Sebastiaan van den Bergh started playing cello when he was 8 years old. At the time he lived in Milan with his parents and sister. Saverio Gliozzi, a Milanese cellist, was his first teacher. Once returned to the Netherlands, Sebastiaan continued his lessons with Rob Hageman, a cellist from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and later with Rosalie Seinstra at the Hellendaal Music Institute in Rotterdam.
“During my time in high school at the Wolfert van Borselen I started wondering about my future. Could I continue further with the cello? Along the path I had been following for the last couple of years? I had already been playing in youth orchestras and was starting to feel bound to the instrument with increasing closeness.”
Eventually Sebastiaan decided to audition for a conservatory and, even before he had completed his high school exams, had been accepted into the cello class of Jeroen den Herder at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
“These were four very intensive years, being a Bachelors’ student at the conservatory. The course completely changed the view I’d developed of playing the cello and of living the life of a cellist. I decided to take a year off after these four years to process and review all I had learned from my teacher and my colleagues.”
In 2014 Sebastiaan commenced his Masters’ studies at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam, continuing his tuition under Jeroen den Herder. During his Masters’ he actively worked with different chamber music ensembles, one of which began as a clarinet-trio, and which grew into a quintet named the Marbel Ensemble. Before graduating Sebastiaan did research on the compositions of the French composer Jean-Louis Florentz. In 2016 he received his Masters’ diploma with distinction.
“The two years of my Masters’ weren’t only dedicated to cello playing. Especially important was the musical research I completed. Through this research, I managed to develop my playing and my views on music.”
Other Significant Musical Activities:
- participation in NJO projects, including a number of tours and the NJO Muziekzomer, and in the opera project Il Matrimonio Segreto;
- participation in workshops, master classes and concerts of the György Ligeti Academy, Asko|Schönberg’s breeding ground for young talent, led by Bas Wiegers and Clark Rundell;
- master classes during the Zutphen Cello Festival, with Jeroen den Herder, Lucia Swarts, Jakob Koranyi, Ran Varon and Michael Stirling, among others;
- masterclasses by Pieter Wispelwey, Marcio Carneiro, Gavriel Lipkind, Dmitri Ferschtman, Vladimir Perlin and Xenia Jankovic;
- active in orchestral and ensemble projects at the conservatories of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague;
- lessons on baroque cello with Viola de Hoog;
- cellist with Looptail, ensemble for contemporary classical music;
- participation in the cello weeks of the Cello Academy Zutphen, given by Jeroen den Herder.
In 2017 I was selected for a position as an academy player in the Gelders Orkest, and during a year I had the opportunity to work within this orchestra. The programme I followed consisted of rehearsals and concerts within the cello section of the orchestra and private lessons from the two principal cellists of the orchestra.
Sebastiaan plays on a cello built by Annelies Steinhauer, which was completed in 1992 in Lijstervreugde, Hilversum. Annelies Steinhauer considers this cello to be her Opus 54.
The Baroque Cello
Since his studies in Bremen at the HfK with Viola de Hoog, Sebastiaan has been playing and performing on a modern historical instrument provided to him by the Dutch National Instruments Foundation (NMF).
This is a cello made by Guust François in 1997, and brings the historical instrument-making traditions from the late 17th Century to the modern age.
You can find more about this instrument and the NMF here: https://www.muziekinstrumentenfonds.nl/musici/60454?taal=en