The five musicians of Calefax are the inventors of the reed quintet: Oliver Boekhoorn (oboe), Ivar Berix (clarinet), Raaf Hekkema (saxophone), Jelte Althuis (bass clarinet) en Alban Wesly (bassoon).
Clarinet player Ivar Berix (1967) joined Calefax 1987. The breadth of his musical interest and taste is unparalleled; he’s a keen researcher and is (therefore) somewhat addicted to Spotify. Ivar enjoys teaching; he is especially interested in coaching ensembles and forming groups. Ivar has a feel for figures and is therefore responsible for the group’s financial policy. He plays Reform-Boehm clarinets built in 1986 by Herbert Wurlitzer, and uses a Viotto mouthpiece and Vandoren reeds of strength 3. Ivar loves dancing, especially bare feet.
Oliver Boekhoorn (1970) is the oboist and youngest member of Calefax. He followed his musical studies at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Dutch academy of music located in Amsterdam (Conservatorium van Amsterdam – CvA). He is also a member of Cobla Amsterdam where he plays the ‘tenora’ and regularly plays as a guest for the larger orchestras and ensembles in the Netherlands. While Oliver plays the Marigaux oboe, he prefers the Bulgheroni for alto oboe and oboe d’amore. He also has a preference for Irish music and has, for some time now, played the Duduk, a double-reed woodwind flute indigenous to Armenia. In his spare time, Oliver enjoys paragliding above the dunes and the Alps or foraging about the woods with his camera.
Raaf Hekkema (1968) arranges around half the Calefax repertoire. He also performs as a soloist. Raaf devotes his energy towards developing the repertoire for saxophone, sometimes leading to seemingly insurmountable projects such as his arrangement and CD recording of the 24 caprices for solo violin by Paganini, for which he was crowned ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in 2007 by the German ECHO Klassik. He has also been awarded a number of other prizes. His arrangements and compositions have been published by Schott Music. Own site: www.raafhekkema.com.
Jelte Althuis (1967) studied clarinet under Herman Braune and George Pieterson at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, qualifying as a performing musician in 1993. He concluded his simultaneous bass clarinet studies under Harry Sparnaay with distinction. Since joining Calefax in 1994, he has been both a member and arranger, playing regularly for the larger orchestras in the Netherlands. At Calefax, he usually limits himself to playing bass clarinet and basset horn. Jelte owns, maintains and drives a 1969 Volvo Amazon.
Alban Wesly (1967) is the bassoonist, co-founder and one of the arrangers of Calefax. He is also the bassoonist of the German ensemble musikFabrik. He studied music at the Dutch academy of music located in Amsterdam (Conservatorium van Amsterdam – CvA) and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where he was decorated with honours for chamber music and awarded the Kolfschoten prize. He has collaborated intensively with composers including Gijsbrecht Royé, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel, Heinz Holliger, Mayke Nas, Jonathan Harvey and Peter Eötvös. He plays a 2012 Stephan Leitzinger bassoon, using Chris van Osij reeds. Alban is convinced he’s the best football player of the quintet. Own site: www.wesly.eu.