Members of the Jury (Soloists)
Chairman of the Jury
Marlon Chen is considered one of the most versatile and dynamic conductors of his generation, he is equally at home conducting opera, ballet, and the symphonic repertoire. Since 2004, he has been music director of the Maggini Ensemble, one of the most exciting Chamber Orchestras on the classical scene. An assistant conductor of the Orchestre de Paris since 2010, he is frequently guest conducting in Europe and in the Americas. From 2002-2009, he was music director of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, past positions include conductor of the University of Incarnate Word and staff conductor at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He has made guest appearances with many of the world’s finest orchestras such as Opera National de Lorrine, Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, National Orchestre d’ile de France, MAV orchestra of Hungary, Orquestra Sinfonica de Xalapa, English School of Opera Festival Orchestra in London, Cadaques Orchestra, Bulgarian State Opera, Festival Orchestra de Sofia, Moldova Chamber Orchestra, Silesian Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, and the San Antonio Symphony.
While he was with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, he was involved with two international tours and was the longest tenured conductor in the history of the organization. With innovative and creative programming he has led the Maggini Ensemble consistently to sold out performances where the Houston Chronicle once praised him for his eloquent gestures and remaking “..the performance was beautiful!” With Maggini, the ensemble was a star feature with the Uniquely Houston Series at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and was instrumental in providing out-reach concerts to thousands of students in the Houston area.
A champion of new music, he has given more than 50 premiers and helped in the commissioning of many works for up and coming composers. As a composer/arranger he has often performed his own works with the major orchestras he has conducted. Mr. Chen is a National Presser Foundation recipient, and in 2007 he received a generous grant from the Institute of Hispanic Culture Award in Houston to research and orchestrate the music of the Tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Currently based in Paris, France, Mr. Chen is frequently guest conducting and working on personal compositional projects.
Versatile violinist Alexandra Bartoi, who makes guest appearances as a soloist and demanded chamber music partner throughout Germany and Europe, also gives lessons and is a founding member of different chamber music formations. Following an engagement at Gewandhausorchester Leipzig she additionally became a permanent member of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in 2010.
Alexandra Bartoi was born in Bucharest (Romania) and grew up in Hamburg. In 2009 she moved to Leipzig, after having finished her studies in Hamburg and New York.
She started studying at the Hamburg School of Music and Theater, where she was taught by Laurent Albrecht Breuninger and Christoph Schickedanz. The last two years in university she spent at the Manhattan School of Music (New York) which lead her to Sylvia Rosenberg and Laurie Carney.
In addition to her appearances as a soloist (i.a. at Gewandhaus Leipzig, Laeiszhalle Hamburg and Weill Recital Hall in New York), the young violinist is particularly passionate about chamber music. During her studies Alexandra Bartoi founded the Bartoi Quartet. In 2016 she brought the alive! Quartet into being visiting the Ideal Chaos Festival, the Würfelspiele des MDR (“Dice games” of the MDR) and the MDR Musiksommer (MDR “summer of music”). Her collaboration with the American String Quartet, the Alban Berg Quartet and the Tokyo String Quartet had a decisive influence on her chamber music projects.
Alexandra Bartoi has a special relationship with the music of Romanian composer George Enescu (1881–1955): it equally drives her forward and is a source of inner peace as well as a constant reconnection to her own Romanian roots. On the basis of this very personal relationship Alexandra Bartoi developed the desire to regain a place in the musical landscape for Enescu’s almost forgotten musical heritage. Consequently, she set up The Enescu Project in 2016. It consists of a group of young men united in the wish to re-enact Enescu’s chamber music in various locations in Germany and Europe as well as to establish a chamber music festival at the composer’s birthplace. Her 2016 concerts in Leipzig were followed by an invitation to the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest (Romania) in 2017 and a concert series at the UT Connewitz (Leipzig) for the 2017/18 season.
Andreas Weller was born in Vienna, Austria in 1978. As son of Maestro Walter Weller (former concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and leader of the acclaimed self titled “Weller Quartet”) who was an international highly respected conductor and as grandson of Franz Samohyl (as well a former first violinist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) who was one of the major violin teachers throughout Europe at his time he grew up in a very musical and art oriented surrounding and therefore started playing the piano at the age of 7. Later he was to go on studying piano classes with Prof. Sedo-Stadler (professor of acclaimed pianist Till Fellner) and his grandmother Maria Samohyl.
Only at the age of 11 he started his first piano compositions that he performed himself at smaller venues throughout Vienna. After joining the “Vienna Jazz Conservatorium” and learning classical orchestration through to his father, he started working as a songwriter and producer and released his first CD by the age of 20. Later on he worked in different recording studios throughout Europe, the US and Brazil with producers and musicians like Craig Armstrong, the famous string arranger (Madonna, Massive Attack, U2) and film music composer (Elizabeth-the golden Age, Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge, The Bone Collector), Corey Rooney (producer of Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Destiny’s Child), Christian Eigner (drummer of Depeche Mode), Latin Grammy award winner Guto Graça Mello and Trevor Morais (Tina Turner, Bjork). Beside two further recordings with one single released under the Warner Music Germany label additional songs were featured in the Brazilian cinema movies “Muito Gelo y dois dedos de agua” (2006), directed by Daniel Filho (City of Angels) and “Sexo com Amor” (2008) as well as in the Brazilian novella “Caras e Bocas” (2009).
In 2009 his first classical composition for big orchestra “As cataratas do Iguazú” premiered with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra in Trondheim, Norway. Two concerts followed in Madrid, in October 2009 with the Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE in Madrid, which was later also broadcasted on television, and in Valencia with the Orquesta de Valencia in 2010 respectively. Further performances followed with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (two concerts in Cardiff and Swansea), the National Orchestra of Belgium and the “Stuttgarter Philharmonic” to name a few. Besides smaller piano compositions he has been working on a piano concerto, a piece entitled “El Cid” for big orchestra and a 10 minute orchestra piece named “Aiguille du midi”.
In 2008 he commenced working as personal assistant for his father Maestro Weller and took over the duties of his management in 2010. In 2013 Andreas Weller officially launched the agency “Cougar Artist Management” based in Vienna, Austria and Valencia, Spain. Each outstanding in his own right, his agency comprises some of the finest, most highly respected and acclaimed artists of today’s music world such as Darrell Ang, Andrey Baranov, Sergey Kuznetsov, Nikita Boriso-Glebsky, Stefan Vladar, Josep Vicent, Severin v Eckardstein, Plamena Mangova, Alexander Kniazev, Alexander Zemtsov, Yaron Traub - only to name a few.
Marc Feldman began his career in the music industry as an accomplished musician. After completing his education in the New York, he went on to study bassoon with Manuel Zegler, the Principal Bassoon of the New York Philharmonic at the Mannes College of Music. In the summer of 1981 he was awarded a scholarship to attend the American Conservatory, in Fontainebleau, France where he studied composition with Henri Dutilleux and bassoon with André Senedat, Principal Bassoon of the Orchestre de Paris. Marc went on to complete his degrees in performance, chamber music and teaching at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, where he graduated with honors.
Marc was member of the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra in 1987 and 1988, where he performed with Seiji Osawa, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Rodger Norrington, Leon Fleischer, Heinz Werner Henze, Oliver Knussen, Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Tilson Thomas and Leonard Bernstein. Marc has performed with such orchestras as Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Lorrain, Opera de Marseille, Opera de Lyon, Orchestre de la Radio de Luxembourg, as well as numerous festival orchestras in France and Italy. He was principal bassoon of the Orchestre National de Lyon and co-principal bassoon of the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, Portugal.
In parallel with his orchestral performance Marc was a member of numerous contemporary music ensembles including Ars Nova and Alternance, in France and Divertimento Ensemble di Milano, in Italy. He also created his own ensemble at the Theatre La Bruyere, in Paris and was founding member of the Association Grand Ecart for the music, theatre, visual arts and circus performance. The Grand Ecart production of Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale went to perform for the Opera Bastille after a run of over 110 shows throughout France.
In 1998, Marc started his career in administration, as the Musical Assistant to the Artistic Direction of the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts in Alberta, Canada, where he organized the world premieres of French and Canadian composers.
In 2003, Marc became the administrator of the Orchestre pour la Paix, an orchestra comprised of Israeli and Arab musicians who performed as an example of dialogue and peace in the world. Under Marc’s leadership the OPLP, performed 5 national and international tours in Europe, including a concert for the International Nobel Prize Forum in Petra, Jordan in the presence of his Holiness the Dalai Lama. The concert under the auspices of King Abdullah of Jordan and Nobel Prize Laureate, Elie Wiesel.
In 2005, Marc won the League of American Orchestra’s Management Fellowship, where he worked with the Aspen Festival, the Oregon Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestre. In 2006 he was appointed to the Executive Directorship of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2010 Marc was nominated for the Executive of the Year Award for Sacramento and was awarded the California Legislator’s Citation for his work with the state’s diverse community. In 2011, Marc returned to France to lead the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne. Under his leadership the orchestra has become known for its innovative programming reflecting the full potential of orchestral music in the 21 st century. Marc lectures in fundraising for the Association of French Fundraisers and lectures on Change Management in the business community.
Eason Yisheng Liu
Yisheng Liu is a leading character in the classical music management industry in China. With more than fifteen years’ industrial experience, he has been the manager for many top Chinese classical musicians, supporting their professional careers and maintaining their existing high profile. In 2011, Yisheng Liu founded Major Performing Arts Group (Major Music in short), managing top Chinese classical artists and ensembles, including such categories as violin, piano, cello, voice, conducting, composition, chamber music, orchestra, and many others. Yisheng Liu has a wide connection and good reputation both domestically and internationally, and also a deep understanding of classical music industry in China, which enables him to plan ahead both for himself and the company.
Prior to entering this industry, Yisheng Liu has been working in music education, printing and digital media, public relation, advertising, and event planning. Yisheng Liu holds a master’s degree in cultural and art management from Peking University, and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Capital Normal University.