Cello Octet Amsterdam

Cello Octet Amsterdam is an adventurous collective of cellists that represents new music and interdisciplinary performances. The Octet has become a household name in the contemporary music world, through collaborations with composers such as Philip Glass, Sofia Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt, Theo Loevendie, Nyokabi Kariũki, Sarah Davachi, Michael Gordon, and Kate Moore. After the premiere of his first piece for the Octet, Arvo Pärt said: “The Octet is worth its weight in gold. I discovered this ensemble 10 years too late.”
The cellists have revealed themselves as a close-knit, world-class chamber music ensemble. They have proven themselves to be groundbreaking musicians in their performances of Cello Warriors and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Cello Band.
The Octet believe that musicians are at the heart of society and have a responsibility to contribute to social discussions. Based on this conviction, they regularly enter into special collaborations with composers, theater makers, choreographers, and social organisations. The ‘Instant’ triptych (co-produced with Via Berlin) dealt with current topics such as consumer society, human trafficking, and loneliness while recent programs have focused on themes including diversity and migration.
“This ensemble is a treasure. It is a great example for the music world. Everywhere I play: Brazil, Japan, USA, I hear about the Cello Octet.“
Yo Yo Ma
“But of course it is the music – played completely by heart – that means that we can safely call this the concert of the year.“
De Volkskrant
“The Octet is worth its weight in gold. I discovered them 10 years too late.“
Arvo Pärt
“Their performance of ‘Neiges’ by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho was breathtaking.“
Dagblaad van het Noorden
“Eight top cellists… Total technical perfection, intensity and colourful interpretation.“
The Strad

Rares Mihailescu

I learn something every day with the octet. It can be music related, but more often than not I learn about people. Music is a universal connecting language and playing the cello is dope!

Claire Bleumer

Whether it’s Schubert, Danny Elfman or Jacob Collier, with all the music I hear, I think about what it would sound like on 8 cellos… And how I could transcribe that beautifully for us.

Geneviève Verhage

Before a rehearsal you can find me in a cafe with a cappuccino and a newspaper. I need that moment for myself because I always have the feeling that I haven’t practiced enough for the rehearsal. But every time I’m pleasantly surprised!

Esther Torrenga

I have a thing for symmetry. I can completely lose myself in 8 cellos. Even though everyone laughs at me, I’ll always try to have all the music stands set to the same height before a concert. Usually it doesn’t work…

René van Munster
I’m obsessed with electronic music. My heart beats faster when turning dials and knobs. I take that love with me to rehearsals and concerts with the Octet and am constantly in search of a colour rich sound palette.


Sanne van der Horst

This!…this is beyond just a bunch of beautiful, sweet, crazy, excellent cellists and people together. The crazier the better, the better the crazier! After a concert some bubbly & a bitterbal…I’m proud of the 8 of us!


Sanne Bijker

Each year, I knit my winter jumper during the summer holidays so that I can climb my next mountain peak well rested and warm. More importantly: I firmly believe that art and music make the world better and more beautiful.

Alistair Sung

I love food prepared with care and skill whether it’s served in a fine-dining restaurant or a Cantonese hole-in-the-wall. In my musical life, the octet shares this passion for variety, underscored by quality. How lucky I am to be part of that?!



Dive into our history

We establish ourselves.
There are only 2 pieces written for 8 cellos.
We’re not yet called Cello Octet Amsterdam but rather Conjunto Ibérico.
We change our name to Cello Octet Amsterdam:
8 cellists with Amsterdam as our homebase.
What doesn’t change is our level of curiosity.
We are continuously on the move.
Always changing, fluid.
We create new music with the great composers and experimental innovators of our time.
We search out other art forms to express ourselves.
We work intensively with choreographers, theater makers and scenographers.
We perform on beaches, hang from trapeze and dance in hallways.
We become increasingly outspoken about the world around us.
We talk about the clothing industry, human trafficking and loneliness in the ‘Instant’ triptych .
2018 – now
We have now been performing with the same 8 cellists for 5 years.
In our 35 years of existence, we’ve performed more than 90 world premiers.
And we’ll be doing more of this in the coming months…


Cello Biënnale Amsterdam | Arvo Pärt | Theater Utrecht | Nyokabi Kariũki | Philip Glass | Via Berlin | Michael Gordon | LeineRoebana | Oorkaan | Kinan Azmeh | Nick Verstand | David Lang | Kara Lis Coverdale | KMRU | Abul Mogard | Qasim Naqvi | Sarah Davachi | Caterina Barbieri |Kate Moore| Theo Loevendie|


Cello Octet Amsterdam

020-8932068 Overhoeksplein 2 S08
1031 KS Amsterdam info@cellooctet.com

Voor gerichte informatie:

Artistiek: sanne@cellooctet.com

Zakelijk: claire@cellooctet.com

Boekingen: rares@cellooctet.com

Cello Octet Amsterdam wordt meerjarig ondersteund door het Fonds Podiumkunsten en het Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst. Cello Octet Amsterdam volgt de CAO Muziekensembles. Hieronder kun je de gegevens over onze ANBI, het jaarverslag en het bestuursverslag downloaden.

Dit veld is bedoeld voor validatiedoeleinden en moet niet worden gewijzigd.

Cello spelen is onze manier om een verhaal te vertellen.

© Cello Octet Amsterdam 2024 | Design: Bureau Grotesk