Who we are

The passion driving us

Christophe Horak

His parents picked out the instrument for him and thus Christophe Horak began playing the violin at the age of four. Later he studied with Yfrah Neaman at London’s Guildhall School of Music, in whose symphony orchestra he played first violin for five years. In 1995 he became deputy Konzertmeister of the Academy of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

A scholarship with the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker followed from 2000-02, during which time he was prepared for his professional orchestral activity by Toru Yasunaga and Axel Gerhardt. His chamber-music involvement includes the »Swiss of the Berlin Philharmonic«.

Micha Afkham

Micha Afkham began violin lessons at the age of five. Later, while a violin pupil of László Fogarassy and Roman Nodel, he discovered the viola and was so taken with its dark, rich tone and its intermediary role between the high and low strings that he began studying the instrument with Hatto Beyerle in Hanover, continuing with Tabea Zimmermann at Berlin’s Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik. He attended master classes given by, among others, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet and Serge Collot.

A prizewinner at renowned competitions and an alumnus of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Orchestra Academy, Afkham has received grants from Villa Music of Mainz, the Richard Wagner Association of Hanover and the German Musical Life Foundation (Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben) of Hamburg, which has loaned him a viola made by Erdesz. Among his chamber-music partners are Tabea Zimmermann, Gidon Kremer and Isabelle Faust. Since the 2006/07 season he has been a member of the Scharoun Ensemble. Micha Afkham, who loves the films of Fellini, Truffaut and Louis Malle, enjoys travel and photography and goes to the theatre as frequently as possible.

Bruno Delepelaire

Bruno Delepelaire owes the fact that he became a cellist to his grandmother, an enthusiastic amateur cellist. As a five-year-old, he also wanted to learn the instrument. The cello lessons with his first cello teacher Erwan Fauré were formative experiences for him. Bruno Delepelaire later studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Philippe Muller. In 2012 he went to Berlin to continue his training under Jens Peter Maintz at the University of the Arts and under Ludwig Quandt at the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. He also attended master classes with Wolfgang-Emanuel Schmidt, François Salque, Wen-Sinn Yang and Wolfgang Boettcher.

Bruno Delepelaire gained orchestral experience with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, and as a student of the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker. As a soloist, he has performed with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen. The cellist has won several awards, including the first prize at the „Karl Davidoff International Cello Competition“ (2012) and the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition (2013). Bruno Delepelaire has been principal cellist with the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2013. Reading and birdwatching are among the musician’s favourite pastimes. Bruno Delepelaire plays a cello made by Matteo Goffriller, on loan from the Karolina Blaberg Foundation.

Kim Barbier

French pianist Kim Barbier has distinguished herself as a versatile artist who is as much at home with piano concertos as with the chamber music repertoire.

The orchestras with which she has performed in recent years include the Orquesta de Valencia, Estonian National Orchestra, Zagreb Radio Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra di Roma e del Lazio, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Berlin Symphony Orchestra and the New Chamber Orchestra of Potsdam, together with conductors such as Lionel Bringuier, Robin Ticciati and many others.

She has been a guest soloist in world-renowned concert halls such as the Philharmonie in Berlin, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Beijing Concert Hall and the Palau de la Musica in Valencia. Kim has been represented at international festivals including the Festival International de Menton, Festival Musique à l´Emperi in Salon de Provence, the Island Festival in Hombroich, Rolandseck Festival and the Salzburg Easter Festival.

Kim is an enthusiastic chamber musician and has already concertised with musicians such as Sol Gabetta, Emmanuel Pahud, Antoine Tamestit, Guy Braunstein, David Geringas, Sharon Kam, Paul Meyer and the Scharoun Ensemble of Berlin.

She was born in Paris, the daughter of French-Vietnamese parents, and grew up in Africa and southern France. After completing her diploma and „cycle de perfectionnement“ at the Paris Conservatory under Pierre-Laurent Aimard, she studied with her highly esteemed professor and mentor Maria Curcio in London.

Her other teachers include György Kurtag, Patrick Cohen, Odile Poisson, Theodore Paraskivesco, Leon Fleischer and Ferenc Rados.