Ekaterina Solovey was born in Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) in 1985 and hails from a family of musicians. During her studies of the Russian folk instrument domra at the Ural State Mussorgsky Conservatoire, she played in the European Guitar & Mandolin Youth Orchestra in 2005; she then decided to devote herself solely to the mandolin, which she learned at the same time as the domra. In 2010 she enrolled at the Cologne University of Music, graduating with summa cum laude as a pupil of Caterina Lichtenberg.
Before and during her studies, Solovey won numerous international competitions, most recently First Prize at the Folk Modern Artist festival competition in Nesebar, Bulgaria (2011) and the WDR “Open Auditions” competition (2012). Concert tours have taken her to Russia, Spain, Israel, Austria, Italy, and the USA, among other countries, where she has shone as a soloist and chamber musician. Numerous performances with renowned orchestras such as the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian State Orchestra, and Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under well-known conductors such as Kent Nagano and Vladimir Jurowski round out her diverse portfolio.
Chamber music plays a special role in Solovey’s artistic work. In 2010 she founded the Milchkafee-Trio (two mandolins and guitar) and she has been performing with the unique trio sixty1strings, which features mandolin, guitar, and harp, since 2015, whose debut album Ambarrabà was released by GENUIN in spring 2020.
Konstanze Kuß comes from a dynasty of musicians and is a third-generation harpist. Growing up in Paderborn, she received her first harp lessons at the age of five from Clotilde Oelmüller. Since then she has regularly taken part in national competitions and has won multiple prizes in the categories of solo harp, harp chamber music, solo recorder, and new music ensemble.
After graduating from high school, she began studying music at the Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media with Ruth Konhäuser (Hanover State Theater), AnneSophie Bertrand (Frankfurt Radio Symphony), and Birgit Bachhuber (NDR Radiophilharmonie). At the same time she began turning her attention to various historical instruments and appearing with different instrumental configurations and ensembles, including the Eranos Ensemble for Early Music and the Hofkapelle Munich.
In contrast with the preceding, she has also been involved in crossover projects in the rock/pop sphere and has gained experience in the field of experimental music, including with the electric harp. In 2008 she received a scholarship from the Richard Wagner Verband International. After completing her studies in 2009, she took on stand-in roles in a number of orchestras, including the Bielefeld Philharmonic Orchester and Theater for Lower Saxony, and took part in several productions of the Freilichtspiele Tecklenburg and the Allee Theater Hamburg.
She currently performs concerts as a soloist and with a number of duo partners and ensembles, such as the Studiogruppe Baltruweit, in Germany and abroad, and she is a member of Amabilees (film music featuring flute, harp, and bass) and the First German Harp Ensemble. Her engagements also include studio recordings and live appearances on radio and television. Konstanze Kuß is a founding member of the trio sixty1strings with its unique combination of mandolin, guitar, and harp.
Negin Habibi was born in Tehran in 1982 and hails from a family of writers and literary translators. Having grown up in several countries (Iran, France, Belarus, and Germany), she came into contact with different cultures at an early age. Her musical career has also been characterized to this day by great diversity and openness. She began her classical guitar training at the age of twelve and has also played electric guitar in rock bands.
In 2001 she began studying music at the University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig and completed her studies with top marks at the Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media in 2005 as a member of the class of Frank Bungarten. In 2008 she earned her concert exam at the Lucerne School of Music, with summa cum laude. During her studies she attended numerous master classes with well-known musicians such as Stephen Stubbs, Fareed Haque, and Markus Stockhausen.
Since 2007, Habibi has received scholarships from several foundations and associations including the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation’s Live Music Now and the Edelhof Ricklingen Foundation. She gave her concert debut in 2004 with Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and is now a sought-after soloist and chamber musician who has made a name for herself with innovative projects such as the baroque ensemble Ciaconna, the Duo Images, and the trio sixty1strings, of which she was the initiator.
Her busy concert schedule has taken her to the USA, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, and Bhutan. She continues to receive important musical inspiration from Israel Golani, with whom she has been studying baroque guitar and the foundations of early music since 2014. Negin Habibi has already released four CDs on prestigious labels.
Picture: Anne de Wolff
The Artist's Homepage: https://www.sixty1strings.de/home/
Music of the Golden Age
Works by Arrigoni, Vivaldi, Le Cocq, Castello, Uccellini, Scarlatti, de Murcia and Marais
Works by Saint-Saëns, Henze, Mikheev, Ginastera, Debussy, Rodrigo, Iglesias, Ravel and Fähndrich