A Journey for Two
“When choosing the title of this CD, we were immediately drawn to the title of the first piece in our recording, Dhipli Zyia by Xenakis, which simply translates as ‘a band of two folk musicians’.
After delving more deeply, we discovered that Zyia derives from the ancient Greek word ‘balance’, which is such a vitally important element of chamber music, and indeed – in any relationship.
Fittingly, Zyia is also another name for Hera, the Goddess of marriage from ancient Greek mythology. This CD symbolises an important part of a journey for us – not only as partners in chamber music – but also as a celebration of our friendship…
Our recording centres around pieces which celebrate the joy and vibrancy of folk music, opening with music by Xenakis from the Balkans in Greece, Jonian’s birthplace, then venturing north to Hungary for the Kodály, west to Switzerland/France for the Sonatina by Honegger and finally returning to Greece for a rarely performed duo by Skalkottas.
We are both in love with folk music, particularly from the Balkans, and hope to pass on some of the joy it brings us when playing it!......
JONIAN ILIAS KADESHA has Greek-Albanian roots and lives in Berlin. The young musician not only
speaks Greek, Albanian, German and English but also has a keen interest in philosophy and rhetoric.
His playing is characterized by stylistic accuracy and exactness in his articulation, in the interpretation of early to contemporary works. With boundless sound imagination Kadesha is always in search of something new.
He is a prizewinner at Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, Windsor International and the Leopold Mozart Violin Competition.
The young violinist recently made his debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the Tivoli Copenhagen, with the RTE Orchestra at the National Concert Hall Dublin, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Russian State Orchestra under Yuri Bashmet and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe at the Kronberg Festival. Kadesha made his debut with the Athens State Orchestra in autumn 2019 performing Skalkottas‘ Violin Concerto, whose Small Suites he has recorded for CAvi-music together with works by Enescu and Ravel.
Kadesha appears in major concert halls and well-known festivals throughout Europe, such as the London Wigmore Hall, Handelsbeurs Concertzaal Gent, Louvre Paris, Philharmonie Berlin, Salle Moliere Lyon, Salle Garnier Montecarlo, and the Golden Hall Augsburg as well as the Schubertiade, the Heidelberger Frühling, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Boswiler Sommer, Mantua Chamber Music Festival or the Resonances Festival in Belgium, among others.
He has performed with orchestras such as the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestras Lübeck and Coburg as well as the Albanian and Greek radio orchestras.
Chamber music connects him with renowned musicians such as Martha Argerich, Steven Isserlis, Nicolas Altstaedt, Thomas Demenga and Gábor Takács-Nagy, Ilya Gringolts and Pekka Kuusisto. He was also heard in Kronberg‘s Chamber Music Connects the World and the Verbier Academy Festival.
Jonian Ilias Kadesha is co-founder of the award-winning Trio Gaspard, which is a regular guest at music centers in Europe and the USA.
Kadesha studied with Antje Weithaas at the Kronberg Academy. His previous teachers included Salvatore Accardo, Grigori Zhislin and Ulf Wallin. He studied chamber music with Hatto Beyerle in Hannover and at the European Chamber Music Academy. Masterclasses with Ferenc Rados, Steven Isserlis, Ivry Gitlis, Leonidas Kavakos and Eberhard Feltz complete his studies. Since 2018, Kadesha has been supported by the Young Classical Artists Trust in the United Kingdom.
Kadesha plays a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1749), on private loan.
Born in London into a musical family, cellist VASHTI HUNTER is currently based in Berlin and enjoys
a versatile career as soloist and chamber musician, being invited regularly to play in some of the
world’s leading music festivals and concert halls. She is the first British cellist ever to be awarded a
prize at the International Cello Competition ‘Prague Spring’ in its 65 year history.
Vashti has performed in prestigious halls throughout Europe, including the Wigmore Hall in London, Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, Rudolfinum Prague, Salle Moliere in Lyon, the Philharmonie and the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin. She has played as a soloist with orchestras such as the the Göttingen Symphony Orchestra, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, Pilsen Philharmonic and CHAARTS and has worked with conductors such as Gabor Tákács-Nagy and Antonello Manacorda.
Much in demand as both soloist and chamber musician, Vashti has been invited to important festivals such as PODIUM, Lockenhaus, Ernen, Davos, Heidelberger Frühling, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music UK, Boswiler Sommer and the Shanghai Chamber Music Festival.
She has collaborated with eminent artists including Steven Isserlis, Martha Argerich, Ivry Gitlis, Pekka Kuusisto, Ilya Gringolts, Erich Hörbarth, Nicolas Altstaed and Vilde Frang. In 2010 Vashti co-founded Trio Gaspard together with Greek-Albanian violinist Jonian Ilias Kadesha and German-British pianist Nicholas Rimmer. The piano trio has won first prizes in the ‘Haydn’ and ‘Joachim’ international competitions and perform regularly in some of the world’s most important halls.
An experienced orchestral player, she has been invited as guest principal cellist of the Olso Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Camerata Bern, Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She is principal cellist of the Kammerakadamie Potsdam and is invited regularly to play with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
In 2015 Vashti completed a ‘Konzertexamen’ degree with Leonid Gorokhov in Hannover where she was supported by generous awards from the Leverhulme Trust and Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.
She studied chamber music with Hatto Beyerle, attended the European Chamber Music Academy and studied for many years with Steven Isserlis at IMS Prussia Cove.
Between 2017 and 2019 she taught chamber music at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and cello at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover.
Zoltán Kodály was a Hungarian composer, born in 1905. If you would read Kodály's biography, you could only do so with increasing astonishment. Not only did he reach the honarable age of 84, throughout his whole life he remained astoundingly prolific - and with great success. Moreover, besides his work as a composer, Kodály was active as a conductor, (ethno-)musicologist, pedagogue, linguist, and philosopher. And in each of these areas, he had a pioneering role, always with exceptional passion and dedication. To name but one example: together with his friend Belá Bartók he worked on a ten volume reference guide to Hungarian music, which appeared from 1951 with each volume spanning more than a thousand pages.
Yet, Kodály gained acclaim for his compositions as well, with his Psalmus hungaricus (1923) en his opera Háry János (1926) as the pinnacles of his musical career. The core of his body of work consists of vocal music, in particular works for choir, but his instrumental music is just as impressive. His master piece Laudes Organi, written one year before his death, truly proves that Kodály's creative energy stayed with him to the bitter end.