"Mäki is a musician of god’s grace…The man is a musician seldom seen, with a technical and interpretational capacity that is not one bit behind the world’s elite… Every virtuoso trick you could dream of is there with all the emotion on this round earth, spiked with the necessary edge of unpredictable madness.” Mats Liljeroos Hufvudstadsbladet (HBL)
Harri Mäki is arguably one of the most exciting clarinet players of our time. Having graduated from the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève from the class of Thomas Friedli he has always looked at the Finnish musical life from a slightly different angle and with a strong international perspective. Rapid success in his native country as well as internationally has not killed the lurking nonconformist still in him.
Throughout his career as a teacher, festival leader and musician Mäki has worked hard to create opportunities for others in Finland and all over the world. A founding member of the Tapiola Sinfonietta, a chamber orchestra renowned for its communal spirit and egalitarian organisation, he sees music as a primarily collaborative experience. His playing could be described as uninhibitedly extroverted and uncompromisingly analytic. For him inspiration is a shared experience: something found by the composer and relived by the musician and the listeners together.
Mäki is a key figure in the new Scandinavian virtuoso clarinet culture strongly associated with contemporary music and has premiered dozens of works, including concertos by Juhani Nuorvala (1998) and Kirmo Lintinen (2013) and the Finnish premieres of several chamber music works for clarinet by Magnus Lindberg.
As the artistic director of the Crusell Music Festival, Finland, Harri Mäki has developed this annual woodwind event into a versatile and colourful music festival featuring important international artists, dialogue with other art forms, and an emphasis on contemporary music. In 2016 he will be the artistic director of the first Sochi Woodwind Academy in the Sochi Winter Art Festival, Russia.
Mäki sees teaching as a vocation and has a solid international reputation as a woodwind pedagogue. Today he is one of the internationally known teachers in Sibelius-Academy, Finland, attracting students from all over the world. He has developed his problem solving and meticulous teaching method himself and gives numerous international masterclasses every year. Mäki has also organised competitions and served on many international juries. In 2012 he was granted the Pro Musica prize in recognition of his artistic and pedagogic achievements.
Harri Mäki started the clarinet at a late age and as a teenager he left everything else behind to concentrate on music. A few years ago he suffered a biking accident, breaking both of his hands. During a long recovery period he had to reconstruct his playing technique from scratch. This experience served to only enhance his perspective as a pedagogue and gave him a new, inextinguishable joy for playing the clarinet.
Harri Mäki plays French-bore Schwenk & Seggelke clarinets made in Bamberg, Germany.
At the moment, the French clarinettist Michel Lethiec is considered to be one of the most eminent figures on the world-wide classical musical scene. Besides his numerous concert and festival performances, he is also devoted to teaching and participates actively in the research and the distribution of the repertoire.
He has played with the Barcelona Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic, the Stockholm and the Malmoe Orchestras, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre National du Capitole, the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Milano Pomeriggio Musicale, the Prague Radio Orchestra, the Philharmonique de Radio France…
His recordings include more than twenty compact discs, among which are two Grand prix du Disque (“Ascèses” by Jolivet and “Contrasts” by Bartók, with G. Poulet and N. Lee), for Lyrinx, Arion, RCA, Bis, Talent, Actes Sud.
He teaches at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and at the Nice Conservatoire and he also participates regularly in international competitions ( Geneva, Leipzig, Prague, Osaka, Munchen…) as a jury member.
He is the Artistic Director of the prestigious Festival Pablo Casals in Prades.
More information are available only in Czech, english version comming soon
Irvin Venyš is by all means an outstanding artist of the young Czech generation. He gained top awards in the world most renoun international music competitions - Prague Spring, Pacem in Terris Bayreuth, EBU New Talent, Paris, Zurich, Madeira . He repeatedly proves these honours at the most prestigeous festivals in Europe – Pablo Casals Festival Prades, Festival Mitte Europa, Mozart der Europaer – Mannheim, Prague Spring – and podiums all over the world - Japan, Germany, France, Spain etc. Extraordinary is the range of his musical activities, reaching from classical repertoir through extremely demanding contemporary compositions – world and czech premiers - Osvaldo Golijov, Betty Oliveiro, Isang Yun, Jan Dušek - Concerto for clarinet and orchestra, N-Tech etc.- to traditional folklore. He has collaborated with the world leading artists - Heinz - Jörg Schellenberger, Radovan Vlatkovič, Zakhar Bron, Peter Czaba, Igor Ardašev, Sir Libor Pešek, Ralph Gothoni, Elina Vahala, Michel Lethiec, Hagai Shaham, Andre Cazalet or Jean - Louis Capezzali etc. His musical education is also worth mentioning. He has graduated The Brno Conservatory - Prof. Břetislav Winkler- The Academy of performing arts in Prague – Prof. Vlastimil Mareš and Prof. Jiří Hlaváč (PhD), where he is an assistant professor now and also spent a year at Conservatoir National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris in the class of professor Michel Arrignon. In the mean time he frequently records for Czech Radio and Czech Television, Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk, Arco Diva and NAXOS. His recordings on Compact discs contain music from classical clarinet repertoir to works inspired by folklore and jazz.
Daniel Wiesner is a native of Prague. He graduated from the Music Conservatory, where he studied with Prof. Valentina Kameníková, then subsequently from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he studied in the class of Prof. Peter Toperczer. In 1990 he won first prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow. Being both a soloist and chamber player, he has performed in most European countries, the USA, Japan, Jordan, Tunisia, and Nicaragua. Wiesner has recorded several CDs and continues recording for Czech Radio. Among other subjects, he focuses on interpretation of current music. Since 2013, he has taught in the Department of Piano Cooperation at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Dana Drápelová is a member of a chamber ensemble Sonata a tre /Marie Petříková-Gajdošová – violin, E. Drápela – clarinet, D. Drápelová – piano/. She plays at concerts in the Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, Italy, Austria, and Slovakia. She regularly records for Czech Radio /J. Brahms, J. Haydn, R. Schumann, B. Bartók, A. Chačaturjan, K. Husa, J. K. Vaňhal, B. Martinů/. As a soloist, she presented the Czech and Austrian premiere of the Concerto for violin, clarinet, piano and orchestra by the American composer William Wallace in 2005 /State Philharmony Brno, T. Netopil/. She works as a senior lecturer for piano cooperation at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Czech Republic, teaching clarinet, bassoon, and oboe.
Petra Pintířová graduated from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport at Charles University with a degree in education.
She currently teaches at Akademické Gymnázium Štěpánská /AG Štěpánská Grammar School/ in Prague, and at AMU Sports, Rehabilitation and Movement Centre where she conducts courses of Compensatory Exercises.
She specializes in so called “smart exercises”; that proceed from the centre of the body and lead toward the correct body posture, while assisting in the creation of beneficial movement stereotypes. Pintířová is actively engaged in modern gymnastics and classical, as well as, modern dance.
“I believe that the right movement makes a person happier and more contented; therefore I love sharing my experience with others.”