Charlotte Balzereit-Zell is principal harpist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and ranks as one of the leading harpists of her generation. She is the winner of international harp competitions in Lyon, Paris, and Vienna; she received scholarships by the German National Academic Foundation, the Villa Musica, the German Music Council, as well as the Jütting Foundation in Stendal and was awarded the Spohr Medal by the city of Seesen. As a rising star she has given concerts in the major cities of Europe and the United States and is a regular guest at numerous festivals. She has performed as a soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the North German Radio Philharmonic Hannover, the Göttinger Symphony Orchestra, the Braunschweig State Orchestra, the Camerata St Petersburg, and the Polish Chamber Orchestra amongst others.
Her discography includes the solo recording with "Fantasies for Harp"; her performance of the sonatas by Antonio Rosetti on a historical harp; as well as a trio recording (harp/flute/viola) of works by Harald Genzmer. Karl-Heinz Schütz was born in Innsbruck in 1975 and grew up in Landeck, Tirol. He studied with Eva Amsler in Austria, with Aurèle Nicolet in Switzerland and with Philippe Bernold in France, where in 2000 he graduated with distinction from the Lyon Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse. Already during his course of studies he won two international flute competitions: Carl Nielsen in 1998 and Cracow in 1999. Since then he has pursued an active concert career performing throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and solo flutist in renowned orchestras that has led him to all major concert halls and festivals. He has been principal flutist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera since 2011, a position he previously held with the Vienna Symphony (2005–11) after having been a member of the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra (2000–04). In 2013 he succeeded Wolfgang Schulz as a member of the Ensemble Wien-Berlin and performed at the Salzburg Festival. He has been a professor at the Konservatorium Wien University since 2005 and regularly holds master classes in Austria and abroad. A number of recordings document his versatility as a flute player, with music comprising the flute repertoire from Wilhelm Friedemann Bach to Pierre Boulez, Toru Takemitsu and Werner Pirchner. Recent releases include a Chandos recording of the "20th century concerto grosso" with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner that garnered unanimous praise from music critics. He plays a 24K gold flute by the Japanese flute maker Muramatsu. Gerhard Marschner was born in Vienna on August 5, 1984, and received his first violin lessons from Grete Biedermann at the age of six. From 1992 through 1994, he studied with Ina Stemberger and between 1994 and 1995 with Juri Polatschek, before entering the class of long-time first violinist, Alfred Staar (1938-2000), which entailed also working with Staar's assistant, Hubert Kroisamer at the Univerity of Music Graz/Oberschützen. Following the sudden death of Alfred Staar, the instructor of more than 20 members of the Vienna Philharmonic, Gerhard Marschner switched to the viola, studying first with principal violist, Josef Staar (1935-2000) and afterwards, until 2004, with Hans Peter Ochsenhofer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. At the age of 19, Marschner won the audition for the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, beginning his service there as of February 2004. In 2007 he became a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and in that same year became a section leader of the violas. In spite of his young age, Gerhard Marschner can already claim an exceptional musical career. In 1997 and 2002 he won the first prize at the competition Prima la Musica (piano chamber music and viola solo); in the fall of 2002 he made a solo appearance in the Brahmssaal of the Musikverein as part of the final concert of the International Music Forum Trenta; in the 2004/05 season he appeared with the Coburg Quartet in a chamber music cycle at the Palais Coburg in Vienna; and in 2006 he participated as a soloist at the prize winner concert of the Gustav Mahler Composition Competition. In 2014 he was the managing director if the "International Orchestra Institute Attergau", a project, where international students are being coached by members of the VPO and play concerts unter the baton of renown conductors.
Landeck – It is difficult to imagine a more delicate, exquisite and resonant opening to the 'Horizonte Landeck' festival. Merely the assembled cast of musicians united as the Trio Aurora, with Karl-Heinz Schütz (flute), Charlotte Balzereit-Zell (harp) and Gerhard Marschner (viola), would leave one expecting an exceptional musical experience. Each of the instruments is equipped with a singular charm, with cantabile qualities as well as the capacity for rhapsodic moments, the ability to touch the soul and set off a delightful tingling in both body and soul.
As the principal flutist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra it seems obvious that Karl-Heinz Schütz would surround himself with his musical peers. The results are the correspondingly high standards the musicians set for themselves; the matching depth of commitment to the literature. That deep acquaintance with the music could be experienced in the Baroque ease of Jean Marie Leclair's Sonata in D Major, Op. 2 No. 8. Claude Debussy's Sonata for Flute, Harp and Viola was pure tonal shading, a basking in emotions, most delicately-set, subtle nuances of colour.
The Trio Aurora further demonstrates that songs by Brahms, such as "Gestillte Sehnsucht" from Two Songs, work brilliantly all without a human voice but with the flute singing on top of the viola's rhapsodising and the sparkling runs of the harp. Twice more the audience was enchanted, first with a tango by Astor Piazzolla and finally with the prelude to the third act of Carmen.