The piano quartet Flex Ensemble is characterized by a high musical quality, a great joy in playing and experimenting, as well as the search for new ways of mediation between music, musicians and audience.

In addition to performances at festivals and concerts in Germany and abroad, the ensemble therefore also works on its own formats.

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 great quartet literature is complemented in the quartet’s desire to enrich artists and listeners alike through regular premieres of new works commissioned by the Flex Ensemble.

The programs include world premieres by Márton Illés, Gérard Pesson and Johannes Schöllhorn. They collaborate with a wide range of distinguished artists such as Wolfgang Güttler (Kontrabass), Daniel Rowland (Violine), Oliver Wille (Violine), Albrecht Mayer (Oboe). In addition to their concerts, Flex Ensemble members create and perform musical programs for children. They visit schools and give children the opportunity to experience chamber music of all possible styles and characters.

The Flex Ensemble is the founder and artistic director of the Chamber Music Fest Rheinhessen, which has been held annually since 2014, and since the 2016/17 concert season the ensemble has been organizing its own concert series under the motto “imPULS” in Hanover. The two events characterize innovative programs that allow a diverse audience to experience a wide variety of music.

Music albums

In the fall of 2014, the piano quartet made its CD debut The Arrival of Night including works by Hartke, Brahms, and Piazzolla was released from GENUIN Classics. It has been reviewed as: ”What a Debut!” (RheinMainMagazin) ”from elegant to elegiac, a wonderful harmonising ensemble” (hr2 Kultur), ”A good production that makes you want to hear more from the Flex Ensemble!” (Das Orchester) and ”Stunning! Truly, all three pieces on the CD received transcendent performances!” (Composer Stephen Hartke).

Their second CD Au Suivant including works by Ravel, Fauré and French Chansons, was released in 2019 from the label Avi in cooperation with Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

Open CDs

Performances and awards

With international awards, the Flex Ensemble has already established itself as one of the most dynamic ensembles of its generation shortly after its foundation in 2012 (International Schumann Chamber Music Award Frankfurt: 1st prize and special prize, Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award Lugano: 1st prize). This was followed by awards and prizes at the Kiejstut Bacewicz International Chamber Music Competition in Łódź/Poland, the Premio Trio di Trieste/Italy and the Solti Foundation in England. Building on these successes, the quartet has performed in concert halls such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Beijing Performing Arts Center, Meistersingerhalle Nuremberg and at festivals such as Festival de Musique de Menton, Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, Heidelberger Frühling and Prishtina International Music Festival. Many of these concerts have been recorded or broadcast live by SWR, NDR Kultur and Dutch Radio 4.

The members of the Flex Ensemble studied at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media under the intensive supervision of Oliver Wille and Markus Becker and completed a series of inspiring master classes under Eberhard Feltz, Mark Gothoni and Konrad Elser, to name but a few. They are former Villa Musica fellows, where they worked with influential mentors such as Günther Pichler, the Artemis Quartet and the Juilliard String Quartet.

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