Jan Willem de Vriend
Jan Willem de Vriend, designated “a godsend from the Netherlands” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, is driven by the pioneering spirit of historically informed perfomance practice. As music director of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, which he founded in 1982, he specialised in repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, reviving a wealth of rarely heard works through historically informed performances on modern instruments, praised by Gramophone magazine for their “technical finesse and a lively feeling for characterization”.
An award-winner for his creative contribution to classical music, Jan Willem de Vriend has more than 50,000 followers on Spotify and is in demand as a conductor around the world, appearing regularly with such orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Belgian National Orchestra, Tonhalle Zurich, Orchestre National de Lyon, Bergen Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, the symphony orchestras of Netherlands Radio and Hessischer Rundfunk (Frankfurt Radio Symphony), Melbourne Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic. He is Principal Conductor Designate of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic and Orchestre National de Lille, and former Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya and the Brabant Orchestra.
For the Challenge Classics label, de Vriend and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra have recorded the complete Mendelssohn symphonies and all Beethoven’s symphonies and concertos with, among others, pianist Hannes Minnaar and violinist Liza Ferschtman. De Vriend’s interpretation of the Symphony No 7 prompted Classic FM to admire “a bounding flair that does real justice to the composer’s capacity for joy”. A further landmark of his recorded catalogue is his complete recording of the Schubert symphonies with the Residentie Orkest Den Haag.
De Vriend’s collaborative spirit is equally evident in his work for the stage, notably with opera director Eva Buchmann and Combattimento Consort Amsterdam. In addition to works by Monteverdi, Haydn, Handel and Telemann, their productions in Europe and the USA have included staged versions of Bach’s ‘Hunting’ and ‘Coffee’ Cantatas at the Bachfest Leipzig, and operas by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Cherubini, among them Mozart’s Don Giovanni und Rossini’s La gazzetta, both toured in Switzerland. De Vriend has also conducted operatic productions in Amsterdam (with the Nederlandse Reisopera), Barcelona, Strasbourg, Lucerne, Schwetzingen and Bergen.