Actually, I didn't want to become an orchestral musician. But for a double bass player, the repertoire is very small if you don't play in an orchestra. You don't come into contact with the great composers. In the long run, that's not enough. And now I'm quite happy as an orchestral musician.
A youth orchestra was missing a double bass and the teacher asked Janne Saksala, who already played piano and electric bass, if he wanted to try his hand at this instrument. He immediately agreed with great enthusiasm. In 1981, he began studying double bass at the music school in his hometown of Helsinki, which he continued in Berlin at the Hochschule der Künste from 1986 on.
Janne Saksala is not only a passionate orchestral musician - for example, as first solo bassist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - but also a sought-after soloist, chamber musician and lecturer at renowned music institutes. For example, he has given the annual master class for double bass at the Carl Flesch Academy for several years and teaches as a visiting professor at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin, among other places.
He has collaborated regularly with contemporary composers and premiered numerous new works. Janne Saksala was also a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Jazz Group, founded in the summer of 1999, until 2006. He enjoys spending his free time reading, cooking or playing the guitar.
As the daughter of a pianist and a violinist, the Romanian-born singer grew up among orchestral musicians since her early childhood. Zsuzsa Bálint made her piano debut with orchestra at the age of 11 and has since received invitations to perform with Romania's leading orchestras. She graduated from Prof. Boris Bloch's soloist class at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen and later took her concert exam with Prof. Georg Sava at the Berlin University of the Arts.
Zsuzsa Bálint performs regularly in the metropolises of Europe and the USA, both with renowned orchestras (Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin German Symphony Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra and others) and with chamber music ensembles. She frequently makes recordings for radio, including for Bayerischer Rundfunk with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Karl-Heinz Steffens. Deutschlandradio and SWR broadcast live her solo recitals.
Zsuzsa Bálint's own projects and co-productions include the unusual Xinowa Sej Ensemble for three pianos, the Casanova Society Orchestra, and a tango solo program with which she is currently touring very successfully.
Zsuzsa Bálint teaches at the Berlin University of the Arts and conducts master classes at the University of Nebraska. She has been a loyal piano accompanist to the Carl Flesch Academy since 2005.