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The Zemlinsky Chamber Orchestra is a young, vibrant collective consisting of young professional musicians from all over the world, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The orchestra's core formation includes a string quintet and a wind quintet, with the flexibility to incorporate additional instruments, resulting in a rich diversity of timbres. Our mission is to bridge the gap between a powerful symphonic force and an intimate chamber music collective, allowing us to deliver performances that are both emotionally powerful and exceptionally expressive.


Although the orchestra's origins lie in a project of Alexander von Zemlinsky's music, our orchestra's name isn't merely a tribute to one composer. Rather, we see him as a symbol for all extraordinary, yet lesser-known and underrated music that we wish to share with the world. Our primary focus on rarely performed music allows our audiences to experience a fresh and unique listening experience, one where each individual musician has their own spotlight.

Our journey began during the challenging times of the pandemic in 2020, and our passion for performance has been sustained by our resilience and adaptability. As a modern ensemble looking to the future, our vision is centered around the role of the arts in contemporary society, continually evolving to make meaningful contributions to the cultural landscape.

Fergus McAlpine graduated from the National Orchestra Conducting Master of the Netherlands, through the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in 2020. He was the winner of the James Conlon Conducting Prize at the 2017 Aspen Music Festival, a participant in the 10th masterclass with David Zinman and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and has conducted the Netherlands Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest, Dutch Ballet, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Asko|Schönberg, Münchner Symphoniker and the Ulster Orchestra, among others. During 2021 he will assist in Michel van der Aa’s production “Upload" with De Nedelandse Opera, Oper Köln and the Bregenzer Festspiele.

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Artistic Director (CEO)

Ebony currently studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. Prior to this, she was a Perth-based performer and educator specialising in double bass. In 2014, after completing her Bachelor of Arts in Music at the University of Western Australia, in 2015, Ebony went to complete a Graduate Diploma in Education. Ebony is also a photographer - To Dream A Story, and the founder and manager of the Perth-based string quartet (now also in The Netherlands) - Quartet With A Twist. She also has experience with Arts Administration, having been Music Program Manager at St George’s College. She is also currently Marketing Director for Quarantine Opera.

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General Director (COO)

Dutch flutist Mirna Ackers enjoys versatility as was illustrated by her role as “the shrew” in the family opera A Song for the Moon by Mathilde Wantenaar at the Dutch National Opera. Not only her play
on the flute, piccolo and alto flute, but also her acting was well-received: “What remains […] is the excellent instrumental ensemble, in which flute and piccolo player Mirna Ackers also proved herself to be a true comedian.” (Neil van der Linden). In her concerts with pianist Vital Stahievitch, she likes to unite her passion for music, her love for arranging, and her background as a musicologist. Mirna regularly plays in major Dutch orchestras, such as the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Camerata RCO.

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Executive Director (CFO)

Maud (1996) plays the oboe and in this orchestra especially the english horn. This year she is graduating at the bachelor at the conservatory in The Hague this year, teached by Karel Schoofs, Ron Tijhuis and Alexei Ogrintchouk. 

Also she is the artistic director of ensemble ZOEF and a core member of the Ricciotti Ensemble; playing a lot of music in any kind of circumstance, with a social purpose, being interacting and improvising with the audience. Also Maud substituted in the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018, followed by many other experiences in the professional practice. 

Next to her musical studies, she graduated from the bachelor of Philosophy at Leiden University in 2020.

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