Daniel Stabrawa, First Violin
Christian Stadelmann, Second Violin
Neithard Resa, Viola
Dietmar Schwalke, Cello
Hailed as "Four of the Best" by the British press after their debut at Wigmore Hall in London two decades ago, the PHILHARMONIA QUARTET BERLIN has since celebrated a critically acclaimed career, establishing itself among the world's premier string quartets with 20 years of international concerts and a large and diverse discography. Their extensive concert calendar has taken them to destinations throughout Europe, North and South America as well as Asia. Lord Yehudi Menuhin commented: "I'd like to hear music always played as beautifully as you play."
Founded in 1984 by the principal concertmaster and the string section leaders of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the quartet appears regularly at the world's most prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall or Wigmore Hall in London. Annual international festival appearances include performances at the Salzburg Festival. In 2006 the Philharmonia Quartet Berlin has been invited by his Excellence Pope Benedict XVI to perform a private concert at the Vatican. The Spanish Royal Family invites the ensemble regularly to the Palacio Real to play on the royal Stradivari instruments.
The Philharmonia Quartet Berlin enthuses the audiences throughout the world with their incredible artistry. In particular, the Beethoven and Shostakovich cycle in the Philharmonie Berlin caused international furor.
The ensemble's discography is quite extensive including recent recordings of the quartets of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Shostakovich and Reger for the Thorofon Classics label. The Reger recording was awarded the German Record Critics prize. The quartet received two times an "ECHO KLASSIK" award for Chamber Music for their most recent Beethoven CDs. In 2001 the quartet was awarded the Argentine Critic Price in Buenos Aires.
Until the sudden death of the violoncellist Jan Diesselhorst in February 2009 the members Philharmonia Quartet Berlin have never changed. Dietmar Schwalke is now occupying his place and he and his colleagues will, once again, demonstrate their superb and exceptional quality of ensemble playing on all stages of the world.
A native of Krakow, Poland, Daniel Stabrawa is the Principal Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. After winning many international competitions at a very young age and finishing his studies at his hometown Music Conservatory in the class of Professor Zbigniew Szelezer, he was appointed concertmaster of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Krakow in 1979. He joined the Berlin Philharmonic violin section in 1983 and was appointed concertmaster of the Orchestra in 1986 under Herbert von Karajan. In addition to his orchestral duties he has built a distinguished career as a soloist and chamber music player. Daniel Stabrawa has often appeared as a soloist with the Berlin based orchestras in works by Prokofiev, Weill and Szymanowski and has toured extensively in the United States and Asia. Together with his wife, pianist Elzbieta Stabrawa he has given many concerts dedicated to Sonatas and has been an avid supporter and messenger of Karol Szymanowski's music. Since 1994 Daniel Stabrawa has devoted more time to conducting and at the beginning of the 1995/1996 season became music director and conductor of the Capella Bydgostiensis in Bromberg, Germany.
Born in Berlin, Germany, violinist Christian Stadelmann is the youngest member of the quartet. He started taking violin lessons at an early age first with Professor Charlotte Hampe and then later graduated from the Conservatory of Arts in Berlin in the class of Professor Th. Brandis. Christian Stadelmann has won numerous competitions and was a founding member of the German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen. After several years with the Young German Philharmonic, he became a member of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1985 and has led the second violins of the Berlin Phil since 1987.
A native of Berlin, Neithard Resa, first took violin lessons with Professor Schwalbe in Berlin before continuing his studies in Cologne with Professor Max Rostal. Upon his graduation from the music conservatory, he was awarded a DAAD scholarship (German Foreign Policy Exchange) which gave him the opportunity to study in the United States with Michael Tree from the Guarnieri Quartet. In 1978 he won the Young Artists' Competition, the German Music Foundation and joined the Berlin Philharmonic as principal viola of the Orchestra that same year.
Dietmar Schwalke was born in Pienneberg in 1958 and started taking cello lessons at the age of twelve. He first studied in Hamburg with Arthur Troester, then with Wolfgang Boettcher in Berlin before completing his studies with Pierre Fournier. In 1981 Dietmar Schwalke made his debut in the Philharmonie Berlin with the Cello Concerto by Robert Schumann and the RSO Berlin. Before joining the Berlin Philharmonic in 1994 he played six years in the Kreuzberg String Quartet. Since 2009 he is a member of the Philhamonia Quartet Berlin.