Date: 3 December   2017

In a concert set to become one of the highlights of the  Ulster Orchestra’s  season, young Dutch violinist Rosanne Philippens impressed with her bold tackling of Sibelius’ concerto.
After its reticent, enigmatic opening, the  Allegro moderato  unfolded into its sweeping first theme. Philippens attacked the movement’s virtuosic cadenza with great panache, her playing positively unleashed throughout the breakneck runs awash with double stops and arpeggios. The absence of any safety net distinguished her interpretation and made this a joy to hear and watch.
The breathy octave scales were suitably eerie in Philippens’ rendition and her lyrical passages were poised throughout. The darkly lit beauty of the   Adagio di molto    could have done with a slightly restrained tempo to allow the soloist to develop her tone further and shape the movement’s long thematic lines. In the final movement (Allegro ma non tanto) Philippens played out her affinity for fiery tempi and dance rhythms. Urging the orchestra forward, she delighted in the energetic opening theme, her bowing rendering it rather more sprightly than melancholic. Her performance, which was followed by the Gavotte en rondeau from Bach’s Partita no. 3  (maybe dance was the alternative theme of the evening!), was received with enthusiastic applause

Judith Wiemers



Source: BBC Music
Date: January 2017
Referring to: CD ‘Dedications’ *****

“Rosanne Philippens’s brilliantly focused, expressive sound is coupled with an inspired programme of music by and for virtuoso violinists of the Romantic period. An absolute joy from start to finish”

Elinor Cooper

Source: Gramophone
Date: January 2017
Referring to: CD ‘Dedications’

“….there is extraordinary attention to detail in Philippens’s and Julien’s performance. It is beautifully warm without being self-indulgent or aggressive. Philippens’s strongest impression is one of controlled legato, which drives the muscular passages as much as the intensely lyrical ones into which they continually disappear, as it does in her performance of the Lento Maestoso of Ysayë’s Fourth Sonata in particular”

Richard Bratby

Source:  Badische Zeitung
Date: 15 September 2014

“The way that Rosanne Philippens (…) mastered the changeover between solo and subordinate roles was magnificent. The flitting, jaunty, grotesque, the little games indicating the counterpoint: all of these were played in an exemplary way. The inspired, at every moment immensely musical tone of her violin! There is only one way to describe the wonderfully played lyrical cantilena opening the slow movement: this is how beautiful Prokofiev can sound! The careful, almost cautious, way that the Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Johannes Knapp played this first work of the evening contributed to its success. The Dutch violinist won the generously funded competition sponsored by the Land Baden-Württemberg and the City of Freiburg. All this – as the Rector, Rüdiger Nolte, did not forget to mention in his award speech – at a “poor old” academy! The winner could look forward to the 15,000 euro prize as well as the concert engagement with the Philharmonic Orchestra announced by the General Music Director Fabrice Bollon.”

Source:  De Stentor
Date: 15 August 2014

Loyal NJO concert-goers already witnessed the exceptional talent of Rosanne Philippens in January when she played the solo part in Bartók’s Rhapsodies for violin and orchestra. On Sunday evening she shined again at the closing concert of NJO’s Summer of Music 2014, playing Karol Szymanowski’s violin concerto, a relatively unknown work from 1916 by a Polish composer who incorporated both Eastern (Moscow) and Western (Vienna) influences into his music.

Fiery music, with stark contrasts in rhythm, dynamics and harmony, and melodic lines that are difficult to penetrate. Philippens played her part, in dialogues with the orchestra, with palpable confidence and was particularly impressive in the unaccompanied coda, where the stillness in the icy high notes contrasted with violent, expressive double stops.

Source: Gramophone
Date: September 2013
Referring to: CD ‘Rhapsody’

Dutch musicians capture the age of stylistic cross-fertilisation

Bartók and Ravel show that traditional craftsmanship can be combined with the sounds of other cultures,’ the two soloists on this disc say in a booklet-note. The Dutch violinist and pianist also explain that they ‘were formed by Beethoven and Schubert, but with American colleagues, Indonesian forefathers and pop and jazz musicians as close friends our musical world was equally determined by Radiohead, Brad Mehldau and Indonesian gamelan’. The cross-fertilisation certainly produces a pungent programme, played with terrific spirit. They begin with a pulsating performance of Ravel’s Tzigane and set it alongside Bartók’s Rhapsody No 2, drawing contrasts and establishing links through the zesty recourse to folk or gypsy motifs and rhythms. Ravel’s Violin Sonata No 2 inspires a cultivated interpretation, eloquently shaped and glistening in timbre, with a sultry, smoky redolence in the ‘Blues’ of the central movement. These two musicians work instinctively together, knowing just when to assert their pre-eminence and how to respond to one another’s interpretative ideas. Ravel’s sonata is captivating in its kaleidoscope of colour and subtle touches of expression, dynamics and rhythmic acuity, with a ‘Perpetuum mobile’ finale of lightness, pithiness and powerful propulsion.

Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances of 1915 and the First Rhapsody further attest to the affinity that Philippens and van Nieuwkerk feel fort his repertoire, with the instrumental equivalent of catches in the voice adding to the idiomatic impact. Hubay’s Scène de la csárda No 4 makes for a glorious envoi, tender and effervescent.

Geoffrey Norris

Source: De Volkskrant
Date: April, 3rd 2013
Referring to: CD ‘Rhapsody’
Classical ****

Women have slowly gained a monopoly position in the Dutch violin world. Think about it: Janine Jansen had just broken through when Liza Ferschtman stepped forward. And Simone Lamsma had barely established herself at the top when Rosanne Philippens (1986) stepped onto the stage.Together with her piano partner Yuri van Nieuwkerk, Philippens is in the race for the Dutch Classical Talent Award, the winner of which is selected on 21 April. The duo have already presented their talents on CD with their riveting interplay. They dive into the turbulent 1920s via Bartók and Ravel, a time when folk music and jazz breezed into the classical music world, ranging from a smooth Balkan violin (Bartók) to the dry plucking of the banjo (Ravel’s Second Violin Sonata). The pair have revealed themselves to be pioneers of sound and creators of atmosphere. From her Bergonzi, Philippens conjures up a wondrous world of colour from bright reds to misty greys. Even with thin flageolet harmonics, she still manages to create a melodic line.

Guido van Oorschot

Source: Fono Forum
Date: November 2013
Referring to: CD ‘Rhapsody’
Music: *****
Sound: *****


Was zeichnet Volksmusik aus? In ihrer authentisch naiven, so sehnsüchtig wie temperamentvollen Ausformung muss sie Béla Bartók begegnet sein, als er durch Ungarn, Rumänien und die Slowakei reiste. 1918 hatte er über 9.000 musikalische Fragmente gesammelt. Fragmente, die wie Echos in seinen Werken auftauchen. So entstanden Mischwesen, die der Kunstmusik stringente Struktur und Intelligenz entlehnen, den Volkstänzen aber ihre unverbrauchte musikantische Frische lassen. Das ist der Ansatz, den die Geigerin Rosanne Philippens und der Pianist Yuri van Nieuwkerk in ihrem eigenen Verständnis wiederentdeckten: Beide sind nicht nur mit klassischen Musikern, sondern auch mit Jazzern und Popmusikern befreundet, interessieren sich für Radiohead oder Brad Mehldau. Überall entdecken sie scheuklappenfrei Interferenzen. Überlassen sich schwungvoll den rumänischen Tanzen Bartóks, von denen man kaum weiss, inwieweit der Komponist sie bearbeitet hat – so pur klingen sie. Von Maurice Ravel, den das Duo hier klug hinzufügt, ist eine Vorliebe für den Jazz bekannt. So taucht in seiner zweiten Sonata für Violine und Klavier tatsächlich ein Blues auf. 1924 schaute er in seiner ‘Tzigane’ hingegen auf das spanische Nachbarland und liess Anklänge an die Zigeunermusik durchscheinen. Ernst und getragen, mit äusserstem Sehen im Ton erklingt hier Rosanne Philippens’ Geige. Als ihr Klavierpartner behutsam einsteigt, hat sich das Geschehen schon dramatisch aufgetürmt. Perlend leicht steigen die Skalen auf, aber schon nach wenigen Takten sind Klavier und Geige gleich temperiert. Es ist diese unbändige Vitalität, die Ravel wie Bartók in ihren Bann zog. Genau das transportieren Rosanne Philippens und Yuri van Nieuwkerk zauberhaft!

Tilman Urbach