Candida Thompson is Amsterdam Sinfonietta’s artistic director since the summer of 2003. Under her leadership, the ensemble concentrated ever more on a glistening presentation of finely balanced programmes. Candida’s musical approach and leadership guarantees energetic performances with great commitment of the musicians and a special relationship with the audience.
Candida Thompson studied with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she received her soloist’s graduation diploma with honour. She developed her qualities further at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and played with several international orchestras. She also participated in various national and international competitions and received several prizes. She gave solo concerts in England, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Florida (USA) and Hong Kong.
Apart from that, she is intensively engaged in chamber music. In October 1998, she played Brahms with Isaac Stern and members of Amsterdam Sinfonietta in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In his biography, Stern writes: ‘I want to keep playing chamber music, especially with young musicians [...]: piano trios, piano quartets, string trios, string quartets and young colleagues who are about to make a reputation, like Jonathan Biss, Candida Thompson and Sarah Chang.’ Candida Thompson has been a regular guest artist at La Musica chamber music festival in Florida for the past seven years collaborating with artists such as Bruno Guiranna, Joseph Silverstein, Isabelle Faust and Frans Helmerson. She also participated in the Finnish Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Boston Chamber Music Festival and the Gubbio Festival. Yearly she is involved with the Canossa Masterclasses in Reggio Emilia in Italy. Last season Candida Thompson performed Mustonen’s Tripelconcert with violinists Pekka Kuusisto and Elisabeth Perry in the prestigious Saturday Matinee Series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Candida Thompson also made a number of chamber music recordings. Together with David Kuyken with whom she has performed many recital programmes, she made a CD of Dutch violin sonatas under the CNM label.
In September 2003 Amsterdam Sinfonietta recorded the first CD under her leadership for Channel Classics. In 2005 the Amsterdam Sinfonietta recorded Beethovens String Quartet opus 135 together with the Walton Sonata for Strings. It brought much critical acclaim and was awarded ‘CD of the month’ by Gramophone magazine. Her third release with Amsterdam Sinfonietta was a recording of new arrangements of Shostakovich’ String Quartets 2 and 4. This CD received an Opus d’or, a Best of the year disc by Audiophile Audition and 10/10 by Classics Today. David Hurwitz wrote about ‘The Bohemian Album’, which was released in May 2009: ‘(...) I can’t recommend this incredibly gorgeous CD highly enough’ (Classics Today). The latest Amsterdam Sinfonietta recording ‘Britten’, featuring three undisputed masterworks by Benjamin Britten, was released in January 2013. The soloists are the soprano Barbara Hannigan, tenor James Gilchrist and hornist Jasper de Waal.