Founded in 2020, The Heathcliff Trio is bonded by a musical consensus and shared vision. The trio comprises violinist Ashley Tong, cellist Jonathan Gerstner and pianist Jonathan Siahaan and is characterised by their devotion, passion and integrity in their music making, and is quickly establishing itself as an ensemble with the finest artistic quality of today.
Shortly after its inception, the trio made their debut at Wigmore Hall for the final concert of The Parkhouse Award (2021). And in 2022, The trio won 1st prize in the 9th International Johannes Brahms Chamber Music Competition with two additional special prizes including the best interpretation of a piece by Brahms.
Despite their short existence, the trio brings together their extensive individual experiences in chamber music, which include collaborations with artists such as Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Kathryn Stott, Enrico Pace, and Barnabas Kelemen, and continues to strive towards the discovery of their own expression. They have performed widely across Europe, in countries such as Denmark, Austria, Germany, France, Netherlands, Lithuania, Spain, Norway, England, Poland and Switzerland.
Season 22/23 saw the trio in recitals at The Harrogate International Festival, K&M Festival Stavanger, Hobro Musikforening, Kammermusik Odense (broadcasted on the Danish Radio), ChamberFest Munich (broadcasted on the Bayerischen Rundfunks) and The Gdansk trioMusic Festival. Recent highlights in season 23/24 include performances in Grafenegg, Hindsgavl Festival, K&M Festival Stavanger, where they are named ensemble in residence. The trio have also been selected as Britten Pears Young Artists 23/24 and will be performing two recitals in the coming March at The Jubilee Hall in Snape Maltings.
The Heathcliff Trio is currently based in Copenhagen under the guidance of Tim Frederiksen at The Royal Danish Academy of Music on the Advance Postgraduate Program and is also a member of the European Chamber Music Academy where they are mentored by Johannes Meissl, and have received further tutelage from Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Hatto Beyerle (Alban Berg Quartet), Patrick Jüdt, Dirk Mommertz (Faure Quartet) and members of the Casals Quartet and the Danish String Quartet.
ASHLEY TONG, VIOLIN
British-Taiwanese violinist Ashley debuted with The Taipei Symphony Orchestra at the age of 8 after winning the ‘Young Soloist competition’. She has since appeared at the Wigmore Hall, the Barbican Hall, St. Martin in the fields, the Royal Festival Hall, Menuhin Hall, The National Gallery in London, Taiwan National Concert Halls, Wien Musikverein, Wiener Konzerthaus, Graz Musikverien, Bösendorfer Saal in Austria, Crystal Hall in Asahikawa, Japan, Dramaten and Kungasalen in Stockholm, and Konserthuset Stockholm.
An avid chamber musician, Ashley is the violinist and co-founder of The Heathcliff Trio. She has also performed with distinguished musicians such as Lev Klychkov (Concertmaster of St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra), Günter Seifert (1st Violin of Wiener Philharmoniker), Barnabas Keleman, and Kathryn Stott. Her festival appearances include K&M Fest Stavanger, Britten Pears Festival and Aurora Festival, where she led the Aurora Symphony Orchestra as concertmaster in two consecutive years under the baton of Jukka-Pekka Saraste in collaboration with Leonidas Kavakos and Mischa Maisky.
Over the years, Ashley has received accolades from esteemed artists such as Schmuel Ashkenasi, Michael Frischenschlager, and Thomas Brandis. Born in 1993, She started playing the violin at the age of 7, studying with the violinist-conductor, Drapal Liao. After graduating from The Yehudi Menuhin School with Lutsia Ibragimova, she studied at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Krzysztof Smietana, and Kunst Universität Graz with Eszter Haffner. Currently based in Copenhagen, Ashley completed her Master's degree at The Royal Danish Academy of Music with Tim Frederiksen and Peter Herresthal.
JONATHAN GERSTNER, CELLO
Swiss cellist Jonathan Gerstner was born in Ecublens. He began playing the cello at the age of five with Aude Pivôt, continued his path with Martin Reetz at the Lausanne Conservatoire and from 2020 studied with Patrick Demenga at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne (HEMU). Since 2022, he has been studying with Reinhard Latzko in Austria at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts (MDW).
In 2019, he became a member of the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra (SJSO), and since then has taken part in numerous tours that have taken him to Switzerland's leading concert halls. During that period he founded the LimonCelli, an ensemble of 9 cellos that transcends genres and has performed many original arrangements with new playing techniques and experimented with theatrical elements.
Between 2021 and 2023, he performed on stage with artists such as Marko Ylönen, Jean-Sélim Abdelmoula, Patrick Demenga, Oscar Chacón and Reinhard Latzko. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has appeared on all four of Switzerland's national classical radio stations, and performs at international festivals including the Prague Spring Festival, Lavaux Classic, K&M Festival Stavanger, Loisiarte and the Musikfestwochen Meiringen.
Equally passionate about chamber music, he has studied with teachers such as Vincent Coq (Trio Wanderer) in Lausanne and currently Johannes Meissl (Artis Quartett) and Stefan Mendl (Wiener Klaviertrio) in Vienna, as well as receiving invaluable advice from Eckart Runge (Artemis Quartett), Hatto Beyerle (Alban Berg Quartett) and Avedis Kouyoumdjian.
JONATHAN SIAHAAN, PIANO
Jonathan Siahaan is a young Danish pianist who resides in Copenhagen and completed his soloist diploma at The Royal Danish Academy of Music with Professor Jens Elvekjaer. He began taking private piano lessons at the age of 6 with Japanese teacher Kyoko Kato and 3 years later with Bella Zapolski.
At the early age of 12 he had his first professional appearance on the public scene performing Chopins Piano Concerto no. 1 with Copenhagen Festival Orchestra.
Jonathan Siahaan has achieved several national prizes including 1st prizes in all age categories and V.I.P. prize in the national Steinway Piano Competition, Gold medal in Berlingske Tidendes Music Competition, 1st prize in Danish Radiocast Competition “Spil for livet” which was broadcasted on national television, and 1st prizes in The Royal Danish Academy of Music Piano Competition in 2016 and 2018. Jonathan Siahaan has been honoured and supported by a number of Danish foundations including DR Emil Holms Mindelegat, Den Berlingske Fond, Jacob Gade Talentpris, Jacob Gade Store Legat, Bernhard Rosenfelds Legat, Wilhelm Hansens Fonden and Odd Fellow Ordenens Legat etc. In 2019 he released a piano album on Dacapo Records with pieces written by contemporary Danish composers.
He has performed as soloist with orchestras such as Odense Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Chamber Orchestra and Danish National Symphony Orchestra and had his first solo recital in Tivoli Concert Hall in 2012 which was highly acclaimed by the press.
Beside his appearances as a soloist, Jonathan is also an active chamber musician and accompanist, he established Heathcliff Trio in 2020, and has received chamber music lessons from Trio con Brio Copenhagen, Lars Anders Tomter, Tim Frederiksen, Kathryn Stott, Eszter Haffner and Gerhard Shulz. He as performed with established musicians such as Nikolaj Sczeps-Znaider, Enrico Pace, Sergei Malov, Andrei Bielow, and Andreas Brantelid. His chamber music festival appearances include Hindsgavl Festival and Kerteminde Chamber Music Festival. In 2016 and 2019 Jonathan was appointed a permanent accompanist for the contestants in The 10th Carl Nielsen Violin Competition and The 11th Carl Nielsen Violin Competition.