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Alumni about colluvio

How they feel about the Master Classes and the Concert Tours.

Assia Weissmann *1996, Russia/Germany, violin,
Academy Member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra since September 2023,
Participation in colluvio 2019 and 2021

We congratulate Assia on her new position as Academy Member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra from September 2023. She writes to us:

Dear Colluvio Team!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the touching words! I always think back with warmth and gratitude to the wonderful and infinitely enriching time at Colluvio – both musically and personally. I am happy for all future generations who still have this ahead of them!

With much love,


Assia Weissmann, Concert in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, colluvio 2021


Elías Zaabi Sáez (25) viola, Spain/Tunisia, HKU Utrecht Conservatorium (studying with Mikhail Zemtsov)
Participant in colluvio 2023


Dear colleagues and friends,

I am so happy to share with you this professional recording made in Belgrade during colluvio Chamber Music Festival during last summer.

I cannot express with words all my gratitude during this unique experience. This festival could not have taken place without the direction of Meinhard Holler, all the professors (Yuri, Olivera and Meinhard), the guest critique (Claus-Christian Schuster founder of the Altenberg trio) and all the kind staff (Meinhards’ family). I would like to thank as well my quartet mates for all the effort and patience to perform such an interesting piece. We rehearsed in a beautiful chateau in Fisch Gut Hornegg close to Graz and we concluded the festival after a great tour in central Europe.

After my experience in several chamber music festival, colluvio is one of the most complete ones that I have experienced. The quality reached and the deep digging in the comprehension of the pieces is extraordinary, rarely approached in this type of festivals!

Elías Zaabi Sáez

colluvio 2023, Elías Zaabi Sáez (25), plays Fauré’s 2nd Piano Quartet with Frédéric Pouliot (22), Petar Krokar (24) and Hyunah Pyo (21). Concert in Ljubljana. (foto: Mankica Kranjec)


October 2023

Petar Krokar (24) piano, Croatia, Academy of Music Zagreb (studying with Ruben Dalibaltayan) and Ferenc Liszt Academy Budapest (studying with Klára Würtz)
Participant in colluvio 2023 and 2020

“…First of all, thank you for the wonderful experience of this Colluvio!
For me it was a spiritual journey, both musically and individually. The composition itself (the 2nd piano quartet by Gabriel Fauré) offered a lot and working on it brought so much life, richness and joy in exploring every little detail. A completely different experience to my first time at Colluvio 2020, in a positive sense of course.

This time I experienced everything more intensely and personally. From Gut Hornegg as a place of inspiration, to the collaboration with you professors, especially with you Meinhard, who accompanied Fauré from the very beginning, to the relationships with the people. Maybe it wasn’t visible with me and maybe I didn’t really show it, but in the light of some things that happened just before Colluvio and which I wasn’t really comfortable talking about, Colluvio was like a rebirth for me … The time at Colluvio filled my batteries with hope for a better tomorrow, for the creating of beautiful music, and it gave me a different image – that music is the most important thing and the essence of our doing.

Even today I still haven’t come to terms with the situation with the university, but Colluvio really eased my pain – the hospitality at Gut Hornegg, most importantly – the professors’ CARE for us participants and for the development of the composition we played. That’s what I appreciate the most! This work down to the smallest detail, repeating the same things 100 times until they sound, researching the sound and respecting the composer’s instructions – you mentors gave me exactly what I needed at that moment – comfort! You showed how one should work with students and with how much care, that really touched me! Meinhard, I am so grateful for this experience – I can’t describe it!!!!!”

Read the Croation original…

Original in Croatian language:

Oktobar 2023. godine

Petar Krokar (24), klavir, Hrvatska, Muzička akademija Zagreb (klasa Rubena Dalibaltayana) i Akademija Ferenca Liszta u Budimpešti (klasa Kláre Würtz)
Učesnik colluvio 2023. i 2020. godine

„…Prije svega, hvala na predivnom iskustvu ovog Colluvia! Za mene je to bilo jedno duhovno putovanje, što glazbeno, što individualno. Već sama skladba ponudila je puno, a rad na njoj unio toliko života, bogatstva i radosti istraživanja svakog malog detalja. Apsolutno drukčije iskustvo nego moj prvi put na Colluviu 2020. Naravno, u pozitivnom smislu. Ovaj put sam sve doživio intezivnije i osobnije. Od samog Gut Hornegga kao mjesta inspiracije, rada sa vama profesorima, prije svega sa Vama Majnhard koji ste bili uz Faurea od samog početka te sve do odnosa sa ljudima. Možda se to i nije vidilo na meni i možda nisam baš pokazivao, ali s obzirom na neke stvari koje su se desile netom prije Colluvia, a o kojima meni nije bilo baš ugodno razgovarati, Colluvio je meni došao kao preporod…

Tako da, bivanjem na Colluviu meni su se baterije napunile nadom za bolje sutra, za lijepim stvaranjem glazbe i dalo mi je drugu sliku – da je glazba najbitnija i da je esencija našeg stvaranja. Dan danas nisam procesuirao situaciju sa diplomom, ali mi je Colluvio stvarno olakšao tu bol – Gostoprimstvom u Gut Horneggu, najbitnije – profesorskom BRIGOM za nas učesnike i za razvoj kompozicije koju smo svirali. Ja to najviše cijenim! Taj rad do najsitnijeg detalja, ponavljanje 100 puta istih stvari dok ne za zvuče, istraživanje zvuka i poštivanje kompozitorovih oznaka – vi mentori ste mi pružili pravo to što je meni trebalo u tom trenutku – utjehu! Pokazali ste kako se treba i s koliko brige raditi sa studentima što je mene jako dotaklo! Majnhard, ja sam toliko zahvalan na ovom iskustvu – da to ne mogu opisati!!!!!”

colluvio 2023, Petar Krokar (24), plays Fauré’s 2nd Piano Quartet with Frédéric Pouliot (22), Elías Zaabi Sáez (25) and Hyunah Pyo (21). Concert in Ljubljana


September 2023

Hyunah Pyo (21 years old) cello, Korea, Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf (studying with Pieter Wispelwey)
Participant in colluvio 2023

Dear Olivera Milić-Hirscher, Meinhard Holler, Yuri Kot and Claus-Christian Schuster,

Thank you for your great love for young musicians!
The Colluvio Academy has made me love music even more and love life as a musician.
I remember the endless passion of my teachers and will continue to strive to share beautiful music with different people in the world.

Best regards from Korea,

Hyunah Pyo

Read the German original…

Original in German language:

September 2023

Hyunah Pyo (21 Jahre), Violoncello, Korea, Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf (Klasse Pieter Wispelwey)
Teilnehmerin an colluvio 2023

Liebe Olivera Milić-Hirscher, Lieber Meinhard Holler, Yuri Kot und Claus-Christian Schuster,

Vielen Dank für Ihre große Liebe an junge Musiker und Musikerinnen!
Die Colluvio Academy hat mich dazu gebracht, die Musik noch mehr zu lieben und das Leben als Musiker zu lieben.

Ich erinnere mich an die unendliche Leidenschaft meiner Lehrer und Lehrerin und werde weiterhin danach streben, wunderschöne Musik mit verschiedenen Menschen auf der Welt zu teilen.

Liebe Grüße aus Korea,

Hyunah Pyo

colluvio 2023, Hyunah Pyo (21), plays Fauré’s 2nd Piano Quartet with Petar Krokar (24), Frédéric Pouliot (22) and Elías Zaabi Sáez (25). Concert in Ljubljana



Robin de Talhouët (20 years old), cello, France, Conservatoire national supérieur de Paris (studies with Raphaël Pidoux), participant 2020

…Everything indeed went well after that first train I missed in Vienna. I’m really looking forward to seeing the videos now, not only Debussy but Arenski and Dvorak too! I don’t know yet what the upcoming summer is going to be like, but I’d really, really love to come back.

I wanted to write you an email to thank you once again and your whole family for welcoming us in that beautiful place and making this summer so unique. To me, it really was an eye-opening experience on chamber music. Having the opportunity to play with musicians with completely different musical backgrounds and cultures was super interesting and rewarding.  Courses like this one are extremely rare: it was all about the music and having good times, while still being very serious and focused on working together, not about who’s playing scales the fastest.

After colluvio I took a few days break from the cello, and coming back to it I was amazed by the sound progress I made and I think it is greatly due to playing that much chamber music.

Best regards from Paris!


Robin de Talhouët, Concert in Prague 2020



Samuel Ng (20 years old), cello, Malaysia, Royal College of Music London (studies with Raphael Wallfisch & Hélène Dautry), participant 2019

Just wanted to say thank you ever so much for giving me the chance to come to Colluvio, I couldn’t have asked for a better time with so much to learn. From the bottom of my heart, it was really such an amazing experience to learn so much from you guys and also my colleagues. I really hope that I have the chance to come back to such an amazing opportunity in the future years.

Samuel Ng 2019, Hornegg



Anastasiya Sharina (25 years old), piano, Ukraine, National Academy of Music Kiev (studies with of Yuri Kot), participant 2016, 2017, 2019

Having taken part in master classes three times (2016,2017 and 2019), I can say that every year left completely different, but no doubt vivid impressions.
Colluvio can teach you not only to play music in ensemble, but also to acquire a skill that will help you in your future professional life. One of them is the ability to create a common ensemble in a very short period of time, to come to a common understanding of the spirit of music and many other usefull things.
Based on my own experience, I can say that the level of participants is quite high in the technical sense of playing instruments, the emotional perception of music, the level of intelligence, etc. It is this aspect that will make your stay at Colluvio interesting and give you an unforgettable experience for a lifetime.
Lessons with professors may surprise you with something new, but they may also confirm all your knowledge about performing the chamber music. One way or another, but every teacher will inspire you to work productively on a piece of music. Each teacher will make a valuable contribution to the common cause – the creation of a concept convincing for both the performer and the listener.
One of the individual features of Colluvio are home concerts, which take place every second day of the master classes. Practice shows that frequent playing your compositions for teachers, other participants, casual guests and the Holler family gives high and qualitative results:

Read more…

firstly, it helps to cope with the stage excitement, which all musicians certainly experience to one degree or another; secondly, facilitates the holistic perception and recreation of the piece; thirdly, it helps to better feel your ensemble partners.  Also, „home concerts“, take place in a new place every time. Such an element of unpredictability also brings a twist and encourages musicians to rediscover sound balance, adapt to acoustics, etc.

Participation in these master classes is also able to give you new friends with whom you will want to communicate and play even after the completion of the project. Thanks to the fact that each participant represents a new country, Colluvio becomes an international project. Within a month, you can get acquainted with the culture of different countries, a bit learn unfamiliar language, learn about the features of studying in different music academies, discover other famous teachers, etc.

The most difficult but enjoyable part of Colluvio will be the concert tour. On the one hand, daily relocations and concerts in different cities and countries will completely exhaust you. On the other hand, that sincere gratitude and genuine interest of the audience that you can feel during each concert will give you new strength for the next concerts. Traveling from place to place, daily plunging into the culture of different countries, all participants of Colluvio share a common feature – the love of music and the desire to share it with the audience.

Of course, each participant will find exactly what he is looking for at the master classes. This may be the opportunity to perform on a large stage, mastering a new musical work, cool communication with interesting guys, moral and physical relaxation and, of course, gaining professional knowledge and skills. For every musician, there is one trait for which he could fall in love with Colluvio and all the people who help this project take place every summer for almost twenty years.

For me personally, Colluvio is a special project, not like other master classes. This is not just a competition between participants who will be the quickliest one to learn the work in 10 days or who can better play their trio / quintet at a home concert. When you arrive at Colluvio, you will feel that it is a large musical family in which you could feel joy and pride from the fact that for some period you become а part of it.
Therefore, I advise every musician who is interested in professionally developing their skills and expanding the boundaries of their skill to come to Colluvio and feel everything what I felt.

Anastasiya Sharina rehearsing with her team, 2016



András Moldoványi (23 years old), piano, Hungary, Franz Liszt Academy Budapest (studies with A. Kemenes and Imre Hargitai), participant 2019

Colluvio is a truly unique masterclass. Nowhere else have I studied chamber music as intensively as there. The beautiful surroundings, the motivation of the teachers and participants and the ample time available create a very special opportunity to delve deep into music and chamber music making.

When you think of a masterclass, what usually comes to mind is the refinement of individual pieces or musical development. But to become a good musician, you need much more. And colluvio, with its associated concert tour, gives us musicians everything we need to achieve this.

Read the German original…

Original in German language:


András Moldoványi (23 Jahre), Klavier, Ungarn, Franz Liszt Akademie Budapest (Klassen A. Kemenes und Imre Hargitai), Teilnehmer 2019

Colluvio ist ein wirklich einzigartiger Meisterkurs. Ich habe nirgendwo so intensiv wie dort mit der Kammermusik beschäftigt. Die wunderschöne Umgebung, die Motivation der Lehrer und der Teilnehmer und die reichlich zur Verfügung stehende Zeit schafft eine ganz spezielle Möglichkeit, tief in die Musik und das kammermusikalische Musizieren vorzudringen.

Wenn man an einen Meisterkurs denkt, fällt einem normalerweise das Verfeinern von einzelnen Stücken oder die musikalische Entwicklung ein. Aber um ein guter Musiker zu werden, braucht man viel mehr. Und colluvio mit der angeschlossenen Konzerttournee vermittelt uns Musikern alles, was dafür nötig ist.

András Moldoványi, Saloon of Hornegg Castle, 2019



Johanna Rust (17 years old), cello, Germany/ Finland, participant 2005

Wie geht es dir? Hast du dieses Jahr (jetzt) wieder colluvio-Kurse? Dürfen wieder einige junge Leute die einzigartige Erfahrung in Süd-Österreich machen?

Ich werde diese Wochen vor einem Jahr bestimmt nie vergessen. Sie haben mein Leben sehr geprägt, auch wenn ich dies erst mit der Zeit wahrnehme und zu schätzen weiß.

Vielen Dank!

Ich würde mich freuen von dir zu hören!!!!

Deine Johanna

Johanna Rust, Final Concert in Belgrade 2005



Sofia Kolupov (22 years old), violin, Great Britain/Ukraine, Royal College of Music Stockholm, (studies with Cecilia Zilliacus) Participant 2019 and 2020

Thank you so much for this inspiring, wonderful and magical experience I had last summer! Colluvio exceeded my expectations by a long way.

The level of the musicians was extremely high – each player had their own very distinct musical personality which meant that by working with each other and listening to each other perform, we were constantly learning.

The added experience of having the opportunity/luxury to work so in-depth on one piece for such an intense period of time made it even more special as all the players got to know each other really well and to develop very close friendships.

The fact that on the tour we performed our piece so many times in very different circumstances and in various acoustics with different audiences was something which I hadn’t experienced before and which taught me a lot. Every concert was recorded, which was very interesting and helpful as we were able to listen to the recordings on the long bus journeys and analyse our last performance in order to improve for the next one.

The first half of the course, we were guided by wonderful musicians (cello, violin and piano professors) who came from different countries and musical backgrounds. Their teaching and advice gave us various angles and ways to approach the repertoire which we were working on. Claus Christian Schuster was an amazing man to work with. He really is a genius – an amazing musical mind with a huge heart. His insights into Weinberg’s Quintet were really fascinating and eye-opening and yet he was so humble when he sat with us in the evenings and told us his life-stories and experiences.

Read more…

Sight-reading in the evenings was so much fun – it’s been a long time since I met other musicians who are as fanatic and enthusiastic about sight-reading chamber music as I am…

Gut Hornegg is a beautiful place which really made me feel very inspired and at home. I really couldn’t believe my eyes that first morning when I looked out of my window and saw the sun shining on the castle. Being able to run through the hills and swim in the lake was a wonderful way to take a break from all the rehearsing, practising and performing. I felt so welcome in Gut Hornegg and your mother, who was always so friendly and lovely to speak to, made amazing food too, even for the vegetarians!

As for the tour, this was an extraordinary experience. The crazy bus journeys, listening to balkan music on repeat (‚Ti Si Moj Greh‘ by Lepa Brena was played hundreds of times…), bringing our chamber music to so many people in different countries… It was really was something very special and unforgettable.

Aside from music, the things which bring me the most joy in life are travelling, discovering new languages and foods, seeing new cities, meeting new friends from around the world. Colluvio let me experience all these things, for which I am extremely grateful. On the last day, when we had to say our goodbyes, there were definitely some tears.

Let’s keep in contact! And let me repeat – I definitely want to come back to Colluvio again next summer!

Best wishes,


Sofia Kolupov, Concert in Mürzzuschlag 2020



Elena Ovcharenko, (22 years old) piano, Ukraine, National Academy of Music Kiev (studies with Yuri Kot), participant 2017, 2018

Дорогой Майнхард!

Я тоже скучаю по colluvio, по тебе и твоей замечательной семье. Сейчас, когда .наши границы закрыты и концерты в других странах невозможны, особенно .важно, что были такие концерты. Это огромный опыт и я всегда тебе очень благодарна.

Крепко обнимаю, целую. Береги себя!


Elena Ovcharenko with Anastasiya Sharina, 2017


07 01 2017

David Horvat (18 years old), violin, Serbia, Yehudi Menuhin School London (student of Natasha Boyarski), participant 2016, 2017, 2019

Dragi Majnharde,

fakultet ide dobro, sve bolje i bolje, već sam se navikao na novo okruženje i društvo! Colluvio 2016 je bilo nešto prelepo sto sam doživeo, proveo sam se kao nigde drugde. Stvarno je bilo vrhunski provod, imam mnogo lepih sećanja.
Želim i da Vam se zahvalim za organizaciju tog kursa i sve što ste nam priuštili tada – ekipa, druženje i muzika je bila neverovatna, i stvarno sam zahvalan za sve!

Želim Vam sve najbolje i najlepše u ovoj novoj 2017toj!!!

Puno pozdrava iz Ćuprije,


David Horvat, rehearsing, Hornegg 2019



Neritan Hysa (23 years old), piano, Kosovo, Priština University of Music (student of Valbona Petrovci), participant 2010, 2012

Dragi Majnharde!

A sad na engleskom, pošto mi je lakše 🙂
I apologise for not writing to you earlier. I’m really bad in keeping contacts and internet mailing. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to.
Actually, I have to say thank you very sincerely for giving me the most interesting month of my life so far. I have enjoyed every moment of that pleasant stay in Hornegg, and I miss it
very much. Practising together, beers, and eating the lunch – I’ve never eaten better thanks to your mother’s cooking skill.
It’s great that at least some people are meeting you soon, and perhaps Sabeth. I just talked to Marija half an hour ago on Facebook, and we talked about possibilities to meet, so that will probably happen soon. I also think you’re coming here sometime next year. World is not too big after all.
I’m lerning German by the way, hopefully soon I can be able to communicate, and not miss any jokes. Aber jetzt mein Deutsch ist noch nicht gut genug.
Say hello to your family and to everybody else I know.

Veliki pozdrav


Neritan Hysa 2012, joking with our dog Tim



Zsófi Klacsmann, (25 years old), Hungary, University of Music Szeged (student of A. Velez and K. Sin), participant 2007

Dear Meinhard!

As I promised here is my letter. What I really have to tell You, is my story before Colluvio.

I’ve finished the University in 2006.I was workless until now… In this summer I was really fed up, with travelling, and have just one or two weeks long works, in other cities, and I haven’t got a permanent, fix work, with salary.
In Hungary it’s so difficult, but we had talked about it. I tried a lot of things, I went on some auditions, and I wrote a lot of letters to music schools, but I didn’t have success. So I was really sorry, and I decided, if I won’t have work until June, I will go to the army:)It’s seems so stupid now, but I was really sad, and felt like giving up to play the cello.

And then came Colluvio, like a miracle. It was one of my most beautiful experiences, when You called me, and invited me, to take part in Colluvio. And when we were there, I found my place. I could see there, that I’m not as bad cellist as I thought it here at home. I could see, that to give up to play the cello, it would be terrible.

And when we came home from there, a lot of things changed in my mind. I find now pleasures, and new inspirations in playing the cello. First I thought that, I will go to Germany to study more, but then I found this audition on the internet. I felt,:“Why not?“ – and got it. It’s so fantastic, what I feel now in my heart.

And I really want to thank You for everything, You, and Ana, and Jurij, gave me a „new life“, with Your love and enthusiasm:) So I really thank You for everything!

With a lot of love:Zsófi

Zsófi Klacsmann 2007