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The Gewandhaus Woodwind Quintet, founded in 1896, can probably be described as the oldest chamber music ensemble of its kind. During that season, leading woodwind soloists, headed by oboist Alfred Gleißberg and significantly supported by Gewandhaus Music Director Artur Nikisch, presented themselves for the first time to audiences. In its hundred-year history it has become a permanent, traditional part of the world-famous Gewandhaus Orchestra. Chamber music correlates closely with orchestral music, since the five woodwind players also play together in Gewandhaus concerts. They consequently understand each other almost telepathically, making this quintet unique in its style of music. The five instrumental soloists who form this ensemble are quite rightly proud of this long tradition. The current members are: Katalin Stefula (flute), Simon Sommerhalder (oboe), Thomas Ziesch (clarinet), Ralf Götz (horn) and Albert Kegel (bassoon). Chamber music series for season-ticket holders, which have been presented for decades by the Gewandhaus, form the centre of their musical activity. The musicians not only perform quintet repertoire but also play musical delicacies with expanded instrumentation. In cooperation with pianists Elisabeth Leonskaja and Peter Rösel, the ensemble performs works such as the piano quintets by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. The Quintet is joined by other Gewandhaus musicians for serenades and wind ensemble music. The Quintet demonstrates its artistic calibre outside its Leipzig home every year in 5 to 10 chamber music soirées. It performs regularly in the cloister of the venerable Cistercian monastery Walkenried. Over the last few years, the five musicians were celebrated guests at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, the Mecklenburg-West Pomeranian Music Festival, the Philharmonic Chamber Music Festival of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cologne Philharmoni as well as in the Alpirsbach, Maulbronn and Bebenhausen monasteries and the Dresden Semper Opera. A highlight of the 1996/97 anniversary season was the Quintet's tour of South Korea in June 1996. Reviewers praised the precise articulation and the of the Leipzig musicians, their musical sensitivity, their homogeneity as an ensemble and their refined enthusiasm. The Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten newspaper wrote: "In the movements of the Mozart divertimento, dynamic precision work and the careful emphasis on detail resulted in a lively interpretation, which covered the full spectrum from alight touch, flexibility and elegance."