A “velvety soft tone and sensitive interpretation” is how the Press has described the playing of clarinetist Christoph Schneider, born in Frankfurt am Main in 1989. After an early study program with Johannes Gmeinder in Mainz, his training brought him to Martin Spangenberg in Weimar and later to Ralph Manno in Cologne. He was supported by scholarships from both the German National Academic Foundation and Villa Musica Foundation. He has also drawn inspiration from his musical collaboration with such personalities as Kirill Petrenko, Klaus Thunemann, Sebastian Weigle, and Ingo Goritzki.
Christoph Schneider has been committed to chamber music since his student years, joining with former colleagues from the National Youth Orchestra of Germany to found the canorusquintett, with whom he won several international prizes, including at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Conservatory Competition, ARD International Music Competition, and Concours International de Quintette à Vent “Henri Tomasi.”
He has also earned acclaim as a soloist at numerous competitions, and was not only honored as the best clarinetist at the 2017 Aeolus International Competition for Wind Instruments, but also won the special award for best interpretation of a contemporary work for his composition Konstrukt I.
He has performed as a solo clarinetist with such major ensembles as the Deutsche Oper Berlin orchestra, Frankfurt Opera House and Museum Orchestra, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, and Beethoven Orchester Bonn. Since 2016 he has served as First Solo Clarinetist of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Duisburg and has taught clarinet at the Cologne University of Music and Dance since 2018.
Christoph Schneider gives frequent concerts with pianist Yuliya Balabicheva, and numerous radio recordings with Deutschlandfunk, WDR, and SWR offer testimonials of his artistry.
Pianist Yuliya Balabicheva captivates with her sensitive chamber music interpretations, fabulous technique, and artistic individuality. Born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, she studied both piano and organ at the conservatory of her home city, where she won numerous prizes and awards and was chosen several times for the “Rising Stars” project.
She completed her master’s degree in chamber music with Anthony Spiri in Cologne, followed by solo studies with Paulo Álvares. She also studied in the duo master class of Evgeny Sinaiski at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. As a sought-after chamber musician, Yuliya Balabicheva regularly gives concerts with various ensembles in Germany (including the Kurt Weill Festival Dessau, WDR Cologne, and Beethovenhaus Bonn), France, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, and Russia.
She has drawn inspiration from artists such as Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Ralph Manno, Robert Kulek, and Sergei Kostevitch. Thanks to her collaboration with outstanding musicians like David Walter, Orfeo Mandozzi, Corrado Giuffredi, Marco Pierobon, and Enrico Fagone, her playing is characterized by great musical flexibility and creativity.
In her native Kazakhstan, she has not only distinguished herself on the concert stage, but also as a producer of her own programs for the radio station “Classic” from 2007 to 2013. In addition to her artistic career, she is also active as a teacher: In 2018 Yuliya Balabicheva was appointed to a teaching position in accompaniment at the Joseph Haydn Conservatory in Eisenstadt.