Cellist from Haarlem who attended the Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Sweelinck and Paris conservatories, and the Robert Schumann Institute. In 1981, he graduated and became a member of the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has become something of a local folk hero for his establishment of the Town Hall Hilversum concerts and his dedication to the music center.
In 1996, he co-formed the Amsterdam Cello Quartet with Gregor Horsch, Judith Jamin, and Pascale Went. He was part of a different quartet on 7th June 1996, when he and Giles Francis, Diana Morris and Torenbeek Odile entertained potential donors to The Schubert Foundation with Franz Schubert’s “String Quartet in E flat”.
Since the late 1990s, he has also been a member of the Franciscus Quartet, which is rounded out by violinists Rachel Isserlis and Diana Morris and violist Giles Francis. They performed a program of Dittersdorf, Haydn, Mozart and Vanhal at the Gertrudiskapel in Utrecht on 31st May 1999. On 17thFebruary 2001, they interpreted works by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Smetana at the Theehuis van het Odapark te Venray. They offered up an all-Haydn affair on 27th November 2001 at the Uniezaal, Academiegebouw, Utrecht that comprised four of the master’s string quartets.
On 21st December 2002, the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra and Groot Omroepkoor rang in the holidays with Roel van Oosten’s “Quatre Noels Anciens”, Arvo Part’s “Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten”, Alexandre Tansman’s oratorio, Isaie, le Prophete, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols”.
Sebastiaan teamed up with Edwin Blankenstijn, Frank Brakkee, Riko Fukuda, Raymond Honing, Edward Mebius and Diana Morris for another wall-to-wall Haydn concert on 22nd November 2005 at Unie van Utrechtzaal, Academiegebouw, Utrecht, that included three London trios, “Andante con variazoni in f”, and a pair of symphonies, believe it or not, “La Poule” and “Militaire”.
On 4th February 2007, the Franciscus Quartet played string quartets by Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert at the Gasthuiskapel in Zaltbommel. Their recital on 8th September 2007 was an electric array of pieces such as Gianneo’s “Lamento Quichua”, Haydn’s “Strijkkwartet op. 50 nr. 2 in C gr.”, Mozart’s “Strijkkwartet KV 421 in d kl.”, Piazzolla’s “La Muerte del Angel”, and Shostakovich’s “Adagio en Allegretto”.
The Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic offered up a pair of flute concertos by Jacques Ibert and Lennox Berkeley & Francis Poulenc, with soloist Jacques Zoon, and sandwiched them between Igor Stravinsky’s “Symfonie in C” and the Netherlands premiere of Eric Tanguy’s “Sinfonietta” on 9thNovember 2007. On 23rd November 2007, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic concertized in a pair of Haydn symphonies, “La reine de France” and “L’Ours”, and capped off the evening with Jacques Offenbach’s “Ouverture La fille du tambour-major”. Sebastian and Judith Jamin participated in the Symposium Queeste at Hogeschool Inholland Alkmaar on 2nd February 2008.
On 9th September 2008, the Franciscus Quartet played a tripleheader that featured Bach’s “3 Fuga’s uit “Die Kunst der Fuge”, Beethoven’s “Strijkkwartet in Bes opus 18/6” and Felix Mendelssohn’s “Strijkkwartet no. 2 in a opus 13”. Before the year was out, Sebastiaan was named an Honorary Citizen of Hilversum thanks to his contributions to the local music scene.
On 15th November 2009, the Rembrandt Consort, which includes fellow cellists Judith Jamin and Graham Summersgill and contrabassist Peter Leerdam, gave something of a musical history lesson with music that ranged from Bach to Boccherini to Wagenseil to Dvorak. The Franciscus Quartet did likewise on 10th April 2010, making Anton Webern’s “Langsamer Satz” the centerpiece between string quartets by Brahms and Haydn. Sebastiaan was one of six cello players to share the stage at Music Space Camerata, Hayri on 8th May 2010, in a program entitled—well, 6 Cello Players.
On 18th September 2010, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, in tandem with flautist Jacques Zoon and violinist Tasmin Little, delivered another eclectic program that opened with Claude Debussy’s “Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune”, continued with Theo Loevendie’s “Vioolconcert” (“Vanishing Dances”) and Mozart’s “Fluitconcert in G, KV 313”, and culminated with Beethoven’s “Achste symfonie in F, opus 93”. The Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic used Robert Schumann’s “Eerste symfonie in Bes opus 38” and “Ouverture Manfred opus 115” as bookends around Beethoven’s “Derde pianoconcert in c opus 37”, with Alexander Lonquich at the keys, on 27th November 2010.
In addition to his busy performing schedule, Sebastiaan also sits on the board of De Nederlands Joseph Haydn Stichting. You can hear his cello stylings on a handful of records, including the Franciscus Quartet’s Special Arrangements and an album of pop standards, September.
Here he is performing the cello duet Lent and Gigue by J.B. Boismortier…