Paulien - profile

Paulien Holthuis

2nd violin

When and where was your first concert with the MCO? I was lucky to be part of the first concert of MCO in Landshut 1997.  It was the start of a wonderful and still ongoing adventure of exciting concerts!

The first piece of music you fell in love with: Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. When I was 12 years old my grandfather passed away and I inherited a record player and a vinyl LP of the St. Matthew Passion. I loved it. 

What would you do if you weren’t a musician? I would make myself of use to people who need care.

What makes a “perfect” concert? When we all start ‘flying’ together, feeling the music, and when the public also feels the experience.

How do you spend your free time? With my family and friends. I like hiking and watching a good movie.


Paulien Holthuis, born in 1973, is a founding member of both the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. She has studied violin with Else Krieg and Johan Kracht and attended masterclasses with Herman Krebbers.

In 1999, she completed her Master’s at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. During her studies she was invited to play in the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. While still completing her Master’s degree, she got a job with the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra, and at the same time became a member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. 

Paulien has a family and balances this with playing in the MCO and freelancing with other orchestras, such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Paulien Holthuis plays on an unsigned, Italian violin from about 1750.