Jorge Isaac

Jorge Isaac (b. 1974, Caracas) is recorder player and founder of the VisiSonor Foundation. Isaac completed his professional training under the tutelage of Walter van Hauwe at the Amsterdam Conservatory in 2000. In 2002 received his master degree at the same institution. Soon after, in 2006, he was appointed as Recorder Professor at the Amsterdam Conservatory, carrying on the famous Amsterdam Recorder School. Jorge Isaac has been awarded several international prizes, such as the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition 2001 (including the special prize "best use of electronics") in The Netherlands and the Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition of Contemporary Music in Poland (2001). In 2004 he was awarded the first prize at the Jur Naessens Music Award in Amsterdam with his multimedia production "Mensa Secunda". In 2007 he received an Award of Distinction at the Prix Ars Electronica in Austria for his work "Marionette". As a soloist, Isaac has given a large number of performances and masterclasses over the globe. He is currently involved with a great variety of concerts and recitals, early and new music projects, multimedia performances, his teaching activities at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and in the production of new interdisciplinary works together with the Visisonor Foundation. 

Roderik de Man

Roderik de Man (Bandung/Indonesia 1941) studied percussion with Frans van der Kraan and theory of music at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. At the same time he participated in composition classes with Kees van Baaren and worked in the electronic studio as a student of Dick Raaymakers. From 1972 till 2008 he taught theoretical subjects and composition to young composers at the same institute. Roderik de Man received many commissions from a.o. the Foundation for the Creation of Music, the Amsterdam Art Fund and the Johan Wagenaar Foundation. He composes purely instrumental as well as instrumental/electronic music. His oeuvre consists of solo pieces, chambermusic, works with live electronics and video, and works for choir, large ensembles and orchestra. Several times compositions were selected by the international jury of the ISCM (the International Society for contemporary Music) to be performed during the World Music Days (Oslo 1991, Mexico 1993, Seoul 1997, Boucarest 1998, Switzerland 2004 and Hong Kong 2007, Sydney 2010). Roderik de Man`s music was performed and broadcast in all European countries as well as in Russia, the United States, Canada, Brasil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Indonesia, China, Thailand and Japan.

Black Pencil

The virtuoso ensemble BLACK PENCIL was founded 2010.  The debut concert of the ensemble took place in the same year at the prestigious Amsterdam Concertgebouw, followed by the world premiere of new works during the large-scale festival Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture. Black Pencil focuses on new repertoire (all works specially written for the ensemble) and adventurous own arrangements with the influence of folk cultures. The instrumental core of the ensemble consists of Blockflutes (Jorge Isaac), Panflute (Matthijs Koene), Viola (Esra Pehlivanli), Marko Kassl (accordion) and Percussion (Enric Monfort).  Depending on the program, guest musicians are invited to enlarge the structure with instruments such as Oud or Live Electronics. Black Pencil captures inspiration from the enormous contrasts within folk elements: sometimes is the expression complex and powerful, but other times subtle, soft, rich in its simplicity. The motto of the ensemble is the presentation of exciting new music and sparkling improvisations, together with a unique instrumental setup.

Duo Mares

The Viola and Accordion duo by Esra Pehlivanli & Marko Kassl Duo MARES, one of the first established duos in its class. Duo MARES has been performing numerous concerts since 2004 and working intensively with today`s composers in order to create and enlarge the repertory of this striking instrumentation. The unique sound of the combination viola and accordion is amazingly versatile and carries along surprising aural possibilities. At date, there have been over 20 compositions dedicated to Duo MARES by internationally acclaimed composers. The concert programmes include works from early till contemporary music, next to interdisciplinary performances. Both artists have been awarded as prize winners at international music competitions. PEHLIVANLI has won several prizes such as the Krzyzstof Penderecki International Contemporary Music Competition (Poland), Torneo Internazionale di Musica (Italy) and the first prize in Premio Valentino Bucchi International Viola Competition (Italy), where she obtained a Presidential Medal of Honour. KASSL received a number of prizes as well, such as Stipendium Richard-Wagner Verbandes, GWK Förderpreis Musik, JAA International Accordion Competition (Japan), International “ProLoco” Competition (Italy) and first prize at the Österreichischen Akkordeonwettbewerb (Austria). As a chamber music ensemble, Duo MARES was prize winner at the Jur Naessens Music Award 2009 (The Netherlands) with their multidisciplinary project Volume Nuevo+. Duo MARES participated in festivals such as Internationaal Kamermuziek Festival Utrecht, Grachtenfestival, Kamermuziekfestival Hoorn in The Netherlands, Dutch German festival De Wohltemperierte Accordeon , Akkorde-On-Stage in Austria, International Ankara Music Festival, International Mersin Music Festival in Turkey , Ljubljana Festival in Slovenia and Dortmund Mommenta Festival and Mommenta Münsterland Festival in Germany.

Duo Pehlivanli & Safonova

The Viola & Piano duo by Esra PEHLIVANLI and Anastasia SAFONOVA was founded in 2002. Since then the duo has been giving numerous performances in Europe. PEHLIVANLI (Turkey, 1977) studied with the eminent violist Mikhail Kugel and holds diplomas of Master Degree from the Gent Royal Conservatory in Belgium and the Maastricht Conservatory in the Netherlands, finishing both degrees with the highest distinction. SAFONOVA (Russia, 1976) began her studies at the age of four at the Moscow’s Gnesins School of Music and one year later presented her first public performance. After her music education in Russia (Gnesins Music College and Gnesins Music Academy) she moved to the Netherlands for further studies and completed her Master Degree at the Maastricht Conservatory and at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with Naum Grubert. She is currently working at the Maastricht Conservatory. Both artists are prize winners as soloists at international music competitions. Esra PEHLIVANLI has been awarded several prizes such as the Krzyzstof Penderecki International Contemporary Music Competition (Poland), Torneo Internazionale di Musica (Italy) and the first prize in Premio Valentino Bucchi International Viola Competition (Italy), where she obtained a Presidential Medal of Honour. Anastasia SAFONOVA received a diploma at the International Cidade de Porto Competition (Portugal) and appeared as a first prize winner at the Gnessin Competition (Russia), Yamaha Music Competition (Benelux), and Yuori Egorov Foundation Competition (the Netherlands). The Viola & Piano duo performs a wide variety of music from Baroque up to early XXth century. Most recent concert programs include a fine selection of outstanding masterworks by composers such as Schumann, Brahms, Hindemith, Clarke, Schostakovitch, Schubert, Milhaud, Britten and Rubinstein.