Ludwig Quandt was born in 1961 in Ulm. He studied in Lübeck with Arthur Troester, who had been principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker under Wilhelm Furtwängler. Quandt completed his studies with masterclasses with Zara Nelsova, Maurice Gendron, Boris Pergamenschikov and Siegfried Palm. He has won awards at many international competitions, and was a prize-winner at the ARD Competition in 1990, and the first-prize-winner of the "Premio Stradivari" at the international cello competition "Roberto Caruana" in Cremona. In 1991, Ludwig Quandt was engaged in the Berliner Philharmoniker, and has been one of the orchestra's principal cellists since 1993. In 1996, he made his debut under Claudio Abbado with Dmitri Schostakovich's Second Cello Concerto.
Bruno Delepelaire was born in France in 1989 and started playing the cello at the age of five. After studying under Philippe Muller at the Paris Conservatory, he moved to Berlin in 2012 where he received training from Jens-Peter Maintz (Berlin University of the Arts) and Ludwig Quandt (Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker). Master courses took him to Wolfgang-Emanuel Schmidt, François Salque, Wen-Sinn Yang and Wolfgang Boettcher. Bruno Delepelaire, recipient of multiple awards as a soloist and chamber musician, was appointed first solo cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker in November 2013.
Nikolaus Römisch was born in 1972 in Berlin, and is thus the sole "dyed-in-the-wool" Berliner in the cello group. Römisch studied with Wolfgang Boettcher in Berlin, and with Ivan Monigetti in Basel. Among other distinctions, he was a successful contestant with the Federal Selection of Concerts for Young Artists, and his first appointment was to the Deutsche Oper in Berlin in 1996. He has been a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker since the year 2000.
Dietmar Schwalke was born in Pinneberg, near Hamburg. He studied in Hamburg with Arthur Troester, and afterwards in Berlin with Wolfgang Boettcher, completing his training under Pierre Fournier. Among other distinctions, he was a successful contestant with the competition of the Germany Music Council's Platform for Young Soloists, a position associated with extensive concert tours and recordings. He was also a member of the "Kreuzberg String Quartet, Berlin". Since 1994, he has been a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker, and has also been active as a soloist and in various chamber music ensembles, such as the Philharmonic String Soloists and the Vincent Trio.
Christoph Igelbrink was born in 1958 in Düsseldorf. His teachers were Wolfgang Mehlhorn, Arto Noras, Antonio Janigro, and Paul Tortelier. He has won various competitions both in Germany and abroad, among others, qualifying for participation in the "Federal Selection of Concerts for Young Artists". In 1986, he became principal cellist with the Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra, and has been a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1989. In addition, he has appeared with various chamber music ensembles: the Philharmonic String Sextet, the Athenaeum String Quartet, and the Philharmonic Piano Trio.
Olaf Maninger was born in Recklinghausen, completing his studies in Essen with Janos Starker and Maria Kliegel. Subsequently, he studied in Cologne with Armin Fromm, António Menèses, and Boris Pergamenschikov, as well as with the Amadeus Quartet. He has followed a busy schedule of both soloistic and chamber music activities, one taking him throughout the world. In 1994, Maninger became a brief interval principal cellist with the Hessischen Rundfunk, until he was engaged a few months later in the Berliner Philharmoniker. Since 1996, he has been a principal cellist with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Martin Menking was born in 1967 in Münster. When still a student of Heinrich Schiff and David Geringas, he already won numerous national and international competitions. He rounded off his musical training in master classes with Yo-Yo Ma, Boris Pergamenschikov, Janos Starker, Siegfried Palm, Isaac Stern, the Beaux Arts Trio, and the Alban Berg Quartet. In 1994, he became principal cellist of the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, joining the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1996. Additionally, he has been a member since 1992 of the "Consortium Classicum", and is a much sought-after chamber music partner.
Knut Weber was born in 1974 in Klagenfurt (Austria). He studied at first with the Slovenian Milos Mlejnik, then with Claus Kanngiesser in Cologne, and with Wolfgang Boettcher in Berlin. He also received decisive stimulus in masterclasses with Heinrich Schiff, Siegfried Palm, William Pleeth, F. Helmerson, David Geringas, Bernhard Greenhouse, the Alban Berg Quartet, and the Beaux Arts Trio. Knut Weber has been the recipient of numerous awards, among other distinctions, the 1st Prize of the International Cello Competition in Liezen, Austria. Since 1998, he has been a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Solène Kermarrec was born in 1983 in Brest (Bretagne, France). She began her studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with Jean-Marie Gamard, continuing in Budapest at the Franz Liszt Academy with Miklos Perényi and concluded her studies in Berlin with Wolfgang Boettcher. She has won several prizes, among them the 1st prize in 2003 at the Gabrielli Competition in Berlin, and a special prize for the best interpretation of the Solo Sonata by Kodaly at the David Popper International Competition in 2004. She became a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2007.
Born in Vienna in 1984 into an Austro-Hungarian family of musicians, cellist Stephan Koncz started studying at the University for Music in Vienna with Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartet) at the age of eight. In 2000, he continued his studies with the principal cellist of the Vienna Philharmonic, Róbert Nagy, and additionally pursued a double-major in conducting and composition. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Koncz has collaborated with Julian Rachlin, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, "The 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker", and has had master classes with Steven Isserlis, Daniel Barenboim, and Heinrich Schiff. After being a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Vienna Philharmoniker for two years, he became a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2010.
David Riniker was born in 1970 in Switzerland. He studied at first with Jean Paul Guéneux, and later in the concert classes of António Menèses in Basel. He completed his skills in master-classes with Arto Noras, Boris Pergamenschikov, Wolfgang Boettcher, and David Geringas. He has also been the recipient of numerous distinctions both at home and abroad, for example at the "4e Tournoi Eurovision des Jeunes Musiciens", or at the European Youth Prize in Varna (Bulgaria). Riniker has been a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1995, and has played with various celebrated chamber music ensembles.
Martin Löhr was born in 1967 in Hamburg. His began his studies in Hamburg with Wolfgang Mehlhorn, continuing them in New York with Zara Nelsova, and concluding them in Berlin with Wolfgang Boettcher. Besides earning various distinctions as a soloist, he obtained several international the 1st prizes with his piano trio "Jean Paul", at the International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka in 1993, and in Melbourne in 1995. In 1995, Löhr also won the 1st Prize at the international cello competition "Jeunesse Musicales" in Belgrade. He has been a principal cellist with the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1995, and has traveled the world during this time with his trio "Jean Paul".