Paul Beckett - Klangforum Wien
Violist Paul Beckett is one of today's foremost contemporary musicians, gaining international recognition as a leading interpreter and performer of classical contemporary music.
Paul is the violist of Ensemble recherche based in Freiburg, Germany. He was a member of Ensemble Modern International Academy and chosen artist for the Bauhaus Residence in Dessau. He regularly collaborates with Ensemble Modern, including guest principal viola of the Ensemble Modern Orchestra. He is an invited guest solo viola for Bayerisch Staatsoper and Mainz Staatsorchester.
In addition to his work with Ensemble recherche and Ensemble Modern, Paul has performed with bassoonist Pascal Gallois, violists Garth Knox and Megumi Kasakawa, Ensemble Interface and Mobile Beats Ensemble. His work with notable composers includes Beat Furrer, Sir George Benjamin, Enno Poppe, Georges Aperghis, Oliver Knussen, Hans Abrahamsen, Carola Bauckholt, Hugues Dufourt and Helmut Lachenmann.
Paul attended Chethams School of Music, before continuing his studies in Manchester at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Mark Knight. He then attended Frankfurt Hochschule for Musik for specialised masters in contemporary music.
Megumi Kasakawa - Ensemble Modern
Megumi Kasakawa has been the Ensemble Modern’s violist since 2010. Raised in Fukui (Japan), she studied at the Soai University Osaka from 2000 to 2004 and studied solo viola with Nobuko Imai and chamber music with Gabor Takacs Nagy at the Geneva Conservatory from 2005 to 2009. There, she also worked in 2009 as an assistant.
Megumi Kasakawa has participated in the Open Chamber Music Festival of Prussia Cove in England and Japan’s Viola Space; she has also performed with the Ensemble Contrechamps Genève and the Orchestra Chambre de Genève. She has performed at well-known concert halls like the Victoria Hall Geneva, Tonhalle Zürich, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Konzerthaus and Philharmonie Berlin, the Philharmonie Cologne, London’s Barbican and Wigmore Hall.
She has also performed with various chamber music formations, including the Ensemble Artefakt and the Camerata Bellerive, in France, Switzerland, Taiwan, England, Japan and Germany. Among other prizes, she was awarded the Albert Lullin Prize in Geneva as well as the Verbier Academy’s Special Prize for Viola.
She teaches regularly at master courses in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and is one of the docents for the Ensemble Modern’s education projects.
Since 2014 she plays on a viola made by Pellegrino Di Michelis.
John Stulz - Ensemble Intercontemporain
John Stulz is a member of the Paris based Ensemble Intercontemporain and founding co-Artistic Director of VIVO Music Festival in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
He has performed viola around the world with organizations and ensembles like Klangforum Wien (Vienna, Austria), the Marlboro Music Festival, Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt, Germany), Omnibus Ensemble (Tashkent, Uzbekistan), Talea Ensemble (New York City), Boston Modern Orchestra Project, DECODA, and the St Paul Chamber Orchestra.
From 2007 to 2012, John was founding co-artistic director of the Los Angeles based What's Next? Ensemble with conductor Vimbayi Kaziboni, presenting the works of over 70 southern California composers as well as masterpieces by composers ranging from Gérard Grisey to JacobTV.
John’s original compositions have been presented by the New Philharmonic (Omaha), Splendor Amsterdam, the Van Abbenmuseum (Eindhoven), the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and Omnibus Ensemble.
John studied at the University of Southern California, New England Conservatory, and as a fellow of Carnegie Hall's Ensemble ACJW in New York. His primary teachers include Kim Kashkashian, Donald McInnes, Garth Knox, and Roland and Almita Vamos.