Martijn & Stefan Blaak
The sisters Charlotte and Josefien Stoppelenburg are a critically acclaimed vocal duo and are praised for the way their voices blend together, their outstanding technique and their convincing stage presentation.
The sisters have performed in nearly every Dutch concert hall, appeared on television and radio and have performed several times for the Dutch Royal Family.
They graduated from the conservatories of Utrecht, Amsterdam and Cologne (Germany) and appeared with orchestras such as the WDR-Rundfunkorchester, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Nationaal Philharmonisch Orkest, Amsterdams Promenade Orkest and Camerata Amsterdam as well as with Dutch, German and American orchestras and ensembles.
The sisters performed in nearly every Dutch concert hall.
Charlotte and Josefien are continuously invited to perform as soloists in many oratorio performances, such as Bach's St. Matthew and St. John Passion, Handel's Messiah, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and have performed over 50 oratorio works.
Several composers created pieces especially for this unique vocal duo
As a soloist, Charlotte appeared at the Cologne Opera (Oper Köln) one of the highlights being a lead role in Künneke’s operetta ‘Die Ehe im Kreise’ recorded by the WDR radio station. A passionate advocate for contemporary music, she performed Berio's Folksongs both in the Musiktriennale Köln 2007, broadcast by the WDR Radio, as well as in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.She was also invited to perfrom the world premiere of the Buddhistic Oratorio 'Prajñaparamita Mantra' by Dirk Dekker. She has presented art song recitals with music of Elgar, Britten, Mahler, Strauss, Schumann and Schubert as well as contemporary composers.
Charlotte also studied German language and literature and frequently presents lectures at Dutch universities about the connection between German music, literature and poetry.
Josefien lives in Chicago and was praised in the American press for her
' 'impressive agility', dramatic interpretation and 'astonishing singing'.
She is the winner of the Chicago Oratorio Award, and received the second prize in The American Prize Opera Competition.
She performs with many of the country's most esteemed Baroque organizations, such as the Music of the Baroque, Haymarket Opera Company, Newberry Consort, Handel Week Festival, Chicago Baroque Band, Boulder Bach Fesival, Arizona Bach Festival, Cincinnati Bach Ensemble. Because of her great stylistic awareness, vocal virtuosity and knowledge about the Baroque style, Josefien is regularly invited to present vocal masterclasses at American conservatories (such as Indiana University, University of Colorado, Illinois State University)
Charlotte & Josefien Stoppelenburg
Piano duo Martijn and Stefan Blaak graduated with distinction from the Messiaen Academy, the Netherlands, where they studied with Fred Oldenburg and Pierre Ruhlmann. They have won several prizes, including the Princess Christina Concours, Young Music Talent, Holland and the Concours Modern, Weimar. They received "De Voorziening", a scholarship for outstanding young musicians which enabled them to study under Ton Hartsuiker, famous interpreter of new music. The piano duo give concerts all over Europe, including the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Spain, France and Italy.
They are regularly invited to perform in international music festivals such as the Grachten Festival in Amsterdam and "La settimana d'arte di Cecina" in Italy. They performed at the music festival in Aix-en-Provence, France, which was broadcast live by Radio France. As well as giving concerts with various symphony orchestras, the piano duo Martijn and Stefan Blaak have made several radio and TV recordings for the national broadcasting companies in Holland and Germany.
The brothers Martijn and Stefan Blaak also play new pieces especially written for them by composers like David Rowland, Francis Shaw, Diderik Wagenaar and Chiel Meijering.
The piano duo Martijn and Stefan Blaak were participants in "Début", a concert tour in which they played in all the major concert halls in the Netherlands, including The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, De Doelen, Rotterdam, Dr. Anton Philips Zaal, The Hague and the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht, where they are regular guests nowadays.
On their first CD they play works by a.o. Brahms, Schubert and Debussy.
Their second CD will appear in the fall of 2013.