Amsterdam Sinfonietta
© Marco BorggreveOrchestra
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Biography

Amsterdam Sinfonietta is an ensemble of 22 gifted musicians from all over the world. The group performs without conductor, under the direction of Candida Thompson, artistic director since 2003. The ensemble’s defining feature is the strong involvement and artistic drive of each individual member. It has gained a reputation for distinguished performances and innovative programming, often featuring surprising combinations of works. In past seasons Amsterdam Sinfonietta has toured Europe, China, the US and Australia and performed in venues such as the Barbican Hall in London, Cité de la Musique in Paris, National Centre of Performing Arts in Beijing and Konzerthaus in Berlin.


Amsterdam Sinfonietta has occupied a unique position as the only professional string orchestra in the Netherlands for the past 25 years. Founded in 1988, with Lev Markiz as its first artistic director, Amsterdam Sinfonietta is a highly respected ensemble with strong roots in the Dutch cultural scene. Every season it presents a series of concerts in the major concert halls of the Netherlands. The orchestra boasts a young and loyal audience. Amsterdam Sinfonietta performs ingenious programmes featuring well-known repertoire combined with commissions, new arrangements or rarely performed works. Recent commissions include world premières of compositions by Sofia Goebaidoelina, Florian Maier, Michel van der Aa, Pēteris Vasks, Thomas Larcher and Sally Beamish. Currently Thomas Larcher and Sally Beamish are writing compositions for Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Over the past seasons Amsterdam Sinfonietta has initiated and recorded new arrangements of various chamber music works. These include works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Schulhoff, Haas, Shostakovich and Berg.

Amsterdam Sinfonietta enjoys intensive collaborations with pre-eminent musicians. Guest artists such as Janine Jansen, David Fray, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Barbara Hannigan, Thomas Hampson, Sergey Khachatryan, Christianne Stotijn, Håkan Hardenberger, Isabelle Faust, Martin Fröst, Sol Gabetta, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and Steven Isserlis have made return appearances with the orchestra.

In 2011 the orchestra gave spectacular performances with the solo cellist Sol Gabetta at the Barbican in London, the Philharmonie in Luxembourg, Bozar in Brussels, the Musikhalle in Hamburg and the Konserthuset in Stockholm. The group received ecstatic reviews after a tour of Germany and Belgium with the pianist David Fray. Following concerts in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote: ‘For the chamber orchestra Amsterdam Sinfonietta, performing under the direction of Candida Thompson, the keyword is alertness. The 22 string players […] communicate with each other in a state of heightened awareness. Each player listens attentively to the others, to the counter lines and tonal colours. […] The result sounded fresh and modern – simply brilliant.’

During the last few seasons Amsterdam Sinfonietta has undertaken international tours with Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Sol Gabetta and Martin Fröst. In early 2014 it joined forces with the American baritone Thomas Hampson, performing a unique song programme in twelve concert halls across Europe. Upcoming projects include a European tour with the young classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić and a new concert tour with Thomas Hampson.

The orchestra also participates in multidisciplinary projects. Together with the Dutch-Italian choreographers Emio Greco & PC, the ensemble presented a theatrical production featuring a contemporary collage of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. Amsterdam Sinfonietta has worked with the actor Jeroen Willems and stage director Pierre Audi in a theatrical programme called ‘Liebestod’. The ensemble has also presented a Dessner-Greenwood double portrait featuring recent compositions by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead fame and Bryce and Aaron Dessner from the successful rock band The National. In 2013 the  collaboration between Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the Canadian singer-songwriter Patrick Watson resulted in their receiving De Ovatie (The Ovation), an annual national award for the most impressive performance in Dutch concert halls. Previous award recipients were The Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. ‘Amsterdam Sinfonietta is a versatile all-rounder. The orchestra presents breathtaking concerts in traditional style and riveting performances that break new ground – all with equal aplomb.’ (Jury Report The Ovation 2013).

Within the past decade Amsterdam Sinfonietta has produced an impressive array of CDs under Candida Thompson’s leadership, in collaboration with the high-quality Channel Classics label. These include ‘The Mahler Album’ (2011), ‘Britten’ (2013), ‘Shostakovich & Weinberg’ (2013) and ‘The Argentinian Album’ (2014). ‘Schubert String Quintet’ was released in October 2015. Recently the orchestra has also recorded CDs for labels such as ECM, Sony Classical and Deutsche Grammophon.

SEASON 2016/2017

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Tour

Amsterdam Sinfonietta
  • Andreas Ottensamer
  • Candida Thompson
19.04.18 - 29.04.18
Amsterdam Sinfonietta
  • Candida Thompson
  • Harriet Krijgh
10.04.19 - 16.04.19
Amsterdam Sinfonietta
  • Candida Thompson
  • Pablo Sáinz Villegas
  • Harriet Krijgh
  • Beatrice Rana
01.07.19 - 14.07.19
Amsterdam Sinfonietta
  • Candida Thompson
  • Lucas & Arthur Jussen
25.03.20 - 05.04.20
Our Tours & Projects