…A Modern Approach To Classical Music

Villa-Lobos-Duo (Foto Manfred Pollert)

The Villa-Lobos-Duo holds an exceptional position in today’s music scene. The innovative ensemble in its rare setting fascinates audiences and stuns critics repeatedly with exquisite chamber music, breathtaking virtuosity and a unique sound. Experts rate the thrilling ensemble as the best of its kind worldwide.

It was their thirst for something new, combined with the zest of joining two instruments with an almost identical gamut that brought the cellist Sven Holger Philippsen and the Bulgarian guitarist Boyan Karanjuloff together. Their multifaceted careers show their never-ceasing search for new way to communicate with audiences and an urge for artistic growth and innovation.

Villa-Lobos-Duo 2004 (Foto Manfred Pollert)

Echo-prize winner Sven Holger Philippsen is internationally known for his musical interpretations which speak of intellectual alertness and deep musical insight. Few guitarists of his generation have developed the radically individual style that Boyan Karanjuloff possesses. His playing has garnered unequalled applause from both audiences and critics.

Although the musicians are rooted in classical music, the two are drawn to where the boundaries of these categories get blurred. Ever since its foundation in 1992, the career of the Villa-Lobos Duo has been characterized by the constant search for new musical territory. Boyan Karanjuloff’s knowledge of Bulgarian folklore and his passion for jazz and blues are another elemental component of the duo’s richness in sound. A long-term cooperation unites the Villa-Lobos-Duo with the painters Katharina Sickert, Christiane Konietzny, Ralf Bednar and Stanimir Kochnicharov, whose works have oftentimes inspired the two exceptional musicians to improvisation.

The forceful playing of this ensemble, their technical brilliance and sovereignty combined with great intellectual and emotional esprit fascinates and inspires composers to new works time and again. Next to world premieres and first recordings it is the combination of classical music, jazz and world music that makes the assortment of the Villa-Lobos-Duo versatile and lively. A sublime repertoire consisting of original works, own compositions and arrangements, joy in spontaneous improvisation and and an open ethos with the audience conttribute to this outstanding ensemble’s charm. Every Villa-Lobos Duo concert thus remains in your memory for a long time.

Im Studio mit Ahmed El-Salamouny (Foto Manfred Pollert)

The duo’s CD recordings, for the famous record label Acoustic Music Records, include some works that do not fall into any existing category such as “Tanzologia” from 2004. On this recording the two outstanding musicians enthral the listener with South American verve, a brilliant assembly and innovative technique in their version of “Bachianas Brasileiras N°5” by Heitor Villa-Lobos. On the other hand, the listener is captivated by the spirited joy in playing Atanas Ourkouzounovs “Bulgarian Rock”. The first recording worldwide of the complete “From Jewish Life” by Ernest Bloch underlines moreover the uniqueness of the ensemble. On the new album “The White Indian”, recorded in reminiscence of the 50th anniversary of the greatest Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’s death, one can trace the origin of the musician’s intelligence and power. Featuring the famous guitar player and connoisseur of Brazilian folklore Ahmed El-Salamouny, the two make room for improvisations, pay homage to their eponym’s style of composition and are not afraid to rock out while playing classical works.