Recorder quintet Seldom Sene, founded in Amsterdam in 2009, is a group of five musicians with a mutual passion for consort playing. With a combined interest in the interpretation and performance of both early and contemporary music, these highly skilled and dynamic players each bring a wealth of expertise, creativity, passion and virtuosity to the ensemble. With inventive programmes that juxtapose early and contemporary music, Seldom Sene excels at all aspects of ensemble playing, performing with “power, precision and profound expression” (Gustavo Beytelmann, Illzach 2011).
The musicians originate from Germany, England, Spain and Holland and met whilst studying at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. They perform on a collection of over 50 different recorders, including a variety of baroque and modern instruments and also own renaissance consorts with recorders made by Bob Marvin, Francesco Li Virghi, Monika Musch and Ture Bergstrøm.
Whilst searching for more unfamiliar repertoire, one of the first pieces to catch their attention was Seldom sene by the English composer Christopher Tye – a short work full of beauty, precision and striking rhythmic complexity that they felt captured the essence of their vision: performing unique and compelling repertoire at a standard that is seldom seen and heard. Since their foundation, “Seldom Sene excels because of their excellent musical interpretation and beautiful choice of repertoire” (Frédéric de Roos, Le Mans 2009).
In October 2009 the group made their debut at the “Concours International d’Ensembles de Flûte á bec” organised by the “Société des Amis de Arnold Dolmetsch” in Le Mans (France) where they were awarded 1st Prize. In 2011 they received the Interpretation Prize (by unanimous vote of the five jury members) at the 17th International Chamber Music Competition in Illzach (France). In September 2014 they were awarded the First Prize, the Audience Award and the Press Prize of the International Van Wassenaer Early Music Competition, which took place during the Utrecht Early Music Festival (the Netherlands).
Seldom Sene has given many recitals in renowned European series, venues and festivals, among them the Early Music Season of the Utrecht Early Music Festival, the MAfestival in Bruges (Belgium), Quincena Musical de San Sebastián (Spain), Felix! Urban in Cologne and the Blockflötenfesttage Stockstadt (Germany). The quintet records for the Dutch label Brilliant Classics, which released their six CDs to date: Taracea (2014), El aire se serena (2016), J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations (2017), selected as Bach Album of the Year 2017 by the listeners of the Dutch radio station Concertzender, Delight in Musicke (2018) featuring soprano Klaartje van Veldhoven, Not a Single Road (2019), an album featuring contemporary music written for Seldom Sene and Concerto Barocco (2020), a collection of arrangements performed with guest musician Matthias Havinga on harpsichord and organ. Their seventh record, Fortune Infortune, will be launched in november 2023 and feature repertoire from the chansonnier of Margaret of Austria and other sources from the workshop of Petrus Alamire.