Coenraad Bloemendal (born April 30, 1946 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch-born Canadian cellist, who has performed, taught and recorded primarily in the field of classical music during a career that has spanned more than four decades.
In the min-1960s Bloemendal studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with the Netherlands' leading cello pedagogue Carel van Leeuwen Boomkamp (also the teacher of Anner Bijlsma). After graduation he moved to Bloomington Indiana in the United States to study cello with Janos Starker and chamber music with William Primrose.
Still in his teens, Bloemendal started touring with a professional chamber ensemble in the Netherlands and Germany. At 19, he joined a group of cellists from the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam for a tour of the Netherlands and Belgium. In 1971 Bloemendal moved to Canada and joined Camerata (chamber emsemble), which was one of the leading Canadian chamber ensembles of the seventies and consisted of the classically trained musicians: Elyakim Taussig and Kathryn Root (pianists), Suzanne Shulman (flute), James Campbell (clarinet), and Adele Armin (violin). On occasion, they were joined by Mary Lou Fallis (soprano). Their unique programming concepts saw them joined by illustrious artists from various disciplines such as Maureen Forrester, Moe Koffman, Don Thompson and Doug Riley, Glenn Gould, The National Ballet of Canada, actor Tony Van Bridge and many others. Camerata Canada accompanied Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to inaugurate cultural relations with Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba. In the late seventies Camerata embarked on several European tours. The group disbanded in 1982.
Work with Glenn Gould
Bloemendal first worked with the legendary pianist in two CBC Television programs called "Music in Our Time" which Glenn Gould directed in the mid seventies. He then worked with the late pianist on two other occasions: a cello solo which Gould wrote for him to play in his radio program "The Quiet in the Land" and a cello and bass piece which he played with Joel Quarrington as part of a film score Gould wrote for the Canadian movie "The Wars" directed by Robin Phillips shortly before he died.
Bloemendal's career continued unabated and he performed with other chamber groups such as: The Toronto Chamber Players, The Toronto Septet, The Canadian Chamber Ensemble, The Amati Quartet. In 1986, he founded another significant group; The Rembrandt Trio, with Valerie Tryon (piano) and Gerard Kantarjian (violin). They toured Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean and made five recordings for the American label Dorian Recordings. The group disbanded in 1997. As a recitalist, Bloemendal played for 25 years with pianist Valerie Tryon. He also has a long association with legendary jazz musician Don Thompson, who has written many compositions for him for recordings and concerts.
Bloemendal taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1982-2000. He was the head of the string department at York University from 1980–1984, and he taught cellist Ofra Harnoy when she was 10 years old.
In May 2010, Bloemendal founded a new ensemble called Trio Desiree with Desiree Till (soprano), and Erica Goodman, (harp). The group has played in Summer Festivals in Ontario and Quebec and already three Canadian Composers have written new works for the combo, with more new works being commissioned. The trio started a new label in 2013 called ERDECO Recordings.
- CBC Records LP SM 278 - works by Beethoven, Martinů and Mozart (1976)
- CBC Records LP SM 313 - works by Schoenberg, Strauss and Berg (1976)
- Crystal Records LP S642 - works by Saint-Saëns, Fanny Mendelssohn (1978)
- Golden Crest Records LP CRS 4194 - with Paul Brodie (saxophone) - works by Ben McPeek, Harry Freedman and others (1980)
With Joel Quarrington
- Crystal Records LP S 135 - Duos for Cello and Bass – Rossini, Offenbach, Massenet (1982)
With Roxolana Roslak
- Centrediscs LP WRC1 2895 – Duos for Cello and Soprano - Harry Somers, Vilolet Archer, Jean Coulthard (1983)
With Glenn Gould
- Sony Records SM2K 52664 – Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire op.21 (1974, 1994)
- Sony SK 52679 - Poulenc, Aubade (1975, 1997)
With The Rembrandt Trio
- Dorian Recordings, DOR-90130 - Trios by Mendelssohn and Schubert (1990)
- Dorian Recordings DOR-90146 - Trios by Tchaikovsky and Arensky (1991)
- Dorian Recordings DOR-90160 - Trios by Brahms and Dvořák (1992)
- Dorian Recordings DOR-90187 - Trios by Chaminade, Saint-Saëns and Ravel (1993)
- Dorian Recordings DOR-90222 - Salon Classics (1995)
With Trio Désirée
- Erdeco Recordings CD 001 - Désirée Till 'Couleurs': soprano, cello and harp (Trio Désirée), with Erica Goodman (2013)
- Dorian Recordings DOR-90208 - The Cantorial Voice of the Cello, with Valerie Tryon (piano) (1995)
- Marquis Records 81373 - Reflections Romantic: Duets for Cello and Harp, with Erica Goodman (2007)
- Crystal Records CD 135 – CD reissue of Duos for Cello and Bass with a new work by Don Thompson (2009)
- Erdeco Recordings CD 002 - Caprice: 12 caprices and études, with Sybil Shanahan (2014)