Ensemble Raro was formed in 2004 by four extraordinary young musicians: pianist Diana Ketler, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, violist Razvan Popovici and cellist Bernhard Naoki Hedenborg. Their goal is to create unforgettable musical moments and to combine innovative approach with rich European tradition of intimate and sincere chamber music making. In 2011 the Ensemble Raro welcomed new members: violinists Alina Pogostkina and Erik Schumann, clarinetist Thorsten Johanns and hornist Olivier Darbellay.

Ensemble Raro is the ensemble en residence at the Chiemgauer Musikfrühling Festival in Germany, SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest and Arezzo, Kobe International Music Festival and Pèlèrinages in München. By creating this festivals, the ensemble has full artistic liberty: it improvised with DJ’s, created multimedia shows with VJ’s from Japan and Romania and developed literary soirées on love, Paul Wittgenstein, Emanuel Schikaneder and Bulgakow’s Master and Margarita with the actor Karl Markovics and the writer Lea Singer.

Ensemble Raro’s partners in various chamber music formations included Radovan Vlatkovic, Juliane Banse, Daishin Kashimoto, Konstantin Lifschitz, Frans Helmerson, Mihaela Martin, Baiba Skride, Boris Brovtsyn, Marlis Petersen, Mark Padmore, Benjamin Schmid, Philippe Graffin, Jan-Erik Gustafsson and Gilles Apap.

The Ensemble recently performed at the Rheingau Musikfestival, Lucerne Festival, Wiener Festwochen, in Boswil Summer Festival and Geneva Amadeus Festival in Switzerland, St.Gallen Festival and Gmunden Festspiele in Austria, Riga Chamber Music Festival in Latvia, in Schloss Elmau and Kulturwald Festival in Germany, Spoleto Festival and Cantiere di Montepulciano in Italy and in Music at Plush Festival/UK.

Since 2006 the Ensemble Raro tours every year Japan. The Ensemble Raro gave debut recitals at the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, the Musashino Hall in Tokyo, the Carnegie Hall in New York and the Wigmore Hall in London.

Ensemble Raro is actively involved in performing contemporary chamber music repertoire. They gave a British and German premieres of Peteris Vasks’s Piano Quartet. Their performances of Walter Braunfels’ and George Enescu’s works in Pèlèrinages series in Munich received a high critical acclaim. Composers like Dan Dediu and Santa Ratniece have composed new works to the Ensemble Raro.

Besides regular collaboration with the Bavarian Radio, Ensemble Raro’s performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3/UK, NHK/Japan, SWR/D, TVR, RRC and RRM/RO, DRS2/CH, LVR/LV and RFI/F.

In the last years the Ensemble Raro released five CDs. The first CD Songs and Dances of Life was described by Radio France International as “an exceptional project”. About Canti drammatici featuring piano quartets of Brahms and Vasks, the renowned Gramophone Magazine wrote: “Ensemble Raro bring a feisty application, impeccable polish and lively imagination to Brahms's stormy C minor Piano Quartet...” The Seasons was released in autumn 2008 in cooperation with the SoNoRo Festival and features the seasons by Antonio Vivaldi and Astor Piazzolla. In 2013 another CD was be released with chamber music by Ernst von Dohnányi, Josef Suk and Antonín Dvořák. The newest CD of the Ensemble Lived and Dreamed was released in 2015 to great acclaim.

The Ensemble Raro regularly gives masterclasses in Romania, Italy, Ukraine and Japan and developed Sonoro-Interferences, an extended educational project dedicated to the most talented young Romanian musicians, which has been taking place from 2009 also in Italy, Ukraine and Germany.

Lately the Ensemble Raro performed in Athens, Montepulciano, Bucharest, Kobe as well as in the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Centre in Washington and the Villa Musica Foundation in Mainz.

  • "… the ensemble was on fire - truly exciting, wild and fabulous. The audience roared its approval"

    NY Concert Review, December 2015

  • "Ensemble Raro must be one of the best, most versatile young groups before the public"

    New York Concert Review, Februar 2010, Edith Eissler

  • "eine meisterhafte Aufführung"

    Süddeutsche Zeitung

  • "das göttlich musizierende Ensemble Raro"

    Das Orchester

  • "fesity application, impeccable polish and lively imagination"

    The Gramophone

  • " spielten nicht nur mit ansteckender Lust, sondern entfalteten die Vielfalt der Instrumentalkombinationen, den Kontrastreichtum, den rhapsodischen Schwung…mit solchem Feuer und Sinn für Transparenz, dass der Erfolg außer zweifel stand. …In der Mitte erklang noch César Francks Klavierquintett in einer mittreissenden Aufführung. "

    Süddeutsche Zeitung

  • "...die kongeniale Neueinspielung des jungen Ensemble Raro wirkt ebenso ausdrucksmächtig wie subtil...das Klavierquartett von Peteris Vasks...spielt das Ensemble Raro außerordentlich dringlich, auch in leisen Passagen klangdicht und gespannt. Jeder klingende Augenblick ist durchdacht und emotional erfasst."

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung