In addition to their success as soloists, the sisters also enjoy a most successful collaboration as duo. Lea and Esther Birringer are one of the most talented and exciting duos of their generation. The Duo have been the winners of top prices at major international music competitions throughout Europe including Germany, France, Austria and Italy. Music critics call Lea "a new music star" and the "most outstanding violinist" of the young generation and praise her sister Esther as "gentle piano poet...never mechanical but lively and descriptive all the time."
The sisters caused a stir in 2011, when they won, one after the other, two renowned international chamber music competitions in Italy - the "Premio Vittorio Gui" in Florence and the "Concorso Internazionale di Musica da Camera" in Pinerolo. In addition, they were honored to receive the Special Award as "Best Brahms Interpreters." Since then, the Duo has received numerous invitations from chamber music festivals and concert series and has impressed audiences with their stylistic and original interpretations of works from both, the standard and modern repertoire.
Most recently, the duo released their debut CD on the German Avi-music label with works by Szymanowski, Hindemith and Respighi for which they received high praise from newspapers and media and Bavarian radio called it "CD of the week". According to the artists, they chose on purpose such rarely performed works which they think deserve to be heard more often in concert halls.
As orchestral soloists and as duo, the sisters appeared in major halls throughout Europe such as the Berliner Philharmonie, the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, the Louvre Paris, Musikverein Vienna, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Florentino in Florence, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, the Philharmonie Cologne, and the Castle Bellevue in Berlin where they performed at a gala event attended by the German President to honor Maestro Marris Jansons for his musical achievement. They were also heard at international festivals including the Salzburger Festspiele, Sommerfestival Alpenklassik, the Oleg Kagan Musikfest, Schwetzinger Schlosskonzerte (castle concerts), the Bachfest Leipzig and the Wuerzburger Bach-Tage among others.
This year 2014, the sisters schedule as soloists and as duo include their debuts at the MDR Musiksommer, the NDR radio Hamburg, the Gasteig in Munich, the Weilburger Schlosskonzerte, and Uckermaerkische Musikwochen, followed by a tour in Italy which is arranged in collaboration with the Italian Jeunesse Musicale. They will present outreach programs designed for the younger generation under the motto "Rhapsody in School" where they perform concerts for students and also discuss any musical questions that may come up to convey a better understanding and appreciation of classical music.
Both Lea and Esther were born in Germany. They started playing their instruments at the age of three. Lea originally was interested in playing the piano as well, but Esther's piano teacher was not in favor of the idea and recommended that Lea studies the violin instead suggesting that Lea takes lessons with his wife. Esther had her first public appearance at age 5 and so did her younger sister later, Lea, who began also at age 5 to participate in the local music contest "Jugend musiziert". She had to be walked to a Pedestal to be seen. When Esther participated at age 5 in a piano contest, she had to be helped with the adjustment of her bench. Two years later both musicians names appeared on regional and national contests where they continued winning major prizes.
While still in school, Lea was admitted into the Leopold-Mozart-Institute for Highly Talented students in Salzburg. After her A-levels, she obtained her bachelor degree at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg under Igor Ozim, followed by her masters with Pavel Vernikov at the Conservatory in Vienna. Lea graduated both Universities with honors. Esther, also following her A-Levels, studied under Karl-Heinz Kaemmerling and Pascal Devoyon. She completed her studies under renowned Prof. Arie Vardi at the University of Music and Theatre in Hannover, Germany.