Greek pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos studied at Juilliard with amongst others Rudolf Serkin and Tatjana Nikolayeva. Simultaneously and with the encouragement of Chick Corea, he began to improvise in jazz contexts. Ever since he has followed parallel paths. His association with bassist Arild Andersen brought him to ECM in 1999. After releasing a solo album “Akroasis”, based on Byzantine hymns, he formed a duo with German cellist Anja Lechner, their debut recording “Chants, Hymns and Dances”, within music of Gurdjieff and Tsabropoulos an international cross-cultural success.
Anja Lechner studied with Jan Polasek, Heinrich Schiff and Janos Starker. She is a founder member of the Rosamunde Quartet, whose ECM recordings (of music by Mansurian, Haydn, Shostakovich and more) have received praise on both sides of the Atlantic, and is also featured on Valentin Silvestrov’s Grammy-nominated chamber music album “leggiero, pesante”.
Lechner has also long been involved with aspects of improvisation in different traditions. Her interest in Tango Nuevo led to the Rosamunde Quartet’s “Kultrum” collaboration with Argentinian bandoneonist/composer Dino Saluzzi, to many duo concerts with the bandoneonist and to the album “Ojos Negros”. Lechner also plays in projects with Ukrainian pianist Misha Alperin (albums “Night”, “Her First Dance”), and French pianist François Couturier (“Nostalghia - Song for Tarkovsky”).
Largely self-taught, Italian drummer U.T. Gandhi took workshops with Jimmy Cobb (drummer on the legendary “Kind of Blue”) in the late 1970s and with Peter Erksine in the 80s and 90s. He was a member of Enrico Rava’s Electric Five band and plays often today with Miroslav Vitous. His first ECM recording was “Juan Condori”, recorded with Dino Saluzzi in Argentina in 2005. He has played with a wide range of Italian and international musicians, from Gianluigi Trovesi to Lee Konitz.