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The virtuosic ensemble BLACK PENCIL was founded in 2010. The ensemble's debut concert took place in the same year at the prestigious Amsterdam Concertgebouw, followed by the world premieres of several new works at the large-scale festival Istanbul: European Capital of Culture 2010. The ensemble has given numerous concerts in The Netherlands (Concertgebouw Amsterdam, de Doelen Rotterdam, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, Philharmonie Haarlem, Schouwburg Almere, November Music Festival, a.o), Germany, Ireland, Spain, Turkey, Denmark and Venezuela. Black Pencil focuses on broad repertoire with new works composed especially for the ensemble, as well as an adventurous range of their own early music arrangements. As a contemporary music ensemble, until now they received and premiered over 120 new compositions dedicated to them. The name 'Black Pencil' stems from the ensemble's first project, inspired by a remarkable series of miniatures by the painter Mehmet Siyah Kalem (15th century, presumably of Turkish origin). In English, 'siyah kalem' literally translates as 'black pencil'.