About us

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Hegel Quartet

The Hegel Quartet, in its current formation since 2015, was founded by musicians whose artistic personalities were forged by years of solo, chamber and orchestral experience with world-renowned mentors and partners. Its unique approach to the quartet literature combines the power and diversity of an orchestral perspective with the flexibility and spontaneity of virtuosic soloists.

Each of their programmes is an exploration of an era, a zeitgeist or a thematic idea, yet their technically masterful interpretations transcend mere ideas and leave audiences transformed by the emotional depth of their performance.

Based in Stuttgart, the Hegel Quartet draws on a rich source of inspiration for its approach to interpretation: the mentors and collaborative partners of its members. Many of these are among the greatest musicians of our time: Murray Perahia, Anne Sophie Mutter, Trevor Pinnock, Lang Lang, Daniel Barenboim, Thomas Zehetmair, Andras Schiff, Robert Mann, David Soyer, Miklos Perenyi, Leonidas Kavakos, Nobuko Imai and Jean-Guihen Queyras among others. Their musical experiences began in such places as The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music as well as the Marlboro, Aspen and Ravinia music festivals.

Natalie Chee

1st violin

Natalie Chee was born in Sydney, Australia. From 1994 to 1998 she studied at the University of Music and Theater Bern with Prof. Igor Ozim. In 1998, she received her soloists’ diploma with distinction. Natalie Chee’s solo career began in 1992 when she won the "Australian Young Performer of the Year" competition. In the years following, she performed several times with all the Australian symphony orchestras. In 1996, Natalie Chee gave her debut with the Bern Symphony Orchestra in Europe; since then she has appeared as a soloist with the Camerata Salzburg, the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Staatsoper Hannover and the Osnabrück Symphony Orchestra. In 2000, she became the first concertmaster of the Camerata Salzburg, with whom she performed as a soloist and conductor in major concert venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Lucerne Festival, the Singapore Arts Festival, the Beijing Festival and the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw. From September 2009 until 2019, Natalie Chee was the first concertmaster of the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart and is currently the first concertmaster of the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln.

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Emily Körner

2nd violin

Emily Körner was born in Illinois, USA and grew up in Canada. She studied at The Juilliard School in New York with Sally Thomas and Joel Smirnoff. As a scholarship recipient of the Canada Council and Huntington Beebe Fund, she moved to Berlin in 1995, where she continued her studies with Professors Uwe-Martin Haiberg and Mi-Kyung Lee at the Hochschule der Künste. Her chamber music appearances have taken her to the Taos Chamber Music Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and on numerous tours of Japan with the likes of the Gaede Trio, Ensemble Acht and the Ludwig Chamber Players. As a guest, she has led the Kammerakademie Potsdam, the NDR Radiophilharmonie and the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, and she is a regular guest principal second violinist with the Elbphilharmonie Orchestra of the NDR Hamburg, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and many other renowned ensembles. From 1998 to 2000 she was the solo violinist of the "Palastorchester with its singer Max Raabe." Before joining the Radio Symphony Orchestra of the SWR as principal second violin in 2002, she held the same position for two years in the Radiophilharmonie Hannover of the NDR. She is currently an honorary professor of violin at the State University of Music and the Performing Arts Stuttgart.

Paul Pesthy

Viola

Born in Newark, Delaware in the USA, Paul Pesthy’s musical education began with piano lessons at the age of six, and he was introduced to the violin by his Hungarian parents four years later. He attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he recieved lessons from Jascha Brodsky, David Cerone, and Yumi Ninomiya, until receiving his Bachelor Degree of Music in 1988. His viola studies in Detmold with Nobuko Imai followed, where he received his diploma in 1992. From 1991 until 1995, he held the position of Principal Violist in the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra (German Opera on the Rhine). His dedication to chamber music has led to numerous engagements at many festivals, including the Aspen, Marlboro (USA), Musica Reservata (Belgium), and Affinis (Japan) Music Festivals. Solo concerts in Germany have included performances of viola concertos by Bartók, Bruch, Telemann and Britten, as well as Styx for Viola, mixed choir, and orchestra by Giya Kancheli. He has been Principal Violist of the Symphony Orchestra of the German Southwest Radio since 1995.

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Elena Cheah

Cello

American cellist Elena Cheah studied at The Juilliard School and at the Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“ with Boris Pergamenschikow. She appeared as soloist and chamber musician at the Aspen and Ravinia Music Festivals in the United States, at numerous European festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, and the Zagreb International Chamber Music Festival; she has toured Australia with the Streeton Trio under the auspices of Musica Viva series and appeared at the Hong Kong Musicus Festival as a chamber musician and soloist with the English Chamber Orchestra. She served as Principal Cellist of the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin under Christian Thielemann and of the Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim.

As a writer and editor, Elena assisted Daniel Barenboim with his book Everything is Connected (Verso, 2008). Her own book An Orchestra Beyond Borders: Voices of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was published by Verso in 2009. Her joint podcast with Professor Camille Savage-Kroll, “Out of Rich Darkness”, which explores the idea of nurturing a regenerative culture in the arts, was launched in 2020. Elena has been a Professor of Cello at the Music University of Freiburg since 2014.