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Music of today

The music we play is never old or new, but always relevant and present.

The challenge as we prepare each program is to find answers to the questions ‘What is the true nature of this music and what worlds can we unveil behind the score?’ This quest is our main incentive to delve further into the music. Without losing sight of our rich string quartet tradition, we always search for new formats and new perspectives.

Together with you

We understand the term playing in a most literal sense. We approach music as if it’s a game, played together with our audience. No matter how much we engage ourselves with a piece, the music only shows its real meaning in the experience of the listener. Together with you, music varying from Palestrina until Ligeti comes to life in a unique way.

To reinforce this experience we present a couple of extras, during and surrounding our concerts. We describe our personal affection for the pieces we play, to enhance your listening experience. We commission a famous writer each year, to create an essay about the work that is central to our repertoire in that particular season. Anna Enquist wrote about Haydn on our behalf, and Jan Brokken about Brahms. Since 2015 we have released albums with our most cherished music almost each year. Finally we have made our own podcast-series Muziekverhalen (in Dutch), and we share music which inspires us via online playlists.

 

Playing with notes

We keep the string quartet genre alive by commissioning composers to write new works for us. New music by Theo Loevendie, Peter Vigh, Max Knigge and Joey Roukens were written made-to-measure, and more commissions are planned for the near future.

We also rearrange music that was not originally written for string quartet ourselves; from vocal works from the early renaissance and orchestral baroque music, until jazz and music originating from the Balkan countries. Listen to our arrangements in the Signature Sessions video series below (with even more on our YouTube-channel or download the sheet music of these arrangements for free, to play them by yourselves!

 

Our complete biography

Curious about which venues worldwide have welcomed us, which prizes we won, which (world) premieres we played and our complete repertoire? Our downloadable biography comprises all of this information.

'The Dudok Quartet Amsterdam was quite simply revelatory. The players’ persistent delicacy, the freshly thought out balances between instrumental lines, the communication of music so familiar as something new, all added up to a kind of musical spring cleaning that was extraordinarily energising in its effect.'

— The Irish Times —

Olivier Messiaen – ‘Oraison’

The original version inspired us to re-imagine the piece as a string quartet: a constellation which is able to infuse the electronically sustained sound of the Ondes Martenots with the breathing voice of acoustic instruments.

Balogh Kálmán – ‘Sánta Ördög’

The title (meaning lame devil) hints at the asymmetrical 7/8-time bar that creates a skewed kind of dance. This arrangement made by our violinist Judith van Driel.

Rameau – Overture ‘Castor & Pollux’

This arrangement is a part of a self-compiled suite from the opera, made by our cellist David Faber. The sheet music is available for free, see Downloads.

John Coltrane – Giant [Dudokian] Steps

Dutch composer and improvising violist Oene van Geel fulfilled our longstanding wish, by reimagining this modern jazz standard especially for our quartet.

Richard Wagner – ‘Prelude & Liebestod’ from Tristan und Isolde

World renowned accordionist Vincent van Amsterdam joined us for this arrangement by Max Knigge. With the addition of his instrument, our color palette instantly gained a complete horn section! The score and parts are available for free, see Downloads.

Your support, our future

Our aim is to become more than a string quartet satisfied with high quality performances of well-established music in familiar venues alone. As a Friend you can help us developing our dream of becoming a medium that insures one of the main genres in musical history a vital position in the future.

More info One-time donation

Judith

Judith van Driel has been fascinated by music all of her life.As a three year old she imitated her violin-playing sister with two knitting needles and begged her parents for a real violin, which she finally got when she was five years old. That’s where her love for chamber music started. As a kid, she played together with her sisters, and later on with friends from the conservatory. She studied the violin Amsterdam with Kees Koelmans and Peter Brunt, and in Vienna with Günter Pichler of the Alban Berg Quartett. Being concertmaster in the Ricciotti Ensemble offered her the chance to bring live music everywhere and for everyone, and she experienced how live music can touch people. This always remained her biggest motivation for being a musician.

In the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam she plays the violin.Her role in the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam is that of first violinist. She also persues her other hobby: telling stories about the music during concerts, and writing texts for the quartet. Since 2021, Judith is a teacher at the Sweelinck Academie for young talent at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Judith plays a violin built by Francesco Goffriller in 1725, on generous loan from the Dutch Musical Instrument Foundation (NMF).

MARLEEN

Marleen Wester is an omnivorous string player. Although the violin was always her first love, she enjoys playing a range of other instruments, including but not limited to the viola d’amore and musical saw. She studied the violin in Amsterdam with Lex Korff de Gidts and Peter Brunt. During her studies she developed a big fondness for contemporary and unusal repertoire. As a member of the Ricciotti Ensemble she simultaneously performed before audiences that have limited access to classical music worldwide.

Within the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam, Marleen is not only the second violinist, but also head of finance. Since 2017, Marleen plays a violin built by Vincenzo Panormo in 1818, on generous loan from the Dutch Musical Instrument Foundation (NMF).

MARIE-LOUISE

Marie-Louise de Jong started with violin lessons, but became addicted to viola at age 17. She studied in Maastricht with Marc Tooten and in Freiburg with Wolfram Christ. In 2018 she was awarded her Solistendiplom ‘mit Auszeichnung’.
She travelled the world during ten amazing tours as principal violist with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. But when the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam was looking for a new violist in 2017, she decided to take the leap and pursue a full-time chamber music career.

Next to the quartet’s violist, Marie-Louise is the group’s travel agent as well as head of the Friends of the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam, our group of private sponsors. She plays a viola built by Jean Baptiste Lefèbvre in Amsterdam around 1760, on generous loan from the Dutch Musical Instrument Foundation (NMF).

DAVID

David Faber received his first instrument when he was only three years old, although this cello was made from Duplo. He was a cello devotee throughout his youth, but decided to study law when he came out of school. Experiencing the communicative power of music first-hand as a member of the Ricciotti Ensemble was the final trigger that made him decide to study music at the conservatory. He studied cello in Den Haag and Amsterdam with Floris Mijnders and Dmitri Ferschtman.

David is not only cellist of the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam, but also the in-house arranger, spokesman at concert and first contact between the quartet and management. David plays a 1850 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume cello, made available to him by the Dutch Musical Instrument Foundation (NMF).

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Our musical world stretches far beyond the reach of the concert hall. Upcoming concepts, new discoveries, or indulgence of pure beauty: our newsletter summarizes all of it for you in a convenient package.