Erik Borgir, cello

Born in the United States into a family of Norwegian musicians * Studies at Oberlin- and New England Conservatory, teaching assistant at Rice University * Important teachers: Steven Doane, Harvey Shapiro, Siegfried Palm, Menahem Pressler, Alban Berg Quartet * Since 1991 resident in Germany *

Specialist for chamber- and contemporary music * International prizes with the Emanon Trio, solo- and chamber music performances in Europe and the US, Cellist in the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, regular guest with the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Resonanz, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Principal Cellist of the Bavarian Chamber Orchestra * Numerous radio- and CD productions, most recently with works by Nikolaus Brass, Rolf Riehm, Malika Kishino *

Cello and chamber music teacher and head of the New Music department at the conservatory in Lucerne, Switzerland * Founding member of ascolta *

Andrew Digby, trombone

Andrew Digby lived in Sheffield (England) until he was 18 years old. He began to play the piano at a very young age, the trombone aged about 10 and started to compose around 4 years later. He studied from 1986-90 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (trombone with Chris Houlding, Peter Gane and Andrew Berryman) and subsequently spent a year in London as a discographer for the MCPS/National Sound Archive.

Between 1991 and 1995 he studied composition with Mathias Spahlinger at the Music Highschool in Freiburg (Germany). Since then he has been a freelance composer and trombonist working over internationally for many years with ensemble recherche, Ensemble Aventure, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Ensemble Modern, musikFabrik, Apartment House, Klangforum Wien, PHACE music_on-line vienna and others. Composers with whom he has enjoyed particularly fruitful collaborations include, among numerous others, Klaus Huber, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Helmut Lachenmann, Hans-Joachim Hespos, Horatiu Radulescu, Mathias Spahlinger, Cornelius Schwehr, Chris Newman, Peter Ablinger and Wolfram Schurig.

Andrew Digby is a founder member of ascolta and of the composers slide quartet.

He has fulfilled commissions for Schlagquartett Köln, Ensemble Aventure, ensemble recherche, Sebastian Berweck and Carl Rosman and has arranged for ascolta works including J.S.Bach, Chopin, Brahms, Mahler, Satie, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Klaus Huber and Frank Zappa.

Florian Hoelscher, piano

Florian Hoelscher, born in 1970, studied with Robert Levin, Michel Béroff and Pierre-Laurent Aimard in Freiburg, Paris and Cologne. After early competition successes he developed extensive concert activities as a soloist and chamber musician across Europe and the USA.

He received particularly important musical impetus from Peter Eötvös and is a Founder Member of ascolta. He has enjoyed many invitations to perform with Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Aventure and musikFabrik.

He has worked as a soloist with conductors including Peter Eötvös, Christopher Hogwood, Lothar Zagrosek, Joseph Swensen and Stefan Asbury. Among his chamber music partners are Jean-Guihen Queyras, Chen Halevi and Pirmin Grehl.

He has performed solo recitals in the Festival "Présences" (Radio France, Paris), Eclat (Stuttgart), Bartók-Festival (Szombathély, Hungary), Festival Agora (IRCAM, Paris), Klangspuren Schwaz (Austria), in the Concert Hall of the WDR (West German Radio, Cologne), in the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris), Tonhalle Zürich. His most recent solo appearances were at the Salzburg Festpiele, Heidelberg Spring Festival and Darmstadt Summer Courses.

CD recordings include music by Robert Schumann, the first complete recording of the Piano Sonatas by E.T.A. Hoffmann and songs by Dieter Schnebel. The recordings of Jonathan Harvey's complete works for flute and piano (with Pirmin Grehl) and Marco Stoppa's "Miniature estrose" were awarded prizes including the "diapason d'or".

Florian Hoelscher teaches Piano and Chamber Music at the Music Highschool in Lucerne.
Julian Belli, percussion

Julian Belli was born in Wolfach in the Black Forest. He completed his first studies in percussion in Trossingen with Prof. Franz Lang, followed by further studies in Copenhagen with Prof. Gert Mortensen and finishing his soloists diploma in 2012 with Prof. Bernhard Wulff at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg.

During his studies he performed with diverse youth orchestras. Today he performs regularly with the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden Baden and Freiburg, with the Basel Sinfonieorchester and the Orchestre Philharmonique Luxembourg.

He was awarded prizes at the competitions "Jugend Musiziert", the German Music Competition and a stipend from the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg.

He has performed solo concertos with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dinnis Russel Davies, with the Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dirk Kaftan and with various wind orchestras conducted by Felix Hauswirth.

Julian Belli performed contemporary music with his duo partner Jens Bracher (trumpet). His other chamber music partners include the accordionists Luka Jurhart and Kai Wangler, the cellist Jakob Spahn and his brothers Nicolai Belli (trumpet) and Frederic Belli (trombone). He performs further in a duo with the percussionist Peer Kaliss and regularly with the Ensemble SurPlus.

Julian Belli lives in Freiburg and teaches since 2012 at the Musikschule Binningen-Bottmingen near Basel and since 2013 at the Conservatorio dell Svizzera Italiana in Lugano.

He is a member of ascolta since autumn 2014.

Boris Müller, percussion

Boris Müller was born in Haslach (Schwarzwald) in 1963. He studied percussion at the Music Highschool Trossingen with Hermann Gschwendtner and Franz Lang. A marked tendency toward the performance of chamber music led him during his studies into the new music scene where he soon became much in demand as an instrumentalist.

Since completeing his studies he has been a freelance artist working continuously with leading ensembles including Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, musikFabrik and Klangforum Heidelberg.

Boris Müller is a founding member of ascolta and is a member of Schlagquartett Köln since 2001.

Understanding himself to be a researcher of sound, Boris Müller developed wooden percussion instruments for Helmut Lachenmann's opera "das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern" (the Little Match Girl) and has since been active as a revoutionary instrument maker fulfilling orders of exceptionally high quality from renowned orchestras (Berlin Philharmonic, RSO Stuttgart and others), music highschools and percussion soloists.

Boris Müller's compositions für percussion since about 1995 continue this search for new sounds. His first Percussion Quartet, in which many of his own newly developed instruments can be heard, was performed at the festival Eclat in Stuttgart in 2005.
Markus Schwind, trumpet

Markus Schwind studied trumpet and music pedagogy with Malte Burba in Mainz and Guy Touvron in Paris. Further studies of contemporary chamber music took him to Peter Eötvös and Markus Stockhausen at the Music Highschool in Cologne. Since 1998 he has been working with leading ensembles for contemporary music such as musikFabrik, Klangforum Wien, ensemble recherche and ensemble modern under the direction of Pierre Boulez, Sylvain Cambreling, Heinz Holliger, Ingo Metzmacher, Emilio Pomarico and Hans Zender. He worked with the composers on works by John Adams, Mauricio Kagel, György Kúrtag, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm and Karlheinz Stockhausen. 

He is, furthermore, interested in interdisciplinary projects with dance or film: for example "Wolf" by Alain Platel, "Potemin" by the Pet Shop Boys, and "I am a mistake" by Jan Fabre, performed in European concert tours.

A solo CD "Paths — Klangwege", in cooperation with the organist Martin Bambauer from Trier, was issued on IFO. Other CD issues can be found on EMI, Wergo, ECM and Deutsche Grammophon.

Markus Schwind has been a member of ascolta since 2003.
Hubert Steiner, guitar

Hubert Steiner was born in 1973 and studied guitar with Professor Jürgen Ruck at the Music Highschool Würzburg. He has received many prizes, including the Kranichsteiner Music Prize (Darmstadt) 2002, and the Bavarian Art Promotion Prize 2003.

He has been a guest in famous ensembles and orchestras including Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Wiener Philharmoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker and in many opera productions. He performs in various chamber music formations including "Duo 10" with the violinist Susanne Zapf and a duo with the contrabassist Katrin Trinquart. From 2006 to 2008 he was a member of the Aleph Guitar Quartet.

Hubert Steiner is a founding member of ascolta and teaches at the Music Highschool in Würzburg since 2002. He has also acquired a reputation as an arranger of contemporary music. For ascolta he has transcribed and arranged music by Frank Zappa and Conlon Nancarrow.