Biography

Portret Ralph Rousseau

Ralph Rousseau

Ralph Rousseau began playing the piano and bass guitar at the age of eight. He later combined his conservatoire double-bass studies with a university physics degree, graduating ‘cum laude’ in both. His professional career began as a double-bass player, where he performed with, among others, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He also combined this with pop, jazz and rock music.

In 1996 he changed direction and took up the viola da gamba. He studied with Jaap ter Linden and rapidly became the most prominent Netherlands ambassador for the seven-stringed instrument. He has been soloist with, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Arnhem Symphony Orchestra, the Residentie Orchestra Bach Ensembles, the North-Netherlands Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, with such conductors as Sir Roger Norrington, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Ivan Fischer.

Ralph’s greatest strength is his interpretation of the works for solo viola da gamba. Various composers have created new works for him and his solo concerts have brought him to music festivals throughout Europe, the United States, Thailand and China. The presentation of his concerts is very personal; he introduces the works himself and his commentary creates an intimate atmosphere even in the largest of halls.

His many CD recordings of composers such as Telemann, Bach, and Marais have been internationally praised and his cross-over work has also gained exceptional recognition. Ralph’s CD Chansons d’Amour was awarded the Edison classical audience award, the Netherlands’ most prestigious cd award.

Not surprisingly, Ralph has a very broad scope of fascinations ranging from macrobiotic food and t’ai chi to history, astrophysics, and aviation. He obtained his private pilot’s licence (PPL) in 2009 and his Masters of Education (Physics) in 2011 (cum laude).

Ralph plays an original instrument by Georg Aman (1705) and a seven string bass by Reinhard Ossenbrunner. Bows by Gerhard Landwehr.

Ralph lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands

Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks

Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks, Foto: Dierk Hendriks