Saint-Saëns: Barcarolle op. 108
Ravel: Piano Trio
Fauré: Piano Quartet op. 15
Henja Semmler violin
Antoaneta Emanuilova cello
Jonathan Aner piano
With: Tabea Zimmermann viola
The Oberon Trio, founded in 2006, brings together three musicians who are well-established in the international music scene, each in his and her own right: violinist Henja Semmler, well sought-after as a chamber musician, concertmaster and soloist; cellist Antoaneta Emanuilova, in demand as principal cellist with leading orchestras in addition to her work in ensembles and as a teacher; and pianist Jonathan Aner, Professor of Piano Chamber Music at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin. These three artists not only share their passion for chamber music and for the piano trio repertoire with each other; they are also keen to share it with their audiences, whom they "captivate with their transparent playing, eloquence and sonority." (Garmisch-Partenkirchner Tagblatt)
Immediately after the trio's first concert, the Flensburger Tageblatt lauded the trio for its "...enormous interpretative achievement, which attests to this new ensemble's deep maturity and stylistic command." Since then, the Oberon Trio has appeared at venues including Berlin's Philharmonie, Vienna's Konzerthaus and Hamburg's Laeiszhalle, and has toured in Italy, Bulgaria, Israel, India and Egypt.
The Oberon Trio gained valuable insight into music making through its studies with the Alban Berg Quartett and the Artemis Quartet, as well as through collaborations with composers such as Jörg Widmann, Benjamin Yusupov and Charlotte Bray. The trio has benefited from the support of organizations including the Villa Musica Foundation and the Goethe Institut.
In addition to performing masterpieces of the established piano trio repertoire, the Oberon Trio is committed to promoting the lesser-known gems of trio literature. It explores a wide spectrum of works written for this formation, including some of the earliest works written for the piano trio - such as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's piano trios, or the early trios of Joseph Haydn - to works by contemporary composers. The Oberon Trio strives to bridge the distance between audience and performer by offering insight into the background and process of its musical interpretation, be it in the form of moderation at concerts or programme notes written by its members.
The Oberon Trio's name is a reference to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which Oberon, the king of the fairies, leads and oversees the realm of magic, fantasy and playful delight. The members of the Oberon Trio have come together to explore the magical world of play and fantasy that lies at the heart of music-making. With a sense of fresh curiosity and discovery, they convey to their audiences the message that music is something perpetually vibrant, personal and alive.
Henja Semmler, Violin - Henja Semmler, born in Berlin, studied with Rainer Kussmaul, Thomas Brandis and Gerhard Schulz. Her studies were generously supported by the German National Academic Foundation, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Deutscher Musikinstrumentenfonds. Semmler also received a diploma in baroque violin and is equally dedicated to the performance of contemporary music. Laureate of such competitions as the Louis Spohr Competition, German Music Competition, National Competition of the German conservatories and the Premio Franco Gulli, she has performed in Europe, the United States and Japan. As a member of different chamber music ensembles with partners including Kolja Blacher, Tabea Zimmermann, Wolfram Christ, Natalia Gutman, Jens-Peter Maintz and Jörg Widmann, Semmler has appeared at such festivals as the Berliner Festwochen, Rheingau Musikfestival, Heidelberger Frühling, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and Young Artists in Concert Davos. Henja Semmler gave her debut as a soloist in the Philharmonie of Berlin at the age of 17. She has also appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Staatskapelle Weimar, World Youth Orchestra and Davos Festival Orchestra. A founding member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Semmler collaborates regularly with conductors including Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons and Pierre Boulez. As a guest-concertmaster, she has been invited to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Resonanz and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and acts repeatedly as concertmaster also in the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. As a violin and chamber music teacher, she gave masterclasses in Germany, Italy and Spain. Starting in April 2017, Henja will be teaching her own violin class at the Rostock University of Music.
Antoaneta Emanuilova, Cello - Antoaneta Emanuilova was born in Bulgaria and moved to Germany at the age of seven. She studied with Wolfgang Boettcher and Jens-Peter Maintz in Berlin, as well as with Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School in New York. She was a recipient of fellowships from the Villa Musica, ZEIT Foundation of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and Landessammlung Baden-Württemberg. Antoaneta Emanuilova plays regularly international concerts as a soloist and has been recognized with several awards, including the First Prize at the Domenico Gabrielli Competition in Berlin and the Grand Prize at the Music and Earth International Competition. An avid chamber musician, Emanuilova has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Thomas Brandis, Jörg Widmann, Nils Mönkemeyer, Anna Prohaska, Amihai Grosz, Lauma Skride, Pauline Sachse, Martin Spangenberg, Ilan Gronich and the Kuss Quartet. In 2007 Antoaneta Emanuilova was assigned her first permanent position as an Associate Principal Cellist of the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne. Since then, she has been invited regularly to perform as principal cellist with leading orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Balthasar-Neumann- Ensemble. From 2012 until 2016, she was a member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Furthermore, she appears frequently as principal cellist with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer and was invited regularly by Claudio Abbado to perform in his Lucerne Festival Orchestra.
Since 2014 Antoaneta Emanuilova has been teaching her own cello class at the Rostock University of Music, since 2016 as an interim professor.
Jonathan Aner, Piano - The Israeli pianist Jonathan Aner has performed as a soloist with Israel's leading orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta. He has won major international piano and chamber music competitions in Melbourne, Florence, Senigallia, Dortmund, Berlin, Weimar and at the European Chamber Music Competition in France. Described as a "chamber musician par excellence" by the Frankfurter Rundschau, Aner is a member of the Brillaner Duo with clarinetist Shirley Brill. He has collaborated with artists including violist Tabea Zimmermann, violinists Antje Weithaas and Daishin Kashimoto, as well as with the Ariel Quartet and the Terpsycordes Quartet. He has performed at the Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, Auditorium du Louvre, Tonhalle Zürich, as well as in Asia and Australia, and has taken part in festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Heidelberger Frühling, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bachfest Leipzig, Festival de Radio France and the Bergen International Festival. Between 2010 - 2017 Jonathan Aner has been a professor of chamber music at the Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin. Since April 2017 he is taking a similar position at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt.
For many years, Tabea Zimmermann has been regarded as one of the most renowned musicians of our time. She began learning the viola at the age of three, studied with Ulrich Koch at the Musikhochschule Freiburg and subsequently with Sandor Vegh at the Mozarteum Salzburg. Following her studies, she received several awards at international competitions, amongst them first prizes at the 1982 Geneva International Competition and the 1984 Budapest International Competition. As a result of winning the 1983 Maurice Vieux Competition in Paris, she received a viola by the contemporary maker Etienne Vatelot on which she has been performing ever since. Since October 2002, she has been a professor at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’ Berlin.
As a soloist she regularly works with the most distinguished orchestras worldwide such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Following residencies in Frankfurt, Weimar, Luxembourg, Hamburg and with the Bamberg Symphony, Tabea Zimmermann was artist-in-residence with the Ensemble Resonanz in 2013/14 and 2014/15, and continues this close collaboration in the new season.
Special highlights of Tabea Zimmermann’s 2017/18 concert season are her season opening concerts with Ensemble Resonanz at the Elbphilharmonie, her concerts with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Lahav Shani, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and David Robertson at musica viva (BR Munich), with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, a concert tour with Les Siècles and Francois-Xavier Roth as well as two premieres: a new work by Brett Dean with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and a new viola concerto by York Höller with the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and, at a later date, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tabea Zimmermann has inspired numerous composers to write for the viola. On the occasion of the Hindemith anniversary in 2013, she released a highly acclaimed complete recording of Paul Hindemith’s works for viola on myrios classics. For her solo CD of works by Reger and Bach with myrios classics in 2009 she received an Echo Klassik prize as Instrumentalist of the Year. Approximately 50 CDs for labels such as EMI, Teldec, and Deutsche Grammophon document her artistry. She is board member of the Hindemith Foundation in Blonay (Switzerland). In 2013, she was appointed chairwoman of the board of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn. Under her aegis, the Beethoven-Woche Bonn takes place every year since January 2015.
"...enormous interpretative achievement, which attests to this new ensemble's deep maturity and stylistic command."