Lenneke van Staalen 4970Lenneke van Staalen grew up in a family of western classical musicians and had her first encounter with Indian music in 1992 in New Delhi, where she studied with the late violinist Shri Joy Shrivastava. It was during this period that she discovered a first deep affinity with this music and its emotional depth and expression.

After returning to the Netherlands she continued her education at the Indian music department of the Rotterdam conservatory under vocalist Koustav Ray. She received her master diploma cum laude in 2003 and was rewarded with the ‘price for excellent performance’. She continued her studies in Mumbai with master violinist Pandit D.K.Datar.

Nowadays she performs both in traditional classical Indian settings as well as in cooperation with Western classical- or World music ensembles.

Over the years Lenneke van Staalen performed with many artists and ensembles; the Matangi quartet, Concerto Rotterdam, the Zeeuws Orkest, the celloplayers of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, l’Orchestre Piccardie, the International Dancetheatre, Marion von Tilzer, Sandhya Sanjana, Meeta Pandit, Heiko Dijker, Niti Ranjan Biswas,Anurekha Ghosh, Sharat Chandra Shrivastava, among many others.

Together with violinplayer Emmy Storms and pianist Cynthia Liem Lenneke and tablaplayer Heiko Dijker form Ananta. This quartet, formed out of two duo’s,  weaves together indian and western classical music.  Having their roots in different traditions these 4 musicians find eachother effortlessly in their shared musical passion. This joy is very present and visible on stage, where improvisation plays an important role. Ananta was born on the grachtenfestival in Amsterdam in 2019 and resulted in Emmy winning that years grachtenfestivalprijs.

Lenneke van Staalen also is a member of the Kailash ensemble with Marien van Staalen, cello, and Heiko Dijker, tabla.

kailas foto

A close cooperation has developed during the years with composer Jacob ter Veldhuis. In 2003 he composed especially for Lenneke and tablaplayer Heiko Dijker the piece ‘ Raga’ which was performed frequently with many different ensembles, being a very successful example of a fusion between improvised Indian music on the one hand and composed Western music on the other. A second very atmospheric new piece was created by ter Veldhuis several years later, called ‘Serendipity’, for the project ‘Bombay Bazaar’, a cooperation between Lenneke, Heiko Dijker and the Matangi Quartet.

Lenneke teaches at the Rotterdam conservatory (CODARTS) as well as privately and gives workshops at universities, conservatories and with Vereniging Huismuziek.