Although best known for her directorship of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Scots-born, Dutch-resident violinist Candida Thompson has had an international career as both instrumentalist and conductor.
Thompson was born in Glasgow on October 27, 1967. She was trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, studying with David Takeno and graduating with honors. Thompson enrolled for further studies at the Banff Center for the Arts in western Canada. After several competition prizes, she moved to Amsterdam in 1992 and has kept the city as her home base ever since. Thompson's solo credits include appearances with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata Nordica, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and the English String Orchestra. Thompson is well known to American audiences as a frequent guest at Florida's La Musica Chamber Music Festival; she also appeared at the Boston Chamber Music Festival in 2007. Her solo career has taken her as far afield as the Czech Republic, Finland, and Hong Kong. She has had guest conductorship in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and the U.K., and she became the leader and artistic director of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta in 2003. There she has worked with top soloists from the Netherlands and beyond, including Murray Perahia, Gidon Kremer, and Maxim Vengerov, and Janine Jansen, whom she joined on the latter's classic 2005 recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons violin concertos. Her recordings with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta have appeared on the Channel Classics label, except for a 2014 reading of Tigran Mansurian's Quasi parlando with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and cellist Anja Lechner, which appeared on ECM. An album of orchestral arrangements of Shostakovich string quartets won several major awards and top critical ratings. Thompson and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta released an album featuring Bartók's Divertimento for string orchestra and an orchestral arrangement of the Brahms String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111, on Channel Classics in 2018.