Maria Klara Kasznia (Piano)
Maria Kasznia was born in Poland and from the early childhood is connected with music. After moving to Vienna she began to study the piano at the age of five years. Two years at the Prayner Konservatorium Wien were followed by an intense education at the University for Music and Performung Arts Vienna, where she was admitted at the early age of 8 years to the class of Prof. Imola Joo for especially talented children.
1996/97 she studied at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin with the famous German pianist Annerose Schmidt; from 2000- 2003 with Prof. Anna Pfeiffer at the University For Music and Permoring Arts in Vienna. From 2003 she continued her studies in Poland at the F. Nowowiejski Music Academy in Bydgoszcz with Prof. Tatjana Shebanova, and Jerzy Sulikowski from whose class she graduated with honors in 2008.
From 2007-2009 Maria Kasznia worked as pianst accompanist at the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz. She accompanied singers at several concerts in Warsaw, Poznań, Gdańsk, Bydgoszcz, Toruń etc., at masterclasses and international competitions.
2009-2011 she studied at the Accademia di Musica Pinerolo (Italy) with Pietro de Maria and Enrico Stellini. Afterwards she completed her education at the Accademia Euopea di Musica e di Arti dello Spettacolo in Naples with Massimo Bertucci and Stefania Bertucci.
In the field of chamber music Maria Kasznia worked under the guidance of Teresa Leopold, Luca Monti, Sophie Rachlin, David Waterman, Ewa Pobocka, Maria Murawska and many others.
She participated in competitions like the International I. J. Paderewski Competition in Poland, Chopin Competition for young interprets in Vienna, ‘Jugend musiziert’ and ‘Prima la Musica’ in Austria winnig several prices in Austrian competitions (1st prize ‘Prima La musica’ 1998, 2nd prize ‘Prima La Musica’ 1999, 3rd prize ‘Jugend Musiziert’ 1999). She participated in many masterclasses with famous pianists as Andrzej Jasinski, Andrea Lucchesini, Iryna Rumianceva, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron, Rudolf Kehrer etc.
Maria Kasznia played many concerts in Austria, Poland, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia. She debutated in the Filharmony of Bydgoszcz (Poland) performing the 4th piano concerto by Beethoven. She participated in several Festivals, among them the prestigeous Chopin Festival Gaming (Austria).
Maria Kasznia focuses on chamber music. She has a long experience in the collaboration with singers and cellists. She is a member of various ensembles (trio/duo), having in her repertoire also almost the whole literature for cello. She collaborates with various viennese musicians and works as a correpetitor for cellists, performing with them in concerts, masterclasses and international competitions.
Together with her cellist duo partner Nadja Stiegler she was awarded first absolute prize in the ’21st Euterpe International Competition 2019‘ in Italy, second prize in the ‘XII Filadelfia International Competition’ 2021 in Italy, and third prize in the ’18th International Competition Luigi Zanuccoli’ 2021 in Italy. Together they were finalists in the ’28. International Johannes Brahms Competition’ 2021 in Austria and finalists and laureats at the ‘IX International S. Vainiunas Piano and Chamber Ensemble Competition’ 2022 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Recently they were invited to participate at the renowned ICM (‘International Chamber Music Competition’) 2023 in Pinerolo, Italy.
Nadja Stiegler (Cello)
Nadja Stiegler was born in 1996 in Tröbings (Lower Austria). She started her musical education at the age of seven and took lessons with Gottfried Plank until she moved to Graz (Styria). From 2010 to 2015, she attended the Musikgymnasium (highschool with a specialisation in music) in Graz and passed her final examinations with the highest scores.
From 2010 to 2019, she studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz under Prof. Rudolf Leopold, obtaining her Bachelor of Arts (BA) with distinction. Since October 2019, she has been studying at the University of Music and performing Arts Vienna with Prof. Stefan Kropfitsch and attends an additional master course for contemporary music with Andreas Lindenbaum and Jean Bernard Matter.
Nadja has attended several masterclasses for solo cello as well as for chamber music with highly renowned professors, including Rudolf Leopold, Claudio Bohórquez, Gereon Kleiner, Christos Polyzoides, Reinhard Latzko, Chia Chou and Laszlo Fenyö.
Between 2006 and 2016, she took part in the national music competition Prima la musica almost every year and was awarded first place and special prizes several times. In March 2019, she won the first prize in the Ursula Grill Cello Competition at the University of Music and performing Arts Graz. Additionally she won the improvisation competition Impro Parcours 2020 together with her ‘trio bunt’ and in September 2020 she was awarded first place in the annual string competition within the Fritz-Kreisler Institute at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Furthermore she has been promoted as a scholarship holder of the Sylff-Association & Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research (Japan), of the Fondation Josef and Harrietta Krips (Switzerland) and of the Anny Felbermayer Fonds (Austria). She is also member of Yehudi Menuhin’s Organization Live Music Now Vienna.
Together with her pianist Maria Kasznia, as DuoArte, she was awarded first absolute prize in the Euterpe International Competition 2019, second prize in the Filadelfia International Competition 2021 and third prize in the International Competition Luigi Zanuccoli 2021. Together they were finalists in the International Johannes Brahms Competition 2021 and in the International Stasys Vainiunas Competition 2022.
As soloist with the orchestra of the Musikgymnasium Graz, she performed the violoncello version of the Variations on One String by Nicolo Paganini (orchestral parts arranged by Rudolf Leopold) and the Concerto for Two Cellos by Julius Klengel. Performances as a soloist as well as with chamber music groups led her not only through Austria but also to Poland, Belgium, Hungary, Romania and Italy. Furthermore, Nadja participated in numerous orchestra trips abroad as a substitute player.
Since September 2022 Nadja is principal cellist in the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra.