Emma Besselaar studied at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam with Quirine Viersen and continued her studies with Louise Hopkins at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, finishing her Master in 2017 with Distinction. Upon graduating, she received a Guildhall Artist Fellowship two years in a row, which enabled her to take lessons with Richard Lester. From the age of 15, Emma attended the Young Talent Class at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam where she took lessons with Maarten Mostert.
A keen chamber musician, she has performed at the Barbican Hall, St James Piccadilly (as winner of the St James Chamber Prize), and at festivals including the Torroella de Montgri Festival in Spain, the Northern Chords Festival, International Holland Music Sessions as well as recently giving a duo recital at the 2018 London Strings Festival. Together with pianist Inga Liukaityte, she is on the Live Music Now UK scheme. In the Netherlands, she regularly gives concerts for Kunst in de Kamer and is involved in the Dutch chamber music collective Cugnon Project.
As a freelance orchestra musician Emma has recently worked with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Bournemouth Symphony, the Dutch National Touring Opera, Phion, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Le Concert Olympique. During her studies, she participated in numerous side-by-side projects including with the London Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the London Mozart Players. She has been a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Dutch Youth String Orchestra.
She is a laureate of various competitions in the Netherlands and has attended masterclasses including with Raphael Wallfisch, Troels Svane, Adrian Brendel, Anner Bylsma and attended the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, following masterclasses with Ralph Kirschbaum.
Emma plays on a cello (Francesco Toto, Cremona, 2007), and with a bow (Emile Werner, Germany) given on loan by the Dutch National Instrument Foundation. Her study in London was made possible by a full scholarship from the Dutch Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.