Femke IJlstra is one of the most success-full saxophonists of her generation.
Public, jury and press are impressed by her versatility and expressiveness.
The saxophone brought Femke around the globe.
She gave concerts in the USA, Canada, South America, Asia and all of Europe.
Ever since Femke finished her masters degree 'cum laude' with Arno Bornkamp in Amsterdam, she plays on a regular basis in world's leading orchestras like the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. She plays on historical saxophones in the Belgian Orchestra Anima Eterna.
Femke IJlstra is one of the youngest female professors in Europe, holding this position from when she was 29 years old. She teaches at the Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen.
Femke profiles herself more and more as a soloïst. She plays recitals all over the world with her pianist and made appearances as a soloïst with L'opera Tuolon under the baton of Jurjen Hempel, The North Netherlands Orchestra under the baton of Dirk Brosse and Frans-Aert Burghgraef. She is a regular guest in Dutch radio- and tv-shows. Serveral Dutch composers have written for Femke like Jacob TV, Bernard van Beurden, Richard Rijnvos and Douwe Eisinga.
Femke loves chamber music: she is founder of the young Syrène Saxophone Quartet, and played soprano-sax in the renowned Aurelia Saxophone Quartet. In 2018 Femke started Trio Triangle with a (bass-)clarinetist and accordeonist. They explore new music for this unusual setting.
She recorded her first CD together with poems and artwork in a book called Stofsugersjongers. The CD -where Femke plays music by M.Turnage and other 'living composers'- got great reviews by the press and audience.
Two other CD's have been made with her quartet Syrene.
Femke IJlstra is curious about theater and other disciplines in art, which resulted in many music- theater performances and tours across the Netherlands. She worked together with actors, poets and dancers.
From 2020 she is appointed as the artistic director of the Emmy Verhey Festival in Zaltbommel, The Netherlands.