Dear Amstel Quartet fans,
I have some sad news to share with you:
I am leaving the Amstel Quartet.
As most of you will know, I have gone through a very difficult period. I was seriously ill and I am still recovering from a very heavy chemotherapy.
During the past year I have doubted pretty much everything. I am a searcher and a doubter, always trying to change things for the better in my life. Last year I wasn’t even sure if I could continue playing the saxophone.
In the last couple of months I slowly entered working life again, which hasn't always been easy. Despite the fact that this period was very tough on me, my family and my colleagues, it has had some good effects as well. I have come to realise that my focus should be on the things that are most important to me. In the first place, these are my family, my girlfriend and my kids.
But this shift also applies to the artistic field. The Amstel Quartet has been a pillar in my life for twenty years. Whatever I did, there was always the quartet to put my feet back on the ground. Our group has always tried to attain the highest level of musical quality, constantly discussing interpretation and repertoire. At the same time, we have shared many personal things. In that sense, you could say it was like being in a marriage.
Now I am forty years old. Not old, but not young either. I foresee that I will have the energy to go on whatever road I need and want to take. In order to be able to think about my life and music, however, I need more space, in my head and in my agenda.
I am currently discovering new music, playing with other cats and I am trying not to wear myself out in the process.
There is still a lot of repertoire to be discovered, so many stages to conquer, but I have chosen not to do this with the Amstel Quartet. I need to take it easier and focus on my own music. Whatever it will turn out to be.
Harry Cherrin will be taking my place as of January 2017. On December 2nd, The Amsterdam Concertgebouw will host my last concert with the Amstel Quartet, the group of friends that I co-founded twenty years ago. We toured the world and shared everything.
Now, time has come for me to move on to unknown territories. Thanks a lot for supporting us, coming to our concerts and listening to our CDs.
I am confident that the Amstel Quartet will remain successful and that they will reach a new level of musicianship with Harry.
I had a blast.