Ciconia Consort, founded in 2012, is a Dutch string orchestra consisting of twenty young musicians under the leadership of Dick van Gasteren. Their concerts are predominately of a thematic nature and often combined with other disciplines such as theatre, literature, and science. Concert programs regularly touch upon contemporary social issues.
The orchestra has built up an extensive repertoire and performs music from all style periods (with an emphasis in late-romantic and modern works). Aside from the well-known works for strings, the orchestra has also revived quite a few forgotten masterpieces, which led to Dutch premieres and world premieres (such as Willem Mengelberg’s Sinfonietta for String Orchestra and Willem van Otterloo’s Prelude, Dance and Epilogue for clarinet and string orchestra). Little known compositions like Symphonie n° 1 pour orchestre à cordes by Jaques Castérède, Sur les flots lointain by Charles Koechlin and Serenade for string orchestra by George Antheil have also been recorded on CD, released on the ‘Brilliant Classics’ label. All CDs (French Music for String Orchestra, American Pioneers, and Rheingold) have received worldwide critical acclaim.
Ciconia Consort has enjoyed collaborations with soloists such as Lavinia Meijer, Isabelle van Keulen, Paolo Giacometti, Pieter Wispelwey, as well as scientists and writers such as Pieter Waterdrinker, Maarten van Rossem, Rosita Steenbeek and Willem Otterspeer. The orchestra can often be heard on Dutch radio and television, in addition to also receiving international airtime on radio stations in Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, United States and Taiwan, among others.