Musicians – Symphony Concerts
Orchestra: L’anima giusta
In the orchestra l’anima giusta, men and women from Basel’s leading orchestras and freelance musicians from in and around Basel come together to form a new whole. The orchestra puts collaboration above competition – performing in the “true spirit” (l’anima giusta) of music – and performs works by women composers past and present, who are now unknown and unrecognised.
Konzertmeister: Jiří Nĕmeček
Jiří Nĕmeček (*1976) was born in the Czech Republic. He completed his studies in violin at the Brno Conservatory and the Prague Academy of Music. Further training focusing on chamber music took him to Madrid and Basel. Intensive work with Rainer Schmidt and Walter Levin, as well as subsequent meetings with Ferenc Rados and Eberhard Feltz had great impact on his musical formation. His 15-year leadership of the Bennewitz Quartet (1998–2013) took him to many international stages and music festivals and earned the group numerous accolades.
In 2011 Jiří Nĕmeček moved to Basel. He performs regularly with the Sonos Ensemble and as guest lead violinist of Collegium Musicum, Kammerorchester Basel, and the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester. He plays various chamber music projects and teaches violin at the Alten Kantonschule in Aarau and at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel.
Violin: Alma Deutscher
The British composer, pianist and violinist Alma Deutscher started playing the piano when she was two years old and the violin when she was three. Soon afterwards she started improvising simple melodies on the piano. Her attempts at composition started aged four, when she began writing an opera about a pirate called Don Alonzo. She started studying partimento (an instructional bass line with either figured or unfigured bass) and improvisation with Tobias Cramm (Basel) in 2010.
When she was six, Alma composed her first full piano sonata, and at seven she wrote a very short opera called The Sweeper of Dreams. Aged nine, Alma composed a concerto for violin and orchestra, which she premiered in 2015. Her first piece for symphony orchestra, Dance of the Solent Mermaids, was also premiered in 2015. Aged ten, Alma finished a full-length opera, Cinderella. A chamber version of the opera was performed in Israel in 2015 and the full version was premiered in Vienna under the patronage of Zubin Mehta in December 2016, to standing ovations, sold out performances, and international critical acclaim. In July 2017, Alma premiered her first piano concerto. Alma’s talent as a musician has been acknowledged by figures such as Sir Simon Rattle and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Since 2015 she has been mentored by Martin Campbell-White, the man who discovered and promoted Sir Simon. Alma has featured prominently in the international press and broadcast media. Her YouTube channel has more than 4.5 million views. More information: www.almadeutscher.com.
Viola: Mariana Doughty
Mariana Doughty was born in Cornwall. After an early start on the violin she discovered the viola at the age of twelve. She studied at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and gained an MA at Jesus College, Cambridge (UK). As lead viola of the Kammerorchester Basel, she enjoys the contrast of performing old and new music in large orchestral or chamber settings. She has appeared in the most prestigious halls and festivals with the Streiff Trio, Ensemble Antipodes, and most recently the 3Gquartet and Ensemble van der Waals. Mariana teaches at the Musik-Akademie in Basel and swims daily in the Rhine. Her recordings appear on en avant, MGB and streiffzug.com.
Conductor: Jessica Horsley
When at the age of ten, she decided to arrange “The Soldier’s March“, for the school orchestra (of which she was the lead violinist), buy a baton and take to the podium, Jessica Horsley’s destiny may have seemed clear. With diplomas in piano (London, UK) and viol performance (Basel, CH/Paris, F), degrees in musicology (Cambridge, UK), modern history and Russian language (London, UK) and a doctorate in art history (Tübingen, Germany), her career path led initially, however, in other directions. As a successful instrumentalist and academic, it was a life-changing experience in 2010 that opened the way to a career in conducting.
Jessica Horsley’s conducting debut took place in the main concert hall in Basel in March 2015 with a pioneering programme of orchestral music by women composers (www.frauenkomponiert.ch). For its third season frauenkomponiert will present an entire festival of music by women composers in Basel from 7th–11th March 2018, featuring the world premiere of Agnes Tyrrell’s overture from the oratorio “Die Könige in Israel” (c. 1880), the premiere of a commissioned work by Swiss composer Heidi Baader-Nobs, and a performance of her own violin concerto by British child prodigy Alma Deutscher. Together with cultural manager Xenia Fünfschilling, Jessica Horsley launched a new project in January 2017 entitled “JessTalks: music worth spreading”. Inspired by TedTalks, the project uses innovative performance techniques highlighting the interaction between performers and listeners to make contemporary ensemble music both accessible and enjoyable. The first concert series is scheduled for the autumn of 2018.
In addition to working with her own orchestra, Jessica Horsley has conducted Plovdiv State Opera (BG) and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (CZ), ensembles such as St. Michel Strings (FI) and 900 (CH), and recorded for the Swiss radio network Rete Due. She was mentored initially as a conductor by Thüring Bräm, going on to complete postgraduate studies in conducting with Arturo Tamayo at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano in 2012 and conducting works such as Pierre Boulez’s, Le Marteau sans maître (1957), Arnold Schönberg’s, Erwartung (1909) and The Key to Songs (1985) by Morton Subotnick. She broadened her repertoire to include the major works of the nineteenth century, benefitting from advanced coaching with Kirk Trevor (CZ/US), Tomas Netopil (CZ/D) and Sasha Mäkilä (FI).
As a violist and barytonist, Jessica Horsley has performed and recorded in Europe the US, Canada, South Africa, Namibia and Australia. In additional to playing early music, she is a specialist for contemporary repertoire. As a musicologist and cultural historian, she wrote her doctorate on the “Almanac of the Blue Rider”. Further publications focus on pictures as historical sources/cultural history and modernism.
More information: www.jessicahorsley.com.
Musicians – Chamber Music Concerts
The four musicians of the ARIA Quartet (Basel) – Barbara Doll, Adelina Oprean, Winfried Rademacher and Conradin Brotbek – seek to deepen their experience as soloists, chamber musicians, and teachers in the demanding context of quartet playing and to express the true spirit of the works they play. The quartet stands for delicate transparency, warm and vivacious colours, and for a flexible and authentic sound.
“A 20-year-old Czech woman wrote a highly passionate and individual work in 1935, a few years before her death, which is practically unknown today. Together with Louise Farrenc’s piano quintet, a classical virtuoso piece that is nonetheless perfused with a “quiet Romantic air” (R. Schumann), we will play a programme for frauenkomponiert that we love, because it is great and moving music – precisely because AND despite the fact that is was written by women?! This question will become secondary, we hope, for the listener.” (ARIA Quartet)
Susanne Böke, Organist, Offene Kirche Elisabethen
“I am delighted to have this opportunity to perform organ works by Sofia Gubaidulina (Light, Dark, 1976) and Isabel Mundry (Innenräume, 2005). Composed by two women, who are full of life.” (Susanne Böke)
Maya Boog & Simon Bucher
If a highly expressive magician of characterisation (him about her) meets a highly sensual magician of sound (her about him), the sum of the whole is more than its parts. This duo ignites a fire of the purest joy of making music and deeply felt emotionality.
SHE wants the audience to experience the essence of womanhood in music.
HE wants to explore the nature of woman through music as a man, as the feeling and thinking of the composer is always transmitted to the interpreter.
BOTH love to discover that which is beyond the well-trodden path and the challenge of making the unknown into something that is quintessentially their own.
Diptychon: experimental JAZZ CLASSICAL CONTEMPORARY sounds
Nathalie Laesser Zweifel & Esther Flückiger
A duo, which explores the connections and frictions between stylistic regions, creates new rules and freedoms, and turns its back on the fences between genres. Duo Diptychon – it’s easier to take off with two wings.
“The concentration on music composed by women is not based on ideological models, but simply serves to give due recognition to an important aspect of music history.” (Nathalie Laesser Zweifel & Esther Flückiger)
Kirsten Johnson is a piano explorer – she has made her name recording undiscovered corners of the classical piano repertoire. She has made world premiere recordings of Albanian music and recorded the complete works of Arthur Foote (Delos) and Amy Beach (Guild).
“I researched Amy Beach’s complete piano music over six years and recorded the whole. This involved digging up manuscripts from libraries across the United States. Amy Beach was a fantastic composer of instrumental, vocal and orchestral music, but she remains largely unknown outside the US. Her music deserves to be heard more often.” (Kirsten Johnson)
Jiří Nĕmeček & Ludovic van Hellemont
Our collaborative work entails becoming as familiar as possible with a particular work, “translating” it as faithfully as possible, and bringing it into harmony with one’s own musicality.
“We are very happy to support the project frauenkomponiert. High-quality music by women composers should be performed more often. We believe strongly that at the end of the day it is not the gender of the author that should be at the forefront, but the quality of the music itself.” (Jiri Nemecek and Ludovic van Hellemont)
The polyglot Swiss ensemble MUSICA FIORITA (dir. Daniela Dolci) is devoted to research into and performance of largely unknown music of the baroque period. In order to transmit this cultural heritage to today’s audiences, the ensemble constantly develops new creative projects, often in dialogue with other cultures or artistic disciplines such as dance, literature and fashion design.
“frauenkomponiert is a brilliant new project that we want to support with our long experience in the field of female baroque composers. Our goal is to establish their works in the concert repertoire.” (MUSICA FIORITA)
Nicoleta Paraschivescu teaches organ at the Basel Conservatory and is organist at the Theodorskirche in Basel. In 2015 she completed her doctorate at the University of Leiden (NL) and was prize-winner of the hibou-Foundation (CH). She is musical director of the ensemble La Floridiana, with which she has released two CD’S: premiere recordings of the Haydn student, Marianna Martines on the SONY label.
“I’m extremely happy to be involved in this project. Emma Lou Diemer’s (*1927) composition ‘Fiesta’ has fascinated me for a long time and the lively rhythmic structures will inspire and delight the public!” (Nicoleta Paraschivescu)