Julia Fischer (Violin), Alexander Sitkovetsky (Violin)
Nils Mönkemeyer (Viola), Benjamin Nyffenegger (Cello)


The current season marks eleven years of Julia Fischer appearing with her own string quartet. The Julia Fischer Quartet unites Ms Fischer with three renowned musicians, each a soloist in their own right: violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, violist Nils Mönkemeyer and cellist Benjamin Nyffenegger. These four artists have enjoyed performing chamber music jointly and in different configurations for years. The idea to establish a string quartet was born in 2010 when the four musicians played through varied repertoire during Julia Fischer’s festival at Lake Starnberg. The four musicians felt an immediate connection, each of them contributing to the quartet’s sound in equal measure and responding to each other’s every musical impulse.  This year the Julia Fischer Quartet enjoys an extensive tour, performing in venues across the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Czechia and Spain.

Alexander Sitkovetsky was born in Moscow into a prominent family of musicians and performed his first concert when he was just eight years old. He became a student at the Menuhin School the same year and considers Lord Menuhin his inspiration, mentor and musical partner. Sitkovetsky gave concerts with him during his school years as both duo partners and as soloist/conductor. It was participating at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition that Alexander Sitkovetsky and Julia Fischer first met at a tender age. Today he performs as soloist with major orchestras worldwide and is a frequent guest of many festivals and chamber venues.  He has recorded CDs under the Angel/EMI, Decca, Bis and Orfeo labels, including the 2008 recording of Bach’s Double concerto with Julia Fischer.  Alexander also founded the eponymously named Sitkovetsky Trio with Wu Qian and Isang Enders. “He is moved by a passion of music-making one finds only very rarely.” (Julia Fischer)

Time and again, Nils Mönkemeyer demonstrates the wealth of characters and colours that can be conjured by the viola. He has dramatically raised the profile of his instrument, not least by drawing attention to the broad spectrum of the viola repertoire, from the transparent, rhetorical style of the Baroque to the music of the present day. His programmes comprise original literature, rediscovered pearls, his own arrangements, and first performances. Born in Bremen he is much in demand as soloist by significant orchestras world-wide. Exclusively recording for Sony Classical, his CDs have received many awards. Mönkemeyer is not only a passionate performer, but also an equally passionate teacher, holding a professorship at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich, being Julia Fischer’s next-door fellow there. Both are former students at the University and have understood each other superbly from the very beginning of their first joint chamber music projects. “It was spiritual kinship, personally as well as musically.”  (Julia Fischer)

Benjamin Nyffenegger has been assistant principal cellist of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich since 2008.  As a chamber musician and soloist he pursues an intensive international concert career, performing in Europe and Asia’s major music centres. 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 received highest praise in the international music press, as did the album “Winterreisen” with the tenor Daniel Behle, which added two “shadow protagonists” – violin and cello – to the Schubert cycle. Nyffenegger received his first cello lessons from Magdalena Sterki-Hauri before he became a junior student of Walter Grimmer at the Zurich University of the Arts. He completed his studies with a Master of Performing Arts at the same institution as a student of Thomas Grossenbacher. Nyffenegger is artistic director of the SeetalClassics concert series in Seon/Switzerland.
“His spontaneity on stage was scary in the most positive sense.” (Julia Fischer)

Apollo 13 in Concert poster