"Using their classical, world and folk influences and a lot of jazz, these improvising string players created one of the most exciting and celebrated concerts of this year’s InJazz." Jazzed

"This dynamic and sparkling ensemble brings a fresh energy to the string quartet scene"

Tim Kliphuis (NL), Award-winning jazz violinist

“..you can immediately hear the loosely swaying hips resounding in their playing.”


You can call it chamber jazz, but the members of the North Sea String Quartet (NSSQ) will be the last ones to try and limit their work by mere stylistic descriptions. As prominent improvising string players in the Dutch and international music scene, they are influenced by modern jazz, classical, global and folk music. Jazz journalist Götz Buhler wrote about their performance: ‘Using their classical, world, and folk influences, along with a lot of jazz, these improvising string players have created one of the most exciting and celebrated concerts of this year’s inJazz.’ 

The NSSQ comprises violinists George Dumitriu and Pablo Rodríguez, violist Yanna Pelser and cellist Thomas van Geelen. Their desire for an acoustic group that grooves and swings, moves freely in collective improvisations and also masters the classical strings sound, led them to form the quartet in Rotterdam in 2016. They have performed at a wide range of prestigious concert halls and festivals across Europe, such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Bimhuis, North Sea Jazz Festival, Brosella Festival, Jazz and The City Salzburg and Canarias Jazz & Más. Among their frequent collaborators are Trio da Kali (ML) – in an award-winning project they previously recorded with the Kronos Quartet, Javier Infante (ES), Lílian Vieira (BR/NL) and Roland Satterwhite (USA/DE). At this year’s North Sea Jazz Festival, they performed with singer-songwriter Samora Pinderhughes (USA), as well as with Trio da Kali.

In December of this year, the NSSQ will be recording its debut album “String Migration”, to be released with 7 Mountain Records and premiered across the Netherlands from May 2024. “String Migration” symbolizes the journey of the time-honored string quartet into the modern era. This is not a simple step or a shortcut, but rather a long-term trek, a complex and profound evolution that has been going on for some years with groups like Turtle Island Quartet (US) and Atom String Quartet (PL). The NSSQ takes an important step in this development with their skills as improvisers and composers, and the ability to sound as an autonomous ‘band’ with rhythm section.

Aside from performing, the members of the quartet attach great value to inspiring the next generation of string players. They have lead multiple workshops on improvisation for young musicians in and outside of the Netherlands and have worked several times with the Canarian youth orchestra Barrios Orquestados. In 2019, together with world renowned jazz violinist and pedagogue Tim Kliphuis, they founded the Academy of Improvising Strings, an annual workshop weekend in the Netherlands, with a first edition especially for teenagers in 2022.

North Sea String Quartet is supported by Stichting North Sea Strings.