Philipp Nickel has been one of the leaders of the viola section in the Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester since 2003/04. He is also a much sought-after guest, appearing with orchestras including the Hamburg and Munich philharmonics, the Bamberg Symphony and the Bayerische Staatsoper's orchestra. Earlier on in his career he worked freelance with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. Philipp Nickel, who was born in Hamburg in 1974, began playing the violin when he was 7, studying later on with Christoph Poppen and Eberhard Feltz at the »Hanns Eisler« University for Music in Berlin. When he changed to the viola he studied with Stefan Fehlandt (Vogler Quartet) and then Erich Krüger at the »Franz Liszt« University for Music in Weimar. He took part in masterclasses held by, amongst others, Jürgen Kussmaul, Hartmut Rohde and Tabea Zimmermann and was awarded various scholarships, including ones from the International Richard-Wagner-Verband and Menuhin Foundation »Live Music Now«.