Hyun-Jung Berger

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Hyun-Jung Berger studied with Hae-Guen Kang in Seoul and with Julius Berger and Thomas Demenga in Basel. She has attended masterclasses by Boris Pergamenschikov, Heinrich Schiff and Denes Zsigmondy.

Her teaching career began in 1991 as an assistant of Prof. Julius Berger at the Saarbrücken College of Music, and later at Mainz University. In 2008 she began lecturing at the Leopold Mozart Zentrum at the University of Augsburg.

Numerous national and international awards underline Hyun-Jung Berger’s rank as an artist of exceptional musical talent. In 1993 she won the Gieseking Prize of the Saarbrücken College of Music as well as a prize at the International Summer Academy of the Salzburg Mozarteum. In 1995 she won the prize of the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, first prize at the International Competition in Trapani, Sicily, and, together with her duo partner José Gallardo, the International Press Award.

Hyun-Jung Berger’s career as a soloist has seen her perform with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Korean Chamber Orchestra, the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Strings, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Bern Philharmonic Academy, the Kremerata Baltica and the Southwest German Chamber Orchestra.

She has given duo and chamber recitals in Israel and the USA, as well as at the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, the Asiago Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, the Eckelshausen Music Festival and the Kronberg Cello Festival. In 2015 she gave the European Premiere of Sofia Gubaidulinas work “Two Paths” for two violoncellos and orchestra at the Beethovenfest Bonn, Germany. Since 2016 Hyun-Jung Berger has been head of her own classes at the Leopold Mozart Zentrum at the University of Augsburg, and at the Kalaidos Musikhochschule in Switzerland.

Together with her husband, Julius Berger, Hyun-Jung Berger has recorded several CDs (most notably of the Boccerini sonatas) that are recognised as essential recordings by international periodicals.

As the artistic director of the Asiago Festival Korea, Hyun-Jung Berger establishes connections between Europe and her native country.

Hyun-Jung Berger, Photo: Do-Hyung Kim

José Gallardo

Born in Buenos Aires, José Gallardo first began studying piano at the Conservatory in Buenos Aires. Later on, he studied with Poldi Mildner at the Department of Music at the University of Mainz and received his diploma in 1997.

Gallardo has won numerous national and international awards. Invitations to tours and festivals followed, including the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, the Verbier Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, the Schwetzinger Festspiele, the Cello Festival Kronberg and the Chopin Festival in Warschau.

His extensive activities as a concert pianist and chamber musician have brought him together with musicians such as Vilde Frang, Daishin Kashimoto, Barnabás Kelemen, Gidon Kremer, Linus Roth, Benjamin Schmid, Carolin Widmann, Nils Mönkemeyer, Tomoko Akasaka, Andreas Ottensammer, Nicolas Altstaedt, Julius Berger, Maximilian Hornung, Benedict Klöckner and Miklós Perényi.

He has taken part in recordings with Warner, Deutsche Grammophon, Challenge Records Int., Genuin, Neon, Oehms Classics and Naxos as well as television and radio productions for BR, SWR, MDR, BBC, RAI, and other broadcasters.

From 1998 to 2008 he was a lecturer in Mainz, since autumn 2008 he teaches at the Leopold Mozart Center of the University of Augsburg.

Together with Andreas Ottensamer, he has been artistic director of the chamber music festival "Bürgenstock Festival" in Lucerne since 2013.

José Gallardo, Photo: Nikolas Hagele

Ayumi Janke

Ayumi Janke was born into a German-Japanese family in Munich, Germany. From the age of three onwards she studied the piano under the guidance of her father Prof. Ansgar Janke, and just shortly later also the violin. She was accepted as a junior student by Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at the Mozarteum Salzburg and, after graduating from secondary school, she studied the piano as a regular student and was awarded the Masters degree with Distinction in 2010. Further inspiration she received from Prof. Gerhard Oppitz, Prof. Klaus Hellwig, Prof. Sergei Dorenski and Prof. Thomas Brandis.

At the age of five she won the 1. Price with Distinction at the “Jugend musiziert” German federal competition for piano soloists and further first prices on regional and federal level in different ensembles, often together with the award of various special prices. Additionally, she was awarded a price by the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth. Several foundations such as the “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes” (German National Academic Foundation) or the “Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben” (German Foundation for Musical Life) have awarded her grants and fellowships.

She performed concerts in famous European and Japanese concert halls and occasions, such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Mittelrhein Musik-Momente, the Bach-Festival Bern and the “Lago Maggiore” in Italy.

Apart from her soloist concerts she has accomplished praise in the field of chamber music. At the Sarasate-Competition in Pamplona/Spain she was awarded a special price for exemplary performance as piano accompanist in 2007. Since then she has been named official piano accompanist at numerous international competitions and master courses.

Ayumi Janke complements her work as an artist on stage by her didactic work as a member of the “Interdisziplinäres Forum für künstlerische Interpretation” (Interdisciplinary Forum for Artist Interpretation) at the Leopold-Mozart-Zentrum, University of Augsburg and since 2015 at the “Kalaidos Musikhochschule Aarau” (Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences) in Switzerland.

Ayumi Janke, Photo: Julia Smirnova

Verena Louis

Verena Louis has a prominent standing among the world’s great accompanists; she is equally at home in Lied repertoires as well as chamber music for strings. Verena Louis was born in Paris, and grew up in France, Germany, and Portugal.

She received her piano and chamber music education from Roswitha Gediga and Michael Endres at the Musikhochschule Köln, and from the Amadeus Quartett and the Alban-Berg-Quartett. Following prizes at numerous competitions, many national and international competitions now invite her to act as accompanist, for example the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, the Internationaler Violinwettbewerb in Cologne, the international Júlio Cardona competition in Portugal, or the Concours International de Genève.

She has held the post of accompanist for Adelina Oprean’s violin classes at the Musikhochschule Basel for over twenty years, and since 2013 she has additionally been engaged as principal repetiteur for strings at the Musikhochschule Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig. Her artistic versatility is documented by appearances at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Rheingau Musik Festival, chamber music tours across Europe, a number of première performances, as well as her role as tutor for chamber music at the Académie de musique de chambre de Thury.

Verena Louis lives in Leipzig with her family.

Verena Louis, Photo: Adam Markowski