Theo Loevendie

Theo Loevendie was born on September 17th, 1930 in Amsterdam.

He studied composition and clarinet at the Amsterdam Conservatory.

Up to 1968 he dedicated himself almost exclusively to jazz and he performed with his own ensemble at the main European jazz festivals: Montreux, Juan-les-Pins, Nîmes, Warsaw, Molde (Norway) and Laren (Holland).

From 1970 to 1988, Loevendie has been a professor of composition at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music, from 1988 to 1997 at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and since 1995 at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam. He was central composer at many festivals and he has given master classes all over the world.

In 1968, Loevendie began to focus on the composing of concert music. His compositions are frequently performed both at regular concerts and at festivals all over the world.

Loevendie has composed four operas: ‘Naima‘ (1985), which was premiered at the 1985 Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the chamber opera ‘Gassir, the Hero’ (1990), premiered May 1991 in Boston (U.S.A.), ‘Esmée’, which was first performed in Amsterdam at the Holland Festival 1995 and in Berlin (1995) and had a staging again in 1997 at Bielefeld, Germany, and the chamber opera ‘Johnny & Jones’, performed at the Holland Festival 2001 and in 2003 in Dresden (Germany).

Among his orchestral compositions are a ‘Piano concerto’ (1996), a ‘Violin concerto’ (1998), a ‘Clarinet Concerto’ (2001) and ‘Seyir’ (2002) for 25 western and non-western instruments (premiered in the Berliner Festspiele 2002).

In 2003, Loevendie founded the ensemble Ziggurat, a combination of western and non-western instruments. Since then he wrote many compositions for this ensemble. On the 11th of October 2014, the opera ‘Spinoza’ premiered at the Grote Zaal of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

For one of his jazz records he received an Edison in 1969. He was awarded the 1979 Wessel Ilcken Prize for all his jazz activities through the years.

The recording of ‘De Nachtegaal’ (The Nightingale) was awarded an Edison in 1982; a year later followed the prize of the RAI (Italian Television and Radio) for the television production of this work, which since then has been performed in many languages all over the world. In 1984, Loevendie shared with Pierre Boulez the American Koussevitzky International Record Award; he received the prize for ‘Flexio’ (1979), written on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The opera ‘Naima‘ (1985) was awarded with the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize 1986 of the City of Amsterdam. In 1988, Loevendie was the first composer to receive the prestigious 3M Music Award for his entire output and his great merits in musical life. In 2016, he received the Andreas Medal of Honour of The City of Ansterdam for his lifetime achievements.

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Peter Kerkelov

Peter Kerkelov is a Bulgarian composer born on 18th January 1984.

Currently Peter Kerkelov is pursuing PhD in Ethnomusicology at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia. He holds Master’s degree in composition from Royal Conservatoire, The Hague where he studied under Martijn Padding and Guus Janssen. He holds another Master’s in composition from Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts (AMDFA), Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where his teacher was prof. Dimitar Tapkoff. From the same academy, he holds Bachelor in classical guitar and music pedagogy with teachers Milena and Valentin Valchev.

In 2006-2007, as an exchange student he studied composition under prof. Dan Dediu in National University of Music, Bucharest, Romania. Peter Kerkelov has been selected for masterclasses with Louis Andriessen, David Lang and Kaija Saariaho.

Currently, Peter Kerkelov is a teacher in Polyphony at AMDFA and “expert stage activity” and music score librarian at National Opera-Plovdiv. Prior to that, he was appointed as a classical guitar teacher at National School of Music and Dance Arts “Dobrin Petkov”, Plovdiv. Peter Kerkelov is a freelance composer since 2012.

Kerkelov’s music possesses ascetic sincerity and profound straightforwardness. Though gaming with repetitive overtone-based melodic structures with multiple, self-reflecting transmigrations, his works very often cross over the limits of mere sonic games and aim to the fields of philosophy, to those other art forms – elements of which he integrates in his conceptions.
– In 2015, he wrote ‘Time Etudes‘ for orchestra, two choirs and voice solo, originally commissioned by Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, later on to be commissioned by Bulgarian National Radio.
– The string quartet ‘Two Symphonies and Postumus‘ was commissioned by Dutch Chamber Music Society on its 100th Anniversary, and was written for Ruysdael Kwartet, who premiered the work.
– In 2011, he composed ‘Attempt at Screaming‘ for ASKO/Schoenberg Ensemble.
– As a part of 2010 “New York comes to The Hague” project, he wrote ‘HORO‘ for Bang on a Can-All Stars.

Currently, KLANGFORUM Wien member and accordionist Krassimir Sterev commissioned Kerkelov for a solo accordion composition. Previous commissioners include Ensemble KLANG, Royal Conservatoire The Hague, Duo CaJon among others.

Kerkelov’s music has sounded in Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and the USA on distinguished venues such as Konzerthaus Wien, Gaudeamus Music Week, BOZAR Brussels and the annual New Bulgarian Music Preview in performances by Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble, “Bang on a Can All-Stars”, Ensemble PHACE (Austria), Ensemble “Musica Nova” (Bulgaria), Ruysdael Kwartet among others.

Next to that he has had a fruitful collaboration with Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), where up to date he recorded: ‘Time Etudes‘ with Orchestra and Choir of BNR with Israeli soprano Reut Rivka Shabi under Dragomir Yossifov; ‘Attempt at Screaming‘ with Ensemble Music Nova-Sofia under Dr. Yossifov; ‘Two Symphonies and Postumus‘ with string quartet FROSH (Bulgaria).

– In 2012, Kerkelov won 59th International Rostrum of Composers in Stockholm in “under 30” category with ‘Attempt at Screaming‘;
– In 2016, his ‘Time Etudes‘ received “Top 10 recommended work” in “General” category at 63rd International Rostrum of Composers in Wroclaw
– Finalist at Sentierri Selvaggi Composition Competition, Milano;
– Scholarship from Richard-Wagner-Stipendienstiftung – Bayreuth;
– Twice awarded “Grant for artistic high education” by Schuurman Schimmel-van Outeren Stichting;
– Twice awarded “Scholarship for classical music” by Raina Kabaivanska Foundation.

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Highlighted Composer: Dmitri Kourliandski

Dmitri Kourliandski, who has recently signed a framework agreement with Donemus, will be well-represented in the music scene in the month of June. His ‘Octavia. Trepanation’ and ‘Maps of non-existent cities.bern’ will have their world premiere and his performance-installation, Commedia delle arti, will be at the prestigious Venice biennale in the Russian pavilion… 

Dmitri Kourliandski, who has recently signed a framework agreement with Donemus, will be well-represented in the music scene in the month of June.

More about Dmitri Kourliandski


On June 15 and 16, Dmitri Kourliandski’s new opera, Octavia. Trepanation, will have its world premiere at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ during the Holland Festival. The opera is a collaboration between the composer and director Boris Yukhananov, the artistic director of Moscow’s Stanislavsky Electrotheatre. The opera investigates the bloody mechanisms of the Russian revolution. They call it an “opera-operation.” On stage is a giant replica of Lenin’s head, whose skull is trepanned. Kourliandski’s music consists of socialist hymns stretched out in time, texts by the Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky and excerpts from Octavia, a play attributed to Seneca about the Roman emperor Nero. Is art capable of explaining tyranny?

More information about Octavia.Trepanation


The Italian magazine Classic Voice recently named Kourliandski among the top 100 leading composers of the century. This year, his performance-installation, Commedia delle arti, will be at the prestigious Venice Biennale in the Russian pavilion. At the entrance to the Pavilion, visitors can pick-up “score-instructions” that can be followed to create a dialogue between the artist, the visitor, and the outside world.

More information about Venice Biennale 2017


On July 1 and 2, the world premiere of maps of non-existent cities. bern by Ensemble Proton Bern under the direction of Matthias Kuhn will take place at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland. The piece takes place within the exhibition “Die Revolution ist tot. Lang lebe die Revolution!”. The piece will be a key work within the program, and Dmitri Kourliandski will reflect upon the question, “is revolution still alive today?”

More information about Ensemble Proton Bern