Miki Aoki

© Silke Woweries

Praised for “genuinely memorable performance” by BBC Music Magazine, pianist Miki Aoki is widely recognized for her diverse abilities as pianist and collaborative artist.

As a frequent guest artist of prestigious concert series and festivals around the world, Ms. Aoki has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, St. Martin-in-the Fields, St. John’s Smith Square, the Royal Festival Hall and the Purcell Room at South Bank Centre, the Barbican Centre, Blackheath Halls (UK), Laeizhalle Hamburg, Gasteig München, Philharmonie Essen, Beethovensaal Hannover (Germany), Philia Hall, Munetsugu Hall (Japan), Wiener Saal (Austria), St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall (Russia) as well as in festivals such as Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommen, Rheingau Musik Festival (Germany), Menuhin Festival Gstaad (Switzerland), International Chamber Music Festival Silver Lyre (Russia), Beaulieu-sur-la Mer (France), Valdres Festival (Norway), Copenhagen Summer Music Festival (Denmark), Salzburger Festspiele and Steirisches Kammermusik Festival (Austria), Tertis International Viola Competition and Festival (Isle of Man), Tembi Festival (Indonesia), Phnom Penh International Music festival (Cambodia) and International Classical Music Festival (Myanmar).

As a collaborative pianist Ms. Aoki has been employed by the Heifetz International Music Institute, International Summer Academy Mozarteum Salzburg, Mattheiser Sommer-Akademie, International Summer Academy Bad Leonfelden, International Mendelssohn Summer School, International Violin Masterclasses at Kronberg Academy and Konturen Brühl.

Ms. Aoki regularly plays for lessons and masterclasses of internationally renowned musicians including Yuri Bashmet, Christoph Eschenbach, Christian Tetzlaff, Maxim Vengerov and Tabea Zimmermann. Since 2009, Ms. Aoki has been engaged as a pianist at the prestigious Kronberg Academy in Germany working with exceptionally talented young performers.

Currently based in New York City, Ms. Aoki is a Doctorate Candidate at SUNY Stony Brook and is a teaching assistant under Gilbert Kalish. Since September 2019, Ms. Aoki has been working at the Juilliard School as the studio pianist for Professor Carol Rodland.

Thomas Hoppe

© Frank Jehrke Berlin

He has performed with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Antje Weithaas, Tabea Zimmermann, Alban Gerhardt, Jens Peter Maintz and Frans Helmerson, to name but a few. Born in 1971, the German pianist went to the USA as a student of Lee Luvisi and later completed his studies at the Juilliard School in New York City, where he was a long-time studio pianist for Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman.

As pianist of the ATOS Trio, he performs worldwide and has won many prizes and awards since the group formed in 2003. Recently, a complete recording of Ludwig van Beethovens piano trios was released as a live recording from Wigmore Hall. Hoppe also regularly tours internationally and records with the ensemble 4.1 piano windtet.

For what has been almost two decades, Hoppe continues his association as piano partner for international competitions, such as the Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels, the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover, the Indianapolis Violin Competition or the Singapore International Violin Competition.

He teaches master classes in piano accompaniment and chamber music throughout Europe, Australia, China, South America and the USA, most recently as a lecturer at the Zhuhai Violin Festival 2020 or as a jury member at the Trondheim Chambermusic Competition TICC 2019.

Appearances with string quartets complete his concert schedule - with the Shanghai Quartet, the Modigliani Quartet, the Mandelring Quartet or the Simply Quartet.

Since April 2018 he is professor of piano chambermusic at the Folkwang University in Essen. He also continues to work at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin, and, with the ATOS Trio, teaches chambermusic at the Accademia Perosi in Biella, Italy.

Thomas Hoppe lives with his family and dog Filou in Berlin.

Boris Kusnezow

© Zuzanna Specjal

Boris Kusnezow is one of the most sought after collaborative pianists of his generation. He performs with eminent instrumentalists and singers worldwide. His performances have taken him to renowned concert venues such as the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, the Kioi-Hall in Tokyo, the Munich Gasteig and the Berlin Philharmonie.

His artistic activities are documented in 12 CDs and numerous radio recordings. The German press (FAZ, Süddeutsche, Fono Forum, among others) have repeatedly praised him as a chamber musician and several of his CDs have been nominated for prizes, including the Opus Klassik and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

Boris Kusnezow is in demand as an official pianist for some of the world’s most prestigious instrumental and singing competitions, most recently being invited to the ARD Competition in Munich, the Joseph Joachim Competition in Hannover and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.

Boris Kusnezow was born in Moscow and began his musical education at the traditional Gnessin Academy. He has lived in Germany from the age of eight and completed his musical studies in Hannover with Professor Bernd Goetzke. Thereafter followed first place at the German Music Competition, international awards such as Fellowship of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and scholarships from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.

In addition to his active performing activities, he is founder of the piano chamber music academy „Chamber Lab“ in Montecastelli/ Italy, organises an international music masterclass in Schloss Bückeburg (IMAS) and volunteers for the Loewe Foundation, where he focuses on the promotion of classical music.

Teaching has become an important element in Kusnezow‘s artistic career. In 2020 he was appointed professor for piano chamber music at the University for Music and Theatre „Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy“ Leipzig.

Paul Rivinius

© MolinaVisuals

Pianist Paul Rivinius, born in 1970, received his first piano lessons at the age of five. His teachers were first Gustaf Grosch in Munich, later Alexander Sellier, Walter Blankenheim and Nerine Barrett at the University of music in Saarbrücken. After graduating from High School he also studied horn with Marie-Luise Neunecker at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and continued his piano studies with Raymund Havenith. In 1994 he was accepted into Gerhard Oppitz’s master class at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, which he completed with honours in 1998. Paul Rivinius was for a long time member of the National Youth Orchestra of Germany and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. 

As a chamber musician, he won several prizes with the Clemente Trio, founded in 1986, for example at the renowned ARD Music Competition in Munich in 1998 and subsequently performed as the “Rising Star”-ensemble in the worlds ten most important concert halls, including Carnegie Hall in New York and Wigmore Hall in London. 

Paul Rivinius also plays in the Rivinius Piano Quartet together with his brothers Benjamin, Gustav and Siegfried. Since 2004 he has also been pianist of the Mozart Piano Quartet, which has gained international reputation through extensive tours in North and South America and Asia. 

In 2018 the Mozart Piano Quartet received the “Opus Klassik” for the recording of Georg Hendrik Witte’s Piano Quartet for MDG Dabringhaus & Grimm. Paul Rivinius was part of numerous radio and CD productions with cellists Julian Steckel, Johannes Moser and with the Swedish soprano Camilla Tilling to name a few. 

Paul Rivinius taught for many years as professor of chamber music at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin and lives now in Munich.