Alexander Raskatov whom Alfred Schnittke once called “one of the most interesting composers of his generation” has received commissions for new works from Gidon Kremer, the Sabine Meyer Wind Ensemble, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Hilliard Ensemble and the Schoenberg Ensemble, among others. He received the composition prize of the Salzburg Easter Festival in 1998. Raskatov was born in Moscow in 1953 and finished his studies at Moscow Conservatory in 1978. In 1990 he joined the Russian Contemporary Music Association. His interests center especially on vocal and instrumental chamber music and symphonic sonorities.
Dennis Russell Davies (born in 1944 in Toledo, Ohio) has appeared on 18 much-acclaiemed ECM recordings featuring works by Mozart, Pärt, Kancheli and Strawinsky among others. Championing music by Henze, Cage, Glass, Pärt, Kancheli etc. he has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous pieces by living composers along with
the standard classical works. After several directorial posts at major orchestras and opera houses on both sides of the Atlantic he became chief conductor of the Bruckner-Orchester Linz and the Linz opera in 2002. In March 2008 Davies was named the next music director of the Basel Symphony Orchestra, effective with the 2009-2010 season. A new record on ECM with works by Austrian composer Thomas Larcher is in preparation.
Dresdner Philharmonie, the concert orchetra of the Saxonian capital of Dresden, was founded in 1870 and has toured widely in Europe, Asia and both Americas. In the 1930s the orchestra held a particular reputation for its first complete cycles of Bruckner’s symphonies in their then unusual original versions under conductors Paul van Kempen and Carl Schuricht. From 2001 to 2003 Marek Janowsky was artistic director, followed by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos in 2004.
Mezzosoprano Elena Vassilieva was born into a musical familiy in France and trained as a classical dancer and pianist before taking up her vocal studies with Régine Crespin, Jacques Jansenm and Christian Lardé at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Composers such as Edison Denisov, Sofia Gubaidulina, Vinko Globokar, Wolfgang Rihm and Hans Werner Henze have composed for her. Vassilieva was awarded with numerous prizes, including “Salzburger Mozartpreis”, “Maître du Chant Français” and a “Diapason d’Or”.
For more than 30 years the Hilliard Ensemble has been known as one of the most outstanding vocal groups. The collaboration between the English a cappella quartet and the Munich based label began in 1986 with a contribution to Arvo Pärt’s “Arbos” and subsequently led to unanimously praised artistic achievements and popular successes in the fields of old and new music alike (“Officium”, “Moriumur” etc.). The ensemble’s most recent release was “Audivi vocem” a programme of English Renaissance music by Tallis, Tye and Sheppard.