With her broad palette of tone colours, her captivating stage presence and the tremendous joy she displays while playing, saxophonist Eva van Grinsven has won the hearts of both press and public time and time again in the last few years.
Her busy and multifaceted performance practice often centres around chamber music, but Eva also performs as a solo artist and with various music companies, including the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. But no matter what the musical setting or style may be, to Eva the story behind the notes always comes first. After recorder- and violin-lessons, nine-year-old Eva discovered the saxophone. She was immediately fascinated by the seemingly endless possibilities that the chameleonic instrument offered, and they still inspire her to this day.
In 2008, Eva graduated with honour from the Amsterdam Conservatory, where she studied with her mentor and constant source of inspiration Arno Bornkamp. In that same year, her duo Sax & Stix won the Vriendenkrans, a prestigious prize that is awarded to promising young musicians every year by the Dutch Society for Friends of the Concertgebouw and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Many prizes and awards would follow. Recently, Eva received both the Jury and the Public Award from the Dutch Classical Talent Award 2013 with the Berlage Saxophone Quartet. Both Sax & Stix’s debut album and the Berlage Saxophone Quartet’s first recording received jubilant reviews from both the Dutch and the international music press.
Her passion for 1920s and 1930s saxophone music also led to performances and album recordings with the Dudok Quartet and Café Dansant. After a successful live performance on Dutch Radio 4, she formed a new collaboration with pianist Helena Basilova. They immediately made many plans for the future, including a tour to Denmark and a concert program of French and Russian music.
Her enthusiasm to bring people and music together also led to the foundation of the Amsterdam Saxophone Orchestra. This company consists of former students of Arno Bornkamp, and performs concerts at Eva’s initiative, or by request on special occasions. Eva is a welcome guest at festivals such as the Grachtenfestival and the Delft Chamber Music Festival, where she worked with Karin Strobos and Liza Ferschtman, among others.
She has performed on all the major Dutch stages and has made concert tours to many European countries, China and Japan. As a solo artist, Eva recently premiered Robin de Raaff’s Megumi Suite with the Doelen Ensemble. She previously gave solo performances with companies such as the Dutch National Youth Wind Orchestra and the Amstel String Ensemble. Eva has on numerous occasions performed on Dutch Radio 4, NDR, WDR and Deutschlandfunk and has also appeared on television for Vrije Geluiden, the famous 2008 NBE New Year’s Concert and the KCO & Armin van Buuren concert in honour of King Willem-Alexander’s coronation.
Photo credit : Sarah Wijzenbeek