Esther Visser is a Dutch violinist, specialized in historically informed performance practice. Directly after gaining her Bachelor of Music Degree in the Netherlands she was invited to continue her studies with Vilmos Szabadi at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, where she completed a 3 year Postgraduate program. Simultaneously, she followed a 2 year program ‘Formation Superieure’ with the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées in France. She was coached by the concertmaster of the orchestra, Alessandro Moccia, and performed at the ‘Spotlight on Young Artists’ concert series of the Festival de Saintes. She subsequently gained her Master of Music degree for baroque violin with Sigiswald Kuijken in Brussels.
Esther acted as a concertmaster at several orchestras and during two years she was leader in the European Philharmonic Orchestra. With modern violin she worked as a substitute a.o. at the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra. Esther performed as a soloist with orchestras in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Finland. As a baroque violinist she collaborates in concerts and CD recordings a.o. with La Petite Bande, Collegium Musicum, Concerto d’ Amsterdam, Florilegium Musicum, Musica Aeterna, and the Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen.
Classical and Romantic repertoire
Esther is founder and artistic leader of ensemble La Chambre du Roi, winning the title ‘Promising Ensemble’ at the International Young Artist Presentation in Antwerp. She received prizes and study grants from the SNS REAAL Fonds, the Marti Keuning Eckhardt Stichting and the Ben Remkes Cultuurfonds. During 3 summers she participated at the Aspen Music festival, USA. Esther did practical artistic research on authentic performance practice of Romantic repertoire at Leuven University, winning the ‘Excellence Prize’ from the Roger Dillemans Foundation Belgium for this research.
Since 2013 Esther works as a guest lecturer at Codarts, Rotterdam Conservatory, as a specialist in historically informed performance practice, coaching Mmus students. Since 2017 Esther also works as a guest lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Esther is running a successful Alexander Technique practice in Haarlem (NL) specialized in musicians. Since 2019 Esther is doing PhD research through the Canterbury Christ Church University (UK), researching the way how violinists supported their violin between 1790-1830 and the implications of that on performance practice and health.
• Research interests
Music, historical performance practise, music and health, Alexander Technique
• Education and qualifications
2004 Bachelor in Music, violin, Utrecht Conservatoire, The Netherlands
2005 Bachelor in Chamber Music, Fontys Conservatoire, The Netherlands
2007 Diplome Formation Superieur, 2-year specialisation authentic performance practise
Classical and Romantic repertoire, France
2008 Postgrad Diplom, violin, Liszt Academy, Budapest, Hungary
2009 Master in Music, baroque violin, Brussels Conservatoire, Belgium
• Professional appointments / Employment
2013 – now
Guest lecturer and coach master research, Codarts conservatoire, The
2017 – now
Guest lecturer and coach master research, Royal Conservatoire The Hague,
2020 – now
Guest lecturer, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK
2012 Article published in the ‘Adem’ magazine of Lemmens Institute, Belgium, on the
Violin Schule of Louis Spohr, my research about his development of the chin rest and the
musical implications of that.
2015 Article published in the ‘Guide for informed performance practice’ for the MMus
students at Codarts Conservatoire, The Netherlands, on vibrato in the Classical era
2017 Article published in the ‘Guide for informed performance practice’ for the MMus
students at Codarts Conservatoire, The Netherlands, on vibrato in the Romantic era
2013 Received the Prize of Excellence from the Roger Dillemans Foundation from
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, for research on performance practise in the
• Grants, Fellowships
2019 Received a 3-year full-time scholarship to perform PhD research on performance
practice in late classical era from Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury,
• Talks / Presentations
2013, 2015 Guest lectures on the topics like Leopold Mozarts Violin Schule, Codarts
Conservatoire, The Netherlands
2017 Guest lecture on the use of vibrato in the Romantic era, Beethoven Festival The
Hague, The Netherlands
2022 Paper presented on violin / viola support in the 18th and 19th century
and served as a chair in a session on ‘Music and the Body’, at Royal Music Association (RMA) Research Students’
Conference, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom
• Teaching experience
Supervised Master students in music at 2 conservatoires on their master researches, been in
juries and exams for Master Degree exams.
• Professional skills
Certified Alexander Technique teacher
Certified Shaw Method teacher
Languages: Dutch, German, English, French
Supervisor in Canterbury: Robert Rawson