Andreas Ottensamer was born on April 4, 1989, in Vienna, Austria. His parents were musicians, and they instilled in him the love of music. When he turned 4, he started learning to play the piano. In 1999, as a student of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, he started playing another musical instrument — violoncello with Wolfgang Herzer as his tutor. In 2003, Ottensamer decided to change his instrument to clarinet, which he eventually studied under Johann Hindlerin.
Arno Bornkamp is a Dutch classical saxophonist and virtuoso, who performs classic compositions as well as contemporary music. He was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1959. The talented lyrical musician studied at the Sweelinck Conservatory in his hometown with another saxophonist Ed Bogaard as his tutor. Bornkamp graduated in 1986 with the highest distinction. Since then, he has won a variety of awards, which include the prestigious “Silver Laurel of the Concertgebouw” and the “Netherlands Music Prize”. Due to the latter, he got the opportunity to perform abroad. He studied in France with Daniël Deffayet and Jean-Marie Londeix as well as in Japan with Ryo Noda. Bornkamp also collaborated with Luciano Berio and Karlheinz Stockhausen among other composers.
Margarita Shaposhnikova is a Soviet and Russian clarinettist and saxophonist. She currently holds the position of a professor at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music. Shaposhnikova studied clarinet at the Saratov Conservatory, and in the 1960s, she started mastering saxophone. She began performing in the early 1970s. In 1973, a saxophone class was established in the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music at her initiative.
Shirley Brill is a brilliant Israeli clarinet player. She is an alumna of the Petach Tikva Conservatory in Israel, where she studied with many eminent musicians and professionals, including Yitzhak Katzap. Later, Sabine Meyer was her professor at the Musikhochschule Lübeck in Germany and, when Brill went to Boston, USA, she studied under the guidance of Richard Stoltzmann at the New England Conservatory. Brill began her professional career as a solo clarinet player in Tel Aviv as a member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, whose art director was Zubin Mehta. She began performing internationally, including in many cities and orchestras in Germany, beginning with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra of the Berlin Philharmonic, and ultimately the Gasteig Philharmonic. Outside of Germany, she also performed with the National Theatre Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland and Poland.
At the moment, the French clarinettist Michel Lethiec is considered to be one of the most eminent figures on the world-wide classical musical scene. Besides his numerous concert and festival performances, he is also devoted to teaching and participates actively in the research and the distribution of the repertoire. He has played as a soloist and chamber musician with the most eminent performers such as A. Noras, L. Kovakos, G. Hoffmann, F. Helmerson, G. Sharon, R. and B. Pasquier, H. Shaham, Y. Bashmet, G. Caussé, P. Gallois, J. Menuhin, R. Gothoni, J.F. Heisser, J.-C. Pennetier, M. Rudy, V. Mendelssohn, P. Amoyal, J.J. Kantorow, P. Csaba, M. Martin, Y. Gandelsmann, I. Golan…. and the Talich, Enesco, Artis, Fine Arts, Amati, Prazak, Shangai, Lindsay, Chilingirian Quartets…
Unlike many musicians, Belgian saxophonist Alain Crepin apart from being a talented instrumentalist has a military background. At the beginning of the 1980s, the Belgian Air Force suggested he be a bandmaster of the Royal Symphonic Band. Moreover, Crepin was assigned to the leading position of the music bands in the Belgian Army. Simultaneously, in 1981 he started teaching the art of playing the saxophone at two different conservatories. The first one was the Brussels Conservatory in Belgium, and the second was located in Luxembourg.
Dragan Šremec is a Croatian saxophonist who earned his Master's degree from the Academy of Music at the University of Zagreb. Moreover, he was a conductor for Igor Gjadrov. During his student years, Dragan received a grant from the French government and took the opportunity to study in Paris with Daniel Deffayet. He then also won a Fulbright grant, which allowed him to learn from Dr. Eugene Russo's experience at the IU School of Music in Bloomington, IN. Nevertheless, Dragan Šremek did not stop at academic success and later showed himself to be active in the professional field. This was manifested in his appointment to the post of Deputy Dean of the Zagreb Academy of Music. In addition, he founded the Josip Nochta International Saxophone Competition. Then he joined and began to lead the XVIII World Congress of Saxophonists in Zagreb.
Justo Sanz was born in Spain in the small town of Pontevedra. Sanz specializes in the study of ancient instruments and methods of authentic music performance. However, this does not prevent him from being versatile and engage in the dissemination of contemporary music. Justo Sanz's education is not just musical. In addition to studying at the Complutense University of Madrid at the Faculty of Musicology, he also studied law in Salamanca. At the Koninklake Conservatory in The Hague, he played the historic clarinet and even received an honorary certificate for that.
Vitaly Katkov is the Vice-Rector for the Concert Activity of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Vitaly is renown Russian producer, concert manager and artistic director. He is the Honorary Worker of Culture, holder of honorable mentions by Deputy PM, Minister of Culture, Governor of Tver Region and the Order of St. Stanislav III awarded by Russian Imperial House. Vitaly graduated from the Central Music School in Moscow and the Moscow International University. In 1994 – 2002 Vitaly was a director chamber orchestra Russian Camerata at Tver Academic Philharmonic Society. During his work in there he made many significant projects such as International Festival Music and Diplomacy and organized concerts at Kremlin, Ministry of International Affairs and numerous embassies in Moscow. He took part in organization of the International J.S. Bach Festival in Tver in 1995-2002, Festival Musical Kremlin and other events with Moscow Philharmonic Society and Russian Fund of Culture.