Jan Willem de Vriend, the "stroke of luck from the Netherlands" (NZZ), is rooted in the historically informed performance practice. The spirit of optimism of this musical "sound speech" has shaped his work since 1982, when he founded the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam. As the director of the ensemble, which specializes in repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, he rediscovered numerous rarely heard works: historically informed, on modern instruments as well as "savvy, with technical finesse and a lively sense of design" (Gramophone).
The award winner for special creative services to classical music has on Spotify more than 50,000 followers per month and is in demand worldwide as a recurring regular guest: He regularly works with orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Melbourne and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Residentie Orkest Den Haag as well as the Belgian National Orchestra, the philharmonic orchestras of Bergen, Hong Kong, Rotterdam and Warsaw as well as the symphony orchestras of the Dutch and of the Hessischer Rundfunk. He has conducted the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya and the Brabant Orchestra as Principal Guest Conductor and currently holds this position with the Stuttgart Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lille.
With the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, De Vriend recorded not only all Mendelssohn symphonies for Challenge Records, but also all of Beethoven's symphonies and concertos (soloists including Hannes Minnaar and Liza Ferschtman) and discovered a "lively atmosphere that does full justice to the joyful side of the composer". (Classic FM on the 7th Symphony) Another highlight of de Vriend's recordings was the complete recording of Schubert's symphonies with the Residentie Orkest. With his rousing team spirit, de Vriend also shapes scenic work: In collaboration with director Eva Buchmann and his ensembles in Europe and the USA, he staged works by Monteverdi, Haydn, Handel, Telemann and Johann Sebastian Bach, such as scenic versions of the hunting and coffee cantata at the Leipzig Bach Festival, and conducted operas by Mozart, Verdi and Cherubini, including a guest performance in Switzerland with Mozart's Don Giovanni and Rossini's La Gazzetta. De Vriend has also conducted opera productions in Amsterdam (Nederlandse Reisopera), Barcelona, Strasbourg, Lucerne, Schwetzingen and Bergen.