Not one, two, three, but four Artists in Residence on stage! Artist in Residence Nikola Meeuwsen concludes his residency at the Grachtenfestival 2023 with a very special program, joining forces with violinist Shin Sihan, Artist in Residence 2021, and cellist Alexander Warenberg, Artist in Residence 2022. Special guest this afternoon is internationally renowned super-talented violinist Noa Wildschut, who, despite being only 22 years old, is already causing worldwide furor. Nikola, Noa and Alexander will play Ravel's beautiful piano trio. This is followed by Schumann's Piano Quintet, one of the most beloved chamber music works ever, with viola player and international award winner Takehiroe Konoe also joining in.
As icing on the cake, Nikola transfers his residency to the winner of the GrachtenfestivalPrijs 2023, and thus the new Artist in Residence for edition 2024.
M. Ravel (1875-1937): Piano Trio
Nikola Meeuwsen, piano; Noa Wildshut, violin; Alexander Warenberg, cello
R. Schumann (1810-1856): Piano quintet in E flat major, opus 44
Nikola Meeuwsen, piano; Noa Wildschut, violin; Shin Sihan, violin; Takehiro Konoe, viola; Alexander Warenberg, cello
Nikola Meeuwsen, piano
Nikola Meeuwsen (2002) profiles himself as one of the most remarkable young pianists of his time. He won the GrachtenfestivalPrijs 2022, making him the youngest musician ever to be selected as Artist in Residence for the Grachtenfestival 2023. The jury spoke of him as follows: "Nikola is characterized by his crystal clear musical thinking; in his playing, silence and movement coincide brilliantly. His train of thought is pure poetry."
As a child, Nikola knew he wanted to be a pianist after listening to Horowitz's performance of Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto. Soon his talent was recognized: he won the Steinway Competition in 2012 and the Royal Concertgebouw Competition in 2014, and received the prestigious Concertgebouw Young Talent Award in 2019. He has soloed with the Residentie Orchestra and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, and has been heard as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the Netherlands, in Italy, Wales, Germany and Belgium, among others, and at renowned festivals at home and abroad. In season 2023/2024, he will make his debut with the National Orchestra of Lithuania and his debut recital at the Concertgebouw will follow. Nikola has been studying with Marlies van Gent and with Enrico Pace at the Accademia Pianistica di Imola since 2014, as well as at the Queen Elisabeth Chapel in Brussels with Frank Braley and Avedis Kouyoumdjian. His debut CD was released by Avrotros in 2020 with works by Schumann, Scriabin, Brahms and Bach.
Noa Wildschut, violin
Dutch violinist Noa Wildschut (2001) is only 22 years old, but has been no stranger to the classical music world for years. As a 6-year-old, Noa was a soloist at the "Kinderprinsengrachtconcert 2007"; at age 7, she made her debut in the Great Hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; and in 2016, she became an "exclusive recording artist" with Warner Classics. Noa is a sought-after guest for festivals, recitals and solo performances at home and abroad. She has performed with inspiring musicians such as Janine Jansen, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Menahem Pressler, Igor Levit and Enrico Pace, and collaborates with orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, North Netherlands Orchestra, Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Saltzburg and many others around the world. She has been a prize winner at several (international) competitions, won the Kersjes violin scholarship in 2017 and was selected as an ECHO Rising Star in 2019/20 by the European Concert Hall Organisation. Noa studied at the conservatories of Amsterdam and Berlin. She plays a 1750 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin, previously played by violinist Joshua Bell, generously provided to her by a patron through the Tarisio Trust.
Shin Sihan, violin
Shin Sihan (b. 1994) won the 2020 GrachtenfestivalPrijs, making him the Artist in Residence of the 2021 Grachtenfestival. He has received numerous awards including the Dutch Classical Talent Award, Elisabeth Everts Award and the Kersjes Violin Prize, and won prizes at the Oskar Back, Kloster Schöntal and Iordens Violin Competitions. Shin has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, the Residentie Orkest and the Gelderland Orchestra.
Shin started playing violin at the age of 6 with Coosje Wijzenbeek at the Sweelinck Academy in Amsterdam. He continued his studies at the conservatories of The Hague and Berlin with Vera Beths and Kolja Blacher, respectively. Shin also drew inspiration from lessons by Leonidas Kavakos, Eberhard Feltz, Igor Ozim, Pierre Amoyal, Anner Bijlsma and Jaap van Zweden, among others. A passionate chamber musician, he plays regularly with renowned artists from around the world as well as with his Chianti Ensemble, and has appeared at festivals such as the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, Ghent Festival, Festival Musique de chambre a Giverny, Harmos Festival Porto and International Festival Campos do Jordão. Shin plays a violin made by Nicolò Amati in 1675, Cremona, on loan from the Caldic Collection.
Takehiro Konoe, viola
Takehiro Konoe (1997) started violin lessons at the age of four with Coosje Wijzenbeek. Two years later, he was admitted to the Young Talent department of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Since the age of 13, Take has also played the viola. He studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, main subject viola, with Nobuko Imai and Francien Schatborn. He played with world-renowned pianist Menahem Pressler and performed in Switzerland, the United States, Germany, Japan and Brazil, among other countries. He has performed as a soloist with the Netherlands Youth Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest, Sinfonia Rotterdam, the Schleswig-Holstein Symphonie Orchester and the Caserta Chamber Orchestra. Take participated in the string quartet master classes of the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland and played at various festivals at home and abroad. In 2022, Take won the first prize in the Oskar Nedbal International Viola Competition in the Czech Republic. In 2017, he won the Fifth National Viola Competition, after which he was a finalist at the Tokyo International Viola Competition in 2018. In the same year, he was awarded the third prize in the ARD Music competition, and in 2020 he won the first prize at the Johannes Brahms Competition. Take plays an anonymous viola from the collection of the National Musical Instruments Fund.
Alexander Warenberg, cello
Cellist Alexander Warenberg (1998) has a long history with the Grachtenfestival. As early as in 2016 he won the Bunschoten Jonger Talent Prize at the Grachtenfestival; in 2021, he won the Grachtenfestival Prize and thus became the Artist in Residence of the 25th Grachtenfestival in 2022. Alexander studied with Monique Bartels at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and with Frans Helmerson at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin and at the renowned Kronberg Academy. In October 2016, Alexander won first prize and the audience award at the Cello Biennale competition in Amsterdam. He is also a first prize winner of the Antonio Janigro international cello competition in Croatia, the Britten cello competition, the national competition of the Stichting Jong Muziektalent and the Princess Christina Competition.
Alexander performs both as solo and in chamber music. As a soloist, he has played with orchestras at home and abroad. He performed several times at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and was seen and heard on Dutch television and radio. In chamber music, Alexander performed with musicians such as Janine Jansen, Menahem Pressler and Denis Kozhukhin. He participated in the prestigious Verbier Festival Academy and played at several festivals such as the International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht, the Festival Bad Ragaz in Switzerland and CelloFest in Finland. Alexander plays on an 1845 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume made available by the National Musical Instruments Fund.