Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Amsterdam Sinfonietta occupies a unique position on the Dutch music scene as professional string orchestra under the leadership of Candida Thompson.


Amsterdam Sinfonietta occupies a unique position on the Dutch music scene as professional string orchestra. It is regularly invited to perform in concert halls throughout the world as one of the very few large-scale string ensembles on the international scene.

The ensemble consists of 22 chamber musicians; all string players. Its repertoire covers a variety of styles, extending from the Baroque repertoire to contemporary works. The main focus lies on string ensemble repertoire, including chamber music performed in string orchestra format. On occasion Amsterdam Sinfonietta performs as a chamber orchestra with the use of additional instrumentalists. The ensemble is characterised by an innovative approach to repertoire, often presenting unexpected and exciting programming combinations. Alongside performances of mainstream repertoire, Sinfonietta frequently draws attention to unjustly neglected or ‘rediscovered’ works.

What sets Amsterdam Sinfonietta apart from the ‘regular’ chamber orchestras is the top priority it gives to a ‘chamber music mentality’. Every one of its musicians assumes the responsibilities of a solo player. This approach guarantees a high level of involvement on the part of the musicians when they perform as an ensemble, resulting in performances of rare dynamism and intensity that involve the listener in a vibrant live music experience. Usually the ensemble plays without conductor under the direction of Candida Thompson, concertmaster since 1995, who was appointed artistic director in 2003.

Amsterdam Sinfonietta enjoyed a ten-year collaboration with the ensemble’s first artistic director Lev Markiz. He was succeeded by the violinist and conductor Peter Oundjian. Since Candida Thompson’s appointment in 2003, the ensemble has invited inspiring guest conductors and guest soloists each season for special projects, including conducting soloists or composers. The ensemble has worked with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Reinbert de Leeuw, Christoph Poppen, Mark Wigglesworth, Jaap van Zweden and HK Gruber. Sinfonietta enjoyed intense collaborations with internationally renowned soloists, such as Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer, Murray Perahia, Yo-Yo Ma, Martin Fröst, Menahem Pressler, Isaac Stern, Maxim Vengerov, Thomas Zehetmair, Sarah Chang, Janine Jansen, Christianne Stotijn, Bobby McFerrin and Cristina Branco, who have shown their appreciation for the ensemble’s flexible approach and artistic drive.

Amsterdam Sinfonietta has recorded an impressive number of CD's. The recording of Walton's Sonata for Strings and Beethoven's String Quartet opus 135 was honoured with a ‘CD of the Month’ review in Gramophone magazine in March 2006. About the recording of Shostakovich’ String Quartets 2 & 4 with the label Channel Classics Fanfare magazine wrote in September/October 2008: ‘The recording is outstanding, with the surround Super Audio providing a very warm and enveloping arena for these strings, and really has no competition on the market’. The Amsterdam Sinfonietta recording, 'The Bohemian Album', with music of Haas, Schulhoff and Dvořák, was released in May 2009. The recording 'Brahms-Schönberg', with the String Quartet, opus 51 of Johannes Brahms and the highly romantic Verklärte Nacht of Arnold Schönberg, came out in February 2011. The latest Amsterdam Sinfonietta cd, "The Mahler Album" was released in November 2011.




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