top of page

Black Pencil is a game changer band with more than a thousand years of music history as their playing field. The possibilities of a huge collection of recorders, pan pipes, viola, accordion and percussion are endless - just like the curiosity and imagination of the five musicians.


With respect, knowledge and refinement, the most beautiful music is lifted from its historic place and returns to the limelight completely fresh. An audience member can expect to experience combinations that they have never heard before, for example; “melancholic renaissance melodies derail into jazz rock à la Miles Davis” (NRC).


Black Pencil initiates the challenge of writing new works and regularly inspires leading Dutch composers such as Roderik de Man, Martijn Padding, Klas Torstensson, Calliope Tsoupaki, Yannis Kyriakides, Aart Strootman, Klaas de Vries and Kate Moore. Collaborations from abroad include works by Wim Henderickx, Moritz Eggert alongside emerging composers with a great diversity in culture and background. Since the group’s inception, 450 new pieces have been composed for the band and they have awarded several composition prizes.


In 2010 – the year of their foundation – Black Pencil gave their debut concert at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and performed several world premieres at the Istanbul European Capital of Culture. Since then they have been a welcome guest in classical halls, and on stages and festivals in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Spain,

Ireland, Turkey, Denmark and Venezuela.


Black Pencil programs its own concert series in Amsterdam and Almere, and collaborates with Land Art Flevoland and Schokland UNESCO World Heritage. Recent projects bring the band together with the world of virtual reality, theatre, dance and landscape art.


Several albums have been received with praise by the international press. NRC wrote about La Volta: “The sound beauty of the original arrangements is delightful”. Accordions Worldwide wrote about Buffoni: “Beautiful, superlative and unsurpassed!” About the album Come Out, Caioni! Klassik Heute pronounced: “An immense tonal imagination. So much artistic vision throughout, Black Pencil lifts above any group with its furious arrangements. Early music becomes something completely new here.”


Black Pencil is structurally supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL and

the Municipality of Almere.


“Rich in contrast, diverse, adventurous, grotesque and surprising” (Opus Klassiek) – Surrender to the virtuoso originality of Jorge Isaac, Matthijs Koene, Esra Pehlivanli,

Marko Kassl and Enric Monfort.

bottom of page