2018/19 Season

The Newcomers

There’s a whole lot going on at the stARTacademy this season since our resident artists for the past three years, Tamar Beraia and Tobias Feldmann, are leaving us. We wish them the best in their future endeavors. In the Rhineland, no one every truly goes away, so we hope to see both of them again at the Erholungshaus. The only thing that is really ending is the financial support; they still have access to the stARTacademy community and network. Since every ending is also a new beginning, we are very excited to introduce you to our new stART artists in the next few pages:

Sandro Roy © Christian HartmannZoom image
Sandro Roy © Christian Hartmann

Jazz / Sandro Roy
We welcome Sandro Roy to the stARTacademy! The versatile violinist received classical training, but he lives for jazz. He comes from a musically inclined Sinti family and feels very connected to gypsy jazz. His great uncle was a violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic, and there’s also a family connection to Django Reinhardt. The name Stéphane Grappelli always comes up in connection with Django Reinhardt – even though the duo split up at the beginning of World War II in 1939 when Grappelli remained in England after a tour. So it’s no surprise that Sandro Roy will be performing a program focused on these jazz legends. We had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. To read the interview, click here.
Choreography / Philippe Kratz
Philippe Kratz, born in 1985, knows Leverkusen very well, as he hails from Schlebusch. He started dancing as a three-year-old at Helena Krassa’s old ballet studio in Rathenaustraße, and there’s no other way to say it: the dance virus had taken hold.

After elementary school, he transferred to the Freiherr vom Stein Gymnasium, which also offered courses in the performing arts. He danced in various productions directed by Suheyla Ferwer and spent a year in Canada as an exchange student when he was 16 years old. He attended a special school while there: in the mornings, he attended regular courses; the afternoons were completely dedicated to dance. After he returned to Germany, he decided that his next goal was formal training in ballet. In the following years, Philippe Kratz trained to become a professional ballet dancer at the Staatliche Ballettschule in Berlin, which is led by Prof. Gregor Seyffert.

Tobias Feldmann © Kaupo Kikkas Zoom image
Tobias Feldmann © Kaupo Kikkas

From 2006 to 2008, he danced as a soloist under the direction of Xin Pen Wang at the Theater Dortmund. In 2008, he left the ballet in Dortmund and joined the Italian dance company Aterballetto, where he worked with the choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti. Shortly thereafter Cristina Bozzolini became the artistic director of Aterballetto and mentored the young German dancer. She encouraged him to choreograph his own pieces as part of Aterballetto’s creative workshops. This led to the duet “Lettres d’amour” (2012), “SENTieri” (2014), the lauded piece “L’eco dell’acqua” (2015) as well as the pas de deux “#hybrid.”

At the end of August 2016, the TANZ journal’s yearbook recognized him as a one of the best newcomers in choreography. His work is characterized by originality, profundity, and versatility that is expressed in a very personal language of movement.

In early summer 2019, the Erholungshaus will stage his most recent creation for Aterballetto “Phoenix,” which premiered in April 2017 in Cremona to acclaim from audiences and critics alike.

You can read an interview that we conducted with Philippe Kratz’s mother here.

Drums / Alexej Gerassimez
Today, drums are an integral part of pop music. But they also function wonderfully in other musical genres, including classical and jazz. Our new stART artist Alexej Gerassimez is proof of this. Collaborations with renowned orchestras and his own solo performances have already brought him to China, South Korea, the Unietd States, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

The native of Essen began his career studying music at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. He currently lives in Berlin and teaches master classes at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Birmingham Conservatory. It’s clear that Alexej Gerassimez gets around. And his drums always come with him.

Alexej Gerassimez’s music knows no bounds. In addition to traditional drums and percussion, he integrates unusual objects like brake discs, barrels or even propellers into his repertoire, leading to intoxicating rhythms and new soundscapes. He creates unique, innovative programs inspired by everyday sounds and has justifiably been honored with prestigious prizes such as the first prize of the Deutscher Musikrat and second prize in the ARD music competition.

For our traditional New Year’s concert, Alexej Gerassimez is collaborating with the Bayer
Philharmonic on a special program for the audience in Leverkusen
for you to anticipate excitedly.

You can read an interview with Alexej Gerassimez here.

Film / Lisa Charlotte Friederich
We first contacted Lisa Charlotte Friederich in spring 2017. At that time, she presented her film project “LIVE,” which we immediately liked, and we began to provide support to her creative endeavors. After this initial support, we had the idea of bringing Lisa Charlotte Friederich into our stARTacademy so that she could expand the academy’s work into film and also its network.

Lisa Charlotte Friederich, born in 1983 in Karlsruhe, is an actress and director. She studied acting at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart as well as the theater in Giessen – including scholarships from the Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst and the Baden-Württemberg art foundation in 2016 (Performing Arts). She caught the attention of audiences and critics early on, which led the Schauspielbühne Stuttgart to award her its prize for young talent in 2008 and its audience award in 2009. In 2016, she received the award for best actress in a leading role from the state of Hessen for the film “Fritz Lang.” From 2010 to 2012, Lisa Charlotte Friederich was a member of the ensemble at Theater Lübeck, where she worked on various theatrical and television productions. Tours brought her to Düsseldorf, Linz, Stuttgart and Heidelberg, and she also appeared in an episode of the “Tatort” franchise. In 2013 and 2014, she worked as an assistant director for Heiner Goebbels at the Ruhrtriennale International Festival of the Arts. She has been a resident artist at the Heidelberger Frühling festival’s Villa Abegg since 2017, where she is working with two colleagues on the musical theater production “Castor & Pollux,” which will premiere at the festival in 2019.

She is also currently working on her own full-length film “LIVE” with the musician Rike Huy. The film was initially conceived of as a short film, but the whole team felt during filming that the material was better suited to a full-length film. This instinct is backed up by the rough cut. “LIVE” works well in a 90-minute format. With help from the stARTacademy, this idea can now be turned into reality.

Click here for the interview with Lisa Charlotte Friederich.

The following quotes by artists highlight the success of our concept:

“The stART program has given us a platform for projects that we could not have realized in this way without the support of Bayer Arts & Culture and that have had a lasting influence on our work.” Signum Quartett

“During my time as a stART artist, I was able to strengthen my personal profile enormously [...]. In addition, it brought me personal contacts and friendships that mean a lot to me.” Hardy Rittner

“I developed a real relationship of trust with the Bayer Arts & Culture team that helped me through some tough career situations.” Olivia Trummer

“Bayer has given me a musical home; whenever I come to Leverkusen I feel happy and at ease.” Alexander Krichel

“As a young musician, you are dependent on ongoing support [...] at various levels, for longer rather than shorter periods of time.” stART is exemplary in this respect […].” Valentin Radutiu

“The generous support and minimal bureaucracy made sure we could pursue our musical plans [...] at ease. Such working conditions are very rare for freelance musicians, and we are very grateful for it.” Benjamin Schaefer

“The stARTacademy has become a home to us outside our base in Hamburg. It is not just somewhere to present our work; above all it is a place where we can focus, concentrate and experiment.” German National Youth Ballet


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