In 2015 Jan Willem de Vriend was appointed as principal conductor at the Residentie Orkest The Hague and principal guest conductor at the Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya. In 2017 he was appointed principal guest conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille.
Between 1982 and 2015 Jan Willem de Vriend was artistic director and violinist of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, established by himself. This ensemble excelled in known and, more especially, unknown masterpieces of the 17th and 18th century belonging to the forefront of Dutch classical music. It achieved a huge success abroad as well; starting with their own series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, it toured around the world.
Also to be mentioned are the opera productions the ensemble accomplished, based on works by Monteverdi, Händel, Telemann, Bach and Mozart among others. With these operas, directed by the much-acclaimed Eva Buchmann, tours have been organized throughout Europe and America.
From 2006 up to 2017 Jan Willem de Vriend was chief conductor at Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Right at the start of his appointment in 2006 as artistic director and chief conductor, he attracted attention with a striking performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, in the first, so-called “Hamburger version”. The rave reception (“Absolutely a must” - Gramophone) resulted in invitations by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and many orchestras abroad.
In 2013 and 2014 the artist was invited to Sankt Moritz and Basel to perform respectively the Don Giovanni and La gazzetta by Rossini, both with a stage direction by Eva Buchmann. From 2008 to 2013 Jan Willem de Vriend worked as guest conductor at the South Netherlands Philharmonic (philharmonie zuidnederland).
Recent and future highlights include concerts with Konzerthausorchester Berlin, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Philharmonie Stuttgart, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Melbourne Symphony, Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona, Residentie Orkest and Orchestre National de Lille.
In 2012 Jan Willem de Vriend won the prestigious Radio 4 Prize for his indefatigable promotion of classical music.