When violinist Tosca Opdam, born and raised in Amsterdam, decided to continue her studies in New York, a new world opened up for her. It shaped not only her musicianship, but every aspect of her life. Tosca now describes herself as ‘a product of two worlds’, embracing the idiosyncratic qualities of Europe and the United States to enrich a personal expressiveness in music.

Tosca Opdam won first prize in the prestigious Dutch Oskar Back Violin Competition 2011, performing Vieuxtemps’ Fifth Concerto. The jury noted her ‘beautifully sustained long lines’ and ‘soloist qualities’. She returned at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam for a sold-out debut recital and a performance in honor of the grand re-opening of the Rijksmuseum.

Tosca completed the Young Talent Class of the Conservatory of Amsterdam under Joyce Tan and Peter Brunt. Following her studies with Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music, she received her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School of Music, studying with Catherine Cho and Sylvia Rosenberg.

Masterclasses with eminent musicians such as Pamela Frank, Theo Olof, Georgy Pauk, Candida Thompson, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Pinchas Zukerman, brought her many valuable insights.

Musical collaborations
Making her solo orchestral debut at the age of 11, Tosca Opdam has performed with various orchestras, under the baton of Jurjen Hempel, Annedore Neufeld, Matthew Rowe, Clark Rundell and others. Her 2015 performance as part of the Liberation Day Concert, with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima in attendance, was broadcast live on Dutch national television.

Recent collaborations include the Berg and Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos with the Humboldts Studentische Philharmonie, Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with the Greenwich Village Orchestra, and Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz.

An avid chamber musician and recitalist, she has collaborated with musicians including Inon Barnatan, Sol Gabetta, Olivier Patey and Maxim Rysanov and has appeared at the Grachtenfestival (Amsterdam), Delft Chamber Music Festival, Storioni Festival (Eindhoven), the Siletz Bay Music Festival (Oregon), Festival Classica João Pessoa (Brazil), and the Young Artists Program (Ottawa).

Multi-disciplinary projects
Tosca Opdam seeks the balance between well grounded beliefs about how to perform, and a measure of freedom that helps the music truly come to life. Programs devoted exclusively to music are alternated with performances in which visual arts, dance, science, fashion and music may color our perception of the separate disciplines.

Tosca Opdam participated in lecture concerts, among others at the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, and the National Maritime museum in Amsterdam, and the Mauritshuis in The Hague. She made a special guest appearance with the Dutch National Ballet during its 2013 anniversary gala program. At Lincoln Center she collaborated with the New York City Ballet and The New York Choreographic Institute. Recent New York projects include an innovative presentation of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time combining actors, musicians and visual texts.

Commissioning ‘North Atlantic Light’
Tosca Opdam made her recital debut at Carnegie Hall in June 2018, with a program that included the world premiere of Robin de Raaff’s North Atlantic Light for violin and piano, commissioned by the Toscata Foundation and dedicated to Tosca. The work is inspired by the Willem de Kooning painting of the same name. In May 2019, she will premiere the orchestral version of North Atlantic Light with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Marc Albrecht at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

In 2017, the Toscata Foundation was established with the aim of promoting classical music worldwide through education, violin pedagogy, collaborations with other artistic disciplines, and the championing and commissioning of contemporary composers for performance in the Netherlands and beyond.

Tosca Opdam plays a Matteo Gofriller violin from 1700, which is generously on loan to her by a private collector.

Text: Green Room Creatives