Rita Kassabian

(Armenian, born in Lebanon, resident in France) composer. She was fascinated by the piano from an early age: from 1996 till 1997, she regularly followed the advice of her mentor and pianist Walid Akl who encouraged her to excel in music. She studied piano, harmony and analysis then was admitted to the Schola Cantorum de Paris (France) in the composition/orchestration class of Patrice Sciortino, in September 2001. Member of the French Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique, she is also the chairwoman of the music associations ARKOncerts and A.R.K., which promote young talents.
Selected works: Concerto for tenor saxophone, saxophones band and percussions, May 2010 (new version of the concerto created in December 2009, Paris; Concerto for tenor saxophone, oboe, strings and percussions, December 2009, Paris; Fantasia for flute ensemble, March 2009, Saint Germain des Prés Auditorium, Paris; Concerto for flute, string orchestra, french horn, harp, timpanies and percussions, October 2008, Madeleine church, Paris; Suite for strings, October 2008, Madeleine church, Paris;  Trio for flute, tenor saxophone and cello, May 2007; Evasions for solo contrabass, January 2006; Waltz for flute and strings, January 2006; Divertimento for tenor solo saxophone, December 2005, edited by L'Harmattan editions, Paris (composition prize 2006); Impromptu for 2 flutes, cello, 4 timpanies and 1 harp, April 2005, (composition prize 2005).

Contact: www.myspace.com/ritakassabian

Biljana "Bilja" Krstić

(Niš, 9 th November, 1955), studied in the Vojislav Vučković Music School in Niš and then at Belgrade University. After graduation she began a pop career singing with the cult bands Suncokret and Rani Mraz. In 1983 she cut her first album followed by three more pop-oriented records. After a highly successful career in pop music, Bilja Krstić turned to the recorded material she was patiently collecting - obscure folk songs from the territories of Kosovo, southern Serbia, Macedonia, the Vlach district in east Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. The music presented by Bilja Krstić and the Bistrik Orchestra is fusion, a blend of traditional ethno music, a-cappella songs and ethno grooves with elements of improvisation and modern music. She has given more than one hundred and seventy concerts across the world and in her home country and received international acclaim as the only female vocal performer from the Mediterranean, in the Mostra Sesc de Artes Festival in São Paulo in 2005. She was then a member of the Mediterranean Orchestra, formed by twenty five top musicians from around the world. She has released seven albums and written scores for the films Savior and Zona Zamfirova. Her most famous albums are Bistrik (2001), Zapisi (2003) and Tarpoš (2006).

Biljana Krstić

(Obrenovac, 27 th December, 1970), pianist and composer studied with Milic Ivanovicin in the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. She worked as a piano teacher in the Josif Marinković Music High School and is now teaching at the Stanković Music School in Belgrade. She performs in chamber music concerts with eminent Serbian musicians and her pupils win prizes in national competitions. She is a member of the Association of Serbian artists, EPTA Serbia and the Women in Music Association, Kragujevac. Her works have been obligatory for the International Donne in Musica competition in Kragujevac since 2006 and include: Piano: Sonatina, Spring Valse and Tango Etude: Piano 4 hands, Puppet Rondo, Valse on Ice, Tarantella, Tango, The Clown, and Sambatina.