The Musicians


Ensemble Berlin

Making music in ensemble – at a high level and in a relaxed atmosphere: That was why musician friends from among colleagues in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra got together for the first time in 1999 at the "Landsberger Sommermusiken". At the end of the first demonstration of this small but refined festival of chamber music; the desire for further concerts in this style - and with this same group of musicians - at other times of the year, was expressed. The 'Ensemble Berlin' was born.

Soon afterwards the Bavarian Broadcasting Company transmitted a live recording and, because of numerous concert appearances, a growing public audience became aware of the 7 members group – all over Germany and abroad. In 2006 the ensemble introduced itself in the Berlin Philharmonic to the friends of chamber music in the capital city and furthermore played at the Mozart festival in Würzburg. Concerts all over Europe, China and Japan followed. In the meantime several CDs document the vibrating and highly co-ordinated style of playing of this ‘Ensemble Berlin’ – as also its growing repertoire.

Ensemble Berlin

There are no restrictions in our programme. Together with original compositions for chamber music from classical, romantic and modern music – further musical adaptations also form an additional point of emphasis in this artistic work. To date, a whole series of musical jewels has resulted from the exceptionally fertile collaboration of the Berlin Orchesters’ musicians with the arranger Wolfgang Renz. These arrangements which have been expressly set down for the ‘Ensemble’, offer both listeners and interpretive performers hitherto unknown varieties in sound and, - over and above this, open up completely new aspects of current interpretations of repertoire.

The inspirational sources of all the activities of the ensemble are, and always have been, the “Landsberger Sommermusiken”. Here the group opens itself its own new repertoire in a naturally relaxed manner – the amount of pure enjoyment contained in this expression becomes audible in the concert hall. It is not at all seldom that this effect continues to be felt long afterwards on long evenings at the camp fire with the hosts and hostesses.
This in the good tradition of the Landsberg Domincan Sisters (Landsberger Dominikanerinnen), which have firmly locked their visit to Berlin in their hearts.

Luiz Coehlo

Luíz Fïlíp Coehlo, born in 1984 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, had his first violin lessons in his home town with Prof. Elisa Fukuda at the age of four. In 2001 he came to Berlin to study at the Academy of Music "Hanns Eisler" Berlin and at the University of Arts Berlin where he completed his studies with highest distinction. He was also a member of the Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. His teachers were Ulf Wallin, Zakhar Bron, Guy Braunstein and Axel Gerhardt. In addition to numerous prizes in national competitions, he won in 2002 an award for the best Mozart interpretation at the International Henri Marteau Competition, in 2003 the 3rd Prize at the International Tibor Varga Competition in Switzerland and the 1st Prize at the Gerhard Taschner Violin Competition in Berlin. Luíz Fïlíp has already performed in Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Croatia and South America with various orchestras. He played with conductors such as Kirk Trevor, Reinhardt Goebel and Yeruham Scharowsky. His debut in Paris at the Louvre Museum Auditorium was broadcast live by Radio France and in 2010 the violinist played for the first time in Israel with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. His chamber music partners include Wilfried Strehle, Guy Braunstein, Dashin Kashimoto, François Leleux, Gilbert Audin e Amihai Grosz. He is a member of the Ensemble Berlin with players of the Berlin Philharmonic. Luíz Fïlíp plays a violin by Lorenzo Storioni, Cremona, 1774, kindly loaned to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

Bettina Sartorius

As a small child she wanted to learn the piano but changed her mind after her parents took her along to a concert at which Yehudi Menuhin played the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Bettina Sartorius, who has played the violin since she was nine, completed her studies with Aida Stucki at the Winterthur Conservatory, earning her concert diploma in 1992 and her solo diploma with distinction in 1994. The recipient of several prizes and grants, she has appeared as soloist throughout Europe and for three years was a member of Camerata Bern. She has made CD recordings with the Lucerne Festival Strings of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Bach violin concertos. Since joining the Berliner Philharmoniker, she also plays in the »Swiss of the Berlin Philharmonic«. Her preferred free-time activities are cultural: reading, visiting museums and the cinema. She also has spiritual interests, especially in conjunction with music.

Walter Küssner

Walter Küssner would really rather have learned the cello, but his brother already played it. Besides that, he had the opportunity of borrowing a viola from his school, and so he decided for the deeper instrument. He received his professional musical training from Jürgen Kussmaul in Düsseldorf, Kim Kashkashian in New York and Michael Tree in St. Louis. In 1987 he became a member of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich. Two years later he moved to the Berliner Philharmoniker, with whom he also takes part in numerous chamber-music formations, for example the Philharmonic String Octet and the Athenaeum Quartet. As visiting professor of viola, Walter Küssner, an enthusiastic chess and skat player, teaches at Berlin's Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik. He is also the orchestra's historical archivist.

The cellist Clemens Weigel has belonged to the Berlin Ensemble right from its founding day. He was born in Würzburg in 1968. He started as a junior student at the Trossingen Musical College before he began his violoncello studies with André Navarra at the Vienna College of Music in 1987. After Navarra's death, Clemens Weigel continued his studies with Walter Nothas in Munich, where he received his Master Class Diploma in 1994. The same year he was awarded the first prize at the International Music Competition in Finale Ligure, Italy. As a member of the 'Landesjugendorchester Baden-Württemberg' and the 'Bundesjugendorchester' he gained early experience as an orchestra musician. Since 1993, Clemens Weigel has been a member of the 'Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz' Orchestra in Munich. Beside working as a soloist, he is also a member of the well-known Rodin Quartet, which have been performing their own chamber concert series at the Munich Residenz for years. 

The double-bass player Ulrich Wolff, another founding member, provides the solid sound foundation of the Berlin Ensemble. Born in Wuppertal in 1955, he studied with Rainer Zepperitz in Berlin and joined the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra led by Herbert von Karajan in 1978. In 1980 he joined the Stuttgart Radio Symphonic Orchestra under Sergiu Celibidache as a soloist. In 1985 he returned to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1997 to 1999 he was a member of the orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival. As a chamber musician he has performed with Isaac Stern, Krystian Zimmermann, the Auryn Quartet, the Philharmonia Quartet and others – in the field of Old Music with the Cologne Musica Antiqua Ensemble and Reinhard Goebel. Ulrich Wolff has also been teaching master courses at the Gustav Mahler Academy in Potenza, Italy, since its foundation in 2005, initiated by Claudio Abbado.

The oboist Christoph Hartmann, born in 1965, comes from Landsberg on the river Lech. He began his musical training as a visiting student with Georg Fischer at the Augsburg Leopold Mozart Conservatory. He continued his studies with Günther Passin and completed his training with the Master Class Diploma for oboe and chamber music at the Munich College of Music, where he worked as a teacher after his graduation. His career as an orchestra musician started with his engagement as a soloist with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra in 1991. Only a year later he was taken on as an oboist by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He also regularly performs as a soloist and teaches at the Orchestral Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Together with orchestra colleagues he initiated the chamber music festival 'Landsberger Sommermusiken' in 1999.

Born in 1982 in Israel, bassoonist Mor Biron is a member of the Berlin Philharmonic since 2007 and a member of the Ensemble Berlin since 2009. He studied at the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance and at the Academy for Music „Hanns Eisler“ in Berlin with professors such as Klaus Thunemann and Volker Tessmann. Even before joining the Berlin Philharmonic Mor Biron played already in some top orchestras. He was a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado, he held a scholarship at the Karajan Academy, in the season of 2006/07 he was solo bassoonist of the Orquesta Del Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia and since 2000 he is a member of the West Eastern Divan Orchestra founded by Daniel Barenboim who invited him to play as a soloist with this orchestra. Mor Biron is a laureate of several competitions. He won the 1st prize of the Aviv-Competition in Tel Aviv and won a scholarship of the Amrica-Israel Cultural Foundation. Being multilateral as he is, making chamber music was from early age on Mor’s passion, so that from now on he will bring new impulse to the Ensemble Berlin.