MUSIC ‣ Musicians of the Month, March-April, AENEAS Ensemble London
Updated: Jul 25
Phil Cartwright, Founder HVU Sound and Movement
AENEAS ENSEMBLE LONDON
The German-British Aeneas Ensemble was founded in 2018 and has since performed in the United Kingdom and in various European countries.
Sylvia Eisermann (violin) is a member of the Bavarian State Orchestra and has played under the direction of celebrated conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Kirill Petrenko, Kent Nagano and Gustavo Dudamel. She has toured in many countries. She joined the orchestra in 2004 after six years at the Munich Radio Orchestra.
Born in Munich, Sylvia trained at the Musikhochschule in Mannheim and was a pupil of Wanda Wilkomirska. She graduated with honours and studied further under Lewis Kaplan in New York. Sylvia has given concerts with the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the RTE Orchestra Dublin and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
Julia Dräger (violin) was born in Braunschweig, Germany and was awarded a degree in music at the
prestigious Musikhochschule Mannheim, followed by studies with Prof. Franciszek Jurys at the Music Academy of Darmstadt. She was an active participant in international violin and chamber music masterclasses with Alexander Arenkow, Klara Flieder, Winfried Rademacher and Roman Nodel. Julia has also played in the International Orchestra Academy of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the acclaimed conductors Lorin Maazel, Kurt Sanderling and Semyon Bychkov, and the Jeunesses Musicales with Dennis Russell Davies.
She is a highly sought-after violin teacher in the London Borough of Richmond in the UK.
Jonathan Booth (piano/organ) studied music with the internationally acclaimed pianist and musicologist, Peter Hill, in Sheffield, and subsequently with Kofi Agawu at Kings College London, graduating with first class honours.
He combines his work as a recitalist with performance coaching for gifted young players, teaching at the outstanding St Richard Reynolds Catholic College in Twickenham, UK, and is in high demand as an instrumental and choral accompanist on both piano and organ.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of his work on international collaboration.
As always, we like to know a little bit more about our featured artists. For more information, please refer to the AENEAS Ensemble website.
Your Preferred Music?
It is always a pleasure to bring brilliant music which isn’t very well known to a wider audience. Moskowski’s dramatic suite in G minor is definitely in that category with such strong writing for all three instruments of the ensemble.
We all love the Shostakovich suite: perfect miniatures full of charm, wistful lines and gentle humour. There are so many beautiful twists and turns to explore in the music and we always leave a live performance having appreciated something new in the piece.
But any answer is incomplete without Bach. It is the starting point for our ensemble. And it is coming home. His music offers a technical challenge like no other and yet is so immediate and profound in the way it speaks to audiences. We have always been fascinated by Bach’s kaleidoscope of colours and musical patterns and the conversation it creates: among the three of us and with our audiences.
Your Most Memorable Moment as a Professional Ensemble? As listeners and as performers, we tend to remember different concerts for different reasons. Playing in Rome last summer, in a courtyard of the ancient Theatre di Marcello, was an extraordinary experience for all of us because it helped us connect with our music in a new way. Sometimes, a recital is memorable because the context is important in our own lives. Sharing live music in one of our hometowns after the pandemic was a great joy, and one which made us realise quite how much had changed. Ultimately, though, it’s the audience which makes the difference in live music making. And it is always a privilege to play for such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic group of people as we did at the American Cathedral in Paris recently. Your Dream Performance?
As musicians, we spend a good deal of time in rehearsal, exploring a score, the composers’ intentions and the feelings the music evokes. We do that not because we think there is one perfect performance which we should aim to recreate on every occasion but for precisely the opposite reason: because music unfolds through time and each recital creates opportunities to experience live music in a way which will never be repeated. Our dream performances are ones in which we feel a connection with an audience, and a sense of shared experience. And they are the ones which live longest in the memory.