Thomas HampsonLauded by the New York Times for his “insatiable thirst for knowledge”, Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and “ambassador of song”, maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology.
The foremost US-American baritone has shared the stage with a great number of leading singers, pianists, conductors, and orchestras at the world's top concert halls and opera houses. Hampson was recently acclaimed a Metropolitan Opera Guild “Met Mastersinger” and is considered one of the most important, most innovative, and most sought-after soloists of our time. He received the famed Concertgebouw Prize, was inducted into the renown British magazine Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” and was awarded the first “Venetian Heritage Award”.
Jeeyoung LimBasse-baritone Jeeyoung Lim was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1993 and graduated from the Korea National University of Arts where he studied under the tutelage of Prof. Hans Choi, Hyuk Lee, and So Young Lee. He is currently studying at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” under the tutelage of Prof. Scot Weir and Prof. Wolfram Rieger. He has appeared in Operas such as “Don Giovanni”, “Le nozze di Figaro” by W.A. Mozart, “La Bohème” by G. Puccini, also Oratorios such as “Elijah” by F. Mendelssohn, “Die Schöpfung” by J. Haydn, and “Ein deutsches Requiem” by J. Brahms.
In the last year he has showcased his talent in international competitions by being a finalist at the 30th Concours international de chante Marmande, and winning the “Prize for Most Promising Future Talent” at the “Das Lied” competition in Heidelberg together with Elenora Pertz, his duo partner. He is currently a scholarship recipient of the Yehudi Munuhin Live Music Now Berlin e.V..
Nataša SienčnikNataša Sienčnik, born 1984, is a media artist and designer mapping different phenomena of being here, there and elsewhere, working on the intersection of various disciplines and territories. After her studies at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (Transmedia Art), Kingston University in London (Communication Design) and Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam (Networked Media), she is currently based in Vienna and Carinthia.
Her artistic research lies in a hybrid field with ephemeral borders, which questions the foundation of any object and its inclusion within any form of artistic category. Her works are heterogeneous in terms of technique, shape and dimension, and include theoretical investigations, photography, videos, and the modification of real objects and public installation that often involve the audience in a direct way. In the face of such formal complexity, the common denominator is the artist’s attention on the present time, in order to investigate its social, political, and cultural issues. (Text: Michela Lupieri)
Morten SolvikMorten Solvik is a Norwegian-American musicologist and director of the Institute for European Studies (IES Abroad Vienna). Solvik received his Bachelor of Arts at Cornell University and his PhD in musicology at the University of Pennsylvania, writing about Gustav Mahler. His field of research has also included Anton Bruckner and Franz Schubert. He has lived in Vienna since 1990, where he has taught at a number of institutions, including the University of Music and Performing Arts. He played a leading role in developing the music department of the Institute for European Studies in Vienna since 1999, where he has also served as Center Director since 2009. Solvik is active on the board of the International Gustav Mahler Society, Vice President of Mahler Foundation, and on the editorial board of the Anton Bruckner Urtext Gesamtausgabe. He is co-founder and artistic director of the Gustav Mahler Festival in Steinbach am Atttersee.
Ulrike SychUlrike Sych is a singer and vocal pedagogue who has served as rector of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw) since October 2015.
She studied music education with majors in voice and piano at Salzburg’s Mozarteum University, after which she continued her vocal training in New York and Italy. She began teaching at the mdw in 1990. In 2007, she expanded her educational work following an invitation to teach at the Anton Bruckner Private University, where she headed the Institute for Voice and Music Theatre until she was appointed vice rector of the mdw in 2011. Since the very beginning of her professional career, countering discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities has been one of Ulrike Sych’s central concerns: She has headed both the mdw’s workgroup on equal opportunities and the Bruckner University’s non-discrimination commission; she is also a member and/or chair of various other university bodies and commissions. Ulrike Sych has continued to perform in concert internationally. At the mdw, she was elected Vice Rector of Academic Affairs and the Advancement of Women by the University Board in 2011, and 2014 saw her transfer to the area of Central Resources while also being appointed rector’s deputy. Her work as mdw rector is founded upon the connection of art, research, and teaching; participation and transparency, and an open and respectful communication style that aligns with the irrefutable principles of human dignity and human rights.
Tanja TraxlerTanja Traxler is a science journalist, university lecturer, and book author based in Vienna. She studied theoretical quantum physics at the University of Vienna. Her transdisciplinary doctoral thesis examines the epistemology of quantum physics and physical and philosophical conceptions of space and vacuum. Research has taken her to the University of California/Santa Cruz and Twente University/Enschede. She teaches the introduction and epistemology of quantum physics at the University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics, and at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Department of Cross-Disciplinary Strategies. Since 2015, she has been science editor at the Austrian daily newspaper DER STANDARD, and in 2018 she was awarded the Förderpreis Wissenschaftspublizistik. Her first book “Lise Meitner: Pionierin des Atomzeitalters” (together with David Rennert, Residenz Verlag 2018) was Austrian Science Book of the Year 2019 (category Natural Science/Technology). With philosopher Elisabeth Schäfer, she initiated the artistic research project “Critical Contact Zones: The Aesth-ethics of Climate Change” at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna and the Logical Imagination Lab at Northeastern University/Boston, US.
Felicitas Thun-HohensteinFelicitas Thun-Hohenstein is a curator, art historian, and professor at the Institute for Art and Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
She heads several research projects such as the Cathrin Pichler Archive for Art and Sciences (CPA) and The Dissident Goddesses' Network, Forum Morgen, Lower Austria. Her expansive teaching, research, lecturing, and exhibition activities focus on contemporary art, modern art, arts-based research, and feminist theory and practice. In 2019, she was curator of the Austrian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. She is a member of the curatorial board of the mumok – Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, as well as the European Forum Alpbach. Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein is the author and editor of numerous texts and publications.
Marina MahlerMarina Mahler is the granddaughter of composer Gustav Mahler and Alma Mahler, and the daughter of sculptor Anna Mahler and conductor Anatole Fistoulari. In 2004 she founded, with Ernest Fleischmann and the Bamberger Symphoniker, The Mahler Competition for Conducting. She has founded and seeded Mahler Foundation which inspires and embraces ongoing concepts and projects in three main fields: Mahler and the 21 Century, encouraging innovation and creativity in the arts, Song of the Earth awareness and activity for climate change, and Project Infinitude reaching out to children, in all three availing itself maximally of all media possibilities to take Mahler Beyond the usual venues and habitats and public.
Elisabeth von SamsonowElisabeth von Samsonow is an artist and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, visiting professor at Bauhaus University Weimar (2012), and member of GEDOK München. Her international exhibitions and curatorial work, teaching, and research focus on philosophy and history in relation to a theory of collective memory; on the relationship between art, psychology, and politics throughout history until today; on the theory and history of the image of women or female identification (Young Girl studies), sacred androgyny, and the modern “disintegration of the self.” Her oeuvre includes sculpture, performance, painting, and video. She explores the systematic and symbolic place of female sculpture in the artistic canon and the ecological aesthetic or geo-logic of bodies.
Andreas WeberBiologist and philosopher Andreas Weber, 53, researches aliveness as a sensory, subjective, shared, and poetic experience. He teaches at Berlin University of the Arts and was an adjunct professor at the Indian Institute of technology, Guwahati. Recent publications include: “Enlivenment. A Poetics for the Anthropocene” (MIT Press, 2019) und “Warum Kompromisse schließen” (Duden-Verlag, 2020).
Thomas LangThomas Lang is the writer of several novels, e.g. “Than” (2002) awarded with the Bayerischer Staatsförderungspreis and the Marburger Literaturpreis. 2005 he was given the renowned Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis for an extract from the novel “Am Seil” which additionally has been put on the shortlist of the Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse (2006). Most recently, the novels “Immer nach Hause” about the younger Hermann Hesse (2016) and “Freinacht” (2019) were edited by Berlin Verlag. Lang incidentally teaches creative writing, most recently the 24th “Klagenfurter Literaturkurse” (2021). He lives in Munich.
Orchestra for the EarthJohn Warner is the founder and artistic director of Orchestra for the Earth, Chief Conductor of Central London Orchestra, and regularly assists world-class conductors such as Daniel Harding and Thomas Søndergård. His pioneering work with Orchestra for the Earth takes him across Europe for a wide variety of nature-inspired concerts, collaborating with leading environmental artists, scientists, and charities. 2020 saw invitations to conduct at King’s Place, British Youth Opera, the Waterloo Festival (London), St Endellion Festival (Cornwall), and Het Concertgebouw’s Mahler Festival (Amsterdam). Other recent appearances include the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra, Oxford Sinfonia, and the Orchestra of St John’s, and masterclasses with the BBC and Oxford Philharmonic orchestras.
Susan ZarrabiMunich-born mezzo-soprano Susan Zarrabi is a member of the Opera Studio of the Komische Oper Berlin since the 2020/21 season. In 2019 she appeared as Cherubino in W.A.Mozart's “Le nozze di Figaro” at the Bielefeld Theatre. In 2022 Susan Zarrabi can be heard at the Cologne Philharmonic as Prince Orlofsky in J.Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” under the musical direction of Marcus Bosch.
Together with Gerold Huber, she arranged a song recital in January as part of the Young Singers series of the Schubert Week at the Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin. Susan Zarrabi was a two-time scholarship holder of the Lied Academy of the international music festival Heidelberger Frühling (2016/2017) under the direction of Thomas Hampson and in 2018 at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. In 2018, the mezzo-soprano was a guest at the 3rd Gustav Mahler Festival in Steinbach am Attersee and in 2019 and 2020 at the Gustav Mahler Vereinigung in Hamburg. Her previous concert activities have taken her through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.