Johannette Zomer - soprano
The Dutch soprano Johannette Zomer began her studies at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam in 1990 with Charles van Tassel, after having worked as a microbiology analyst for several years. In June 1997 she was awarded her Performance Diploma. Since then she has received coaching by Diane Forlano (London), Claudia Visca (Wuppertal) and Marlena Malas (New York). Her repertoire ranges from medieval music through all music of the baroque and classical eras, including opera, but also Lieder, French Romanticism and Contemporary music. The prestigious ‘Gramophone' magazine said of her: "A new voice to watch".
Johannette's concert appearances are also many and various. She has worked with Baroque specialists such as Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt, René Jacobs, Reinard Goebel and Paul McCreesh, but has also worked with conductors including Kent Nagano, Daniel Harding, Ivan Fischer, Marcus Creed and Valery Gergiev. In 2008 she made her debut with both the Concertgebouw Orchestra (in the Matthew Passion conducted by Ivan Fischer) and the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg (in the B minor Mass under Ivor Bolton). Further she regularly gives recitals accompanied by theorbo player Fred Jacobs or fortepiano specialist Arthur Schoonderwoerd.
In October 1996 Johannette made her opera debut as Tebaldo in Verdi's Don Carlo with the Nationale Reisopera. Since then she has made regular appearances in roles including Belinda, Pamina, La Musica, Euridice, Dalinda and Ilia, and also as Amanda in Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre and Mélisande in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. In January 2009 she made her debut at the Netherlands Opera in a new production by David Alden/Ivor Bolton of Cavalli's Ercole Amante.
Bart Schneemann - oboe
Bart Schneemann was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1954. He completed his studies in The Netherlands with Han de Vries in 1977. His early gained orchestra experience led to his appointment as principal oboist of the celebrated Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (chief conductor Valery Gergiev). He held this position until 1996 when he decided to focus on building a career as a soloist. As music director, he restyled and increased the artistic range and possibilities of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble which is recognized as being one of the best wind ensembles in the world. With them he concretizes and records extensively and the commission a large quantity of composers to write works especially for them. Bart Schneemann is a master in various fields of music. This fact, among other aspects, made him the unanimous winner of the prestigious 3M Music Laureate Prize in 1991. From 1995 - apart from playing his modern instrument - he started to play his baroque oboe more and more and started to rethink his way of playing the vast baroque oboe repertoire. He is now equally comfortable on both instruments. Apart from playing the standard repertoire, he plays a huge amount of contemporary works. His virtuoso and musically sensitive playing has attracted the attention of many first rate contemporary composers. Several of them have written works especially for him including Tristan Keuris, Wolfgang Rihm, John Zorn, Theo Verbey, Giia Kantcheli and Kevin Volans. Bart has performed as a soloist with conductors like Valery Gergiev, Edo de Waart, Hartmut Haenchen, Thierry Fischer, Lev Markiz, Frans Brüggen, Roy Goodman and Ton Koopman. Apart from playing, he holds the position of oboe professor at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
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