Since 2015, the Prague-born cellist Anna Fortova (*1982) and the Swiss pianist Kathrin Schmidlin (*1990) have been playing as a duo. They got to know each other at the Basel University of Music, where their teachers included Sergio Azzolini. They gave their first duo concert in 2018, and this was followed up by successful performances in Basel, Zurich and Paris.
Anna Fortova studied with Daniel Veis at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, music pedagogy at the Basel University of Music (with a prize for the best Master thesis) and Baroque cello with Petr Skalka at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. She has been successful in several international competitions. Besides working with Czech and Swiss symphony and chamber orchestras (including the Collegium Musicum Basel), she has also played in different chamber music ensembles for many years and is active as a teacher (at the Music School in Allschwil). She also engages in musical crossover with folk-rock bands, the Eve Quartet, and the jazz musician Emil Viklický.
Kathrin Schmidlin studied with Karl-Andreas Kolly at the Zurich University of the Arts, with Wolfgang Manz at the Nuremberg University of Music, and with Tobias Schabenberger at the Basel University of Music. She has won prizes at several national and international competitions. In 2013, she was awarded a scholarship by the Bachwoche Ansbach. She has performed in Bayreuth, the Basel Theatre, the Museum am Dom in Trier and at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad. Kathrin Schmidlin is also active in the field of music communication; she organised a “guided concert” at the KlangBasel Festival and designed a children’s concert as part of her Master thesis in which children could be taught the different musical epochs in a playful manner. She presented her project at the 2017 conference of EPTA (the European Piano Teachers Association) in Switzerland, and since autumn 2018 she has been a member of the EPTA Board. Kathrin Schmidlin teaches piano at the Zurich Conservatory Music School.