Appreciated for her "true lyricism and her touching musicality, her simplicity and her sensitivity", and delivering a "wide color palette" (Le Soir), the Belgian violinist Sylvia Huang is described as a “moving and honest” musician with a “rich sound” (De Standaard). In 2019 she became laureate of the Queen Elisabeth International Competition and won the two audience prizes: the Musiq'3 Prize and the Canvas-Klara Prijs. She also received the Caecilia Prize of the Young Musician of the Year 2019 by the Union de la Presse Musicale Belge.
She made her debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in February 2021 playing Mozart Violin Concerto K.218 with Andrew Manze, which she also performed in July 2021 with Iván Fischer and the RCO at the Konzerthaus in Berlin during the official state visit of the King and Queen of the Netherlands. She has collaborated with many other orchestras such as the Belgian National Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Bad Reichenhall Philharmoniker, in halls such as the Palais des Beaux-Arts and Flagey in Brussels, the Vlaamse Opera in Gent, deSingel in Antwerp and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. She took part in several international festivals including B-Classic Festival van Vlaanderen, Les Echappées Musicales du Médoc, Festival Musiq’3, Klara in deSingel, Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi and the Festivals de Wallonie.
Her first CD recording "Lointain passé" with pianist Eliane Reyes, dedicated to composers Eugène Ysaÿe and Guillaume Lekeu was released in September 2021 for the Outhere Music-Fuga Libera label, and was highly appreciated by critics.
Born in 1994, Sylvia had her first violin lessons with her father and continued her studies at the Académie des Arts de la Ville de Bruxelles, and later on with Alexei Moshkov and Liviu Prunaru. She won first prize at the Belfius Classics National Musical Competition in 2004 and at the Lions European Musical Competition in 2008. From 2012 to 2014, she was a member of the National Orchestra of Belgium before joining the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam until 2022. As a passionate chamber musician, she founded the GoYa Quartet with three of her RCO colleagues. After having won the prestigious "Prix de Salon 2015" awarded by the business network of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the GoYa Quartet Amsterdam was able to make recordings of two live performances of all Brahms and Schumann string quartets.
Sylvia plays on a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, on loan from the Arthur Grumiaux Foundation. In 2023, she will become the new concertmaster of La Monnaie/De Munt Symphony Orchestra in Brussels.
Official website: Sylvia Huang
Mirelys Morgan Verdecia
Hailing from Havana, Mirelys Morgan Verdecia studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte in her native city, making solo appearances with such orchestras as the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba under the direction of Leo Brouwer and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Cali in Colombia. She was selected by Claudio Abbado to join the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra training programme in 2000.
Mirelys has won various prizes, including two first prizes at the Musicalia Music Competition in Havana. She moved to Europe in 2003, studying with Rainer Schmidt in Madrid and with Ulf Wallin at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin.
She has taken part in many tours as a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Orchestra under such leading conductors as Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Charles Dutoit and Michael Tilson-Thomas. Mirelys has also played in the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. She was selected to participate in the orchestra academy of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in 2006.
From 2009 to 2013 Mirelys was first violinist of the Orquesta Nacional de España. In August 2013 she joined the second violin section of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Saeko Oguma Saeko Oguma studied viola at the Tōhō Gakuen School in Tokyo. She subsequently gained orchestral experience playing in the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin and in several leading orchestras in Japan, inclusing the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Opera Nomori Orchestra under the baton of Riccardo Muti. She performed chamber music in festivals throughout Japan.
She pursued her studies with Sven Arne Tepl, Marjolein Dispa and Nobuko Imai at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Saeko Oguma was prize winner during the International Johannes Brahms Competition in 2008. Earlier, she had won the 2006 Tokyo music competition, the Nagoya international music competition and the 2002 competition of the Japan Classical Music Association.
After winning the Amsterdam National Viola Competition, she joined the Concertgebouworkest's viola section as assistant principal in September 2010.
Cellist Honorine Schaeffer studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris (from the age of fifteen) and with Leonid Gorokhov at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover.
She is the recipient of many prizes, including first prize at the 2012 Lions European Musical Competition. Schaeffer has worked as a substitute with the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and has performed at numerous festivals as a chamber player.
She was a member of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy during the 2012–13 season. She completed her studies as a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra’s Herbert von Karajan Academy in June 2014. In August of that same year, Schaeffer joined the cello section of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
With three RCO colleagues, Honorine formed the GoYa Quartet in 2015. In the same year, the quartet won the Prix de Salon, an annual prize given to orchestra members by the RCO's business circle.