Founded in 2014, the Brandenburg String Trio​ is comprised of South African violinist Avigail

Bushakevitz, German violist Ernst-Martin Schmidt and Spanish cellist Andrea Casarrubios.

Avigail and Ernst-Martin live in Berlin and Andrea in New York City. The trio members have

performed in the world's greatest halls, such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal

Albert Hall in London at the BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Philharmonie in

Berlin. As musicians they are equally at home as orchestral players, soloists and chamber


Violinist Avigail​ was born in Israel and grew up in George, South Africa, studying with Prof.

Jack de Wet in Cape Town. No stranger to South African audiences, she has performed as

soloist with all the major orchestras in the country, has won multiple national and

international competitions including first prizes at the UNISA National Strings Competition

and the UNO Competition in Jerusalem. In 2016 Avigail was named South African Standard

Bank Young Artist of the Year. Together with her brother Ammiel she has toured South

Africa, and performed in New York as well as various European countries. In 2014 the duo

were awarded first prize in the international Spanish competition “Paper de Musica de

Capellades”. After completing her Masters degree at The Juilliard School in New York under

the tutelage of Sylvia Rosenbeerg, Avigail continued her studies in Tel Aviv. In 2013 Avigail

moved to Berlin taking up her current position as a first violinist in the Konzerthaus

Orchestra Berlin where she met her husband Ernst-Martin Schmidt.

Violist Ernst-Martin ​was born in East Berlin where he first studied violin at the “C.P.E.Bach”

specialist music school. By the age of 16 he changed to the instrument where his heart lay,

the viola. He completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees at the Musik Hochschule “Hanns

Eisler” in Berlin with Prof. G. Riedel and Prof. W. Küssner. During the final two years of

studies he commenced two years’ playing in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as a fellow of

the orchestra’s Karajan Academy. Thereafter, in 2005, he joined the violas

of Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin. He performs regularly with the Berlin Baroque Soloists, the

Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin and is a member of diverse chamber music groups with

whom he has toured, Brazil, Japan and many European countries. Ernst-Martin is a

passionate baritone singer and is a member of the Gregorian Schola of the Hedwig’s

Cathedral of Berlin.

Cellist Andrea​ studied at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore with Amit Peled and at the

University of Southern California under Ralph Kirschbaum. After completing her Masters,

Andrea then went on to work with Ensemble ACJW at Carnegie Hall in New York. She is also

a composer with compositions premiered at illustrious venues such as Carnegie Hall. The

New York Times praised her cello playing as having “traversed the palette of emotions” with

“gorgeous tone and an edge-of-seat intensity”. She has collaborated in various festivals,

amongst them the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Ravinia, Pablo Casals Festival,

Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and the Verbier Festival. She has won many awards and is

a first prize winner of the American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition

2012 and the SOR Solo String Concerto Competition 2009. At the 2011 festival of the Heifetz

Institute in New Hampshire, Andrea and Avigail met and started their chamber music