Isabel Vaz

Isabel Vaz was born in 1986 in Lisbon and started to play the cello when she was seven years old. She began her musical studies in Fundação Musical dos Amigos ads Crianças and after in Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa with Clélia Vital. Later on she moved to Amsterdam where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree with Dmitry Ferschtman and a Master’s with Maarten Mostert.

Isabel was awarded with a Gulbenkian scholarship, which supported her studies abroad. During this period Isabel also participated in two exchange programs, which took her Prague (HAMU, 2005) and New York (Manhattan School of Music, 2012).

Isabel received several prizes in Portugal: 1st prize Prémio Jovens Músicos with the Blanc string quartet in 2009, 2nd prize Prémio Jovens Músicos with the ESML piano quintet, and 3rd prize and public prize in Concurso de Interpretação do Estoril in 2012. She has participated in master classes with Jeroen Reuling, Márcio Carneiro, Natalia Shakovskaya, Peter Bruns, Michel Strauss, Richard Aaron and Giovanni Sollima.

Today, Isabel works actively as a guest orchestra and chamber musician in The Netherlands, Portugal and France. Isabel was accepted in the NedPhO Academy 2013-2014.

Thursday, August 29, 15.45-16.15
Thematic session 2: excellence

Jaap Kooi

After studies in Econometrics and History at the University of Amsterdam, Jaap Kooi joined the piano class of Gérard van Blerk at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. In 1986 he received his soloist diploma with honors. A scholarship provided by the Dutch government and a prize awarded at irregular intervals for a remarkable piano-exam enabled him to continue his studies in London with John Bingham. Master classes with leading musicians (not only pianists), in which he participated either as soloist or accompanist, widened his scope and fostered his development as an all-round musician.

Jaap Kooi developed a large repertoire in all musical styles between Bach and the avant-garde. Since his debut in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 1988 he has performed frequently on major concert stages in Europe and beyond. Besides his concert engagements, he is principal piano accompanist at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In this capacity he also contributes to the Orchestral Practice courses, in which students are trained to attain a peak performance level under stressful conditions such as provided by auditions or competitions.

Thursday, August 30, 15.45-16.15
Thematic Session 2: excellence

Ernst Meisner and The Junior Company

Ernst Meisner was born in 1982 and studied at the National Ballet Academy and The Royal Ballet School. While at school he was awarded the Encouragement Prize of the Alexandra Radius Fund and represented The Netherlands in the finals of the Eurovision Young Dancer Competition in Lyon. 2000–2010, Ernst was a dancer with The Royal Ballet, London. In this period he danced in works by such choreographers as Ashton, MacMillan, Balanchine, Tetley, Ek, Forsythe, Kylian, Corder, McGregor en Wheeldon. In 2010 he joined Dutch National Ballet and has since worked with choreographers as Brandsen, Ratmansky, Pastor, Van Manen, Neumeier, Millepied, Wei en Wheeldon.

In June 2013 Ernst retired from the stage in order to become Artistic Coordinator of the newly set up Junior Company of Dutch National Ballet. Furthermore he has choreographed several works for companies as the Dutch National Ballet, the National Ballet Academy, New Works at The Royal Ballet, The New English Ballet Theatre, English National Ballet School and DanceEast.
In spring 2013 Ernst was invited by the New York Choreographic Institute, connected to the New York City Ballet, to create a new work for their Spring Session. In 2012 he was the choreographer on the media hype Het Nationale Canta Ballet, a co-production between the Dutch National Ballet and ViewPoint Productions for a cast of disabled people and Dutch National Ballet dancers. He also choreographed the first children’s performance ( The Little Big Chest ) for the Dutch National Ballet. He was invited to attend Dance East’s Rural Retreat for Future Dance Leaders and Managers.

Jessica Xuan (2nd year) comes from Toronto, Canada. She was originally born in Beijing, China. At the age of five she moved to Canada together with her family. She first started ballet as a hobby at the age of 10. When she was eleven years old she was admitted at the Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto where she received her professional ballet training. In 2012 she graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School and was awarded both the Peter Dwyer Award, and the Jeffrey Kirk Award. This year Jessica trained at the National Ballet Academy here in Amsterdam where she will graduate in June. She is 19 years old.
Wentao Li (1st year) born and raised in Chongqing, China - is 18 years old. From 2006-2013 Wentao received his ballet education at the Secondary Dance School of Beijing Dance Academy. Wentao has won numerous national and international awards, including the 2nd Scholarship of Prix de Lausanne in 2013. In 2012 he was chosen by Joysanne Sidimus from the Balanchine Trust to dance the Valse Boy in Serenade and received positive feedbacks after a series of local performances. That same year, he also featured in Etudes, with high praises for his gracefulness and artistry.

Daniel Montero (2nd year) although his family is from Madrid, Daniel was born and raised in Cantabria, Spain. At the age of ten, he gained interest in rhythmic gymnastics and began classical ballet training a year later. When he was 15 years old, he left home after being accepted at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza in Madrid. He spent a year there and during a summer course in Valencia - Daniel was asked by Christopher Powney (director of the Nationale Ballet Academy) to join the school here in Amsterdam. During his education Daniel participated in various productions of the Dutch National Ballet. After three years of study he will graduate in June. Daniel is 19 years old.

Nancy Burer
(1st year) started dancing when she was 4 years old. Whenever she heard music she could not sit still and at the age of 9 she auditioned for the National Ballet Academy (prior division). Nancy was accepted together with 22 young future dancers and this was the beginning of her dance education. When she performed Clara in 2003 and 2004 with Dutch National Ballet in the production of “Nutcracker” she was convinced that her dream was to become a ballerina. In 2011 she continued her studies at the NBA (HBO division) and she will graduate in June. She is looking forward to work with the Junior Company. Nancy is Dutch and 19 years old.

Friday, August 30, 12.00-12.30
Thematic session 3: practicing

Aidan Mikdad

Aidan Mikdad (11) studeert piano aan de Sweelinck Academie bij Marjes Benoist.
Op 22 juni jl. won hij de Concertgebouw Talentenjacht, voor kinderen van 9-14 jaar, in de categorie solisten. Volgens de jury vertoonde Aidan een 'verbluffende muzikale compleetheid'. Hij won de Concertgebouw Trofee en een geldbedrag ten behoeve van zijn muzikale ontwikkeling.

Thursday, August 29, 12.00-12.30
Thematic session 1: talent