Founded in 1999 and in artistic residency at the Théâtre du Jeu de Paume in Aix-en-Provence, Café Zimmermann is at the forefront of Baroque concert music in France and Europe.

Taking its name from the famous establishment run by Gottfried Zimmermann in 18th-century Leipzig, the ensemble strives to revive the artistic emulation of the establishment. The liveliness of its interpretations, the beauty of its timbres and its generous, sunny character have made its reputation, both in concert and on record.

Among his many recordings, all released by Alpha Classics, those dedicated to J.S. Bach are often acclaimed by specialist critics and awarded several Diapasons d’Or and Chocs de Classica. To pursue its artistic project, Café Zimmermann has also set up numerous fruitful collaborations with artists such as Sophie Karthäuser, Emöke Barath, Giuliano Carmignola, Rupert Charlesworth, Lorenzo Coppola, Damien Guillon, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov, Eva Zaïcik and
choirs such as Vox Luminis and Accentus, with whom it performs in French concert halls (Théâtre de la Ville, Cité de la Musique, Grand Théâtre de Provence, L’Arsenal, Radio France, Auditorium de Lyon) and European concert halls (Amuz, Organisatie Oude Muziek Utrecht, Auditorio Nacional de Música de Madrid, Sociedad Filarmonica de Bilbao), as well as on international tours (USA, Japan, China, South America).

Among the Ensemble’s outstanding productions, a large place is naturally given to the vocal and instrumental music of J.S. Bach (complete Brandenburg concertos, Cantatas with Damien Guillon and Sophie Karthäuser in particular), his contemporaries (Vivaldi concertos and cantatas with Eva Zaïcik, Charles Avison and Geminiani concertos, etc.) and his successors (symphonies and cantatas by C.P.E. Bach with Rupert Charlesworth, symphonies and concertos by C.P.E. Bach and Mozart with Alexander Melnikov).

In addition to production activities, Café Zimmermann musicians are committed to introducing Baroque aesthetics to a wide range of audiences and sharing their knowledge in a variety of ways. As part of our residency in Aix-en-Provence, the musicians visit various specialized medical centers and, as part of the school concerts we give, lead Baroque itineraries in a number of schools, taking the form of several workshops. The ensemble is also happy to maintain partnerships with several hospitals in its area, where the musicians frequently take part, either individually by visiting the wards (Nice, Marseille) or collectively by holding public rehearsals (in the Aix-Pertuis auditorium). Last but not least, Café Zimmermann is proud to have become the patron of the Orchestra class at La Roque-d’Anthéron, a
scheme through which he accompanies pupils in their learning of music.

Their latest disc, The imaginary music book of J.S. Bach, features intimate pieces by the composer and German composer, and has received excellent critical acclaim, including a Classica Coup de Coeur and five Diapason awards from the eponymous magazine.


Harpsichord & Artistic Direction

Born in Marseille, Céline Frisch studied harpsichord at the Conservatoire d’Aix-en-Provence, which opened the doors to the prestigious Schola Cantorum in Basel. She was awarded the Juventus Prize in 1996, was the first harpsichordist selected for the Victoires de la Musique Classique in 2002, and was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2009.

Her interpretations of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach have earned her the warmest of reviews from the international music press. In addition to Bach, her affinities have led her to play French music from the time of Louis XIV, the works of the English virginalists and German music of the 17th century. She also enjoys exploring 20th century music and contemporary creation.

In 2016, her recording of the first book of J.S. Bach’s «Well-Tempered Clavier» was unanimously acclaimed by the critics and awarded a Diapason d’Or, the Choc de Classica and the ffff de Télérama. His latest disc, released in 2019, featuring the second book of the Well-Tempered Clavier, has also been awarded a Diapason d’Or and the Choc de Classica.

Since 2021 she has been teaching at the prestigious Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien.


Violin and Artistic Direction

Trained at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Pablo Valetti has regularly performed as soloist or first violin with the main baroque ensembles and orchestras of international scenes – Les Arts Florissants, Le Concert des Nations, Concerto Köln, Hesperion XXI, etc.Beyond his activities as a soloist, he was regularly invited to conduct the Orquesta Barroca in Seville and also devoted himself to teaching at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona and the Conservatory of Nice.

Since the creation of Café Zimmermann in 1999, he has devoted himself entirely to the artistic project and to the development of the whole.
He plays a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini from 1758.