Star Strings Chamber Music

26 April 2024 Ore 20

Archi del Mediterraneo International String Festival


Franz Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) String Quintet in C major, D. 956

Allegro ma non troppo – Adagio  – Scherzo. Presto – Trio. Andante sostenuto – Allegretto 


The next concert in our Stagione Concertistica 2024 will be filled with music by Franz Schubert!

Franz Schubert was born in the Himmelpfortgrund suburb of Vienna, was an Austrian composer of the late classical and beginning of the romantic eras. He was extremely gifted in music and in the year 1808, at the age of eleven, he became a pupil at the Stadtkonvikt school, where he was introduced to the orchestral music of J. Haydn, W. A. Mozart and L. v. Beethoven. He then returned home in 1813, but despite moving, he continued his composition studies with Antonio Salieri. During his life, appreciation for his music was limited to a small group of musicians and admirers alike in Vienna. After his death many composers like Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt had championed his works.

Simone Gramaglia

A versatile instrumentalist and an intellectually curious artist, Simone Gramaglia is considered one of the finest violists of his generation. He combines his passion for music, philosophy and literature with an intense activity as a musician (both in chamber music and as a soloist), as a teacher and as an artistic director. His teachers were L. Brusini, B. Giuranna, Y. Bashmet and M. Kugel. His studies with Piero Farulli and H. Beyerle were fundamental to his education in the art of chamber music. 

He began studying the viola at the age of 16, after having previously studied the piano and recorder. He earned his diploma six years later, and immediately embarked on an international concert career.
As a founding member of the Quartetto di Cremona, founded in 2000, Gramaglia is passionately dedicated to chamber music and collaborates with numerous artists including Antonio Meneses, Lawrence Dutton, Jamie Walton, Eckart Runge, Giovanni Sollima, David Orlowsky, the Pavel Haas String Quartet and the Emerson String Quartet, and performs in the most prestigious concert halls in the world (including Lincoln Center in New York, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Santa Cecilia, NCPA Beijing, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires). Since 2012 he has performed in a duo with guitarist Luigi Attademo, with whom he recently recorded an album dedicated to the works of Niccolò Paganini, which was very well received by critics. It included Gramaglia’s own transcriptions of the six Op. 2 sonatas, the famous Sonata Concertata and the original version of the Sonata per la Gran Viola, which he has also performed with numerous orchestras.

Simone Gramaglia

His chamber and solo repertoire ranges from Bach to the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the contemporary music of today. He has recorded for the Decca, Audite (Echo Prize 2017, ICMA 2018) and Brilliant record labels, both as a soloist and with the Quartetto di Cremona. His performances are regularly broadcast on major radio stations around the world (ABC, BBC, Rai Radio 3, Deutschland Radio, WQXR New York.) He is a member of the faculty of the string quartet program at the Accademia Walter Stauffer in Cremona, as well as the viola and string quartet teacher at Music With Masters, a summer masterclass of which he is the founder and artistic director. He is regularly invited to hold masterclasses across the globe. In addition to his teaching activities, he is intensely dedicated to supporting young musicians, in particular young string quartets, string trios and piano quartet and trios, through the international initiative “Le Dimore del Quartetto.”He serves as artistic director of the project and has selected over ninety young ensembles from all over the world as participants. He is the artistic director of the Filippo Nicosia International Chamber Music Award. He is regularly invited to sit on the juries of international string quartet and chamber music competitions (including the Premio Paolo Borciani, the Concorso Gianni Bergamo, Premio Trio di Trieste next September 2022). He has also served as a member of the faculty at the Niccolò Paganini Conservatory of Music in Genoa, Italy.  At the moment he teaches Chamber Music for Strings at the Reggio Emilia Conservatory.

He plays a viola by G. Torazzi from circa 1680, generously made available to him by the Kulturfonds Peter Eckes (Germany.) He was the first and only Italian violist to play the Stradivarius “Paganini” viola for a prolonged period, kindly loaned to him by the Nippon Music Foundation (Tokyo).
He writes the column “L’Angolo del Quartetto” (Quartet Corner) for Archi magazine. , ,

YouTube channel:
Quartetto di Cremona YouTube channel:

Marc Danel

Marc Danel grew up in Lille, France, where both he and his sister learned violin with Jezdimir Vujicic. He continued his studies with Prof Igor Ozim in Cologne graduating with high hours in 1992. In 1991, he founded the Danel Quartet, studying extensively with the Amadeus and Borodin Quartets, as well as with Pierre Penassou, Hugh Maguire, Walter Levin and Fiodor Druzhinin. As leader of the quartet, he was major prizewinner of all the six competitions they entered between 1991 to 1995, including Evian, London and St Petersburg. Since 1991, Marc Danel has performed 2500 concerts with the quartet including 25 performances of the complete cycle of Shostakovitch quartets and numerous performances of the Beethoven, Weinberg and Bartok cycles in the major halls in Europe, USA, Russia, China, Japan, Taiwan, South America and Central Asia. The quartet have recorded more than 20 CDs, garnering numerous awards in Europe and the US.

Marc Danel

The quartet have championed the great but neglected soviet composer Mechtislav Weinberg, playing his quartets extensively since the ‘90s and recording the all of his 17 string quartets, (2009). For Weinberg’s centenary this year, the quartet will give 7 performances of the complete cycle of quartets, some of which the quartet have premiered. The quartet residence at Manchester University.

Marc Danel is artistic leader of the Dutch National String Quartet Academy (NSKA), many students of which have won major competitions. A highly sought-after teacher, he teaches at CNSDM Lyon and IMEP Namur, and at Manchester University where the quartet are artists in residence. He has also given Masterclasses in Europe, USA, Japan, Taiwan,  Bielorussia and has a regular collaboration with the National Youth Orchestra of Chile.

Sujari Britt

Cellist and composer Sujari Britt is an accomplished performer who has engaged audiences in Asia, EU, UK, and US.  According to Britt, “The depth, range and sweetness of the cello seemed to me to resonate my own strong voice.” After years studying piano, guitar, and violin, Britt picked up the cello at age 4.  “I immediately knew that I had encountered my musical voice in the cello, and so began my journey.”

A native New Yorker, Britt began formal study of the cello at age four, following her study on the violin, and piano; and began to compose at age five. Britt earned her Professional Diploma (Cello, Composition) at the Royal Academy of Music (London) in the studio of international soloist, chamber musician and critically acclaimed recording artist Josephine Knight, and pedagogue of composition David Gorton. Sujari earned her Master’s of Classical Cello from Sibelius Academy (Finland)  with renowned cellist and pedagogue Martti Rousi; and her Bachelor’s of Music in Classical Cello Performance at Manhattan School of Music(NYC) in the studio of distinguished pedagogue, author and cellist Marion Feldman

Sujari Britt, Photographed by Raffaele Zingaro

At the tender age of 7 years Britt delved into composition soon after she began her public performances. Britt describes her compositions as reflective of a “state of mind…I see and feel through music, and composition is another medium for experience, expression, and exposure”.  Britt has premiered her original works, and also composes for theater, film (Opus 1, Norway) and dance. 

Outspoken for her interest in sharing the universality of music and supporting music education, Britt co-founded and serves as Artistic Director for Accademia Filarmonica del Mediterraneo (Italy); where she has taken up residence. Britt also serves in the Arts Leadership Program of From the Top (USA).

Britt has played with a wide range of artists, including Alisa Weilerstein, Sting, Kronos Quartet, and others, and  has served in the NY Philharmonic (substitute) (USA), Helsinki Chamber Orchestra (EU), Orchestre de Associacao Cultural Inovarte (EU), and New York Chamber Orchestra (USA), among others. Britt has been a featured artist at Musiikkitalo, Cellofest Opening Gala, and Taidepiste events in Helsinki, FinlandSujari was featured in the annual Beijing Super Cello Festival (Beijing, China). Britt spoke and presented at C2 Montreal  for  “Transformative Collisions” and was featured in Canada’s Neopolitan Connection Concert Series (Montreal and Toronto, Canada). 

Among her exploits in USA, Sujari performed with Alisa Weilerstein at the White House for President Obama, the First Lady, and their distinguished guests.  Britt has performed as soloist with West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra,  Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra , Queens Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra , Chicago SinfoniettaLas Cruces Symphony Orchestra Adrian Symphony Orchestra , among others. 

Britt is a repeat soloist at Carnegie Hall, and has been featured for recurrent performances at the UN for their international HeforShe , and for their annual World Humanitarian Day.  Britt  was a special guest performer at The MET (NYC), The Gracie Theatre (Maine),  the Harman Arts Center (Washington, DC), at Midori and Friends Children’s Music Festival; and was a featured artist for the Shakespeare Company’s annual gala honoring Elizabeth McGovern at the Harman Arts Center;  presented at Madison Square Garden during quarter time for the NY Knicks, and has made special guest solo performances for Gary Historic and Cultural Society and the Miami Bach Society, among her numerous presentations.

Featured on national news stories at an early age, Britt has been spotlighted in Strings and Time magazines, Britt was featured on BBC live radio, Strings Magazine, and was StayThirsty Spotlight Artist to watch! Sujari also was featured in an on-line THKR/RadicalMedia PRODIGIES, a TIME for Kids/Time Magazine article, and a segment of Katie! with Katie Couric. Sujari was featured at TEDx-Redmond of TED Talks, and was featured as one of NBC TheGrio’s “100 History Makers in the Making.” 

Britt won the National Young Musicians Concerto Competition and  is the distinguished recipient of prestigious academic scholarships and awards, and grand prize winner of numerous national and international competitions.

Britt plays a Neuner and Hornsteiner cello made in Mittenwald, Germany circa 1718, generously loaned to her by the Carlsen Cello Foundation.

Mauro Paolo Monopoli

Born in June 2000, he began studying the cello at the age of 5, obtaining the cello Master’s degree at the age of 17 at the Piccinni Conservatory of Bari, with 10/10  Magna Cum Laude (110/110 cum laude and Honorable Mention), never before awarded to a cellist in the history of the Bari Conservatory.  

At the age of 13 he made his debut as a soloist with the Niccolò Piccinni Orchestra  of Bari Conservatory performing the Variations by Niccolò Paganini on the theme  of Rossini Moses. In August he performed in the presence of the Minister for  Cultural Heritage Massimo Bray receiving his compliments. Also in 2013 he was  admitted to the prestigious High-Level Course of the Academy of the Staufer  Foundation in Cremona with the applause of Maestro Rocco Filippini for his  musical and technical skills, for being the youngest cellist ever admitted, at just 13  years old.

Mauro Paolo Monopoli

In 2014 he made his debut at Curci Theater in Barletta and in the same year he won  the First Prize and the Scholarship “Music Talents-International Association of  Lions Clubs” and the Second Prize at “Tournoi International de Musique de Paris” (TIM Competition). In 2015 he debuted for Camerata Musicale Barese in an acclaimed concert for cello and piano and at the Theater Forma in Bari as a soloist  in the concerto for cello and orchestra 1925 by Nino Rota.  In 2016 he made his debut at the Giordano Theater in Foggia for “Amici della Musica” in Foggia. 

On 22 June 2016 he received the Medal from the President of the Italian  Parliament for his artistic merits in the national and international fields. In May  2017 he has performed in the Concert Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and at the  Concert Hall of the Tchaikovsky House Museum in Klin for the Tchaikovsky  Spring Festival- Tchaikovsky Competition Stars. 

In June 2017, he was an Award winner of the X Tchaikovsky International  Competition for Young Musicians. As the only Italian musician awarded in the  history of the Competition, Mauro Paolo won among over 400 candidates from all  over the world, judged by a jury composed of Sergey Roldugin, Kiril Rodin, Boris Andrianov, Laszlo Mezo, Martti Rousi, Ravil Kulmametov, Unil Jin, and Na Mula. In September 2017 he performed as a soloist, accompanied by the Moscow  Chamber Orchestra, at the 5th International Festival of Russian and Italian Culture  “Ociciornie”. In May 2018 he performed as a soloist in the 2nd Tchaikovsky International Festival in Moscow at Gnessin Concert Hall. In February 2019, he  was invited by the Sibelius Academy, he performed as a soloist at the Cellofest at  Musikkitalo Concert House in Helsinki. In October 2019 he made his debut with  the prestigious Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela in Caracas. He studied with Rocco Filipini in Cremona. In 2021 he was the only Italian cellist admitted to final phases of Geneva International Cello Competition.

Ayaka Ishiwatari

Ayaka Ishiwatari was born in Tokyo (Japan). She begins the violin at the age of 5, and entered to the Toho Gakuen Music High School and then, in 2016, at Tokyo Tokyo Toyo Toho, in Yoshiharu Kubo’s class. In 2020, she joined Marc Danel’s class at the CNSMD of Lyon. She participated in many masters-class of violin and string quartet with Alexis Galperine, Johannes Meissl, Keith Robinson, Sibbi Benhardsson and Eric Wong. She has a very supported activity as a chamber, first of all in the Lylisis Quartet, then from the Quartet Cong. She has participated in many festivals and played in important concert series in Japan and France, the United States, Italy, the Nederlands and Hong Kong.

Ayaka Ishiwatari