Mascha van Nieuwkerk (1990) stands out as an expressive cellist with a strong musical imagination. In a continuous search for creative modes of musical expression, Mascha can often be found alongside choreographers, composers, comedians and actors, challenging boarders between genres and disciplines.
Mascha is a founding member of Fuse, well know for their label-crossing arrangements and re-compositions of classical, jazz, and folk pieces for the Dutch Classical Music TV-show Podium Witteman. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼With their bold approach to music and a matching stage presence, Fuse rapidly became a one-to-watch formation on the cutting edge of Dutch musical life. Fuse’ unusual line up, a string quartet with double bass and percussion, enables them to develop a unique melting pot of styles and genres. Mascha wrote many arrangements for the ensemble, consisting of 6 young professional musicians with backgrounds equally in classical and jazz music. Their repertoire ranges from the rhythmic music of Bartók, Frank Zappa and Dave Brubeck to works by Coltrane, Nils Frahm and Shostakovich.
Educated at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (pre-BA), the Conservatory of Amsterdam (BA) and the Fontys Conservatory (MA), she studied with Monique Bartels, Quirine Viersen and Paul Uyterlinde. Mascha worked intensively in a master class setting with, among others, Gary Hoffman, Mats Lidstöm, Dimitry Ferstmann, Troels Svane, Anner Bijlsma, Reinhard Latzko and Valter Despalj.
From an early age Mascha has been an active chamber musician, awarded for her contribution to multiple string quartets (Princes Christina Concours, first prize 2003, International Charles Hennen Competition, third prize 2006). In season 2013/2014 she replaced the cellist of the Dutch Ragazze Quartet and in 20142017 she regularly played with the Cello8ctet Amsterdam.
Mascha has shown her great versatility by contributing to music theatre productions and collaborating with composers and choreographers, such as the choreographer Alida Dors and composer Diego Soifer (Dansdagen 2013), theatre company Orkater, Slagwerk Den Haag en Via Berlin (Oerol and tour 2013/2014), composer Micha Hamel and Cello8ctet Amsterdam (tour 2014/2015), youth theatre company Orkaan and composer Gabriel Prokofiev (2016).
Mascha plays on an instrument of the Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds.