Collaborative Pianists

Natsumi Ohno

Dutch pianist Michel Xie has established himself as a collaborative pianist and song
accompanist; he is currently active in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. He recorded
a CD with his duo- partner Julie Park (viola) which will be released under Linn Records in
August 2022. He also played in Wigmore Hall in the previous season where he performed
together with Bicentenary Scholars Camilla Harris (soprano) and Julie Park (viola). For the
academic year of 2021/2022 he has been appointed the Hodgson Fellowship by the Royal
Academy of Music. He is being invited regularly as staff pianist at the Conservatory of
Michel is the founder and artistic director of his foundation ‘Stichting Klassiek in
Wageningen’ which is based in The Netherlands and will organise its first edition of a
classical music festival called “Rhinegold Festival" on 13, 14 and 15 October 2022.
He is a graduate of the Conservatory of Amsterdam where he obtained a Bachelor and Master
of Music under the tutelage of Frank van de Laar and Frank Peters. He continued his studies
at the Royal Academy of Music where he specialised in ‘Collaborative Piano’. He learned
with a.o. Michael Dussek and James Baillieu and obtained a Master of Arts (Dip RAM) and
Advanced Diploma. During his studies he won the Harold Craxton Prize for chamber music
and the Regency Award for distinguished studentship and contribution to the Academy.
Michel is also a Leeds Lieder Young Artist 2022.

His studies were financially fully supported by Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, VSBfonds,
Hendrik Mullerfonds, Stichting Niemeijer Fonds, Jacques Vonk Fonds, Stichting Bekker la
Bastide Fonds, Muziekfonds Stringendo and Royal Academy of Music.
He won prizes in The Netherlands at competitions such as Prinses Christina Concours,
Stichting Jong Muziektalent and Vrienden Cultuurprijs. This has led to national and
international concerts with a.o. Het Gelders Orkest and Orkest van het Oosten (currently
named Phion).

Next to performing, Michel also has a passion for teaching and making classical music more
accessible for the younger generation. He is presenting interactive children’s concerts in the
‘Classic Express’: a mobile concert hall in The Netherlands, an initiative by the Prinses
Christina Concours. He is also a jury member of ‘De Muziekwedstrijd’: an online music
competition for young children.

With the help of Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds and Stichting Eigen
Muziekinstrument, he has always had an excellent grand piano to practice on. With support of
Ars Donandi, Willem Mengelbergfonds and Heij-Konijnfonds, he was able to enrich his
pianistic and musical skills in masterclasses with eminent professors such as Paul Badura-
Skoda, Pascal Devoyon, Christopher Elton, Andrei Gavrilov, Matti Raekallio and Jan Wijn.

Natsumi Ohno

Pianist Natsumi Ohno was born in Japan and began studying music in Tokyo. She later completed her graduate recital in Hannover with Prof. Bernd Goetzke. In addition to her soloist training, she specialized in song accompaniment in Justus Zeyen’s class as well as instrument accompeniment for strings and woodwinds. During her studies, she received stipends from Tokyo College of Music as well as the Yehudi Menuhin foundation “Live Music Now”.

Natsumi Ohno is an awardee of the International Chamber Music Competition ‘ Premio Trio di Trieste’ and of the International Piano Competition ‘ Citta di Sulmona’ in Italy. She has performed as an accompanist at the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover (2012, 2015), the Schleswig- Holstein Musik Festival, the International Festival of Young Violin Masters Lindau, the IMAS International Music Academy in Germany, the International Holland Music Sessions,the Morges Music Academy in Switzerland, the Summer Academy Cervo in Italy and Gdansk Music Festival in Poland.

Natsumi Ohno is full time faculty at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater and Medien Hannover.

Mana Oguchi

Mana Oguchi was born in Sapporo, Japan and has been studying the piano since the age of three. She studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts and Music Tokyo with Prof. Kei Itoh and the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media (Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover) with Prof.Karl-Heinz Kammerling. She completed the ‘Artistic Education’ course and she studied for her master’s degree, including Chamber Music, with Professor Markus Becker. She received a scholarship from the YAMAHA music foundation, the DAAD foundation and the Japanese Government.

Mana is highly valued as both a soloist and chamber musician and has performed in Japan and throughout Europe. As a soloist she has played with the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Wernigerode, the Festival Orchestra concert of the International Concert Society Bodensee, and Yokohama City Philhamonic in Japan. Mana has appeared in the Budapest Frühlings Festival in Hungary and she has performed at the Chamber Music Festival of HMTMH. She has a lot of concerts as soloist, accompanist and chamber music extensively in Japan, and also in Germany, England and Holland. She has performed as an accompanist at he International Festival of Young Violin Masters Lindau, the International Konzertarbeitswochen in Goslar, the IMAS International Music Academy in Germany, the International Holland Music Sessions.

Mana teaches at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media and the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin.

Vital Stahievitch

Pianist Vital Stahievitch was born in Minsk. He graduated from Republican Music College and from Belarusian Academy of Music under the guidance of Professor Zoya Kacharskaya.

He has taken part in numerous national and international festivals. He frequently appears in many cities in Belarus as a soloist, with orchestras and various chamber groups. He performed as a soloist and chamber musician in England, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Mexico, Norway, Greece, Russia, Lithuania, Poland, France, USA.

In 2000 Vital has recorded a CD with music of Schubert on Italian label “Agora”. In June 2001 he performed Second Piano Concerto by Sergei Rachmaninov with National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico in Palacio des Bellas Artes in Mexico-City (conductor – Enrique Arturo Diemecke).

Vital Stahievitch is laureat of International Stasys Vainiunas Piano Competition in Vilnius (Lithuania, 1996, 2nd Prize), Emmanuel Durlet International Piano Competition in Antwerp (Belgium, 2001, 7th Prize) and European Union Piano Competition Arcangelo Speranza in Taranto (Italy, 2005, 2nd prize). On International Piano Competition “Minsk-2005” Vital won a Diploma. In 2006 Vital was awarded with a diploma at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Marianske Lazne (Czech Republic).

In 2007 Vital completed the Master Degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, his piano teacher was Håkon Austbo.

At the moment Vital is teaching at the Conservatory of Amsterdam as a correpetitor.

Alex Ramírez

Born in Barcelona, Àlex Ramírez started his piano studies with Margarita Serrat and Benjamí Santacana. In 1999, he was awared an advanced degree with honors by the Liceu Conservatory (Barcelona). In 2000, he continued his studies in Madrid with Josep Colom (being later on appointed by him as his assistant teacher). He also received instrument and chamber music lessons from Paul Badura-Skoda, Christophe Coin, Lorenzo Coppola, Lluís Claret, Bernard Greenhouse and Alícia de Larrocha, among others.
He has received numerous awards as a soloist and as a chamber musician: Jugend Musiziert (EMCY), Permanente de Juventudes Musicales de España, Ciudad de Albacete, Paper de Música (Barcelona), Ciutat de Manresa (Barcelona), etc.
Currently, he mainly works as a chamber musician, performing in some of the major halls in Spain, and in other countries in Europe and South America. He is member of the Trio Messiaen and the Murtra Ensemble. He has been member of the ensembles Barcelona Collage and Bilbao Cámara, and played with other groups and musicians like Camerata 432, ONCA Soloists, Lleidart Ensemble, Simfonietta Porta Ferrada, Stefan Popov, Wolfgang Güttler, Lluís Claret, etc.
Interested in contemporary music, he has often collaborated with ensembles like BCN216, Grup 21 and Grupo Illana, performing world premieres of spanish composers works like Jordi Cervelló and Leonardo Balada, among others. Beign interested in other artistic disciplines, he regularly colaborates with the grenadian puppet theatre company “Etcétera” (2014 National Prize). He has also participated in different theatre and musical theatre productions at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, Teatre Lliure and Teatre Romea (Barcelona).
From 2004 to 2015, he teached at the Liceu Superior Conservatory (Barcelona) and at the Zaragoza Superior Conservatory, among other centers.

Noriko Yabe

Born in Yokohama, Japan, Noriko Yabe made her debut as soloist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra in the United States at the age of twelve. After studying piano at Toho-Gakuen High School and College of Music in Tokyo with Fujiko Yamada and chamber music with Shigeo Neriki, Hamao Fujiwara, Ryosuke Hori and Akira Miyoshi, she continued her study at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Willem Brons.
Directly following her graduation, she was appointed as the cello class accompanist at the institute till present. As active chamber music performer, Noriko has appeared in the Netherlands, Japan, the United States, Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia and Germany.
Noriko is a regular guest pianist at music festivals and masterclasses such as the International Holland Music Sessions and the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam.