Michelle van der Wal
Since I was 2 years of age, I lived in New Zealand, and grew up there as a Dutch immigrant. In my family, it was the norm to play a lot of music of all sorts at home, and that everyone learned to play a classical instrument. At the age of 7, I started with recorder, and progressed to clarinet as soon as my hands were large enough. Within no time, I was constantly involved with anything related to music, from ensembles to chamber music with friends. I did my Bachelor of Music while at university in New Zealand, and followed this with an Honours degree. In 2015, I came back to the Netherlands to continue my studies.

Soon after arrival, I was told I should audition for the Ricciotti Ensemble, and without knowing what awaited me, I went on my first Ricciotti tour. I was immediately hooked. I am currently 24 years of age, and have just finished my Pre-master Arts, Culture and Society at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, which functions as a bridge between my music degree and the Master Arts, Culture and Society. After a year of study at Codarts, partially inspired by what I had experienced while on Ricciotti tours, I made the decision to make this transition in order to be more involved with the role of music within society. This summer I'm doing an internship as assistant general manager with the Ricciotti Ensemble, which offers me a unique opportunity to build up experience in my area of study. To be able to do this somewhere I am already passionate about, and simultaneously contribute to the work the Ricciotti Ensemble does makes this even more valuable to me.
Fotograaf: Emma Wang