Shirley Brill is one of the world’s most outstanding clarinetists and a professor at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin. She has won two important music competitions in Markneukirchen (Germany) and in Geneva (Switzerland) and has also won the Special Prize at the ARD International Competition in Munich (Germany). She has played with artists such as Daniel Barenboim, Sabine Meyer, Emmanuel Pahud, and the Jerusalem Quartet. She has performed at many prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Musikverein in Vienna, La Scala in Milan, and the KKL in Lucerne (Switzerland). She regularly performs with the pianist Jonathan Aner, with whom she has formed the much-praised Brillaner Duo which performs all over the world.
Since 2009, Shirley Brill has been the lead clarinetist of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim. She has taken a leading part at the Yellow Barn Programme for Young Artists’ Festival in southeastern Vermont (USA) and the Mahler Academy in Ferrara (Italy). She has also conducted master classes in Australia (the Australian National Academy of Music), Lucerne (Switzerland), Japan, the Czech Republic (the Janáček Academy), Canada and Israel (the Jerusalem Music Centre). Since 2012 she has taught the playing of chamber music at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin.
Nominated for the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Chamber Music Award, the Royal String Quartet is one of the most dynamically developing string quartets in the world today. Its repertoire combines outstanding musical works of the past with contemporary music, bravely pushing musical genres.
The RSQ was established at The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in 1998 and initially worked under the supervision of Professor Ryszard Duź from the Wilanów String Quartet. The RSQ’s artistic identity was shaped by post-graduate masterclasses with the Alban Berg Quartet at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne (2001-2004).
The critical breakthrough in the RSQ’s career came with the invitation to join BBC Radio 3’s prestigious New Generation Artists scheme (2004-2006) which promotes the most talented young musicians from all over the world.
The first international album of the RSQ, recorded for Hyperion, was released in January 2009. It consisted of both Karol Szymanowski’s quartets and it also included a relatively unknown quartet by Ludomir Różycki (world premiere recording). It was hailed as the album of the month by “BBC Music Magazine” and received enthusiastic press reviews all over the world. Another achievement came with the release of the Quartet’s next album, this time with complete recordings of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s string quartets (Hyperion 2011). Critics consider this to be one of three most important interpretations of the repertoire, was Editor’s Choice in “Gramophone” and received high praise in “BBC Music Magazine”, “Diapason” (5 stars) and “The Strad”. In 2015 Szymanski and Mykietyn relaesed an album together which in 2016 gave them nomination to FRYDERYK, one of the most prestigious awards in polish music industry.
Since Autumn 2012 RSQ has been Quartet in Residence at Queen’s University Belfast. It also regularly conducts master classes in the Palace of Rybna. The Quartet has been invited to conduct summer courses in Dartington and at Lake District Summer School (Great Britain). The Royal String Quartet has received a Special Award of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage “in recognition of their contribution to Polish culture.”
The Israeli pianist Jonathan Aner has performed as a soloist with Israel’s leading orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta. He has won major international piano and chamber music competitions in Melbourne, Florence, Senigallia, Dortmund, Berlin, Weimar and at the European Chamber Music Competition in France.
Described as a “chamber musician par excellence” by the Frankfurter Rundschau, Aner is a member of the Brillaner Duo with clarinetist Shirley Brill. He has collaborated with artists including violist Tabea Zimmermann, violinists Antje Weithaas and Daishin Kashimoto, as well as with the Jerusalem Quartet and the Terpsycordes Quartet. In addition to appearing in such prestigious concert halls as the Philharmonie in Berlin, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Aner has performed at the Bergen International Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Festival Radio France, Rheingau Music Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Bachfest Leipzig.
A former student of Arie Vardi and Konrad Elser for piano, as well as Zvi Meniker for fortepiano, Jonathan Aner also worked closely with Murray Perahia and András Schiff. He has been invited to coach masterclasses in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia. Since 2010, he has been a professor of chamber music at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin.