Agate Quartet

Posted in Quartets

© Kaupo Kikkas

has been in residency since July 2018

  • Adrien Jurkovic, Thomas Descamps violin
  • Raphaël Pagnon viola
  • Simon Iachemet cello

Currently based in Paris, it is first 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. The quartet studies also with Luc-Marie Aguera at the Conservatoire de Paris.

They join renowned chamber music academies such as Verbier Festival Academy, the Montreal International String Quartet Academy (MISQA), the Aix-en-Provence Festival Academy, “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 is quickly invited to perform in several international festivals and venues : Hamburg International Chamber Music Festival, Les Vacances de Monsieur Haydn, Festival La Brèche, 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 Mathieu Herzog, Florent Héau, the Modigliani Quartet, the Jerusalem Quartet, Ivan Karizna, Raphaël Chrétien and Alain Brunier.

2019 will see them perform in the Verbier Festival Academy, Les Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, the Aix-en-Provence Festival Academy, La Brèche Festival, Casale Monferrato Festival in Italy among others.

Since 2018, The Agate Quartet is in residence at the Fondation Singer-Polignac and has been selected for taking part in the Le Dimore del Quartetto project.

In 2019, the quartet becomes a resident of ProQuartet and associate-artist at the Festival La Brèche.

Adrien Jurkovic plays on a violin attributed to Giuseppe Giovanni Guarneri loaned by Dr Peter Hauber. Thomas Descamps plays on a Omobono Stradivari violin. Raphaël Pagnon plays on a Ferdinando Alberti viola. Simon Iachemet plays on a Giacinto Santagiuliana cello.


Concerts at the Fondation Singer-Polignac

Festival Singer-Polignac: Agate Quartet | June 10, 2023

 Festival Singer-Polignac: Agate Quartet and Nathanaël Gouin | November 13, 2020

Workshop concert: Agate Quartet | January 31, 2019


Tour dates