The Julia Fischer Quartet unites Ms. Fischer with three renowned musicians, each soloists in their own right: violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, violinist Nils Mönkemeyer and cellist Benjamin Nyffenegger. These four artists have performed chamber music jointly in different configurations for multiple years. The idea to establish a string quartet was born in 2010, when all four musicians acquired a broad repertoire during Julia Fischer’s festival at Lake Starnberg. Personalities met who saw eye to eye and whose contributions were on an equal footing as much as they were of utmost responsiveness to the other musicians’ ideas. The quartet has since earned a place on renowned stages, including the Konzerthaus Berlin, Munich's Prinzregententheater, London's Wigmore Hall, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Tonhalle Zurich and Leipzig's Gewandhaus. This season, the quartet will embark on an extensive European tour from London to Munich and Madrid.
From the top of the world's violin elite as a soloist and chamber musician to her role as artistic director and respected professor, Julia Fischer embodies artistic versatility to perfection. With her extraordinary virtuosity, her musical passion and her rich diversity, she has achieved a unique place among the musical elite. She has been honored with numerous prestigious awards such as the Federal Cross of Merit, the German Culture Prize and the highly respected Gramophone Award, which recognize her role as an outstanding cultural ambassador. Julia Fischer set a milestone early on in her career when she won first prize at the international Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 1995. Since then, she has conquered the world's stages and worked with renowned orchestras and conductors.
Alexander Sitkovetsky was born into a famous family of musicians in Moscow and made his concert debut at the age of just eight. In the same year, he became a pupil at the Menuhin School and from then on experienced Lord Menuhin as his inspiring patron and musical partner. He performed with him throughout his school years. Incidentally, he met Julia Fischer at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 1995: The then 11-year-olds met as participants. Today, Alexander Sitkovetsky performs as a soloist with major orchestras worldwide and is a regular guest at many festivals. He has recorded CDs for Angel/EMI, Decca and Orfeo, including a recording of Bach's Double Concerto BWV 1043 with Julia Fischer in 2008 (Decca). Alexander also founded the Sitkovetsky Trio together with Wu Qian and Isang Enders.
“He is moved by a passion of music-making one finds very rarely only.” (Julia Fischer)
Nils Mönkemeyer proves time and again what a wealth of character and color the viola is truly possessing. He has decisively sharpened the profile of his instrument, not least by focusing on the broad spectrum of the viola repertoire from the transparent, rhetorical style of the Baroque to contemporary music. His programs include original literature, rediscovered masterpieces, his own arrangements and premieres. Born in Bremen, he is in demand as a soloist with major orchestras all over the world. His CDs, which he records exclusively for Sony Classical, have won numerous awards. Mönkemeyer is not only a passionate performer, but also an equally passionate teacher. He holds a professorship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, where he is a direct colleague of Julia Fischer. Both are former students at the university and hit it off from the very beginning of their first chamber music projects together.
“It was spiritual kinship, personally as well as musically.” (Julia Fischer)
Benjamin Nyffenegger has been principal cellist of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich since 2008. As a chamber musician and soloist, he pursues an intensive international concert schedule that takes him to the most important music centers in Europe and Asia. Numerous public radio stations throughout Europe document his work. His CD recordings of the complete piano trios by Schubert, Beethoven and Brahms (RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical) with the Oliver Schnyder Trio have been highly praised by the international music press, as has the album "Winterreisen" with tenor Daniel Behle, which adds two "shadow protagonists" - violin and cello - to the Schubert cycle. Nyffenegger received his first cello lessons from Magdalena Sterki-Hauri before becoming a junior student of Walter Grimmer at the Zurich University of the Arts. He completed his studies at the same institution as a student of Thomas Grossenbacher with a Master of Performing Arts. Nyffenegger is artistic director of the SeetalClassics concert series in Seon/Switzerland. Together with Julia Fischer, he will take over the management of the Boswiler Sommer from 2024.
“His spontaneity on stage was scary in the most positive sense.” (Julia Fischer)