The name 'Estehaagse Ensemble' is a play on ‘Esterhazy’, the palace where Haydn worked, and ‘Haagse’, meaning of Den Haag, the city where the ensemble is based.
It was founded by James and Xiangji Hewitt, who met each other at the Royal Conservatoire Den Haag. James studied with Pavlo Beznoziuk, and is now teacher of historical improvisation there. Xiangji studied with Lucy van Dael and Ryo Terakado. They specialise in chamber music on historical instruments, working together regularly as a duo, but also as string trio, baroque trio sonata ensemble, and classical ensemble with fortepiano.
Repertoire ranges from the seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries, and the ensemble plays in venues ranging from churches throughout the Netherlands to private living room concerts, and events such as the opening of Dutch parliament in Ridderzaal.