music director and conductor
Gregory Charette (b. 1987 in Los Angeles) is a conductor and programmer deeply committed to the performance and promotion of new music. He studied with Pierre Boulez at the 2011 Luzern Festival and has served as conductor in the Holland Festival’s John Cage Centennial as well as the Aldeburgh Festival’s Emerging Composers Program, where he worked closely with Oliver Knussen and Colin Matthews. He made his debut with the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble in the 2012 Gaudeamus Festival, stepping in at short notice for Etienne Siebens. Gregory earned his B.M. in composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Lewis Nielson and participated in master-classes with Helmut Lachenmann, David Lang, and Rebecca Saunders. He moved to The Netherlands to study orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and earned his M.M. from the Dutch National Masters in Orchestral Conducting, a program that allowed him the opportunity to work with professional Dutch orchestras in master-classes, rehearsals, and performances. Engagements have included concerts with Ensemble Contrechamps, Nieuw Ensemble, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Residentie Orkest, and the Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest. Gregory currently resides in The Hague and is a guest professor at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Daniel Boeke (b. 1988 in Arezzo, Italy) began playing the clarinet at the age of 11. In 2008 he began studying with Pierre Woudenberg at the Royal conservatory of The Hague, where he performed a wide range of solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire both inside (Heiner Goebbels Festival: 'Surrogate Cities'; James MacMillan: 'Quickening'; Benjamin Britten: 'Albert Herring') and outside the conservatory. After attaining his B.M. in 2011 he continued at the Royal Conservatory, earning his M.M. in 2013 with a specialization in contemporary performance. Daniel has participated in masterclasses with Martin Frost and Karl Leister. In 2014 he performed in the DNO/NJO production 'Kopernikus', marking his first involvement with opera and music theatre. He has continued to explore the possibilities of music theatre, most notably in the Opera Zuid/ICK production 'De Sopranos' and the NJO production 'Songbook #2'. He performs regularly with the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble, DNO and other new music groups both inside and outside of The Netherlands. His interest in different genres of music has led to collaborations with These New Puritans (GB), Sycamore Age (IT), Andrea Chimenti (IT) and Navarone (NL).
Violist Lidwine Dam (b. 1988 in Maastricht) earned her B.M. and M.M. from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague where she studied with Liesbeth Steffens and Ron Ephrat. She became interested in contemporary music during her studies and participated in the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble's Ligeti Academy and other new music projects. In addition to her work with Oerknal she has performed with ASKO|Schönberg and other new music groups in The Netherlands. She is an active chamber musician, performing regularly in the Chamber Music Festival Schiermonnikoog and Orlando Festival and with cellist Raphael Wallfisch and clarinettist Charles Neidich. She has participated in masterclasses with Hartmut Rohde and Lawrence Power, and performs in the Noord Nederlands Orkest and Philharmonie Zuid Nederland. She has participated in the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, the Cervo Summer Academy in Italy, and the Festival Campos do Jordão in Brazil.
Raphaella Engelsberg (b. 1989 in Voorburg) earned her M.M. degree in violin performance from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in Leipzig, Germany, where she studied with Prof. Erich Höbarth (Quatuor Mosaïques) after having completed her Bachelor studies with Ilona Sie Dhian Ho at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. As concertmaster of the Dutch National Youth Orchestra (2010-2013) Raphaella curated chamber music programs for various festivals and led a younger generation of musicians through several performances of contemporary music in the orchestra’s summer academy. In 2012 Raphaella was a member of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra Academy where she worked with soloists and conductors such as Radu Lupu, Christoph Eschenbach and Manfred Honeck. She has participated in masterclasses with Robert Levin, Philippe Graffin, Hagai Shaham, Moshe Hammer, Kaija Sariaaho and Steve Reich, and has performed chamber music alongside cellist Raphael Wallfish and clarinetist Charles Neidich. Raphaella is keenly interested in contemporary music; in addition to her work with Oerknal she has performed with the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble and Neophon Ensemble (Berlin) among others. She regularly performs in orchestras and chamber groups throughout The Netherlands. Along with duo partner Andrea Vasi (piano) Raphaella performs in retirement and convalescent homes hoping to provide residents with tools to escape possible isolation and loneliness, a societal issue that greatly concerns the duo. The violin, a Dutch mid-18th-century instrument by Joh. Theodorus Cuypers, as well as the W.E. Hill & Sons bow played by Raphaella are generously leant to her by the Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds in Amsterdam.
Mariana Hutchinson Siemers
Violinist Mariana Hutchinson Siemers (b. 1986, Havana, Cuba) is deeply committed to new music and the possibility of social engagement music presents to audiences and performers alike. She is a founding member of the new music collective Oerknal and has performed with groups such as ASKO|Schönberg and Insomnio in The Netherlands and the Blindman collective in Belgium. She is committed to promoting new music in her home country Cuba; her activities on the island include performance/lectures together with composer Keyla Orozco at the Havana Conservatory and upcoming concerts at the Festival de La Habana. She is an active chamber musician, performing with Duo Macchiato and Ensemble Montage, among others. Mariana received her first music lessons in Havana and later in Bonn, Germany. She continued her professional music education in The Netherlands at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague where she studied with Ilona Sie Dhian Ho, Peter Brunt and Philippe Graffin, earning her M.M. in 2011. She was a member of ASKO|Schönberg's Ligeti Academy and participated in masterclasses with Mauricio Fuks, Ilya Grubert, Philippe Graffin and the Osiris Trio. Mariana believes in the power of music education and specializes in working with young people. Besides having a private class of violin students in Amsterdam, her activities as a teacher include violin lessons at the music school in Amersfoort and chamber music courses at the music school in Havana.
piano and keyboards
Susanne Peters (b. 1988 in Saarbrücken, Germany) began playing the flute at the age of 6 and was immediately fascinated by new music. In 2012 she earned her B.M. in flute performance at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague where she studied with Kersten McCall and in 2014 she earned her M.M in contemporary art performance at Hochschule Luzern Musik in Switzerland where she studied with Pirmin Grehl. In addition to being a founding member of Oerknal Susanne is a member of Collegium Novum (Zürich) and concertizes regularly with Ensemble Contrechamps (Geneva) and Ensemble Proton (Bern). She was a member of the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble’s Ligeti Academy during its 2011/12 season where she worked with conductor Reinbert de Leeuw among others. She has performed in the Holland Festival’s John Cage centennial with the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble under conductor Etienne Siebens and has worked with composers including Beat Furrer, Simon Steen Andersen, Oscar Bianchi, and Chaya Czernowin. Susanne is particularly interested in contemporary music education. She coordinates and performs in contemporary music concerts for children and organizes various in-school workshops aimed at exposing children to new music in a relaxed and creative environment.
Cellist Steuart Pincombe enjoys an active career designing creative programs and being involved in innovative collaborations with leading ensembles and performers. Highlights of his 2014 concert season included being a featured soloist with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop (DE), radio and festival appearances with Ensemble Ausonia (BE), performing with Holland Baroque Society (NL) for King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands, and appearing as soloist at the Amsterdam Cello Bienalle. His concert 'Bach&Beer' was selected by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as one of the 'Top 10 Classical Events of 2014' (USA) and a concert in which he appeared as soloist with Rene Schiffer and Apollo's Fire was numbered in London's '5 Best Classical Music Moments of 2014' according to The Telegraph (UK). Since 2009, Steuart has been a member of the cello and chamber music faculty at the Credo Chamber Music Festival in Ohio and in 2014 he joined the faculty of the Crescendo Summer Institute in Tokaj, Hungary where he co-directs the baroque department. In addition to summer teaching, he has presented master classes and held residencies at various American institutions; most recently, a week long residency at the Wheaton Conservatory of Music (IL). Steuart holds a BM in modern cello and a MM in viola da gamba and baroque cello from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He can be heard on such labels as Centaur, Avie, Channel Classics, and various independent releases available online. Steuart plays a beautiful mid-18th century German cello and a not-so-special mid-20th century German viola da gamba. He and his wife Michelle reside in The Hague, The Netherlands.
René van Munster (b. 1989 in Amsterdam) is a versatile musician. As a cellist he performed in various orchestras like the Ricciotti Ensemble and the North Netherlands Orchestra, and gave many chamber music recitals throughout the Netherlands and Japan. He is a promoter of contemporary music both as a soloist and as a member of the Oerknal new music collective. Next to this he composes electronic music and works for cello and electronics. His music has been released with labels such as Chasing Unicorns (UK) and Get Physical Music (DE). René is involved in finding unusual concert locations and performance practices. He uses improvisation in the University Hospital of Groningen as a means to facilitate pain relief with patients as well as stress relief with caretakers. He also works together regularly with artists from other disciplines. René graduated with honors from the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen where he studied with Jan-Ype Nota and Michel Strauss, and from Tokyo University of the Arts where he studied with Fumiaki Kono where he received the Acanthus Award for excellence. His studies in Japan were supported by the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund, the Andrea Elkenbracht Fund and the Fund for Performing Arts.
Christian Smith is a percussionist residing in Den Haag since completing a two year Swiss Excellence Scholarship (2014-16) and an MAP at the Hochschule für Musik Basel with Christian Dierstein. Previously, he has received an M.M. from the McGill Schulich School of Music with Aiyun Huang and Fabrice Marandola and a B.M. at Oberlin College-Conservatory where he studied with Prof. Michael Rosen. Additionally he has received fellowships to attend the Lucerne Festival Academy, MusicX and the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice. Christian has worked extensively with many composers of the new generation, in particular Boston composer Marek Poliks, whose evening-length voyage-installation for acoustic spaceship 'White Ship' is scheduled to be premiered at the 2018 Munich Biennale. Besides Oerknal he is a guest with Distractfold Ensemble (UK), with whom he has performed at Klang Festival (DK) and Darmstadt Ferienkürse, and has formed Gyre Ensemble (CH, saxophone, accordion, percussion). Christian can be heard on 'String Quartet No.3; Unhörbare Zeit' - a CD of Jürg Frey's Music by Bozzini Quartet, with percussionist Lee Ferguson. Edition Wandelweiser Records, EWR 1507.
René van Munster
Jellantsje de Vries
Jellantsje de Vries is one of the most versatile Dutch violinists of her generation. Her affinity with theatre, dance and visual arts has led to collaborations with several choreographers, directors and other artists. Jellantsje is also an acclaimed chamber musician and soloist, having performed solo and chamber works with the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, Looptail, Insomnio and the Doelen Ensemble. She has been involved in numerous world premieres of composers based in the Netherlands: a.o. Klaas de Vries, Jan van de Putte, Kate Moore, Rob Zuidam, Christina Oorebeek and Louis Andriessen. In 2012 Jellantsje became a member of The Stolz Quartet, a chamber group dedicated to contemporary music theatre. With The Stolz Quartet she recorded two CD’s with music by Ravel (Tombeau de Couperin, arranged by Rob Zuidam), Scriabin, Rob Zuidam, Klaas de Vries, Theo Verbey, Einar Torfi Einarsson and Kate Moore (Herz). In 2014 Jellantsje performed as soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Guanajuato (Guanajuato, Mexico), led by Bas Wiegers. In 2017 Jellantsje took over the role of artistic director in The Stolz Quartet and organized a staged concert with music of Jan van de Putte and Klaas de Vries, performed with choreography of Kenzo Kusuda and an animation film based on Japanese haikus, made by her own hand. She earned her master's degree (cum laude) in 2012 from the Conservatory of Amsterdam where she studied with Vera Beths. She has participated in masterclasses with Theo Olof and Gerhard Schulz (Alban Berg quartet). Jellantsje plays a violin, made in 2005, by the Dutch violin maker Jan van der Elst.
Daniel Walden, a performer on both modern piano and historical keyboards, has earned praise for his wide-ranging repertoire and his “extreme virtuosity” (Alex Ross, New Yorker). A graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Piano, Historical Performance, and Classics, he studied piano with Peter Takács and harpsichord with Webb Wiggins. Daniel has participated in masterclasses with Joseph Kalichstein, Ann Schein, Matti Raekallio, Malcolm Bilson, and Ton Koopman. He was selected as Artist-in-Residence Fellow in 20th- and 21st-century Music with the Cleveland Orchestra and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, performing in masterclasses at Severance Hall. He has performed at Aspen Music Festival, Banff Piano Masterclasses and Mannes Beethoven Festival. He was invited to perform with composer Tristan Perich at The Kitchen in New York City as part of Carnegie Hall’s American Maverick’s Festival. Daniel has premiered new music as a fellow at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s New Music Workshop, Bang on a Can, and New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice. He has worked with eighth blackbird and composers David Lang and Matthias Pintscher at Music11 New Music Festival in Blonay, Switzerland. Daniel is also committed to academic scholarship, and his articles on music theory and performance appear in Music Theory Online and MTNA E-Journal. Daniel’s other interests include instrument building and musical production/curation.