Hester Groenleer (*1980) studied recorder at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Paul Leenhouts. She obtained both her Bachelor and Master degree cum laude and became an innovative and diverse performer, focusing on modern improvisation, contemporary chamber music and renaissance consort repertoire.
Hester performs with and co-manages The Royal Wind Music and Seldom Sene Recorder Quintet and she also plays regularly with keyboard player Matthias Havinga. Hester premiered contemporary works especially written for her and her ensembles. She performs intensively in The Netherlands and abroad at concert venues including the Utrecht Early Music Festival, Greenwich Early Music Festival and the Boston Early Music Festival (USA). Hester was awarded several stipends and prizes in a number of competitions including the Noorderkerkprize at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Vriendenkranscompetition and the first prize at the 'Concours International d'Ensembles de flûte à bec' in Le Mans with Seldom Sene. The same quintet received the Prix d'Interpretation at the prestigious International Chambermusic Competition in Illzach (FR) in 2011. Seldom Sene was also awarded the first prize, pressprize and audience award during the International Van Wassenaercompetition for early music ensembles. Highlights of her career include (solo)appearances on national television, being part of the christening ceremony of Dutch Royal Princess Ariane in the presence of the Dutch royal family, and during the Edison Classical Music Gala in honour of Frans Brüggen's lifetime achievements.
Music education is an important anchor in Hester's career. She worked as music educator at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw's educational section until December 2019 and this job inspired her to initiate recorder events for larger groups including the Open Recorder Days Amsterdam, an international biennale for recorder players around the world. Hester is also active as recorder teacher, she teaches at the Junior Department (Sweelinck Academy) of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and she is recorder consort professor teaching all aspects of recorder consort playing at the same conservatory in monthly sessions of The Royal Wind Music Academy.