Esther Apituley studied with Misha Geller at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Amsterdam, and with Bruno Giuranna at the Hochschule for Musik, Berlin. At her early study years she also was busy as a singer and saxophonist in the light music scene.
Esther Apituley now is a professor at the Sweelinck Conservatory.
In 1990 she started a career as a soloist and gave her first recital in the Concertgebouw, followed by many other appearances. Her playing was embraced with excitement and helped to change the image of the viola as a subordinate middle-voice instrument.
Over the years Esther Apituley has worked a.o. with the Borodin Quartet, the Colorado quartet, the Hollandia theatre group, and Dansgroep Krisztina de Châtel and as a soloist with the National Ballet Orchestra, the North Holland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Metropole Orchestra, and the Radio Chamber Orchestra, performing the viola concerti of Berlioz, Bartók, and Chiel Meyering, Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, and Benjamin Britten's Lachrymae.
With the pianist Rië Tanaka she has given concerts in Morocco, Japan, Cyprus and the Czech Republic. In 2004 she recorded her first CD, Violent Viola (CC72156).
In 2000 Esther Apituley founded the Amsterdam Viola Quartet (previously the Alt Tijd Quartet). In addition to Telemann, Bach, Reich, and Berio, the Amsterdam Viola Quartet performs music specially commissioned from composers including Maurice Horsthuis, Onno Krijn, Ron Ford, as well as arrangements by Michael Smith and the Georgian Song by Finn Möricke.
Rië Tanaka received her Master of Music diploma Cum Laude from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. During her studies she was awarded the first prize of the Mozart competition of Tokyo, that was linked with the Mozart Festival of Salzburg, where she gave many recitals. In the Netherlands she won the first prize at the Eduard Flipse competition. She is a gifted chamber music player and has peformed with Herman Krebbers, Nobuko Imai, Lieuwe Visser, Roger Bobo, Roeland Duyne. She is also involved in Jazz and improvised music and gave many theatrically inspired concerts with Esther Apituley in Japan and in the Netherlands. In addition she gives many piano recitals and chamber music concerts,at home and abroad.
Her international career as concert pianist has resulted in collaborations with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Asia Symphony Orchestra, and the Nagoya Symphony Orchestra.