Thomas Descamps, violin
Raphaël Pagnon, viola
Simon Iachemet, cello
It is their love for Berlin – its dynamic culture, rich and eclectic musical life – that brings these four passionate members of the Agate Quartet together for the first time. These young people, native of the South of France (Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux), find in Berlin the ideal environment for their natural curiosity. They share an enthusiasm for bold, alternative, even underground projects and in 2016, decided to set up the Agate Quartet to explore together their musical passions. Their encounter with the string quartet repertoire is a decisive turning point in the life of the four musicians. They have extensive and varied musical experience (from solos to chamber music, including with the prestigious Berlin orchestras), and find in this new repertoire an infinite source of expression and inspiration. Within the quartet, they discover how their personal aspirations must be balanced with the needs of the group. Also, that working together daily transcends their own abilities and reinforces their growing desire to carry on playing together. To share this unique and wonderful repertoire, the Agate Quartet organized the first CorsiClassic Festival in 2016. Based around Corsica, its mission is to promote chamber music in areas of the country where classical music is rarely available.
Their encounter with the German musical tradition plays an equally important role in their artistic training. Having all been through the CNSMDP (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris), they went on to study another 2 years at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin with Eberhard Feltz; there, their own French musical tradition is confronted with the German tradition of the musical discourse. With their artistic development in mind, the Agate Quartet moved to Paris at the start of 2018 to study under the guidance of Mathieu Herzog, former violist with the Ebène Quartet. They also join renowned chamber music academies such as the McGill String Quartet Academy (MISQA), “Musique à Flaine” and the “Spring International Chamber Music Course Hanns Eisler” with acclaimed teachers such as Günter Pichler, Gerhard Schulz, Valentin Erben, Tabea Zimmerman, Christoph Poppen, the Ysaye, the Talich and the Vogler Quartets. The quartet has been quickly invited to perform in several international festivals and venues : Hamburg International Chamber Music Festival, Les Vacances de Monsieur Haydn, Konzertverein Schwerin, Les Floraisons Musicales, Musique dans la Rue d’Aix-en-Provence, Quatuor à l’Ouest, Festival de Septembre à Sanary, Cité de la Musique de Marseille... with partners such as Florent Héau, Mathieu Herozg, Ivan Karizna, Raphaël Chrétien and Alain Brunier.
Since 2018, The Agate Quartet is in residence at ProQuartet and the Fondation Singer-Polignac and has been selected for taking part in the Le Dimore del Quartetto project.