Dutch soprano, Francine van der Heijden, studied voice in Maastricht, The Hague and London. As a soloist she has made recordings with conductors such as Peter Eötvös, Ton Koopman and Oleg Caetani. She also has performed with orchestras such as the Radio Chamber Orchestra of the Netherlands, the Schönberg Ensemble and the Robert Schumann Philharmonie. Last season she made her debut at the Grote Zaal of the Concertgebouw singing Euridice in Gluck’s Orpheo, conducted by Christian Zacharias and the Nederlands Kamerorkest. She also could be heard as Sylvia in Haydn’s L’Isola disabitata with the Radio Kamerorkest, conducted by Frans Brüggen. Francine van der Heijden could be heard in Felix Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night's dream in a concert conducted by Jaap van Zweden.
Francine van der Heijden is a regular guest at the Holland Early Music Festival. She frequently performs as a Lied recitalist, recently being hailed by the Dutch press as 'an imposing young talent' (de Volkskrant). Among her various recordings is a release featuring songs of Felix Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny Hensel. This recording was marked out as "Selection Swiss Radio International". In addition to that Francine van der Heijden received wonderful critical acclaim, both in The Netherlands and in Germany, for her contribution next to Christiane Oelze, to a CD-recording containing all unknown Mozart arias.
Also in modern repertoire Francine van der Heijden already set her marks. With the Ives Ensemble she performed in Gerald Barry's 'Things that gain by being painted' in the appearance of a Japanese geisha. Micha Hamel composed a lullaby for the new born Princess Royal Catherina-Amalia, to be sung by Francine van der Heijden.
Francine van der Heijden was again praised by the press because of her contributions to a series of Kruidvat CD's dedicated to Mozart's lesser known opera's. Her interpretation of the parts of Elisa in Mozart's Il Re Pastore, of Licenza in Il Sogno di Scipione, of Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito as well as of Aspasia in Mitridate, in particular, were received exceptionally warmheartedly. A CD with Mozart concert arias, sung by Christiane Oelze, Miranda van Kralingen and Francine van der Heijden with the European Symfonietta conducted by Ed Spanjaard, and Nabal, an oratorio by George Frideric Handel, released by Naxos, followed.
Francine van der Heijden is being coached by Meinard Kraak and Peter Nilsson.
Last season (2003-2004) Francine had the great honour to sing Agnus Dei from Mozart's Requiem and Tebye poyem from Sergei Rachmaninov during the funeral ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince Claus of The Netherlands, husband of H.M. Queen Beatrix, in the ancient city of Delft.