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Sterre Kooi

De Nederlandse mezzosopraan Sterre Kooi groeide op in een muzikale familie en begon al op jonge leeftijd met viool- en pianolessen. Op haar veertiende zong zij de rol van tweede hofdame in Dido & Aeneas van Henry Purcell. In 2014 startte zij haar studie Klassiek Zang aan het Conservatorium van

Amsterdam bij Valérie Guillorit. Momenteel studeert zij daar bij Don Marrazzo. Zij wordt tevens gecoacht door pianist David Bollen. Masterclasses en lessen volgde Sterre in Nederland, Frankrijk en Zwitserland bij gerenommeerde docenten als Margreet Honig, Ira Siff, Gabriele Fontana, Irene Maessen, Pierre Mak, Paul Triepels en Elsina Jansen en pianisten als Jeff Cohen, Frans van Ruth, Robert Kulek en Hans Adolfsen.

Sterre trad op als solist bij o.a. het VU-koor, Groot Concertkoor Amsterdam en Het Orkest. Tevens was zij meerdere malen te horen bij Opium op Radio 4. Als ervaren koorzangeres zong zij in o.a. het Nederlands Studenten Kamerkoor en het Nederlands Concertkoor. In maart 2017 was zij soliste tijdens de tweede editie van het Opera Forward Festival bij de Nationale Opera in Amsterdam en ook zong zij in verschillende nieuwe composities tijdens het Composer’s Festival 2016. Sterre geeft regelmatig concerten met verschillende pianisten, waaronder haar vader, Jaap Kooi.

In 2015 heeft Sterre tevens haar bachelordiploma Nederlandse taal & cultuur behaald aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

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Jaap Kooi

Pianist Jaap Kooi kreeg, na universitaire studies econometrie en geschiedenis, zijn opleiding aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag bij Gérard van Blerk. In 1986 behaalde hij cum laude het einddiploma Uitvoerend Musicus.

Ter gelegenheid hiervan werden aan Jaap Kooi de Cuypers-prijs (voor een uitzonderlijk piano-examen) en een beurs van WVC toegekend die hem in staat stelden enige tijd verder te studeren bij John Bingham in Londen. Ook masterclasses, cursussen en concerten met vele beroemde musici, en niet alleen pianisten, droegen bij aan zijn ontwikkeling tot een all-round musicus.

Reeds tijdens zijn studie ontstond een drukke en veelzijdige concertpraktijk als solist, kamermuziekspeler en begeleider. Het repertoire van deze musicus omspant dan ook alle genres en stijlen van Bach tot onze tijd. In 1988 maakte Jaap Kooi zijn debuut in de Kleine Zaal van het Amsterdamse Concertgebouw, waar hij sedertdien veelvuldig optreedt. Talloze concerten gaf hij, al direct na zijn afstuderen, met het Leonardo Trio.

Met een solo-recital gaf hij in september 1990 het openingsconcert van de AGA-Zaal in de Amsterdamse Beurs van Berlage. Jaap Kooi trad veelvuldig op voor de radio, verzorgde CD-opnames, en gaf concerten op vrijwel alle grote en kleine Nederlandse podi en concoursen voerden hem door heel Europa en naar Moskou. In het kader van de serie “Rising Stars” reisde hij langs de grootste concertzalen, zoals Keulen, Birmingham, Londen (Wigmore Hall), Parijs (Cité de la Musique), Wenen (Musikverein),Brussel, Athene, het Mozarteum in Salzburg, Tokio en Carnegie Hall in New York. Hij trad als solist op met verschillende orkesten in pianoconcerten van Mozart, Prokofjew,Gershwin en Chopin.

Door zijn aanstelling als docent aan het Conservatorium van Amsterdam is Jaap Kooi nauw betrokken bij de ontwikkeling van jong talent in Nederland. Hij woont in Amsterdam, is getrouwd met violiste/psychotherapeute Marianna Rácz, en is vader van vier kinderen.

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Marion Dumeige

Soprano Marion Dumeige is quickly becoming recognized for the beauty of her voice, her sensitive artistry, and her musical versatility in a wide-ranging repertoire that spans the Baroque period through 21st century contemporary music.

During the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Dumeige will perform Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire on a concert tour of Amsterdam, and will sing a series of recitals dedicated to French, Spanish and German lieder with pianist Aarón Ormaza.

As a member of the young artist program at the Festival Lyrique de Belle-Ile en Mer, Ms. Dumeige performed the roles of Violetta and Manon in excerpts of Verdi’s La Traviata and Massenet’s Manon. She has also performed La Baronne in Offenbach's La Vie Parisienne and Catherine in his operetta Pomme d'api,

On the concert stage, Ms. Dumeige has been the soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Stravinsky’s Mass, Mozart’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, and Rheinberger’s Stabat Mater.

Ms. Dumeige has studied at the Conservatory of Caen and the Conservatory of Rennes. She is currently completing her studies at Het Conservatorium van Amsterdam. From next year she will study at the Dutch National Opera Academy.
 

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Aarón Ormaza Vera

Aarón Ormaza Vera, born in Ecuador, began to play the piano at an early age. He took lessons in the Sergei Rachmaninov Conservatory for most of his life in his home city of Guayaquil, continuing his piano studies at the Faculty of Music of the Holy Spirit University (UEES), where he obtained his diploma in 2016. Throughout his life in Ecuador, he participated in recitals in the cities of Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, and Ambato. He would also go on to take part in the most important competitions of his country at the time, being awarded First Prize in the Young Talent Competition in Cuenca (2007, 2013, 2016), Classical Music Competition of the German-Ecuadorian Musical Center in Guayaquil (2007, where he was also awarded the Grand Prize), and the II Chopin Competition of Ecuador (2016). He has also had the opportunity to play multiple times as a soloist with orchestra, playing concertos by Haydn, Beethoven, Grieg, and Liszt.

He has participated in international piano festivals in the United States (Texas State International Piano Festival, multiple years), and in Cuba (Musicalia, in La Habana), where he had the chance to play for teachers such as: Enrico Elisi, Washington García, Jason Kwak, Marina Lomazov, Barry Snyder, Joseph Rackers, Antonio Carbonell, and Mauricio Vallina. In his home country, he had masterclasses with Timon Altwegg, Hervé Billaut, and Raphael Lustchevsky.

He was a student of Aliona Dziouba (2004 - 2013), María de los Ángeles Horta (2013), and Oleksandra Danylchenko (2014 – 2016) during his time in Guayaquil. Currently, he is furthering his piano studies under the guidance of Jan Wijn, at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Since 2016, he has been working in the German, French, and Spanish lieder repertoire with soprano Marion Dumeige, as part of Duo Romane.

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Satomi Chihara 

The Japanese pianist Satomi Chihara (1996) studied at the Toho Gakuen Music High School and entered Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where she is currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree with Prof. Willem Brons.

In 2008 she participated in the Melos Musik Seminar in Vienna, where she received masterclasses from Prof. Avo Kuyumjian. In 2015 she participated in the International Summer Academy in Marktoberdorf. She won a third prize at Young Pianists Foundation in category 2 in 2015, and also at the Princess Christina Competition in Haarlem in 2016. She participated in The International Holland Music Sessions in 2017, where she received masterclasses from Prof. Claudio Martinez Mehner. She also received many prizes at competitions in Japan.

 

Juliana Azevedo

Born in Portugal, soprano Juliana Azevedo is currently in the 4th year Bachelor at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, with Sasja Hunnego. She started studying music when she was 6 years old and was part of several choirs, having performed in different countries. As a soloist Juliana won several competitions in her country and performed solo with Orquestra Clássica do Centro. She gave life to Susanna (“Le Nozze di Figaro”, W.A.Mozart) and to the 1st Whitch (“Dido and Aeneas”, H. Purcell). Juliana participated in the Opera Forward Festival in 2016 and was part of the ensemble in the opera “Cendrillon” (J. Massenet) at the DNOA's production (Dutch National Opera Academy) in 2017.

She has worked with António Salgado, João Paulo Santos, Pierre Mak, Ira Siff, Alexander Oliver, Claron McFadden, Floris Visser and Jeff Cohen. She has a Master in Clinical Psychology.
 

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Éadaoin Copeland,

Éadaoin is an Irish pianist currently studying in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam for a Masters Degree in Répétiteurship. She studies under the tutelage of Frank van de Laar, Jaap Kooi and Marianne Boer. Éadaoin previously studied in the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Éadaoin holds a first-class Honours Degree in Neuroscience from Trinity College Dublin and a Diploma in Music

Teaching and Performance from the RIAM. Éadaoin’s studies in Amsterdam are kindly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Fingal County Council’s Artists’ Support Scheme.

Éadaoin performs regularly in recital both as a soloist and instrumental and vocal accompanist. She has recently performed in St.Ann’s Church, Dublin, Oosterkerk, Amsterdam and Papagenohuis, Laren. Previous collaborations include being pianist for ‘Drums and Guns’, a project involving the RIAM, Guildhall School and Juilliard with performances in Dublin, London and New York and a live BBC radio 3 broadcast, and as répétiteur in the Guildhall Opera School summer programme in Fontainebleau, France. A musical highlight for Éadaoin was performing Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Trinity Orchestra in Dublin and Prague. Éadaoin has participated in both solo and collaborative piano masterclasses with acclaimed pianists including Leon McCawley, Christopher Elton, Robert Kulek, Iain Burnside and Jeff Cohen. She is a multiple prize-winner in various competitions across Ireland, and was the recipient of the 2016 Orla Boylan Young musician bursary.
 

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Elizaveta Agrafenina

The Russian-Norwegian soprano, Elizaveta Agrafenina studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Sasja Hunnego. She has previously studied with Monica Groop at the Sibelius Academy in Finland and with Neil Mackie at the University of Agder in Norway.

In 2017, she received an honorary award from Norway where she also gave a concert with her duo partner Martin Bråten (NO). She has together with Bergen National Opera in Norway arranged a concert series “Zwarte Avonden” with musicians such as Jaap Kooi (NL), Stephen Higgins (UK), Sará Gutvill (NL) and Tyrone Landau (UK). They are currently working on a new program “From Jewish Folk Poetry”which will premiere in April at several venues in the Netherlands.

During the summer of 2017, Elizaveta worked at the Edvard Grieg Museum as a professional singer of Edvard Grieg's music and later on went on to sing many concerts during a festival in Finland with musicians such as Marti Roussi, Kirill Kozlovsky and Siiri Nyttimaa.


Elizaveta has been highly engaged in the operatic repertoire. She takes a part in a opera year study at the Dutch National Opera Academy and Young Artist Program at Bergen National Opera in Norway. Besides her studies she has sung in small productions, opera festivals and professional operatic ensembles in Norway.

As a soloist Elizaveta has done many recitals/concerts/oratories in Norway, The Netherlands, Hungury, Poland, Sweden, Finland and in December 2015 she was touring with the pianist Stephan Harsono in Indonesia with SMM Yogyakarta Orchestra.

@Elizaveta Agrafenina