Margaret Brandman started out in music at a very young age, playing several instruments, including piano and accordion. Playing music was a part of the daily life of everyone in her extended family, who had immigrated to Australia from Berlin in 1939. Her parents owned and operated a music education and instrument business in Sydney – Brandman Music Studio. Margaret’s mother, Else Brandman, taught both piano accordion and piano. The studio employed many instrumental teachers and teachers of voice. Consequently, Margaret grew up surrounded by music of many genres and exposed to the sounds of a variety of instruments. Quite early on, her parents were delighted to discover that Margaret had the gift of perfect pitch.
Margaret performed at her first concert at age 6, and then at the Brandman Music Studio annual concerts for at least 12 years from then. After completing studies at the music specialist high school at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, where she studied piano, clarinet, harmony and composition and performed in chamber music and orchestral settings, Margaret attended Sydney University, where she gained her Bachelor of Music, majoring in composition. Concurrent with the university course, from the age of 18, she began work as a professional pianist, performing either solo, or with various ensembles, or as accompanist for singers or other instrumentalists.
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Marcello Maio is a musician, composer and musical director. Accomplished in piano, piano-accordion, keyboards and flute, his trademark musicianship and versatility across a range of musical genres has established Marcello in some of Sydney’s most highly acclaimed Latin, Jazz and World music ensembles. His skills in both classical piano and Latin-American music genres made him the ideal choice to perform and record Spirit Visions together with Margaret Brandman.
Czech violinist and producer Vít Mužík (b. 1972) is one of the most multifaceted musicians working on the contemporary classical music scene. His abilities both as a performer on the concert stage and in the recording booth have led to appearances on more than 60 recordings in the Navona and Ravello catalogs, making him one of PARMA Recordings’ most frequent collaborators.
Mužík studied under Prof. Ladislav Gorula at the Janáček Conservatory of Ostrava in his native Czech Republic, and his pursuit of advanced studies on the violin later brought him to Mannes College at The New School for Music in New York NY, the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati OH, and the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria under Sándor Végh. Since 2004, Mužík has served primarily as the Concertmaster for the world-renowned Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, frequently serving also as a producer for recording sessions held at Reduta Hall in the ensemble’s home base in the historic city of Olomouc.
As a performer, his talents both as a chamber musician and as a soloist on the violin have brought him to concert stages across Europe and North America.
The pianist Lucie Kaucká was born on March 31, 1978 in Kraslice near Karlovy Vary, where she began studying music at the age of seven. She continued her piano studies at the Conservatory of Teplice and the Conservatory of Pardubice with Martin Hröel. After graduation from Pardubice she concentrated on the study of musicology at the Palacky University in Olomouc and finished successfully there in 2003.
Kaucká is currently an instructor in the department of musicology at the Palacky University, where she teaches piano and music theory. She was active as a pianist under the direction of the late Professor Jirí Skovajsa and has performed in many international master classes. She is the director of the piano department at the international Czech Music Camp for Youth during the summer.
She has performed as a soloist, accompanist, and as a member of several chamber ensembles in the Czech Republic and abroad. She has participated in recordings with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra and with the chamber orchestra Camerata Moravia since 2004.
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