musicians from across europe – music without borders


emlyn stam

Violist Emlyn Stam is active as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral musician in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. For seven years he was assistant principal violist of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague under Neeme Järvi. Other orchestral work has included appearances is as a guest principle with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Welsh National Orchestra and the Toulon Opera.


Emlyn Stam has made numerous appearances for Dutch radio and television, he has appeared as a soloist with the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra and the Schönberg Ensemble. He has also performed at numerous festivals such as the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, Sound of Stockholm, Connect Festival, Giverny Chamber Music Festival, International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht and Grachtenfestival Amterdam.


Chamber music performances have included concerts with the Párkányi Quartet in the Concertgebouw and regular appearances with the Ysaÿe Trio of which he is a founding member. The trio released their first cd in 2013 on the DRC label. Emlyn is a founding member of the New European Ensemble as well as the ensemble’s artistic coordinator.


Emlyn finished his Bachelor’s degree in June 2006 and his Master’s in September 2008 at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, having studied with Ferdinand Erblich and Vladimir Mendelssohn. Further studies have included masterclasses with Pinchas Zukerman, Michael Tree, Yuri Bashmet, Roberto Diaz, Tabea Zimmerman, Kim Kashkashian and Gerald Stanick. Emlyn also plays the Viola d’Amore.


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questions & amswers

Which piece got you interested in new music?

My connection to contemporary music started at an early age when my father and I had a subscription together to new music concerts in Calgary. About once every two months I would go to a contemporary music concert and I loved the experience of hearing all kinds of odd and unusual works for unusual combinations of instruments. One piece that particularly stands out in my mind from the series was Glenn Gould's comic work So you want to write a fugue? Another piece I remember hearing at a young age that had a tremendous impact on me was Messiaen's Quartet for the end of Time. I also remember vividly my first studies in music history and hearing Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schönberg for the first time. I thought the music was just sensational!


What makes playing new music in the New European Ensemble satisfying and worthwhile?

Playing with NEuE is always an engaging and enlivening experience. The energy that we share as musicians and the enthusiasm for making music together make the ensemble a really special group to perform with. I feel there is a certain vibrancy to the group which makes it unusual. Maybe it has something to do with the international meeting of musicians within the group and the joy in learning from each others differences as well as finding a certain common ground.


which non-classical music do you like?

I absolutely love jazz. When I have time I often go to jazz clubs to listen to music. I have very broad taste in music generally though and I've been known to listen to pop, rock, world music, folk, just about anything.

New European Ensemble is supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten (from 2017) and the city of The Hague