About the artists

William Byrd Ensemble Freiburg

The William Byrd Ensemble Freiburg was founded in May 2017 based on the desire to devote their artistic activities to demanding a capella choral music of different eras within small line-ups. 


William Byrd (1543–1623) was chosen as name patron as he regarded as one of the most important composers of English Renaissance era. The ensemble consists of approximately 35 ambitious amateurs of different professions and educated music teachers. Based on this pool of singers the line-up for the concerts featuring 12 to 24 singers is being constituted.


The excellent ensemble could be experienced in numerous secular and spiritual programmes such as »Vocal Music of the Renaissance«, »Jesu meine Freude – Tod, Zuversicht und ewiges Leben«, »Regina Coeli – Marienhymnen zum Muttertag» and »Zweier Liebenden Weg« in Freiburg, Villingen, Lahr, Ettenheimmünster, Mulhouse and Bad Krozingen, during the Freiburg long night of choirs in 2018 und 2019 and further more in church services in the churches in Gottesdiensten and churches St. Georg and St. Peter und Paul in Freiburg – St. Georgen.

The William is member of the society Chorstadt Freiburg e.V. since 2019.


The highlight of the vita of the young choir is the first price in the category Early Music | Classical Music and the special award for the best premiere of a folk song  in the German Choir Festival 2022 in Leipzig.


Cornelius leenen (principal conductor)

Cornelius Leenen studied musical education and vocals with Prof. Dr. Bernd Göpfert and choral conducting with Prof. Morten Schuldt-Jensen at the University of Musi Freiburg.


As scientific major he studied mathematics at the University Freiburg and he is currently working as teacher for music and mathematics at the municipal grammar school in Ettenheim.


Besides his activities at school he is the principal  conductor of the choir Heinrich-Schütz-Kantorei Freiburg which is mainly focused on oratorios. Furthermore he is principal conductor of the William-Byrd-Ensemble Freiburg which mainly deals with a capella choral music from Renaissance to modern times.


Lied and ensemble vocals is another important focus of his artistic activities as singer.


He participated in CD recordings with the Immortal Bach Ensemble and the Dufay Ensemble Freiburg. Furthermore he is regularly taking part in performances with the Ensemble Exo[-]sphere Strasbourg, the Chapelle de la Vigne Freiburg and the Anton-Webern-Chor Freiburg. He is active in the area of Lied and oratorios in Germany, Switzerland, France and Denmark and is collaborating with professional (broadcasting) orchestras. Currently he is trained in vocals by Stefan Haselhoff (Basel).


Since October 2018 Cornelius Leenen is working as lecturer for choral conducting at the University of Music Freiburg.


miku Arizono 有薗美空 (piano)

© 2R Studio Produzioni Multimediali
© 2R Studio Produzioni Multimediali

Born in 1993 in Tokyo (Japan), she received an extremely well-founded pianistic and compositional education from  2013-2019 at the Senzoku Gakuen Music University in Kawasaki (Japan).


Her most important mentors and teaching masters were amongst others professor Shinji Urakabe und professor Emiko Harimoto.


She received further compositional guidance and impulses of extraordinary importance by the renowned composer Masa Matsuura.


Miku Arizono specialised on high-quality programmes asides the so-called "mainstream repertoire" and regularly performs her own compositions during her concerts. 


Her biggest achievements up until now where being awarded the third price at the 8th Arthur Lepthien Piano Competition 2019 (Freiburg) and in particular the first price at the International Piano Competition in Livorno (Italy) in January 2020. In both competitions she was additionally awarded special prices for the performance of her own works. 


Currently Miku Arizono is studying in the concert exam programme with piano as major at the Music University of Freiburg with professor Gilead Mishory.

Ryo yamanishi 山西遼 (piano)

Ryo Yamanishi was born in Tokyo in 1995. He completed his Bachelor education at the »Toho-Gakuen« University of Music with Takako Takahashi, Koji Shimoda und Professor Minoru Nojima with excellent results.


Afterwards he completed his master studies with distinction in the class of professor Gilead Mishory at the University Freiburg in December 2021.


Since October 2021 he is lecturer and répétiteur at the University of Music Freiburg.


Ryo Yamanishi was awarded in numerous national and

international competitions such as the first price at the sixth »International Bodensee Competition«, the »International Mozart Competition Salzburg in Japan« and the Japanese »International Chamber Music Competition«.


On of his greatest successes is the second price in the International Piano Competition in Livorno in 2019. Furthermore he was awarded a second price in the »Arthur Lepthien Piano Competition«,  in the seventh  »European Chamber Music Competition Karlsruhe«, in the 15th »Chopin International Piano Competition in Asia« in Japan and the fourth »ICoM Piano Award 2019« of the »International College of Music Hamburg«.


His long history of awards at competitions is completed with the third prices in the  »Internationalen Anton Rubinstein Competition for Piano 2020« in Düsseldorf, the first »International Rachmaninoff Competition for Young Pianists« in Russia and in the Polish »International Piano Competition Paderewski in Memoriam«.


Furthermore he was awarded the »Kirishima International Music Festival Award 2014«, the special price of the  »International Summer Academy Radolfzell« and dem DAAD-Preis.


Ryo Yamanishi was scholarship holder of the Freiburg foundations »Helene Rosenberg Foundation« and »Dr.-Leo-Ricker-Foundation«, of the Swiss »Fondation Clavarte« and the society »Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Freiburg e. V.«.


Besides his active concert engagements he participated in master classes of renowned teachers such as Carmen Piazzini, Klaus Hellwig, Piotr Paleczny, Konrad Elser, Pascal Devoyon, Einar Steen-Nøkleberg, Pierre Réach, Jean-Claude Pennetier and Hortense Cartier-Bresson.