Portrait English

Ensemble Fiacorda 

Robert Zimansky, Violin

Mateusz Szczepkowski, Violin

Monika Clemann, Viola

Nebojša Bugarski, Cello

Petru Iuga Double Bass

Fabio di Casola, Clarinet

Marie-Thérèse Yan, Bassoon

Henryk Kalinski, Horn

Fiacorda is an ensemble of string and wind instruments performing in a variety of combinations from trio to octet. The Ensemble consists of clarinet, bassoon, horn, two violins, viola, cello and double bass, which moves the audience and inspires composers to create new pieces. Beethoven’s Septet and Schubert’s Octet are two highlights of their repertoire. They also delight in discovering other high-level classical and romantic chamber music as well as contemporary works.

Fiacorda’s musical profile has been formed over the years by its members’ enormous pleasure in performing together and their uncompromising approach to the works they play. The Ensemble regularly performs in prestigious concert series and festivals throughout Europe and has recorded pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Berwald and Blanc. Bruno Karrer and Helena Winkelman have written pieces specifically for Fiacorda and add to the repertoire of octets and septets previously written for the ensemble by Peter Benary, Caspar Diethelm, August Wirz and Francesco Raselli. George Gershwin’s ‘An American in Paris’, transcribed by Robert Zimansky for octet, has been performed very successfully. 

Fiacorda’s own concert series in Basel ‘Encounters with Music’ is a popular meeting place for chamber music lovers. Each concert is accompanied by a workshop for children and so offers whole families the opportunity of attending concerts together. The children hear the beginning of the concert and experience the sound of chamber music. Subsequently, they participate in a workshop that offers them access to music and musical instruments through a playful approach. In this way, Fiacorda brings about a musical experience for whole families and therefore reaches a new accepting audience.


The Musicians

Robert Zimansky, Violin
Robert Zimansky is one of the most versatile violinists of his generation. After early studies with John Ferrell, he continued his musical education at the Juilliard School in New York with Ivan Galamian. In 1972 he moved to Europe and held the position of leader of the orchestras in Spoleto, Munich, Stuttgart, at the Zurich Symphony Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva. Robert Zimansky appeared as soloist with many important conductors, such as Sawallisch, Stein, Dutoit, Zinman, Blomstedt, Inbal, Herbig, and Jordan. As a chamber musician, he plays in various ensembles (including the Amadeus Piano Quartet). He was professor at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva and at the University of Arts in Zürich. www.robertzimansky.ch

Mateusz Szczepkowski, Violin
Mateusz Szczepkowski studied at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. He came to Switzerland in 2004, where he continued his studies, completing them with distinction. He has been assistant to Rudolf Koelmann at the Zurich University of the Arts since 2007. He appears as a chamber musician, as well as a soloist and leader of the orchestra with well known orchestras in Switzerland and various European countries. He is a member of the Santé quartet.

Monika Clemann, Viola
Monika Clemann appears internationally with well known ensembles. She was the solo viola player with the Ensemble Contrechamps in Geneva (1982-1992) and with the Collegium Musicum Basel (2004-2010), and is a founder member of the Ensemble Phoenix Basel. As a chamber musician, she plays in the Ensemble Fiacorda, in the Ensemble Viva and in the TrioPlus. Monika Clemann champions contemporary and historical performance practice, and has participated in numerous radio and CD recordings. As a teacher at the Musik Akademie Basel she imparted her knowledge with great enthusiasm to her students. www.netzwerk-kammermusik.ch

Nebojša Bugarski, Cello
Nebojša Bugarski grew up in Belgrade. He was awarded numerous first prizes in national competitions in the former Yugoslavia, and in 1992 he won the first international cello competition in Liezien, Austria. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber music player in Europe, USA, Mexico, Asia and the United Arab Emirates. A CD with Boccherini's cello concert was issued by the IMPROMTU label. Since 2006 Nebojša Bugarski has been the solo cellist of the Collegium Musicum Basel. He teaches at the Musik Akademie Basel

Petru Iuga, Double Bass
Having received his first training in his native Romania, Petru Iuga was selected by Yehudi Menuhin for the International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad.
After further training at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, he became a member of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, principal bass in the Münchner Kammerorchester and guest principal bass in the London Symphony Orchestra.
He has won numerous awards at international competitions, including first prizes in Markneukirchen and Capbreton. He has appeared as soloist with many major European orchestras.
Petru Iuga currently holds professorships at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim and the Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne.

Fabio di Càsola, Clarinet
At the age of 23 Fabio di Càsola won the first prize of the famous CIEM (Concours International d’Exécution Musicale) in Geneva. Soon after, he was invited to perform in various international festivals, including the Berlin Festival under Claudio Abbado, the Evian Festival under Mstislav Rostropovich, and Lockenhaus Festival with Gidon Kremer. Since 2006 he publishes his recordings with SONY. The orchestral CD with clarinet works of Weber received the ‘Editor’s Choice’ of the well-respected Gramophone Magazine. He is professor for clarinet and chamber music at the Zurich University of Arts. www.dicasola.com

Marie-Thérèse Yan, Bassoon
Marie Thérèse Yan was born in Burma and grew up in France and Germany. She studied at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, in Amsterdam and Karlsruhe. She has played at home and abroad in various chamber music ensembles, such as the F. Poulenc Quartet and the NEC, and she works for radio and television. She has contributed to many recordings on CD.

Henryk Kalinski, Horn
Henryk Kalinski is originally from Poland, and studied in Warsaw. He won several international competitions, such as the Concours de Genève. For many years he was the solo horn player of the Polish Chamber Orchestra, and today is the solo horn player of the Basler Sinfonieorchester. He participates in concerts and tours in Europe, the USA, Central America, Australia and the Far East. He has made CD recordings of the Mozart horn concerti and chamber music works in various formations.