Quatuor Ébène

String Quartet

Pierre Colombet
Gabriel Le Magadure
Marie Chilemme
Raphaël Merlin
Over the past two decades Quatuor Ébène has explored everything from Beethoven and Bartók to Astor Piazzolla and Wayne Shorter.
The ensemble's telepathic understanding, artistic daring and musical individuality make for edge-of-the-seat concert experiences, intensely focused and touched by visionary insights.
Go to Biography


"We need the inspiration from the audience"
said Raphaël Merlin in an interview with the NZZ in Spring 2020, this was one of the central ideas of their "Beethoven Around the World" project. Between May 2019 and January 2020 the quartet recorded Beethoven's 16 string quartets in a worldwide project on 6 continents.
„Rather than playing every note as if it were loaded with philosophical significance, the Ébène evinces a musical grace, ingenuousness and simplicity that is deeply satisfying.”The Strad, October 2020
With this complete recording, the four celebrated their 20th stage anniversary, which they then crowned with performances of the complete string quartet cycle in major European venues such as the Philharmonie de Paris or the Alte Oper Frankfurt. Invitations from Carnegie Hall New York, the Verbier Festival and the Vienna Konzerthaus were also on the agenda.

After studies with the Quatuor Ysaÿe in Paris as well as with Gábor Takács, Eberhard Feltz and György Kurtág, the unprecedented and outstanding success at the 2004 ARD Music Competition followed, marking the beginning of the Quatuor Ébène's rise to fame, which resulted in numerous other prizes and awards. For example: In 2005 the quartet was awarded the Belmont Prize of the Forberg-Schneider Foundation, in 2007 it was prizewinner of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, and in 2019 - as first ensemble ever – it was honored with the Frankfurt Music Prize.

In addition to the traditional repertoire, the quartet also dives into other styles.
„A string quartet that can easily morph into a jazz band”New York Times, 2009
What began in 1999 as a distraction in the university’s practice rooms - improvising on jazz standards & pop songs - has become a trademark of Quatuor Ébène. To date the quartet has released 3 albums in these genres, Fiction (2010), Brazil (2014) and Eternal Stories (2017). The free approach to various styles creates a tension that is beneficial to every aspect of their artistic work. The complexity of their oeuvre has been greeted enthusiastically by audiences and critisc.

Quatuor Ébène's albums, with recordings of Bartók, Beethoven, Debussy, Haydn, Fauré and the Mendelssohn siblings, have received numerous awards, including Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine and the Midem Classic Award. In 2015 & 2016 the musicians have dedicated themselves to the theme "Lied". They participated in the album "Green (Mélodies françaises)" by Philippe Jaroussky and released a Schubert album with Matthias Goerne (arrangements for string quartet, baritone and double bass by Raphaël Merlin) and the Schubert String Quintet with Gautier Capuçon. Together with Antoine Tamestit, Quatuor Ébène has recorded the Mozart String Quintets KV 515 & KV 516, which will be released in the fall of 2022.

With their charismatic playing, their fresh approach to tradition and their open engagement with new forms, the musicians haven been successful in reaching a wide audience of young listeners and in conveying their talent in regular master classes at the Paris Conservatoire. In January 2021, the quartet was commissioned by the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich to establish a string quartet class as part oft the newly founded „Quatuor Ébène Academy“. Since autumn 2020, Raphaël Merlin is professor of chamber music in Munich.

With the beginning of the season 2022/23, the Quatuor Ébène enters three residencies at once. They are the Quatuor en residence à Radio France with three concerts in each of the three coming seasons, in which they will present the wide range of their mastery. Together with their colleagues and friends of the Belcea Quartet, they will perform a joint cycle at the Vienna Konzerthaus starting this season. In the fall of 2022, they will be the quartet in residence at the Beethovenfest Bonn with four concerts. In addition, they will continue their three-part concert cycle in Munich at the Konzertdirektion Hörtnagel.

Other highlights of the season include their concerts at Tonhalle Zurich, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Berlin and Luxembourg Philharmonics, Wigmore Hall London and their participation in the String Quartet Biennale in Barcelona.

Instruments & bows

Pierre Colombet is playing two violins: a 1717 Antonio Stradivari violin, the « Piatti », kindly loaned by a generous sponsor through the Beares International Violin Society and a 1736 Matteo Goffriller violin generously loaned by Gabriele Forberg-Schneider as well as a bow by Charles Tourte (Paris, 19th century) also loaned by Gabriele Forberg-Schneider.

Gabriel Le Magadure is playing two violins: a Guarnerius Del Gesù violin loaned by the Beares International Violin Society, and a violin from around 1740 with a Guarneri label loaned by Gabriele Forberg-Schneider. He plays a bow by Dominique Pecatte (ca.1845) loaned by Gabriele Forberg-Schneider.

Marie Chilemme is playing two violas : a 1734 Stradivari, the « Gibson », generously loaned by the « Stradivari Foundation Habisreutinger », and a viola by Marcellus Hollmayr, Füssen (1625) loaned by Gabriele Forberg-Schneider.

Raphaël Merlin is playing two cellos: an instrument by Carlo Tononi, Venice (approx. 1720) loaned by the Beares International Violin Society and an instrument by Andrea Guarneri (1666/1680) from Cremona also generously loaned by Garbiele Forberg-Schneider.

2022/ 2023
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Linda Uschinski (Department Head), Annabell Blank



2024 / 2025

You’ll find the current programmes in the IMPRESARIUM of the 24/25 season

2023 / 2024
Program I
Autumn 2023

Haydn: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 20 No. 3, Hob. III: 33 (No. 3 of “Sonnenquartette”)

Bartók: String Quartet No. 3, Sz 85


Schubert: String Quartet No. 15, Op. 16,1 D 887

Program II
Spring 2024

Mozart: String Quartet No. 21 in D major, K 575

Schnittke: String Quartet No. 3


Grieg: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 27

Quatuor Ébène & Belcea Quartet
May 2024

Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20


Enescu: Octet in C major, Op. 7


20:30 Uhr
FR / Albi - Grande Salle au Grand Théâtre
Quatuor Ébène
19:30 Uhr
GB / London - Wigmore Hall
Quatuor Ébène, Mitsuko Uchida, Ema Nikolovska, Sean Shibe, Itamar Zorman
19:30 Uhr
IE / Dublin - National Botanic Gardens
Quatuor Ébène
19:00 Uhr
DE / Heusweiler - Kirche Maria Königin
Quatuor Ébène
19:00 Uhr
DE / Nürnberg - Historischer Rathaussaal
Quatuor Ébène
19:00 Uhr
AT / Kremsmünster - Benediktinerstift Kremsmünster Kaisersaal
Quatuor Ébène
19:00 Uhr
NO / Svolvær - Lofoten Kulturhus
Quatuor Ébène, Engegardkvartetten, Polina Leschenko, Leon McCawley, Christian Ihle Hadland, Denes Varjon, Roderick Williams
19:00 Uhr
NO / Stamsund - Church
Quatuor Ébène, Polina Leschenko, Denes Varjon, Christian Ihle Hadland, Lauro Custodio Sabas, Juliet Joplin, Jan Clemens Carlsen
19:00 Uhr
NO / Gradval - Buksnes Chruch
Quatuor Ébène, Trio Con Brio, Arvid Engegård, Christian Ihle Hadland
22:00 Uhr
NO / Leknes - Meieriet Kultursenter
Quatuor Ébène, Leon McCawley, Polina Lechenko, Soo-Jin Jong
19:00 Uhr
NO / Svolvær - Lofoten Kulturhus
Quatuor Ébène, Denes Varjon, Engegard Quartett
20:00 Uhr
DK / Hindsgavl - Hindsgavl Slot
Quatuor Ébène
11:00 Uhr
CH / Verbier - Église
Quatuor Ébène, Lisa Batiashvili, Yefim Bronfman
19:30 Uhr
CH / Verbier - Église
Quatuor Ébène, Nicolas Altsteadt
19:30 Uhr
FR / Prades - Abbaye Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa
Quatuor Ébène
11:00 Uhr
FR / Royan - Église Saint-Pierre
Quatuor Ébène
21:00 Uhr
FR / Royan - Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste
Quatuor Ébène, Henri Demarquette
19:30 Uhr
AT / Salzburg - Mozarteum Großer Saal
Quatuor Ébène
11:00 Uhr
FR / Paris - Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
Quatuor Modigliani, Marie Chilemme, Antoine Lederlin
20:00 Uhr
AT / Hohenems - Markus-Sittikus-Saal
Quatuor Ébène
20:00 Uhr
DE / Gauting - “Bosco” Kulturhaus
Quatuor Ébène
18:00 Uhr
LV / Jūrmala - Dzintari Concert Hall
Quatuor Ébène
20:00 Uhr
DE / Berlin - Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal
Quatuor Ébène
19:30 Uhr
LU / Luxemburg I - Philharmonie de Luxembourg Salle de Musique de Chambre
Quatuor Ébène
16:00 Uhr
SE / Stockholm - Stockholms Konserthus Grünwald Hall
Quatuor Ébène


Mozart: String Quintets
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quintet, K 515
String Quintet, K 516

Antoine Tamestit - Viola

'Round Midnight
Henri Dutilleux
String Quartet "Ainsi la Nuit"

Raphaël Merlin
"Night Bridge"

Arnold Schoenberg
String Sextet, Op. 4 "Transfigured Night"

Antoine Tamestit - Viola
Nicolas Altstaedt - Violoncello

Quatuor Ébène - Vinyl
Ludwig van Beethoven
Live recorded at the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 18 No. 2
String Quartet No. 11, Op. 95 'Quartetto Serioso'

Live recorded at the Suntory Hall Tokyo
String Quartet No. 13, Op. 130 with 'Grosse Fuge', Op. 133

Beethoven: The complete String Quartets - "Beethoven Around the World“
Ludwig van Beethoven
Disc No. 1 - Live recorded at the Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts, Philadelphia
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 18 No. 1
String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131

Disc No. 2 - Live recorded at the Mozart Saal, Konzerthaus Wien
String Quartet No. 7, Op. 59 No. 1 'Razumovsky'
String Quartet No. 8, Op. 59 No. 2 'Razumovsky'

Disc No. 3 - Live recorded at the Suntory Hall Tokyo
String Quartet No. 9, Op. 59 No. 3 'Razumovsky'
String Quartet No. 13, Op. 130 with 'Grosse Fuge', Op. 133

Disc No. 4 - Live recorded at Sala São Paulo, São Paulo
String Quartet No. 6, Op. 18 No. 6
String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127

Disc No. 5 - Live recorded at the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 18 No. 2
String Quartet No. 11, Op. 95 'Quartetto Serioso'
String Quartet No. 10, Op. 74 'Harp'

Disc No. 6 - Live recored at Auditorium de l'Alliance Française, Nairobi
String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 4
String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 5
String Quartet, Op. 135

Disc No. 7 - Live recorded at the Philharmonie de Paris
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 18 No. 3
String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132

Beethoven Around the World - Vienna
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet, Op. 59 No. 1 'Razumovsky'
String Quartet, Op. 59 No. 2 'Razumovsky'

Eternal Stories
Pierre Colombet
City Birds

Michel Portal
Judy Garland
Eternal Story
Solitudes (from Triology)

Xavier Tribolet

Astor Piazzolla
Tango Sensations
I. Asleep
II. Loving
III. Anxiety

Gabriel Le Magadure
Plus l'Temps

Raphaël Merlin
Le Corbillon

Adrien Boisseau
It was nice living here

Michel Portal - Clarinets, Bandoneon
Richard Héry - Percussion
Xavier Tribolet - Electronics
Fabrice Planchat - Sound

Schubert: String Quintet and Lieder
Franz Schubert
String Quintet, D 956

Lieder (arranged for String Quartet, Baritone and Double bass by Raphaël Merlin)
Die Götter Griechenlands, D 677
Der Tod und das Mädchen, D 531
Der Jüngling und der Tod, D 545
Atys, D 585
Der liebliche Stern, D 861

Matthias Goerne - Baritone
Gautier Capuçon - Cello
Laurene Durantel - Double bass

Green (Melodies francaises sur des Poemes de Verlaine)

Ferre: Colloque sentimental; Ecoutez la chanson bien douce
Faure: Mandoline; C'est l'extase; Green; En sourdine; Prison; Spleen; Clair de lune; La lune blanche luit dans les bois
Severac: Prison
Szulc: Clair de lune
Debussy: En sourdine; Fantoches; Clair de lune; Mandoline; Il pleure dans mon coeur; Green; Les Ingenus; Le Faune; Colloque sentimental
Chausson: Ecoutez la chanson bien douce; Apaisement
Bordes: O triste, triste etait mon ame; Promenade sentimentale
Saint-Saens: Le Vent dans la plaine
Chabrier: Air de Fisch-Ton-Kan; Air de Poussah
Hahn: En sourdine; Chanson d’automne; D’une prison
Honegger: Un grand sommeil noir
Massenet: Revons, c’est l’heure
Varese: Un grand sommeil noir
Caplet: Green
Poldowski: L’Heure exquise; Colombine; Mandoline
Trenet: Verlaine
Schmitt: Il pleure dans mon coeur
Koechlin: Il pleure dans mon coeur
Canteloube: Colloque sentimental
Brassens: Colombine

Philippe Jaroussky - Countertenor
Jerome Ducros - Piano
Nathalie Stutzmann - Contralto

A 90th birthday celebration - Live in Paris
Antonín Dvořák
Piano Quintet, Op. 81

Franz Schubert
Piano Quintet, D 667, "The Trout"

Antonín Dvořák
Piano Quintet, Op. 81

Franz Schubert
Piano Quintet, D 667, "The Trout"
Winterreise, D 911 ( V. Der Lindenbaum, XI Fruhlingstraum, XV Die Kraehe, XXIV Der Leiermann)

Claude Debussy
String Quartet, Op. 10 (3. Andantino, doucement expressif)

Frédéric Chopin
Nocturne C-sharp minor, op. posth.

Recorded LIVE at Salle Pleyel, Paris on November 7th, 2013.

Menahem Pressler - Piano
Christopher Prégardien - Tenor
Benjamin Berlioz - Double bass


O‘gringo with Bernard Lavilliers (Music & Lyrics: Bernard Lavilliers)
So Nice with Stacey Kent (Music & Lyrics: Marcos Valle, Paulo Valle / Adaptation: Norman Gimbel)
I Can’t Help It with Stacey Kent (Music & Lyrics: Stevie Wonder / Susaye Greene)
Ana Maria (Music: Wayne Shorter)
Fragile with Stacey Kent (Music & Lyrics: Sting)
Guitar Song with Bernard Lavilliers (Music & Lyrics: Bernard Lavilliers)
Àguas de Marços with Stacey Kent & Marcos Valle (Music & Lyrics: Tom Jobim)
Bebê (Music: Hermeto Pasquale)
The Ice Hotel with Stacey Kent (Music & Lyrics: Jim Tomlinson, Kazuo Ishiguro)
Salomé with Bernard Lavilliers (Music & Lyrics: Bernard Lavilliers)
Libertango (Music: Astor Piazzolla)
Smile with Stacey Kent (Music: Charlie Chaplin / Lyrics: Geoffrey Parsons, John Turner)
Brazil Odyssey with Brazil Choir & Brazil String Orchestra (Music: Pierre Colombet, Gabriel Le Magadure, Mathieu Herzog, Raphaël Merlin, on a theme by Ary Barroso / Lyrics: Bob Russell)

Stacey Kent - Voice
Bernard Lavilliers - Voice
Marcos Valle - Voice
Jim Tomlinson - Saxophone
Richard Héry - Percussion
Mino Cinelu - Drums

Felix & Fanny
Felix Mendelssohn
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 13
String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80

Fanny Mendelssohn
String Quartet in E-flat major

Mozart: Dissonances
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet, K 421
Divertimento, K 138
String Quartet, K 465, "Dissonance"

Fauré: The complete chamber music
Gabriel Fauré
Disc No. 1
Sonata No. 1, Op. 13
Berceuse, Op. 16
Romance, Op. 28
Andante, Op. 75
"Morceau de Lecture"
Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2, Op. 108

Disc No. 2
Sonata, Op. 109
Elegy, Op. 24
"Papillon", Op. 77
Romance, Op. 69
Serenade, Op. 98
Sicilienne, Op. 78
Sonata No. 2, Op. 117

Disc No. 3
Trio for Piano and Strings, Op. 120
String Quartet, Op. 121

Disc No. 4
Piano Quintet, Op. 15
Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 45

Disc No. 5
Piano Quintet No. 1, Op. 89
Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 115
Morceau de lecture (for two Cellos)

Renaud Capuçon - Violin
Gautier Capuçon - Cello
Gérard Caussé - Viola
Nicolas Angelich - Piano
Michel Dalberto - Piano

Fiction... ... at The Folies Bergères - Live in Paris
Recorded on November 15th, 2010

Stacey Kent - Voice
Natalie Dessay - Voice
Jim Tomlinson - Saxophone
Richard Héry - Percussion


Misirlou after Pulp Fiction (Milton Leeds / Fred Wise / N. Roubanis / S. K. Russell)

Amado mío (Doris Fisher / Allan Roberts)
Luz Casal (vocal)

Nature Boy (Eden Ahbez)
Raphaël Merlin, Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Come together (John Lennon / Paul McCartney) Songs
Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Unrequited (Bradford Mehldau)
Pierre Colombet (solo)

Intro Calling you
Richard Héry (drums solo)

Calling you after Bagdad Café (Bob Telson)
Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Corcovado (Antonio Jobim)
Stacey Kent (vocal)

Nothing Personal (Don Grolnick)
Gabriel Le Magadure, Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Footprints (Wayne Shorter)
Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Lilac Wine (James Shelton)
Fanny Ardant (vocal)

Smile (John Turner-Geoffrey Parsons/Charles Chaplin)
Quatuor Ebène (voices), Raphaël Merlin (solo), Richard Héry (drums, chorus)

Someday my prince will come after Snow White and the seven dwarfs (Larry Morey/Frank Churchill)
Pierre Colombet (bass), Mathieu Herzog, Gabriel Le Magadure (lead voices),
Raphaël Merlin (soprano), Pierre Colombet (solo)

Somewhere after "Over the rainbow" after The Wizard of Oz
Natalie Dessay (vocal), Mathieu Herzog (solo)

7-29-04 The Day Of after Ocean's 12 (David Holmes)
Mathieu Herzog (funk guitar and solo), Pierre Colombet (Ruggieri Violin from the 17th century),
Richard Héry (drums)

Streets of Philadelphia after Philadelphia (Bruce Springsteen)
Mathieu Herzog (vocal), Richard Héry (drums)

(All bass parts played by Raphaël Merlin)

Fanny Ardant - Voice
Luz Casal - Voice
Natalie Dessay - Voice
Stacey Kent - Voice
Richard Héry - Percussion

Brahms: Quartet & Piano Quintet
Johannes Brahms
String Quartet, Op. 51 No. 1
Piano Quintet, Op. 34

Akiko Yamamoto - Piano

Ravel - Debussy - Fauré
Claude Debussy
String Quartet, Op. 10

Gabriel Fauré
String Quartet, Op. 121

Maurice Ravel
String Quartet F major

Bartók: String Quartets
Béla Bartók
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7, Sz. 40
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17, Sz. 67
String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85

Haydn: String Quartets
Joseph Haydn
String Quartet, Op. 64 No. 5
String Quartet, Op. 33 No. 1
String Quartet, Op. 76 No. 1



Linda Uschinski (Department Head)
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 717
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Annabell Blank
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 719
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713