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

MEMBERS

Guitarist Yaron Deutsch (Tel Aviv, 1978) is mainly known for his work in the field of contemporary (classical) music. He is the founder and artistic director of NIKEL and a frequent guest in Europe’s leading ensembles & orchestras dedicated to the performance of contemporary music. Most often he joins the acclaimed Klangforum Wien ensemble.

Occasional performances – as soloist or guest musician – he had with: Ensemble Court-circuit (Paris), Ensemble Ictus (Brussels), Ensemble Musikfabrik (Cologne), Talea Ensemble (New York), Berner Symphonieorchester, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai (Turin), Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Los Angeles Philharmonic, SWR Symphonieorchester and the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester in which he played under conductors: Sylvain Camberling, Titus Engel, Peter Eotvos, Zubin Mehta, Emilio Pomàrico, Peter Rundel and Ilan Volkov among others 

Further more his search of inhabiting the guitar in additional contemporary settings led him on one hand to the experimental/improv scenes where he often teams up with composer/improviser Stefan Prins (Ministry of Bad Decisions / NOT I), Double Bassist Uli Fussenegger (Synthetic Skin / Alone Together) or accordionist Krassimir Sterev. On the other (far) end, in a grander setting he performed in productions of contemporary opera repertoire at the Basel Opera, Deuthsche Oper Berlin or Opera Ballet Vlannderen among others.

Recordings featuring his playing are available on Col Legno, Kairos, Neos, Sub Rosa and Wergo labels.

Apart from his performative activities, he is the guitar class tutor at the prestigious Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music. Since 2010 he is the curator of Tzlil Meudcan (In Hebrew: Updated Tone) “ The International Festival for Contemporary Music, Tel Aviv – Israel.

Saxophonist Patrick Stadler (Germany, 1985) has played a pioneering role in the field of contemporary music as a member of the renowned ensemble Nikel. This quartet has made a significant contribution to the creation of new works, collaborating with young and established composers.
He regularly performs at important festivals and concert series including Donaueschinger Musiktagen, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Lucerne Festival, Wien Modern, Darmstädter Ferienkursen, Huddersfield Contemporary Musik Festival, IRCAM, and Ultraschall Berlin. His concerts are frequently recorded and broadcasted by radio stations in England, Belgium, Austria, France, Switzerland and Germany.
Patrick Stadler is a member of the Ensemble Inverspace and the L/S Saxophone Duo, and collaborates with ensembles such as the Collegium Novum Zurich, Ensemble Phace, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Ensemble Aventure, Zafraan Ensemble Berlin, and Klangforum Heidelberg. As a soloist he has appeared with the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra and the Basel Symphony Orchestra among others.
In 2019, Patrick Stadler released his debut solo CD on the Austrian label KAIROS featuring the complete recording of necessità d’interrogare il cielo by Giorgio Netti – the 70 minute cycle for solo soprano saxophone. His other recording highlights include the 2017 box set release of four CDs and a DVD with the ensemble Nikel, documenting its activities of the past decade.
Since 2015 Patrick Stadler has taught saxophone at the University of Music in Freiburg, and previously worked as an assistant professor and sabbatical replacement for Prof. Marcus Weiss at the University of Music in Basel. In 2019 Patrick Stadler was appointed professor for saxophone at the University of Music in Nuremberg.

Living and working in Switzerland, American percussionist Brian Archinal (USA, 1986) has been collecting awards and praise for his musical activities as a percussionist, educator and artistic director. Together with ensembles like Ensemble Nikel (Tel Aviv, Israel), ET | ET (Basel, Switzerland) and Collegium Novum (Zurich, Switzerland), he pursues the forefront of musical exploration and collaboration.

As Professor of Percussion at the Bern University of the Arts (Hochschule der kunste Bern), his pedagogy is built around an experimental approach to musical interpretation and performance, as well the role of multimedia in performance.

Brian has performed internationally at some of the most prestigious festivals for contemporary music including: Gaudeamus, Utrecht, NE, Donaueschingen, DE, Wien Modern in Vienna, AU, ArsMusica, Brussels, BE, Biennale di Venezia, Venice, IT, Manifeste in Paris, FR, Warsaw Autumn, Warsaw PO, Ultima, Oslo, NOR, as well as Time Spans (New York City, USA), and has recorded for various music labels such as Kairos, GOD Recordings, MODE Records, WERGO, Edition zeitgenoessische Musik, Klarthe, Tzadik, NEOS, Galaxa and Silentes.

Antoine Françoise (Switzerland *1987) studied music in Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and in the Royal College of Music in London (UK) with Paul Coker, Yonty Solomon, Ashley Wass and Andrew Ball and is eternally grateful to Swiss saxophonist Laurent Estoppey for his guidance as a musician.
Antoine is fascinated by the medium of chamber music and is active mainly in the field of the living arts, contemporary and experimental music. He was a founding member of the Mercury Quartet and the Françoise-Green piano duo and now enjoys a worldwide career within the quartet Nikel and as a pianist of ensemble Contrechamps and Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain-NEC. Since 2015, he is also the artistic director of NEC as well as a programming member of festival Les Amplitudes.
Antoine has worked with most of the leading new music composers and enjoys collaborations with artists of all kind. While in London, he performed with all major orchestras and was the principal pianist of London Contemporary orchestra (including a long collaboration with Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood on his film and stage music). Recently, he collaborated with Swiss choreographer Maud Blandel and signed the music (composition, arrangement and performance) of her latest work Diverti Menti.
Antoine is a piano and chamber music teacher at the Bern University of the Arts in Bern.