Spunicunifait "The Name" 

Lorenza Borrani, Violin  | Maia Cabeza, Violin 

Simone Jandl, Viola | Max Mandel, Viola 

Luise Buchberger, Cello

Five of Europe’s leading string players came together to form Spunicunifait, a group dedicated to the study and performance of the six string quintets of W.A. Mozart. In a desire to delve deeply into this repertoire usually performed by a string quartet plus an extra viola, these five friends combine historical performance practice on period instruments with an obsession for Mozart. Occasionally overwhelmed by his genius, they have named themselves after a made-up word by Mozart (the meaning of which remains a mystery), to remember that this towering giant of classical music could also be a very, very, very silly man. Spunicunifait brings together a vast collective experience as chamber musicians, orchestral players, teachers, directors and soloists from such ensembles as The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Spira Mirabilis and Aurora Orchestra amongst others. Although they each lead full and varied musical lives, the members of Spunicunifait decided to prioritize this repertoire because they are eager to re-establish Mozart’s string quintets’ place amongst the highest achievements of the chamber music canon. No doubt they will explore the larger world of string quintets, but for now these pieces are serving as an endless source of inspiration for discussion, performance and enjoying each other’s company. 

Spunicunifait - "The Quintets" 

All Videos by Zen Grisdale 

Leader of The Chamber Orchestra of Europe and founder member of Spira mirabilis (www.spiramirabilis.com), Florentine Lorenza Borrani performs as a leader, director, soloist and chamber musician in the most important halls and concert seasons throughout Europe and the world. In addition to COE, she frequently collaborates with ensembles such as Freiburger Barockorchester, Australian Chamber Orchestra, European Union Youth Orchestra, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (Artist in Residence in 2020), Philharmonie du Radio France and Orchestra della Toscana (Artist in Residence 2020-2022), among others. At the age of 20 she became concertmaster of the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini conducted by Lorin Maazel, shortly thereafter joining Claudio Abbado's Orchestra Mozart. As a soloist she has collaborated with conductors such as Yuri Harohnovich, Gyorgy Gyorivany Rath, Emmanuel Krevine, Claudio Abbado, Trevor Pinnock, Yannik Nezet Seguin, Bernard Haitink, and she has also taken part in many international chamber music festivals. Lorenza Borrani teaches violin and chamber music at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, the school where she studied with Alina Company, Piero Farulli, Zinaida Gilels and Pavel Vernikov. She received her post-graduate degree in Graz at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, studying with Boris Kushnir. Since 2019 she is Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Thanks to Spira mirabilis, the work with clarinetist Lorenzo Coppola and the incredible opportunity to meet and play in COE with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, she developed her passion towards performance practice on period instruments.

Canadian-American violinist Maia Cabeza enjoys a multi-faceted performing career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. Recently appointed leader of Aurora Orchestra, she is the 1st prize winner of the 2013 Leopold Mozart Competition and 2nd prize winner of the 2018 Johann Sebastian Bach Competition as well as a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Based in Berlin, she has performed as a soloist with several orchestras including the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra and Munich Radio Orchestra, among others. Maia is extremely passionate about chamber music, and she has been invited to festivals such as Marlboro and Lockenhaus as well as being a regular at Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music. Maia's most recent CD recording was released by Genuin Classics and features works by Central and Eastern European composers influenced by folk music. She performs on a C. F. Landolfi violin (circa. 1750) on loan by the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.

 

Born in Karlsruhe/Germany, Simone Jandl studied viola with Wolfram Christ at the Musikhochschule Freiburg and then continued her studies with Tabea Zimmermann at the Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“ Berlin, where she now holds a teaching position. When she exchanged the violin for the viola, age 9, she soon formed her first string quartet and quickly discovered her love for the communicative role of a middle voice and the complex sound-world of the lower instrument. Simone Jandl has been a member of Lucerne Festival Orchestra 2003-2011, Orchestra Mozart Bologna 2004-2012, the Spira mirabilis project since 2007 and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe since 2009. In 2016, she was appointed Principal viola of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. As a soloist with orchestra, she has appeared with the Baden-Badener Philharmonie, the Philharmonie Südwestfalen, the Hamburger Camerata, „El Teatre Instrumental“ Barcelona, the English Haydn Orchestra and the WDR Sinfonieorchester Cologne.

 

Violist Max Mandel enjoys a varied and acclaimed career as a chamber musician, soloist, orchestral musician and speaker. In addition to Spunicunifait, he is Principal Viola of The Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment and a member of the trailblazing ensemble FLUX Quartet. He has appeared as guest Principal Viola with The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The Academy of Ancient Music, and the Handel & Haydn Society amongst others. Other group affiliations include The Smithsonian Chamber Players, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and The Silk Road Ensemble. Recent recordings include Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Aisslinn Nosky and the Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra on Coro Records. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada he divides his time between New York and London. 

Luise Buchberger is principal cellist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Born in Frankfurt am Main, she studied with Clemens Hagen at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, with Thomas Grossenbacher at the Hochschule der Künste Zurich, and baroque cello with Kristin von der Goltz at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. She is in demand as chamber musician, soloist, and continuo cellist on both the modern and the historical instrument. Since 2009 Luise has been a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, with which she appears in the major concert halls of the world. She is also in high demand as guest principal cellist, most recently with the English Baroque Soloists, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, Academy of Ancient Music, Classical Opera Company, Arcangelo and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Luise plays a fine baroque cello made by Giacomo Gavelli in Perugia around 1730 which is owned by the Buchberger-Gavelli Cello Syndicate Trust.