About Lumaka

The Lumaka Ensemble

Lumaka transports the audience with playful ease into a new world of atmospheres and colours, of moods and exotic thoughts

The Lumaka Ensemble, based in Amsterdam, is currently one of the Netherland’s most active chamber ensembles; its instrumentation of harp, flute, and string trio combine to make a unique sound world.

The Lumaka Ensemble began their career almost 15 years ago when they won the International Chamber Music Competition in Almere and Het Debuut amongst other competitions. They perform in major festivals and regularly give concerts both in the Netherlands and abroad. Heard frequently on Dutch Radio 4 and Concertzender.

For special projects the Ensemble also collaborates with actors, writers, and lighting designers. They often provide personal introductions to their programmes, making their concerts an experience, mind-expanding with fairytale like qualities.

In their concert series MOnuMENTEN 1920, the ensemble combines its enthusiasm for music from between the two World Wars with new forms of concert-giving performing in buildings from the same period.

Season 2016-2017 saw the ensemble tour their production Visionaire Timbres 1926, in the Netherlands to great acclaim, receiving high praise from the Dutch Volkskrant, which described their ensemble playing as simply “excellent”.

Jana Machalett, flute; Saskia Viersen, violin; Martina Forni, viola; Charles Watt, violoncello; Miriam Overlach, harp

Miriam Overlach (Germany) takes great pleasure in devising new projects for herself and for Lumaka; she is always looking for challenging collaborations with other musicians, composers, and theatre makers. She has won the Concertgebouw Vriendenkransconcours, the Deutsche Musikwettbewerb and the Nederlands Harpconcours. Much in demand for performing contemporary music she is one of the founders of ComposingforHarp. She appears as a guest artist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Ensemble Modern.

Jana Machalett (Germany) is a highly sought-after flautist in particularly for contemporary chamber music. She is a founding member and one of the artistic directors of the Lumaka Ensemble, and a permanent member of Insomnio. Jana also appears regularly with the Asko|Schoenberg Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, the Ives Ensemble and the New European Ensemble. She has collaborated with conductors Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, and Reinbert de Leeuw.

Saskia Viersen (Netherlands) is acting 1st concertmaster of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. She studied in Amsterdam, Berlin and Cologne and was 1st prize winner of the Oscar Back Competition. She has given many concerts and made CD and radio recordings both as soloist and chamber musician, notably as first violin of the Athena Quartet, prize winners at the Concours International de Genève. She joined the Lumaka Ensemble in 2016.

Martina Forni (Italy) plays viola in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. She plays both modern and baroque viola and performs regularly with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the 18th Century. She finds that the less than sunny weather prevalent in the Netherlands is happily compensated by her dynamic musical life in Amsterdam with the Lumaka Ensemble and the GoYa Quartet Amsterdam.

Charles Watt (Great Britain) has been the cellist of the Lumaka Ensemble since 2012. He performs regularly with Asko|Schönberg, Ensemble Modern, Nieuw Ensemble, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and is a permanent member of Insomnio. Prior to moving to The Netherlands, Charles taught at the internationally renowned Yehudi Menuhin School, the Purcell School and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.