Chair Gustav Djupsjöbacka, pianist (Finland)
Gustav Djupsjöbacka made his piano debut concert in Helsinki in 1978 and was a member of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra 1977–88 playing keyboards. He has collaborated with many Finnish top singers in Finland, round Europe and in the Americas. Djupsjöbacka is the Vice President of Sibelius Society of Finland and from 2020 onwards the leader of the publishing project of Collected Works of Jean Sibelius. Djupsjöbacka has served as the principal of Sibelius Academy and was awarded with the title of Professor in 2012. He was awarded with the Finlandia medal in 2006.
Soile Isokoski, soprano (Finland
Soile Isokoski performes on the biggest stages in the world and is one of the most sought-after singers of our time. Isokoski has achieved international fame in Lappeenranta National Song Contest, International Song Contest in Tokyo and BBC Singer of the World and Elly Ameling -song contests. In 2002 Isokoski was awarded with the Pro Finlandia Medal and in 2005 with the State Prize for Music. In September 2008 Isokoski was given the title of “Kammersängerin” in Vienna.
Randi Stene, mezzosoprano (Norway)
Randi Stene has established herself as one of the most important Scandinavian singers of her generation. She had her international opera debut in 1993 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris singing Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. Since then she has guested all around Europe and in New York and worked with a large number of international pianists and conductors. She is since 2009 a professor at the Norwegian State Academy of Music, Norway, and since 2019 the Artistic Director at Trondheim Opera.
Andreas Schmidt, baritone (Germany)
Andreas Schmidt started his operatic career at the Deutsche Oper Berlin after winning the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb -music competition in 1983. Since then he has sung numerous roles in Berlin, in the Deutsche Oper as well as in the Staatsoper. He has guested in opera and concert houses round Europe and in New York and worked with numerous international orchestras and conductors. In 1997 the senate of the City of Hamburg appointed Schmidt the honorific title of “Kammersänger”.
Bengt Forsberg, pianist (Sweden)
Although Bengt Forsberg often appears as soloist with major symphony orchestras in Sweden and Scandinavia, much of his renown is focused on his work as a chamber musician, both in Sweden and abroad – as soloist as well as together with other prominent instrumentalists. His collaboration with mezzo soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has been particularly successful and they regularly perform all over the world. He is regularly invited to numerous Festivals in the Nordic countries as well as in Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
Iain Burnside, pianist (United Kingdom)
Iain Burnside has appeared in recital with many of the world’s leading singers. He is also an insightful programmer with an instinct for the telling juxtaposition. His recordings straddle an exuberantly eclectic repertoire ranging from Beethoven and Schubert to the cutting edge, as in the Gramophone Award-winning NMC Songbook. Iain Burnside is the Artistic Director of the Ludlow English Song Weekend and Artistic Consultant to Grange Park Opera.