Belfontis Trio

Heleen Hulst, viool
Nina Hitz, cello
Kaoru Iwamura, fortepiano

Heleen Hulst studied the violin with Vera Beths at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where she received her solistic degree. 
Last years she has been a member of the Schoenberg- and Asko Ensemble, Remix Porto, Combattimento Consort, Van Swieten Society and l’Archibudelli with whome she made several recordings as well as tours through America, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Russia and Europe.

Her wide interest brought her to collaborations with ZTHollandia, the Netherlands Dans Theater and choreographer Paul Selwyn Norton. In 1995 and 1997 she participated in the Tanglewood Music Festival (USA) where she both times was awarded the prize for ‘outstanding violinist’.

She is a soughtafter chamber musician both as violist and violinist, as contemporary specialist and as baroque violinst.

In 2009, Martijn Padding wrote the violin concerto ‘White Eagle’ for Heleen and the Asko Ensemble which won the Edison Prize in 2011.

With pianist Gerard Bouwhuis she forms a duo which concentrates on new music, many composers have written pieces for them among others Cornelis de Bondt, Martijn Padding, Paul Termos, Peter Adriaansz and Guus Janssen. They recorded the complete violin-piano repertoire by Charles Ives on BV HAAST.

In 2005 they started the group Nieuw Amsterdams Peil which concentrates on unconducted chamber music of the 20th and 21th century.

NINA HITZ was born in Switzerland and is currently living in The Netherlands. She finished her graduate studies in Baroque cello at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

A very active, questing spirit who consistently seeks the unknown in life and in music, in addition to baroque music, Hitz is active with experimental music, improvisation and theatrical performances.

She is a member of Belfontis, with fortepiano player Kaoru Iwamura, where they are specialiced in early romantic music, Traces and Resonances, with dancer Sato Endo, Jargon, with leader Maurice Horsthuis.

She has played in theater- and dans productions of Orkater, Olivier Provily, Het Barre Land, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, les Ballets C de la B and together with Kaoru, piano quintet SOUNDS.

Kaoru Iwamura is an active performer on early keyboard instruments. Kaoru was born in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied piano at the Musashino Academy of Music. Her passion for the fortepiano took her to the Netherlands where she further pursued her interest in historical performance practice at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam with Stanley Hoogland. She is a recipient of Muzio Clementi Award for 2006 by the British Finchcocks Musical Museum for her subtle performances on ten keyboard instruments from 1668 to 1866.

She has given recitals in the Netherlands, Great Britain, Austria, Germany and Japan, and was featured in a live broadcast in the Dutch AVRO Radio4 network.

She is a member of duo Belfontis with Nina Hitz, duo La Corde Vibrante with guitarist Dario Macaluso and fortepiano quintet SOUNDS. In chamber orchestra Camerata Amsterdam lead by Jeroen Weierink, she plays the harpsichord. Not only playing the classical reoertoire, she performed premiere of contemporary pieces by Miranda Driessen, Anna Mikhailova, René Samson, Martain Voorvelt and Hugo Bouma, which is especially written for fortepiano.

In 2013, La Corde Vibrante released a cd ‘La Corde Vibrante’ which is acclaimed in several music magazines and paper. In the same year, she was invited to give a solo recital and masterclass in the ‘Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival’ in Kuopo, Finland, with a scholarship from the Asahi Shimbun Foundation. As a member of the board of the Sweelinck Collection she is committed to the promotion and preservation of a unique collection of fortepianos in Amsterdam.