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Welcome to the page of the viola and accordion duo by Esra Pehlivanli & Marko Kassl, Duo MARES, one of the first established duos in its class.

Duo MARES has been performing numerous concerts since 2004 and working intensively with today's composers in order to create and enlarge the repertory of this striking instrumentation.

The unique sound of the combination viola and accordion is amazingly versatile and carries along surprising aural possibilities. At date, there have been over 40 compositions dedicated to Duo MARES. The concert programmes include works from early till contemporary music, next to interdisciplinary performances.

Here under, you can find our repertory & programmes, photos, cd's, videos from concerts, as well as biographical information about Duo MARES.

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De kleuren van de instrumenten zijn soms nauwelijks te onderscheiden, zo subtiel vloeit alles in elkaar over. Prachtig hoe het duo een nieuwe en fascinerende klankwereld aanboort. Virtuositeit en veelzijdigheid.

Anthony Fiumara,Trouw

Esra PEHLIVANLI and Marko KASSL established one of the first Viola & Accordion duo in 2004. The unique sound of the combination viola and accordion is amazingly versatile and carries along surprising aural possibilities. At date, there have been over 40 compositions dedicated to them. Duo MARES ’s exceptional performances includes music from early, classic, tango, contemporary music and interdisciplinary performances.


Both artists have been awarded as prize winners at international music competitions. PEHLIVANLI won several prizes such as the V. Krzyzstof Penderecki International Contemporary Music Competition (Poland), Torneo Internazionale di Musica (Italy), the first prize in Premio Valentino Bucchi International Viola Competition (Italy), where she also received the Medaglia del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana. Recently, she was awarded "The String Player of the Year" in Donizetti Classical Music Awards 2013. KASSL received a number of prizes as well, such as Stipendium Richard-Wagner Verbandes, GWK Förderpreis Musik, JAA International Accordion Competition (Japan), International “ProLoco” Competition (Italy) and first prize at the Österreichischen Akkordeonwettbewerb (Austria). At the moment he is teaching at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold in Germany and Amsterdam Conservatory in The Netherlands.


As a chamber music ensemble, Duo MARES was prize winner at the Jur Naessens Music Award 2009 (The Netherlands) with their multidisciplinary project Volume Nuevo+. The repertory of Duo MARES spans from transcriptions of the masterpieces from the past, up to original works of the present time. The duo is at the moment working intensively with today’s composers, in order to create new repertory for this unique combination. Over fourty compositions have been dedicated to the duo by composers such as Ivo Petric, Roderik De Man, Chiel Meijering, Bruno Strobl, Nico Huijbregts, Gerard Beljon, Sinta Wullur, Matthias Grimminger, Cristoph Theiler, Anne La Berge, Gerhard Stäbler, a.o. including two concertos for viola, accordion and symphony orchestra by Selim Dogru and Frank Zabel.


Duo MARES has presented a great variety of concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Turkey, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Venezuela, Ireland, Cyprus, Denmark and participated in festivals such as Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Internationaal Kamermuziek Festival Utrecht, Kamermuziekfestival Hoorn, De “Wohltemperierte” Accordeon, Akkorde-On-Stage, Dortmund Mommenta Festival, Mommenta Münsterland Festival, Kölner Musiknacht, International Ankara Music Festival, International Mersin Music Festival, Festival Latinoamericano de Música, Music For Galway, Ljubljana Festival, Bellapais International Music Festival, Vendsyssel Festival.


The first album of the duo VOLUME NUEVO released by the German label CC ClassicClips. This world premiere recording includes a selection of the compositions dedicated to Duo MARES between 2006 and 2009. The second album Richness of the Tones has been released by the Turkish label CAGSAV Müzik. The album includes new compositions of Turkish and Dutch composers, including the first composition for Viola, Accordion and Symphony Orchestra "Devil's Diary" by Selim Dogru (live recording from the world premiere).

Duo Mares - Igor Stravinsky/ Tango