The Ensemble

Sarah Christian


An acclaimed performer of chamber music, Sarah Christian was a finalist in the Violin-Piano Duo category at the 2010 Deutsche Musikwettbewerb in Bonn, which led to a fellowship in the concert agency “Konzerte junge Künstler”. more

    More recent projects include the festivals “Spannungen in Heimbach” and the Schwetzingen Festival, where she plays regularly with Lars Vogt, Jörg Widmann, Tanja Tetzlaff and others. 2015 brought about the debut season of Carte Blanche in Augsburg, a self-initiated chamber music series of which Christian is co-artistic director together with cellist Maximilian Hornung.

    Sarah Christian pursues a busy concert schedule, which has already led her to many European countries as well as, China, Japan, South America and the United States. As a soloist she has played with many ensembles including the the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, the Camerata Salzburg, the Auckland Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of Klagenfurt, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the “Via Nova” Choir Munich, as well as with the Philharmonic Orchestras of Hermannstadt, Germany and Timisoara, Romania.

    In 2013, Sarah Christian began as the first concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. In addition to continuing projects with world-famous conductors and soloists, she especially enjoys the opportunity to lead the orchestra from the first desk. Excelling in this role, she has already made a name for herself and is a regular guest concertmaster at other orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Kammerakademie Potsdam.

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Petra Schwieger


Petra Schwieger attended the music-oriented Carl-Philipp-Emanuel-Bach-Gymnasium in Berlin and studied at the Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin with Prof. Werner Scholz and Prof. Stephan Picard. more

    As a DAAD scholarship holder, she completed postgraduate studies with Prof. David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
    She has won numerous prizes at national and international competitions, including several first prizes at the national competitions »Jugend musiziert« as well as prizes at the Concerto Competition Interlochen / USA, at the international violin competition »Wolfgang Marschner« Weimar. Petra Schwieger performs as a soloist and chamber musician at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Dresden Music Festival, the Musicanteno Bologna Festival, the Schwetzingen Mozart Festival and the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival.
    Petra Schwieger has appeared as a soloist with the Frankfurt Oder Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Palatinate Chamber Orchestra and the Berlin German Chamber Orchestra.
    Petra Schwieger was granted scholarships from the Jürgen Ponto Foundation, the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben (musical instrument fund) and the German National Academic Foundation (1995-2003).
    She has been a permanent member of the 1st violins since 2004 and 2nd concertmaster in the Staatskapelle Berlin since 2018. Petra Schwieger plays on a violin made by Ferdinando Gagliano.

Photo by Bärbel Herrmann
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Lena Eckels


Lena Eckels was born in Detmold / Germany and began to play the viola in the age of ten. She studied with Prof. Barbara Westphal and Prof. Lars-Anders Tomter. more

    As a soloist she has won the GWK Förderpreis 2004 and 1st prize at the Brahms Competition (Pörtschach/Asutria) 2005. Lena attended master classes with Kim Kashkashian, Yuri Bashmet and Nobuko Imai among others. 

    She has been a member of the Swiss-German Amaryllis Quartet for 10 years The quartet has won the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2011 and appeared regulary in concert series and festivals including the Lucerne Festival, Heidelberger Frühling, The Chelsea Music Festival NYC, The Huntington Estate Music Festival Australia, Schwetzinger Festspiele and has performed  in Viennas Musikverein, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Wigmore Hall and the Melbourne Reciatal Centre. The group was winner of the Jürgen Ponto Kammermusikpreis 2012, the highest endowed award for chamber music in Germany and was awarded with an ECHO Klassik for the recording „White“. She is a member of the German-Israeli „Else Ensemble“ – a young ensemble that collaborates regulay with diplomatic and multi-cultural institutions and initiates innovative, cross-disciplinary concerts. In 2018 Lena was appointed professor of viola at the Musikhochschule Lübeck /Germany and is regulary performing in festivals and concerts all over Europe.

Miriam Manasherov


Miriam Manasherov was born in Israel in 1981. She took her first violin lessons with Mrs. Luba
Shochat at the age of 8.more

    After graduating the Thelma Yellin High School of the arts, she joined
    the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) as part of the Excellent Musicians Unit, where she served as a
    musician in a quartet, later known as the Rosso quartet. In the same year, she began taking
    viola lessons with Prof. Yuri Gandelsman at The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv
    University. In 2003, Miriam started her studies at the Musikhochschule Lübeck with Prof.
    Barbara Westphal. Miriam took part in different Festivals and Masterclasses: Verbier Orchestra,
    Schlezwig-Holstein, West-Eastern Divan and Prussia Cove. She has been
    subbing for Konzerthaus Berlin, Gürzenich Orchester Köln, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and had
    a three years contract with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln. Miriam took part in chamber music
    festivals such as Rolanseck in Germany and Kfar Blum in Israel. Miriam is the winner of
    the chamber music competition at The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. She received
    scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the DAAD in Germany. After
    almost a decade in Germany, Miriam Manasherov is now living in Netanya, Israel.

Photo: Chris Kister 
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Daniela Shemer


Daniela Shemer, born in 1988 in Jerusalem, is a member of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra since 2009, and a passionate performer of chamber music and contemporary repertoire. more

    Based in Germany, Daniela was a member of the International Ensemble Modern Academy, and holds a Master’s degree from the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts.In 2013 Daniela Joined the Lucerne Festival Academy, and later the Academy’s Ensemble. As a chamber and orchestral musician, Daniela has performed in four continents, and has worked with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierr Boulez, Peter Eötvös and Steven Sloane. Daniela appeared in master classes with cellists such as Mischa Maisky, Janos Starker, Frans Helmerson and David Geringas. After completing a Bachelor’s degree at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, as well as a military service in the position of Excellent Musician in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), Daniela continued to study one year in The Royal Conservatoire The Hague, where she studied cello with Michel Strauss, as well as electronic music in the Sonology department. She has repeatedly received scholarships from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation, the Varon Foundation and from the Barenboim-Said Andalusian Public Foundation.

Valentin Scharff


Valentin Scharff is assistant principal cellist in the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra since 1999. He received prizes in the Mendelssohn Competition Freiburg and in the International Chamber Music Competition in The Hague. more

    Valentin Scharff was a student in the class of Professor Christoph Henkel in the Freiburg School of Music and attended masterclasses with renown musicians such as Frans Helmerson, Arto Noras, Siegfried Palm and János Starker. An enthusiast performer of chamber music from a young age, he received coaching from acclaimed ensembles such as the Brandis and Vermeer quartets. As member of different chamber groups he performed in festivals such as Lucerne, Le Arcs, La Prés and Beethoven Festival in Bonn. Valentin Scharff gave concerts all over Europe, the USA and Japan. 

Photo by Anna Klemm
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Viola Wilmsen


Viola Wilmsen is the principal oboist of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO), after holding the same position for three years at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. more

    She studied with Diethelm Jonas, Jacques Tys and Dominik Wollenweber. In 2009 she was awarded first prize at one of the most prestigious oboe competitions, the International Sony Competition held in Japan. She was the first woman and the first German to win this competition. Furthermore she received first prizes at international contests in Italy, Poland, Germany and England. As a soloist she has performed with orchestras such as the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan, Astana Chamber Orchestra, Yokohama, Haydn Orchestra, Hamburger Camerata and the Münchener Kammerorchester.

Photo by Iréne Zandel
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Shelly Ezra


Shelly Ezra studied with Yitzhak Kazap (Tel-Aviv), Sabine Meyer, Reiner Wehle and Diethelm Jonas (Lübeck), and with Martin Spangenberg (Weimar). more

    Shelly Ezra was awarded prizes in various competitions, such as the ARD Competition Munich, International Music Competition Freiburg, Braunschweig Classix Festival Competition and the Max-Reger Chamber Music Competition, Karlsruhe. She received prizes and scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, and from the Villa Musica, Yehudi Menuhin and Stockhausen foundations. Shelly performed as a soloist with the Bavarian Radio Symphony orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Collegium Musicum Basel, Jena Philharmonic, the Classical-Philharmonic Bonn, Philharmonic of the Nations, Camerata Moravia, and with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra. She worked with some of the leading artists in the field and recorded for the NDR and MDR, Radio Bremen, German Radio, Radio Berlin-Brandenburg, Netherlands Radio, Israeli classical radio station The Voice of Music, as well as for the Australian, Finnish and Serbian radio stations.

Photo by Peter C. Theis
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Teddy Ezra


Teddy Ezra was born in Beer-Sheva, Israel. He studied with Yitzhak Kazap, Chen Halevi (modern clarinets) and Ernst Schlader (historical clarinets). more

    Teddy received the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships, as well as scholarships from the Petach Tikva Conservatory and a full scholarship from the Siena Music Academy. He won 1st prize in the DAAD competition for all instruments, and was awarded the Baden Wuerttemberg Art Foundation prize.His pioneering work, introducing historically informed way of playing historical instruments in modern music, and mastering playing on both historical and modern instruments, earned him the reputation of one of the youngest most promising artists in south Germany. As a soloist Teddy performed with the Südwestdeutschen Philharmonie Konstanz, Kammerphilharmonisches Wernigerode, Bern Chamber Chor Orchestra and the Tuttlinger Chamber Orchestra. He made several recordings for the Israeli classical radio station The Voice of Music, for the South West Radio station (SWR Germany), Deutschland Radio, for the Israeli National Television, for the Czech National Radio and for the French channel ARTE. He played in various music festivals such as the Donaueschingen music festival, Magdeburg Music Sinus Tone festival, the Schwarzwald music festival and Riva del Garde music festival.

Mor Biron


Born in Israel, Mor first played cello and only later began studying bassoon, with Gad Lederman and Maurizio Paez. more

    He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and studied at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin under Prof. Klaus Thunemann and Prof. Volker Tessmann.He received scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and from the Karajan Akademie of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and won numerous prices, among them 1st price of the Aviv Competition in Tel Aviv. Mor was a member of the west-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and was the 1st bassoonist at the Orquesta Del Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia. He is a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007, and a member of Ensemble Berlin, Ensemble Berlin-Prag and the Philharmonisches Oktett. He also performs on historical instruments.

Kristian Katzenberger


Born in Oldenburg in 1991 and completed his studies at the Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin with Prof. Marie-Luise Neunecker. From 2016 to 2020 he worked as Solo Horn player in the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra and since the beginning of 2021 serves in the same position in the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.more

    He received a scholarship at the 2014 German Music Competition and was selected for the Federal Selection of Concerts of Young Artists. He was also a scholarship holder at the “Villa Musica” Rhineland-Palatinate.
    As a solo horn player, he played in orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Staatskapelle Berlin under the direction of Herbert Blomstedt, Daniel Barenboim and others.
    In addition to his orchestral work, Kristian Katzenberger is also a passionate chamber musician – he has worked with well-known musicians such as Sergio Azzolini, Maximilian Hornung and Lars Vogt. As a guest, he played at various music festivals such as the chamber music festival Tension in Heimbach and appeared on a US tour with the renowned Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Photo by Peter C. Theis
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Naaman Wagner


Pianist Naaman Wagner is active as a recitalist, chamber musician, and champion of contemporary music. more

    As a recitalist and chamber musician he has performed extensively in Israel, Europe, and Asia and has frequently recorded for the Kol Hamusika radio station in Israel. Also active in the field of contemporary music, he is a member of the 21st Century Ensemble, with whom he has appeared as soloist in Israel, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Tbilisi under the baton of Ilan Volkov and Zsolt Nagy, among others, playing countless world-premieres of new works as well as many 20th and 21st century masterpieces. He has appeared at the chamber music hall of the Philharmonie in Berlin, Mendelssohn-Saal and Mendelssohn-Haus in Leipzig, at the Künstlerhaus in Munich, as well as at the Tel Aviv museum, Jerusalem Theater, the Jerusalem Music Center. His festival appearances include the Kol Hamusika Festival in the upper Galilee, the Israel Festival, and the Abu-Gosh festival, among others. A multifaceted musician, Wagner holds a B.A. from the Jerusalem music Academy studying piano under Eitan Globersohn and conducting under Evgeny Tsirlin, as well as a Diploma which he earned at the Hochscüle für Musik in Hannover, studying under Prof. Arie Vardi.