Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks (PhD, MSc) combined a university physics degree with conservatoire double-bass studies, graduating ‘cum laude’ in both. He finished his PhD in plasma physics at Eindhoven University of Technology and worked as a researcher at Shell, Océ and FOM (now part of NWO).
In 1996 he took up the viola da gamba. Under the stage name Ralph Rousseau (referring to his mother’s maiden name), he then went on to become the most prominent Netherlands ambassador for the seven-stringed instrument. He has been a soloist with many orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Several contemporary composers dedicated new work to him. He made many recordings and was awarded the Edison classical audience award, the Netherlands’ most prestigious cd award. His solo concerts have brought him to music festivals throughout Europe, the United States, Thailand and China. Not limiting himself to purely classical music, he also worked and recorded with musicians in popular, jazz, and rock music. His latest project is a co-creation with singer-songwriter and poet Ad Visser.
Having a keen interest in education he obtained his Master of Education in 2012 (cum laude). He worked for 4 years as a physics teacher in secondary education and was offered a position as an assistant professor in the field of science education at Utrecht University in 2015. There, his research focuses on intrinsic motivation of students and their teachers.
Ralph has a very broad scope of fascinations ranging from meditation, macrobiotic food, and t’ai chi to history, astrophysics, and aviation. He recently obtained his private pilot’s license.
Motivational workshops and retreats are a way for Ralph to bring together the experience he has gained in the wildly different fields of work and interest – and make others profit from them.