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Biography

Die 12 Cellisten der Berliner Philharmoniker is German for "The Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic" - the cellists are: George Faust, Ludwig Quandt, Dietmar Schwalke, Richard Duven, Christoph Igelbrink, Olaf Maninger, Martin Menking, Knut Weber, Nikolaus Römisch, Jan Diesselhorst, Martin Löhr and Götz Teutsch. Each of them is described below.

Georg Faust was born in Cologne. At first, he studied with Siegfried Palm in Cologne, then later in New York with Bernhard Greenhouse. He completed his training in master classes with Enrico Mainardi and Gregor Piatigorsky. Among his numerous prizes and distinctions, the following deserve special mention: 1st Prize in 1976 at the German Music Competition; prize-winner at the ARD Competition in 1977; prize-winner at the International Tschaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1982. In 1980, Georg Faust became principal cellist of Hamburg's State Philharmonic Orchestra, and three years later, he assumed the same position with the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. He was engaged in 1985 by the Berlin Philharmonic as first principal cellist. He has appeared as a soloist under such conductors as Bernhard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, among others.

Ludwig Quandt was born in 1961 in Ulm. He studied in Lübeck with Arthur Troester, who had been principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic under Wilhelm Furtwängler. Quandt completed his studies with master-classes 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 first-prize-winner of the "Premio Stradivari" at the international cello competition "Roberto Caruana" in Cremona. In 1991, Ludwig Quandt was engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic, and has since 1993 been one of the orchestra's principal cellists. In 1996, he made his debut under Claudio Abbado with Dmitri Schostakovich's Second Cello Concerto.

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 Berlin Philharmonic, and has also been active as a soloist and in various chamber music ensembles, such as the Philharmonic String Soloists, the Ensemble Metropolis, and the Vincent Trio. Homepage: www.schwalke.com

Richard Duven was born in 1958 in Cologne. He studied with Daniel Cahen in Wuppertal and with Wolfgang Boettcher in Berlin. He won many prizes, among them 1st prize in 1983 at the Germany Academic Competition in Munich, as well as in Berlin in 1984. Richard Duven has been a member of the Berlin Philharmonic since 1986, and beyond this, of the well-known "Scharoun Ensemble", with which he has made numerous recordings, among them a new recording of Franz Schubert's Trout Quintet with Alfred Brendel. In the meantime, Duven has made a name for himself through his many performances of contemporary music.

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, became principal cellist with the Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra, and has been a member of the Berlin Philharmonic 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 for a brief interval principal cellist with the Hessischen Rundfunk, until he was engaged a few months later by the Berlin Philharmonic. Since 1996, he has been a principal cellist with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Martin Menking was born in 1967 in Münster. Already when still a student of Heinrich Schiff and David Geringas, he 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 Berlin Philharmonic 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 the Benjamin of the cello group, 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 master-classes 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, among other distinctions, the 1st Prize of the International Cello Competition in Liezen, Austria. Since 1998, he has been a member of the Berlin Philharmonic.

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 Berlin Philharmonic since the year 2000.

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 member of the Berlin Philharmonic since 1995, and has played with various celebrated chamber music combinations.

Jan Diesselhorst was born in 1954 in Marburg. He studied with Alexander Molzahn in Frankfurt, and later in Berlin with Wolfgang Boettcher. After receiving several distinctions, he joined the Berlin Philharmonic in 1977 upon completion of his studies . He is a member of the renowned "Philharmonia Quartet Berlin", with whom he has given concerts all over the globe for more than 15 years. In addition, has performed great services in training the young musicians of the Karajan Academy, where he supervises a chamber music project.

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 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 1st Prize at the international cello competition "Jeunesse Musicales" in Belgrade. He has been a principal cellist with the Berlin Philharmonic since 1995, and has traveled the world during this time with his trio "Jean Paul".

Götz Teutsch was born in 1941 in Hermannstadt (Rumania), and is the last remaining founding member of the "12". He studied in Bucharest with D. Dinicu and Radu Aldulescu, completing his training with Enrico Mainardi and Karl Richter. He was principal cellist of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bucharest, becoming a member of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1970. He has been a principal cellist since 1976. He has also appeared as a soloist with the BPhO, playing cello concertos by Schönberg, Hindemith, and Schostakovich. In recent years, he has been intensively involved with early music, studying the viola da gamba and baroque cello, and leading him to close working associations with Maria Cristina Kiehr, Konrad Junghänel, Gerhart Darmstadt, and others.

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