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Kees Boersma

Principal Double Bass

Brian Abel Chair


Born in the Netherlands, Kees Boersma graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts before returning to the Netherlands to study at the Sweelinck Conservatorium, Amsterdam. He then worked with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for two years, performing at the Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms, and on tours to Montreux, Lucerne, Paris, Vienna and Berlin. Returning to Australia, he performed as principal with the State Orchestra of Victoria and Australian Chamber Orchestra, before joining the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as Principal Double Bass.

He was a founding member of contemporary music group ELISION, with whom he has recorded several CDs and toured Italy and Germany, including performances at the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin. He also performs with the Sydney Soloists, and appears regularly with the Australia Ensemble. In 2004, he performed Schubert's Trout Quintet and Brett Dean's Voices of Angels with the Australia Ensemble during a national tour for Musica Viva. He also appeared in the inaugural Melbourne Spoleto Festival, performing chamber music with Joshua Bell, Colin Carr and Carter Brey. His musical interests include contemporary music and the solo double bass repertory of 18th-century Vienna, and in his solo appearances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra he has performed Bright's Double Bass Concerto, Dittersdorf's Divertimento for viola and double bass, and Bottesini's Concerto for two double basses. In 2013 he gave the premiere performances of Mary Finsterer's double bass concerto, Lake Ice, commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Kees Boersma plays a double bass made by John Lott Snr (London, c.1810).