Monique Heidema did not take her first cello lesson until the age of sixteen. Nonetheless, she continued her musical studies at the Conservatory in Amsterdam and at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, from which she earned her Master’s degree with distinction in teaching and solo performance. Monique also took masterclasses from the British cellists William Pleeth and Colin Carr, the famous German pedagogue Gerhard Mantel, the Dutch baroque specialist Anner Bijlsma, and the Russian cellists Dimitri Ferschtman, Ivan Monighetti, and Mtsislav Rostropovich. For the masterclass with Rostropovich she was chosen as one of the few Dutch cellists to play for him during the anniversary of the Dutch queen, Beatrix. Monique plays a wide variety of different repertoire; she is a well-known baroque player, but also performs more recent works such as Dutch composer Peter-Jan Wagemans’s work for two cellos, “Frage: worauf hoffen,” which he dedicated to her. Monique has also performed as a duo with the pianist André Telderman for many years, appearing in various concert halls throughout the Netherlands.
Since 2002, Monique has been the cellist of the Piano Quartet Indigo. The other members of the quartet are the Russian violinist Natalia Morozova, the Israeli viola player Ron Ephrat and the Dutch pianist André Telderman. With this quartet she made several concert tours, including a tour of Russia in which the quartet performed in the famous Philharmony concert hall and in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Next summer, the quartet is invited to their 6th appearance as the guest of the festival “Mariënbad Nocturnes” in the Czech Republic. Here, they will play many chamber music concerts and give masterclasses to music students from all over the world. For a long period, Monique was one of the cellists of the “Cello Octet Amsterdam” and the “Doelen-kwartet,” which is an Dutch ensemble playing contemporary classical music. Until six years ago, she also played in the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, where she had begun performing as a student. As a soloist she has played with several orchestras in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and the Czech Republic.
Monique has given concerts not only in the Netherlands, but also in France, Spain, Great Britain, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Liechtenstein Russia, the Czech Republic and the United States. She is regularly asked to take part in committees and juries such as those for the entrance examinations of the young talent class of the Conservatory in Rotterdam, the State exams of the Schumann Academy, or the concours of Stichting Jong Netherlands Music Talent and the Prinses Christina concours.
Monique Heidema is the principal cello teacher for young talent, bachelor’s (Academy of Music and Performing Arts), and master’s students at the Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts in Tilburg, the Sweelinck Academy of the Conservatory of Amsterdam, and at the centre of art “Nieuwe Veste” Breda.
Monique plays a beautiful cello made by Romeo Antoniazzi (1920, Cremona) loaned to her by the Dutch National Musical instruments Fund.