Marko Pop Ristov . Violin
Marko graduated from the Royal College of Music
(London) with a BMus in 2009. He attained his
Masters in Chamber Music from the Guildhall
School of Music and Drama in London, during
which time he also performed his Barbican debut
At 16 he was invited and awarded a scholarship to
study with Prof. Pavel Vernikov at the “Scuola di
Musica di Fiesole”. Marko has been awarded first
prize in several international competitions
including “Performing Australian Music” (London,
2008), “Giovanni Batista Pergolesi” (Italy, 2003)
and “Peter Konjovich” (Yugoslavia, 2001).
He has appeared as a soloist with “Kensington Sinfonia” (UK), “Orchestra dei
Ragazzi” (Italy), “Bitola Chamber Orchestra” and “National Symphony Orchestra”
(Macedonia). Whilst in London, Marko received coaching from eminent musicians
and artists such as the: “Bedke Quartet”, “Chilingarina Quartet”, “Domus Quartet”,
“Belcea Quartet”, “Florestan Trio” and many more.
With his ensemble, the ‘Ristov Piano Quartet’, Marko performed in festivals across the
UK, France, Switzerland, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia. In 2010 the quartet was invited
to perform the “Rombach” piano trio by P. Dusapin for the BBC Proms. Since his arrival
in New Zealand in 2013 Marko is a regular player with the APO and ACO as well as
section leader of “Bach Musica”.
Marco Ariani . Cello
Marco Ariani began studying the cello at the age of 7 under the guidance of Mº Francesco Pepicelli.
At the age of 14 he performed the Georg
Goltermann Concerto n.4 as his first recital and
continued with a series of concerts in duo and as a
soloist throughout Italy.
He graduated in cello performance at the Higher
Institute of Musical Studies “A. Peri” in Reggio
Emilia with honours, under the tutelage of Mº
In 2004 he was invited by the Italian Embassy in
Australia to tour the country with pianist Marco
Gianferrari, including in the tour high profile
venues as the Town Hall Opera in Perth.
In 2005 he was selected by Mº Claudio Abbado as a member of the “Mozart Orchestra”
with whom he recorded Mozart’s horn and violin concertos with Alessio Allegrini and
Giuliano Carmignola for the Deutche Grammophon. Marco has played in orchestras with
important conductors as Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado and John E.
In 2006 he performed Gabriel Faure’s Quartets with Alessandro Specchi and as a soloist
with the violinist Silvia Mazzon for the concert festival “Il Violino Magico” in Portogruaro
conducted by Mº Pavel Vernikov.
For a couple of years he studied the Baroque and Classical repertoire with an original
instrument under the guidance of Mº Marco Frezzato; he was also invited on several
occasions to play with the "Europa Galante" ensemble of early music directed by Mº
In 2012 he performed the complete suites of J.S.Bach for solo cello in many Italian cities.
He has won several prizes in national and international chamber music competitions,
performing duets with pianist Marco Gianferrari and trios with the “Trio Gentilucci”.
Marco has been teaching cello for many years and is currently a teacher at the “Orazio
Vecchi” Conservatory of Modena. He plays a "Jacques le Clerc" (1901) cello.
Flavio Villani is an Italian-NZ pianist. He completed
a Bachelor of Piano Performance with
Matteo Napoli at the Conservatory
‘G.Martucci’ in conjunction with a
Bachelor of IT in Salerno, Italy in 2007.
After working in IT in Barcelona he was
given the opportunity of coming to New
Zealand to pursue a career in music. He
moved to New Zealand in 2008 to
follow his dream and in 2012 he
completed a Master in Piano Performance at the University of
Auckland with first class honours under the guidance of pianist Stephen De Pledge.
The journey towards his first solo performance with an orchestra was documented in the
feature length film "Crossing Rachmaninoff". The film followed his preparations for, and
performance of, Rachmaninoff Concerto n.2 in Calabria in 2015 with the "Orchestra
Filarmonica della Calabria". After that performance he subsequently took different
soloist opportunities performing Rachmaninoff Concerto n.2, Tchaikovsky Concerto n.1
and the Warsaw Concerto with the "Orchestra of CalArts" in Los Angeles, the "New
Plymouth Orchestra", the "Taranaki Symphony", the "Bay of Plenty Symphonia" and the
"Auckland Symphony Orchestra". He was absolute winner of the Northland Society Piano Competition in 2008 as well as
winner of the first prize in the Llewelyn Piano Competition in both 2011 and 2012. He
has performed many recitals as a soloist as well as in different chamber formations in
California, Texas, Italy, Spain and New Zealand. The festivals where he performed
include: the Venice Biennale (2011) for the exhibition and installation of the New
Zealand pavilion, ‘Maggiociondolo’ in Alessandria, ’Lamezia Festival’ in Calabria and
'Pianino Festival' in the Chopin cell in Mallorca.
Currently he is undertaking a Doctorate through the Waikato University and is the Director of L'Accademia in St Heliers under the St Heliers Community Centre where he teaches, organizes concerts, masterclasses and leads a busy activity between the local and the musical community.