A young, Amsterdam based cellist, Mascha van Nieuwkerk (1990) stands out as an expressive performer with a creative musical imagination. In a continuous search for new modes of musical expression, Mascha can often be found alongside choreographers, composers, comedians and actors, challenging boarders between genres and disciplines.
Mascha was educated at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (pre-BA), the Conservatory of Amsterdam (BA) and the Fontys Conservatory (MA), where she studied with Monique Bartels, Quirine Viersen and Paul Uyterlinde. She 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. International masterclasses she participated in include the International Music Academy ‘Classical Summer’ (Portugal), Margess International (Swiss), the Orlando Festival (The Netherlands), Burg Feistritz (Austria), ‘Open strings’ (Denmark) and Mats Lidströms’ ‘Expansion’ (Sweden).
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 since September 2014 she regularly plays with the Cello8ctet Amsterdam.
Mascha has shown her great versatility by writing and performing for music theatre productions in collaboration with 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 is co-founder of Fuse, a ‘one to watch’ ensemble on the cutting edge of Dutch musical life, performing over 100 shows in nearly two years, including performances in The Concertgebouw, The Rijks Museum, as well as a carte blanche at the Amsterdam Canal festival and their own concert series in the North sea Jazz Club. In 2015, Fuse was a two-weekly guest on TV show ‘Podium Witteman’, they performed on popular daily talkshow ’De Wereld Draait Door’, featured on Radio 1, 2, 4 and 6 and composed the leader-music for TV show ’Opium’. 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.
Mascha plays on an instrument of the Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds.