Marieke Blankestijn, Leader
Marieke Blankestijn was born in The Hague (Netherlands), studied in Salzburg (Austria) with Sandor Vegh and, at the age of 21, won the International Mozart Competition. She is a founder member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe of which she was appointed Leader in 1985. She also directs and appears as soloist with the COE, with whom she has recorded all the Brandenburg Concertos and her own recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, both to great critical acclaim. In 2012 she was appointed Leader of The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra whose principal conductor will be the young israeli conductor Lahav Shani, taking over from Yannick Nézet-Séguin after the 2017/18 season. Marieke is a committed chamber musician and has lead the Gaudier Ensemble for 20 years, with whom she has recorded twelve CDs for Hyperion Records, in addition to recording Haydn's Sinfonia Concertante with Stephen Isserlis and the Vivaldi and Bach Oboe and Violin concertos with Douglas Boyd. She currently shares her life between rural Dorset and Rotterdam.
The Leader Chair is supported by Ms Dasha Shenkman.