About Jeroen den Herder – artistic director

Jeroen den Herder completed his studies with distinction with Maria Hol, Dmitri Ferschtman and Christopher Bunting. He then became a leader of the Cello Octet Conjunto Ibérico, a group with a worldwide reputation as a full time cello ensemble.

Den Herder gained several music awards. Among them a first prize-winner of the “Postbank Sweelinck” cello competition and the first prize of the Foundation of the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam. He’s been an active chamber music player, performing with musicians like Janine Jansen, Igor Roma, Anner Bijlsma and as a member of the Ruysdael Quartet Den Herder performed in all major concert halls in Holland (Concertgebouw) England (Wigmore Hall) and Japan (Oji Hall). Their concerts at the Amsterdam Quartet Biënnale received much acclaim. Between 1999 and 2012 Jeroen has been the cellist of the Nieuw Ensemble, one of the leading Dutch ensembles for contemporary music.

Fulfilling the function of artistic director CelloWercken Zutphen, which embodies both the International Cello Festival and the Cello Academy, he commissioned contemporary composers the write for the festival, leading to inspired projects such as The Tibetan Book of the Death and Passion of Innocence.

Den Herder has been a dedicated teacher ever since he took a professorship at the age of 22 at the Utrecht conservatory. His lessons are based on the development between mind and body, and a cello technique inspired by his teacher Christopher Bunting, a former student of Pablo Casals. Cello playing based on natural principles like gravity, character and playfulness.

“Everything is music, play not to avoid mistakes, delegation of body functions and breathing” are some key topics which will lead to a healthy way achieving perfection. His main focus is making people aware what they exactly practise. He believes being aware of one’s imagination, sensitive listening, intuition and delegation of body functions are elements that have proved to be the best teachers for life.

He’s been a regular guest teacher at the Conservatory in Minsk (2003-2010) and visiting guest- professor at the University in Tainan, Taiwan. Furthermore he has given masterclasses in Holland, Belgium, Spain, Germany, France, China and Israel. Today he helds positions as a teacher at the Conservatories of Utrecht and Rotterdam.

“I’ve heard Jeroen den Herder performing the Elgar cello concerto with the Sint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. He played with great distinction and sensitivity, and I believe he will grow into a wonderful cellist” Yehudi Menuhin, 1995.