Detlef Bensmann studied saxophone with Prof. Omar Lamparter and double bass with Prof. Heinz Jablonski in Berlin, Germany. After playing double bass in the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin (1979/80), he started his career as a saxophone soloist with a debut concert in the Berlin Philharmonie with the Radio Symphonie Orchestra Berlin (DSO) and a first recording of concertos for saxophone and orchestra (1980). Among Mr. Bensmann’s twenty commercial recordings of important works are pieces composed for Detlef Bensmann and others composed by Detlef Bensmann. He reguarly performs internationally with world-class orchestras and conductors of renown, such as Dmitrij Kitajenko with the Berner Symphoniker, with Radio Symphonie Orchestra Frankfurt (HR), and Kazushi Ono, Sian Edwards, Eiji Oue, Tetsuro Ban, David Shallon, Michael Dixon, Golo Berg, Neil Thompson, Jorge Lopez Marìn (Cuba), Olaf Koch and others.
More than 25 concertos for saxophone and orchestra have been composed especially for Detlef Bensmann (mostly recorded) and he has premiered more than 100 compositions for chamber ensembles or solo pieces; most od those are documented on nearly 50 cds.
In 1983, Mr. Bensmann founded the Berlin Saxophone Quartet where, until July 2007, he performed as the primarius (principal) of this ensemble. He has continued playing saxophone quartets with the “Bensmann-Saxophone-Quartet”, which he founded 2006 with students of his master-class. In 2017 Mr. Bensmann founded in Shenzhen (China) the Nova Berlin Saxophone Quartet together with Pei Yin, Lilly Paddags and Ninoslav Dimov. In 2018 he refounded the Bensmann Saxophone Quartet in Berlin with Tianhong Wu, Pai Liu and Ninoslav Dimov.
In 1984, Mr. Bensmann started teaching at the University of the Arts, Berlin. Since 1992, he is also teaching at the “Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin” and, from summer 2010 to summer 2016, he was teaching at the HMT Rostock. Since Winter 2016 he is also teaching in Akademie for Arts Berlin and since October 2018 in Akademie for Music Berlin (Kaleidos Universtiy).
Since 1987, Mr. Bensmann has also performed at concerts and recorded with the piano soloist Michael Rische (2 cds published). In that time he also started the cooperation with Christian Roderburg (percussion, 1 cd together). For both duos compositions were created.
In 2004, Mr. Bensmann founded the BENSMANN-TRIO with Waltraut Wächter (Violin – first Konzertmeister of MDR SO) and the pianist Dmitrij Befeler. (first commercial CD “Poèmes”). This trio is still working with different partners.
In the last 20 years, Mr. Bensmann has also pursued a career as conductor and composer.
The most important works composed by Detlef Bensmann are:
- “Spirale“ for saxophone alto and full orchestra (1)
- “Fantasia cubana” for saxophone alto/soprano (1 player) and chamber orchestra (1)
- „Hallo Mr. SaxOphon“ for 5 saxophones (one player) and orchestra (for family programs) (1)
- “Hot-Sonata” by Erwin Schulhoff / Detlef Bensmann (orchestration 1993 (2), 2014 (1))
- “Maurische Rhapsodie” by Claude Debussy / Detlef Bensmann (reconstruction, arrangement, orchestration, in small parts new composed) for Alto-/ Sopranosaxophone and Orchestra (1)
- “An American Songbook” for singer and orchestra (1)
- “Traumsequenzen” for violin and saxophone alto (1)
- “Wo das Licht die Saite kreuzt – Poème nach Claude Debussy“ for viol., alto sax., piano (1)
- „Psalm and Meditation“ for soprano, vcello, sax., perc. and organ (manuscript)
- “Magischer Gesang” for alto saxophone and organ or wind orchestra.
Detlef Bensmann is officially supported by the Geothe-Institut.
Oboist Branko Mihanović attended the Music Academy in Zagreb and graduated from the High State School of Music in Freiburg under Prof.. Heinz Holliger. He was solo oboist at National Opera orchestra in Zagreb, and since 1984 the first oboist of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. 2001 was appointed assistant professor, and since 2013 as a Professor of oboe at the Music Academy in Zagreb. As a soloist he has performed in most European countries, China, South America, United States and held numerous concerts accompanied by renowned Croatian and foreign orchestras. He was appointed Opera director at the National Theatre in Zagreb from 2005 to 2013. He was a member of the jury of national and international competitions as well as numerous chamber ensembles like the Zagreb Wind Trio, Zagreb Wind Ensemble, Ensemble Musica Viva, Cantus and Acoustic Project. A number of recordings were achieved by Croatia Records, Cantus, Aquaria records, Orpheus and for the needs of Croatian Radio. He has received professional awards “Milka Trnina” assigned from Croatian Musical Artists Association.
Born in Konjic. Finished Music High-school in Belgrade in 1981. Graduated clarinet from Musical Academy Sarajevo where he also obtained postgraduate degree.
At the same time he studied conducting in Skopje, Priština and Sarajevo.
In competitions for pupils and students of music in Yugoslavia in 1981 and 1983 he won the first prize as a soloist and also as a member of chamber trio of Music Academy Sarajevo.
During 1992 he found the Military Orchestra of the Republic of the Bosinia and Herzegovia. In 1993 he reinitiated the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra and remained as the director till 2008.
In 1997 he visited New York where he obtained diploma in Art management.
Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture awarded him in 1997 for special contribution to development of music culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1998 he was also awarded the Sarajevo 6th April Award for special achievements in organization of music events during war period in Sarajevo.
Business Magazine proclaimed him Art manager for successful creation and management of Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra policy.
In 2001 in Naples he was awarded „Golden Baton“ for long cultural cooperation between Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina. International Center for Peace awarded him with „Freedom“ award for his contributions to humanism and human rights in BiH, Europe and the World.
As a soloists and conductor he was a guest of Wien-Musikverein, Innsbruck, Salczburg (Austria); Paris, Perpignan, La Rochelle (France); Rome, Venice, Ravenna, Farfa, Fermo, Ostia (Italy); Istanbul ,Ankara, Izmir (Turkey); Ščećin (Poland); Stockholm (Sweden); Lisbon (Portugal); Zurich (Switzerland); Valencia (Spain) New York, Dayton, Lake Placid (USA), Ljubljana (Slovenia); Cyprus, Oslo (Norway), Sofia, Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Kharkov (Ukraine), Hiroshima (Japan), Kuwait city ( Kuwait) London, Edinburg (UK)…
He was also an Artistic Director of Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, professor at Sarajevo Music Academy and professor at Pedagogy Academy in Mostar.
In 2008 he found Foundation for arts and education, as well as
the First Private Music and Ballet School Amadeus.
From 2009 he is visiting chief-conductor at New Europe Symphony Orchestra.
In 2013 in Istanbul he set up and conducted the first Bosnian opera Hasanaginica, with the Istanbul state opera and ballet, as well as conducted concert for Sirye, concert for refugees from Sirria, with the Cemal Resit Rey Istanbul symphony Orchestra.
He was awarded the prize Es-Seyyid Osman Holusi Efendi Vakfi, for artistic activity in 2013.
He recorded large number of CD’s and DVD’s of classical music and spiritual islam music.
Laura Levai Aksin was born in Subotica, Serbia. She graduated and did her master thesis at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. She continued her studies in Paris in the class of Prof. Claude Lefebvre and Prof. Patrick Gallois where she graduated with “1er prix de superieur” and “1er prix d’exellence à l’unanimité du jury”. She improved her knowledge during numerous master classes held by renowned soloists and pedagogues.
She is the winner of the first and special awards at republic and federal competitions. She was awarded the competition of Music Artists of Yugoslavia in Zagreb. At the 6th International Tribune of the Composers in Belgrade, she was awarded the First Prize for the interpretation of contemporary works.
She performed as a soloist with a number of symphonic and chamber orchestras in Serbia and abroad. She gave a number of recitals and played in many chamber concerts in the former countries of Yugoslavia, as well as in France, Belgium, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia, Portugal, Greece, Israel, etc.
Laura Levai Aksin is a solo flautist of the Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra. Earlier she was a solo flutist of the Opera Orchestra of the Serbian National Theatre, the chamber orchestra Camerata Academica in Novi Sad, as well as of the ensemble for the new music Musica Viva. During her stay in France, she was the member of the Tickmayer Formatio, Theatre Jel and Orleans Flute Orchestra.
She is a member of the chamber trio with Rita Kinka (piano) and Mark Josifoski (violin), The Flute Trio Density and Wind Quintet Synergia 5.
The publishing houses Recommended Records from London, EOS from Graz, Visio Mundi and SKC from Novi Sad published compact discs with her performances. Currently she is teaching flute as a full professor at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. She has given a large number of master classes and served as a jury member at numerous domestic and international competitions and festivals. She is a member of Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra as solo flutist.
Strasho Temkov is one of the most successful Macedonian musicians from his generation, whose activity strengthens the tradition of the artistic music in the country, promoting the interpretation of the brass instruments so characteristic of this region. He chose music as his life commitment in his youngest years, and continued to pass all the steps to form a top musician-interpreter. He finished his studies at the Faculty of Music in Skopje, and postgraduate studies at the Music Academy “Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia. During studying, Strasho Temkov collaborates with renowned artists and pedagogues from Europe and the world. The excellent school is confirmed by acquiring numerous awards of the republic and federal – within the former SFRY – competitions of young artists.
From 1991-2010 in the Macedonian Philharmonic, his flute becomes a kind of “recognizable sign” of this institution: as the first flute of the Philharmonic, he regularly performs the impressive solos of world orchestral literature. The talent and the desire for artistic realization lead him to the concert podiums – as a soloist with several orchestras (Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, Ho Chi Minh Symphony Orchestra, French-American Chamber Orchestra, Nish Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, Macedonian Chamber Orchestra, Amoroso Chamber Orchestra, Lady Chamber Orchestra, etc.), soloist with numerous recital programs, a member of the renowned “Macedonian Wind Quintet” and the trio “Aura”. Strasho Temkov performes at renowned music festivals in the country and abroad: “Ohrid Summer Festival”, “Autumn Music Festivities”, “Skopje Summer Festival”, “Days of Macedonian Music”, “Herakleian Nights”, “Art Apollonia”, “Salon of Art” -Sofia R. Bulgaria, “NIMUS”, “LEDAMUS” – Serbia, “Espressivo”, „International festival of chamber music “-Nikšić C.Gora,”Baščaršijski nights”-Sarajevo BiH, „Makarska Summer Festival”, Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek, Prelog-Croatia, Italy, France, England, USA, etc.
He is one of the few Macedonian artists who performed in Carnegie Hall, New York, USA – one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world. The repertoire of Straso Temkov covers the periods from Baroque to contemporary music, and his aspiration to promote modern works is notable – such as the world literature for flute and modern Macedonian composers. He has released two CDs in collaboration with pianist Marija Vrskova, produced by MMM and DKU-SKOPJE SUMMER FESTIVAL.
Besides the artistic activity, Strasho Temkov is actively involved with pedagogy. He is a professor at the Faculty of Music Arts – Skopje, mentor of undergraduate and master studies. The results of his pedagogical activity are obvious, his students win prestigious awards at competitions for young musicians, perform with solo recitals and as soloists with orchestras. He is founder of the flute quartet “AULOS”, and he is regularly invited to be a member of a jury of domestic and international competitions. Strasho Temkov is the winner of the prestigious “Golden Lira” award, awarded by the Association of Music Artists of Macedonia for top art achievements. He is at the top of his profession, an artist with a striking style of interpretation.