Emlyn Stam

Vision on Teaching

I see teaching much as the famous pedagogue Ivan Galamian did when he wrote that: “the teacher must always bear in mind that the highest goal should be for him to make the student self-sufficient.” This means that I turn my attention to helping my students develop strong fundamentals in terms of tone production, intonation, articulation and rhythm. These fundamentals are a basis on which young violists can develop in any direction they choose. I also strive to help my students understand the vast array of possible approaches they might take to performing musical works and encourage them to develop independent and personal musical interpretations. My own broad background as a performer means I can help students develop in a wide variety of directions, depending on their interests. I am an active chamber musician and orchestral musician as well as an avid performer of contemporary music. I feel equally at home teaching the music of Bach and Birtwhistle. My work on historical recordings and 19th century performance style also means that I can help students take a free and creative approach to much of the viola’s core repertoire.


Violist Emlyn Stam is active as a chamber musician, soloist, pedagogue and performance researcher in the Netherlands and internationally. Since 2014 he has been artistic director of the New European Ensemble an international ensemble for contemporary and 20th century music.

As a soloist Emlyn Stam has made numerous appearances for Dutch radio and television. He performed concertos with the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra d’Espinho (Portugal) and the Schönberg Ensemble. Emlyn has also performed at numerous festivals such as Festival Vlaanderen, the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, Sound of Stockholm, Connect Festival, Giverny Chamber Music Festival, International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht and Grachtenfestival Amterdam. His many chamber music performances have included concerts with the Parkanyi Quartet and regular appearances with the Ysaÿe Trio of which he is a founding member. The trio released two c.d.’s for the Dutch Record Company. 

As a teacher Emlyn regularly gives masterclasses in both viola playing and chamber music. He taught at numerous conservatories in the Netherlands, Estonia, China and Sweden. He currently teaches at the Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts in Tilburg.

Emlyn is an active music researcher and completed his doctorate at the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts at the Leiden University in 2019 with a dissertation entitle In Search of a Lost Language: Performing in Early-Recorded Style in Viola and String Quartet Repertoires. His research focuses on late 19th and early 20th century performance practices. He is regularly invited to give guest lectures on his research such as at the University of Leeds, the Hochschule der Künste in Bern and the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

Playlist YouTube Emlyn Stam

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Ambience photo Fontys