Patrick van Deurzen

Patrick van Deurzen (1964) studied Classical Guitar from 1983-1989 with Dick Hoogeveen and Music Theory from 1987-1991 with Peter-Jan Wagemans and Jan Kleinbussink and Instrumentation from 1983-1987 with Klaas de Vries at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music. Although he composed from an early age, van Deurzen considers his works from 2001 as his official output.

Patrick van Deurzen was active as guitarist, conductor, singer and wrote several articles on 20th century music. At this moment, he devotes his time to composition and teaches Music Theory, Instrumentation and Arranging at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague and the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music and has some private composition students.

– Wrote for the Aicart festival ‘Cantigas d’amor’ for tenor and piano (Performed in- and during Porto/Rotterdam cultural capital 2001).
– The Netherlands National Youth Choir performed ‘Eight Scenes from Alice’ during the World Choir Symposium in Japan 2005.
– The Schoenberg ensemble performed in 2006 ‘Six: a line is a dot that went for a walk‘.
– The DoelenKwartet performed in 2009 van Deurzen’s first stringquartet ‘Seven‘.
– The Latvian Radio Choir performed his ‘If I were God‘ for Choir, soloists, viola and cello a the fifth choir biennale in Haarlem 2009.
– 2010 – 11 a music-theatre piece ‘Turris Babel‘ for five female singers, stones, sticks and water is premiered by Wishful Singing at the Noorderkerk Amsterdam and toured through the Netherlands and Germany.
– In 2011 his works for solo clarinet and Bass clarinet were released on the double CD – Doubles, performed by the Spanish clarinetist Xocas Meijde.
– His orchestra-work ‘Tornado‘ (2011) was performed eight times with success in different Brazilian theaters; a.o. the Teatro National in Rio de Jainero and the MASP in Sao Paulo. Two years later the Novosibirsk Chamber Orchestra gave the Siberian premiere of ‘Tornado‘.
– In 2012 – 13 a 33 min. new work, ‘De Brief’, for Soprano & Theorbo was performed on sevral historic locations in The Netherlands by Leonore Engelbrecht and Elly van Munster. Van Deurzen wrote in 2013 also his first video-opera that was broadcasted on Dutch Television.
– New works for Marcel Worms (piano), Maarten van Veen (piano) and the New Morse Code (New York based cello/percussion duo) were premiered in 2014.

Won in 2002 the 2nd international competition for Choir-music in Belgium with ‘Deux poémes de Baudelaire’ for choir a-cappella (performed by the Flemish Radio Choir).

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On April 29 in De Doelen, Sinfonia Rotterdam and conductor Conrad van Alphen will perform two Rotterdam Concertos: the world premiere of Rotterdam Concerto no. 6, Invisible Cities, by Patrick van Deurzen with cimbalom player Jan Rokyta, as well as a reprise of Concerto no. 1 by Joey Roukens, with percussionist Colin Currie… 

On April 29 in De Doelen, Sinfonia Rotterdam and conductor Conrad van Alphen will perform two Rotterdam Concertos: the world premiere of Rotterdam Concerto no. 6, Invisible Cities, by Patrick van Deurzen with cimbalom player Jan Rokyta, as well as a reprise of Concerto no. 1 by Joey Roukens, with percussionist Colin Currie.

Invisible Cities is the sixth concerto in the Rotterdam Concerto series. Previous commissions have been given to Ned McGowan (Concerto for iPad), Hans Koolmees (pan flute and recorder), and Vanessa Lann (bassoon).

[The Rotterdam Concertos are] a kind of homage to the city of Rotterdam, where I have lived for over 20 years. One of the interpretations of the many stories in Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities is that the different stories actually depict one city, described in many different perspectives. This connects me very well to the city I live in. Apart from that, the stories contain a lot of ideas that I could translate into music. The music itself is not a musical translation of the stories, but I take certain ideas from three particular stories (Mvt. I – Thin cities 5, Mvt. II – Cities & Desire 5, and Mvt. III – Cities & The Dead 3) to shape and create the music. These three stories are my favorite from the book, and they are contrasting enough to build a three-movement work. The movements together actually give the impression of a single movement, since there is no break between the movements.” (Patrick van Deurzen)

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Current and future projects

At the moment, Van Deurzen is working on a music theater work, which has the potential to become a short opera, called “Mancha! Mancha!” based on the characters of Don Quixote and Sancho Pancho, with baritones Henk Neven and Matthijs van der Woerd. It will be an over the top comic – slapstick-like, full of fights and misunderstandings. Dutch novelist Ernst van der Kwast is writing the libretto. The premiere will be in Rotterdam in 2018.

Jan-Peter de Graaff – World Premiere: De Grens

The world premiere of the full version of De Grens, a chamber opera by Jan-Peter de Graaff and Yuri Robbers will take place on September 25 at Kerkrade. In August there were a couple of try-outs at the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam and at the NJO Muziekzomer. More performances at November Music etc…   

De Grens (The Border)
The year is 1918: World War I is nearing its end. The German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, arrives at the Dutch border as an exile from his own country, seeking asylum in the Netherlands. However, the Dutch government was not notified in advance of the Kaiser’s arrival and takes its time to decide whether the royal visitor is welcome.

Pending the government’s decision, the Kaiser (mezzo-soprano Eva Kroon) is stuck at the railway station of Eijsden, a small town at the southern border of the Netherlands. At the station, he meets the station manager (soprano Ginette Puylaert), a man whose character, lineage and political views are in complete dissonance with those of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The two gentlemen have a fiery discussion, but despite all the differences, they have one thing in common: a total lack of control over their own situation.

A historical event with a contemporary twist, wrapped into a compact chamber opera: De Grens is an attractive performance of 25 up to 45 minutes that brings new music close to the audience. The length is flexible because the two scenes can be performed separately. Due to its small setup – two singers and five instrumentalists – De Grens can be performed both in concert halls and on less traditional locations, such as industrial buildings or living rooms, and even multiple times on the same day. The chamber opera makes use of unique film material from 1918, supplemented with new footage.

Cast & crew
Eva Kroon and Ginette Puylaert, who play the two male characters, are highly accomplished singers on their way to the top of the opera world, and both participated in young talent projects at the Dutch National Opera. They are accompanied by violinist Pieter van Loenen (Finalist and Audience Prize winner Dutch National Violin Competition 2016) and the ensemble But What About, who together form an active part of the dramaturgy. The ensemble But What About consists of clarinet, accordion, double bass and percussion and won the Grote Kamermuziekprijs 2016 of the conservatories of The Hague and Rotterdam.

The music has been composed by the young Dutch composer Jan-Peter de Graaff, based on a libretto by Yuri Robbers. The performance is directed by Saskia Bonarius. Film images have been shot and mixed with original 1918 footage by Caroline Keman.

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Matijs de Roo – World Premiere: And the Centuries Surround Me with Fire

On April 6, the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, conducted by Alexander Vedernikov, will perform And the Centuries Surround Me with Fire in Hilversum… 

On April 6, the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, conducted by Alexander Vedernikov, will perform And the Centuries Surround Me with Fire in Hilversum. Matijs de Roo was first commissioned to write this piece by the NTR ZaterdagMatinee for violinist Simone Lamsma. It is inspired by the book Diary of a Teenage Girl, composed of blogs written by a teenage girl in Mosul during the armed conflict in Iraq.

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Klas Torstensson – U.S. premieres in Miller Theatre, New York!

On April 27, Sweden’s Ensemble SON teams up with Either/Or to introduce Klas Torstensson, one of the most important voices of Scandinavia and Holland, to New Yorkers. The program will highlight three chamber music works by the composer, all of which will be U.S. premieres: Sönerna, No Slash, and Elliott loves bebop… 

On April 27, Sweden’s Ensemble SON teams up with Either/Or to introduce Klas Torstensson, one of the most important voices of Scandinavia and Holland, to New Yorkers. Championed by conductor Peter Eötvös and celebrated at new music festivals in Huddersfield, Vienna, and Darmstadt, the composer has explored Nordic history and themes in works inspired by the polar seas and Arctic expeditions of yore.

The program will highlight three chamber music works by the composer, all of which will be U.S. premieres: Sönerna, No Slash, and Elliott loves bebop.

Elliott loves bebop consists of two compositions, Sönerna for saxophone, trombone, guitar and percussion, and No slash for violin, violoncello, piano and percussion. First, each of the quartets will perform the seperate pieces. After the intermission the two pieces then will be performed simultaneously: Elliott loves bebop.

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Katarina Glowicka – World premiere: Unknown

On April 3 at De Munt theater in Belgium, Allison Cook will premiere a cycle of 4 songs, entitled Unknown, by the Dutch-Polish composer Katarina Glowicka… 

The songs were set using texts by Afghan women from the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. The production will be an exploration of femininity in some remarkable works: an irresistible invitation!

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Lina Tonia – SQUALL

Lina Tonia’s piano concerto, SQUALL, will be performed on April 28 by Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Dian Tchobanov at the Music Biennale Zagreb, Croatia… 

Lina Tonia’s piano concerto, SQUALL, will be performed on April 28 by Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Dian Tchobanov at the Music Biennale Zagreb, Croatia. SQUALL is a creation of continually spiraling patterns; the piano introduces these patterns quietly at the beginning of the work and the orchestra imitates the same energy and augments the sense of spiraling as the music continues.

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Dick Kattenburg

Dutch composer Dick Kattenburg barely got started before the curtain came down. In hiding from Nazi authorities in Utrecht, Kattenburg was probably arrested in a movie theater and shipped out to Auschwitz in May 1944. By late September, Kattenburg was dead at age 24.

This story of discovery is extraordinary to be sure, but not nearly as extraordinary as Kattenburg’s music. Although Kattenburg had some rudimentary musical training, including some contact — mostly by way of correspondence — with Leo Smit, he was a self-taught composer bursting with talent, ingenuity, and originality.

His music manuscripts — constituting about 2 dozen pieces written between 1936 and 1944 — wound up in the care of Kattenburg’s sister Daisy, who managed to survive World War II. The one piece that Kattenburg circulated outside of his own collection, his ‘Flute Sonata‘ (1937) was given to its dedicatee, flautist Ima Spanjaard-van Esso. Although Esso never played the piece, she presented its manuscript to Eleanore Pameijer, founder of the Leo Smit Foundation in Amsterdam, who began to play it — a lot — in the early 2000s. Word of these performances reached the daughter of Daisy Kattenburg, who discovered the rest of Dick Kattenburg’s compositions in the family attic where her mother had left them.

Kattenburg loved jazz and his works are suffused with its influence by way of both rhythm and harmony. There is even a composition for piano, 4-hands and tap dancer, and a lively “Rumba” found among his three Escapades for two violins. These, and much more, may be found among the 13 works included on FutureClassics’ disc Dick Kattenburg: Chamber Music as performed by Pameijer’s group, the Leo Smit Ensemble.

Kattenburg’s music is very clear in its scoring and should delight performers whose instruments he wrote for. And it’s a pretty extensive range. In addition to the flute works and those for piano, he composed ‘pieces for violin, and an intriguing ‘Quartet‘ for the combination of flute, violin, cello, and piano, not commonly used since the late Baroque period. Stylistically, Kattenburg is difficult to nail down. Earlier pieces have an impressionist tinge, somewhat later ones adopt a Stravinskan edge, and his last work, the ‘Allegro Moderato’ for viola and piano, shows Kattenburg moving into an entirely original and boldly serious direction that, in the end, he wasn’t allowed to follow out to its realization.

As Dick Kattenburg: Chamber Music appears, much is being made of the discovery of a few frames of home movie film of Anne Frank, leaning out a window and waving, a tiny artifact raised, like Anne Frank’s diary, from the rubble of the hiding places that ultimately failed to preserve for us the lives of talented Jews that lived in the Netherlands during the Nazi period. Kattenburg was only a decade older than Anne Frank, and while his music does not speak directly of his horrendous experience like Frank’s work does, it remains a testament to what we lost when the hiding places were emptied out and these people were betrayed. It also pays tribute to the value of the creative impulse, as it is only through the bright, witty, and effervescent work like that heard on the FutureClassics’ disc, that lost ones — like Dick Kattenburg — can speak to us.

Source: Uncle Dave Lewis, 2009

Cornelis Dopper

Cornelis Dopper was born Feb. 17th 1870 in Stadskanaal; he died Sep. 18th 1939 in Amsterdam. He was a composer, conductor and music teacher.

He studied piano and violin at the Conservatoire of Leipzig (1888-1890). His most important teacher was Oscar Paul, who lectured on history of music (especially ancient Greek music) and musical aesthetics.

In 1897, he went to Amsterdam, where he became a violinist and later a choir master and assistant conductor at the Nederlandsche Opera (Dutch Opera Company), until this company dissolved in 1903.

During two seasons, Dopper was one of the conductors of the travelling Henry Savage Opera Company in the United States. He also visited Canada and Mexico with this company and conducted the first performances of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

He introduced not only Debussy’s La Mer and Ibéria in Amsterdam, but also a lot of other new compositions of composers of his time, i.e. Elgar, Ravel, and the music of many young Dutch composers.

Dopper introduced youth concerts in the Netherlands in 1923. As a composer he was not an innovator, but possessed a great instinct for orchestral colouring. His interest in Ancient Greek music is apparant from works such as the orchestral studies ‘Päân I & II‘. But above all Dopper was a Dutch composer, as shown by the titles of his symphonies.

In 1892, he composed his first opera ‘De blinde van Castel Cuillé’ after a story by J. Jasmin (English translation: H.W. Longfellow) and his ‘First Symphony‘ ‘Diana’ (1896), based on Heinrich Heine’s story Die Götter in exil. In 1904, he finished his ‘Second Symphony‘ (‘Scottish’ symphony). In 1906, Willem Mengelberg performed Dopper’s ‘Third Symphony‘ (‘Rembrandt’, rev. 1904) with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra and Dopper was nominated as second conductor of this famous orchestra under Mengelberg in 1908.

Dopper stayed with the Concertgebouw Orchestra for 23 years. During that time he composed his ‘Fourth Symphony’ (‘Sinfoniëtta’, rev. 1909), his ‘Fifth Symphony’ (‘Sinfonia epica’, 1908) on a text of Homerus Ilias; a ‘Sixth Symphony‘ (‘Amsterdamse’, 1912) and a ‘Seventh Symphony’ (‘Zuiderzee’, 1917).

Besides four opera’s and seven symphonies, Dopper wrote a lot of vocal works: songs, choir music, a ‘Requiem‘ and chamber music (‘Sextet‘, ‘Klankstudie‘, String quartet ‘Pallas Athena’, ‘Sonata‘ for violin or violoncello and piano). His complete works (more than one hundred) are preserved in the Nederlands Muziek Instituut (Dutch Musical Institute), Royal Library, The Hague.

In 1930, Cornelis Dopper received the Silver Medal of Honor for Art and Science from the Dutch queen Wilhelmina.

Carlos Micháns

I am a Dutch composer born, raised and educated in Argentina”, is Carlos Micháns’ favourite answer when asked about his nationality. Born in Buenos Aires in 1950 into a family with roots in England, Scotland, Flanders, Cataluña, the French Basque provinces and even the USA, he moved to the Netherlands in 1982, later becoming a Dutch citizen.

In his native Argentina he studied piano, organ and later composition with Susana Oliveto and Roberto García Morillo, one of the country’s leading composers. He also graduated in conducting at the University of Buenos Aires and the Art Institute of the Teatro Colón, South America’s major opera house.

In 1982, he was awarded a scholarship from the Dutch Ministry of Culture and Science, which enabled him to do postgraduate studies in composition and electronic music with Hans Kox, Tristan Keuris and Ton Bruynèl at the conservatory of Utrecht, where he obtained the Composition Prize in 1988. A new grant from the Ministry of Culture allowed him to continue his training in electronic music for a year.

Other awards:
1977 – 1st Prize “Promociones Musicales” (Argentina), for ‘Tema, Toccata & Fuga for organ
1990 – 1st Prize of the city of Gerona (Spanje), for ‘Apparitions‘ for piano
1993 – “Trinac” (Tribuna Nacional de Compositores, Argentina), for ‘String Quartet Nr. 2
1996 – “Trimarg” (Tribuna Musical Argentina), for ‘Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 2
2000 – “Trinac”, for ‘Après Minuit‘ for ensemble
2006 – “Trinac”, for ‘Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 4
2008 – “Toonzetters”: selected among the ten best Dutch compositions of 2007, for ‘Concerto for Harp and Orchestra
2010 – “Salvatore Martirano Award” (Honorable Mention) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for ‘Trois Visions Tantriques‘ for harp and saxophone quartet
2010 – “C4-Commissioning Competition” (New Your, USA), for ‘Ave Maria – Pater Noster‘ for mixed choir a cappella.

In Buenos Aires he was active as a composer, music teacher and choir conductor.

Between 1995 and 2012, Carlos Micháns was in charge of “Podium Neerlandés”, a programme of Radio Nederland aimed at introducing Dutch concert life to Spanish speaking audiences around the world, mainly in Latin America.

Micháns is also active in the field of literature. He has written and published several works in Dutch, Spanish and English, which include novels, poetry, short stories and essays on history and art.

Since 1986, and thanks to financial support from Dutch and foreign funds, the Gaudeamus Foundation, music institutions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Micháns has organized several international concert tours aimed at promoting Dutch musicians and contemporary music abroad.

He has also been invited to lecture on his music by universities and institutes for higher education in India, Indonesia, North, South and Central America (Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panamá) and Poland.

Also, along with concert tours he organized tournament for gambling on the playground online casino Cop17.

Micháns’ extensive catalogue includes works in almost every genre, among which five ‘sinfonie concertante’ for soloists and orchestra, two symphonic overtures, several compositions for choir and orchestra, a harp concerto, a saxophone concerto, quartets and quintets for a variety of combinations (strings, saxophones, clarinets and mixed ensembles), countless solo pieces and for small and large chamber groups.

Most of them are commissioned by the Dutch Fund for Performing Arts for distinguished Dutch and international soloists and ensembles, such as Ronald Brautigam, Isabelle van Keulen, Liza and Dmitry Ferschtman, Arno Bornkamp, Lavinia Meijer, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Chamber Orchestra, Holland Symfonia and many others. They are published in Hilversum (Holland) by Donemus.

Micháns about modernity in his work: “Modernity is in the ears of the listeners, and their concept of it will vary, develop and change according to their experience and ability to understand what they hear. As for my own music, I do believe it to be contemporary and to reflect some aspects of our time more strongly than others, our time meaning not just this very instant but the last few decades and even further. After all, we haven’t spent more than a thousand years creating and developing techniques, inventing and perfecting instruments in order to stick to the latest ones and discard the rest as obsolete.

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