Esther Apituley

Violent Viola

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917215625
Catnr: CC 72156
Release date: 26 December 2012
1 CD
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72156
Release date
26 December 2012

About the album

I wrestle with my viola as if it was my life.
It is true that the viola chose me. Not the other way round.
And over time we have built up a history together. Played nearly all over the world and in the crazi- est places, on the roof of a supermarket, in the air over a desert, and in a lavatory... And so we have become so entwined with each other that you’d need a saw to separate us. What drives my life, what sometimes becomes a battle, also drives my music, and so that too leads to conflict. To con- quer that inexpressible something, to approach the essence, to create musical moments... which are indescribable. It is almost addictive, or maybe it is also a kind of mission, to want to experience those moments again and again, and share them with an audience.

I have a positive attitude. If something goes wrong, I think that it must be for a reason.
And often it’s true: the grief that filled me when my father died could change to joy because I real- ized that he had taken everything he could take from life. A man of tremendous mental strength, that is what he was. He could take pleasure in the briefest moments of existence, even just before he died and could no longer drink on his own. When he took a straw in his mouth, he bit on it or blew into it. When he finally felt a little moisture on his lips, I saw his eyes sparkle. He sighed then, and said: “ how wonderful...”, squeezed my hand, and looked at me with his little dark eyes, totally happy.
Esther Apituley
De altviool in al haar schoonheid
Over haar relatie met haar instrument schreef Esther Apituley: "zoals ik met het leven vecht, zo vecht ik met mijn altviool. Het is een feit dat de altviool mij heeft uitgekozen. Niet andersom. En wij hebben inmiddels een geschiedenis samen. Bijna over de hele wereld gespeeld en op de gekste plekken, op het dak van een supermarkt, in de lucht boven de woestijn, en in een wc... Wij zijn zo met elkaar verstrengeld dat er een zaag aan te pas moet komen om ons te scheiden." Wat Apituley drijft in het leven, wat soms de vorm aanneemt van een gevecht, drijft haar tevens in de muziek en leidt dus ook daar naar strijd. Om dat onbenoembare te veroveren, om de essentie te benaderen, om muzikale momenten te creëren die onbeschrijflijk zijn. Het lijkt af en toe wel op een verslaving, of misschien is het ook wel een missie, om die momenten steeds opnieuw te willen beleven en te delen met een publiek.

Esther Apituley probeert al jaren om de altviool onder de aandacht te brengen. Ze presenteert het instrument in programma’s en projecten die zich kenmerken door originaliteit, veelzijdigheid en toegankelijkheid. Haar stijl is vrij en onorthodox, overstijgt de traditionele stijl en is niet gebonden aan een bepaald genre. Apituley heeft eigenlijk maar één doel: de altviool presenteren in al haar schoonheid, en het demonstreren van de mogelijkheden en de emotionele reikwijdte van het instrument.


Esther Apituley
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).
[James Chater]

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.

Rie Tanaka
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.


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