In recent years, Dutch violinist Niek Baar has made a name for himself as a charismatic and serious musician, who has managed to thrill audiences nationally and internationally, in renowned venues as the Philarmonie Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Oriental Centre Shanghai and the Gasteig in Munich.
A major boost to his career came in 2018 when he won first prize at the Oskar Back Competition in the Netherlands.
Niek, who made his solo debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic at the age of 16, is a regular soloist with orchestras such as the German Radio Philarmonie Saarbrücken, Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Residentie Orkest in The Hague.
He is also an enthusiastic chamber musician and a frequent guest at festivals such as the Bach Festival Dordrecht (Netherlands), Marvão International Music Festival (Portugal) and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany)
An intensive and long-term musical collaboration links him with American-American pianist Ben Kim, with whom he has already given several duo recitals at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Gasteig München (broadcast live by BR-Klassik). This was followed by their debut at the Philharmonie Essen in November 2021. For 'Avrotros Klassiek', the two musicians recorded a CD of duo works by Kreisler, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.
A particular highlight recently was Niek's return as soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, with whom he played Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy in three concerts at the Rotterdam Doelen, and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
Recent projects included concerts with the Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken (Paganini), the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss and Isabelle van Keulen (Mozart, Schnittke), the Philharmonisches Orchester Vorpommern (Schumann) and duo recitals with pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout (Concertgebouw and Vredenburg)
Niek Baar toured through Europe with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra and recorded his debut CD 'Obsession' with them for Channel Classics / Outhere Music, which was released in August 2022 and has since received extremely positive reviews both nationally and internationally.
Important pillars in the violinist's broad repertoire are the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and György Kurtág, who's solo works Niek has often performed in solo recitals. But a most special connection he has with the music of Robert Schumann, which fascinates him as a person and composer, and whose three violin sonatas and rarely performed violin concerto are among Niek's core repertoire. Recently he recorded Clara and Robert Schumann's violin and piano works for Channel Classics / Outhere Music together with pianist Ben Kim. This album called 'Solitude' will be released in September 2023.
A recording of Schumann's Violin Concerto has also been recorded with conductor Christoph Poppen and the Deutsche Radiophilarmonie and will be released in 2024.
Niek has won numerous national and international music competitions, including the first prize of the National Violin Competition 'Oskar Back' in 2018, the Princess Christina Competition 2010 (1st prize) and "International Solo Bach Competition" in London 2012 (1st prize). He also received the Grommek Prize at the Kronberg Festival and was awarded the Kersjes Prize in 2015.
Niek Baar was born in Rotterdam in 1991 and received his first violin lessons at the age of eight. Four years later, he was admitted to the preliminary training at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Here, he studied with Mireille van der Wart, and Peter Brunt and graduated cum laude in 2012. He then studied at the Hochschule für Musik 'Hanns Eisler' in Berlin with Prof Stephan Picard, where he obtained his master's degree with distinction in July 2016. From 2016, Niek continued his studies in Munich with Prof Christoph Poppen. Two other musicians and teachers who greatly inspired Niek were Mihaela Martin and Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma.
Niek lives in Berlin. He plays on a violin 'ex Vornbaum' built by Carlo Bergonzi in Cremona in 1729. This violin belongs to the Tjardus Greidanus Foundation in Amsterdam and has been loaned to Niek by the foundation.