Camerata Polyzoides

back, left to right: Demetrius Polyzoides, Janna Polyzoides, Michael Polyzoides
front, left to right: Elisabeth Polyzoides-Baich, Katherina Polyzoides-Sourvali, Christos Polyzoides

The Camerata Polyzoides was founded in 1979 by the artist couple Christos and Katherina Polyzoides. Today the ensemble consists of the six members of the Polyzoides family (until 2009 with the cellist Martin Hornstein, who passed away unexpectedly). This allows for a wide range of instrument combinations. Besides the standard chamber music repertoire, many renowned contemporary composers wrote for the Camerata Polyzoides: Christian Ofenbauer (CDs), Erich Marckhl, Hermann Markus Preßl (CD), Klaus Johns (in total 13 works, CDs), Vit Zouhar (CD), Helmut Dencker, Gösta Neuwirth, Yannis Xenakis, Nikos Skalkottas, Zbigniew Bargielski and Claudio Santoro (CD).

The Camerata Polyzoides recently performed in Spain (several concert-tours), in the Czech Republic (Janačék-Akademie Brno, Festival Forfest Kroměří�, Radio Olomouc), in Austria (Festival “Hörgänge” Konzerthaus Vienna, piano & forte ORF Salzburg, Austrian Society of Music, Franz Schmidt-Society), in Croatia (Festival Opatija), in Greece (Festival “Dimitria” and Festival “Hellexpo” Thessaloniki, Festival Paros), in Germany (“KundK” Geseke, Rüthen Castle), in the Sultanate Oman (Muscat) and in China (several concert-tours).

Christos and Katherina Polyzoides and the members of the Camerata Polyzoides are giving master classes every summer at the Internationale Musiktage Bad Leonfelden in Upper Austria for violinists, violists, cellists, pianists and chamber music in 2020 from July 19th to 31st.  (www.internationale-musiktage.com)

Many CD recordings have been made by the members of the Camerata Polyzoides, most recently a double CD with 13 works by Klaus Johns (Extraplatte).

Christos Polyzoides – violin, viola

was born in Greece and studied in Thessaloniki with Athanasios Theophanous and with Alexandros Kazantzis and at the University of Music Vienna with Ernst Morawec. He was concertmaster of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra and the Collegium Musicum Instrumentale. Since 1968 professor at the University of Music in Graz, 1999 he became a professor emeritus. Countless concert tours as a soloist and chamber music player, as well as recordings for radio and television took him (mostly with his wife Katherina and the Camerata Polyzoides) to almost every country in East and West Europe as well as to South America, China and Taiwan. Various first performances and CD recordings of contemporary music partially dedicated to him. Most recently a double CD of 13 solo and chamber music works by the composer Klaus Johns (Extraplatte). In 1991 he was awarded the Great Medal of Honour of the county of Styria/Austria. In 1999 the Mayor of the City of Graz, in 2006 the city of Thessalonica and in 2011 the University of Music in Graz honoured his musical and educational achievements. Christos Polyzoides plays an Italian violin by Giovanni Grancino, Milano, c. 1700. (www.internationale-musiktage.com)
Christos Polyzoides died on 2nd of July 2019 in Graz.

Katherina Polyzoides-Sourvali – piano

was born in Thessalonica where she studied piano with Vasso Devetzi, Kiki Manou-Stavrou, Athanasios Kontos and chamber music with Alexandros Kazantzis and Dimitris Georgiou. Final examination for music education and diploma for solo piano (3rd place in the All-Greece Piano Competition). Further piano studies with Margarete Gelbart and Tonis Georgiou as well as with Dr. Josef Dichler and Walter Panhofer at the University of Music in Vienna. Cembalo studies with Eta Harich-Schneider and Vera Schwarz. In 1963 she began teaching piano at the University of Music Graz, a position she held until 1990. As a soloist and ensemble musician, mainly with her husband Christos and the Camerata Polyzoides, she has played in many European cities as well as in Brazil, China and Taiwan. Various CD recordings of contemporary music, most recently a double CD of 13 solo and chamber music works by the composer Klaus Johns (Extraplatte 2006). In 1999 the Mayor of the City of Graz and in 2006 the city of Thessalonica honoured her musical and educational achievements. (www.internationale-musiktage.com)

Elisabeth Polyzoides-Baich – violin

was born in Graz and studied at the University of Music in Graz with Christos Polyzoides and in Vienna with Franz Samohyl. Master classes with Max Rostal, Ramy Shevelov, Arthur Grumiaux and Wolfgang Marschner. Her professional career included working with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (substitute concertmaster), the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Kollegium Munich and the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss. Since 1989 she is a member of the first violin section of the Gürzenich Orchestra (Cologne Philharmonic). She has performed in nearly all European countries, America, Japan and China. She is a founder member of the Cologne String Sextet. Many of their CD releases have been voted amongst the Top Ten of the Nederland “NMZ” and the German “Phonoforum”. For over 20 years she has been teaching at nternational master classes, e.g. the Internationale Musiktage Bad Leonfelden in Upper Austria and since 2008 in Plovdiv and Shiroka Lukka in Bulgaria at the Orpheus Academy. Since 2009 she is in charge of the Preparational Class of further studies at the Rheinische Musikschule Cologne. Elisabeth Polyzoides-Baich plays an Italian violin by Francesco Gobetti, Venice, c. 1740. (www.koelner-streichsextett.de)

Demetrius Polyzoides – violin, viola

son of the musician couple Katherina and Christos Polyzoides, he was born in Graz and studied at the University of Music in Graz with Harald Himmel. Later he continued his studies in Vienna with Franz Samohyl (violin) and Hatto Beyerle (viola). Master classes with Arthur Grumiaux, Christian Ferras, Wolfgang Marschner and Max Rostal. Concertmaster of the Bavarian National Orchestra in Munich, the Hamburg Symphonic and the Gürzenich Orchestra (Cologne Philharmonic). From 1995-97 first violinist of the Leonardo Quartet in Cologne (CDs). Since 1997 he is the first violinist and founder member of the Cologne String Sextet. Their CD releases have been voted amongst the Top Ten of the Nederland “NMZ” and the German “Phonoforum”. As soloist and ensemble musician he has played all over Europe and Asia. He also performed on radio and television. Among many other CDs he also recorded Six Sonates pour un violon seul op. 27 by Eugène Ysaÿe and most recently released 3 CDs with J. S. Bachs Sonatas and Partitas combined with the 24 Capricci by Paganini. Demetrius Polyzoides plays an Italian violin by Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Brescia, c. 1630. (www.koelner-streichsextett.de)

Michael Polyzoides – violoncello

Son of the musician couple Elisabeth and Demetrius Polyzoides, he was born 1993 in Graz, Austria. Since 2011 he is performing with the Camerata Polyzoides, being their youngest member. He received his first cello lesson at the age of six. His teachers were Birgit Heinemann, Daniel Raabe and Susanne Bohn-Schultze. In 2012 he became a student of Bonian Tian (principal cellist of the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne) whom he studies under at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In 2013 he won the first prize in the German competition “jugend musiziert” and he was also awarded the “Martin Hornstein Interpretationspreis” in 2012. Furthermore, he was a prize winner at the international chamber music festival “Allegro Vivo” in 2014. Numerous concerts led him to play in renowned concert halls in Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Spain, Austria and China. He received further artistic stimuli by Martin Hornstein, Christoph Richter, Johannes Moser, Lev Natochenny, Patrick Demenga, Marko Ylönen, Heinrich Schiff and Leonidas Kavakos. Michael Polyzoides plays a French cello (from 1850) which he inherited from the Viennese cellist Martin Hornstein.

Janna Polyzoides – piano

daughter of the musician couple Christos and Katherina Polyzoides, she was born in Graz and lives in Vienna. She studied with Sebastian Benda at the University of Music in Graz. Additional influential teachers were Rudolf Kehrer, Alexander Jenner and György Kurtág. Numerous appearances at festivals, such as Wien modern, the Menuhin festival in Gstaad, the “styriarte” festival in Graz and the Wiener Festwochen. She has been invited to perform at many concert halls such as the Cologne Philharmony, Wigmore Hall London, Warsaw Philharmony, Konzerthaus Vienna and Musikverein Vienna, Mozarteum Salzburg (2007 with the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss). As a chamber musician she has regularly performed as a founder member of the Arcus Ensemble Wien. Until now the musical work of Janna Polyzoides has been documented on 34 solo and chamber music CDs. Most recent CD publications: Christian Ofenbauer’s piano concerto with the Radio-Symphony-Orchestra Vienna (ORF), the Duo Demetrius & Janna Polyzoides (Aulos), in 2008 a triple solo CD (einklang_records), which was nominated for the ORF-Pasticcio-Award and the German Record Critics’ Award and 2012 a CD with compositions by Friedrich Cerha (Neos). (www.jannapolyzoides.com)

Related link: www.koelner-streichsextett.de