Philharmonic String Quintet

2 violins, viola, cello, double bass

The formation of the Berlin Philharmonic String Quintet is unique: Unlike other quintets, in which a normal string quartet consisting of two violins, viola and cello is augmented by either a second viola or a second cello, the additional instrument here is a double bass. Thus all five string sections of the orchestra are represented, and the Philharmonic String Quintet goes beyond the conventional limits of a pure chamber-music ensemble – like the string quartet – to become a formation with symphonic dimensions. Although there are few original works for the Quintet, which must rely largely on arrangements, the musicians have deliberately stayed with this combination: “In our experience, the sonorities in the compositions we perform this way gain enormously in depth.”

The Philharmonic String Quintet grew out of a long-standing collaboration between Wolfang Talirz on viola, Romano Tommasini on violin and the cellist Tatjana Vassiljeva, since 2014 principal cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. It gave its first concert in 2007 in Belgium to great acclaim. Within a relatively short time the ensemble has achieved wide recognition and has now appeared throughout Europe and Japan.