As a finalist in the 1966 Tchaikovsky International Competition, 17-year-old Emmy Verhey was suddenly thrust into the limelight of the concert world. She was signed to a recording contract and the following year capped her meteoric ascent with a first-prize finish at the Amsterdam-based Dutch National Oskar Back Violin Competition. The youthful Verhey, continuing for a time with her studies while also giving concerts, now stood among the leading Dutch violinists, perhaps even among the leading violinists in Europe. She would go on to perform at the leading recital halls across the globe, to play under conductors like Haitink, Bernstein, Chailly, Jansons, and Fournet, and to perform in duo repertory with both Oistrakhs and Yehudi Menuhin. Verhey's repertory is broad, ranging from the Baroque to the modern, though she has favored many of the standards by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Dvorák. She has also performed and recorded a number of twentieth century works by Dutch composer Alphons Diepenbrock and has played the music of little known Russian composer Arthur Lourié (1892-1966). Verhey has made numerous recordings over the years, many of them available on the reissue labels Brilliant Classics and Laserlight.
Emmy Verhey was born in Amsterdam, Holland, on March 13, 1949. She was a gifted child, studying from age eight with iconic Dutch violinist Oskar Back. Later teachers included Herman Krebbers, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, and David Oistrakh, with whom she studied for a year following her competition successes in Moscow and Amsterdam. Not content with her prestigious competition results, Verhey entered another competition in 1971, the Eindhoven-based Tromp International Music Competition, where, once again, she captured first prize.
Verhey was quite active both in the concert hall and recording studio in the 1970s and '80s, though from about 1990 she made fewer new recordings as a soloist. In 1983 she joined the faculty of the Utrecht Conservatory of Music, serving until 2002.
In 1991 Verhey co-founded a string ensemble, Camerata Antonio Lucio, whose membership was largely made up of students and ex-students at the Utrecht Conservatory. From about 1997 Verhey made a half-dozen or so recordings with the young ensemble for the label X5 Music Group, featuring a broad and often imaginative range of repertory. For example, the group's 2003 CD offered a colorful mixture of works by Vivaldi, Arthur Lourié, and contemporary composers Chris Duindam and Charles Avison.