High-end label TRPTK recorded the album Colores del Sur brilliantly! The CD is officially released by the label, which means you can hear it on 50 different streaming platforms!
Order my newest CD here, or send me an email.
Watch here our latest performance for Dutch National TV. With music of our brand-new album!
Want to hear and see more, have a look on my youtube channel.
Femke is one of the most success-full saxophonists of her generation.
The public, jury and press are impressed by her versatility and expressiveness.
The saxophone brought Femke around the globe, performing in the USA, Canada, South America, Asia and all of Europe.
Ever since Femke finished her masters degree 'cum laude' with Arno Bornkamp in Amsterdam, she plays on a regular basis in world's leading orchestras like the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich.
Femke IJlstra is one of the youngest female professors in Europe, holding this position from when she was 29 years old. She is an educator at the Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen and Codarts, University of the Arts, Rotterdam.
Femke profiles herself more and more as a soloïst. She plays recitals all over the world and made appearances as a soloïst with L'opera Toulon under the baton of Jurjen Hempel and The North Netherlands Orchestra under the baton of Dirk Brosse and Frans-Aert Burghgraef. She is a regular guest in Dutch radio- and tv-show. Dutch composers have written music for Femke , such as Karmit Fadael, Jacob TV, Bernard van Beurden, Richard Rijnvos and Douwe Eisenga.
Femke loves chamber music: she is founder of Syrène Saxophone Quartet, and played soprano-sax in the renowned Aurelia Saxophone Quartet. In 2018 Femke started Jeux d'anches with (bass-) clarinetist Fie Schouten and accordeonist Marko Kassel. They explore new music for this unusual setting.
In her first album Femke worked together with artists that lead to a book called Stofsûgersjongers. The CD - where Femke plays music by M.Turnage and other 'living composers'- got great reviews by the press and audience.
Two other albums have been made with her quartet Syrène. In march 2022 Femke's latest album was released (Colores del Sur with pianist Celia García-García) which had great reviews and won a second place in Textura's best instrumental albums 2022.
Femke IJlstra is curious about theater and other disciplines in art, which resulted in many music- theater performances and tours across the Netherlands. She worked together with actors, poets and dancers.
Femke is artistic director of the Emmy Verhey Festival in Zaltbommel, The Netherlands.
Coming activities you'll find in the concertagenda.
It had felt like a journey through time and space, across mythical lands and unearth paintings. Not a bad thing Femke would say.
That the two of them got on so well, neither had expected.
Celia, a pianist with Spanish roots and appropriate passion, and Femke, very blond saxophonist from the phlegmatic north of the Netherlands.
They had met as colleagues in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
"music can be very nasty. There is beauty in that too. I think you are more of a pleaser, Celia". Femke says.
-"well, I quite like that you want to provoke the audience, but I do indeed want people to go home feeling happy.
Both agree: "A concert is a night of storytelling. And yes, a good story does sting a little bit".
It had been a little big bang. The origin of their own musical universe. New planets, solar storms, dark matter...and endless colors. They formed a duo to convert their somewhat odd friendship into sound.
In the moment of silence between music and applause their eyes met and and sparkled.
Four female saxophonists named themselves after the
Sirens from Homer’s Odyssey: sea goddesses that seduced sailors with their divine voices.
The Syrène's strive to make the sounds of the classical saxophone known to a diverse audience.
Syrène’s motto is ‘Fresh and sweet, but with a bite’: Talented, spicy but with a delicate female touch. The individual talents are at their finest when combined as the Syrenes Quartet.
The Syrènes have studied at the Conservatories of Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. They were the first wind ensemble to be welcomed at the prestigious Dutch String Quartet Academy.
The Syrène Saxophone Quartet is a common guest on all the major Dutch stages and has toured through Canada, Taiwan and Indonesia.
For upcoming performances, go to my concertagenda or check out the website of Syrène Saxophone Quartet
Mission, vision and info
My mission is to create not only good saxophone players but also personalities and artists of the future. Flexibility and determination are key to survive in the music scène.
Playing together in different formations, in weekly group lessons, as well as providing workshops, lecture’s and masterclasses will enhance skills of being a musician. I encourage all students to already invest in their activities outside the school, like teaching, playing concerts and organizing projects.
It is very important to be curious about other discipline’s in art and music style's, so every student create's his own personal taste and therefor style.
My main philosophy as a teacher is to work hard in a positive environment.
I expect the highest level of playing and full engagement.
Work hard and overcome weaknesses but also build on your strengths. Working on basics and repertoire is just as important as finding your personal style and wishes.
I personally aspire to continue the line of Marcel Mule, Daniel Deffayet and Arno Bornkamp but also listen to other great musicians of today and in the past,
like singers and violinists. I expect my students to go to performances as much as possible to develop their own taste on what they like or don’t.
Studying saxophone with me (Bachelor, Master or Erasmus exchange) means:
- you will not be a number, we'll know you as a person and your progress.
- weekly saxophone lessons, group lessons, student concerts and playing in the saxophone quartet or saxophone ensemble.
- Master students are free to build their own study-route to be able to discover and develop their own expertise (also outside traditions).
- having lessons from other woodwind teachers too (individual and group lessons). Great orchestra and chamber music projects.
- a lot more. Contact me for more information!
Do you have the ambition to study music, and in particular classical saxophone? Contact me for a free introductory lesson!
For bookings, CD purchase or other questions
2011 LW, Haarlem, North Holland, Netherlands