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© 2017
Berlin PianoPercussion


Ya-ou Xie - piano, conductor
Prodromos Symeonidis - piano
Sawami Kiyoshi - piano
Adam Weisman - percussion
Michael Weilacher - percussion
Matthias Buchheim - percussion

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Ya-ou XieYa-ou Xie - piano, conductor

“Ya-ou Xie understands how to create a magical, beguiling aura…” commented the French magazine „Lettre du Musicien“ about the pianism of Ya-ou Xie.

Born in southwestern China, the pianist and conductor has performed before international audiences at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Konzerthaus Berlin, both Cité de la Musique and Salle Cortot in Paris, the Hong Kong Art Center, the Beijing Concert Hall, the Shanghai Concert Hall, and the  Vienna Konzerthaus. As a soloist she has appeared with grand orchestras, including the China National Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, the Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, the New Philharmonic Orchestra Westfalen, and the National Orchestra Lille under conductors such as Victor Yampolski, Lutz Köhler, Madame Zheng Xiaoying, Michael Helmrath, Victor Puhl, and Li Xincao. She is a guest performer at numerous festivals, such as Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam, MaerzMusik Berlin, the Beijing New Music Festival, the Centre Acanthes in Metz, and Festival de Sceaux in France.
As the winner of important prizes at the Orléans Concours XXème Siècle, Concours Olivier Messiaen, Concorso Premio Jaén, the International Piano Competition Lake Como, and the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, she received accolades for her interpretations of works by Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy, Arnold Schönberg, George Crumb, and Luciano Berio.
Alongside classical repertoire, both Chinese and Western contemporary music occupy an important place in Ms. Xie's musical achievement. She has worked with composers such as George Crumb, Xiaoyong Chen, Helmut Lachenmann and has given frequent premieres in many countries. In 2008 she founded with pianist Prodromos Symeonidis the outstanding Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion, which is active on international stages. Her recordings and live appearances have been broadcasted by several radio stations including Deutschland Radio, China Central TV, Radio 4 Hong Kong, Radio3 Brussels and Südwestdeutsche Rundfunk. Her CDs feature compositions by Debussy, Schoenberg, Schulhoff, Messiaen, Crumb, Katzer and others.

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SymeonidisProdromos Symeonidis - piano

Ever since winning seven prizes at the „Concours Olivier Messiaen piano contemporain 2003“ (Paris) and the „Concours International de piano d'Orléans 2006“ Prodromos Symeonidis has gained worldwide recognition as an outstanding interpreter of contemporary music and classical music in general. His playing has elicited enthusiasm and praise from some of the world's top musicians and critics... „un grand artiste“, „un roi du piano“ (Yvonne Loriod Messiaen), „an outstanding technique and a superb musical sensitivity“ (Kent Nagano), "superb pianist" (Fanfare), „geistig wie manuell eindringliches Spiel“, „außerordentlich anschlagsvariabel“ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).
Prodromos Symeonidis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1972. Apart from music, composition and the piano, which were his constant companions from early childhood, he also had a great fondness for mathematics and astronomy. As a youth, he won many prizes at national and international contests for mathematics, including a bronze medal at the 30th International Mathematical Olympiad in 1989. In 1990 he moved to Germany, where he pursued and completed his piano studies in Munich, Cologne and Berlin under Michael Endres, Karin Merle, Arbo Valdma and Georg Sava. Besides piano, he participated in composition seminars under Krzysztof Meyer and Walter Zimmermann
. Parallel to his studies, he also worked with Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen, Claude Helffer and Dimitri Bashkirov.
His international piano competition successes have led to concerts in many famous halls throughout the world, like the Konzerthaus Berlin, Philharmonie Berlin, Philharmonie Essen, Sendesaal Bremen, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Opéra National de Paris, Opéra Comique de Paris, Arsenal de Metz and Seoul Arts Center. He made recordings for the radios SWR2, Radio Bremen, France Musique and RCF Orléans as well as the german label Telos Music, which were highly praised by the international press like FAZ, Fanfare, Pizzicato, Piano News, ResMusica and ConcertoNet. Aside from his activities as an interpreter, Prodromos Symeonidis is an ensemble director, composer and teacher. He has composed himself several solo and chamber music pieces and has been invited to give masterclasses in the contemporary music centre Acanthes (formerly in Metz), the Conservatoire Royal de Liège, the Hochschule für Musik Hannover as well as the Soongsil University in Seoul.

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Sawami KiyoshiSawami Kiyoshi - piano

Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Sawami Kiyoshi received her Master of Music degree at Elisabeth University of Music where she studied with Futaba Inoué (piano), Yasuko Mitsui (harpsichord) and Jo Kondo (music analysis). Having been awarded a scholarship by the the city of Hiroshima she subsequently came to Germany where she continued her study of the piano at the Academy of Music „Hanns Eisler“ in Berlin with Klaus Bäßler. She passed her graduate recital and received her solo diploma and the "Konzertexamen" both with distinction.
Parallel to her studies she took part in master courses at the Centre Acanthes and in Darmstadt where she worked closely with among others Toshio Hosokawa and Claude Helffer. In 2004 she was resident guest pianist at the Académie Musicale de Villecroze in France where she had the opportunity of working together with Noël Lee in the field of contemporary music. Since then she is devoted to the 20th and 21st century repertoire. She has recorded several works for the radio stations FSB, rrb and for the recording company Sony BMG. Along with her career as soloist she is also a permanent member of the ensembles for contemporary music Berlin PianoPercussion, Saitenblicke and Trio Lotus.

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Adam WeismanAdam Weisman - percussion

Adam Weisman studied with Chris Lamb and Fred Hinger at the Manhattan  School of Music in New York, with Sylvio Gualda at The Conservatory of Versailles and with Peter Sadlo and Robyn Schulkowsky at the Hochschule for Music in Munich. In 1991 he won 3rd prize at the ARD music competition in Munich and in 1992 2nd prize at the International Music Competition in Geneva. In the television series "Orchestra!" with Sir Georg Solti and Dudley Moore he played percussion. He composed and played music for theater pieces in Munich, Esslingen and Linz. He performed with New Music Consort and NewBand in New York in 1998-90, and since then with Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien (residenceship 1997-98 and 2004-05) Zeitkratzer (concerts with Lou Reed in Berlin and Venice), MusikFabrik, and  Scharoun Ensemble (members of the Berlin Philharmonic). He premiered pieces from Peter Eötvös, Tan Dun, David Lang, Matthias Pintscher, Helmut Oehring...; played under Pierre Boulez, Emilio Pomarico, Stephan Asbury, Sylvain Cambreling...; and he played on many CD's, including one with Ensemble Modern, Frank Zappa and music from Varese. As soloist he has performed in Athens (concert in honor of Iannis Xenakis), Paris, Munich, Geneva, Berlin, Vienna, Danzig, Perugia and Mar del Plata in Argentina. He played folk music from the Andes mountain region with the famous Quechua musician Uña Ramos and is the Drummer with the rock band Landis Mackellar and the Diatribes.

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Michael WeilacherMichael Weilacher - percussion

The percussionist Michael Weilacher was born in 1969 in Rochester, NY. After he completed his studies at the Eastman School of Music and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he played in diverse Rock Bands and Orchestras, he moved to the Netherlands, where he received his Master Diploma in Music Performance at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music. Starting in 1993 he lived in Belgium and performed with ensembles and performance groups such as Ictus Ensemble, Blindman Quartet and De Rosas (Brussels), Musique Nouvelle (Mons), Musikfabrik (Cologne), the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra and the Flemish Opera (Antwerp).
Michael Weilacher's solo carrier has brought him recognition in Europe as well as abroad where he has performed and given master classes in Brazil, U.S.A., Canada, Finland, Italy, Portugal, France, Poland, Greece and elsewhere. He has worked with the composers Mauricio Kagel, James Wood, Steve Reich, Helmut Lachermann, Volker Staub, Frederic Rzewski and Karel Goeyvaerts. He has made recordings of works from these composers as well as some of his own works for solo percussion and ensemble. He currently lives in Berlin and makes guest appearances as soloist with the Sasha Waltz@Guest dance company, performs regularly with Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Musikfabrik NRW, is active as studio musician and writes music for film and performance.

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Matthias BuchheimMatthias Buchheim - percussion

Matthias Buchheim was born in Neustrelitz. From 1984-88 he studied percussion with Hans-Hürgen Lüdecke and Rudi Liebetrau at the Academy of Music „Hanns Eisler“ in Berlin. After finishing his exams he was a member of the orchestra of the Kleist Theater in Frankfurt (Oder) from 1988 until 1990. In 1990 he moved over to the Large Radio Orchestra of Berlin and remained there until its disbandment in 1992. Until 1994 he worked as a freelance musician specifically in the area of contemporary music. Since 1994 he has been the solo timpanist of the State Orchestra of Brandenburg again in Frankfurt (Oder). Matthias Buchheim is also a member of the Percussion Project Rostock. He performs together with Friedemann Werzlau - of the Chamber Academy of Potsdam - in the duo „Balance Schlagwerke“. He is also fond of jazz.