The Ensemble
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Nikel is a quartet consisting of saxophone, electric guitar, percussion and piano.

A mix of traditional and contemporary, these instruments combine to form an alternative chamber music output where electric and acoustic sounds are fused into a unified sonic organism built on a wide, yet discerning musical vocabulary. The continual search for new musical ideas is not based on aesthetic prejudice or dichotomies of musical genres, but on passion and devotion to making and performing great music.


Founded in 2006, the ensemble is a frequent guest at many of the community’s most well known festivals of contemporary music: Donaueschinger Musiktage, International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt, Wien Modern, Warsaw Autumn, Manifeste Paris, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Gaudeamus Utrecht & Impuls Graz to name a few. In recent years, they have increased their international presence with appearances in North America, South America and New Zealand, as well as continued appearances at major festivals throughout Europe.


Given its unique formation, the group’s repertoire is entirely based on music written for the quartet by both established and up-and-coming composers. Much of these works saw light in NIKEL’s 2017 release: A DECADE – 10 Year retrospective recordings, consisting of 4 CD’s of their repertoire joined by a DVD Documentation.

Nikel members are:

Patrick Stadler – Saxophone

Yaron Deutsch – Electric Guitar

Brian Archinal – Percussion

Antoine Françoise – Piano


Yaron Deutsch (Tel Aviv, 1978) is a guitarist and artistic director of Ensemble Nikel.

At age eighteen, he founded and led his first group – Ofek III – a fusion trio playing his own compositions. In 1999, he enrolled at the “Rubin Academy for Music and Dance” in Jerusalem and studied under the instruction of guitarists Steve Paskof and Yossi Levi. In 2006 together with saxophonist Gan Lev he founded the Tel Aviv based Ensemble for Contemporary Music – Ensemble Nikel. With the ensemble and as a soloist he has been frequently collaborating with both established and young composers, giving world premiere performances to numerous works.


As a guest performer he is frequently playing with Ensemble Klangforum Wien.


Occasional guest appearances he had with Ensemble Ascolta (Stuttgart), Ensemble Court Circuit (Paris), Ensemble Ictus (Brussels), Ensemble Phace (Vienna), Ensemble musikFabrik (Koeln), Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, RAI Orchestra (Turin), Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Luzerner Sinfonieorchester in which he played under conductors Sylvain Camberling, Peter Eötvös, Johannes Kalitzke, Zubin Mehta, Georges Elie Octors, Emilio Pomarico, Pascal Rophé & Steven Slone among others.

As well he is a member of the free improv trio – Ministry of Bad Decisions together with drummer Brian Archinal and composer-improviser, Stefan Prins.


Apart from his perfomative duties, Deutsch has been teaching at the IMPULS academy, Graz (2015) and at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt (2016) leading the guitar class in both strctures and since 2010 is the artistic director of “Tzlil Meudcan” (In Hebrew: “Update Tone”) – The International Summer Course & Festival for Contemporary Music, Israel.

Deutsch is currently spending his time between Tivo’n and Vienna.

Patrick Stadler (Germany, 1985), began his studies in 2005 at the Conservatory for Music in Basel with Marcus Weiss, one of the renowned saxophonists for contempory music. Furthermore he studied with Pierre-Stéphane Meugé in Lausanne and Jean-Michel Goury in Paris.


In 2012, Patrick Stadler received his Master with honors from the Conservatory of Music in Basel with the unanimous consent of the jury. He has also won numerous prizes and awards, including those from “Da Ponte Foundation”, “International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt 2012 ” and “Deutscher Musikrat Competition” and “Concours National d’Exécution Musicale”.


He has appeared as soloist with various orchestras like “Philharmonie Zentralschweiz”, “L’Orchestre Tibor Varga”, “Kammerorchester Basel” and “Sinfonieorchester Basel”. Other chamber and solo projects has brought him through serveral countries all over the world. In 2011 he performed the pieces “Cells for saxophone and ensemble” by Hanspeter Kyburz with the ensemble from “Impuls Academy” in the final concert.


Patrick Stadler is member of “Ensemble Inverspace”, Duo “Organised Sax” and “Ensemble Nikel”. In 2012 he premiers four new works with the Ensemble Nikel at the “Donaueschinger Musiktage”. Beside this festival he participated and performed in “International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt 2010 and 2012″, “Impuls Academy 2011″, “Lucerne Festival Academy” and “Two days and two nights” in Odessa. He collaborated with composers, such as Georges Aperghis, Giorgio Netti, Beat Furrer, Peter Eötvös, Malin Bång, Germán Alonso, Teresa Carrasco and Yair Klartag.


Patrick Stadler performed in Europe, Asia and the USA

Percussionist Brian Archinal (USA, 1986) is living and working in Basel, Switzerland. Together with groups like Ensemble Nikel and Ensemble This | Ensemble That, he is active in the most current and critical streams of contemporary music performance. His artistic practice focuses on the role of Interpretation in musical performance, conceptual performance practices, as well as the possibilities of multi-media in the current artistic culture.


Since his Studies at the University of Kentucky (Prof. Jim Campbel), University of California – San Diego (Prof. Steven Schick), and his Swiss government funded studies at the Musik Akademie Basel (Prof. Christian Dierstein) he has been collecting awards and praise for his musical and artistic activities. In the summer of 2012 Brian was awarded a ‘Stipendiat Preis’ by the Internationales Musikinstitut in Darmstadt, Germany, and was the first prize winner at the 2011 Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a historical institution for contemporary music.


He has recordings on labels like MODE Records (Iannis Xenakis Edition 13, Ensemble Works 3), GOD Recordings (Peter Ablinger – Regenstücke Vol. 1), Tzadik (George Lewis – Silent Shout), Innova (David Crowell – Eucalyptus) und Silentes (Muridae – Under the Fable of Meaning). He also performs with the Swiss band Alt-F4.


Since 2014 he is teaching at the University of the Arts in Bern, Switzerland.

After studying in Switzerland and United Kingdom with professors Paul Coker, Yonty Solomon, Andrew Ball, Ashley Wass (piano), Laurent Estoppey (saxophone)  and Michael Oliva (composition), Antoine Françoise performs nowadays in Europe and further as a soloist, chamber musician, with ensembles and orchestras.

At the term of his studies at the Royal College of Music in London, he was awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal, for his outstanding talent and dedication to music. Antoine now is a professor of piano (contemporary specialism) at the RCM.


Fascinated by the chamber music of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as all new expressions of modern music, Antoine is founding member of the Mercury Quartet and the Francoise-Green piano duo, 2011 winners of Concours Nicati (Switzerland) and 2013 winners of Royal Overseas League competition. He is also principal pianist of Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain (NEC, Switzerland), Ensemble Contrechamps (Switzerland), ensemble Nikel and London Contemporary Orchestra. He also plays regularly with the London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia. He played with conductors such as Diego Masson, Pierre-Alain Monot,  Nicholas Collon, Clement Power, Johannes Kalitzke or Vladimir Jurowski. Antoine worked closely with composers such as Julian Anderson, Rebecca Saunders, Hans-Peter Kyburz (giving the uk premiere of his concerto) and Eric Gaudibert (who dedicated his last concerto GONG to him). He counts now hundreds of premieres in his repertoire. As part of the London Contemporary Orchestra, he also performs regularly alongside guitarist and composer Jonny Greenwood and premiered his solo piano suite: 88.


From September 2015, Antoine will be in charge of the artistic direction of the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain.