Leo Philipp Schmidt

Composer, Painter, Multi-Media Artist, Author

"... Leo Philipp Schmidt Composer - one who makes a great deal of amazement with mysterious patterns that make one addictive ..." He comes from a parental home marked by painting. Since his childhood, he has been involved with fine art. At the age of sixteen, he joined the program of international rock greats as a rock musician. Leo Philipp Schmidt's compositions range across the styles up to contemporary music. His compositions have been performed and recorded by many international artists. At the  Playboy's Millennium Edition the CD - Contemporary X composed, arranged and recorded by Leo has been elected as  Best Classical album. He was nominated for the German Record Critics' Prize and participated at the Championnat de la Francophonie, the Toronto Music Week. Leo had radio charts placements in Canada and set plays to music. This was followed by numerous radio and television programs including a portrait broadcast on ZDF together with John Cage and the artistic design of the television anniversary broadcast Classical Music on ZDF.


Dr. med Johanna Michel

Anaesthesia Emergency and Intensive Medicine Special Pain Therapy Acupuncture 
Studied Medicine in Munich, Aachen and Heidelberg. 
Many years spent working at Universitäts-Klinikum Mannheim. 
Clinic management Orthopaedic Specialist Clinic. 
Further training in children's pain therapy including time spent in Harvard (USA). 
Specialist for Anaesthesia, Emergency Medicine and Special Pain Therapy. 

Alex Schwers

Drummer (Germany)

Alex Schwers from Gladbeck in the Ruhr area began to teach himself  the drums at the age of 9 after seeing a performance of the NDW band Trio.He has toured with many bands since he was 16 and can be heard on quite a number of  national and international productions.
For example, he recently received a platinum album for his work on the latest release of the Hip Hop Band Deichkind.
He has been drummer of the Hamburg punk band Slime since 2010.
Together with FM Einheit from the Einstürzende Neubauten and Caspar Brötzmann, he recently established a new project and now is increasingly involved in avant-garde sounds.

Balu Rajendrakurups

Percussionist (India)

Balu Rajendrakurups is a South Indian Percussionist and a Carnatic Vocalist. He was born in Kerala, India into a family with a musical background.  Hence, it was no surprise that he started learning Carnatic Music and Tabla from the age of five along with his sister.

Later he had the opportunity to be trained by famous Mridangists in India at the age of 10.In addition Balu learned classical vocal in Chennai.

He started performing at the age of 12 and won several contests at youth festivals and academies. Furthermore, he performed for Indian media like radio and TV. His unique South Indian percussion techniques impressed world music artists, which explains why he collaborates with so many of them.

Known for adapting traditional South Indian percussion instruments to modern instruments like Djembe and Cajon, he formed a music group in Germany called “Amano”, performing all around Europe and passes on the art to new generations in multiple music schools in Germany.


Dennenesch Zoudé

Actress (Ethiopia-Germamy)

Dennenesch Zoudé is a native of Ethiopia and has been living in Germany since the age of two. She is known as Germany's first dark-skinned TV Commissioner Carol Reeding in "Police Call 110". Since then, the popular and successful actress repeatedly slips into various roles. Particular attention is paid to the ARD production "Meine Mutter Tanzend".

The ZDF sends the versatile Berliner as a presenter to Washington for the inauguration of Barak Obama. Although this was an exciting new task, she remains true to acting.

 In 2010, Dennenesch Zoudé plays the lead role in German / American production "Never forget that I love you". The film has been premiered at the Emden Film Festival and nominated for the prestigious Bernhard Wicki Prize.

In 2011 ZDF achieved a sensational quota with the TV drama "Family Secrets" shot in Germany and Kenya, again with Dennenesch Zoudé in the lead role.

In 2012, the non-fiction bestseller "All Power to the Children" is filmed with her in Cape Town.

In 2013, Dennenesch Zoudé embodies the role of Saleema in the historical drama "Götz von Berlichingen".

She is privately involved in the Foundation Fairchance, an educational institution for children


Dilhan Kantas

Viola (Turkey)

The violist Irem Dilhan Kantas was born in Bursa / Turkey.
For her, music means "the fullness of my life and the most faithful companion of my life".
At the age of 12, she was accepted to the State Conservatory of Uludag University Bursa and then studied at the Ankara State Conservatory with Prof. Betil Basegmezler.
As part of an Erasmus scholarship at the Leipzig Conservatory she was taught by Prof. Tatjana Masurenko. Afterwards she continued her studies with Prof. Claudia Bussian.After completing his diploma, Dilhan went to the Masters degree program at the University of Arts Berlin under Yuta Nishiyama.
Already during her studies she played with youth orchestras as well as professional orchestras in Germany, at numerous festivals like "Bachfest, Leipzig", "SWR Festspiele, Schwetzingen" and "Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festspiele".
As a scholarship holder of the "Villa Musica, Rheinland-Pfalz" she has performed together with renowned musicians such as Daniel Gaede, Andreas Lehnert, Wolfram Christ, Jenz Peter Maintz, Christian Rieger and Midori Seiler.
"She attended masterclasses with Tatjana Masurenko and the Apple Hill Summer Chamber Music Festival in the USA.
Dilhan was an academician of the "Komische Oper, Berlin".
In 2015, she has been invited to Japan as a chamber music teacher for the Chichibu International Music Festival.
She is a member of the "Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, Leipzig" and a passionate chamber music player in various occupations.

Jessie Brown

Singer – Vocal Coach ( Canada)

Jessie Brown - A great singer-vocal coach with an unbelievable, multi-faceted voice,

grounded by the breathtaking wild landscape of the Canadian Atlantic coast.


Josep Castanyer-Alonso

Violoncello (Barcelona)

Josep Castanyer-Alonso was born in Barcelona and studied violoncello in the class of Prof. Maria Kliegel at the University of Music and Dance Cologne. He finished his high school diploma at the age of 16 and at that age was admitted to the class of Prof. Kliegel in Cologne as one of the youngest students of the university. From September 2015 he completed a master program with the Alinde Quartet at the Conservatorio Reina Sofía in Madrid with Günter Pichler.

At the age of 6 he received his first cello lessons and at the age of 12 he was accepted into the integrated music school "Oriol Martorell" in Barcelona. At the age of 13, he also attended the Liceu Music Academy in Barcelona as a junior student of Prof. Peter Thiemann and also received lessons from Prof. Lluís Claret.

He has attended several masterclasses and festivals (including AIMS Festival, Verbier Festival, Forum Artium and Accademia Chigiana) and has been taught by professors such as Gustav Rivinius, Christoph Richter, Roël Dieltiens, András Schiff, Alain Meunier, Lynn Harrell, Gábor Tákacs-Nagy, Ferenc Rados, Antonio Meneses, Michel Strauss, and others

Catherine De Léan

Actress (Quebec-Canada)

Catherine de Léan graduated from drama school at the Conservatoire d'art dramatique in Montreal in 2005. In 2004, she debuted in Europe, where she participated in the production JEDIWO - a street theater project in Saint Malo, Miliau and Brouage, France. Her film career began with a starring role in Stéphane Lapointes' LA VIE SECRÈTE DE GENS HEUREUX film, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Whistler Film Festival in Canada. Many other film projects followed, including À VOS MARQUES!, PARTY, LA CAPTURE and LE BANQUET. In 2012 she was honored by the Canadian Academy of Film and Television with the "Genie Award" for Best Actress for her performance as the lead role in NUIT # 1 production. In addition to Matthias Schweighöfer, Catherine played the role of Nathalie in the film SCHLUSSMACHER produced by Pantaleon Films and the 20th Century Fox of Germany.

Catherine de Léan also played a leading role alongside Pierre Deladonchamps (nominated César), Gabriel Arcand (nominated César) in the –A Kid-, directed by Philippe Lioret.

Laura Maria Heid

Actress (Swiss-Germany)

Laura Maria Heid est une apparence délicate, mais avec énormément d'énergie et de puissance. Ce contraste certain est indicatif de la gamme des possibilités ludiques de Laura. Elle est la gamine et la fille d'à côté, le punk et le meilleur de la classe, l'it-girl et l'alpiniste. Visuellement, la Suisse native est indubitable avec son apparence légèrement asiatique. Après des études d'acteur à Berlin, Laura a rapidement pris pied dans son métier et depuis lors est apparu dans de nombreux formats différents. 

Leandro Saint-Hill

Saxophone (Cuba)

Born in Cuba, Leandro Saint-Hill discovered the saxophone when he was 11 years old. After studying at the José White Music School, he taught at the Conservatory in Las Tunas. Moving to La Havana allowed Leandro to work with such greats as Tanja, Beatriz M., Carlos Maza Quintet and El Médico de la Salsa.

Leandro went to Hamburg. His soundtrack for the road movie "Cuban Dreams" earned him a Grammy nomination. In addition, he has collected with Patrice, G. Rubalcaba, Mercado Negro, J. Barreto, Isolanos, Willy Chirino, musical "Hope" and many other studio and stage experience.

In addition to his band (Saint-Hill Colectivo) and his work as a music teacher, Leandro also successfully participates in other projects such as Omar Sosa, Cuarteto Chanchullo, Trilok Gurtu, Tony M. & The Cuban Power and Fabiola Saccomano.

With his unique style, Leandro St. Hill is one of the most popular saxophonists of the Latin-Funk scene.

Leila Weber

Viola (Germany)

Leila Weber studied Viola with Wolfram Christ at the University of Music Freiburg/ Breisgau and with Walter Küssner at the Music University Hanns Eisler Berlin from where she graduated. Tabea Zimmermann and Jörg Widmann gave additional musical guidance to her.

Already at the age of 15, she played in a string quartet with which she won various competitions and scholarships among others at the Fellhauer Foundation and in Los Angeles at the Idyllwild Arts Festival.

She has performed with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Ensemble Resonanz Hamburg, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Faustquartett and Miranda Quartet. For many years, she has been working closely with the orchestras of "El Sistema" in Venezuela, where she teaches regularly. In 2016, she founded Hangarmusik, an orchestra for refugee children. 

Magdalena Makowska

Violin (Poland)

Magdalena Makowska was born in Warszawa, Poland. She received her first violin lessons at the age of six from D. Wolnomiejska in her hometown. There she also studied at the F. Chopin Music Academy under Miroslaw Lawrynowicz. Then she continued her studies at the University of the Arts in Berlin with Tomasz Tomaszewski and the Artemis Quartet. At the same time she graduated with her string quartet at the European Chamber Music Academy , among others with Hatto Beyerle. She is a laureate of several solo and chamber music competitions (inter alia, in the monastery Schöntal, Takasaki and Weimar) and has appeared as a soloist in numerous European countries, as well as in Japan and the United States.

Magdalena Makowska is a permanent member of the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.


Marit Vliegenthart

Violin (The Netherlands)

Marit Vliegenthart is a dutch violinist and lives in Berlin.  She studied at the Manhattan School of Music with Yoko Takebe and Michael Gilbert and the Amsterdam Conservatory with Vera Beths where she received her Master Degree. As a teenager she studies with Bouw Lemkes for ten years.

At this moment Marit has a contract with the first violins at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. As a freelance violinist Marit plays regularly with ensembles and orchestras like the Kammerakademie Potsdam, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Komische Oper Berlin, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. Marit is a member of the chamber orchestras Le Concert Olympique and Metamorphosen Berlin.

Since 2016 Marit is the artistic leader of the chamber music festival Kamermuziekdagen Oudewater.

During her studies Marit played in the Verbier Festival Orchestra, Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester, European Union Youth Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and the Britten-Pears Orchestra. Marit has also been the concertmaster of the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands.

Max Solo

Guitar (Russia)

Max Solo is an exceptional guitarist who combines so many different styles. Drawing on this wealth, he creates his own unmistakable way of playing.

The Russian-born Max Solo not only has a musical talent, but also speaks 4 foreign languages, including English, his native language Russian, German and Japanese.

Max Solo studied at the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering. He then completed a post-graduate degree at the Technical University of Berlin. Simultaneously with his studies in Moscow, he took a music course at the "May Lian's Guitar School" in Moscow.

He was a prizewinner at the Russian National Guitar Competition and won the 1st Prize at the Star FM Pop for Rock Contest in Berlin.

Max Solo has been involved in CD productions with Alexey Vitakov, Joana Zimmer, Stella Nova and Blind Bankers and others.

In addition to the music program at Aida Cruises, he has participated in various musical productions such as Hair, Rocky Horror Show, the Karl Marx Musical, We Will Rock You.

And he was and is represented at numerous festivals from the Carnival of Cultures to the Chiemsee Reggae Summer.

Miguel Pérez Iñesta

Miguel Pérez Iñesta studied piano, clarinet and dance in Asturias, Spain, before moving to Berlin in 2003, where he continued his studies with clarinetist and conductor Prof. Karl Heinz Steffens at the Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule. Between 2005 and 2007 Miguel was a member of the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2008 he founded his own new music ensemble, Zafraan Ensemble, where he is currently part of the Artistic Direction team.

Miguel concentrates his activities around four principal tasks: conducting, his Ensemble Zafraan, solo and his appearances as a guest musician with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

He has conducted in France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Norway and has been engaged as assistant musical director at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Staatsoper Berlin for different opera productions. His work with stage directors like Sabrina Hölzer, Matthias Rebstock, Iñigo Giner Miranda or Daniel Pfluger has contributed to open even more his view of music as a very expressive and accurate communication tool.

Miguel returns every year to the Podium Festival Esslingen, where he always proposes his novel and refreshing personal view on the works he conducts. In the last few festival editions, he has been working on space and listening experience, recontextualizing the pieces played by changing the place they are presented in, encouraging the audience to move or even making the sound source (the musicians) move around/among the audience, following different patterns and turning the concert into a 360 degrees experience.

He has worked repeatedly with the Experimentalstudio of the SWR and some of his concerts have been retransmitted live by Deutschlandfunk, RBB Kulturradio, SWR, Deutschland Radiokultur and Radio Nacional de España.

Nadja Bobyleva

Actress (Russia-Germany)

Nadja Bobyleva was born in 1983 in Moscow and attended the art and theater school Klass-Center at the age of seven. Nadja came to Germany at the age of nine and initially lived in Cologne. Many years of acting classes with Bettina Dorn and her mother Natascha Bobyleva created the basis for her first film engagement in 2000 - ENGEL & JOE - a feature film debut - and subsequently provided numerous film and television offerings. Nadja began her acting studies in 2002 at the University of Music and Drama in Hanover. In parallel, she completed 2004 a year of residence at the State Theater Arts Academy in St. Petersburg. Following her apprenticeship in Hannover, Nadja played in 2006 alongside other engagements the Laura in DIE GLASMENAGERIE at the Theater an der Glocksee.

Later, Nadja moved to Los Angeles, where she was a regular member of a theater for the following years. In 2004, she received the Günter Strack Television Award for her roles in the TV productions THE FRIEND OF MY MOTHER, RAUS INS LIFE and TATORT-Janus. One year earlier, she was nominated for the Förderpreis Deutscher Film for her portrayal of 17-year-old Klara in the television film RAUS INS LEBEN. In addition to numerous film and television roles, she played the Katje in the Movie Bridge of Spies, directed by Steven Spielberg.


Natalie Plöger

Bass (Germany)

Olga Holdorff

Violin (Germany, Greece)

Olga Holdorff, born in Berlin, studied at the University of the Arts in Berlin with Jan Tomes, Tomasz Tomaszewski and at the University of Music and Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" in Leipzig with Mariana Sirbu and Lothar Strauss. She has performed at the Komische Oper Berlin, at the Staatstheater Braunschweig, at the Staatsoper Hannover, at the Berliner Symphoniker, as well as in various chamber music formations, among others with the Ensemble Zwischentöne and at the Ensemble Modern Sommerakademie.

Her teaching for the Foundation Barenboim-Said in Palestine, master classes and concerts for El Sistema led her to Venezuela for several months, funded by the Goethe-Institut and the German Music Council. She is the founder of the Berlin Music Ensemble.

Rayna Valeva

Bass (Bulgaria)

Rayna Valeva was born in Varna, Bulgaria and completed her Abitur (German university entrance examination) in Double Bass and Singing at the German Nationales Kunstgymnasium, a secondary school specializing in the Arts, at the age of 18. In the same year, she had won first prize in the German national youth competition "Jugend Musiziert".

Rayna, a prize winner of the Academic Competition Sofia, studied at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold (Detmold College of Music), first on the diploma study programme and then on the Master's Course in cooperation with the Orchesterzentrum NRW.

She regularly plays with the Detmold chamber orchestra and in the world music ensemble Vinorosso. She has gained further experience with the renowned symphony orchestra of the NDR Hamburg and with the Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra, Herford.

won first prize in the German national youth competition "Jugend Musiziert".

Sarah and Susan Wang

Piano Duo (USA)

Taiwanese-American twin sisters Susan and Sarah Wang are an internationally renowned piano duo team. Originally from the New York City area, they have appeared numerous times in concert in Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Steinway Hall in New York City. Currently the sisters are living in Germany and actively performing world-wide as a piano duo team as well as teaching and performing solo and chamber music.

Susan and Sarah are recent prizewinners in the prestigious ARD International Two Piano Competition in Munich 2010. The sisters won 2nd prize in the world-renowned Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition in 2008. In addition, the sisters hold third prize in the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Preis in Berlin in 2009, third place in the 4th International Piano Duos Competition in Bialystok, Poland in 2008, and second prize in the Ellis National Duo Competition in the United States.

Orchestral performances include the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra in Munich as well as with the Munich Rundfunk Orchestra, the Norddeutscher Philharmonic Orchestra in Rostock, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, the Florida Classical Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Michigan Symphony under Kenneth Kiesler.

The twin sisters were born and raised in Ridgewood, NJ. They began piano and violin studies at the age of seven. They studied piano with Dmitry Rachmanov at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division. Susan and Sarah both attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where they received their Bachelor degrees in piano performance under the tutelage of Professor Louis Nagel. In 2007 they each completed their Masters degree in piano solo at Manhattan School of Music with Dr. Marc Silverman.

The sisters successfully completed their Konzert Exam studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany in 2012 with Professors Hans-Peter and Volker Stenzl. They currently hold teaching positions in public and private schools in Rostock, Schwerin and Berlin.

Susan and Sarah have given outreach performance programs in the states of California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York as well as in many cities in Germany.


Vocal Ensemble (Germany-Italy-France)