About Merel

Violinist Merel Vercammen graduated cum laude from the Royal College of Music in London. She received prizes at the London Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, the National Competition of the Foundation for Young Musical Talent of the Netherlands and the Princess Christina Concours. Merel has performed throughout the world and played in renowned concert halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and Wigmore Hall in London. Her debut album Symbiosis with Russian pianist Dina Ivanova came out on Gutman Records in March 2019, and has been very well received.

Merel had her first violin lessons when she was five years old and began studying at the HKU Utrecht Conservatory under Eeva Koskinen at the age of fifteen. At the Royal College of Music in London, she earned a Bachelor of Music as well as a Master of Performance, under Jan Repko. She then proceeded to study under Ilya Grubert at the Santa Cecilia Music Foundation in Portogruaro, Italy. Furthermore, she has followed masterclasses by Josef Rissin, Lewis Kaplan, Daniel Hope, Alina Ibragimova and Zakhar Bron.

As a soloist, Merel has performed in violin concertos by Beethoven, Brahms and Otto Ketting, the last of whom conducted his own work. In 2017, she premiered a violin concerto by composer Mathilde Wantenaar, written especially for her. In addition, she has developed an interactive performance about music and the brain (The New Mozart Effect) and engages in improvisation.

Merel plays a violin made by Italian violin maker Andrea Postacchini 1820, kindly made available on loan to her by the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation (NMF).

Longer version:

Merel started playing violin at the age of 5. When she was 15 years old she was admitted to the Utrecht Conservatory, where she studied with prof. Eeva Koskinen. In 2012 she finished her Bachelor of Music at the Royal College of Music with prof. Jan Repko, and in 2014 she graduated with highest distinction at the same institution in the Master of Performance programme. Merel received scholarships and awards from the Royal College of Music, the Anton Kersjesfonds, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the Huygens Scholarship Programme. In addition to her performing degree Merel also completed a Master of Science in Music, Mind and Brain at Goldsmiths University of London. Merel also studied with Ilya Grubert in a post-academic programme at the Scuola di Perfezionamento di Fondazione Musicale Santa Cecilia in Italy.

Merel won prizes at the London Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, at the Princess Christina Competition and at the National Competition of the Foundation for Young Music Talent of the Netherlands, where she was awarded both first prize and a prize for the best performance of a freely chosen piece by a Dutch composer. She gave several concerts throughout Europe and the UK, in South America, Asia and Africa. As a soloist, Merel has performed in violin concertos by Beethoven, Brahms and Otto Ketting, the last of whom conducted his own work. In 2017, she premiered a violin concerto by composer Mathilde Wantenaar, written especially for her. She performed in all the major concert halls in the Netherlands.

Merel received master classes from Valery Oistrach, Liviu Prunaru, Yayoi Toda, Josef Rissin, Lewis Kaplan, Daniel Hope, Alina Ibragimova, Zakhar Bron and Ilya Grubert. In 2009 she was invited by the Dutch Embassy in Tunisia to play at the festival ‘Jeunes Virtuoses’ in Tunis, and in 2012 she gave concerts in Rio de Janeiro on invitation from the Dutch Embassy in Brazil. In 2017 she gave a tour through Indonesia on invitation from the Dutch Embassy together with cellist Joachim Eijlander. In 2018 Merel also gave several chamber music performances in China. Merel performed in many concert halls across Europe, her 2013 debut at the Wigmore Hall in London being one of the highlights. In 2016 Merel made her debut at the Royal Albert Hall. Her debut album Symbiosis with Russian pianist Dina Ivanova came out on Gutman Records in March 2019, and has been very well received.

Merel is a founding member of the ensemble trio42. This group has a combination of violin, harp and saxophone, which is unique in chamber music. They gave performances at festivals including the Zeist Music Days, the International Chamber Music Festival of Janine Jansen, Grachtenfestival, NJO Summer of Music and Festival Classique.

Besides that Merel started The New Mozart Effect, an interactive lecture recital about music and the brain. With this show she did a College Tour, supported by the Amsterdam Art Fund.

Merel plays on a beautiful violin made by Italian luthier A. Postacchini in 1820, kindly given on loan by the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation.

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