String Quintet

of the
WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne

The Quintet

  • Ye Wu | violin
  • Cristian Suvaiala | violin
  • Mischa Pfeiffer | viola
  • Tomasz Neugebauer | viola
  • Susanne Eychmüller | cello

A string Quintet with two violas was once standard in the 17th century. Many great composers have written masterpieces for this formation. These five musicians from WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, one of the leading European Orchestras, decided to draw their inspiration from years of devoted chamber music experience and their culturally diverse backgrounds.

Since their debut performance in 2016, WDR Chamber Players came to prominence in a 2017 tour across China which proved hugely successful. Their debut CD of Johannes Brahms String Quintets was released in April 2017 by Pentatone and was awarded the International magazine Diapason’s “Diapason D’or” prize.

Enthusiastic responses from audiences and critics have encouraged the ensemble to continue their path. Through live concerts and radio broadcast, the Chamber Players continues to realise their goal of sharing their passion for music with the listeners.

"Distinguished for their unified sound, colorful tone of expression and energetic intensity, the WDR Chamber Players manage to seamlessly combine symphonic scale with the intimacy of chamber music."
"They give an infinite sensuality to the abundant lyricism, finding everywhere refined colours and a dynamic without gravity."

2020 was a challenging year for everyone. Since our concerts were cancelled due to pandemic restrictions, we focused on CD productions. Our CD of the Bruch String Quintets and Octet has just been released by Alpha classics and will soon be followed by Beethoven's String Trio and Septet.

We are invited to perform at the international Enescu Festival this September. Looking forward to be playing for audiences soon again!

Special thanks to Mr. Jianquan Ge and Mr. Peng Bai for sponsoring the Violin Rocca 1851, played by Ye Wu.

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Upcoming concerts

27 Mar | 20:00

Funkhaus: Große Sendesaal more

Program: W.A. Mozart - Horn Quintet E flat Major KV407 L. van Beethoven - Horn Sextet E flat Major Op.81b L. van Beethoven - Piano Concerto no.4 Op.58

Guests: Yeol Eum Son - piano, Marlene Pschorr - horn, Premysl Vojta - horn

Location: Wallrafplatz 5, 50667 Köln

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17 May | 11:00

Funkhaus: Große Sendesaal more

Program: K. Al-Zand - Lamento on the Disasters of War for Stirng Sextet L. Spohr - Double Quartet no.1 d minor op.65 P. Tschaikowsky - String Sextet d minor op.70 "Souvenir de Florence"

Guests: Carola Nasdala - violin, Henry Flory - violin, Laura Rayen Escanilla Rivera - viola, Mircea Mocanita - viola, Johannes Wohlmacher - cello

Location: Wallrafplatz 5, 50667 Köln

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02 May | 11:00

Funkhaus: Grosse Sendesaal more

Program: M.Bruch - String Quintet E flat Major, L.van Beethoven - String Trio in c minor op.9 no.3 E.W.Korngold - String Sextet in D Major op. 10

Location: Wallrafplatz 5, 50667 Köln

26 Sep | 11:00

National Museum of Arts more

Program: A.Zemlinsky - String Quintet in d minor, G.Enescu - String Quartet in G Major op.22 no.2, J.Brahms - String Quintet in G Major op.111

28 May | 17:00

Öschberghof more

Program: M.Bruch - String Quintet in E flat Major, L.Spohr - String Quintett op.33 no.1, M. Glinka - Grand Sextet

Guests: Haiou Zhang - piano, Stanislav Anischenko - Double Bass

Location: Golfplatz 1, 78166 Donaueschingen

Our Recordings

Bruch CD Cover Photo

We are very excited to announce that our next CD with Alpha-Classics will be devoted to Cologne born composer Max Bruch and released in June 2021. It features both Bruch's string quintets as well as his string octet. Our colleagues Sarah Etelävuori, Georgeta Iordache and Michael Geismann join us for this marvelous work.

Beethoven CD Cover Photo

We are very excited about our newly released CD by Alpha-Classics. It features the rare and precious string quintets op.29 and op.104 as well as the short fuge op.137 by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is our own contribution to Beethovens' 250th birthday. We hope you enjoy it!

Here are some early reviews:

The WDR Chamber Players make use of this strong music and offer gripping interpretations. With virtuoso freshness and powerful gestures, they fascinate the listener in both quintets as well as in the only two-minute long Fugue op. 137.

Brahms CD Cover Photo

Our first CD was released in April 2017 for the Pentatone label. It features both string quintets of Johannes Brahms and was awarded with the prestigious Diapason d'Or Award by the french music mag Diapason.

Here some reviews:

Those musicians from the WDR Symphony of Cologne find the charm, the abandonment and the poetry (...).They give an infinite sensuality to the abundant lyricism, finding everywhere refined colours and a dynamic without gravity.

There is something slightly mystical about the string quintet, with its extra layer of harmony added to the more familiar two violins, viola and cello quartet line up. This recording is an eloquent statement of the finest Romantic chamber music.

The Sunday Herald


Max Bruch - String Quintet in E flat Major
Live! from WDR Funkhaus:

Ludwig van Beethoven - String Quintet op. 104 in c Minor
Live! from Cologne Philharmonic Hall:

Johannes Brahms - String Quintet op. 111 in G Major
Live! from Cologne Philharmonic Hall:

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