In 1999 the Dutch oboist, Pauline Oostenrijk, was the first oboist to win the prestigious Netherlands Music Prize, the highest State award for classical music.
After her first lessons with Huib Nieuwenhuizen Pauline Oostenrijk studied with Koen van Slogteren and Jan Spronk at the Stedelijk Conservatorium Zwolle and the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatorium, and attended masterclasses with Han de Vries, Thomas Indermühle, Alex Klein and Omar Zoboli.
As a soloist and chamber musician Pauline Oostenrijk performed in the USA (debut at Carnegie Hall in 1992), South America, most European countries and Taiwan. She appeared as a soloist with the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, the Dutch Radio Orchestras, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, I Fiamminghi, the Salzburger Kammerorchester and the Orchestre d’ Auvergne. She gives chamber music concerts with pianist Ivo Janssen, harpist Manja Smits, the Giotto Ensemble, the Orlando Festival Ensemble and with her sister, soprano Nienke Oostenrijk.
Before Pauline Oostenrijk added the Netherlands Music Prize to her list she had already received a number of national and international awards, among which in 1986 the first prize in the national finale of the Eurovision-competition “Young Musician of the Year”, in 1988 the first prize in the Tromp Oboe Competition, in 1989 the Silver Award of the Concertgebouw, in 1991 the first prize in the Fernand Gillet Oboe Competition in Baltimore, in 1993 the Philip Morris Classical Music Award and in 1998 the second prize in the International Chamber music Competition in Rome, with harpist Manja Smits.
Pauline Oostenrijk has been the principal oboist in the Residentie Orchestra The Hague for 25 years. She currently teaches oboe at the Conservatory of Groningen, plays chamber music, is active with composing, writing, teaching, lecturing and she organizes concerts in which music and literature are connected. She recently obtained a degree in Dutch language and literature at the Utrecht University.
Composers as Louis Andriessen (To Pauline O), Jeff Hamburg, Gijs van Dijk and Arne Werkman wrote compositions for Pauline.