It's difficult for us to imagine that when the press speaks of "vigorous drive", "brilliance, and a diverse array of homogenous sound nuances", they are actually referring to us – LJO Brass.
But what does the name stand for? "Brass" needs no explanation, it obviously has something to do with brass instruments. But "LJO" does need some clarification.
All of us, Felix Schauren, Johannes Leiner, Jared Scott, Bruno Wipfler and Constantin Hartwig, were the brass section leaders in our much-revered LandesJugendOrchester Rheinland-Pfalz (State Youth Orchestra of the Rhineland Palatinate), or LJO for short. Without this orchestra, we would have never become acquainted with one another.
Together, we gathered extremely formative musical experience in this orchestra, and gradually developed a mutual desire to strengthen our interaction through chamber music. We also had the idea of competing as an ensemble in Jugend Musiziert, a German solo and ensemble competition. So we decided to form a brass quintet, a combination of instruments that facilitates the broadest possible range of styles. We enjoy playing works from all periods of classical music, including renaissance, baroque, romantic, impressionism and modern music, and even jazz and "peppy" music. And we've rounded out our program with a little choreography and an entertaining presentation.
Even before our first rehearsal, we had the good fortune of having the support and advice of Prof. Peter Leiner, a very distinguished brass chamber music expert. He invested enormous amounts of time (he claims to have enjoyed it!) working with us on refined details in our regular rehearsals, and had a strong influence on our unique, homogenous ensemble sound.
Very shortly after we founded the quintet, we received the only "1st prize de luxe" with a top score at Jugend Musiziert and qualified for fellowships with the Jürgen Ponto Stiftung (Jürgen Ponto Foundation) and the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben (German Foundation for the Promotion of Music). As a result, we were invited to participate in renowned festivals such as the Mosel Musik Festival, the Mittelrhein-Musik-Momenten, the Hitzacker-Musikwochen, the Weilburger Schlosskonzerten and the Rheingau Musikfestival.
We have enjoyed a close cooperation with the Rhineland Palatinate state foundation Villa Musica for many years, and have recently, in the spring of 2012, been named as fellowship recipients of this very renowned foundation.
At the international Jan Koetsier competition in November 2010, in spite of competing with much more experienced candidates, and their decision not to award a First Prize, we received the only Second Prize, and a Special Recognition prize from Bavarian Radio for the best chamber music performance, including a CD recording.
We released our first CD entitled "Album von der Jugend" in the summer of 2011. It includes recordings of our favorite works from our repertoire and was recorded over a period of three years at the Saarland Radio studio.
In solo performances with professional orchestras such as the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and the SWR-Radio-Sinfonieorchester-Stuttgart, we have been enthusiastically received by audiences for our performance of the Quintetto-Concertante by Frigyes Hidas. Our CD includes a recording of it with the SWR-Radio-Sinfonieorchester-Stuttgart as a special highlight.
We are extremely grateful to have the well-known Rennquintett as our musical and personal role models and partners in chamber music, and to be able to name each member, Uwe Zaiser, Peter Leiner, Sjön Scott, Jochen Scheerer, and Ralf Rudolph, as our formative teachers.