"Was für ein weites Klangspektrum die vier Instrumentalisten hier schaffen, ist verblüffend, mit Vorder- und Hintergrund, plastischen und vernebelten Gestalten, breiter Fläche und schlanker Linie. Dies alles in vielfachen klanglichen Abstufungen. In den dramatischen Steigerungen ergibt sich sogar sinfonischer Funkenflug."
Eckhard Weber, Concerti

Known for their musically refined and highly-energetic performances, the Flex Ensemble has been thrilling audiences in Europe and abroad since 2012 with programs ranging from classical and romantic piano quartet repertoire to modern presentations featuring new commissions by today’s preeminent composers as well as interdisciplinary collaborations with dance, theatre and the visual arts.

Flex Ensemble portrait
Flex Ensemble – Kana

Kana Sugimura

Flex Ensemble – Ania

Anna Szulc

Flex Ensemble – Martha

Martha Bijlsma

Flex Ensemble – Johannes

Johannes Nies

The Flex Ensemble’s dedication to the major piano quartet literature is complemented by their wish to enrich artists and audiences alike by commissioning new works. Their programs include world premieres by Márton Illés, Gordon Kampe, Gérard Pesson, Johannes Schöllhorn, Gordon Williamson, Paweł Mykietyn and Snezana Nesic. They collaborate with a wide range of distinguished artists such as Leonid Gorokhov, Mark Gothoni, Guillermo Anzorena, Daniel Rowland, Oliver Wille, Albrecht Mayer and Mateusz Smoczynski  

With “imPULS”, the innovative concert series the Flex Ensemble founded back in 2016, they present interdisciplinary productions such as IN/SOMNIA in collaboration with Post Theater Berlin, FARFAROUT with farout artistic research (Pamplona), choreographer Emilia Benitez and dancer Pedro Hurtado, or Circular Music with video artist Yoann Trellu.

In 2022 they developed a mobile concert stage, the reFLEX, together with acoustic specialists and technicians, to realize their wish of presenting acoustically pleasing outdoor concerts without amplification.  

2014-2021  they served as artistic directors of Chamber Music Fest Rheinhessen.

Flex is committed to enriching the audience’s experience through creative concert presentations and programs that draw listeners deeper into the music. Outreach programs in schools and original music theatre programs for young audiences such as “Märchen Reloaded” or “Hörst du das?” also feature prominently in their work developing new audiences for concert music.

Music albums

In November 2014 their Debut CD ‘The Arrival of Night’ including works by Hartke, Brahms, and Piazzolla was released from GENUIN Classics. Their second CD “Au Suivant” (2019), including works by Ravel, Fauré and French Chansons and their third CD “Inside Eroica” (2020) including Beethoven’s Eroica were both released with Avi in cooperation with Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

Open CDs

Performances and awards

 Winners of the Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award 2015 in Lugano, the four musicians of the Flex Ensemble have quickly established themselves as one of the most vibrant ensembles of their generation. Within a year of their formation, the Flex Ensemble was awarded 1st prize at the International Schumann Chamber Music Award in Frankfurt in 2013, where they also received a special prize for their interpretation of the Schumann piano quartet. They are the recipient of awards and prizes at the Kiejstut Bacewicz International Chamber Music Competition in Lodz/Poland, the Premio Trio di Trieste/Italy, and the Solti Foundation in England.

The Flex Ensemble has appeared at venues such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Beijing Performing Arts Center, the Meistersingerhalle Nürnberg and Festivals such as the Festival de Musique de Menton, the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, the Heidelberger Frühling,  Prishtina International Music Festival, The Marvão International Music Festival,” Music on the Heights” International Chamber Music Festival Zakopane and Résonance Croisée Montreal. On many occasions their performances have been recorded and broadcast live on German Radio (SWR, NDR Kultur, Deutschlandfunk Kultur) and Dutch Radio (Radio 4).

Flex Ensemble – piano quartet

“Add to this a dramatically sombre, ashen, defiant Brahms, his Piano Quartet in the key of fate C minor, written in hot heartbreak for Clara Schumann.”

Udo BadeltTagesspiegel

“It was clear from the first notes that this ensemble is approaching musical perfection. Effortlessly and subtly, the Flex Ensemble played romantic piano quartets by Fauré and Brahms.”

De SchakelBarendrecht