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Food for thought, delights for the ear and moments to mingle

Opening | Wednesday, 14 May 2014 | 19:30 | MAK Columned Main Hall

At the gala opening, to be held on Wednesday, 14 May, in the beautiful columned hall of Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), Luxembourg will present a selection of its finest musicians in a programme that will showcase the richness and variety of the country’s musical landscape. The journey begins with the baroque sonorities of Artemandoline, features the award-winning pianist Jean Muller, the contemporary string ensemble United Instruments of Lucilin and comes to a finish by juxtaposing early and modern sounds through the skilful fingers of pianist Cathy Krier. The keynote speech will be delivered by celebrated baritone Thomas Hampson, whose BBC Hardtalk appearance last year demonstrated his skill in facing the tough questions posed by “classical outsiders” – questions that face all of us.


Keynote speaker:

thomas-hampson_by_kristin_hoebermann_540Photo: Kristin Hoebermann

Thomas Hampson (US)


Thomas Hampson is an opera singer and recording artist with an active interest in research, education outreach and technology. He is the founder of the Song of America project, a collaboration with the Library of Congress, and also promotes intercultural dialogue and understanding through the Hampsong Foundation.


Find out more about this year's keynote topic and our speaker.






Artemandoline (Luxembourg)

Juan Carlos Munoz: baroque mandolin
Mari Fe Pavon: baroque mandolin
Alla Tolkacheva: mandola & baroque mandolin
Manuel Munoz: baroque guitar
Jean-Daniel Haro: viola da gamba
Jean Christophe Leclere: harpsichord

Founded in 2001, Artemandoline is a baroque ensemble dedicated to the revival of the mandolin and other period instruments such as guitars and lutes. The group prides itself on its thorough research and has undertaken extensive study of early instruments and playing styles in order to approach the music of composers such as Scarlatti, Vivaldi and Weiss as authentically as possible. It is also dedicated to reviving forgotten masterpieces of the baroque repertoire and has worked closely with eminent sound producers, publishers, musicologists and instrument makers. Artemandoline has played at early music festivals all over Europe and beyond, with upcoming concerts in Chisinau, Graz, Oberbronn and Stockstadt am Rhein. The ensemble has recently been working on a new recording with soprano Nuria Rial and the CD will be released on Sony label in December 2014. Previous recording activity includes two albums on Brilliant Classics in 2013.


jean_muller_200Photo: Marlene Soares

Jean Muller (Luxembourg)

Jean Muller: piano

Luxembourg-born pianist Jean Muller is an artist known for his artistic authenticity. Hailed as a “major talent” by the Gramophone magazine, he has studied in Brussels, Munich and Paris, gaining exposure to the most diverse pianistic schools. Muller has won 12 first prizes at international competitions and was recently named Export Artist of the Year 2013 by Music:LX, the non-profit organisation created in 2009 to promote the music of Luxembourg around the world. He has performed with ensembles including the Bavarian State Orchestra, Münchner Symphoniker and Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra. Following a successful international Chopin recital tour in 2013, this year Muller will embark on a project called Transcendence. This will comprise a global tour and an album of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes and the Mephisto Waltz No 1. Other upcoming projects include performances in Luxembourg, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, New York and London.


lucilin_by_jean_huot_200Photo: Jean Huot

United Instruments of Lucilin (Luxembourg)

André Pons-Valdès: violin
Tomoko Kiba: violin
Danielle Hennicot: viola
Christophe Beau: cello

Founded in 1999 by a group of musicians from Luxembourg, United Instruments of Lucilin is dedicated to works from the 20th and 21st centuries. The group gathers performers, composers and artists from many different genres and art forms. Its performances aim to touch the audience not only through acoustic sensations, but also in an intellectual, spiritual and visual way. The ensemble has commissioned and premiered works by composers such as Toshio Hosokawa, Brice Pauset, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Arturo Fuentes, Donnacha Dennehy, Jean-Luc Fafchamps, Marcel Reuter, Michael Riessler and Martin Matalon. Its first CD (awarded four stars by specialist magazine Le monde de la musique) was a project conducted by Mark Foster in 2003. Like the group’s 2007 recording Goldberg’s Ghost, it was released on Fuga Libera, a division of Outhere. With 20 to 30 concerts a year, United Instruments of Lucilin performs in Luxembourg and around the world.


cathy_krier_200_01Photo: Delphine Jouandeau

Cathy Krier (Luxembourg)

Cathy Krier: piano

Cathy Krier began taking piano lessons at the Luxembourg Conservatoire at the age of five and in 1999 she was admitted to study with Pavel Gililov at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne. As a student, she won some important prizes including the Prix Norbert Stelmes and the IKB International Foundation Prize. Her first solo recording was released in 2008 and features works by Scarlatti, Haydn, Chopin, Dutilleux and Mullenbach. In 2007 she performed at the Luxembourg European Capital of Culture opening ceremony. Her concert engagements have included performances in the US, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Germany, Latvia, Andorra, Italy, France and Belgium. She has also been invited to be artist in residence at the Biermans-Lapôtre Foundation in Paris. In 2013, she released a recording of Janácek’s piano works. Highlights of 2014 will include concerts in Athens, Limoges, Naples, Hamburg, Luxembourg and Saint-Ursanne.