Alexandre Castro-Balbi • Cello
International Music Festival

Course Details

Course Dates
April 1st, 2018 – April 7th, 2018

International Music Festival "Buchenau Spring 2019"

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©Photo by Mariya Nesterovska

Alexandre Castro-Balbi was born in 1991 in Besançon/France and grew up in a musical family of Latin American origin. At the age of seven he received his first cello lessons from György Adam at the conservatory of Besançon. In 2004 he graduated with a music diploma to continue his lessons with Marc Coppey at the conservatory of Paris. Two years later, he began his studies at the National Superior Conservatory of Paris (CNSM) with Philippe Muller, which he completed with a master’s degree. Subsequently he deepened his studies with Prof. W. E. Schmidt at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar. After completing a semester at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin with Claudio Bohórquez as part of the ERASMUS programme he went to Clemens Hagen at the Mozarteum in Salzburg for another semester. He also participated in numerous master classes, among others with Steven Isserlis, László Fenyő, Lluís Claret, Sadao Harada, Peter Bruns, Raphaël Pidoux, Xavier Gagnepain, etc. Alexandre won several international prizes such as second prize and special prize at the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition in Morelia, Mexico. He also received the second prize at the Prince of Asturias Villa de Llanes competition in Spain. At the International Competition Franz Schubert and Modern Music in Graz, Alexandre was awarded the second prize (no first prize awarded) with his Piano trio "Suyana" and the special prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work. Already at the age of 19 years Castro-Balbi reached the semi-final of the ARD music competition in Munich. He won scholarships from the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe, the Académie musicale de Villecroze and the Foundation for Young Musicians in Besançon. Alexandre has been invited to a variety of international festivals such as the Internacional Festival of Cello, Lima (Peru), the Festival of Asturias (Spain), the Music in the Mountains, Colorado, Festival International de musique de Besançon "and the Festival of" Villa Musica "(Rhineland-Palatinate). As a soloist, he performed with the Munich chamber orchestra, the Jena Philharmonic, the Budapest Chamber Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Panamá, the Berlin-Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre du Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, the Provincial Youth Orchestra Peru and the Orchester Philharmonique de Besançon under the baton of renowned conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Myung-Whun Chung, Péter Csaba and Zsolt Nagy in the Berlin Philharmonic, the Salle Pleyel, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Munich Philharmonic, the Victoria Hall Geneva, the Teatro Nacional Madrid, the Graz Music Association and Solitaire Salzburg. His chamber music partners are among others Lucas Debargue, Markus Groh, Natasha Prischipenko, Christophe Giovaninetti, Svetlin Roussev, Diana Ligeti, Mayu Kishima, Marc Bouchkov, Marie Chilemme, Adrien Boisseau, Regis Vincent, Lena Semenova, Guillaume Chilemme, David Castro-Balbi and Thibaud Epp. Alexandre is Principal Cellist of the German Nationaltheater and Staatskappelle Weimar since June 2015.

Course services

– accompanist
– public performances
– closing concert
– career counselling
– concert engagements for the best participants

Course fee

from 499 €, passive listener 200 €, day pass 50 €

Performance with symphony orchestra (incl. one 20-min. rehearsal, 10-min. warm-up rehearsal and a public concert during the masterclass week) 490 €

Professional multi-angle video recording of your performance 150 €

Performance with orchestra

You have an opportunity to perform with the symphony orchestra during the festival for the fee of 490 €. This includes one 20-minutes rehearsal, one 10-minutes warm-up rehearsal before the concert and the public performance itself. The piece of your choice can be up to 15 minutes long. Additionally, you can book a professional multi-angle video recording of your performance.

Preliminary schedule

Mon. - Sat. 10:00 - 13:30, 14:30 - 18:00

Orchestra academy – More than just playing in an orchestra

Young musicians have the opportunity to get to know the work of an orchestra from the inside. They participate in our symphony concerts and conducting master classes with world-famous maestros.

The commitment is aimed at the promotion of young up-and-coming artists in the field of stringed instruments, who would like to join the great Georgian Symphony Orchestra of the Tbilisi Conservatory with 60 musicians, in order to aim for music together with our great soloists and conductors while still serving the educational purpose. The Orchestra Academy offers prospective musicians the opportunity to gain the orchestral experience and to develop an attractive repertoire of orchestral literature. Academics can take their first steps in a young professional symphony orchestra. The broad spectrum of the festival program, which includes symphony and chamber music concerts, poses a very different challenge for a musician than training in a music institution. Playing a changing repertoire at a high level is one of the challenges facing the academics. New experiences for prospective orchestral musicians include playing under changing conductors and harmonizing personal rhythms with the orchestra. The participants of the orchestra academy are supported by our lecturers with words and deeds. The academics can take part in rehearsal workshops and are taught by experienced orchestral and orchestral rehearsals and chamber music teachers. Under the guidance of mentors, they get to know orchestral life from the inside by playing rehearsals and concerts, working with international conductors and soloists. Young musicians and students from all over the world can apply for the Orchestra Academy of the International Festival "Buchenau Spring 2018". With a curriculum vitae and possibly a video link or a short audition, the musicians qualify for a one-week orchestral academy period (25-31 March or 01-07 April 2018) and are one step closer to the profession of orchestral musician. We look forward to welcoming you to our International Festival "Buchenau Spring 2018"!

Instrument groups: violin, viola, cello and double bass.

Please register online: