Critics all over Europe have written about the enthusiastic applause given to Dutch violinist Prof. Yvonne Smeulers for her demanding and deeply moving concert performances. She entices her listeners into a “fascinating world of sound” and is a “breathtakingly expressive and exceptional artist”.
Commenting on her recent CD of the Ysaÿe solo sonatas (Genuin Classics), KLASSIC.COM calls it “an artistic achievement that makes this CD one of the best recordings of Ysaÿe’s solo violin sonatas available today.”
Another reviewer states, “She has the marvellous ability to reveal the harmonic and thematic continuity of the sonatas, bringing them to life in a way that no one would have considered possible.”
Yvonne Smeulers was only ten years old when she made her debut playing Tchaikovsky's violin concerto in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Later she was a soloist with the South Denmark Philharmonic , the North Holland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lübeck Philharmonic, the Maastricht Symphony Orchestra, the Bergische Symphony and the Meiningen Court Orchestra.
She has performed on numerous occasions in the Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre with the Musikkollegium Winterthur under the direction of Howard Griffiths.
Her performances of the Brahms and Beethoven violin concertos in the Frankfurt Broadcasting Studio of Hessischer Rundfunk (German Public Radio of Hesse) were a great success. She has worked with many notable conductors such as Christoph von Dohnanyi, Howard Griffith, Peter Kuhn, Philippe Bach and Muhai Tang.
Yvonne has won a long series of international music prizes. In 2004 she was a prize winner at the international Violin Competition “Premio Rodolfo Lipizer” in the Italian city of Görz, where she also received two special prizes. Earlier she was a prize winner at the Warsaw International Violin Competition: she won the Wronski and Bach Prizes, as well as the Interpretation Prize and the Audience Prize.
In 2003 she won the Marguerite Meister competition in Zürich. She was also honoured with the jury’s special award at the International Violin Competition in Nagoya (Japan).
During her time as a student she was the winner in the “Prinses Christiana Concours” and the Herman Krebbers International Violin Competition. As a chamber musician she came in first in the International Chamber Music Competition in Gubbio (Italy).
Yvonne has an extensive Discography including CDs for the Dutch label Quintone with compositions by Grieg, Schumann, Ravel, Prokofiev and Beethoven. The Dutch music magazine “Luister” wrote enthusiastically about the CD that contains works by Prokofiev, Ysaÿe and Tchaikovsky. It especially liked her outstanding ensemble playing, her virtuosity and her passion for the music.
The magazine also praised her double CD (Quintone) with music by Czech composers.
She has had a recording contract with the label Genuin Classics since 2015. Her next CD will be released in the Beethoven year 2020, a recording of Beethoven and Berg’s violin concertos with the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester.
In addition to her studies with Herman Krebbers, Zakhar Bron, Ana Chumachenco und Shmuel Ashkenasi in Amsterdam, Zürich und Lübeck, she has worked together with violinists such as Igor Oistrakh, Ida Haendel und Ruggiero Ricci.
Since 2013 she has been the artistic director and Artist in Residence of the international music festival “Klassik in Kronberg”. She has been the exclusive “Promotion Artist” of the world’s leading violin string maker PIRASTRO since 2012.
In addition to her extensive activity as an international soloist, Yvonne has worked as a violin professor and lecturer, especially in Germany, Russia and Switzerland. Since October 2019 she is the director of the August Wilhelmj Musicinstitute
Yvonne Smeulers plays a violin made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in 1785 which is on loan from a private owner.