Oct. 23/2021


Baabdath – The New Church
Saturday October 23, 2021
8:00 pm

Physically distanced seating . Mandatory face mask
First come first seated
No Reservations/No Tickets
Doors Open at 7:15 pm


J-B BARRIÈRE (1707 – 1747)
Sonata in C minor for 2 Cellos No.6, Book II

Jana Semaan, Jan Ryska

W. A. MOZART (1756 – 1791)
Piano Quartet in G minor, K.478
Rondo. Allegro moderato

Katharina Engelbreght, Magdalena Eber, Jan Ryska, Maximilian Flieder


R. SCHUMANN (1810 – 1856)
Adagio & Allegro, Op. 70
For Cello & Piano

Jana Semaan, Maximilian Flieder

A. ARENSKY (1861 – 1906)
String Quartet No.2, Op.35
For Violin, Viola & Two Cellos
Variations sur un thème de P. Tschaikowsky
Andante sostenuto

Katharina Engelbreght, Magdalena Eber, Jan Ryska, Jana Semaa

Jana Semaan (Cello)

Jana Semaan started learning cello at the age of eight at the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music with Prof. Sarkis Kochkarian. After graduating from high school, Jana moved to Berlin where she was granted a scholarship to pursue cello studies. One year later, she auditioned to the State University of Music and Performing Arts (HMDK) in Stuttgart. She graduated 2014 from HMDK with top grades (class of Elena Cheah and Joachim Hess). Meanwhile Jana was touring regularly as an orchestra and chamber musician under the baton of Daniel Barenboim and others.

Show More

    She participated in several international festivals in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Lebanon (BBC Proms, Salzburger Festspiele, Bayreuth Festival, Lucerne Festival, Edinburgh International Festival etc.). In 2009, She was invited by the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra in Milan for a three-month project. In 2016, Jana received her Master’s degree in Early Music/Baroque Cello from the HMDK in Stuttgart with distinction (class of Jonathan Pešek). She was appointed board member and advisor at the early music university department. Jana participated in many master classes with renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma, Lluis Claret, Conradin Brotbek, Jesper Christensen, Dame Emma Kirkby, Eric Mentzel, Malcolm Bilson among others, and is always active as a chamber musician through academies, festivals and regular ensembles. As a baroque cellist, living in Europe exposed her to big influences. Since 2017, Jana teaches music at several universities in Lebanon. In September 2018, she founded the Center for Early Music at the Antonine University-Lebanon, the first of its kind in the region, where also guest teachers from Germany visit regularly. With her premiere recording project of the complete toccatas of Francesco Paolo Scipriani /Supriano (1678-1753) in 2019, she introduced herself as a solo baroque cellist to a large audience, while also pursuing the pedagogical approach of spreading this work to cello students and providing a historically informed performance practice of lesser-known compositions of the cello repertoire. Since, she has become a recording artist at Redbooth Studios in Lebanon, with whom she also recorded and released Naji Hakim’s premiere ‘Aria’ for four cellos in 2021. Jana is currently a member of the Café International Baroque Orchestra in Germany, the Etihad Chamber Orchestra in Jordan and co-founder of the newly founded German- Lebanese Artists Society.


    The Stratos Quartet was founded in spring 2013 by four young musicians who became acquainted while attending the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In September of the same year, the Stratos Quartet gave an impressive performance at the 20th International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach, Austria, for which they received the first prize for chamber music. The quartet, which was enthusiastically received by audience and jury alike, also won the special prize awarded by Neues Künstlerforum and a concert engagement at the Hofburg in Vienna.

    Show More

    Soon thereafter, in October of 2013, the quartet was honoured by being admitted to ECMA (the European Chamber Music Academy). This afforded the fledgling ensemble opportunities for future collaborations with renowned chamber musicians and professors such as Hatto Beyerle, Johannes Meissl, Alfred Brendel, Ralf Gothoni, Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Claus-Christian Schuster, Jerome Pernoo, and Michel Lethiec. And to top off a highly successful year, December 2013 saw the Stratos Quartet awarded the Josef Windisch Chamber Music Prize.

    Since then, the Stratos Quartet has given concerts at venues including the Vienna Musikverein, Wigmore Hall in London, the Grande Auditorio of the Gulbenkian Centre in Lisbon, the Grafenegg Festival, the Dvorak Festival in Czech Republic, Casa da Musica in Porto, and the Turku Festival in Finland as well as in Japan, USA, Italy or France. Some of their concerts have been recorded for broadcast via radio (Ö1) and/or television (RTP).

    The Stratos Quartet’s latest achievements include the first prize and the “Grand Prix” at the Beethoven International Chamber Music Competition in Polen, first prize at the Città di Pinerolo e Torino – Città metropolitana International Chamber Music Competition, the third prize at the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition in Michigan, USA, and selection for the “New Austrian Sound of Music” programme of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration, and Foreign Affairs.

    All four musicians have won multiple awards at national and international competitions and pursue extensive performing careers both as solo performers and as chamber and orchestral musicians. They enjoy pooling their individual experiences and approaches in order to create a homogeneous sound, as well as introducing an even larger audience to the piano quartet as something distinct from the prevalent string quartet and piano trio genres.

    A selection of paintings by Raouf Rifai (Harmony 2020/21 – Acrylic on canvas) is exhibited in the space allocated for the concert.