Floris Mijnders & Jelger Blanken
Floris Mijnders began his cello studies at the age of eight and studied with the renowned cello pedagogue Jean Decroos at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague in the Netherlands, where he graduated in 1990. During his studies he took masterclasses with Heinrich Schiff and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Floris was appointed principal cellist at the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014. Previous positions in orchestras include the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, where he led the cello section for many years. Mijnders was invited as guest leader in many orchestras, amongst others in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. He worked with many great conductors, such as Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon Rattle and Zubin Metha.
Floris is a passionate chamber musician and shared the stage as such with inspiring musicians like Leonidas Kavakos, Emmanuel Ax, Christian Poltéra, Phillipe Graffin and Leif Ove Andsnes. He plays in several formations, amongst which the prize winning Ensemble Cameleon, a group of seven string players from leading Dutch and German orchestras.
As a soloist Floris played with many orchestras, amongst which the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Yannick Nézet- Séguin and Jaap van Zweden. In addition to his performance practice, he was a professor at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam for many years. Currently he is professor of cello at the Tiroler Landeskonservatorium in Innsbruck.
Floris plays a cello by Francesco Goffriller, made in Udine, 1730.
Dutch pianist Jelger Blanken graduated from the Conservatoire of Amsterdam in 2002, as a student of Ludmilla Baslawskaja and Håkon Austbø. In 2002 Jelger won the prestigious Medal of the Friends of the Concertgebouw and the Eduard van Beinum scholarship.
As a chamber musician he performed with internationally renowned musicians such as Nobuko Imai, Philippe Graffin, David Waterman and Raphael Wallfisch.
Blanken performed at many Dutch and international festivals, such as the Franz Liszt Festival in Utrecht, International Chamber Music Festival Schiermonnikoog, the Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam, The Enghien International Musical Encounters (Belgium) and the Rovigo cello city Festival (with Floris Mijnders). He also took part in the chamber music series of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2010 Jelger performed several pieces by Dutch composers in the Rotterdam Gergiev Festival, together with violinist Philippe Graffin. Most of these pieces were recorded on CD for Onyx Classic. His playing received high praise from music magazines such as Gramophone, The Strad and the International Record Review.
Since 2003, Jelger Blanken is an instrumental coach and accompanist at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. In 1998, he earned his Master’s degree in Art and Cultural Sciences from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
‘Pianist Jelger Blanken is a sensitive partner, and he has some beautifully voiced chords and nimble figurations.’ (The Strad, 2011)
Photo credits: Merlijn Doomernik