Robert Putowski (soloist)
Rares Mihailescu (soloist)
A singular phenomenon in the world of music, the Cello Octet Amsterdam (previously known as Cello Octet Conjunto Iberico) celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2009. The group's unique composition demands specially written music; and the Octet has inspired many great contemporary composers - such as Arvo Part, Terry Riley, Mauricio Kagel, Theo Loevendie, Franco Donatoni, and Luciano Berio to write pieces for them - more than 70 original works in all. The ensemble delights its audiences no less with the many passionate Spanish and South American songs in its repertoire, performed with singers such as Teresa Berganza, Pilar Jurado, Bernarda Fink, and Elena Gragera.
The Cello Octet Amsterdam is forever seeking out new challenges, and frequently collaborates with other artists, like the contemporary dance company Conny Janssen Danst, the Cappella Amsterdam, and flamenco singers Ginesa Ortega and Carmen Linares. Currently they are working on a Caribbean music project with musicians and composers from the Antilles. The Octet regularly invites guest conductors such as Elias Arizcuren (their founder and erstwhile principal conductor), Jurjen Hempel, Bas Wiegers, and Lucas Vis. The ensemble's craftsmanship has been praised internationally. Cello Octet Amsterdam has performed on stages in the United States, Poland, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, England, France, Croatia, Italy, and Spain, among others. The group has 13 CDs to its name and releases a new CD nearly every year.
Their latest recording, Pasion Argentina, received a rave review from All Music Guide, which wrote: "the music throbs with rhythmic vitality... The cello octet [makes] this vibrant music dance so naturally that is hard to remain still while listening to it."