Ernst Reijseger

Photo by Krijn van Noordwijk

Ernst Reijseger (born in Naarden, NL, 1954) started playing cello at the age of eight. He studied classical music with Jan Olivier, Anner Bijlsma and René van Ast. In the mid 70s he left the classical music scene and followed his interest for improvised music and jazz. His tutor Anner Bijlsma encouraged him to follow his own path.

In the following years Reijseger played and recorded with Derek Bailey, Alan "Gunga" Purves, Franky Douglas, Trilok Gurtu and Yo Yo Ma (to mention a few). He also was a member of the Theo Loevendie Consort, the Guus Janssen Septet, the Arcado String Trio, Trio Clusone with Michael Moore and Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg’s Instant Composers Pool, the Gerry Hemingway Quintet and the Trio with trumpetist Eric Vloeimans and guitarist Anton Goudsmit. In 1985 he received the Boy Edgar Prize and in 1995 the Bird Award at the Northsea Jazz Festival.


Throughout the years Ernst Reijseger has composed and developed outstanding solo performances. Both of his solo albums »Colla Parte« (1997) and »Tell Me Everything« (2008) were highly acclaimed by the international press. All Music Guide (Four Stars): "... the music is punctuated by rapid flourishes that make use of various capabilities of the cello. There are passages involving hand percussion on the body of the cello, for example, and modern jazz drumming and the freer varieties of jazz in general seem to be important components of the music. […] Tonally the music makes use of extended harmonies; it generally has clear tonal centers. The jazz influence is by no means thoroughgoing: there are echoes of Bach's music for unaccompanied cello, of Romantic virtuoso music, and of minimalism. Reijseger never does the same thing twice, and in fact the pieces resemble each other very little, which is quite an accomplishment for a disc of solo cello music. The sound, recorded in a medieval Tuscan commenda, or commandry house, is magical." In 2010 Ernst Reijseger received the renowned Edison Award, one of the most prestigious music awards of The Netherlands.


Ernst Reijseger collaborates with the Italian pianist Franco d'Andrea, the French clarinettist and saxophonist Louis Sclavis, the Dutch pianist Harmen Fraanje, the Norwegian accordion player Stian Carstensen, the Russian pianist Simon Nabatov, the Amsterdam String Trio, the Senegalese singer Mola Sylla, the African percussionist Serigne Gueye, the Tenores e Concordu de Orosei from Sardinia, the Scottish multi-instrumentalist Alan "Gunga" Purves and the group Groove Lélé from the island La Réunion. Ernst Reijseger composes and records soundtracks for various films.


Since the start of Winter&Winter Ernst Reijseger works with producer Stefan Winter and has realized various albums including the soundtrack »Requiem for a dying planet/Sounds for two films by Werner Herzog«. All About Jazz: "Requiem for a Dying Planet is hypnotic in its beauty and stunning in its scope. Ernst Reijseger meets Herzog as an equal on the creative field, and together they produce a super-composition. This moody music is perfect as a film soundtrack. It stimulates consideration and transcends the art of music into another realm."


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