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Bogdan Sofei

Principal First Violin and deputy concertmaster

Bogdan Sofei is the leader, violinist/founding member of ConTempo Quartet, a celebrated String Quartet that has become RTE's Quartet in Residence (Ireland's National Television and Radio Broadcaster) in 2014 and is Galway's Ensemble in Residence since 2003.
Bogdan is also a founding member of Duo ConTe, a violin duet Ensemble, collaborating with Ingrid Nicola, violinist of ConTempo Quartet.

Bogdan graduated The University of Music in Bucharest where he studied with Stefan Gheorghiu, and Ladislau Csendes. He continued his studies at various residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, Royal Academy of Music in London, Accademia Chigiana in Siena, European Academy of Music in Aix-en-Province, Britten - Pierce School for Advanced Music Studies in Aldeburgh and Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid with Rainer Schmidt, Sigmund Nissel, Norbert Brainin, Gunter Pichler, Philip Setzer, Stephanie Gonley, Heime Muller, Christoph Poppen, Howard Davis and Hugh Maguire.
Bogdan received his Master of Arts in Music with First Class Honours at Cork School of Music, in 2005. Bogdan has been holding chamber music workshops at the Royal Academy of Music/Dublin, at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1999-2002), Gedai University of Music Tokyo/Japan, DIT and Cork School of Music.

Bogdan has won 14 International Prizes in Chamber Music Competitions-1 st Prize at Grosser Forderpreise Competition in Munich-Germany,1st Prize at Valentino Bucchi competition in Rome-Italy, 1 st Prize at Tunnel Trust Competition in London-UK, 1 st Prize at Mozart competition in Cluj-Romania, 2 nd Prize at Johannes Brahms International Competition in Hamburg-Germany, Audience Prize and 3 rd Prize at London String Quartet Competition in UK, 3 rd Prize at “Schubert und die Musik der Moderne” Competition in Graz-Austria, 3 rd Prize at “Max Reger Competition” in Weimar-Germany, The “Wigmore Award” and The Romanian Musical Critics Union Prize in Bucharest.

Bogdan has performed over 2000 concerts around the world, in 42 countries, including: Carnegie Hall NY, Wigmore Hall London, St. Martin in the Fields and St. John's Smith Square in London; Philharmonic Hall in Berlin; Max Joseph Saal in Munich; Theatre Chatelet in Paris; Opera House in Tel Aviv; Musee de Beaux Arts/Auditorium in Brussels; Gedai University in Tokyo; The National Museum at Queens/The Waterfront Hall in Belfast; Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome; Konserthuset in Stockholm; Athenaeum Hall in Bucharest; National Concert Hall in Dublin, LA Beverly Hilton; The Radio France Festival (Montpellier), Berliner Festwochen, Haydn Fest in Eisenstadt, Enescu Festival in Bucharest, Europa Musicale in München, etc.

Bogdan had the honour to perform in front of great personalities such as the late Pope John Paul II at Castel Gandolfo in Italy, for Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, Prince Charles in UK (in London and Highgrove), for Nelson Mandela and EU Ministers and for Hollywood actors Angelica Houston, Angela Lansbury, Martin Sheen and Merv Griffin.

Bogdan participated in numerous television and radio broadcasts in England (recording quartets by Shostakovich, Debussy, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Bartok & Constantinescu for BBC), France ( RF Music and TV Mezzo), Italy ( RAI), Austria ( ORF), Germany, Romania ( TVR) and Ireland ( RTE Lyric FM, TG4). As the leader of ConTempo, Bogdan also recorded the Adagio from Beethoven's Opus 131 for Steven Spielberg & Tom Hanks' television drama “Band of Brothers” under the Sony label and has also arranged and performed the music for the Danish silent film "The Abyss"(1910). Bogdan also took part in the documentary "Deutschland, Deutschland".

Bogdan is committed to premiere new works. He has premiered more than 50 works of world composers and Irish composers (in collaboration with CMC, RTE and GMR, in Composing the Island 2017-2018, Finding a Voice 2018- 2020, Music and Musing series and New Music Dublin 2014-2019).

Bogdan has collaborated in many arts participation performances, combining music performance with poetry, visual arts, painting, film, dance or circus.

Bogdan became an Irish Citizen in 2011. He immersed herself into the Irish culture, collaborating with and recording Irish traditional music with Mairtín O’Connor, Garry O’Brien, Cathal Haydn, producing together the CD “Spiccato Junction” described as a “whirling flurry of reel and hora”.

On the 10th of June 2016, Bogdan was awarded a Degree of Doctor of Music by the National University of Ireland (NUIG).

Bogdan Sofei
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