BOGDAN SOFEI

Bogdan Sofei was born in Bucharest on 17th of July 1975 and is the leader of ConTempo String Quartet. ConTempo have been the ensemble-in-residence in Galway since January 2003.

He graduated The University of Music in Bucharest where he studied with Ladislau Csendes and Stefan Gheorghiu. He continued his studies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, Royal Academy of Music in London, Accademia Chigiana in Siena, European Academy of Music in Aix-en Province,Britten – Pierce School for Advanced Music Studies in Aldeburgh and Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid with Rainer Schmidt, Siegmund Nissel, Norbert Brainin, Gunter Pichler, Philip Setzer, Stephanie Gonley, Heime Muller, Christoph Poppen, Howard Davis and Hugh Maguire. In addition, Bogdan received his Master of Arts in Music with First Class Honours at Cork School of Music, in 2005.

As the leader of ConTempo Quartet, he had studied with the most celebrated string quartets of the world, such as Amadeus, Alban Berg , Tokyo, Emerson and Hagen quartets ,and with musicians as Diemut Poppen, Petra Mullejans, Piero Farulli, David Takeno, Laurence Lesser, Gilbert Kalish.

Bogdan has won several international and national competitions in Italy and Romania in addition to the international prizes he has won as first violinist of ConTempo Quartet: 1st Prize at GrosserForderpreise Competition in Munich-Germany,1st Prize at Valentino Bucchi competition in Rome-Italy, 1st Prize at Tunnel Trust Competition in London-UK, 1st Prize at Mozart competition in Cluj-Romania, 2nd Prize at Johannes Brahms International Competition in Hamburg-Germany, Audience Prize and 3rd Prize at London String Quartet Competition in UK, 3rd Prize at Schubert und die Musik der Moderne Competition in Graz-Austria, 3rd Prize at Max Reger Competition in Weimar-Germany, The Wigmore Award and The Romanian Musical Critics Union Prize in Bucharest.

He has toured the world extensively, performing at many major international festivals in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

Bogdan Sofei also sustains a busy career as soloist, in the UK, Italy, and Romania.

As the first violinist of ConTempo Quartet, he has performed with Vellinger and Vanbrugh Quartets ,Kungsbacka Piano Trio(Sweden), Emma Johnson (UK)John O’Conor (Ireland), with Garth Knox-Arditti Quartet (Paris),Yuko Inoue (UK),Chen Zimbalista (Israel), Garfield Jackson-Endellion Quartet, Martin Outram (Maggini Quartet), Jerome Pernoo (Paris),James Lisney(UK),Gilbert Kalish (USA) and Douglas McNabney(Canada).

He has worked closely with composers such Alec Roth (UK) and Jane O’Leary (Ireland).

Bogdan has been teaching in Royal Academy of Music-London, gave chamber music master classes at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (Dublin), in the UK (Reading and Devon)and in Ireland (Galway and Kilkeny).

Recordings as a member of ConTempo include labels and names such as Deutsche Schallplatten, BBC, RTÉ,ORF, TVR and TG4.

As the first violinist of ConTempo, Bogdan has performed for personalities such as the Pope John Paul II at Castel Gandolfo in Italy, in 2001, in 2002 for Prince Charles in UK (the second concert at Highrove), in 2003 they were invited to perform for Nelson Mandela, the ex-President of South Africa and EU Ministers, and in 2005 they performed in Los Angeles for Angelica Houston and the late Merv Griffin.

Bogdan has also recorded the Adagio from Beethoven’s Opus 131 for the television drama “Band Of Brothers”, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, arranged the music for the silent movie “Aufgrunden”, and featured in the documentary film “ConTempo goes West” by Bob Quinn, having its launch in July 2006.

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