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.

Lenneke van Staalen is a member of the Kailash ensemble (Marien van Staalen, cello, Heiko Dijker, tabla) that delicately tries to build bridges between the Indian and western classical music genres. Kailash also frequently cooperates with other musicians, like violin player Emmy Storms and vocalist Nora Fischer in last years cello biennale in Amsterdam

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 very 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 wonderful new piece has been created by ter Veldhuis, called ‘Serendipity’, for the latest project ‘Bombay Bazaar’, a cooperation between Lenneke, Heiko Dijker and the Matangi Quartet.

Lenneke cooperates frequently with dancer Kalpana Raghuraman and others in educational performances (such as for the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw educational programming). She teaches at the Rotterdam conservatory (CODARTS) as well as privately and gives workshops at universities, conservatories and with Vereniging Huismuziek.