Svenja Staats (1996) is a Dutch classical violinist known on stage for her engaging performances. As a professional musician, she strives to convey to the audience the essence of the music she performs while connecting with people from all over the world. Svenja has won numerous prizes and awards for her work, including first prize for both the Princess Christina Competition (2011) and the Barbara and David Jacobs Scholar Award (2016). In addition to her performances at international concert halls and festivals, she has performed for audiences at world-renowned events, such as the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague (2014) and the start of the Tour de France in Utrecht (2015).
Education & masterclasses
Born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Svenja was accepted into the Sweelinck Academy for highly talented young musicians of the Conservatory of Amsterdam at the age of 8 and made her debut at the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw just a year later. In May 2020, she received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance degree with highest distinction from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (US) where she studied under the guidance of Alexander Kerr. During her time in the United States, she has performed in many operas, musicals, ballet performances, and concerts while working with famous conductors like Osmo Vänskä and Thomas Wilkins. Moreover, she was often asked as concertmaster of various ensembles and orchestras and collaborated with young composers while performing their new compositions. Svenja has participated in masterclasses led by world renowned violinists such as Jaap van Zweden, Ana Chumachenko, Ray Chen, Vadim Gluzman, David Takeno, Ani Kavafian, Augustin Dumay, Igor Ozim, and Joshua Bell. In addition, for four years in a row she has been selected to participate in the International Violin Masterclass & Chamber Music Workshop in Athens, given by the Greek master violinist Leonidas Kavakos.
Svenja is known for her inspiring performances, captivating audiences with her masterful violin playing and her engaging knowledge of the pieces she performs. She has been playing as a soloist at national and international concert venues and festivals in countries such as Germany, Poland, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States, performing with renowned orchestras such as the Sinfoni Orchestrasi in Eskisehir and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. In March 2014, she was notably asked to play during the opening ceremony of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, attended by the President of the United States Barack Obama and 58 other world leaders, including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and UN-secretary Ban Ki-Moon. In July 2015, she performed with the pop band Vangrail during the start of the Tour de France in Utrecht, an event attended by 12.000 people.
At the age of 14, Svenja won first prize and the Audience Award of the Princess Christina Competition in The Hague. The same year, she won the 2nd prize during the International Georg Philipp Telemann Violin Competition in Poznan, Poland, where she was also awarded the Telemann Award for the best interpretation of the compulsory piece. In 2018, she won the Matinee Musicale Competition in Indianapolis (United States). In 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 Svenja received the Founders Scholar Award, honoring the most academically distinguished undergraduate student who has demonstrated sustained academic excellence.
" Svenja Staats does not play the violin,
she ís the violin."