Crescendo is a Christian movement made up of professional musicians and music students as well as other artists. We cooperate with cultural institutions and Christian churches of all denominations. Founded in 1985, Crescendo has since grown into an organisation working on a world-wide scale. The international office is located in Basel, Switzerland. Crescendo is part of the Swiss interdenominational movement (and association) Campus für Christus / Agape Europe / Cru.
We NETWORK musicians around the world. Fellowship is important in an individualistic society – even more so in the cultural sphere.
We support a network in which SERVING is a priority. Crescendo serves musicians and other professional artists in various ways.
With concerts, festivals and our publications, we also aim to serve the public.
Our most important motivation comes from BELIEVING in the Christian message. We want to open paths to belief and support faith.
We therefore also work with churches of all denominations - and SERVE them with high quality art.
Presenting our dream team: Some of our country representatives, ministry and project leaders as well as a few managers.
More portraits to follow soon.
Together with her husband Beat, Airi is the co-leader of Crescendo International. They founded the movement in 1985. Airi works at Crescendo part-time.
Airi originates from Finland and now lives in Switzerland. She is a psychological counsellor and a conference speaker. Beat and Airi have three adult children.
Anastasia Oprah / Crescendo Ukraine
Crescendo Pittsburg - HUB leader
Anne Martindale Williams has enjoyed a successful career as principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1979. Throughout her tenure with the orchestra, she has often been featured as soloist both in Pittsburgh and on tour in New York at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall.
Crescendo Seattle - HUB leader
Conductor Anthony Spain has been Music Director of the Northwest Symphony Orchestra (NWSO) since 1987. Under his direction, the NWSO has been committed to the community and local composers and have garnered eight National ASCAP awards for “Programming of Contemporary Music,” and been featured several times on National Public Radio.
Ashley Latvala / Crescendo Dance Initiative
Balazs Végh was the operational director of the Crescendo Summer Institute until end of February 2020. He will continue working for Crescendo as a project’s advisor.
He now works for Cru / FEK Hungary.
Together with her husband Patrick Kavanaugh (1954-2018), Barbara was active as a minister for CFAP (Christian Performing Artists) for many years and for the Master Works Festival.
She initiated the platform and resource centre JUBALATTE (https://www.sdgmm.org), with which she joined Crescendo in 2019.
Beat Rink leads Crescendo International together with his wife, Airi. They founded the movement in 1985.
Beat is a theologian and an ordained Reverend of the Swiss reformed church. He has also studied linguistics, literature and history. To date, he has published several of his books, including some of his poetry.
Beat works full-time for Crescendo.
Bill Buchanan is part of the editing team of the so-called Crescendo Magazine and one of our chief translators.
Professor of Music at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois where he directs the Symphonic Band and teaches trumpet.
Carmen Zacharia-Danicov leads Crescendo in Romania.
Christoph Adt is a conductor at and president of the Musikhochschule Nürnberg, Germany. For many years he was a professor as well as the vice president of the Munich Music Academy. Christoph is part of the international board of Crescendo.
Claire Oberkampf / Crescendo France
Claudia Michelsen is a professional viola player and was the solo violist of the Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau for many years before she joined the Prayer Ministry of Campus für Christus Germany on a full-time basis. Since spring 2020 she has joined Crescendo full-time.
Dan Marginean is responsible for establishing Crescendo in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
He is a Romanian-born classical pianist and chamber musician, and graduated from the Royal College of Music. With the support of the Swiss Confederation Excellence Scholarship he completed his master studies under Professor Jean-François Antonioli at the Haute Ecole de Musique. As a pianist and chamber musician, Dan managed to win prestigious awards in national and international competitions in Europe and the UK. Over the years Dan has played at the Royal Festival Hall, St. James’s Picadilly, St. Martin-in-the-fields, Steinway Hall, London and Suisse Romande and also at festivals such as Lang Lang inspires, Fête de la Musique in Geneva, Lausanne and Alcobendas, Madrid, to name a few.
While abroad, Dan promoted the culture of his home country. In this sense he worked with the Romanian Cultural Institute in London, The Romanian House in Switzerland and most recently with the Embassy of Romania in Switzerland for different artistic projects.
Since his arrival in Switzerland, Dan has also been involved with charity work. He’s mainly been working with Mercy Ships (www.mercyships.ch).
Dan is a Crescendo artist and has participated as an organiser and pianist in various cultural events organised by Crescendo in Europe. He also started a Crescendo group in his school Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne. In 2014 he put together a joint Crescendo Project in the Lausanne Cathedral, an event called La nuit des églises. He has been married to Johanna Schwarzl since July 2018.
Delta David Gier
Since 2004, Delta David Gier has been the music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO). He served as an assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic for 15 years and has conducted many orchestras around the world.
He developed the Lakota Music Project to address racial tensions between Native Americans and European Americans in the region that the SDSO serves. Other projects with the SDSO have included Arab, Chinese and Sudanese / Somali refugees.
Delta David and his wife Angela are members of the US steering committee, alongside TaeSoo, Beat Rink and their wives.
Delvyn Case is a composer, conductor, scholar, writer, and speaker whose works explores the intersections between music and the Christian tradition.
Dominik Brühwiler is a pianist and lives in Zurich, Switzerland. He works in the international Crescendo office on a part-time basis, as well as for the Music Road Rwanda project. Additionally, he is involved in the music programme of the Creative Church Basel.
Crescendo Dallas/Fort Worth - HUB leader
Principal Viola, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, 1980-2017
Emma-Marie Kabanova / Crescendo Moscow
Together with Timothy Bentch, Eszter Dudás co-founded the international Crescendo Summer Institute of Arts in 2004 in Sárospatak. She is the president of the Institute and works part time for the CSI.
Violist Eszter Dudás started her studies at the State Music School of Sárospatak, after which she was admitted to the Zoltán Kodály Conservatory of Debrecen, and finally earned her artist diploma at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in 1999 as a student of László Bársony. She taught viola and chamber music at the Vác Conservatory of Music. Currently she teaches violin, viola and chamber music at the Kroó György Music School where she is also the artistic director of the symphony orchestra. Her students are winners of numerous prizes in solo- and chamber music competitions in Budapest and Hungary.
She is a member of the HÍD (“Bridge”) Chamber Ensemble, and the Violinetta Duo. She was viola section leader of the Pest County Symphonic Orchestra between 2002 and 2010. When she was a child, the KinderRadio of Berlin made a recording with her. Later she was a member of the Junge Österreichische Philharmonie. In 1998 she received a scholarship from the Wiener Musikseminar for the masterclass of Siegfried Führlinger at the Hochschule für Musik, Vienna.
She has performed with the leading symphonic orchestras of Hungary on many European stages, was part of numerous CD recordings, and has been invited to Hungarian and international festivals. She is a member of the Hungarian Pedagogues Association (Magyar Pedagógiai Társaság) and the Hungarian Classical Music Society (Magyar Zeneművészeti Társaság). In 2009 she received the award of the Artisjus Music Foundation as a member of the Violinetta Duo for excellence in performance and propagation of Hungarian contemporary music.
Franz Mohr is on the international board of Crescendo. He is the chief concert technician of Steinway & Sons, New York, as well as the tuner of Horowitz, Rubinstein, Glenn Gould and numerous other great pianists of the last decades.
Crescendo Montreal, Co-HUB Leader
Canado-Swiss coloratura soprano, recognized for her elegant stage-presence and unusual ornamentations; combining solid vocal technique and unique musical qualities, dynamic intensity, singing in various theaters, concerts and recitals.
Guntars Pranis is the founder and president of Crescendo Latvia. He is a musicologist, choir conductor, professor and director of the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music.
He regularly speaks about early music at numerous courses and conferences in Latvia as well as abroad.
He has worked as the music director of Riga Cathedral where he led the Cathedral choir and the vocal group Laudate. The establishment of the Gregorian Music Week in Latvia is due to Guntars idea and initiative. It has become somewhat of a traditional event since its founding in 1992.
He has written a dissertation about “Midieval music traditions in Riga”.
Guntars Pranis was the national director and coordinator of the Latvian Crescendo ministry, which is very active in several cities of Latvia.
Activities which have been done over the years include the Crescendo symphony orchestra, local prayer groups, Christian art forums and family summer camps for musicians. He is also the founder and artistic director of the vocal group Schola Cantorum Riga (many CD's and concerts in Latvia and abroad). With the CD "Riga Mass" the Schola Cantorum Riga won the Latvian Music Award in 2002.
Due to his duties as director of the music academy, Guntars Pranis stepped down as the operational leader of Crescendo in 2018. He remains president of Crescendo Latvia and an international board member of Crescendo.
Born in 1982, Gustavo Gargiulo studied the trumpet in his home town of Buenos Aires, where he participated in several musical groups and orchestras. His interest in early music led him towards the baroque trumpet. In 2004 he started studying the cornetto after having taken part in a master class with Lene Langballe (Denmark). In the years 2005 through to 2008 he studied at the Centre des Musique Ancienne of Genève (Switzerland) under Professor William Dongois.
He completed his studies at the CNR Conservatoire de Paris in 2012. He was the recipient of a “specialisation Diploma in Early Music” and studied under the wings of professor Jean Tubery.
Gustavo collaborates with the following groups on a frequent basis: Capella Mediterranea (Switzerland), Pygmalion, Academia, Les Traversées Baroques, Elyma (France) Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin (Deutschland), Clematis (Belgium), Barroca del Suquia (Argentina), under the conduction of Leonardo Garcia, Rene Jacobs, Raphael Pichon, Jean Tubery, Francoise Laserre, Gabriel Garrido and Manfredo Kraemer among others. Performances with these and other groups take place in several different locations such as churches, palaces, museums and festivals in countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Croatia, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, England, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Poland, Malta and India.
Gustavo has been part of 19 recordings and DVDs for the following labels: Harmonia-Mundi, Naïve, Alpha and Ricercare.
He is involved with developing important pedagogic training in Argentina (Iuna, Promusica), Brasil (Sao Paulo University and Universidad Estatal de Campinas), Chili (Univerdidad de Viña del Mar) Lithuania (Festivals at Granduche’s Palace) Ambronay’s European Baroque Academy (France), Crescendo Summer Institute ( Hungary ), International Baroque SummerSchool Valtice (Czech Republic) Mlsmd schloss scharfeneck and Letniej Akademii Muzyki Dawnej (Poland).
As the head of the LA CICALETA ensemble he produces concerts with innovative programmes and a strong emphasis on pedagogic activities (gustavogargiulo.com).
Gustavo is a pioneer for Crescendo in his home country of Argentina and in Latin America.
Crescendo New York - HUB leader
Heather Martin Bixler is a classical violinist and Irish fiddler whose playing has taken her all over North America, Europe, and Asia. A graduate of Indiana University, The Juilliard School, and University of Memphis. She has performed in many major concert halls including Musikverein in Vienna and Carnegie Hall in New York.
Since 2020, Ildikó Sallay-Apor works in the office of the Crescendo Summer Institute.
Ilie Croitoru was born in Moldova and now lives in Russia where he works as a conductor. Over the last decades, he has organised several Crescendo festivals. He currently runs the Crescendo Festival in Moldova and is in charge of organising liturgic festivals in St. Petersburg within Crescendo Russia and Crescendo International.
Ivan Duchnysch was a violin and organ student at the Music Academy in Basel. He now teaches music at the Lviv Music Academy in Ukraine and is the head of the up and coming Crescendo ministry in his home town, Lviv.
Crescendo Chicago - HUB leader
A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Janna Williamson performs as soloist and collaborative pianist throughout Chicago and beyond.
Johanna Schwarzl studied the flute in Basel, Paris and Stuttgart. She is the assistant lecturer for the flute at the Bern Music Academy. She leads the group of students and teachers in Bern. She has been married to Dan Marginean since July 2018.
Karen Fetzner-Brubaker organises musical projects under Crescendo.
“Originally from the United States, I’ve grown to call several other countries ‘home’ as well. After completing a BA at Wheaton College (IL, USA) with Dr. Jennie Brown, I taught music in Kunming, China for two years at a community arts school. Afterward I studied in Switzerland for four years with Christian Studler, completing two Master’s degrees in flute performance and artistic mediation at Bern University of the Arts.
I'm passionate about connecting with artists across disciplines, blending genres, and breaking expectations so that unlikely audiences can have meaningful artistic experiences. Collaboration is the sweet-spot where these things happen.”
Kath Sudgen-Snelling is a flautist. During her time in Moscow she founded Crescendo Russia and was involved with this work on a full-time basis. Back at home in the United Kingdom she married a Reverend of the Anglican church. In 2020 she started as a coach and mentor for Crescendo Russia.
Krisztina Tarjányi Project manager
“I was born in Miercurea-Ciuc, Transylvania. I figure-skated as a child, however, my teachers were arguing whether I should become a doctor or an actress. I became a physiotherapist and actress. I spent some time in America (Masterworks Festival) where my faith and idea of art became reconcilable in my heart. I live with my husband in Budapest, Hungary.
Furthermore, I worked as editor and presenter of several radio programmes on the Transylvanian Maria Radio.
Since 2012 I teach acting for opera singers in the Crescendo Summer Institute; I have led the SOSTENUTO since 2017.
I am grateful to God to have the opportunity to witness the growth of a marvellous Transylvanian movement, a movie-mission, which is built around the life of the great bishop of Transylvania: Áron Márton.
In 2016 I had the premiere of my show entitled „The Mighty One" and since have travel around with it to speak about the truth and the incredible beauty of the approaching God.
I am grateful, because I have parents, brothers and grandparents, friends, and I know wonderful things about the previous generations of my family.”
Together with his wife Nozomi, Kurt Kempf is the leader of Crescendo Vienna. They form part of the Austrian Crescendo leadership team. Both are professional singers; Kurt is also an architect.
Laura Liza Lázi
Laura Liza Lázi (Liza) is new to the Crescendo Summer Institute management team.
Lauren Steinmetz-Franklin is part of the editing team responsible for the weekly TUNE-INs. She makes an important contribution with own texts and translations.
Leana Alkema, daughter of Sjoerd and Anna-Marie Alkema, has won many awards and prizes in South Africa. As a soloist, she performed with South African orchestras such as the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, South African National Youth Orchestra and the Free State Symphony Orchestra. After finishing her B-Mus Studies at UCT with distinction, she went abroad to further her studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main where she studied with Sabine Krams and Prof. László Fenyö completing her Masters in Music in 2016. Furthermore she attended workshops in Choral Conducting as well as Sound Painting.
Leana participated in concert tours in South Africa, Namibia, Mauritius, Spain and Germany and performed in renowned concert halls which include the Alte Oper Frankfurt, hr - Sendesaal Frankfurt, Durban City Hall and the Stellenbosch Endler Hall. She performed with various ensembles and orchestras including the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonie der Nationen, The World Orchestra and the twelve cellist ensemble, Cellifamily, at festivals including the Stift International Music Festival, Crescendo Institute Hungary and the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival.
Together with Crescendo International, Leana has initiated projects in South Africa and Namibia. She has been part of conceptual art education projects in collaboration with Bridges - Musik verbindet and Ensemble Modern. Leana has a unique collaboration with cellist Sue Schlotte. A central part of their work is free improvisation, as well as cello workshop and a concert programme "Bach neu inspiriert". Leana leads the Bridges - Choir and the Rhythmix Choir and is a member of the Bridges Kammerorchester.
Leana initiated two social music projects in South Africa and Windhoek, works with her parents who lead Crescendo South Africa and coordinates the Crescendo prayer group in Frankfurt am Main.
Lehari Kaustel is the team leader of Crescendo in Finland.
He is a percussionist and conductor.
Letizia Walser is a journalist, pianist and director of the music school Binningen-Bottmingen in Switzerland. She heads the music school "BFT Music Road Rwanda", a joint project between Crescendo and "Music Road Rwanda" in cooperation with local partners.
Lovisa Ruhnau Landström is a Swedish singer. She lives in Hamburg with her family. Since 2019 she leads a growing Crescendo initiative in the city.
Together with his wife Verena, Marc Tenneroni is part of the Crescendo leadership team in France. He is also the head of Crescendo Jazz France.
Specialized in French repertoire, soprano Lemieux-Wottrich has presented recitals, masterclasses, and workshops across the nation and abroad. She recently joined North Dakota State University as assistant professor in voice and opera.
Marini Peikidou started with Crescendo Greece in Autumn 2015. She studied early music at Vienna’s Conservatorium (medieval and renaissance fiddle with Th. Wimmer and baroque violin and viola with Mag. Ulli Engel). She attended the Attersee Barock Akademie in Austria and the 30th. Internationale Sommerakademie for early music in Innsbruck, where she was tutored by specialists like Rachel Podger, Nigel North, Gunar Letzbor, Sonnleiter. In 2002 she attended the European Union Baroque Orchestra Audition Course in the Netherlands, where Roy Goodman directed the orchestra sessions. She was a member of the Οrchestra of Fine Instruments of Ancient and Byzantine Repertory, directed by Christodoulos Halaris. She has also played with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, the Volos Symphony Orchestra, the State Υouth Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamaria Υouth Symphony Orchestra and the ensemble Concerto Conservatorio, which represented Greece at the Biennial of Young Artists in Sarajevo. She is a member of the Codex ensemble, specializing in medieval music, recorded a CD with the choir of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, directed by Kostis Papazoglou, titled en la mar ay una torre EMI. The Codex ensemble also appeared at the Athens Festival 2007, in the APOKOPOS theatrical play, and toured in Greece the following years. Whilst playing the baroque viola with the baroque orchestra Concerto ellenico she performed in Megaron, Thessaloniki and elsewhere in Greece. She is also part of the Concerto String Quartet. Having studied under Lütz Kühne and Paris Anastasiades, she graduated her studies of the modern viola aswell.
Marini now teaches the violin in various Music Schools and Conservatories in Greece. She volunteers at the Youth Orchestra Thessaloniki which focuses on religious music.
Matthias (Max) Richter is an ordained pastor of the Lutheran church of Germany. Within Crescendo he works as a coach, theological advisor, mentor for Crescendo Germany and enabler of artist's gatherings. He is also a passionate "urban artist".
Crescendo Los Angeles - HUB leader
Pascal Salomon is a concert pianist, founder of Salomon Music Academy,and Church Music Director in Santa Barbara, California. His background
includes faculty at Geneva Conservatory of Music in Switzerland, faculty at Westmont College Santa Barbara, and collaborator for Crescendo Europe.
Crescendo Montreal, Co-Hub leader
Hailed as “one of the foremost performers and teachers in the USA and Canada” and “one of the greatest trumpet players of our time,”
Sjoerd & Anna-Marie Alkema
Sjoerd and Anne-Marie Alkema are the project leaders of Crescendo Summer Institute South Africa, which began in April 2016. They head this initiative alongside their daughter Leana Alkema, who has studied Cello in Frankfurt and is a local group leader for Crescendo.
Tabea Nolte-Lempe is a German singer. She has led Crescendo activities in Dresden and now lives in Freiburg i.Br. with her family. She networks and organises student gatherings there.
The young Tenor Tamas Tarjányi was born in Kecskemét, Hungary, in 1985.
In the years 2003 – 2007 he studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Budapest. He continued his studies at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy, also in Budapest, where he studied Singing under Professor Magda Nádor. In 2009 he went on to study at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, where he studied under Professor Margit Klaushofer.
During his time as a student he appeared as Tamino in Mozarts Zauberflölte, which was performed by the State Opera of Budapest. He also appeared in various other roles at the Opera Theatre of Budapest and other Hungarian festivals.
in 2011 he made his debut at the Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 he appeared in the Theater an der Wien, where he played Anfinomo in Monteverdis Il ritorno d'ulisse in patria, brought to the stage by Christoph Pousset with the famous baroque ensemble Les Talens Lyriques. It was with this production that Tamas appeared at the Bremen Music Festival in 2012.
Tamas Tarjányi heads the voice section of the Crescendo Summer Institute.
Tamas was a member of the ensemble of the Bonn Theatre during the 2012/2013 season. Here he played numerous roles including the Conte di Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Händels Oratorium Jephta as well as Flavio in Norma.
During the 2013/2014 season he appeared on stage as Aeneas in Purcells Dido and Aeneas and as Lampwick in
As of 2016 he has been part of the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich, Germany.
Terry B. Ewell
Crescendo Baltimore - HUB leader
Professor of bassoon and digital instruction at Towson University.
Timothy Bentch is the co-founder of the Crescendo Summer Institute and has been its co-artistic director alongside Eszter Dudas until 2016. From 2016-2018 he was the dean of the CSI faculty.
He was active as a voice teacher and his former students sing in many of the leading opera houses of Europe. He also enjoys scriptwriting. His recent script was a quarterfinalist in the Academy Nicolls Fellowship in the Screenwriting Competition sponsored by the Academy Awards.
Tenor Timothy Bentch was raised on a farm in Missouri. His first singing experiences took place in the local Mennonite church. Practicing scales on the tractor and in the silo eventually led him to a master’s degree at the acclaimed Curtis Institute of Music. For twelve years he lived in Hungary where critics referred to him as “a treasure in today’s Hungarian musical life”, naming him the most significant “Hungarian” lyric tenor of this generation. He has sung at all the leading venues in this country appearing before presidents and prime ministers with many television appearances and radio broadcasts. At the Hungarian State Opera, he premiered new productions as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Belmonte in The Abduction, Nencio in L’Infeldelta delusa by Haydn and the Evangelist in a semi-staged version of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion.
Other roles with the Hungarian State Opera include Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Tito in La Clemenza di Tito, and Alfredo in La Traviata. His performed opera repertoire of over 40 roles also includes such roles as Mozart’s Mitridate, Nemorino in L’Elisir d’amore, Edguardo in Lucia, Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, Ismaele in Nabucco, Fenton in Falstaff, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, four roles in operas by Benjamin Britten, and numerous baroque operas – Jupiter in Semele, Nero in The Coronation of Poppea, Monteverdi’s Ulyssis, and Orfeo – a performance that marked the opening of the new theater in the Hungarian National Palace of the Arts in 2005. His performances have taken him to many other countries including the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, France, Malta, Israel, Russia, the UK, and Germany.
In symphonic repertoire, he has performed the entire standard repertoire from renaissance and baroque to the large works of Mahler and Verdi. Highlights have included the Evangelists in the Bach Passions, the Dream of Geronius by Elgar, and Mahler’s 8th Symphony which he recorded for Naxos. This recording was lauded by critics winning the “Recording of the Month” by Sterophile Magazine. Bentch’s performance was described as “bright, confident, and heroic, and his "Blicket auf!" is stunning.” Another critic wrote, “Bentch's top B-flats and Bs are as heroic as his sweet singing is sweet. His "Blicket auf," a moment that can cause fear and trembling, is stirring in all the right ways.” A recent review in the BBC Music Magazine praised Timothy Bentch’s “heroic tenor” as one of the saving graces of a recent recording of Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the Warsaw Philharmonic. He has sung with the philharmonic orchestras of Lille, Strasbourg, Avignon, Saint Petersburg, Sofia, Warsaw, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, the Ars Nova Symphony in Chicago, and appears regularly with the Hungarian National Philharmonic. His most recent performance with the HNP of the Britten War Requiem was critically acclaimed and broadcast live on national radio. He has sung under the batons of Zoltán Kocsis, János Fürst, Ádám Fischer, Tamás Vásáry, János Kovács, John Nelson, Jean Claude Casadesus, Antoni Witt, György Vashegyi, and Valentin Radu.
Tracy König is part of the Crescendo International team responsible for strategic planning. She also works as a development coach. She studied voice (soprano) at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio.
As a student Uta Mulenga was part of many Crescendo projects. She now leads a group of Christian music teachers in Birmingham. She was part of the organising team of the Crescendo Teacher’s Conference in Spring 2016.
Uta teaches the Cello and Double Bass at the Music Service Birmingham. She also works as a freelance teacher. While studying music at the Franz Liszt Hochschule für Musik in Weimar, Germany she discovered her passion for teaching and has since been teaching pupils of all ages from beginners to advanced level. She also enjoys performing with different ensembles and orchestras throughout the UK.
She aims to bring Christian musicians together, so that these may encourage each other and are a blessing to the world around them – this is much in line with the overall vision of Crescendo.
Uwe Steinmetz is the co-founder of Crescendo Jazz and also the advisor in the leadership team of this ministry.
The saxophonist and composer Uwe Steinmetz was born in Bremervörde, a town in northern Germany, in 1975. He derives his musical influence mainly form the teachers he studied and performed with during his school years in Berlin, Bern, Madras and Boston: John Surman, Lako Awraam, members of The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Bob Mintzer, Michael Brecker, David Liebman, George Russell, Jerry Bergonzi and Ben Schwendener among many others. He has performed his own music on four continents and in more than thirty countries. He has received national and international awards for his artistic work. Thus far he has released 12 CD of his own music and has made appearances as a soloist on numerous jazz CDs.
In an ever more fragmented society, as a Christian, Uwe seeks to increase awareness surrounding music and other art forms as an aid to experience deep healing and reconciling with the truth. In his role as an artist, he takes part in projects that foster and encourage an intercultural dialogue and support civil peace-building efforts.
His belief: "Music unifies mind and soul and brings us closer to the truth in ourselves, the world and beyond all things. Music challenges us as human beings on all levels of our existence and ultimately shines a fresh, healing light on our momentary fears and longings, our perishable happiness and unhappiness. Music is a wonderful revelation of a creative God inspiring us to be creative with passionate love."
Verena Dietrich is the team leader of Crescendo in France.
Victor Nzau / Crescendo France
Wouter J. Bakker
Wouter J. Bakker leads the Crescendo Netherlands team.
He studied classical piano at the conservatories of Amsterdam and Utrecht. He studied with Håkon Austbø, Alan Weiss and David Kuyken and finished his Master studies cum laude in 2005. He also studied Church Music (including organ with Jacques van Oortmerssen) at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He won prizes at the Prinses Christina Concours and the Nationaal Concours van de Stichting Jong Muziektalent Nederland. At the age of 15, he made his debut on Dutch television. He took master classes with Eugen Indjic, Lazar Berman and Piotr Paleczny amongst others. Wouter also studied theology at the University of Utrecht after which he became a minister of the Protestant church in the Netherlands.
Since then, he dedicates his time to his two passions: music and the church. He is active in recitals, chamber music and choir accompaniment. His Trio Parnasse (with Mark Snitselaar and Janneke Zegveld) performs regularly. He performed piano concertos of Beethoven, Grieg and Rachmaninov (a.o.) with several orchestras. He instructed courses in Church Music at the Christelijke Hogeschool Ede. Wouter is married to Jantine, together they have three children.
Zsuzsi Pál has been working in the Budapest office since 2014. She assists with the administration of the Crescendo Summer Institute and Crescendo Hungary.
Olga Botschenka leads Crescendo Novosibirsk. She has published Crescendo books such as “More than Music – the Bible for musicians” (2018) and “My Life with the Great Pianist by Franz Mohr and Beat Rink” (2019).
A short history of our movement from its earliest days until today.
The first Bible study group for musicians began with music students in Basel, Switzerland. Beat and Airi Rink began the Campus für Christus student ministry.
The 1st Crescendo Day and the start of the Crescendo Magazine.
Part-time staff member Ruth Hufschmid, flute student at the Music Academy.
Music student groups begin to form in Germany and Austria. Coming from the Salzburg Mozartuem Orchestra, Brigitta Hofer joins the Crescendo team as a full-time staff member.
The beginning of the Crescendo Weekends: fellowship, music, spiritual encouragement. The first weekends in Germany took place at Schloss Weikersheim.
The Crescendo String Quartet.
A growing network with new contact in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, France, Spain, Poland and Germany has been established.
The 1st Crescendo Orchestra.
Student groups in 19 cities. Magazines about “Christian Musicians in the German Democratic Republic”, “Artists & Church” are published.
200 musicians have become part of the Crescendo network.
The Crescendo chamber orchestra tour (conducted by Christoph Adt).
The 6th Crescendo Day about “Music & Message”.
Physiotherapy courses with Margit Schlatter and Airi Rink.
Magazines titled “Conflicts”, Time”, etc.
1st Summer Project in Rothenburg o.Tauber.
1st Meeting in the Netherlands. Crescendo involved in the Missio Wolga project (with staff members Revd. Pekka and Kaarina Paakkanen).
Christian Leitherer founds the Crescendo Barock Ensemble.
Magazines: “Music & Ethics”., “The Body of a musician“, etc.
Book “My Life with the Great Pianists” by Franz Mohr published in German.
1st Church musicians weekend, Chamber music project, and 1st Music pedagogic forum.
Magazines about “Perfectionism”. “Church Musicians“, etc.
Summer Project in Finland.
Study Day (together with other Swiss “Art ministries”) about “Postmodernism”.
Magazines about “Don’t be afraid!”, “Christian Musicians in Finland”, “Music and the Christian Testimony“, etc.
Crescendo Annual Conference in Basel.
Singer Yvonne Moules on staff in Salzburg.
1st Play & Pray conference.
Magazines about “Success”, “Career”, “Worship”, “Music & Theology“.
Contact to 400 musicians.
Beginning of the Creative Church
Book “Backstage with the Great Maestros”.
“Creation” – a 7 days musical project with Crescendo Trossingen.
On staff: Michaela Helfer (Salzburg), Hermann Rohde (Leipzig), Rita Bandi (intl. office).
Magazines about “Postmodernism”, “Prayer“, etc.
1st lecture tour with Franz Mohr.
Weekend in Nuremberg about “Music & Christian Message”.
Annual Conference in Hallein/Salzburg.
EXPLO 97 conference with an intl. Crescendo Orchestra. Magazines about “Humour”, “Musician – Mother – Housewife…and then?”, “New Age & Music”, “More than Music“.
Crescendo contacts in Lithuania.
Austrian Crescendo Day in Vienna.
Annual Conference in Berlin.
Chamber Music Weekend in Wurzburg.
Magazines about “Christian Musicians in the Opera”, “Arts and Music in the Church”, “Being Salt“.
Picture: Small group leaders’ course.
Series of benefit concerts for a children hospital in St. Petersburg.
Crescendo in Saxony.
Jan Katzschke on staff.
Annual Conference about “Serving the neighbour” in Basel with the “World View Team Cleveland”.
EXPLO conference with Crescendo orchestra.
Magazines about “Christian Art – Today”, “Being abroad”, “Burn out – on Fire”.
1000 musicians are part of the network.
Christina Metz joins staff full time – she is later joined by her husband Christof.
First weekend about “The body - The most important instrument of a musician" with Prof. G. Schnack.
Annual conference in Prague.
Crescendo-orchestra at the conference EXPLO 2000.
1st Creative Church in Latvia.
Magazines about “Break”, “Christian music ministries”, etc.
Crescendo Latvia: Guntars Pranis on staff.
Creative church in the Netherlands, Vienna, Strasbourg, Würzburg.
Annual conference at Imbshausen castle. International office moves to Liestal.
1st Crescendo Festival in Kishinev, Moldova. Magazines about “Discover and Use Your Gifts”, “Christmas Oratorio“.
Beginning of Crescendo in Romania (leader: Carmen Zacharia-Danicov).
Kath Snelling starts Crescendo in Russia.
Timothy Bentch (living in Hungary) joins Crescendo.
Coordination of European Art Ministries (on the platform of “Hope for Europe”).
1st Art Prayer Days.
1st Baltic conference, Play & Pray Conference in Basel.
Concert tour in Cuba (photo) with Annkathrin Garbers and Susanne John (both joining staff).
Intl. conference in Strasbourg.
Magazine about “How much EGO do we need?"
1st Russian Conference.
Annual Conference in Berlin.
1st installation by Michaela Helfer & team of the “Journey” in Salzburg (followed in the upcoming years by other similar, very successful projects).
Crescendo office in Budapest.
Choir “Ambassadors” from Darmstadt joins Crescendo.
Magazines about “Art & Creativity”, “Be watchful!”.
Start in Sweden.
Annual Conference in Strasbourg.
1st Festival in Moldova.
1st Crescendo Summer Institute, organised by Timothy & Lorri Bentch, Eszter Dudás, Fruzsina Kovács.
Crescendo Basel organises a concert in the main cathedral with three world premieres (for the 200th anniversary of the Basel Bible Society - picture with Latvian orchestra).
Magazines about “Daily Life”, “Dynamics in The Baltics“.
Intl. conference in Salzburg.
1st Conference in Paris (leader: Verena Dietrich).
Start with Crescendo USA, Canada (with a student ministry and a Café Crescendo in Montréal), Estonia (with Lehari Kaustel on staff) and Mongolia.
Russian staff conference in Moscow.
Magazines on “Art & Healing“, “Relationships”, etc.
Werner Finis on staff.
Annual Conference in Estonia.
With other ministries and the Swiss Evangelical Alliance, Crescendo starts Arts+, a network for Christian artists.
Timothy Bentch organises meetings for music students in the USA.
Magazines on “Called to the World of Culture”, “Musicians from all over the world”, etc.
1st Crescendo conference in Finland.
Lauren Franklin joining staff in the States, Mechthild Bücker in Basel.
Start of a Crescendo Theatre Group Annual Conference in Sweden.
Activities in Denmark.
Book “Mich umgibt ein grosser Klang” (“Surrounded by a Great Sound”) by Mohr/Rink.
Magazine about Handel’s “Messiah”. CD “Vollbracht“.
Start of groups in Portugal.
Lecture tour with Franz Mohr to Paris, Belgium and Germany.
Musician’s Retreat in Winchester (photo).
Annual Conference in Strasbourg.
Magazines about “Called to be an Artist”, “Beginning with Faith”, “The Power of Music”.
New book with Franz Mohr/Beat Rink: Interviews with 20 musicians: "Mich umgibt ein grosser Klang" (German)
Start of Crescendo Jazz (leader: Uwe Steinmetz).
Lecture tour with Franz Mohr to Finland and London.
Annual conference in Brasov, Romania.
1st Creative Church service in Paris.
Crescendo Summer Institute with opera production.
Two magazines about “Art in Church”.
Christmas CD with Hermann Rohde (readings), Miriam Feuersinger (singing) and Crescendo ensembles.
Two audio interview books with Franz Mohr published: “My Life with the most famous pianists”: (4 CD’s in German and English).
Annual Conference in Dresden (special guest: Herbert Blomstedt - photo).
Visit in Asia.
Magazines about “Jazz”, “Beauty”.
Lecture tour with Franz Mohr through 10 cities in Europe.
8th Crescendo Summer Institute with the opera "L'Elisir d'amore" by Donizetti (picture).
Annual Conference in Thessaloniki.
Music education projects in Rwanda.
Start of ARTS+ Round tables in Europe.
Publication of the REAL FAITHBOOK by Crescendo Jazz.
Staff conference in Berlin.
Crescendo organises a Night of Faith. Festival for Art & Church (Valguse öö) in Tallinn with events in 15 locations of the city - also with the Kiev Symphony orchestra.
Move of the Crescendo office to Basel.
Paris: "The hyper sensitivity of an Artist", seminar with Airi Rink.
Staff conference in Budapest.
10th Crescendo Summer Institute with Mozart's "Don Giovanni".
Crescendo initiates and co-organises the Night of Faith. Festival of Art & Church in Basel.
Beginning of the weekly TUNE INs = Spiritual reflexions for artists.
Beginnings of a Crescendo network in the U.K., especially in Birmingham and London.
New book edition of interviews with Franz Mohr "My Life with the great Maestros" (German).
Start of Crescendo Arts in the States under the leadership of Timothy Bentch (becoming a full-time staff member).
Move of the Crescendo Summer Institute from Sàrospatak to Tokaj.
Crescendo Jazz: IN SPIRIT events in many cities in Northern Germany.
New launch of Hungarian music student ministry with Daniel Hamar (staff member).
Austria: Orchestra concerts (Vienna) and "meditative installations" (Salzburg).
Continuous master Classes in Romania (picture).
Crescendo celebrating 30th anniversary with “Christmas Oratorio” by J.S.Bach.
International Staff Conference in Zwolle.
Start of Crescendo music camps for youngsters in Finland under the leadership of staff member Lehari Kaustel.
Increasing interest in the Master Courses in Romania.
Big jazz concerts in the Basel cathedral and in Berlin Jazz Fest “In Spirit”.
Seminar Day Creative personality in Vienna.
Many activities of Crescendo in French speaking Switzerland (Geneva, Lausanne) under the leadership of Dan Marginean
“Teaching Music - a gift and a calling” 1st International Conference for Christian Music Teachers in Birmingham, where Crescendo is active amongst music teachers - an initiative, founded by Uta Mulenga.
1st Crescendo Summer Institute South Africa under the leadership of Sjoerd and Anna-Marie Alkema, Cape Town.
Crescendo Leadership Conference in Riga.
Crescendo Greece takes off under our new staff member Marini Peikidou.
1st Symphonic concert by Crescendo Uzbekistan.
Night of Faith. Festival for Art and Church with 250 artists in Basel and on a smaller scale in Thessaloniki. Crescendo concert in the Long Night of Churches in Vienna.
Crescendo conference in Moscow about “The role of a musician and artists from a Christian point of view”.
Crescendo Leadership Conference in Munich.
1st Creative Church in Namibia.
Big concert at the cathedral square in Helsinki for the 100th anniversary of Finland.