Gewandhaus Wind Quintet
The Gewandhaus-Bläserquintett was founded in 1896 and is, as such, the oldest existing chamber ensemble of its kind in the world. Under the patronage of the Gewandhauskapellmeister of the day, Arthur Nikisch, the oboist Alfred Gleißberg led his four colleagues from the Gewandhausorchester in this new musical venture. The soloists of the Orchestra who comprise the ensemble today are justly proud of this 120-year heritage.
The central pillar of the Quintet's performing schedule each season is the subscription concert series it gives in its home, the Leipzig Gewandhaus. The ensemble focuses hereby not only on the repertoire for wind quintet, but performs an eclectic range of the treasures of the chamber music literature in augmented formation. The Quintet counts such renowned pianists as Elisabeth Leonskaja, Peter Rösel and Arkadi Zenziper among its chamber music partners, as well as fellow musicians of the Gewandhausorchester who join the ensemble for the performance of serenades and Harmoniemusik.
A particular passion, to which the Gewandhaus Wind Quintet has dedicated itself for many years with considerable intensity, is educational work with and for young people. Regular concerts designed to unlock the world of music for children and young adults form an integral part of the ensemble's schedule.
The Quintet performs extensively across Germany and beyond. In addition to regular concerts in the cloisters of the venerable Cistercian Monastery in Walkenried, the ensemble has, in recent years, given highly acclaimed performances at the Beethoven House in Bonn, the Rhine/Ruhr Music Festival, the Mecklenburg Western Pomerania Music Festival, the Philharmonic Chamber Music Festival hosted by the Berliner Philharmoniker, in the Cologne Philharmonie, at the »dreiklang« Music Festival, in the monasteries in Alpirsbach, Maulbronn and Bebenhausen, as well as in the Saxon State Opera in Dresden. The Quintet has accepted invitations to tour abroad that have taken it across the USA, South Korea, Japan and Switzerland.
Critics consistently praise the precise articulation and the virtuosity of the Leipzig musicians, their musical sensitivity, the ensemble's homogeneity of colour, as well as the highly cultured exuberance of its music-making. The 'blind' understanding between the members of the ensemble has always proved to be cause for particular admiration on the part of audiences and critics alike - maybe little wonder, considering the players make music with one another daily in the Gewandhausorchester.
In the course of its more recent history, the Quintet has collaborated with numerous leading contemporary composers, both giving the world premiere performances and producing recordings of works by Siegfried Thiele, Bernd Franke, Tilo Medek, Stefan König and Günter Neubert, to name just a few.
The Gewandhaus Wind Quintet features the flautist Katalin Stefula, oboist Simon Sommerhalder, clarinettist Thomas Ziesch, horn player Ralf Götz and bassoonist Albert Kegel.