Isabelle van Keulen, violin

Whenever Isabelle van Keulen is playing, most of the time you are in awe. The violinist effortlessly enthralls her audience, doing so with impeccable technique, while enchanting you with her sound quality and intense expression.

Her musical versatility is her trademark. She plays violin ánd viola, leads chamber orchestras and performs chamber music in all kinds of forms and combinations, including the Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble, which is specialized in Nuevo Tango by Astor Piazzolla. She is also committed to music by contemporary composers.

She sees music as language: at all concerts there is inspiration and enthusiasm over and over again.

From 1984, when Isabelle van Keulen broke through by winning the Eurovision Young Musician of the Year Competition, she has been steadily building an international career, playing with large orchestras in Europe and the US and working with conductors of name, including Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Hartmut Haenchen and Valery Gergiev.  She can also be found on stage as a chamber musician. Isabelle was founder of the Delft International Chamber Music Festival. In the Netherlands she is known to a wide audience as one of the jurors of the television program ‘Maestro’.

Ulrike Payer, piano

Ulrike Payer counts among the most versatile pianists of our time. Her repertoire not only includes solo pieces, as well as all renowned concerts and chamber music pieces and lieder, but also covers various styles and eras, from Baroque to modern day classical music.

Having been born into a theatre-based family in Wuppertal, Ulrike Payer studied in Brussels, Cologne and Hanover, winning several international prizes. Additionally she studied with Alexis Weissenberg, Tatjana Nikolajewa and the Amadeus Quartet.

Apart from working with different orchestras und such renowned conductors as Christoph Eschenbach, Kirill Petrenko, Alan Gilbert and Herbert Blomstedt, Ulrike is a regular guest at festivals throughout the world, for example at Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Peking Festival, and La folle journée in Japan.

As a pianist, Ulrike Payer distinguished herself not only in the world of classical music, but also as an interpreter of Tango Argentino. An encounter with Alfredo Marcucci in 1998 was followed by concert appearances and an intense and fundamental exploration of the genre. Consequently, Ulrike Payer played concerts alongside the most prominent Argentinian musicians, such as Cholo Montroni, Norberto Bondino, Carlos Buono and the Sexteto Mayor. From the very beginning, Ulrike is an important member of the Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble.

Her chamber music partners include Isabelle van Keulen und Orfeo Mandozzi; in recent years, she has co-operated with Christan Poltéra, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Alisa Weilerstein and Sol Gabetta. From 1999 to 2013 Ulrike Payer held a teaching assignment at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. From 2004 to 2015, she has been teaching at the Musikhochschule Mainz and the Musikhochschule Saarbrücken.

Various Radio-, CD- and TV recordings document the wide variety of the artist’s work.