Girls who play the oboe: today, there are many of them.... Yet I still believe that a woman with such a thing in her mouth was considered unseemly, at least up until the middle of the twentieth century. The image was, after all, probably too suggestive of other things. And let’s be honest: it’s not exactly the most flattering instrument to play, is it? That’s exactly why the world’s very first female oboist gave it up straight away.
In Vivaldi's time there was an orphan girl named Pelegrina who spend most of her life at the Pio Ospedale della Pieta. Pelegrina was by far the most accomplished oboist when Vivaldi worked at the Ospedale (the only other oboist mentioned in the archives is one Susanna, in 1726), we can assume that a number of the oboe concertos featured on this CD were also written for, and performed by, Pelegrina. (source: linernotes of this cd written by Pauline Oostenrijk) Pauline Oostenrijk dedicates this cd to this special oboe girl with the very touching words: To you, Pelegrina dall’ Oboe, who came into this world with so little; but who managed to breathe colour and lustre into life with that beautiful, yet so obstinate, double-reed instrument; and who inspired one of the greatest Baroque composers to create little gems we can enjoy to this very day.
Jan Willem de Vriend is the chief conductor and artistic director of The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra since 2006 and the artistic director of Combattimento Consort Amsterdam. Since De Vriend was named chief conductor, The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra has become a notable phenomenon on the Netherlands’ musical scene. It has presented semi-scenic performances of works by Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss and Mendelssohn. There were premieres of works by Offenbach, Say and Mahler. And by substituting period instruments in the brass section, it has developed its own distinctive sound in the 18th and 19th century repertoire. Recently, the orchestra caused quite a stir by performing music by Schumann at festivals in Spain. It is currently recording Beethoven’s complete symphonies conducted by De Vriend. Its long Mahler tradition is being continued in recordings and tours. In addition to being the chief conductor of The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, De Vriend is the regular guest conductor of the Brabant Orchestra.
He has conducted many distinguished Dutch orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra. De Vriend is also a welcome guest internationally and has conducted orchestras in China, Germany, Austria, Italy and France.
In 1999 Pauline Oostenrijk received the Music Prize of The Netherlands, the highest State Award for classical music. Before that, she had already won numerous prizes on national and international competitions, such as the Dutch representation in the Eurovision Young Musician of the Year Contest (1986), the first prize in the Tromp oboe competition (1988), the Decoration of the Friends of the Concertgebouw (1989), the Philip Morris Art Prize (1993), a second prize in the International Music Competition in Rome (with harpist Manja Smits), and the first prize in the Fernand Gillet oboe competition in Baltimore (1991), resulting in a recital in Carnegie Hall.
She studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Koen van Slogteren and Jan Spronk, and continued her studies with, among others, Thomas Indermühle and Han de Vries. At the same time she completed her piano studies with Willem Brons. Since 1993, Pauline is solo oboist of the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague. Her activities as a soloist and chamber musician were recorded on a number of highly acclaimed cd’s. She plays recitals with pianist Ivo Janssen, and performs regularly with her sister, soprano Nienke Oostenrijk, in the Ensemble Oostenrijk-Jansen (with cembalo-player David Jansen and cellist Maarten Jansen). She is a member of the Orlando Wind Quintet and the ensemble Nieuw Amsterdams Peil.
As a soloist she performed with orchestras like the Residentie Orkest, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Radio Kamer Orkest, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Brabants Orkest, Orkest van het Oosten (The Netherlands Symphonie Orchestra), WDR Sinfonieorchester Cologne, Orchestre d’Auvergne, Salzburger Kammerorchester and Sonora Hungarica.
Until 2007 Pauline was a professor of oboe at the conservatories of Amsterdam and The Hague, a position she laid down in order to have more time for her performing activities, and for writing. In 2006 her first book with musical short stories was published.
Several composers dedicated works to her, among them Louis Andriessen (To Pauline O for oboe solo). Occasionally, Pauline writes compositions herself. For the occasion of the silver jubilee of Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, she composed a piece for English horn and small ensemble, which she performed for Her Majesty in November 2005.
Baroque Academy of The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra The Baroque Academy of The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (BANSO) was founded by Jan Willem de Vriend, Chief Conductor and artistic leader of The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. BANSO comprises mostly musicians from The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra and specialises in the baroque repertoire. It strives to faithfully reproduce the original sound of the baroque repertoire using period instruments such as baroque trumpets, natural horns, wooden flutes and bowed string instruments with gut strings.