Blockflutes & Artistic Director
Jorge Isaac (Caracas/Venezuela, 1974) recorder player and founder of the Visisonor Foundation. Isaac completed his professional training under the tutelage of Walter van Hauwe at the Amsterdam Conservatory in 2000. In 2002 received his master degree at the same institution. Soon after, in 2006, he was appointed as Recorder Professor at the Amsterdam Conservatory, carrying on the famous Amsterdam Recorder School. Jorge Isaac has been awarded several international prizes, such as the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition 2001 (including the special prize "best use of electronics") in The Netherlands and the Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition of Contemporary Music in Poland (2001). In 2004 he was awarded the first prize at the Jur Naessens Music Award in Amsterdam with his multimedia production "Mensa Secunda". In 2007 he received an Award of Distinction at the Prix Ars Electronica in Austria for his work "Marionette". As a soloist, Isaac has given a large number of performances and masterclasses over the globe. He has collaborated with a.o. the ensembles ASKO & Schoenberg, Nieuw Ensemble, the Dutch Chamber Orchestra, The National Dutch Ballet, The Dutch Opera, stage director Pierre Audi, the composer György Ligeti, and the conductor Reinbert de Leeuw. He is at the moment involved with a great variety of concerts and recitals, early and new music projects, multimedia performances, his teaching activities at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and in the production of new interdisciplinary works together with the Visisonor Foundation.
Matthijs Koene (Purmerend/NL, 1977) concluded his studies Cum Laude in 2001 at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Already during his studies, Matthijs developed a new technique that allows him to meet the very different tones, articulations and dynamics that are specific in use by classical and modern music. His vision and playing style has a high technical level as well as musical expression which brings Panflute to a complete new level. Up to now, more than 70 works has been written for him.
With his panflute-guitar duo, Verso, he won several awards including the Vriendenkrans and Concertgebouw prize in 2003, the prize for contemporary music of the Comradio Competition in Barcelona and the IBLA Grand Prize in Italy. Together with Duo Verso he performs regularly at international venues. In 2007 the duo played in Carnegie Hall in New York. Matthijs also works closely with the organist Jos van der Kooy and he plays in various contemporary music ensembles.
Since September 2005, Matthijs Koene is a Panflute professor at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.
Esra Pehlivanli (Ankara/Turkey, 1977) has been awarded several international prizes such as the 5th Krzysztof Penderecki International Contemporary Music Competition (Poland), Torneo Internazionale di Musica (Italy), Jur Naessens Music Award (The Netherlands), first prize at the Premio Valentino Bucchi International Viola Competition (Italy), where she also received the Medaglia del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana and "The Best String Player of the Year" award in Donizetti Classical Music Awards 2013. The content of PEHLIVANLI’s repertory spans from Baroque until the music of present time. Besides performing all the major works of the viola literature, she’s a great devotee of contemporary music and collaborates with composers for the creation and promotion of new viola repertory. Many works have been written for her name. She has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, and worked with conductors Emil Tabakov, Marek Pijarowski, Raoul Gruneis, Heiko Mathias Förster, Patrick Souillot. Pehlivanli has taken part in festivals such as Robeco Zomerconcerten, Grachtenfestival, International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, Festival Classique Den Haag, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Mommenta Festival, De International Ankara Music Festival, Ljubljana Festival a.o. and radio & TV recordings for RTL Germany, TRT Turkey, Concertzender the Netherlands.
Marko Kassl (Klagenfurt/Austria) has chalked up a number of notable successes at international competitions – he was awarded a scholarship by the Richard-Wagner-Verband and a sponsorship award from GWK Münster/Westphalia. The winner of the Austrian Accordion Competition, he was also a price-winner in the JAA Accordion Competition in Tokyo and the international Pro Loco Camalò Competition in Italy. As soloist and chamber musician Marko Kassl performed at festivals and venues like Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Ankara Festival, Mersin Music Festival, Donaueschinger Musiktage, at the Duisburg Theater, Philharmonie Essen, Köln Philharmonie, Festival Musica Eterna Dubrovnik, Chamber Music Festival Utrecht and Ljubljana Festival.
Marko Kassl recorded for radio-stations like Deutschlandradio, WDR (both Germany), TRT (Turkey), Ö1 (Austria), RTV Slovenia and Concertzender, Radio4 (the Netherlands). He is intensively collaborating with internationally acclaimed composers in order to create and enlarge the repertory for his still young instrument.
He teaches at Detmold Academy of Music in Germany. From 2015 on he leads an accordion class at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
The Spanish percussionist Enric Monfort (Valencia/Spain, 1979) is an experienced musician in the classical, contemporary and crossover music scenes. After his studies with the Amsterdam Percussion Group and Emmanuel Séjourné, Monfort has established himself as a versatile musician that creates and works in a very wide variety of fields. He has worked with Koninkijk Concertgebouw Orkest, Nederlands Philharmonish Orkest or Orquesta Del Palau De Les Arts De València, Ziggurat Ensemble, The Barton Workshop, Percussion Group The Hague. He is percussionist with The Axyz Ensemble and N Ensemble. As a soloist, Monfort has performed in the Netherlands, Spain, Luxemburg, Denmark, Germany, Turkey, premiering many pieces written for him. In 2006 he founded Duometrie, with bass clarinet player Carlos Galvez, and since 2005 he is artistic leader of Kimbala, Percussion Sextet and Percusons Festival (Spain). Enric Monfort has been also in contact with different percussive traditions from all over the world (African, Indian, South-American, Japanese, Korean and of course Spanish and European) whose influence can be found in both his playing and his creative side. With shows like Egungun, Kaleidoscope, Gears, Miniatures or Añá, Monfort creates new musical and visual experiences working with composers, dancers and visual artists. In summer 2008, for an audience of more than 3000 People, he premiered A La Terra, his last show for Kimbala, where Monfort invited world famous Spanish Flamenco dancer Antonio Canales and the Basque Duo of Txalaparta players Ttukunak to this global song to the earth.