Receiving a scholarship from Yo Yo Ma, who praised him for his ‘great sound and technique’, Adrian van Dongen gained his Soloist Diploma from the Highschool of Arts Rotterdam in 1981. He participated in masterclasses with Janos Starker, Heinrich Schiff, Tibor de Machula and Menachem Pressler.
As a soloist he performed cello concertos of Schumann, Boccherini, Lalo, Kabalevsky and Beethoven’s triple concerto’ among others and as a chamber music player he participated in International festivals like Czech Spring, Concentus Moraviae, Holland Festival Amsterdam and festivals in Athens, Madrid, Perugia, Murcia, Mallorca and St.Petersburg.
Some press reviews: (la Republique) ‘’sumptuous singing in Schumann’’ ;( Brabants dagblad) ’’ Beethoven’s Triple Concerto masterly performed’’, (Levante) ‘’excellent sound and deeply expressive’’ ; (Trouw) ; ‘’strong and virtuoso playing in Kabalevsky’’. Allain Gaussin : …’’our first Ariane, fabulous’’….
In 1986 he entered the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra as second principal cellist. In 1991 he was appointed to the same position in the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in Amsterdam, working with conductors like V. Gergiev, Sir C. Davis, L. Maazel, A.Lazejev, D.Kitaenko and Cl. Abbado and performing in the worlds finest concert halls like Suntory Hall, Tokyo; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Royal Albert Hall, London; and the Berliner Philharmonie. He has given masterclasses in most European countries, Japan, Russia and the United States.
In 1998 he recorded an album with Bartok’s chamber works, including the first Rhapsody for cello and the piano quintet.
In 2003 he made a successful European tour with pianist D. Sukhovienko with recitals in Geneva, Montreux, Zermatt, Brussels and Amsterdam, performing Russian cellorepertoire with works by Rachmaninoff, Glazoenov, Prokofjev and Strawinsky. In 2004 he performed as a soloist in the Contemporary Music Festival in Mostar, Bosnia, works by Martinu, Escher and Crumb.
He has broadcasted on Dutch Radio, the BRT, Radio France, Radio Suisse Romande, RNE and Tsjech Radio and has made several recordings on compact disc. He collaborated on stage with artists as Christian Zacharias, Philippe Entremont, Gil Sharon, Claude Delangle, Gerard Poulet, Philippe Bianconi and Isabelle van Keulen. As a chamber music player he was active in Trio Prisma, which made their debut in Salle Pleyel, Paris in 2009, In Sala Iturbi, Valencia in 2008 and regularly performed in Spain and the Czech Republic. Actually he is member of the ‘Arensky Pianotrio’ and the ‘Valencian Soloists’.
In 2004 he moved with his family to Spain and was invited to give masterclasses in Benidorm, Madrid, Valencia, Ibiza, Castellón, Barcelona and Huesca. He is founder of the Frescobaldi Ensemble, which dedicates itself to the interpretation of barock music in authentic style and worked as a barock cellist with R.Goebbel, Fr.Bruggen, R.King y J.W. de Vriend in ensembles like the Kings Consort and Combattimento Amsterdam.
Adrian van Dongen, renowned pedagogue, whose pupils have won prices in various competitions and play in major international orchestras ( Amsterdam, Helsinki, Bilbao, Valencia, Lausanne, Mexico City) has been Professor of cello and methodology at the Higher Conservatory of Rotterdam (1983-2011) and at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France (1998-2004). He is founder and artistic Director of the International Music festival Valencia.
in February 2019 he published his tutorial video series Advanced Cellotips, which was recieved with great enthusiasm.