Here are bios of some of our wonderful musicians - player/creators all


Emilia Martensson (voice)

 ”A voice of quite remarkable expressive depth” -(JAZZWISE) is an award-winning London/Berlin-based vocalist originally from Sweden. Her gently expressive voice and highly personal compositions are firmly rooted within the folklore and countryside of her native southern Sweden, You can hear her Swedish heritage clearly in the haunting and ethereal tones of her voice, in the dark melancholy of her storytelling and in the intimate, nocturnal hush of her timeless confessionals. Allied with the jazz musician’s effortless sense of timing and expression, it’s enough to make Mårtensson a very special voice indeed.

Emilia has built a well-deserved reputation as one of the most exciting vocalists on the UK Jazz scene and she was awarded  ‘Vocalist of the Year-2016′ at The Parliamentary Jazz Awards. She has led ensembles that have performed worldwide, including major Jazz Festivals. 

Emilia is releasing new music during 2024, a duo project together with pianist Matt Robinson. This new album looks to expand upon the traditional piano-vocal duo with a fresh approach to sound, colour, and open improvisation. Drawing on their years of working together they take familiar songs and original compositions and frame them in a unique, unexpected way using extended techniques and live electronics. 

Rouhangeze (voice)
Rouhangeze is a multi-genre vocalist, songwriter, composer, producer, voiceover artist and vocal therapist  She represented Mauritius at China's International Women's Day in 2021, and at India's 2023 G20 Summit, with the transcultural Sur Vasudha Orchestra.
She has worked with venerated artists including bassist Linley Marthe, guitarist Antonio Forcione, tabla Aref Durvesh, tabla, ABBA, Nitin Sawhney and peers Tomasz Bura and Guthrie Govan. She is a regular presenter the UK’s JazzFM were she explores the musical cross-pollination of jazz and beyond.

Shri Sriram (bass,flute)  
Shri initially trained on Tablas before developing a unique style of playing his self-made fretless bass. He is one of the pioneers of the Asian Underground scene with Outcaste Records, developing his groundbreaking electro-acoustic sound with Badmarsh&Shri.
Shri has composed and produced music for theatre, dance and feature films and adverts, and TV shows like CSI & Top Gear amongst many others. He has featured live at Glastonbury Festival, Later with Jools Holland, Montreux & London Jazz Festivals and has remixed tracks for Dela Soul, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Kronos Quartet & Asha Bhosle, to name a few.

Shri recently created “Just a Vibration”, a collaboration between Indian musicians and brass band, which was Arts Council supported and won a British Composer Award.

Rihab Azar (oud)
Rihab was born in the Syrian city of Homs to a musical family. She continued her musical quest later at the Conservatoire of Damascus studying Azerbaijani, Arabic, Turkish and Western classical music . She was taught by masters of the oud in Syria including Prof. Askar Ali Akbar, Issam Rafea, Mohamad Osman and Ayman Aljesry.

In 2014, She became the first woman oudist to perform accompanied by the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. Rihab was the oud player of the "Syrian Female Oriental Takht" from 2006 until 2015, the year in which she moved to the UK. 
Arts Council England recognised her as a musician of "Exceptional Promise" in December 2016. Since then, Rihab has performed at iconic spaces in the UK such as the Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, Lambeth Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The British Museum and also at The National Museum of Denmark. Rihab toured with the London Sinfonietta in Autumn 2018.

Cheng Yu (pipa and gugin)                                                                                               She is the founder of the UK Chinese Music Ensemble and London Youlan Qin Society. Based in London for many years she has performed over 600 concerts at venues such as the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Duke's Hall. She has toured in Europe, Asia, Canada and the USA, has worked on collaborations with organisations such as WOMAD, Grand Union, the London Sinfonietta, the Lyon Ensemble Orchestra Contemporain, the Avignon Orchestra, the Edinburgh String Quartet and Club Inégales. Her published CDs include 3 solo albums, and many ensemble and cross-cultural music recordings under such labels as Realworld, ARC, China Arts, BMG and EMI. Member of Notes Inégales.
Ursula Rucker (singer, performance poet)                                                                          Recently offered a prestigious Pew Center, Philadelphia artist award, Ursula Rucker is an interdisciplinary poet, performer, and recording artist whose work reflects on personal history, family, and place. She characterises her work as situated “along the edge of the terrains of poetry.” Rucker has released five albums and collaborated with a wide range of artists outside of the field of poetry, including The Roots, musicians and Pew Fellows Jamaaladeen Tacuma and King Britt, and, most recently, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Clarence Williams III.

Max Bailie (violin)                                                                                                     Maverick violinist and violist Max Baillie performs across a diverse spectrum of music embracing new commissions, improvisation, and collaborations with artists from all over the world. Based in London, England, he has performed as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader on stages from the Royal Albert Hall to Glastonbury and from Mali to Moscow. Artists he has worked with come from many backgrounds and include Bobby McFerrin, John Williams, Bjork, Stevie Wonder, and Anoushka Shankar. 

Simon Limbrick (drums and percussion)

Simon Limbrick performs all over the world with ensembles including the Nash Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Endymion Ensemble, Composers’ Ensemble and Fibonacci Sequence as well as recording with artists such as Alabama3, Gavin Bryars, Pete Lockett and for Blue Note Records. Recently, he performed his own concerto Bulls Yard and Stockhausen’s Zyklus at The Sage Gateshead. His solo performances have been broadcast by the BBC, Italian radio RAI, Radio France, Dutch TV and radio.
Director of Club Inégales and the Institute of Composing

Hyelim Kim (taegŭm flute)                                                                                                Uses her traditional Korean woodwind instrument as a tool to promote exchange with a wide-variety of musical cultures, including membership of the Notes Inégales ensemble, and a recent collaboration with Alice Zawadzki.  As well as live performance, she is conducting research on the globalisation of Korean music. Korean was recently awarded a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation award to develop her research and composition.

Matthew Bourne (piano/MOOG)

Bourne first came to national attention as a winner of the Perrier Jazz Award in 2001, which was followed by an award for innovation at the BBC Radio Jazz Awards in 2002, and the International Jazz Festivals Organisation’s International Jazz Award in 2005.   His first solo studio album, Montauk Variations was The Sunday Times’ Leftfield Album of the Year in 2012)
With a nod to the pioneering work of Annette Peacock and Paul Bley, Bourne has turned his considerable talents to the world of analogue synthesisers. These compositions took shape in the studio as Bourne explored and moulded the vast sonic possibilities of voltage-controlled oscillators. 
This has been a pathway to another of Bourne’s current projects, Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited, a visceral live audio/visual experience created to mark the 40th anniversary of Kraftwerk’s seminal Radio-Activity album. In collaboration with electronic composer Franck Vigroux and installation artist Antoine Schmitt.
Very much in demand as a collaborator and co-conspirator, Bourne has his fingerprints on a huge number of projects, having worked with artists as diverse as John Zorn, Annette Peacock, Nils Frahm, Nostalgia 77, Broadway Project, and Amon Tobin.

Colin Alexander (cello)
As well as collaborating with artists such as Kit Downes, Héloïse Werner, Abel Selaocoe, Max Baillie and Shiva Feshareki, Colin performs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, LSO Ensemble, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 12 Ensemble and Dotdotdot Flamenco. He has written new works for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra, Contrechamps, The Mercury Quartet, Hyper Duo  Le Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain and Notes Inégales.
He has released two albums with Addelam on the Big Ship label, features on both ‘Tre Voci – Auro’ and ‘I hope this finds you well in these strange times – vol.2’ on Nonclassical and has more recently released ‘Homework’ and ‘While Swimming’ on October House Records.

Wang Xiao (erhu)

Wang Xiao began learning to play the erhu when she was six years old and graduated from the Wuhan Conservatory of Music. In 1999 she joined the Headquarters Arts Troupe of the Henan Provincial People's Armed Police as its erhu soloist. In 2001 she took part in the Luoyang Casio Young Instrumentalists Competition, where she won a Silver Prize, and in the same month a Gold Prize as an erhu soloist in the Henan Provincial "Hundred Fountains Cup" Young Instrumentalists Competition. In the same year she represented the People's Armed Police as erhu soloist in the Henan Provincial Arts Festival, and was well received. Before going abroad she was erhu and banhu soloist with the Luoyang Symphony Orchestra. She has given many performances since arriving in the UK.

Byron Wallen (trumpet)
Widely recognised as a seminal figure in Jazz, Wallen is an acclaimed writer and producer whose original scores have been commissioned by the Science Museum; PRS, The BBC, Jerwood Foundation, Southbank Centre, National Theatre, Arts Council, FIFA and Sage Gateshead. He has also composed soundscapes for Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and
Game of Thrones.  Wallen has received the BBC Jazz Innovation award (2003) and has been nominated several times for the MOBO award. In 2017 he received the coveted Paul Hamlyn Award. In 2020 his band Four Corners was nominated for the best band category at the  Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Anoushka Nanguy (trombone)
Anoushka, known as Noushy, is a 22 year old jazz trombonist, vocalist, composer and arranger from Glasgow, Scotland. Graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a BA Hons in Jazz in 2021, she is quickly becoming an in-demand session musician; as well as leading her own bands, the Noushy Quartet and co- leading the hip hop-jazz collective, Astrosnax. She often plays with other bands - corto.alto, Josef Akin, as well as the Nu Civilisation Orchestra and SNJO. Noushy was the recipient of the Rising Star Award in the 2020 Scottish Jazz Awards.

Alina Bzhezhinska (harp)
Having studied Classical Harp at the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, obtained a Masters in Arts in Poland, a spot at the University of Arizona to study jazz ensued. 
Deciding to launch her own career in jazz, a move to London followed. In November 2017, Bzhezhinska stormed the scene when her quartet appeared at the Barbican during the EFG London Jazz Festival alongside Denys Baptiste and Pharoah Sanders – and were subsequently nominated for Best Live Experience of the Year at the 2018 Jazz FM Awards. 
In 2018 Bzhezhinska produced her critically acclaimed debut album, Inspiration (released via Ubuntu Music), featuring award winning saxophonist Tony Kofi. This project was supported by PRS Women Make Music Award. Going on to represent the UK with her quartet at the WOMADelaide Festival in Australia, live performances for BBC Radio 3 and Worldwide FM followed along with appearances at Edinburgh International Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Royal Albert Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. She’s opened for Gregory Porter and Omar, while collaborators include Ursula Rucker, Niki King and Django Bates. 

Sören Birke Harmonica, Jew’s Harp, Duduk
Sören has worked across the electronica blues and experimental scene in Berlin for many years and is now a member of the intercultural Ensemble Extrakte
His work includes, 700 live performances at sessions, club gigs, open air festivals, festivals, parties and funerals in Germany, the United States, Australia, Poland and Armenia. Member Buschfunk Blues Band - Jubiläum 25. Years Buschfunk Label. Concerts with Preußisch Blau at the 7th International Jew's Harp Festival in Yakutsk / Sakha Republic 
He has enjoyed s studio collaborations with Manne Pokrandt  Achim Gießler, Thomas Maser and Andreas Bick.
And many recordings, including Blues and Loose No.1, Preußisch Blau,  "Bunyah" with Catherine Milliken und Dietmar Wiesner, CD Ice Age Sid & seine Freunde (Otto Waalkes als Sid), 17 Hippies „Metamorphosis“, INLUK / SÖREN BIRKE PROJEKT, Ensemble Extrakte TREATISES on Trans-Traditional Aesthetics, INMIR / SÖREN BIRKE PROJEKT with Dirk Michaelis.

Bernhard Schimpelsberger (percussion)
Performs on a uniquely multi-layered and melodious drumkit. He creates “percussive soundscapes” (Süddeutsche Zeitung) with a fascinating “interweaving of colours and elements, of virtuosity and surprising twists” (Augsburg er Allogeneic).

Schimpelsberger, who studied the complex rhythmic system of Indian classical music under master drummers Suresh Stalwart and Trilok Guru, is in high demand across many genres. Collaborations with stars of Indian music including Anoushka Shankar (sitar), Akram Khan (dance) and Nitin Sawhney (film composition) have helped him to develop a drumming “style true to that of a tabla virtuoso” (Confluence Magazine).International collaborations with Spanish flamenco dancer Israel Galvan, Palestinian oud virtuoso Adnan Joubran, the Cuban Rumba group Osain der Monte and South African cellist Abel Selaocoe have taken him around the world and enlarged his musical palette.

His audio-visual music project Rhythm Diaries, documenting his collaborations and studies in Cuba, Brazil, India, South Africa and all across Europe, has been critically acclaimed and received numerous awards around the world. Schimpelsberger’s original compositions have been performed at Beethovenfest Bonn and Rowing World Cup Championships Ottensheim/Linz, and by the Britten Sinfonia Orchestra and Malta’s National Dance Company.

Klaus Janek (double bass, electronics)
Klaus Janek studied classical double bass with Maurizio Muraro and attended workshops with Dave Holland, Peter Kowald, Jaribu Shahid and others. He works in the field of experimental music and sound research on the acoustic and processed double bass. Klaus Janek expands the musical vocabulary of the instrument in creation and perception. He is founding member of Ensemble Extrakte, composes music for dance theater, television, a house opera and sound design for Meta Design AG in Berlin. Concert and festival invitations have taken him to European countries, the USA, Russia, Israel, Canada, China, Malaysia and Japan.

Cathy Milliken (oboe, English horn, recitation, voice)
Cathy Milliken studied oboe and piano in her native Australia. She was a founding member of Ensemble Modern until 2007 and has worked closely with artists such as György Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, Fred Frith and Frank Zappa. She founded the composers' group HCD-Productions together with Dietmar Wiesner and Hermann Kretzschmar. Since 1990 she has been composing music theater, instrumental and chamber music works, radio plays, installations, theater and film music. She has been commissioned by renowned international festivals, orchestras and ensembles and has received several awards. Participatory compositions and projects are a central component of her work. From 2005 to 2012, she was head of the education department of the Berliner Philharmoniker, where she also performed her own projects. She is founding member of Ensemble Extrakte. From 2018 to 2020 she is Associate Composer for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. In 2023, she followed a scholarship from Villa Aurora to Los Angeles. She completed her PhD on "Collaborative Composing" at Griffith University Queensland, Australia. She lives in Berlin.

Gregor Schulenburg (flutes, duduk, kyotaku) 
Gregor Schulenburg is an interpreter, performer and community musician. He studied at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag, was a scholarship holder of the International Ensemble Modern Academy and is a founding member of Ensemble Extrakte and the musicians' collective MAM. manufaktur für aktuelle musik and guest musician of Ensemble Modern. In addition to his work as an interpreter/performer, he works in the field of community music and has been a trainer for the peace organization "Musicians without Borders" since 2019. Since 2015, he has been an artistic leader for Jeunesses Musicales ethnocamps (Ethno Germany, Ethno India) and between 2017 and 2019 he was project manager and lecturer for the ETHNOLeader pilot training course in Stuttgart and Mannheim.

Ravi Srinivasan (tabla, drum objects, khayal singing, whistles)
Ravi Srinivasan, born in Singapore, plays tabla, tabla tarang and percussion, sings and whistles. He grew up in an Anglo-Indian family in Malaysia and first learned classical Western music on the violin. He worked in Malaysia and England as an orchestral musician, later came to jazz, began composing and studied tabla with Kamalesh Maitra in Berlin. His stage presence and sensitivity and his broad musical horizon make him an incredibly versatile and creative musician. He is a founding member of Ensemble Extrakte. Ravi Srinivasan has performed in the USA, Russia and Malaysia and at major festivals in Europe and India. He plays in various jazz, folk and world music formations, including with Abrasaz, Midnight Court, Hypno Theatre, Dotschy Reinhardt, Soname Yangchen and Injun Biscuit Factory, accompanies Indian Kathak dance and raga music and participates in musical theater productions and designs programs for children.

Wu Wei (Sheng, Erhu) 
Sheng virtuoso Wu Wei has developed the ancient instrument into an innovative force in contemporary music. As a soloist, he has performed with the world's leading orchestras, ensembles and conductors and at renowned international festivals. He has premiered more than 400 works, including 20 concertos for sheng and orchestra. Wu Wei is also a composer for the sheng and receives commissions for it. He studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin and was a professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He has been a member of Ensemble Extrakte since 2013, has won prizes including the German music competition Musica Vitale, the German Global Root Prize and the German Record Critics' Award. Wu Wei has produced numerous CDs and DVDs.

Zhao Lucy (Pipa)
The musician and cultural manager Lucy Zhao was born in Beijing and lives in Berlin. She has been playing the traditional Chinese instrument pipa since the age of 8. Lucy performed as a member of the pipa orchestra at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She toured China, South Korea and the USA with the conservatory orchestra and later performed as a soloist in Europe in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia, Slovakia, Konzerthaus Berlin, ZKM Karlsruhe, Haus für Mozart in Salzburg and Mozarthaus Vienna. Lucy has been a member of the ensemble Extrakte since 2020. In addition to traditional repertoire, Lucy plays contemporary music and free improvisation. She studied Pipa at the China Conservatory and later Cultural Management at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. She currently works in event management at the Konzerthaus Berlin.


The Third Orchestra - an introduction

The orchestra launched in 2019 with a week’s residency in The Pit at the Barbican Centre, London, leading to three sold-out performances. 

The vision is of an orchestra originating in multi-cultural London, and Berlin, reaching out to the world, an orchestra without boundaries. 

Musicians from North, South, East and West are welcome and it is inclusive, with a gender balance, and it is 50% BAME and aged from 17-70. 

The orchestra is not about ‘fusion’. Rather welcoming each musician’s individual story, the lineage and experiences they bring from traditions or from their explorations of newness. Looking for a music that allows them to retain and celebrate whatever identities they choose to bring. The orchestra is made of distinguished creator/perfomers all working on the co-creation of the music.

We learn from one another, and from the communities and musicians we meet, which are always expanding.

Extraordinary last night. I loved the sense of attention in the room, as well as among the players. Incredible and inspiring.” - Tom Guthrie - Opera Director
The inspiration of the third orchestra is just what we need today: great, musicians and great ideas brought together under an all embracing, generous spirited, banner, called unity in diversity. A genuine example, for the world” - Marshall Marcus, Director, European Union Youth Orchestra