lja Kaiser began to study the harp at the age of 5. She completed her studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where she graduated with distinction. Olja furthered her professional abilities participating in master classes given by Isabelle Perrin, David Watkins, Susanna Mildonian, Chantal Mathieu and Isabelle Moretti. She also learned baroque harp playing at the Scola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel). In her youth she was already appearing internationally as a soloist and in chamber music recitals. Olja Kaiser has won prizes in the Concorso Internazionale Premio Rovere d'Oro in San Bartolomeo al Mare in Imperia (Italy) and the Concert Artists Guild Music Competition in New York. In addition to appearing in festivals (e.g. Pacific Music Festival, Abu Dhabi Classical Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Moselfestwochen, Mecklenburgischer Musiksommer, Musikwoche Bad Wörishofen, Rheingau Musikfestival), Olja Kaiser has toured throughout Europe, the United States, Japan, China and Hongkong. Olja Kaiser regularly plays in solo concerts with symphony orchestras and chamber orchestras including the Moscow State Chamber Orchestra, the Cologne Youth Philharmonic and the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic. She was engaged as the principal harpist in the Gorky Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Great Hall Symphony, the Bolshoi Ballet Orchestra, the Philharmonia Hungarika and at the Apollo Theater in Stuttgart, prior to pursuing her solo career. Miss Kaiser is regularly invited to perform as principal harpist with many symphony and chamber orchestras, e.g.: Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, West German Radio Symphony Orchestra Köln, Moscow Radio 1 Symphony Orchestra, Bolshoi Theater Ballet, Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz, Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken, Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester, Mannheim, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. Her experience playing in opera and ballet orchestras in Germany includes the following opera houses: Mannheim, Darmstadt, Saarbrücken, Freiburg, Koblenz, Kaiserslautern and Heidelberg. She has been an assistant to Prof. O. Erdely at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, she has taught at the Prokofiev Music School in Moscow and at a conservatory in Luxembourg. She was a member of the jury for the German competition "Jugend musiziert". Due to her many worldwide appearances as solo harpist as well as in chamber music recitals, including radio and television recordings, Olja Kaiser is one of the most active and many facetted harpists of her generation.
lrike Northoff, the internationally active concert organist, received her training at the School for Church Music in Esslingen near Stuttgart. After being awarded her diploma in church music, she continued her music education by specialising in organ studies at the Heidelberg School for Church Music. At the same time, she was actively participating in numerous master classes held by prominent organists (Prof. Bossert, Prof. Radulescu, Prof. Ruebsam). Since then, she has taken up an active concert career, performing on historical and modern organs in major churches all over Europe. She has given solo recitals in places such as the Marien-Cathedral in Riga, where she performed on the biggest Romantic organ in the world - the famous Walcker Organ. She has also played several times in Meissen Cathedral, one of the most important historical monuments in Germany. She is a regular guest at celebrated international organ festivals in, for example, the Polish city of Krakow or at Brno in the Czech Republic and Vilnius in Lithuania. Ulrike Northoff has given organ recitals in famous churches in Basel, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg as well as at important concert venues in Germany, including the Solitude Palace outside Stuttgart, the Stiftskirche in Tuebingen and several times at the Hoechster Orgelsommer festival in Frankfurt. Reviewers stress her 'palpable joy in playing' (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). She brings a 'rare freshness and vibrancy to the organ' (Stuttgarter Nachrichten). In addition to her solo concerts, Ulrike Northoff regularly appears in 'Organ Plus' programmes with musicians from the Hesse Radio Orchestra as well as with other soloists from Germany and elsewhere, winning acclaim for her 'delicate and adaptable accompaniment' (Frankfurter Rundschau). After several years as full-time cantor and music director in Bad Homburg, in 2001 Ulrike Northoff became the artistic director of the concert series 'Musik im Schloss' ('Music in the Castle'). Since 2006, as part of this series, she started the international Bad Homburg festival, 'Orgelsommer im Schloss' ('Summer with the Organ in the Castle').