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.
Roman Widaszek – clarinetist, graduated with a distinction from the Music Academy in Katowice – the class of professor Kierski. He mastered his skills at many impresario courses conducted by professor Guy Deplus and prof. Michael Arrignon.
He is the laureate of II award at I Polish Clarinet Festival in Piotrkow Trybunalski (1995), and also a laureate of III award at Polish Composition Contest in Bielsko-Biała (1990). He is a scholar of the Minister of Art and Culture. He was also awarded with a Brown Cross for his merits in popularising the music culture. Because of his active artistic activity, his output includes many solo and chamber concerts, while performing with such artists and bands like e.g. Sharon Kam, Antonio Saiote, Dimitri Ashkenazy, Kwartet Śląski, (Silesian Quartet), Hilliard Ensemble.
He performed as a soloist with the majority of Polish orchestras like: National Symphonic Orchestra of Polish Radio in Katowice, Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra, Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra, Wroclaw and Poznan Philharmonic Orchestras as well as Sinfonietta Cracovia, AUKSO, Orchestra of Polish Radio – AMADEUS, Orchestra of Beethoven Academy where he performed inter alia, compositions by C.Stamitz, W.A. Mozart, C.M. Weber, K. Kurpiński, A. Ponchielli , F. Mendelssohn F. Krommer, M. Bruch, H. Tomasi, W. Lutosławski, M. Górecki i A. Shaw.
He also performs as a soloist and a chamber musician at many concerts and festivals in Poland and abroad. e.g. in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Gran Canaria, Finland,Danmark, Kosovo, Macedonia, South Korea, Japan, China. He has made over twenty recordings (EMI, DUX, CD ACCORD), for which he was nine times nominated to the prestigious Fryderyk Award. He cooperates with famous Polish composers (e.g. Hanna Kulenty, Zbigniew Bargielski, Mikołaj Górecki, Marcel Chyrzyński, Krzysztof Herdzin), and as a result he made a lot of preview performances of solo and chamber compositions which were dedicated to him. As one of very few clarinetists he also plays a very rare instrument i.e. bassethorn ( alto kind of clarinet). This is the instrument he used to play when performing together with Sharon Kam at the International Festival called ”Music in Old Cracow” in 2004 performing Konzertstücke op. 113 and 114 F of Mendelssohn for clarinet, bassethorn and orchestra. He is also a lecturer of national and foreign courses (including Royal Conservatory in Brussels and Music Conservatory in Porto), and a juror of national and international clarinet contests In 1997 – 2011 he was the first clarinetist of Capella Cracoviensis. He is a member of Cracow Reed Trio, Cracow Wind Quintet, Polish Bassethorn Ensemble and a Professor of Music Academy in Katowice (nominated in 2018 ).
Prof. MA Gordana Josifova-Nedelkovska, graduated and obtained her Master’s degree at the Faculty of Music Arts at the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius ”in Skopje, in the class of prof. Kiro Davidowski, and is training at the Mozart Academy in Warsaw, Poland and the BANFF Center for Music and Sound in Canada, as their fellow. She has won several awards at national and international competitions.
Josifova-Nedelkovska as a soloist performs with many important orchestras such as the Symphony Orchestra of the National Chapel of St. Petersburg, the chamber orchestra “Music Viva” under the direction of prominent conductor and cellist Alexander Rudin, Cervantes Philharmonic Orchestra of the Philharmonic Orchestra Villach Philharmonic Orchestra from Austria, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra from the Czech Republic, the Tallinn Symphony Orchestra from Estonia, the Symphony Orchestra of Rome, the Symphony Orchestra of Belgrade, the String Chamber Orchestra of the Slavic Philharmonic Orchestra, the Macedonian Chamber Orchestra, the chamber orchestra “St. George “, Avignon-Provence Orchestra, Porto Alegre Chamber Orchestra – Brazil, United European Chamber Orchestra, etc. She has performed with numerous recitals in Canada, USA, China, Brazil, Estonia, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine (performance with the outstanding violinist Nigel Kennedy), Finland, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, performing in halls such as the prestigious: “Verdi” in Milan, Auditorium “S. Margherita “in Venice,” Botteghino Auditorium conciliazione “in Rome,” Smetana Hall “in Prague, etc. Josifova-Nedelkovska’s repertoire includes works from the early baroque to contemporary art, including numerous premieres of works by contemporary composers and a large number of works by Macedonian authors. The invitation by the legendary Ennio Morricone, Gordana Josifova-Nedelkovska, to perform with him at the opening ceremony of the Ohrid Summer Festival in 2009 is of great importance.
After a successful performance in 2010 at the Moscow Art November Festival, where she was portrayed by critics as an “oboe poet”, Josifova-Nedelkovska has been active in Russia at festivals such as the Bach Marathon in 2011 and the Mozart Marathon in 2014, the stage of the most famous Russian hall, Bolshoi Zal, with some of the world’s most prominent musical names: Peter Laul, Alexander Gindin, Alexei Volodin, Ilya Gringoltz, Christopher Taylor and others.
What makes her personality complete is undoubtedly her organizational skills. In the past she has held several important positions: President of the Musical Youth of Macedonia, Head of the Department of Wind Instruments at the Faculty of Music, and in two terms she was Vice Dean of the same Faculty and a member of the Senate of UKIM. Since 2005 she has been appointed President of the Commission for Culture of the University “St. Cyril and Methodius ”, and also on the proposal of UKIM, and elected by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, was elected a member of the council of the Macedonian Radio and Television in two terms. In 2008 (by the then rector of the University “St. Cyril and Methodius”, Gjorgji Martinovski) she was awarded a plaque in recognition of her contribution to the affirmation of the university in the country and abroad. As a member she is engaged in several other boards, including the board for awarding the award “St. Kliment Ohridski ”, and since 2014 she has been a member of the board for awarding the“ Mother Teresa ”award. In the period 2001-2003 she was the President of the Management Board and selector of the music program of the Ohrid Summer Festival, and from 2007-2016 she was selector of the music program of this most renowned festival in the country.
Her work is of particular importance for the culture in the Republic of Macedonia. She has been adorned with many awards and recognitions, including the award “November 13”, which she received in 2009 from the City of Skopje for high achievements on the international music scene. In 2014 she won the “Virtuosos” award in the category of international affirmation. Gordana Josifova Nedelkovska, for her achievements in the promotion of art in Macedonia, the promotion of Macedonian art abroad and the support of the promotion of French culture in Macedonia, was awarded the prestigious Order of the Republic of France – “Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature”, which is one of the four most important decorations in France.
The success of her work has been confirmed by a worldwide recognition – namely, in 2004 she was nominated by the Editorial Board of the American Biographical Institute Gordana Josifova-Nedelkovska in the category “Successful Women of the 21st Century”. In the publication that contains biographies and works of women who are influential and creative in the social life in their countries, she is chosen among the women in the world, because by her action as an artist and pedagogue she left deep traces in her environment. The text of the American Biographical Institute states that Gordana Josifova-Nedelkovska is one of the successful women of the 21st century, who with her overall activity can serve as an example and signpost for the younger generations.
Gordana Josifova-Nedelkovska is a full professor of oboe, chamber music and teaching methods of wind instruments at the Faculty of Music – Skopje. From the academic year 2009/2010 she was elected dean of this faculty, and in the academic year 2013/2014 she was re-elected dean for another term. From 15.09.2016 she was appointed Vice Rector for International Cooperation at the University “St. Cyril and Methodius ”in Skopje.
Dejan Gavrić was born in Belgrade . He started playing flute at the age of 11 and gave his first concert only a year later. From 1984 to 1988 he studied at the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade. Upon receiving a scholarship to continue his education at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, he became a student in the studio of Professor Matthias Rütters. He graduated from Folkwang Hochschule with honors in February 1991. As a student he received the First Prize at the Folkwang-Hochschule Competition, as well as the prestigious Folkwang Award for his overall artistic achievements. In 1993, after completing his postgraduate studies with honors at the same institution, he became a Professor at Folkwang Hochschule. He has won awards at various international competitions, including the Maria Casals Competition in Barcelona (Spain) and the Leonardo De Lorenzo Competition in Viaggio (Italy).During his studies in Belgrade, he appeared as a soloist with The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and The Belgrade Radio Television Symphony Orchestra on multiple occassions. He has performed at BEMUS Festival (Belgrade, Serbia) and Summer Music Festival (Split, Croatia), and has also made recordings for Belgrade Radio and Television. His engagements as a soloist and ensemble member have taken him to England, France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany, Japan, and USA, including appearances at The Marlboro Music Festival, and Hitzacker Musiktagen. He was engaged as solo Flutist at the Theater and Philharmonic Orchestra in Essen, in the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, and in the Philhramonic Orchestra in Graz. Since 2002 Dejan Gavrić has been employed as a Full Time Professor for Flute at the Hochschule für Mainz.
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.