The team behind Sonat Vox is made up of several ensemble members. In addition to our shared passion for music, each singer follows his or her own professional path. This diversity gives us a wide range of skills and competencies to develop our full potential in the planning and realization of all projects. Combined with our long-standing friendship, it forms the basis for a professional working relationship, open communication and a shared vision for the future of the ensemble.

Justus Merkel

Justus Merkel was born in Ansbach in 1996. He received his basic musical training from 2005 with the Windsbach Boys' Choir under the direction of Karl-Friedrich Beringer. After graduating from high school in 2014, he worked alongside church music director Martin Lehmann, who took over the boys' choir in 2011, as part of a voluntary social year.

In spring 2015, Justus Merkel founded the SONAT VOX ensemble, which he has directed ever since. He has released three albums with the male choir to date. Every year, he conducts numerous concerts in churches and
concert halls, both nationally and internationally.

The conductor is currently completing his master's degree with Prof. Hans-Christoph Rademann at the Dresden University of Music. Justus Merkel shares his expertise and experience in workshops and public rehearsals. He has realized numerous projects with renowned artists and cross-industry experts. This includes concepts for new compositions, video productions, film projects and concerts with historical performance practice.

Justus Merkel and his ensemble have already received several awards for their artistic work. In 2016, he received the special prize from the Hessian Minister President for winning the overall prize at the men's choir festival in Limburg, as well as the special choir conductor prize. After winning the Bavarian Choir Competition in November 2017, he was awarded first prize at the German Choir Competition of the German Music Council in May 2018. At the 2022 International Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Merkel and his ensemble won the overall prize as well as several special prizes, including the Noël Minet Prize for the best interpretation of a romantic choral work.


Philipp Cuno


Marius Kaufmann


Johannes Haschke

IT & Marketing

Leon Henrici

Concert management

Raúl Segura Olesch

Project development

Raimund Schedler

Social Media

Philipp Weiser

Circle of friends

Yannick Hofmann

Project management


Born in Linz on the Danube, Alexander Gergelyfi studied historical keyboard instruments and early music performance practice in Linz, Graz, Strasbourg and Hamburg. His professors included August Humer, Brett Leighton, Eva Maria Pollerus, Michael Hell, Aline Zylberajch, Menno van Delft and Gerhart Darmstadt.

As a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, he has recently performed with il Gusto Barocco under the direction of Jörg Halubek, the Hofkapelle Graz, the L'Orfeo Barockorchester under Michi Gaigg and Carin van Heerden, the Concentus Musicus Wien under Stefan Gottfried, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg under Antonello Manacorda and the Compagnia Transalpina together with Andreas Böhlen.
With the ensemble Verbotene Frucht, he released the award-winning first album "Morbides mit Charakter" in 2018. The follow-up work "Liebe auf den ersten Schluck" was released last year.

He enjoys teaching at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. There he teaches clavichord, historical basso continuo, literature studies and historical language forms.

"Every art school is the worst for us." - Thomas Bernhard

Unexpected doors opened for him through the research and development of Austrian musical art from the 17th and 18th centuries in relation to his Admont clavichord. His first solo CD "Sapperlot!" was released in November 2022 on Carpe Diem Records and was enthusiastically received by experts.
2023 he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival in the opening ceremony and in the Nachtmusiken with the baritone Georg Nigl, with whom he will be heard from now on and on various historical keyboard instruments.

Together with his family, Alexander Gergelyfi lives in Vienna and at the moment.

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Daniel Keinath studied sound engineering and school music with a major in piano at the Detmold University of Music from 2004 to 2010.
He gained additional experience during a nine-month stay in Canada as a "Senior Audio Workstudy" at the Banff Centre / Alberta.
Since 2012 he has been part of the permanent team at Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg, where he has been working as a recording manager with a focus on classical music productions.

As an active choral singer, he has gained a great deal of experience in the field of vocal music, which is why regular collaboration with Sonat Vox is particularly close to his heart.

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Marc Christian Gruber, born in 1993, had his first horn lessons at the age of 4 with horn teacher Sebastian Rakow in Wesel and later with Andrea Kramer in Moers. He received most of his further training as a junior student with Prof. Joachim Pöltl in Düsseldorf and as a student of Prof. Paul van Zelm in Cologne. He received further inspiration from Hermann Baumann, Erich Penzel, Prof. Christian Lampert and Froydis Ree Wekre.

Marc Gruber has won several prizes and special prizes in the "Jugend Musiziert" competition, and in 2010 he also received a scholarship from the "International Music Academy Frankfurt" for "Modern Music". He also won the Southern German Chamber Music Competition and was the first brass player ever to win the "Debut at Eleven" sponsorship award. He has also been a scholarship holder of the renowned Mozart Society Dortmund since 2013 and was a prizewinner at the Lions European Musical Competition in 2014.

In 2016, he won 2nd prize at the ARD International Music Competition, as well as the Brüder Busch Special Prize and the Audience Prize. He has also made numerous solo appearances, including with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, the Dortmund Orchestra Center and the Würtemberg Philharmonic Orchestra in Reutlingen. He also released his debut CD as a soloist with the latter orchestra in 2014, featuring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for four solo winds and orchestra. Marc Gruber has performed as a chamber music partner with renowned ensembles and soloists such as the Schumann Quartet, the Linos Ensemble, the Mannheim String Quartet, HR-Brass and as a permanent member of the Monet Wind Quintet at national and international festivals. He has done so at the Ludwigsburg Castle Festival and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, among others. With the Monet Wind Quintet, he won a scholarship and special prize at the German Music Competition in 2016.

Marc Gruber gained orchestral experience early on in various youth orchestras, such as the NRW State Youth Orchestra, the German National Youth Orchestra, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and the European Union Youth Orchestra. He has toured China, Japan, Korea and throughout Europe. From 2014 to 2016, he was the youngest ever principal horn of the Bonn Beethoven Orchestra and has held this position with the Hessian Radio Symphony Orchestra since April 2016. He has also played with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Hilversum, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne.

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Richard Stier was born in Dinkelsbühl and received his first musical training with the Windsbach Boys' Choir. After graduating from high school, he worked as a musical prefect alongside the artistic director of the renowned boys' choir as part of a voluntary social year. Since this time, he has also led a specially founded vocal quintet.

Richard Stier studies choral conducting with Prof. Hans-Christoph Rademann at the Carl Maria von Weber Academy of Music in Dresden. As part of his studies, he has the opportunity to assist at the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart and to work with ensembles such as the Dresden Chamber Choir and the Dresden State Operetta Choir. He gained additional impulses from Justin Doyle and Stefan Parkman, among others. 

As co-founder and artistic director of the Vica Ensemble, Richard Stier is primarily dedicated to the cultivation of sacred a cappella choral music. He has also been the director of the Hanns Seidel Foundation Choir and Orchestra since 2023. 

During his studies, he focused on his professional career at the Dresden Boys' Choir Institute. As a substitute for the cathedral conductor, he conducted the boys' choir in performances and concerts. Since the 2023/24 season, he has been working as an assistant and répétiteur alongside Kreuzkantor Martin Lehmann at the long-established Dresdner Kreuzchor.

As choir conductor of Sonat Vox, he regularly works with the young ensemble as a rehearser and guest conductor.

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Lorenz Wetscher (*1991 in Nuremberg) is a film director and screenwriter with international work experience. He began making music videos as a teenager. After a successful cinema tour through Germany and Austria, his film "Die Arbeit mit dem Tod" is now being shown on TV. From 2022 to 2023, Wetscher shoots the first feature-length film for the Hornbach brand. The medium-length feature film "Todsicher [Dodsicher]", which he directed and co-wrote the screenplay for, was soon released and won the Audience Award at the 46th International Borderland Film Festival. Wetscher has been directing commercials since 2014. In order to expand his interdisciplinary knowledge, he first completed a bachelor's degree in media design with a focus on film, during which he gained relevant practical experience, including at the advertising agency Jung von Matt. In 2019, he completed his master's degree in film at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences with excellent results.

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Born in Passau in 1993, Julia Willeitner had her first cello lessons with Siglinde Käß. She was later accepted as a junior student in Wolfgang Nüsslein's class at the HfKm in Regensburg.

After successfully completing her Bachelor's degree with Heidi Litschauer and Enrico Bronzi at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, she discovered her love of early music after a project with the L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra under Michi Gaigg, which led her to the Bruckner University in Linz, where she is currently studying for a Master's degree in Early Music / Historical Performance Practice. Julia Willeitner has gained valuable experience with the Akademie Versailles, the Hanse Ensemble, the Collegium Marianum Prague, the Ton Koopman Academy, L'Arpa Festante and Concentus Musicus.

She is currently a member of the "Ensemble Opia" and the "Ensemble verbotene Frucht". She also received important impulses from Marco Testori, Vittorio Ghielmi, Hille Perl, Christophe Coin and Jan Freiheit.

In 2013, Julia Willeitner founded the duo CellAr together with the Chilean guitar virtuoso Danilo Cabaluz, with whom they mainly dedicate themselves to folk music from South America and have already given concerts in Chile, Spain, Brazil, Germany and Austria. In 2015, they released their first CD "La vida breve". Their second album, dedicated exclusively to Latin American music, will be released in 2023.

In 2020, you founded the "Bergfried Kulturfestival" in an old monastery in Passau, where artists and musicians from all cultures regularly come together to present concerts and exhibitions.

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Paul Sturm received his first piano lessons at the age of seven from Erich Wilhelm Beil in Ansbach and studied piano with Prof. Erich Appel at the Meistersinger Conservatory in Nuremberg after graduating from high school. In 1983, he passed his final piano examination with the grade "very good" and won first prize at the Dr. Drexel Competition in Nuremberg in the same year. One year later, he was awarded a sponsorship prize by the city of Fürth. This was followed by numerous solo appearances with an extensive repertoire ranging from baroque to avant-garde, most recently he played highly acclaimed recital series with works by Chopin, Schubert, Liszt, Janácek and Mussorgski as well as all 32 piano sonatas by Beethoven. He is in demand as a chamber music partner and accompanist. He has worked with renowned soloists such as Siegfried Jerusalem and Thomas Quasthoff. He has also played as continuo and piano accompanist at many concerts and tours of the Windsbach Boys' Choir (including in Brazil and Israel). He is a long-standing member of the Franconian Chamber Orchestra (with historical instruments, directed by Wolfgang Riedelbauch) and the Ars Nova Ensemble Nuremberg (directed by Werner Heider). He has worked as a pianist, arranger and musical director for over 90 productions of the theater "Die Bühne". In addition to two solo CDs with works by Chopin ("Soirée polonaise") and Spanish composers ("Iberia"), he has recorded numerous other CDs, including with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Windsbach Boys' Choir and as a Lied accompanist. Paul Sturm has been a lecturer at the Nuremberg University of Music (formerly the Meistersinger Conservatory in Nuremberg) since 1992.

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Friedrich Sacher (*1992) comes from Thuringia and now lives in Coswig. He graduated from the Christliches Spalatin Gymnasium Altenburg in 2011. He completed his first musical training in piano and organ at the "Ottmar Gerster" music and art school in Leipzig. In 2015, he completed his diploma in "Church Music B" at the Protestant University of Church Music Dresden (additional lessons in choir/orchestra conducting and composition). From 2015-2019, he studied "Choral Conducting" with Prof. Hans-Christoph Rademann at the Dresden University of Music and worked as a church musician in the Annen-Matthäus parish in Dresden from 2016-2019. Friedrich Sacher has already made guest appearances with various choirs inside and outside Dresden, was artistic director of the vocal ensemble "Heinrich-Schütz-Kreis Dresden" from 2016 to 2021 and worked as a cathedral cantor (as a substitute) at the Hochstift zu Meißen at the end of 2019. From 2019-2022 he studied "Church Music A" in Dresden. He received important impulses in the subjects of organ literature (Prof. Martin Strohhäcker) and organ improvisation (Frauenkirche organist Samuel Kummer). Friedrich Sacher has been choir assistant and accompanist at the Singakademie Dresden since October 2021 and cantor in the parish of Coswig-Weinböhla-Niederau (based in Coswig) near Dresden since May 2022. In June 2022, Friedrich Sacher was elected 1st Chairman of the "Verein der Freunde und Förderer der Hochschule für Kirchenmusik Dresden e.V.".

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