top of page

About us

Agathe String quartet_Karen-van-Gilst_280222_hr_01.jpg

Agathe Ensemble is an international string ensemble consisting of professional, talented young musicians. They came together to share their passion for chamber music with each other and their audience. Agathe loves to create interesting ways of presenting the exciting chamber music world in unique ways.

The classical chamber music repertoire is extensive, and much of this wonderful music is rarely performed live due to the need for exceptional line-ups. The Agathe Ensemble strives to release all good types of classical chamber music in different formations; from duos, trios to sextets and octets, everything is possible!

Through these different line-ups, the ensemble aims to reach a larger and broader audience, while also opening up an exciting and diverse repertoire.

Meet us

Agathe_Ensemble_Aleksandra-Kwiatkowska_Karen-van-Gilst_02_HR.jpg

Aleksandra Kwiatkowska

violin

Aleksandra Kwiatkowska (1991) is a Polish violinist based in the Netherlands. In 2021, she graduated with a masters in Baroque Violin studies with a distinction for the artistry under the direction of Kati Debretzeni and Walter Reiter from the Royal Conservatory in the Hague. In 2015, she graduated her modern violin studies from Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw under the direction of Julia Jakimowicz-Jakowicz, Jakub Jakowicz and Magdalena Szczepanowska. As a violin soloist and chamber musician, she took part in a lot of concerts, and festivals across Europe, Indonesia and USA. She has been cooperating for instance with: ‘Il Gardellino’, ‘Opera2Day’, ‘New Dutch Academy’, ‘Collegium Vocale Academy’, ‘Das Neue Mannheimer Orchester’ and ‘Airport Society Company'. In March 2022 Aleksandra released her first solo album with Ivan Khandoshkin Violin Solo Sonatas op. 3 under Etcetera label. Since January 2022 Aleksandra has been playing on the Georg Klotz violin from 1796 and baroque bow by André Klaassen courtesy of the Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds in the Netherlands.

Agathe_Ensemble_Ella-van der-Mespel_Karen-van-Gilst_lr_01_HR.jpg

Ellavan der Mespel

violin

Born and raised in New Zealand, Ella van der Mespel started taking music lessons at a young age. In 2011, Ella moved to the Netherlands, where in September 2017 she completed her Master's degree at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam with Gordan Nikolic and Goran Gribajcevic. Ella played in the National Youth Orchestra and as an academist in the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. She is currently a member of the Robert Quintet, plays in the Libero String Orchestra, Ciconia Consort, and substitutes with the Noord Nederlands Orkest. In 2015, Ella was nominated for the EMIR Steyerberg Prize and in 2017 she won second prize in the Prix d'Harmonie competition. In June 2014 Ella performed as a soloist with the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with the Muse Art Studenten Orkest Utrecht. She has also performed in a string quartet together with jazz pianist Bert van den Brink and in 2014 she played with her piano trio in a sold-out Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw. In addition to classical music, Ella has a passion for jazz to which she devoted her master's thesis.

Agathe_Ensemble_Almundena_Gonzalez_Karen-van-Gilst_lr_03_HR.jpg

Almudena González-Regueral

Viola

Almudena was born in Madrid, Spain. Music came into her life casually: "When I was just four years old, I decided that I wanted to play the violin like the main character of my favorite book... I didn't give up asking for it until her parents accepted!" Making music started as an excellent after-school activity and became her favorite moment of the day. Almudena began her musical studies in Madrid under the guidance of David Santacecilia, and later she moved to Salamanca (Spain) to continue her education with Marc Oliu, where she obtained her Bachelor's Degree. Having been initiated as a violinist, her relationship with the viola started when she was sixteen, influenced by teachers Ana María Alonso and Jaime Huertas. Her love for the sound, repertoire and musical role of the viola lead her to move to The Netherlands in 2019 to deepen in this instrument, under the tutelage of Mikhail Zemtsov in The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. Almudena is an enthusiastic chamber music and orchestra player, which lead her to be part of JONDE (Spanish Youth Orchestra) and collaborate with ensembles like Ciconia Consort (The Hague). Since 2022 she is part of the Agathe Ensemble String Quartet.

Agathe_Ensemble_Ivan-Nogueira_Karen-van-Gilst_lr_04_HR.jpg

Ivan Nogueira

cello

Iván Nogueira (Vigo, Spain 1990) started playing the cello at the age of 8 at the conservatory of his hometown. Later he was accepted at the conservatory of Zaragoza (Spain) where he obtained his Bachelor degree. In 2015 he gets his master's degree in classical music at the Rotterdam Conservatory with maestro H. J. Stegenga. Since then he lives and works in the same city as a freelance cellist and arranger. Iván describes himself as a multidisciplinary and versatile musician. Passionate chamber music player and entrepreneur. Also experienced in composing and arranging music for his own projects and commissions. Besides classical music, Iván also likes to explore other genres, such as tango, pop, jazz and other types of world music. It is this broad spectrum of genres that has led him to approach music in its broadest and most inclusive way. In 2021 he produced his first solo album, "ON.CELLO - tones&tunes", in which he wrote his own versions of Celtic and Galician music for cello solo, exploring the possibilities of his instrument within the traditional music from Galicia, the Spanish region where he comes from. These compositions have recently been published, aiming to enlarge the existing cello repertoire.

Pau Marquès Oleo

Pau Marquès Oleo

cello

Pau Marquès i Oleo (cello) was born in 1991 in Menorca, Balearic Islands. He is driven by his passion for chamber music and contemporary music. He is a member of two stable ensembles, the Camus Trio and the Belinfante Quartet, with which he performs both in the Netherlands and internationally. At the same time, he is a member of the Chamber Music Orchestra of Menorca (OCIM) and the Kunsthalle for Music, a traveling project that started at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, which has been named at the New York Times. In 2018 Pau obtained his Master's diploma at the HKU Utrecht Conservatory, where he studied with the prestigious cellist Timora Rosler with a scholarship from the Pedro i Pons Foundation. Before he studied with Amparo Lacruz at the Liceu Conservatory in Barcelona. Pau has followed masterclasses with Gary Hoffman, Melissa Phelps, Dimitri Ferschtman, Asier Polo, Damián Martínez, Casals Quartet, Utrecht String Quartet, Artemis Quartet and Viola de Hoog. His broad interes for diverse music stiles has lead him to collaborate with the composers Shigehiro Yamamoto, Rieteke Hölscher, Cédric Vermue, Nicole Lerroux and Quinn Jacobs. He is also passionate about Baroque and Renaissance music that he plays on the Viola da Gamba, which he studies with Josh Cheatham. Pau has been selected to participate in the Amsterdam Cello Biennale 2018 with music for cello octet and quartet.

Mara Tieles.jpeg

Mara Tieles Cutié

altviool

Mara Tieles Cutié, originally from Cuba and now based in the Netherlands, is a versatile musician skilled in both early and modern music. Her performances go beyond traditional boundaries, incorporating extended techniques and electronics. She has toured internationally, collaborating with various artists, including Hansjörg Schellenberger, Ramon Jaffe, Cuareim Quartet, and the Cinematic Orchestra. Mara's expertise extends to music theater, having worked in productions like Eraritjaritjaka alongside the Mondriaan Quartet and actor André Wilms, under the direction of Heiner Goebbels. She has held principal viola positions with the European Union Baroque Orchestra and co-principal viola with the European Union Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, her recording repertoire includes collaborations with artists such as Snarky Puppy and Junkie XL. Throughout her career, Mara has been recognized with several awards, including the First Absolute Prize of Cittá di Barletta, First Prize in the Rome Strings International Contest, and Third Prize in the Ibero-American String Contest. She holds degrees from the Conservatories of Barcelona, Rotterdam, Maastricht, and Berklee, specializing in music for video games.

Fiona Robertson_COSIMO BEDUINI_54.jpg

Fiona Robertson

violin

Fiona studied with Ilya Grubert and Maria Milstein at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and with Jan Repko at the Royal College of Music, London. She has performed at some of the most prestigious venues across Europe, including the Wigmore Hall, St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, the Royal Albert Hall, the City Halls in Glasgow, the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw aan ‘t Ij. She is a member of the Belinfante Quartet and the Camus Trio. Fiona has appeared as soloist with the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Festival Orchestra and Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, with whom she performed Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto in 2011. Recent solo engagements have included recitals at Classic Music Live! in Falkirk, the Younger Hall at St. Andrews University, the Muziekkamer in Zaandam and the Papageno Huis in Laren. With a special interest in contemporary music, Fiona has premiered and performed works by Louis Andriessen, Maxim Shalygin, Salvatore Sciarrino, Edith Canat de Chizy and Boris Bezemer. In 2014 she recorded a set of solo violin pieces called SPOTS by composer Simone Fontanelli, and in 2015 she was the winner of the inaugural Contemporary Music Competition at the Royal College of Music. She has performed with several new music ensembles including the Nieuw Ensemble and Shapeshift Ensemble. Additionally, she is a keen composer and arranger, regularly writing/arranging music for the Belinfante Quartet. Fiona has appeared in masterclasses with Alina Ibragimova, Christoph Richter, Pavel Fischer and members of the Jerusalem, Casals, Kuss, Alban Berg, Chilingirian, Ysaye and Smith quartets.

Eva Traa.jpg

Eva Traa

violin

Eva Traa takes the beaten and untrodden paths with equal delight. Graduated as a violinist from the Conservatory of Amsterdam, she cherishes the classical tradition from which she comes and plays as a guest player in, among others, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Eva is also part of the adventurous musical collective Pynarello, with which she has been making (inter)national concert stages unsafe since 2017. Out of a great need to shape her creativity in a different way, Eva has completed a talent development process as a performer and maker at KASKO (formerly the Chamber Opera House), a house for musical theatre. She worked in various performances with, among others, directors Mart van Berckel and Kenza Koutchoukali, and with maker Eef van Breen. Eva has also had a passion for education since her student days. She teaches a small group of motivated young violinists in her hometown of Amsterdam, and is also the creator of educational side programming around classical concerts. In addition to her training as a violinist, Eva studied English literature and musicology at University College in Utrecht, where she graduated with honors.

Judith de Haas.jpg

Judith de Haas

VIOLIN

Judith de Haas embodies a multifaceted blend of talent and passion, navigating the realms of music and cultural entrepreneurship with finesse on an international scale. Her journey led her from Berlin via Paris to Amsterdam in 2023, following a remarkable 14-year chapter where she cultivated her business acumen and artistic prowess. An alumna of the esteemed “Hanns Eisler” Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, Judith’s musical odyssey commenced in the Netherlands at the tender age of6. Her formative years saw her rise as a prominent figure, serving asconcertmaster of the Dutch National Youth Orchestra and later assuming the role of principal 2nd Violin within the European Union Youth Orchestra from 2012 to 2016 working with conductors such as Gianandrea Noseda and Vladimir Ashkenazy. In her recent endeavors, Judith has pioneered a new concert series in Amsterdam and lends her expertise as an advisor to various cultural initiatives. Currently, she serves as a change and project performance officer for governmental organizations and enterprises. Judith regularly plays with orchestra’s all around Europe, such as the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Nederlands Chamber Orchestra, Spira Mirabilis Italy, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Zermatt Festival Orchestra. A transparent and warm sound, Judith’s musicality resonates with versatility, seamlessly adapting to the nuances of diverse professional ensembles. She has collaborated with artists such as Leonardo Reyna, Carolin Widmann, Lahav Shani, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Silvia Simunescu and Daan Boertien, performing in concerthalls and festivals across Europe, China, the United States and Cuba. Judith has studied with violinist Carolin Widmann in Leipzig, Michael Erxleben in Berlin, with Wouter Vossen in Amsterdam and with Annemieke Corstens in Tilburg. Other musical impulses were received during individual classes with violinists such as Wolfram Brandl, Andrei Baranov, Vadim Repin, Rachel Schmidt, Herman Krebbers and Christian Tetzlaff. Complementing her musical prowess, Judith has earned a Master's degree in International Management, specializing in arts entrepreneurship through rigorous academic pursuits at SRH University Berlin and École d’Art et de Culture in Paris. Her journey continues to inspire and innovate at the intersection of music, culture, and entrepreneurship.

Leo Nikishin headshot.jpg

Leonid Nikishin 

VIOOL

Born in Moscow and educated in Russia, UK and the Netherlands, Leonid Nikishin is an established violinist and chamber musician currently based in Den Haag. He was a founding member and primarius of the award-winning Babylon Quartet, a dynamic string quartet with an extraordinarily wide repertoire that has toured extensively throughout the Netherlands and was also highly praised in France, Portugal, Austria and Lithuania. In 2016, Babylon Quartet was awarded a prestigious String Quartet Stipendium by the Kersjes Fonds. Since the quartet’s disbandment in 2021, Leonid has been regularly performing with a number of other ensembles and orchestras as well as the Grammy-winning Metropole Orkest. More recently, Leonid Nikishin has been involved with Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht (under the baton of Johannes Leertouwer), as either concertmaster or assistant concertmaster, including concertmaster appearances at Wonderfeel Festival 2022 and 2023. In addition to his performing career, Leonid Nikishin also dedicates a lot of energy and passion to teaching violin and chamber music, helping students of all ages and levels. Leonid currently performs on a Johannes Franciscus Cuypers violin (1797, Den Haag) and a Marcel Fetique bow (1940, Paris) kindly loaned to him by Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds, Amsterdam.

The name "Agathe Ensemble" is derived from one of Johannes Brahms' compositions: the String Sextet Opus 36, commonly referred to as the "Agathe sextet". This music was included in one of our first concert programs and gave birth to our string ensemble.

Brahms wrote this piece as a tribute to his beloved Agathe von Siebold.  The theme of the notes AGAHE in the composition is believed to be an encoded reference to Agathe's name, as if Brahms was calling out to his lover through his music.

agathe Brahms.jpg
bottom of page