Renowned both as a soloist, ensemble player and accompanist of instrumentalists and singers, classical guitarist Esther Steenbergen is internationally recognized for her fresh approach to the repertoire. She performs with musicians from all styles and disciplines and occasionally takes part in theater productions. With her own trio she crosses the classical repertoire with Latin American jazz and folklore.
Besides playing the guitar she writes. Together with guitar maker Otto Vowinkel, she organizes the international guitar series in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw : Meesters op de gitaar.
Esther Steenbergen won the first prize at a major international competition and was then overcome by doubts about life as a classical guitarist. She started her journey, sometimes desperately, other times with great pleasure, along many twisted and unusual paths.
She studied musicology, art and culture management, produced radio programs and concert series and, for a while, even worked at an employment agency for stage artists. One day, seated behind a large desk in an office building she realized this was not what she had planned. She fled the building, picked up her guitar again and has traveled the world as a concert musician ever since.
Esther Steenbergen studied musicology at the University of Utrecht and classical guitar with Hubert Käppel at the Musikhochschule in Cologne (Germany). She took lessons with the Czech guitarist Pavel Steidl and participated in master classes with Manuel Barrueco and Leo Brouwer from Cuba. While still a student, she won the first prize at the International Music Competition Maria Canals in Barcelona (Spain).