Elisabeth Leonskaja, piano

For decades now, Elisabeth Leonskaja has been among the most celebrated pianists of our time. In a world dominated by the media, Elisabeth Leonskaja has remained true to herself and to her music, and in doing so, is following in the footsteps of the great Russian musicians of the Soviet era, such as David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels, who never wavered in their focus on the quintessence of music despite working in a very difficult political environment. Her almost legendary modesty still makes her somewhat media-shy today. Yet as soon as she walks out on the stage, audiences can sense the force behind the fact that music is and always has been her life’s work. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, to a Russian family, she gave her first concerts as early as age 11. Her exceptional talent soon brought her to study at the Moscow Conservatory.

Elisabeth Leonskaja’s musical development was shaped or influenced to a decisive degree by her collaboration with Sviatoslav Richter. The master recognized her exceptional talent and fostered her development not only through teaching and musical advice, but also by inviting her to play numerous duets with him. A memorable musical event! The musical partnership and personal friendship between Sviatoslav Richter and Elisabeth Leonskaja endured until Richter’s death in the year 1997. In 1978 Elisabeth Leonskaja left the Soviet Union and made her new home in Vienna. Her sensational performance at the Salzburg Festival in 1979 marked the beginning of her steadily blossoming career as a concert pianist in the west.

In addition to her many solo engagements, chamber music remains an important part of her work. She has performed many times with string quartets, such as the Belcea, Borodin Artemis and Jerusalem quartets. She also had a longstanding musical friendship with the Alban Berg Quartet, and their piano quintet recordings are legendary.

Read further: Elisabeth Leonskaja

VALO Quartet

Launched at the beginning of this season, the Valo Quartet was created out of a mutual desire to delve more profoundly into the string quartet repertoire. The members (originally from Poland, the UK and Finland) have come together and often collaborated in various formations at festivals and series across Europe, such as Festival Resonances in Belgium. A shared spirit of spontaneity became the perfect starting point to develop a sense of enduring growth, the guiding light (Valo – ‘light’ in Finnish) being the union of meaningful exploration of the score and trust in the individual player’s musical instincts.

Johanna Wallroth, soprano & Malcolm Martineau, piano

Swedish soprano Johanna Wallroth was thrust into the limelight when she took First Prize at the prestigious Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in 2019. Wallroth subsequently joined the Opernstudio of Wiener Staatsoper for two seasons and was the recipient of the coveted Birgit Nilsson Scholarship in 2021. Initially training as a dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet School, Wallroth subsequently focused her principal study on voice and went on to graduate from Vienna’s Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst (MDW). In 2013, Johanna Wallroth made her operatic debut as Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro) under Arnold Östman at Ulriksdal Palace Theatre, Stockholm. During her 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons at Wiener Staatsoper, Johanna Wallroth appeared on stage in a variety of roles and was appointed the Classical Artist in Residence for the 2022/23 season by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Recognised at the highest international level as one of the UK’s leading accompanists, Malcolm Martineau has performed worldwide alongside the world’s greatest singers including Dame Janet Baker, Elīna Garanča, Thomas Hampson, Theodore Platt, Thomas Quasthoff, Sir Bryn Terfel, Sonya Yoncheva and many others. Malcolm Martineau is a Professor of piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music and an Honorary Doctor and International Fellow of Accompaniment at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He was made an OBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours for his services to music and young singers.

Les Vents Français

Les Vents Français have been termed a wind supergroup, an all-star ensemble, a who’s who of the international wind ensemble scene. Yet they have cohered and developed as a group, in contrast to the one-off quality shared by the performances of many such supergroups.

Les Vents Français are flutist Emmanuel Pahud, a preeminent inheritor of the classical French school of flute playing; oboist François Leleux, internationally renowned soloist, conductor and pedagogue; clarinetist Paul Meyer, a superb soloist, conductor and chamber musician, founder of  Les Vents Français; bassoonist Gilbert Audin, an Opéra bassoonist and professor at the Paris Conservatory; and hornist Radovan Vlatkovic, a horn virtuoso and professor of horn at the Salzburg Mozarteum. The group is often joined by pianist Eric Le Sage, who has performed more than 20 rarely heard piano concertos by Romantic and contemporary composers.


Anna El-Khashem, soprano, Theodore Platt, baritone & Keval Shah, piano

Hugo Wolf’s Italian Songbook contains 46 delightfully written miniature portraits of people at different turns of love. There is happiness, sadness, anger, jealousy, big and small drama, quarrels and reconciliation with the beloved: the whole spectrum of human relationships! One could imagine the characters in the poems to be inhabitants of a small and very Italian village somewhere in Tuscany. Everyone knows each other, gossips, has a nice chat and, of course, intrigue!

Unfortunately Louise Alder has been taken ill. Soprano Anna El-Khashem has kindly stepped in on a very short notice. 

Theodore Platt, baritone

Keval Shah, piano 


Bohdan Luts, violin

Bohdan Luts came to international attention in the spring of 2022 as winner of the violin category in the Carl Nielsen International Competition in Odense where he was also the youngest competitor and winner of the Junior Jury prize. He was praised as much for his musical insight and maturity as for his intensely characterful, individual playing.

In November 2023 he won the Long-Thibaud Competition where he not only took home the 1st Grand Prize of 35.000€ , but also won all the other categories; the audience prize, the press jury prize and the Prize of the French Republican Guard Orchestra.

Bohdan Luts started playing the violin at the age of six. He first studied at the Krushelnytska Music School in Lviv and continued his studies at the Lysenko Music School in Kiev. He is currently studying at the prestigious Menuhin International Music Academy in Switzerland.

Elina Vähälä, violin & Barry Douglas, piano

Chaos String Quartet

Founded in 2019 on the principles of chaos in the arts, science, and philosophy, the Chaos String Quartet combines a highly refined ensemble culture and a fiery vitality with a passion for exploring experimental and improvisational approaches. With their affinity for embracing unpredictability and risk-taking, the ensemble’s members bring a unique dynamism and vibrancy to their playing featuring a whole universe of sounds.

As laureates of the most prestigious international competitions such as Bad Tölz (2023), ARD (2022), Bordeaux (2022), and Haydn (2023), the Chaos String Quartet is rapidly establishing itself on the international music scene. Additional successes include winning the 2nd Prize at the 2023 Heidelberg competition, the 2nd Prize and numerous Special Prizes at the 2021 Bartók World Competition, and the International Premio V. E. Rimbotti in Italy in 2020.

The Chaos String Quartet was invited to music festivals such as the Schwetzingen SWR Festival, the Schwarzwald Musikfestival, the Mozartfest Würzburg, Les Musicales de Normandie, the Davos Festival, the Ravenna Festival, the Festival del Quartetto Firenze, Lockenhaus, the Gent Festival van Vlaanderen, the Festival Academy Budapest, and the Heidelberger Streichquartettfest, among others. In 2023, the ensemble made its debut at the Musikverein in Vienna and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

Timo-Veikko Valve, cello & Aura Go, piano

Aura Go is an Australian pianist whose practice encompasses performance, collaboration, curation, education and artistic research. She performs across the globe, as soloist in concerti from J.S. Bach to Sofia Gubaidulina, as recitalist and chamber musician in programs that interweave old and new music, and as creative collaborator in the development of new music and multi-artform projects. In recent reasons, Aura has worked as concerto soloist with orchestras such as the Melbourne, Adelaide and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. Aura has performed at international festivals including the Edinburgh Festival, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, PianoEspoo, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Metropolis Festival, and the Musica Viva Festival.

Aura is Head of Piano at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance, Monash University. She received her doctorate from the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, where her artistic research drew on the acting methodology of Michael Chekhov to explore the embodied imagination, creativity, and collaboration in music performance. www.aurago.net

Timo-Veikko Valve, affectionately known by audiences far and wide as “Tipi”, grew up in Finland, surrounded by a family who are “musically orientated normal people”. Music lessons were a natural part of his upbringing, and at six years old, Tipi was encouraged to pick up the cello after a teacher at the local music school declared with considerable conviction that “he looks just like a cellist!”. To this day, Tipi remains somewhat puzzled about what that statement actually meant. Whatever the subtext, the teacher seems to have been correct.

Valve was appointed Principal Cello of the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2006, and his leadership soon became an integral part of the ACO. Recognised for his natural, crea’ve, and generous musicianship, Tipi seeks to define the modern-day musician. Prior to his Australian adventure, Tipi studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki before con’nuing to the Edsberg Music Institute in Stockholm.

Tipi effortlessly transitions between modern and period instruments and describes the cello as a flexible and adaptive partner, both in its role in an ensemble and as a soloist, across all forms of music. He reflects this versatility and enjoys a diverse career as a musician, curator and director, directing from the cello as he plays and appearing as a soloist with many of the major orchestras across his two home countries, Finland, and Australia. Tipi is also a sought-after collaborator and frequently appears as a chamber musician. His active commitment to the music of our times through curating and commissioning has seen him delivering world premiere performances of multiple concertos and other significant works written especially for him. www.timo-veikkovalve.fi

Arto Noras, cello & Ossi Tanner, piano

The international career of cellist Arto Noras was launched at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1966. His younger colleague, pianist Ossi Tanner was brought to public attention after winning the Tampere Piano Competition in 2017, before which he had already performed as a soloist with our major orchestras.

Noras has performed as a soloist all over the world. He is the founder of the Naantali Music Festival, and served as its artistic director from 1980 to 2022. His close collaboration with Krzysztof Penderecki and Aulis Sallinen has resulted in brilliant concerts and acclaimed recordings. Noras had a long career as a professor at the Sibelius Academy and continues to serve on the juries of many international cello competitions – often as chairman.

Ossi Tanner, 26, a student at the Manhattan School of Music, is enjoying an exceptionally strong career. He has performed with some of the most important conductors of our time, including Sakari Oramo, Joshua Weilerstein, Eiji Oue and Klaus Mäkelä, served as the Lahti Symphony’s Artist-in-Residence in 2018 and as Artistic Director of the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra since 2021, together with violinist Abel Puustinen and clarinettist Klaara Vasara.

Apart from musicianship in general, Arto Nora and Ossi Tanner share the passion for chamber music. More than fifty years of age difference disappears when the colleagues settle down to French music in a Helsinki Seriös concert. The result is a unique combination of experience and talent. They are joined by violinist Tami Pohjola and violist Atte Kilpeläinen in the Saint-Saëns Piano Quartet, which concludes the concert.