Originally from Russia, Sofya Gandilyan is an award-winning harpsichordist, fortepianist, and musicologist.
After graduating cum laude and receiving her doctoral degree in musicology (dissertation on J.J. Froberger and his keyboard music) in 2012 from the Moscow State Conservatory, Sofya’s studies took her to Germany: in 2013, she received Bachelor’s degree in harpsichord and Master’s degree in fortepiano from Munich’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater (studying with world-renowned harpsichordist Christine Schornsheim) and a Master’s degree in harpsichord from the Trossingen Musikhochschule (studying with Marieke Spaans).
Winner of numerous prizes and scholarships, highlights from Sofya’s achievements include winning second prize at the 2015 Musica Antiqua Bruges competition (the world’s oldest competition for Early Music) and the special prize at the 2012 “Prague Spring” harpsichord competition, as well as being awarded scholarships from prestigious institutes like the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), the Austrian Barock Academy, and the Shostakovich Foundation.
With a repertoire ranging from Frescobaldi to Martinu, Sofya can be heard in in concert halls the world over, with performances in Brazil, China and the United States. She works regularly with celebrated historical performers and singers like Christine Schornsheim, Anton Steck, Lorenz Duftschmid, and Jan van Elsacker. Since 2014, Sofya is the harpsichordist and organist with the celebrated break-dance and baroque music show “Flying Bach”.
Sofya currently teaches harpsichord and fortepiano at Munich’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater as assistant to Christine Schornsheim.
MARIA RAFFAELE’s passion for music-making began at an early age at home with her family, and she soon began studying clarinet, piano, oboe, and voice in her hometown of Arlington, Virginia (USA). Through her advanced music studies at Carnegie Mellon University (USA), the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (CH), and the Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye aux Dames/ Université de Poitiers (FR), she obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in modern and historical oboe performance. During this time, she benefited immensely from the teaching and mentoring of great musicians including Katharina Arfken, Antoine Torunczyk, Philippe Herreweghe, Sigiswald Kuijken, Alfredo Bernardini, and Lorenzo Coppola.
Maria has built a career bridging historical and modern oboe performance, playing regularly with numerous ensembles such as Les Folies Françoises, Les Paladins, Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu, Freiburger Barockorchester, La Petite Bande, and Capriccio Barockorchester. A committed and enthusiastic chamber musician, in 2016 she founded the Munich-based period instrument ensemble Svapinga Consort with keyboardist Robert Selinger.
In 2018, she began doctoral studies in musicology at the Université de Poitiers. She also teaches oboe as part of the Philharmonie de Paris’s Démos Project, has taught baroque music history courses for Bachelor’s students at the Université de Tours, works as a Web Editor for medici.tv, and is a freelance translator, writer, and graphic designer.