Elisabeth Kulman (idea, concept, voice) is one of the leading singers and most outstanding personalities in today’s music world. Educated in Vienna and immersed in its culture, her rich timbre and charisma have captivated audiences worldwide. Initially as soprano, later as mezzo and contralto, she has for the last twenty years performed all the available opera roles for her voice-type but has always relished projects outside the classical mainstream. In “La femme c’est moi” she has succeeded in melding such differing genres as classics, music theatre, French chanson, pop and jazz.
Tscho Theissing (arrangements) is a celebrated arranger, equally at home in transcriptions for symphony orchestra as chamber music, opera or jazz. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists such as Michael Heltau, Georg Breinschmid, Avishai Cohen and the Clarinotts. He spent 25 years as principal second violin of the Vienna Volksoper during which time he also founded the Vienna Theatre Musicians. His passion for jazz and improvisation can be seen is his long commitment to the international Jazz Quartet “pago libre”. “La femme c’est moi” is his third collaboration with Elisabeth Kulman after “Mussorgsky Dis-covered” and ”Hungaro Tune”.
Aliosha Biz (violin) is widely known for his Klezmer and world music talents. After a classical training in Moscow, he established himself in Vienna in 1989 at the age of nineteen, thereafter making his name as the “Fiddler on the Roof” in Anatevka. His highly individual violin playing and comedic stagecraft have led to partnerships with countless international musicians such as Krzysztof Dobrek (Dobrek Bistro) and Alegre Corrêa as well as theatrical giants like Karl Markovics, Herbert Föttinger and Maria Bill.
Clara Schwaiger (viola) has gathered wide experience in chamber music with artists like Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, Christian Altenburger, Ernst Kovacic, Christoph and Florian Eggner, Reinhard Latzko, Patrick Demenga as well as with several members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera and the Wiener Symphoniker she is regular guest and thus plays on national and international stages. Since 2015 she shares her knowledge and expertise as a viola teacher to young students at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.
Franz Bartolomey (cello) is the legendary principal cello of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Following in the footsteps of both father and grandfather, he played for four and a half decades in this orchestra, steeped in tradition. He is known the world over and has appeared with Daniel Barenboim, Mariss Jansons, Simon Rattle, Rudolf Buchbinder and Thomas Hampson amongst others. A penchant for music and literature projects has led to collaborations with Klaus Maria Brandauer, Peter Simonischek and Cornelius Obonya. In 2012 he received the Ring of Honour from the Vienna State Opera and published a book called “Was zählt, ist der Augenblick. Die Bartolomeys – 120 Jahre an der Wiener Staatsoper” (It’s now that matters. The Bartolomeys – 120 years at the Vienna State Opera).
Herbert Mayr (double bass) has been principal double bass in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra since 1989. He has also performed with the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian State Symphony in Munich, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment among others. His talents as chamber musician and soloist extend beyond the world of classical music however; he also lends his fundamental support to the Vienna Theatre Musicians in chanson shows by Michael Heltau and Nicole Beutler.
Alois Posch (double bass) won a place in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra at the age of eighteen and played for thirty years in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, twenty-five of those as principal double bass. Numerous recordings as soloist and chamber musician with such artists as Astor Piazzolla have made him into an internationally known figure. He still teaches in Salzburg and Vienna and is responsible for bringing about a new generation of internationally successful musicians.
Gerald Preinfalk (clarinets, saxophones) is one of Austria’s most versatile musicians. He grew up in Upper Austria in the wind band milieu, and after a spell in the classical music scene in Vienna went on to study jazz in Boston and classical saxophone in Paris. Next to his guest appearances with the established Viennese orchestras, he is a member of Klangforum Wien, one of Europe’s leading new music ensembles. As a jazz musician he plays with big bands like the Vienna Art Orchestra, with Roberto Rodriguez (NYC), Peter Madson, Elliot Sharp, Christian Muthspiel, Wolfgang Muthspiel and Georg Breinschmid, as well as pop music with the likes of Willi Resetarits and Maria Bill.
Maria Reiter (accordion) is a subtle magician of sounds on the accordion and discovered her instrument at the age of five. Early influences were the Basque conductor and accordionist Enrique Ugarte and the Munich composer and pianist Rudi Spring. She free-lances with several chamber music groups and accompanied Konstantin Wecker during 1998 and 1999 seasons. Her love of words had led to projects with Senta Berger, Stefan Wilkening, the Figure Puppet Players etc . As a member of the Vienna Theatre Musicians she has been contributing to chanson shows with Michael Heltau and Nicole Beutler for many years already.
Eduard Kutrowatz (piano) is a gifted pianist and regularly appears as a co-performer in Lieder recitals with Angelika Kirchschlager, Juliane Banse, Herbert Lippert and Adrian Eröd. He also performs in a popular piano duo with his brother Johannes Kutrowatz. For more than three decades concerts have taken him to many parts of the globe including America and Japan. In more than ten years of collaboration with Elisabeth Kulman, they have greatly expanded the scope of the conventional song recital. Alongside his composing and teaching commitments at Vienna University, he has, since 2009, co-directed the Liszt Festival in Raiding in Burgenland.