The Eastern Quartet is a musical group that brings a fresh and unique approach to music. The formation consists of four highly skilled and exceptionally talented musicians: Atanas Marinov on clarinet, Sorin Spasinovici on viola, Seraphim von Werra on accordion and Orhan Remzi on keyboard. We are all based in the Zurich region, but come from different cultural backgrounds - Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Switzerland - a circumstance that makes our group unique. With the Eastern Quartet, we combine elements of the folk music of our home countries with those of classical music and follow our great desire for innovation and overcoming musical and cultural cultural boundaries.
In our 3-year history as a group, we have already given many concerts in Switzerland, Austria as well as in Romania and Bulgaria which have been very well received by the audience. We like to experiment and have fun with music. We take classical or jazz pieces and play them in their original way to a point where we switch to Balkan style. With this approach, we want to enrich these musical worlds and present new concepts, because we are sure that such a project has never existed before. Our repertoire consists of our own arrangements of pieces by composers such as Antonio Vivaldi, Johannes Brahms, Vittorio Monti, Astor Piazzolla and many others.
Born in 1989 in Sofia, Bulgaria, to a family with musical roots, Atanas began and fulfilled his musical studies in his hometown, before moving to Switzerland, where he completed two Master Degrees, one at the Haute Ecole de Musique Lausanne and the other one at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste.
He is a laureate of several competitions, such as Austrian Soloist - Vienna, Grande Prize Virtuoso - London, International Wind Competition – Riddes , Switzerland among many other, and has participated in festivals such as Verbier Festival, Cully Classique, Forum Wallis, Sofia Music Weeks, Eurochestries to mention a few.
His great musicianship has brought him on stages like The Royal Albert Hall, Smetana Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, Bulgaria Hall, La Metropole, Lotte Concert Hall, Daejeon Concert Hall and many more.
As a professional orchestral musician, he began his career in the orchestra of the National Opera of Sofia before the Academy Symphony Orchestra, the Genesis Orchestra and the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra having the honor of having him in their orchestra. In the Genesis Orchestra as well as in Daejeon, South Korea, Atanas has held the position of principal clarinet.
Masterclasses where he participated include names such as Dmitry Rasul Kareyev, Karl Leister, Milan Rericha, Fabio Di Casola, Romain Gyout, Gabor Varga, Harri Mäki.
Atanas is also a very highly-skilled musician in Bulgarian folk music, playing it and promoting it as often as he can. His love for the music of the Balkans, as well as for the Classical music and for the blending of styles and genres has brought him today in the Eastern Quartet, where he can express freely his sentiments through his masterful playing.
Born in 1991 in Bucharest, Romania, Sorin began his studies in his hometown, at the "George Enescu" High-school of Music. After graduating it, he fulfilled his Bachelor's Degree at the National University of Music before moving to Zürich, where he has finished his Master's Degree in Music Performance at the University of Arts as well as a Master's Degree in Music Pedagogy at the same university.
Ever since he was 20, Sorin has been playing with different orchestras such as the orchestra of the National Opera House in Bucharest, the Romanian Youth Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra, among many others. With the latter one, he has toured extensively throughout Europe and played in famous concert halls such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall London, Konzerthaus Berlin and The Usher Hall Edinburgh to name a few.
With the Romanian National Symphony Orchestra, he toured in 2019 throughout the United States of America in the position of viola section leader, in cities such as Miami, New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
Momentarily, he is playing as a viola substitute in the Musikkollegium Orchestra in Winterthur, conducting the Prova String Ensemble in Winterthur as well as teaching privately throughout the Zurich canton.
Beginning with 2021, he has been a member of the Andreas Vollenweider & Friends group, with which they already had concerts in festivals such as Festival da Jazz in St. Moritz and in many other cities in Switzerland and Germany.
One of his big passions is making arrangements for different kinds of musical ensembles, from string quartets to flute-viola-harp trios and even viola quartets.
Besides his undeniable love for Classical music, Sorin is an ardent advocate of the Romanian folk music, his passion growing up little by little since the age of 15. By constantly hearing audio and video recordings of great masters of this music genre and then playing with friends at school, Sorin got to master this demanding music, but in the same time he has been constantly concerned with improving his skills. In the recent years, he has broadened his interest for the music of the Balkans in general as well as for jazz music, and the Eastern Quartet is the perfect environment for diversifying his musical language
SERAPHIM VON WERRA
Seraphim von Werra was born in 1991 into a Swiss family of musicians and has always been surrounded by sounds and instruments. From primary school onwards, he attended piano and percussion lessons, but was never afraid to try out other instruments. This curiosity led him to the accordion as a young teenager. Through the sale of a local shop, a simple "hand organ" found its way into the household and of course the young von Werra couldn't resist getting his hands on this instrument again and again.
In 2006, he founded the formation "Sebass", which still exists today and with which he has always been able to realise his artistic ideas.
At the age of only 15, however, he passed the entrance examination to the Zurich University of the Arts with his main instrument at the time, drums, and successfully obtained his Master of Arts in Producing and Pedagogy (pop/rock drums) as one of the youngest graduates in 2012.
During these years, he established valuable contacts with the Swiss pop music scene and met, among others, the guitarist and singer Aaron Wegman, with whom he worked as a drummer in various formations. Since 2015, they have been united in the duo "Bonosera". This small line-up offers the two familiar musicians a lot of room for improvisation and spontaneity, which makes the concerts unique experiences.
Joining the Zurich band "The Nozez" enabled von Werra to gain a lot of live experience. With countless street music trips throughout Europe and with gigs in all imaginable and unimaginable places, the band gained a notorious reputation. The jazz musicians in the formation also opened up a new genre of music for him, which he literally learned on the street
As von Werra had completed his studies early on, the idea of further education appealed to him and in 2013 he decided to take a CAS at the ZHdK as a sound engineer. The almost unlimited possibilities of modern audio recording technology fascinated him and he wanted to learn this craft in order to be able to record his music independently and with good quality in the future.
His full-hearted passion for this music, as well as attention to details, desire to master every musical style of the Balkans and incredible ease in his playing are the qualities which recommend him to being part of the Eastern Quartet, and to fulfilling the most rigorous musical tastes.
Born in Ruse, Bulgaria, Orhan has received a rich musical education, first in his hometown and then at the "Pancho Vladigerov" Music Academy in Sofia. After finishing his Bachelor's Degree, he fulfilled 2 Master Degrees at the same university: one in Music Performance on drums and one in Jazz and Pop Music on drums and piano.
His multi-skilled musicianship allowed him to perform concerts in France, Hungary, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Romania. He also made several recordings with the Bulgarian National Television and National Radio.
He has established himself since 2015 in Dornbirn, Austria, where he has his own recording studio and his own music school.
Orhan has a wide variety of musical genres he can successfully cover, from Classical to Jazz and various folk music from the Balkans: Bulgarian, Romanian, Macedonian, Serbian, Albanian, Greek and even Turkish.
With the Eastern Quartet, he masterfully manages to play the electronic keyboard, featuring piano as well as bass and drums.