Alexander Basilov

Alexander Basilov was a Russian composer and pianist who lived and worked in Moscow (1946-2007). He completed both composition and piano studies at the Moscow State Conservatory and later became a piano professor at the renowned Gnesin Music Institute. He finished his piano studies with distinction under the guidance of Stanislav Neuhaus and Lev Naumov and later finished his composition studies with Evgeni Golubev and Alfred Schnittke.

From 1970 he worked at the Gnesin Music Institute as a piano and composition teacher, later becoming a member of the USSR Union of composers where he was vice-president at the Children’s Academy of Music from 1990-1999.

Inspired by composers like Alfred Schnittke, Frederik Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninov, Stanislav Neuhaus and Rodion Shedrin, Alexander Basilov wrote over one hundred works, focusing on piano literature and vocal repertoire. Additionally, he composed a large number of choir works, music-theatre plays and orchestral pieces.

Alexander Basilov was a leading figure in the contemporary music scene of Moscow at the turn of the century, performing frequently in concerts and giving masterclasses within Russia and abroad. He was a very dedicated piano and composition teacher and regularly organised concerts at his beloved Peredelkino. This special village, just outside Moscow, hosts the ‘Pasternak House’ – summer house of the famous writer Boris Pasternak -. In organising concerts and soirées of newly written music, Alexander Basilov was honouring the tradition of the late Heinrich Neuhaus, who had organised similar evenings at the Pasternak Dacha.

Devoted to teaching composition to children and curious to discover what music they created, Alexander Basilov organised concerts and workshops for young students. He wrote articles on the importance of teaching composition from early on, highlighting its value for music education and beyond.

FD Persoonlijk interviews Van Peursen

The FD Persoonlijk (Personal Magazine of the Dutch Financial Newspaper) placed an article on Davo van Peursen as one of the 3 portraits entrepreneurs in classical music….   

‘Every composer has a personal identity. If they extend that, there is room for everyone’, says Davo van Peursen, CEO of Donemus Publishing.

‘Mozart, Bach, Schubert: classical music of last centuries is known by many. Contemporary music is not that popular. Such a pity, because it deepens, widens, connects and above all: it holds us a mirror, because it is made in the time in which we live.

Read the article (Dutch)

Scholary edition of Mahler X

We recently released two interesting books on the subject made by Frans Bouwman: a scholarly transcription of all its manuscript pages as well as a new two piano arrangement. Read the review by Aart van der Wal…  

Seven fully-fledged performing versions of Gustav Mahler’s last unfinished Tenth symphony have now been published, of all which have been commercially recorded at least once. These efforts, together with recent books and articles on the subject, indicate an unabated interest in Mahler X.

A fundamental question remains: how much of the music in any performing version is authentically Mahler’s? Until now this question could not be answered, because a complete, scholarly, chronologically ordered, annotated and user-friendly transcription of the source material, which unequivocally records the extent to which Mahler completed his Tenth Symphony, was not available. Such a reference text is now finally presented here. It endeavours to provide an insight into the chronology of Mahler’s notation, to help to clarify the development of Mahler’s own ideas and thus provide a scholarly grounding upon which future editors may base their editorial decisions. The transcription, presented in the Donemus publication for the first time in its entirety, eschews any additions that did not originate from Mahler himself. It is intended as an easily accessible and comprehensible reference work for the music scholar, aspiring conductor or Mahler devotee.

To assess both the quantity and quality of the surviving material requires the examination of autograph materials dispersed among five different libraries as well as familiarity with five distinct facsimile editions. The availability of three electronic libraries facilitated easy access to the material. However thorough understanding of the sketches and drafts, particularly as regards their interrelationship, can be attained only after extensive study. The present transcription enables the reader to consult on one single page and with utmost clarity all of the existing material pertaining to any given bar of the Tenth Symphony……

Read more on Opus Klassiek

(© by Aart van der Wal)

Symphony Nº 10: Chronological Transcriptions of the Sketches, Short Scores and Orchestral Drafts / Gustav Mahler; Frans Bouwman, editor

Symphony Nº 10 / Gustav Mahler; arranged for two pianos by Frans Bouwman

Join our drink on January 12!

The Donemus Foundation invites you for our annual network drink at the Hague Tower. Meet composers, conductors, programmers etc…   

You’re welcome to join us from 16-19h at the suites on the 40th floor. Enjoy the view, meet your music friends and let us share some visions and plans for 2018. The Donemus Board has to share some news.

Please enter the form, so we can prepare your badge.


The Pessoa by Jan van de Putte on CD!

On March 5, 2016 Jan van de Putte was at the Zaterdagmatinee. A full program with his complete cycle of the Pessoa songs. All who were there remember the impressive performance. It was recorded successfully and there were plans for a CD release…  

It took 1,5 year to have the CDs completely finished. On november 30 the double CD will be presented at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ. After the première of a new work by Klaas de Vries by ASKO|Schönberg, the CD will be presented by Etcetera.

You’re welcome to buy your copy (for just € 23), meet the composer, the ensemble and conductor Reinbert de Leeuw. Soprano Keren Motseri and mezzo-soprano Barbara Koselj will sing the famous duet and Jan van de Putte will be available to sign the CD.

Donemus offers you a drink. Welcome.

Support new Etudes for Bass Clarinet

Please donate to the crowd-funding campaign by Fie Schouten for a new album of etudes for beginning bass clarinetist…   

Two years ago Fie Schouten’s edition of “Bass Clarinet Miniatures” was published. That book contains short solo works for professional bass clarinetists and advanced conservatory students. Following the success of that project, now Fie Schouten is inspired to publish a new book of etudes for the beginning bass clarinetist. With your support, this crowd-funding campaign will make that possible.

She collaborates with 8 composers who are excited about this project and happy to contribute new etudes to this book:

Oguz Büyükberber, Tobias Klein, Vanessa Lann, Georgia Nicolau, Joris Roelofs, Steffen Schorn, Petra StumpLinshalm, Lotta Wennäkoski

Donemus has already agreed to publish the book. The aim is to release it in September 2018 – at the start of the 3rd Basklarinet Festijn, an international bass clarinet festival in The Netherlands. The Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst is supporting this project too. Please consider a donation and see the rewards.

Crowd-funding at Voordekunst

More about Fie Schouten

Donemus at November Music

November Music is an international music festival founded in 1993 and based in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. It gives the audience a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening in with new music. Contemporary composed music features jazz, improvised and electronic music, musical installations, and music theatre….   

Each year one can listen to a wide pallet of the latest works published at Donemus. This year we proudly present the next works performed at November Music:
– Ode to Man by Yannis Kyriakides in ballet by Silbersee ‘ Homo instrumentalis’

– Opera Fortress Europe by Calliope Tsoupaki performed by opera Trionfo and ASKO|Schoenberg

Lacrimosa or 13 Magic Songs by Maxim Shalygin

– Mini-opera A Light World by Mateo Soto

– Kus de regen by Micha Hamel

Martynov at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle

Vladimir Martynov – Autumn Ball of the Elves, for string orchestra; now with ballet by the Pacific Northwest Ballet!

Vladimir Martynov’s Autumn Ball of the Elves, for string orchestra, represents a Russian mix of minimalism and post-romanticism that can also be heard in the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Both composers abandoned academic compositional styles following religious conversions and developed individual voices influenced by personal interests and convictions. In Autumn Ball of the Elves, Martynov applies a theme and variations structure to a minimalist palette.

(Program note by Doug Fullington.)

Read more….

Vladimir Martynov at Donemus

World premiere Vanessa Lann – Rise for two bassoons and (amateur) orchestra

Martine Reurings & Dick Hanemaayer (bassoons) and the Van Wassenaer Orchestra under the direction of Benjamin Boers will perform the world premiere of Rise of Vanessa Lann on November 19…  

A more prominent role for the bassoon – not hidden within, but standing in front of, the orchestra – that is what the Dutch Bassoon Network wished to create through its commission to Vanessa Lann to compose a concerto for two bassoons and orchestra. And with the unique goal of creating a work primarily intended for amateur bassoonists. The Dutch Performing Arts Fund provided the financial support for this commission. The first performance will take place on Sunday, 19th November 2017, featuring Dick Hanemaayer and Martine Reurings as soloists, along with the Van Wassenaer Orchestra under the direction of Benjamin Broers.

Concertos for two bassoons and orchestra have existed for some time, but this work is unique: the sound combinations between the two bassoons are totally new, as are the timbres within the orchestra. The work begins with the two bassoon soloists, the first bassoon standing before the orchestra, and the second bassoon answering from within the ensemble. Their tones intertwine in short garlands, followed by repeated rhythms that will return in the second movement to give an important impulse to the music. With a leap of a minor ninth the bassoonists land on the beloved low C. That’s how the first movement begins. And yes, after the first movement the title of the piece will be celebrated, quite literally. But “Rise” (as a piece and as a project) is unique for other reasons. From the very start the main goal was to give as many players as possible the opportunity to perform the work. Special arrangements have also been made with the publishing house Donemus to make the work available to orchestras inside and outside the Netherlands. The two bassoonists from each orchestra performing the piece will have their hands full with the notes and rhythms. Even though the piece does not contain the virtuoso passages and cadenzas of the typical classical solo concerto, the solo parts are still demanding in other ways. In the second movement the music speeds up, with repeated rhythmic patterns. The third movement brings the sounds, tones and intervals from the first movement back into the picture. And in the fourth movement the rhythmic interplay within the entire orchestra leads to a surprising conclusion…..

Van Wassenaer Orchestra

Rise at the Donemus Webshop

Dutch Bassoon Network

Ig Henneman

She is a composer/performer and bandleader in the international world of Creative Music. Self-taught composer Ig Henneman received some years of coaching by Dutch composer Robert Heppener.

Henneman is a musician of striking individuality who is acknowledged internationally as a composer/performer and bandleader. Henneman has written for orchestras, big bands, ensembles, various solo pieces, and numerous pieces for her own improvising groups. She has also composed soundtracks for film and theater. As a composer/improviser on viola she toured extensively over the world and received abundant praise for the musicianship as well as the innovative compositions.
Henneman played in several symphony orchestras before co-founding the legendary rockband FC Gerania in 1977, which performed her first compositions. One of her early works is the soundtrack to the 1927 silent movie Baby Ryazanskye by Olga Preobrazhenskaya.
Grants and commissions were given her by the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst, the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, the Dutch Ministry of Culture, the Fonds voor de Amateurkunst en de Podiumkunsten, Performing Arts Fund NL, Bas Klarinet Festijn 2016.

Since the nineties the music of the Russian composers Galina Ustvolskaya en Sofia Gubaidulina has been an inspiration for Henneman, who is attracted by the extremes of the former’s structural severity and the latter’s improvisational freedom, also to be found in the work of the Hungarian composer György Kurtág. However, her influences are wide ranging and include jazz and pop music as well.

(…) The music Henneman creates is indescribable. Contrary, dissonant, always changing shape. (…) It’s music without a home.  (…) you hear how imagination works. Something lodges in your brain like a germ cell – Schubert, Ustvolskaya, a sound, a rhythm – and haunts you until it flows out in an uncontrolled zigzag movement, jerking and bumpy; or on a fast ride, interrupted on the way or thrown off course by the counter forces of yet other objets trouvés that have developed their own dynamic in the stream of consciousness. A journey like that yields a pseudo anarchic genesis, avoiding discipline and without destination, full of side paths among which the free spirit can always see an exit. This is music of resistance and you hear what resonates in it: contrariness, curiosity, a healthy avant-garde mentality that, against all current notions of beauty, also just happens to soothe the soul. (Bas van Putten)

Her compositions have been widely played by, amongst others, Ivo Janssen, Godelieve Schrama, Diamanda la Berge Dramm, Erica Dicker (USA), Elisabeth Smalt, Dana Jessen (USA), Marjanne Kweksilber, the Residentie Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra, David Kweksilber Big Band, Instabile Orchestra (IT), the Nieuw Ensemble and by her own improvising groups. The compositions for her improvising groups are documented in Henneman’s own management and record label Wig.

As a composer, she usually works closely with the performers to bridge the gap between composition and performance as far as possible.
Photo © Francesca Patella