Esther Apituley completed her studies with Misha Geller at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Amsterdam, and sub- sequently studied with Bruno Giuranna at the Hochschule for Musik, Berlin. During the early years of her studies, Esther Apituley also had a busy career as a singer and saxophonist in the field of light music. Currently Esther Apituley is a professor at the Sweelinck Conser- vatory, Amsterdam.
From 1990 onwards, Esther Apituley be- gan to establish herself as a soloist. In that year she gave her first recital in the Concertgebouw, which was followed
by numerous other appearances. Her playing was enthusiastically received and in this way she helped to change the image of the viola as a subordinate middle-voice instrument.
Over the years Esther Apituley has col- laborated with various chamber ensem- bles, dance and theatre groups, including the Borodin Quartet, the Colorado quartet, the Hollandia theatre group, and Dansgroep Krisztina de Châtel. Her solo appearances included performanc- es with the National Ballet Orchestra, the North Holland Philharmonic Orches- tra, the Metropole Orchestra, and the Radio Chamber Orchestra. Among other works she performed the viola concerti of Berlioz, Bartók, and Chiel Meyering, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, and, in 2004, Benjamin Britten’s Lachrymae.
With the pianist Rië Tanaka she has given concerts in Morocco, Japan, Cyprus and the Czech Republic.
In 2004 her first CD, Violent Viola, ap- peared; among the press comments it received are the following: ‘She is the best viola player in the Netherlands. Esther Apituley comes, plays and conquers.’ (Paul Witteman, Volkskrant, January 2005).
‘Her instrument has a lovely sound, her vibrato, her bowing, her almost impec- cable technique, everything contributes to the impression of love and respect for the music, for her instrument and for life itself.’(Luister, April 2005).
‘... a plea for the lyrical qualities of the viola.’ (NRC, date? 2005).
‘... one superb piece after another. ... all provide proof that the viola is the most passionate singing string instru- ment of them all.’(Het Parool, 8 Febru- ary 2005).
Esther Apituley plays a viola built for her by Jaap Bolink
Amsterdam Violin Quartet
In 2000 Esther Apituley founded the Amsterdam Viola Quartet (previously the Alt Tijd Quartet), consisting of Es- ther Apituley, Rogier van der Tak, Mieke Honingh and Ernst Grapperhaus. 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 from the Tokyo National Univer- sity of Fine Arts and Music. During her studies she was awarded various prize
at piano competitions in Japan. In this way she won the first prise of the Mozart competition of Tokyo. This festival was linked with the Mozart Festival of Salz- burg, where she gave many recitals.
In the Netherlands she won the first prize at the Eduard Flipse competition. She completed her studies cum laude.
Rië Tanaka has meanwhile become a gifted chamber music player and has peformed with musicians including Herman Krebbers, Nobuko Imai, Lieuwe Visser, Roger Bobo, Roeland Duyne. Her interests include not only classical music but most definitely Jazz and improvised music as well.
In this field, she gave many theatrically inspired concerts with Esther Apituley in Japan and also in the Netherlands. In addition she gives many piano recitals and chamber music concerts, at home and abroad.
Her international career as concert pia- nist has resulted in collaborations with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Asia Symphony Orchestra, and the Nagoya Symphony Orchestra. She has a varied repertoire including music by Bach and Scarlatti as well as modern compositions by Messiaen and Kees van Baren.