Diederik Smulders is a versatile cellist who likes to have as diverse a repertoire as possible on his music stand, from baroque to jazz and from solo to orchestral work. He graduated cum laude and with distinction from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with teacher Lucia Swarts. Diederik completed his bachelor studies at the Fontys Conservatoire in Tilburg with teacher Paul Uyterlinde. During his studies in The Hague, Diederik followed a specialisation programme in modern music with the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble and the New European Ensemble. Currently, Diederik lives in The Hague.

As a freelance cellist, Diederik has played in various orchestras and ensembles including the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, the Residentie Orkest, the Balletorkest, the Metropole Orkest, Cello Octet Amsterdam and Kamerata Zuid. He also appeared in the orchestra of the popular television programme Maestro. During his student days, Diederik was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of The Netherlands and principal cellist of the of the Young Metropole Orkest. As a soloist at the Spring Festival in The Hague, Diederik played the cello concerto ‘Last Words’ by Martijn Padding accompanied by members of the Ensemble Academy and conductor Gregory Charette. He also had the opportunity to perform the world premiere of Vlad Chlek’s cello concerto ‘Möbius Strip’ accompanied by the Brabant Chamber Orchestra.

Diederik is very interested in experimenting with improvising and playing graphic scores. For instance, he has done intensive research on Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, who wrote a lot about his synaesthesia and the connection between art and music. Together with Portuguese percussionist Ricardo Oliveira, Diederik forms a duo with whom he uses Kandinsky’s paintings as sheet music. Finally, Diederik was part of the ensemble of De Link, a leading concert organisation of newly composed music, and has had the opportunity to premiere works by Anthony Fiumara, Stefan Prins and Thomas Larcher, amongst others.

The cello Diederik plays was built by Annelies Steinhauer and made available by the Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds. His bow was made by L. Morizot.

Photo: Maria Jarzyna