Sendai International Music Competition



Isabelle van Keulen

Photo©Marco Boggreve

Isabelle VAN KEULEN (Netherlands)

Jury Member, Violin Section

"Her taut musical intelligence and vivid sound combined with a fine instinct for the tender, searching quality of this music … absolutely magical." The Guardian

From her home in the Netherlands, Isabelle van Keulen has captivated the entire world – both on the violin and viola. She is an experienced performer on major concert stages; her charismatic demeanor and musical versatility make her one of the most sought-after musicians of our time.

She regularly performs with leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio and NDR symphony orchestras, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra Manchester and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. She is also a popular performer in the USA performing regularly with the country’s foremost orchestras. Her performances see her collaborating with prominent conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Philippe Herreweghe, Andrew Manze, Andris Nelsons, Sir Roger Norrington, Hugh Wolff and David Zinman.

Isabelle van Keulen’s work also leaves ample room for chamber music. Her long-time partners on the piano are Ronald Brautigam, with whom she has collaborated in artistic projects for decades, and Hannes Minnaar. With Minnaar, she released a recording of all Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas (2014) earning widespread praise from critics and the press alike. She also performs concerts with mezzo-soprano Christiane Stotijn and clarinettist Sharon Kam. From 1997 to 2006, Isabelle van Keulen served as the Artistic Director of the Delft Chamber Music Festival, which she decisively shaped through her dedication and musical expertise.

Isabelle van Keulen’s repertoire spans numerous works from the 20th and 21st century including composers such as Henri Dutilleux, John Adams, Sofia Gubaidulina, Colin Matthews, Lera Auerbach and Brett Dean. The recording of the violin concerto dedicated to her by Erkki-Sven Tüür, which Isabelle van Keulen performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Paavo Järvi, earned considerable praise in the press and is a remarkable achievement.

Since the fall of 2012, she has worked as a Professor of Violin, Viola and Chamber Music at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. In addition, she assumes the artistic direction as Artist in Residence with the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss this season.