Receiving a scholarship from Yo Yo Ma, who praised him for his ‘great sound and technique’, Adrian van Dongen gained his Soloist Diploma from the Highschool of Arts Rotterdam in 1981. He participated in masterclasses with Janos Starker, Heinrich Schiff, Tibor de Machula and Menachem Pressler and completed his studies in Paris with Philippe Můller.
As a soloist he performed cello concertos of Schumann, Boccherini, Lalo, Kabalevsky and Beethoven’s triple concerto’ among others and as a chamber music player he participated in International festivals like Czech Spring, Concentus Moraviae, Holland Festival Amsterdam and festivals in Athens, Madrid, Perugia, Murcia, Mallorca and St.Petersburg.
In 1986 he entered the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra as second principal cellist. In 1991 he was appointed to the same position in the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in Amsterdam, working with conductors like V. Gergiev, Sir C. Davis, L. Maazel, A.Lazejev, D.Kitaenko and Cl. Abbado and performing in the worlds finest concert halls like Suntory Hall, Tokyo; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Royal Albert Hall, London; and the Berliner Philharmonie. He has given masterclasses in most European countries, Japan, Russia and the United States.