The Florestan Ensemble is an international piano quintet that was founded in 2017 at the Utrecht Conservatory. They received coaching and chamber music masterclasses from Sebastian Koloski (Utrecht String Quartet), Konstantin Bogino, Kyril Zlotnikov (Jerusalem Quartet), Jack Liebeck and Eldar Nebolsin.
Recently they have performed in venues such as TivoliVredenburg (Utrecht), Serbian Cultural Centre (Paris) and Centro Cultural de Belém (Lisbon).
The young and ambitious ensemble consists of Yuqi Han (piano), Lev Bogino and Saskia Frijns (violin), Madi Luimstra (viola) and Jorge Gresa (cello). All of them study or have studied at the Utrecht Conservatory, and are experienced performers.
Yuqi Han – piano
Yuqi Han was born in China. She recently graduated from Utrecht Conservatory where she studied with Dutch pianist Martyn van den Hoek and graduated with a 10 in 2018. She started studying piano at the age of 5 and performing on the stage from the age of 7. In 2010 she was awarded the first prize in the Category Schumann and Category Chopin Waltz in “Jiadewei Cup” piano competition in China. After studying for four years in ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten with Frank Peters, she received was awarded a 9 out of 10 for her bachelor final concert. While living in the Netherlands she has given concerts as a soloist, in ensembles with various singers, and as a chamber musician in Musis Sacrum (Arnhem), Schouwberg (Deventer), Henglo, Enschede, Zwolle, Apeldoorn, Zaltbommel Nijmegen and Utrecht. As the winner of festival “Aan de Waal”, she gave the 2018 New Years concert in Zaltbommel together with Martyn van den Hoek.
Lev Bogino – 1st violin
Lev Bogino was born into a family of musicians studying in the class of Miroslav Roussine and Igor Volochine in Paris before continuing his studies in the Netherlands with Ilya Grubert and Elisabeth Perry. He has taken part in masterclasses led by Galina Tourchaninova, Dejan Bogdanovic, Pavel Vernikov, Hagai Shaham, Marco Fiorentini, Adolf Bruk and Boris Kuschnir among others and performed as a soloist and in chamber music in countries such as Finland, Israel, France, Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, U.S.A, Estonia, Montenegro, Serbia and the Netherlands. Lev Bogino is first violinist of the Florestan Ensemble and an active member of the association Parade organizing the festival Erik Satie dedicated to the french composer in his hometown of Arcueil.
Saskia Frijns – 2nd violin
Saskia (Maastricht, 1993) studied at the Maastricht Academy of Music and at the Utrecht Conservatory with Elisabeth Perry, where she recently graduated for the Master of Music. As an orchestral musician, Saskia played in orchestras such as the Metropole Orkest, Gelders Orkest, Sinfonia Rotterdam, Orkest van het Oosten and Nationaal Jeugdorkest (also as principal 2nd violinist). She has collaborated with artists such as Janine Jansen, Sayaka Shoji and Hannes Minnaar, and with conductors such as Xian Zhang, Krzysztof Penderecki, Antony Hermus, Jan Willem de Vriend and Philippe Herreweghe. She has collaborated in national and international radio- and tv- broadcasts and cd-recordings, and made tours through The Netherlands as well as Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, China and other countries.
Madi Luimstra – viola
Madi is a British-Dutch violist, currently studying with Richard Wolfe for her masters degree at the Conservatory of Utrecht. She received her bachelor degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, where she studied with Emmanuella Reiter and Matthew Jones as a TCM Trust Scholar. As a keen orchestral and chamber musician she regularly gives concerts in the Netherlands, and has also performed in the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Slovenia and Lithuania, performing in famous concert halls such as Teatro la Fenice in Venice; Berliner Philharmonie in Berlin; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; and the Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall and O2 Arena in London. Madi also has experience working in opera productions, having performed Falstaff, La Boheme, Le Nozze de Figaro, Don Giovanni and La Cenerentola. Having recorded with several artists, most notably she can be heard on Rick Wakeman’s 2016 extended edition of The Myths and Legends of King Arthur. Madi plays on a David Milward viola from 2015.
Jorge Gresa – cello
Jorge Gresa was born in Seville in 1995. He started playing cello at the age of eight with Isabel Quirós and continued with Argentinian cellist Claudio Baraviera. He studied in Madrid with Asier Polo and Maria Casado and is currently studying with Timora Rosler at the Utrecht Conservatory. He has received lessons from cellists such as Gregor Horsch, Enrico Dindo, Maria Kliegel, Rafael Rosenfeld, Emil Rovner, Barbara Switalska, Jeroen den Herder, Gavriel Lipkind and Alain Meunier. He won the 2nd Prize in ‘Luthiers Clar’ Cello Competition in 2017 and the 1st Prize in ‘Triana’ Chamber Music Competition in 2009 and 2013. Jorge plays on a A.E. Fowler cello with a bow from B. Menze.