The first time I heard the harp in a live concert it was without knowing what it looked like. I remember an instant connection to the sound and I was sure that I wanted to play this magical instrument. I was fortunate to have a childhood filled with music, from my homeland’s rich musical culture to my parents’ home that contained vinyl accumulated over many decades. To me, music meant a way to explore the world. As a child I was fascinated by books about the early explorers.
When I grew a bit older I developed an interest in the great composers and the history of classical music, and gained the ambition to write my own music. I voraciously listened to any material I could find including genres like rock, jazz and electronic music. Music started to fulfil both an emotional and intellectual need. I moved to the city of Utrecht when I started my harp studies at the Utrecht Conservatory with renowned harp teacher Erika Waardenburg. It was a period in which I was allowed to explore the full breadth of the musical universe and to experiment with so many kinds of musical expression; however, I also encountered resistance when I was trying to study musical composition in tandem with my harp studies, which was disallowed.
I had my debut performances as a soloist at the World Harp Congress and as an orchestral harpist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and recorded my first non-classical album in 2011 with the Noordpool Orchestra. My various activities and projects include playing in music festivals as diverse as North Sea Jazz and Wonderfeel; experimental projects with visual art; mixing electronic and acoustic music; performing on historical instruments from the 20th century with the Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht; and collaborating with others to record albums and film soundtracks.
I’m proud to have been a part of so many new initiatives both inside and outside the classical music genre over the past ten years, in which composers and arrangers try to gain an appreciation for the instrument’s own voice. I developed into a harpist with a unique combination of skills and repertoire; a musical explorer with my feet grounded in genres both old and new. And I’m looking forward to a future with much inspiration and beautiful experiences yet to come. Music is the creative playground of my life.