Praised for his “interpretive imagination and patrician command of the cello” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), René Schiffer is recognized as one of the most creative musicians on the international period-instrument scene. A native of Holland, he was a protégé of the great Dutch cellist Anner Bijlsma. He also studied historical cello with Jaap her Linden in Rotterdam and viola da gamba with Catherina Meints in Oberlin.
Schiffer has played mainly in La Petite Bande (in the US abbreviated as La Petite, in Europe as the Bande), Les Musicians du Louvre, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Cleveland’s Apollo’s Fire. He has performed as a soloist in Utrecht, Budapest, Versailles, Grandchamp, Mexico City, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and many other places. He is featured on more than 60 recordings.
As a composer Schiffer appears on several recordings by Apollo’s Fire, especially Vivaldi + Friends (Tango concerto), Mozart’s Requiem (completion of the Lacrimosa), Monteverdi’s Orfeo (music for a legitimate alternative ending to the opera). The Covid years saw the composition of a Bach-style partita for 5-string cello (Kronstadt Partita) and variations on a Wesleyan hymn for 7-string viol called Wesleyan Stew. His Clorinda Sonata for cello and piano can be heard on YouTube.