Niklas Schmidt


Cellist Niklas Schmidt studied in Hamburg and later in Cologne and was a regular guest at the Menuhin Academy in Gstaad. In 1980, together with violinist Michael Mücke and pianist Wolf Harden, he founded the Trio Fontenay. The ensemble recorded nearly the entire literature for this genre on CD for Teldec, EMI and Philips; most of the recordings received national and international awards, including the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis 1994 for the complete recordings of the Beethoven Trios and the Diapason d’Or.

The Trio Fontenay performed at the most prestigious concert halls in the world including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elisabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Herkulessaal in Munich and appeared at international festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, the Festival de Montpellier, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Festival de Montréal as well as at the Kissinger Summer and the Schubertiade in Austria. Since its American debut in 1986, the ensemble also undertook one or two major USA tours each year. A special honor for the three musicians was the ensemble’s appointment as Trio en Résidence au Châtelet in Paris. At the end of 1997, Niklas Schmidt resigned from the ensemble as cellist.

Since then, he has been appearing frequently as a soloist as well as in various chamber music formations. Together with Menahem Pressler, he performed the “Arpeggione” Sonata in Washington D.C. and the Beethoven Sonatas in Hamburg, and performed the Schubert String Quintet with members of the Alban Berg, Cleveland, Guarneri and Juilliard quartets. With orchestra, he has, of late, frequently performed the two Haydn concertos. His many musical partners include Nobuko Imai, Donald Weilerstein, Ralf Gothóni, the Auryn Quartet and the Fine Arts Quartet. In August 2012, his latest CD The Singing Cello was released, presenting Schubert’s Arpeggione and Beethoven’s complete Variations for Cello and Piano in a recording with his piano partner John Chen. The next CD will appear in 2013 with works by Richard Strauss and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Since 1987, Professor Schmidt has taught chamber music and cello at the Hochschule for Music in Hamburg. He is also regularly invited to conduct master classes throughout the world, from Paris, Helsinki, Nice, Montréal and New York to Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Since 1999, Niklas Schmidt has directed the prestigious Hamburg chamber music series Chamber Concerts in the Mozartsaal which presents world renowned ensembles and soloists. After a successful Schubertiade in 2011, a Brahmsiade will take place during this series in April 2013. Schmidt is also director of the International Mendelssohn Summer School Festival in Hamburg and the International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg ICMC. In 2010, he founded his own label with the name Fontenay Classics International FCI which has already released seven CDs.
Niklas Schmidt performs on a Rogeri cello (Brescia) from the year 1700.

Adrian Iliescu

Romania / Germany

Adrian Iliescu is the first concertmaster of the Hamburger Symphoniker Orchestra since 2013.

Born in 1981 in Bucharest, he continued his studies at the Music Academy in Lübeck with Professor Christiane Edinger until 2006. Since 2010, he begun studying Master at the Hamburg Academy of Music with Professor Kolja Blacher.

Adrian Iliescu won many awards both in the country and abroad: First Prize at the Violin Olympiads from 1993 until 1999, 1st Prize at the "Jeunesses Musicales" International Competition in Bucharest (1996) and in the same year the Special Prize at the "Kloster Schöntal" International Violin Contest in Germany and 1st Prize at the "Citta di Stresa" International Contest in Italy. 1997, he won the Japanese Takasaki International Contest for Young Violinists, and in 2006 he received the Lübeck Furtwangler Prize.

Adrian Iliescu attended master classes with well-known teachers such as Michele Auclair, Sachar Bron, Ruggiero Ricci, Wolfgang Marschner, Donald Weilerstein, and Kolja Blacher. He performed concerts as soloist in Germany, France, Italy, England, Peru, Poland and Romania. Adrian Iliescu was the concertmaster of the Lübeck Philharmonic in 2004-2010. From 2010 to 2013, he was the concertmaster of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. During this time he concerted as a soloist and music director of the orchestra in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, China, Japan and South America, at renowned festivals such as "Reihngau Festival" or "Colmar Festival".

From 2015 until 2017, Adrian Iliescu was assistant concertmaster of the Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Mariss Jansons.

Adrian Iliescu often works as a concertmaster of the Hamburg Opera and the Munich Philharmonic, the Munich Radio Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest.

Adrian Iliescu play on a violin made by Paolo Maggini in 1604.

Alina Azario

Romania /Germany

Born in Piatra Neamt (Romania), Alina Azario has the opportunity to continue her musical studies in Paris at the age of 15, where she enriches her knowledge with several piano personalities: Elisabeth Leonskaya, Theodor Paraschivesco, Géry Moutier, Jacques Rouvier, Boris Berman, Laurent Cabasso, Tibor Szasz.

Alina Azario perfected her studies beside prestigious pianist Evgeni Koroliov in Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. Having obtained her Diplom degree in 2010 and the "Konzertexamen" in 2014 (post-university degree) with the best distinctions, at present she exercises an activity of teaching in the same university.

Alina Azario is regulary invited to give concerts as soloist in well-renowned Festivals and Concert Halls as for example the festival «Piano aux Jacobins», «Piano Fortissimo», «Schleswig-Holstein Festival», Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, and she has collaborated with numerous musicians such as: Renaud Capuçon, Marina Chiche, Alberto Menchen, Alexandru Tomescu, Ullrich Windfuhr, Ovidiu Balan, etc

In January 2011, she recorded the original soundtrack of the movie “Poulet Aux Prunes” together with the violinist Renaud Capuçon and the Berlin Score Orchestra, a film directed by Marjane Satrapi («Persepolis»).

She has made several recordings for radio and television such as Deutschlandradio Kultur, TVR International, and Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR). During her studies, Alina Azario has been supported by scholarships from the Claussen-Simon-Stiftung, the Ministry of Culture in France, the “Leistungsstipendium”, the Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation, and the «Alfred-Toepfer Stiftung FVS» in Germany. In 2011, she was awarded with the «Hermann & Milena Ebel» Prize.


Per Rundberg


Per Rundberg was born in Skellefteå, Sweden and studied with Björn Ejdemo, Staffan Scheja, and Gunnar Hallhagen in his native country before attending the Yehudi Menuhin School, Stoke d´Abernon, England at the age of 15, where he continued his studies with Seta Tanyel. Later studies in Salzburg at the Mozarteum (with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, resulting in a diploma with honours), Paris, Budapest, and Stockholm, as well as lessons with Murray Perahia completed his education.

Per Rundberg frequently gives concerts all over Europe, in the USA and in Asia. He has performed in major halls including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Konzerthaus and Musikverein (Vienna), Philharmonie and Konzerthaus (Berlin), Carnegie Hall (New York), Konserthuset and Berwaldhallen (Stockholm), Teatro alla Scala, (Milan) and Philharmonie (Cologne) and as a soloist with such orchestras as the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Opera orchestra, Stockholm, Camerata Salzburg, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Morávska Filharmonie (Czech Republic), and Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra (Finland), among others. He is often invited to play at major festivals like Schleswig-Holstein, the Salzburg Festival, Beethovenfest, Bonn Heidelberger Frühling, and Festival di Pasqua in Rome. Among his chamber music partners are and have been Dietrich Fischer Dieskau, Martin Grubinger, Thomas Hampson, Valentin Radutiu and Benjamin Schmid. Together with Martin Grubinger he was selected by the Wiener Konzerthaus for a "Rising Stars"-tour around the world in 2008.  

Per Rundberg has recorded CDs and DVDs on various labels like Accent Music, Deutsche Grammophon, Hänssler Classics, Oehms and KC Classics. He performed the complete piano works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg over several years.

Dedicated to contemporary music, Per Rundberg has given many world premiere performances; he has worked with some of the most prominent composers of our time, including George Crumb, Franco Donatoni, Beat Furrer, Giya Kancheli, György Kurtág and Arvo Pärt.

October 29

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART

(1756 - 1791)

Sonata for violin and piano in G major, K.301/293a (No.18)

  1. Allegro con spirito
  2. Allegro

Johann Sebastian BACH

(1685 - 1750)

Cello Suite Nr. 2 in D minor 

  1. Prelude
  2. Allemande
  3. Courante
  4. Sarabande
  5. Menuet I & II
  6. Gigue





(1797 - 1828)

Drei Klavierstücke D.946 

  1. Allegro assai, in E-flat minor
  2. Allegretto, in E-flat major
  3. Allegro, in C major


(1810 - 1856)

Gesänge der Frühe op.133 

  1. Im ruhigen Tempo
  2. Belebt, nicht zu rasch
  3. Lebhaft
  4. Bewegt
  5. Im Anfange ruhiges, im Verlauf bewegtes Tempo