Praised for her “enchanting musical personality” ~ de Volkskrant violinist Tosca Opdam is among the most prominent artists to have emerged from the Netherland in recent years. Dividing her time between the US and Europe, she embraces the idiosyncratic qualities of both cultural worlds to enrich a personal expressiveness in music.
When violinist Tosca Opdam, born and raised in Amsterdam, decided to continue her studies in New York, a new world opened up for her. It shaped not only her musicianship, but every aspect of her life. Tosca now describes herself as ‘a product of two worlds’.
Tosca Opdam won first prize in the prestigious Dutch Oskar Back Violin Competition 2011. The jury noted her ‘beautifully sustained long lines’ and ‘soloist qualities’. She returned at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam for a sold-out debut recital and a performance in honor of the grand re-opening of the Rijksmuseum.
Tosca completed the Young Talent Class of the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Following her studies with Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music, she received her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School of Music, studying with Catherine Cho and Sylvia Rosenberg.
Making her solo orchestral debut at the age of 11, Tosca Opdam has performed with various orchestras, under the baton of Marc Albrecht, Jurjen Hempel, Annedore Neufeld, Matthew Rowe, Clark Rundell and others. Her 2015 performance as part of the Liberation Day Concert, with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima in attendance, was broadcast live on Dutch national television.
Tosca Opdam made her recital debut at Carnegie Hall in June 2018, with a program that included the world premiere of Robin de Raaff’s North Atlantic Light for violin and piano, commissioned by the Toscata Foundation and dedicated to Tosca. The work is inspired by the Willem de Kooning painting of the same name. In May 2019, she premiered the orchestral version of North Atlantic Light with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Marc Albrecht at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
Tosca Opdam plays a Matteo Gofriller violin from 1700, which is generously on loan to her by a private collector.
Upcoming concerts include a recital at Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall on May 24rth 2021.
Vincent van Amsterdam (1989), winner of the Dutch Classical Talent Award 2016, is a big promotor of the classical accordion. In 2014, he completed his Master's degree cum laude at the Fontys Academy for Fine Arts Tilburg (NL). Vincent has won various international music competitions, including the Prinses Christina Concours (NL, 2007), the National Accordion Competition (NL, 2008 and 2009), and the Dutch Conservatoire Competition (NL, 2014).
Vincent has performed in nearly all great concert halls and at most festivals in the Netherlands. Abroad, Vincent has performed in Paris and Athens, and he has made successful solo tours in Italy and Indonesia. With the Van Amsterdam Duo, Vincent went on a tour of Austria and performed in Serbia and China. He has also had the privilege of performing solo concerts with several (youth) orchestras.
Vincent’s repertoire is characterized by its broad scope, which reaches from Scarlatti, Bach and Frank to Gubaidulina, Nordheim and Schmidt. Additionally, Vincent has actively sought out contemporary Dutch composer. His work with them has culminiated in several world premieres of pieces by Aart Strootman, Bernard van Beurden and Daan Manneke. For the concerts of the Dutch Classical Talant Award 2016 Vincent specially asked, with help from a grant by the Performaing Arts Fund (NL), Maxim Shalygin for a new piece for accordion.
Vincent has recorded several CD’s. In 2012 he recorded ‘’A Flight Beyond the Time’’ on which he performed solo compositions and chamber music works with the Van Amsterdam Duo. His subsequent CD ‘’Classical Accordion’’ (2014) consists completely of solo works by such diverse composers as Sweelinck, Bach, Gubaidulina and Tiensuu and in 2016 he releaserd a CD with the Van Amsterdam Duo, entitled ‘’Chanson Russe’’. ‘’Red, Dark and Blue’’ (2017) is Vincent's fourth CD which consist of the full programma of the DCT award 2016.
Winner of numerous competitions and developing an outstanding career, Dana Zemtsov is one of the most promising international viola soloists of her generation. Highlights in the past seasons include Dana´s performance of the Bartok Viola Concerto in the Main Hall of the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), playing chamber music with Janine Jansen and Martin Frost during the Utrecht Chamber Music Festival, and a recital in Carnegie Hall (New York).
In 2012 she signed an exclusive record deal with Channel Classics Records. Dana’s albums “Enigma”,”Romantic Metamorphoses” and the newly released “Essentia” recorded with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Daniel Raiskin have been received with great success by the international press.
Dana is 1st Prize laureate of several competitions in Luxembourg, Italy, Austria, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands. In 2010 she won the Dutch competition “Evening of the Young Musician’ became the ‘Young Musician of the Year’ and represented The Netherlands at the “Eurovision Young Musicians Competition” in Vienna. She has been awarded the prestigious Kersjes Prize, granted every year to an outstanding young string player in the Netherlands. In 2016 Dana has been chosen as ‘Guest of Honor’ among talented young violists to represent her generation at the 43 rd Viola Congress in Cremona by the side of artists as Bruno Giuranna, Ettore Causa and Tabea Zimmerman.
Dana is regularly appearing on the most important international stages, amongst others the Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), De Doelen (Rotterdam), St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, The Opera Hall in Tel Aviv, Carnegie Hall (New York). Dana played chamber music with Janine Jansen, Giovanni Sollima, Martin Frost, Ilya Gringolts and pianist Boris Berezovsky. As a soloist, Dana performed with the Ukrainian National Philharmonic Orchestra (Ukraine) Holland Symfonia, Sinfonia Rotterdam (the Netherlands), F. Busoni Chamber Orchestra (Italy), Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra (Ucraine) Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM, Filarmónica de Jalisco, Estonian National Symphony and collaborated with conductors as Leif Segerstam, Massimo Quarta,Marco Parisotto, Otto Tausk, Daniel Raiskin. Further engagement will bring her to collaborate with Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Bergische Symphoniker, Lake Forest Orchestra,Gelders Orchestra and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
Petra van der Heide studied with Erika Waardenburg, Maria Graf and Charlotte Cassedanne, and has participated in masterclasses with Susann McDonald and Tanya Tauer. At the age of sixteen, she performed on the Focus on Youth Concert at the World Harp Congress in Vienna.
She is the recipient of various prizes at both Dutch and international competitions including the National Competition of the Foundation for Young Musical Talent in the Netherlands and the Edith Stein Competition.
Van der Heide was based in Germany from 1993 to 2003, where she played in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich. She held the position of principal harpist of the Darmstadt Opera from 1998 to 2003.
Van der Heide was appointed principal harpist of the Concertgebouworkest in August 2003. She also performs chamber music as a member of various groups – with brass, string and woodwind instruments.
She constantly encourages composers to write new works for harp and has performed at various contemporary music festivals, such as the Donaueschingen Festival, the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music and the Düsseldorf Festival.
She gave a solo performance of Debussy’s Danse sacrée et profane as part of a Nederlands Danstheater production in 1991. Van der Heide is a guest teacher at the Utrecht and Amsterdam conservatories, where she teaches courses in taking auditions.
Petra van der Heide plays two harps which are on loan from Foundation Concertgebouworkest: a Camac harp and a Horngacher, built in 2008 and 2015 respectively. The Horngacher harp was partly funded by private donors and partly by contributions through an Interest Bonus Action by ING Bank.
Lidy Blijdorp is a young, passionate cellist with enormous narrative power, praised for her ‘breathtaking musicality’ (Amsterdamse Cellobiennale). She graduated from Paris conservatory with the highest distinction (1ère Prix avec Félicitations, 2011). Lidy recently played her Artist Diploma Recital at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, where she studied with Gary Hoffman.
Blijdorp studied with Monique Bartels (Royal Conservatory, The Hague), Michel Strauss (Conservatoire National Supérieure de Paris) and Gary Hoffman (Queen Elisabeth Chapel). She received lessons from Anner Bylsma, Dmitri Ferschtman and Richard Aaron.
Lidy won prizes at several competitions: the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam, the Grachtenfestival Competition, the Princess Christina Competition and, with her string quartet, the Charles Hennen International Competition. In the summer of 2014 she won the Prix Académie Maurice Ravel (France).
Blijdorp plays at festivals such as the Janine Jansen Festival Utrecht, the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam and the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam. She also gave recitals in Belgium (Brussels Bozar, Flagey), France (Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, Paris; Auditorium Maurice Ravel, St. Jean de Luz; La Lucarne, Arradon) and Japan (Kinan Hall, Wakayama; Bamboo Hall, Tokyo). In September 2015 she gave a Beethoven-recital with Maria João Pires in Madrid (Auditorio Nacional).
As a soloist she has played with various orchestras. In 2013 she was invited to play the Dvorák cello concerto and the premiere of the Russian composer Sergej Yevtushenko, with the State Hermitage Orchestra (Hermitage Theatre, St. Petersburg). She also played with the Orchestre de Chambre de Wallonie (Bozar, Brussels, 2014), the Liège Philharmonic Orchestra (Flagey, Brussels; Salle Philharmonique, Liège, 2014), Camerata Amsterdam (2016) and the Netherlands Wind Ensemble (2016, Vredenburg).
In april 2017 she made a tour with the NESKO. In 2018 she gave solo performances with the Orchestra of the 18th Century and with the “Orkest van het Oosten”. In June 2019 she played the Rococo Variations with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra.
Two cello pieces have been dedicated to Lidy Blijdorp: ‘Lidy’s Piece’ by Australian composer Kate Moore and ‘Cello Song – ‘What if’ by Dutch composer Ig Henneman.
Lidy plays the Italian cello of Anner Bylsma, on loan from the Dutch National Musical Instrument Fund.
‘It is essential to me to study and perform music on an emotional level. Next to the values of analysis and knowledge, my music-making does follow its most powerful path when it comes from the gut. Conveying that purity and essence of the music is my drive in playing the cello. It seems the right way to let the listener join me in the flow, to become “unchained” together.’
‘Motherhood is closely linked to my career. My children are a constant mirror to everything I do, think and feel. This has given me new and invigorating ways in communicating through music. It is as if I don’t play anymore, I just am.’
Amongst other concerts this season, Quirine Viersen will give multiple performances of the Barber Cello Concerto with the Niederrheinische Sinfoniker under Diego Martin-Etxebarria. For the international Cello Biennial Amsterdam 2018, she looks forward to revisiting Korngold’s Cello Concerto, as well as playing the world premiere of Glacier, a solo piece JacobTV wrote for her. 2019 will see the collaboration with both the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra/Lucas Macias Navarro and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra for the cello arrangement of Mozart’s Flute Concerto.
In 2011, Quirine recorded the Bach Suites for Cello for the first time. The Strad wrote: [her] ’interpretations are characterised by poise, imagination and a pleasing sense of fantasy.’ New perspectives have led to a second recording, to be issued this year.
After working and recording extensively with Silke Avenhaus for almost twenty years, Quirine has sought out new duo collaborations. Recitals with pianist Enrico Pace kicked off with great success at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam in 2017.
Being awarded the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, Quirine performed with the Vienna Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta at the Lucerne Festival in 2000.
Since then, Quirine has played the cello concerto repertoire with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt, Ingo Metzmacher and Bernard Haitink, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Marc Albrecht, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Valery Gergiev, Frankfurt Radio Symphony/Hugh Wolff, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra/Georges Pehlivanian, Vienna Chamber Orchestra/Heinrich Schiff, Malmö Symphony Orchestra/Lawrence Renes, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra/Jean Fournet and others.
Previous and continuing collaborations include Antje Weithaas, Thomas Beijer, Leonidas Kavakos and Liza Ferschtman; with invitations from Delft Chamber Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Mondsee Tage, Luzerner Festwochen and the Salzburger Festspiele.
Miriam Overlach, harpist, is rooted in the classical music tradition but also experienced and specialized in other musical fields such as contemporary music, improvisation and music theatre.
Miriam regularly performs as a soloist, chamber musician and together with ensembles and orchestras at festivals and concert venues throughout Europe.
In 2018 she was appointed professor of harp at the Royal Conservatory Antwerp, Belgium and since 2020 she teaches chambermusic and contemporary music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.
She loves to work together with composers, creating performances in music theatrical setting and experimenting with new concert formats. This led to a great number and variety of new solo pieces being written for harp, which she has premiered at international festivals and recorded for her youtube channel. Collaborations of the past years include a website for composers www.composingforharp.com, performances for the prestigious Stockhausen Music Foundation and concerts with free-jazz legend Anthony Braxton.
Miriam is co-founder of Ensemble Lumaka with flute, harp, and strings (ensemblelumaka.com), specialized in early 20th century repertoire. Lumaka often initiates concert shows including theatre and has released three CDs with rarely played repertoire. They were awarded several first prizes in international competitions.
During her studies, Miriam attained first prizes at the ‘International Harp Competition Martine Géliot’, the Dutch Harp Competition, the ‚Grachtenfestival' Conservatory Competition, the ‘Vriendenkrans‘ Competition (Young Soloists of the Concertgebouw) including the prize of the Dutch Radio to record her solo-debut cd.
Miriam works regularly with ensembles and orchestras like Ensemble Modern, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dutch Opera.
Double bassist James Oesi (London, 1988) has been a familiar face in the classical and modern music world since his arrival in the Netherlands in 2009. He is one of the few who focuses on the bass as a solo instrument. He has performed his solo programs - consisting of works by among others Bach, Rachmaninoff, Berio and Beethoven on well-known stages such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Utrecht's TivoliVredenburg and the Oosterpoort Groningen, and festivals such as the Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam, CrossLinx, November Music, Festival Classique and Wonderfeel. Abroad James has performed at leading festivals such as Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and toured South Africa. He is also a welcome guest on television programs such as Podium Witteman, Vrije Geluiden and on NPO Radio 4 and NPO Radio 1. Dutch newspapers NRC Handelsblad and Trouw and Luister magazine published extensive interviews with Oesi, and Classic FM UK featured his video of Luciano Berio's Psy. James is the initiator and artistic director of the Dutch Double Bass Festival.
In addition to his solo activities, James Oesi is in great demand as a contemporary music ensemble player. He is a member of Asko|Schönberg and plays with, among others, Ives Ensemble and the prestigious Ensemble Modern. During and after his studies (at the conservatories of Moscow and The Hague, where he graduated with a 10+ in 2012 and was awarded the Fock medal for best final exam of that year) James has received masterclasses and coaching sessions from Gary Karr, Anner Bijlsma, Geoffrey Simon (conductor and producer), Leon Bosch (former solo double bass from Academy of St Martin in the fields), Klaus Trumpf and Thomas Martin. Together with neuroscientist and former top skater Beorn Nijenhuis, Oesi completed a case study in the summer of 2020 which investigated the most effective way for professional musicians to practise. This in preparation to record all six of Bach's cello suites on double bass.