Camerata RCO – members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Annebeth Webb, violin
Wilen Kijonka, viola
Johan Van Jersel, cello
Camerata RCO is a unique ensemble. We are all members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and we enjoy playing in the orchestra tremendously. However, we like to expand this joy by playing together in a small ensemble as well.Not only is the repertoire of a small ensemble different, we also feel that chamber music is more personal and intimate. It is refreshing to get to know our colleagues in the orchestra better while working together in Camerata RCO. We are completely free to choose the repertoire we play, where we play it and with whom. With Camerata RCO we like to be in close contact with our audience. The energy that results from these concerts is what inspires us most.
Annebeth Webb studied with Coosje Wijzenbeek, Sylvia Rosenberg, Jean-Jacques Kantorow and Herman Krebbers. She has also participated in masterclasses in Brussels, Salzburg and Aspen.
Webb joined the second violin section of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in September 2001. She is a co-founder of the ensemble Camerata RCO, which has given performances in and outside the Netherlands since 2012. She is also a member of the Breitner Quartet and the Amsterdam Chamber Music Ensemble.
She plays a 1711 violin built by the Neapolitan instrument builder Nicolaus Gagliano.
Violist Vilém Kijonka, who joined the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on 1 June 2013, hails from the Czech Republic but has lived in the Netherlands since 2004.
He studied at the Prague conservatory and Music academy, and from 2001 at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Nobuko Imai and Michael Gieler, principal of the section he now joins. He also studied with Wolfram Christ at the Freiburg Hochschule für Musik.
Kijonka is a former member of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Suk Chamber Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, where he was appointed principal violist in 2008. Nonetheless, he says he decided to sign up for an audition to join the viola section of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra ‘because I’ve always dreamed of being a member of the RCO’.
Chamber music has been always a very important part of his music life. He played on national and international chamber music festivals and he was member of the Kubelik quartet for 6 years. As soloist he performed with several orchestras including Suk chamber orchestra and Het Brabants Orkest.
Johan van Iersel
Cellist Johan van Iersel studied with Elias Arizcuren at the Utrecht Conservatory, where he graduated with distinction in 1995. He went on to study with Philippe Müller at the Paris conservatory, and participated in masterclasses with Siegfried Palm, Mstislav Rostropovich and Heinrich Schiff. Van Iersel was appointed assistant principal cellist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in September 1997.
He was a prizewinner at the 1990 Princess Christina Competition, the 1992 Postbank Sweelinck Competition and the competition of the Foundation for Young Musical Talent in the Netherlands in 1991. Together with pianist Jeroen Bal, he was awarded the 1992 Silver Vriendenkrans Competition by the Society of Friends of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Before joining the Vermeer Trio, he was a member of the Escher Trio. He is also a member of the internationally active Blaeu String Quartet. He gives regular solo performances with such orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the former Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and the Residentie Orchestra.
Van Iersel plays a 1687 cello built by Francesco Ruggieri in Cremona from the collection of the RCO donors’ foundation Stichting Donateurs.