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The Zemlinsky Chamber Orchestra is an ensemble based in The Netherlands, made up of young professional musicians from all over the world, many of whom have lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ensemble is not only the way to get these musicians back on stage as part of a new, vibrant orchestra, but does so in a way that constantly adapts to ever-changing government regulations.


The ZCO is made up of a mixture of musicians, varying from soloists to chamber musicians to orchestral players. This kind of ensemble bridges the gap between all these types of music making, and brings the spotlight onto every individual musician, as well as the orchestra as a group.


Although the entire project started with his music, naming our orchestra after Alexander von Zemlinsky is not necessarily a celebration of just one composer. Instead we see him as a symbol for all extraordinary, yet lesser-known and underrated music that we wish to share with the world. Instead of only playing the classics, the centre focus of our programmes is on this fresh repertoire (across all genres) and how it fits into modern society.

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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