad van Alphen, Kazem Abdullah, Marek Stilec, James P. Liu, Eduardo Strausser and Fuad Ibrahimov.

                The Piano Duo is a regular guest at international festivals such as Skrjabin Piano Festival Grosseto Italy, Piano Festival „federi musica“ Neapel Italy, International Piano Festival Salerno Italy, „IBLA Claasic“ Sicilia Italy, Piano Festival Orbetello Italy, „Friday Nights with Yury Revich“ Wien Austria, International Art Festival Kotor Montenegro, International Music Festival Deià Spain, Festival „Palau March Museu“ Palma Spain, „Festival de musique classique a Pompignan“ Toulouse France, Palais Sommer Dresden Germany, „Monschau Klassik“ Germany, „International Piano Festival Wuhan” China and many others. Xin Wang & Florian Koltun believe strongly in the communicative potential of music, and their performances bringing joy to people around the world. They swept the audience into a cheering mass of humanity, making a strong case that playing piano is the most fun thing that two people could ever do together.

                    Jeffrey Ching

                    Compositor / Composer | Alemania / Germany

                    Jeffrey Ching was born to Chinese parents in Manila in 1965. He studied music and sinology at Harvard University, philosophy at Cambridge University, and music and philosophy at London University, where he was lecturer-in-music for several years.

                    In 2006 Ching’s Fourth Symphony Souvenir des Ming was premiered by Dmitri Jurowski and the Shanghai Philharmonic at the Shanghai Arts Festival, and his Fifth Symphony Kunstkammer was premiered by Michail Jurowski and the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin the same year.

                    Ching’s opera Das Waisenkind, based on the Yuan dynasty play The Orphan of Zhao and fragments of Voltaire, Goethe, and other Enlightenment writers, won the Theater Erfurt Audience Prize for best opera production of 2009-2010, a rare accolade for a modern composition. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung praised the work as “world-music theatre, which—with a topic from darkest prehistory—brings us close to the timeless history of man”.

                    In January 2012 Ching returned to Erfurt for the premiere of his Concerto da camera with the Erfurt Philharmonic. In March of the same year his Horologia sinica, commissioned for the 50th anniversary of Hong Kong City Hall, was premiered by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. His last bigest works have been a ‘prequel’ to Wagner’s Lohengrin for the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2014, and a piece for two orchestras in simultaneous broadcast for the IMPULS New Music Festival in Sachsen-Anhalt in November 2013.

                    Ching has represented the Philippines through performances of his music in three cultural delegations to China. He was named one of the five outstanding young citizens of 1998, and was one of the first recipients of the Jose Rizal Award for Excellence from the President of the Philippines.

                      Karmele Muro

                      Soprano | España / Spain

                      Born in San Sebastián, she completed her music studies specialising in singing at the Conservatorio Superior de Navarra, and has also trained in New York (USA) at the Mannes College of Music, in Ireland at Trinity College, in France at the CNR in Bayonne, in Italy with different teachers and in San Sebastián, at Musikene.

                      She has received master classes from the following teachers: Dodi Protero, Mari Carmen Arbizu, Stephen Chung Tao Cheng, Leana Cotrubas, Maite Arruabarrena, Alejandro Zabala, Isabel Penagos, Horacio Rodríguez-Aragón, Jacques Schwarz, Pierre Clement, Sebastian Wonner, Itziar Barredo, Ainhoa Urquijo, etc.

                      She combines teaching at different centres and universities such as UEU, or Deusto, with her concert activity, having worked with Musikeneko Orkestra Sinfonikoa, Orchestre Régional Bayonne-Côte Basque, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Ensemble Orchestral Ermend Bonnal, Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes du CNR Bayonne Côte Basque, Mutrikuko Banda, etc. She has taken part in numerous music festivals, such as Quincena Musical Donostiarra, Festival Internacional de Música de Mendigorria, Festival de Música de Cámara de Mutriku, Ciclo Internacional de Órgano de Bergara, Ciclo Internacional de Órgano de la Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa, etc. She has sung in the Kursaal Auditorium (San Sebastián), in the Victoria Eugenia Theatre (San Sebastián), in the Gayarre Theatre (Pamplona), in the Casino of Biarritz (France), in the Church of St. Peter (Vatican), etc. Her future engagements include several recitals of baroque music in Spain.

                          Laure de Marcellus

                          Mezzo soprano | Suiza / Switzerland

                          Laure de Marcellus’ velvety timbre and riveting stage presence delight both critics and audiences. She honed her craft at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. She made her celebrated debut as CARMEN at the Fêtes de Genève and appeared as Dalila SAMSON ET DALILA for the Opéra Studio of Geneva’s 20th Anniversary, and for the Gabriel Fauré Festival in Annecy. She sang Brangäne in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE with the Norddeutches Philharmonie conducted by Peter Leonard.

                          At the Deutsche Oper, she sang such diverse roles as Maddalena RIGOLETTO with Mikhail Jurowski, Grimgerde DIE WALKÜRE with Christian Thielemann, Smeton ANNA BOLENA, Mérope OEDIPE staged by Götz Friedrich who also directed her in his final production, AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS; Third Lady DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, Flora LA TRAVIATA. Miss de Marcellus appeared in Berlin’s nationally televised anual gala for AIDS research under the baton of the late Marcello Viotti with Sumi Jo and Ramon Vargas. Other roles in Miss de Marcellus’ repertoire are Eboli, DON CARLO, Orsini LUCREZIA BORGIA, Fricka DIE WALKÜRE, Waltraute GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Erda RHEINGOLD, Federica LUISA MILLER, Sesto CLEMENZA DI TITO and Orlofsky DIE FLEDERMAUS. Her early roles include the title role ORFEO E EURIDICE and Eustazio RINALDO.

                          Her collaboration with pianist Alberto Urroz is becoming a regular feature at Navarra’s Mendigorría Music Festival. After appearances in San Francisco, New York and Geneva, they have recently recorded an album of previously unrecorded romantic melodies around the figure of the extraordinary mezzo soprano and composer of Spanish roots Pauline Viardot García which will come out at the end of the year. Her broad concert repertoire includes oratorios from VERDI REQUIEM to lesser-known works such as César Franck’s RÉDEMPTION or Britten’s NOAH’S ARK which she performed with Jun Märkl for Radio France. She has performed concerts in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Germany. She appeared in Beethoven’s 9th at Serbia’s Nomus festival and sang the Messiah with the Singapore Symphony.

                          Laure de Marcellus was born in Geneva, Switzerland, studied at the Zurich Conservatory and in Tel Aviv where she obtained a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance Summa Cum Laude. Miss de Marcellus went on to New York to study with Mignon Dunn and Munich with Josef Loibl. She currently works with Jorge Pita Carreras. She won many prizes and scholarships, including the Migros Scholarship in Switzerland and the American Berlin Opera Scholarship.

                            Vadim Tchijik

                            Violin | Francia / France

                            Prize-winner of many prestigious international violin competitions such as N. Paganini Competition in Genoa, P.I.Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, R. Lipizer Competition in Gorizia and winner of Juventus Award (France). He has performed with Moscow Symphony Orchestra, North Nederland Symphony Orchestra, Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra, Freiburg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra di Teatro di Genova, Yaroslavl Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulianovsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Musica Vitae Chamber Orchestra and many others.

                            He has performed in such great halls as Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Theatre du Châtelet, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Concertgebow in Amsterdam, Dvorak Hall in Prague, Big Hall of Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscou, Suntory Hall and Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo, Philharmonie in Cologne and Konzerthaus in Freiburg. He is often invited to participate in Festival Radio France and Montpellier, Pablo Casals, Nancyphonies, Guebwiller, Festival of St-Riquier, Fetes Romantiques de Nohant, Young Artists Festival in Los Angeles, Semaines Musicales de Tours.

                            Vadim gives recitals all over the Europe, USA and Asia. He plays chamber music with Pieter Wispelwey, Emmanuel Pahud, Jean-Claude Pennetier, Marielle Nordmann, Philippe Bernold, David Geringas, Marielle Nordmann, Philippe Bernold, Cedric Tiberghien, Marc Coppey, Alexander Melnikov, Alban Gerhardt, Michel Lethiec, etc.
                            Born in November 1975, he started to study the violin at the age of six and gave his first concert at eight. He graduated from Tchaikovsky Central Music School in Moscow, National Superior Conservatory of Music in Lyon and High Conservatory of Music in Cologne, always with the highest honours.

                            He is also an Artistic Director of the International Music Festival in Hyeres, “Les Musicales de Saint-Martin” and gives master classes in Europe and in Asia.

                              Zura Quartet

                              Cuarteto de cuerda | España / Spain

                              After studying and specializing in musical interpretation of his instrument at national conservatories such as the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Navarra and Escuela Superior de Música de Catalunya, or at centers of international prestige such as Trinity College in London, Zura Quartet was founded in 2015. Driven by their mutual interest in chamber music and the extensive repertoire for string quartet, its members decide to establish as a stable group, combining this activity with performing in symphony orchestras and teaching.

                              In these years of activity, they have performed concerts with reference works by universal composers such as L.v. Beethoven, W.A. Mozart, J.S. Bach, A. Piazzola, or D. Shostakovich. In addition, Zura Quartet has played with prestigious and eclectic musicians, such as Alicia Griffiths (harp), Beatriz Pomés (flute), Ana García (saxophone), Álvaro Iborra (clarinet and corno di basetto), Marianne Wiemann (piano), Anne-Claudia Renz (violin), the composer Gorka Pastor, the group Zorongo or the audiovisual artist Txo! For this concert, the string quartet has the collaboration of Txuma del Río on double bass and Marta Ramírez on violin, replacing Amaia Razkin.