EnsembleCaméléon, the only group of its kind in the Netherlands, was set up in 2002 by a group of principal string players with the leading Dutch symphony orchestras. The ensemble aims to bring the traditional chamber music repertoire to a broader audience. The group, pairs of violins, violas, celli and one double bass, works alongside leading composers, singers, instrumentalists, dancers and actors to enhance their exciting and innovative programming. Their many concerts both in The Netherlands and abroad have been critically acclaimed for not only the high individual level of playing, but also the perfect ensemble playing, musical conviction and flair.
International appearances include a successful tour in 2006 to South America, a performance at the 2007 Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany and a tour of Ireland in 2008. Future foreign engagements include tours to South Africa, Switzerland and a return to South America. EnsembleCaméléon made its debut performance at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 2007 and returned again in April 2010. The group also regular broadcasts for both Dutch and German radio and have recorded their own CD of works by Mozart for the German CD label Signum. In the upcoming years EnsembleCaméléon will release a CD every year with Challenge Classics. The first CD Young Hearts on Fire, with music by Korngold, Mendelssohn and Rossini, was released earlier this year.
By programming originally and with logical cross-overs with other art forms, the ensemble endures to shake up the traditional approach to chamber music. Within its programming, the group endeavours to logically combine new compositions with the ‘gems’ of the traditional repertoire. Many Dutch composers have already written for the group, among whom Theo Loevendie, Cornelis de Bondt, Peter Adriaansz, David Dramm, Jan Bus, Johan de Mey, Guus Janssen, Simon Burgers, Arne Werkman, Joël Waterman, Edward Mebius, Thom Willems and Maarten Altena. Several collaborations with Dutch poet Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer have lead to enthusiastically received and thought provoking productions and performances at the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam and at the historical Felix Meritis in Amsterdam. One such productions was with the leading Dutch film actor Hans Kesting in a chamber music theatre production of Beethoven’s ‘Creatures of Prometheus’, with text by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer.
At the 2009 Holland Festival EnsembleCaméléon combined forces with young Dutch composer Reza Namavar and American guitarist Gary Lucas to create and perform a new soundtrack to the silent film ‘J’Accuse’ (1919) by Abel Gance. In 2009 EnsembleCaméléon was awarded the prestigious Kersjes Prijs.