Emre Sihan Kaleli winner at the Impuls Competition

Emre Sihan Kaleli has been selected as one of the winners of the “Impuls Composition Competition” – considered as an important competition among young composers. Part of the prize is to write a new work for Klangforum Wien commissioned by Impuls. In February 2019 a jury consisting both of composers and musicians (Pierluigi Billone, Bernhard Gander, Vera Fischer, Dmitri Kourliandski, Mikael Rudolfsson) selected him out of numerous applications sent in from various nations and four continents for impuls commissions…   

The winning composers will be part in the upcoming Impuls Composition Workshop in Vienna and Graz with Klangforum Wien coming along with commissions to write new pieces for ensemble, that will be premiered in Graz at the impuls Festival in February 2021.

Founded by Beat Furrer and Ernst Kovacic, Impuls, the International Ensemble and Composers Academy for Contemporary Music and Association for the Communication of Contemporary Music have developed into one of the internationally leading institutions in this field in a short time. Instrumental classes and ensemble work, composition classes and special programs such as Ensemble meets Composers, reading sessions with Klangforum Wien, open Composers´ Pool, electronic- and improvisation-workshops …: Every second year the Impuls Academy offers young musicians and composers – from Austria, but also from all over the world – an intense training and holistic approach to contemporary music, both in a theoretical and practical way. For about 14 days Impuls hereby builds an important platform for joint working, mutual learning and international exchange in Graz, Styria. An international team, of renowned musicians and composers as lecturers, guarantees highest quality and builds the basis for excellently educated, highly motivated and internationally interlinked young musicians and composers as competent and authentic messengers of music as a language without borders.

More info about the competition

CD release Douwe Eisenga – For Mattia

Pianist and composer Douwe Eisenga writes sparkling music for sparkling minds, a hypnotic mix of rhythm and compelling lyricism. The melodies carve into the soul of the listener. After having made ten albums as a composer, For Mattia is the very first album on which he himself plays his music…   

He composed, others performed his work. That is how things were for 30 years for Douwe Eisenga (57). “I used to play in pop bands. But when I started studying composition at the conservatory in Groningen, I ended up in a different world. There were dozens of people there who played much better than me. It seemed better to everyone that I stick to composition. I kept that idea up for a long time. ”

He is now a well-known composer, whose work is performed internationally and can be heard on many albums. He has recently been performing himself on a regular basis. His moving work For Mattia plays an important role in this. He wrote this in piece 2017 at the request of Katja Bosch and Jan-Peter Muilwijk from Middelburg, after their daughter Mattia had chosen to end her life.

“That was such a personal story that I wanted to play it myself,” says Eisenga. “Then it turned out that the audience also greatly appreciates it when you play the music yourself. That brings an extra layer with it. Lately I played in Durgerdam. Then I realized for the first time: this is really coming in. It’s so intimate and it feels very honest somehow.”

Now there is a beautifully designed album with nine recent piano pieces, including For Mattia, in that characteristic, compelling Eisenga style that leaves virtually no one untouched. “But it is and remains important to keep a certain distance as a composer. The music does not dictate emotion, but has a certain openness. As a listener you can go into it yourself and make your own story out of it. That makes it more universal.”

He writes the compositions in addition to the commissions he receives. “This is free work that arises in a playful way. A bit jokingly: it is written between the dishes and the eight o’clock news. Nothing leaves my room before I am convinced of it. I have to be sure that it also fascinates me, that it gives me goosebumps. It is an almost physical criterion. I am my own biggest fan and my biggest critic at the same time. ”

Eisenga is immensely proud that For Mattia is now there. ,, It’s actually my first album. This feels like a debut. That’s kind of crazy, at 57. I hope it will end up with many people, not so much because of the sale, but because it is so nice to share the music. In addition to writing it, I get the most satisfaction when it lands well. The essence of a musician is that you want to be heard. ”

“This luminous music builds a harmonious labyrinth, of which I do not want to find my way out, listening on the edge of time.”
Inactuelles – Musiques Singulières

“This music is beautiful, joyous, transcendent and makes me homesick for a place I’ve never been”
David Mitchell

More info about the CD and other download options

Jan-Peter de Graaff – De Synode – Parlay fever in the Low Countries

From May 10th to 26th, Hollands Diep Music Theatre brings the opera of Jan-Peter the Graaff and Yuri Robbert about `De Synode’ which took place 400 years ago. Performed by the Shape Shift Ensemble and several soloists…   

composition: Jan-Peter de Graaff
libretto: Yuri Robbers
director: David Prins
conductors: Mark Biggins, Kent Moussault
arrangements: Jan Willem Passchier
performances: May 10th until May 26th 2019, Energiehuis, Dordrecht

Rabid hatred, burning desire and heartfelt devotion. These three ingredients caused mayhem in the Netherlands 400 years ago. Civil war in 1619 was just around the corner. But why? A political and religious twist was spinning fully out of control. The Arminians versus the Gomarists, the ‘baboons’ versus the ‘mud beggars’.

Hollands Diep Music Theatre is currently making a staggering production about this nearly forgotten pivotal moment in the history of The Netherlands. The makers are exploring what will happen when devotion turns into burning desire and results in fierce intolerance. A fever almost…

The production ‘De Synode‘ carries the pressing situation from the 1600s to the present. It features a brand-new opera by the young composer Jan-Peter de Graaff that makes the impact of a religious conflict on the lives common people, intensely tangible. Against the historical background of the ‘Synode of Dordrecht’ Hollands Diep Music Theatre shows some baffling parallels to our current society.

soprano: Renate Arends
countertenor: Joël Vuik
baritone: Jorne van Bergeijk
baritone: Berend Eijkhout
ensemble: Shapeshift Ensemble

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More info about the performances

More info about the Crowd funding

Willem Jeths – Accordion Concerto

On May 2nd and 10th, Vincent van Amsterdam will perform the Accordion concerto of Willem Jeths, originally written for bandoneon. Performances with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and Philharmonie Haarlem…   

The accordion is rarely seen on the concert stage. Anyone who hears the instrument in the hands of Vincent van Amsterdam – winner of the Dutch Classical Talent Award 2016 – will wonder why. He proves that it is an extremely versatile instrument, capable of producing a rich variety of tones and emotions. It was the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla who took the accordion’s ‘little brother’ – the bandoneon – out of the street cafés and into the world’s concert halls.

Both the Piazzolla concerto and that by Willem Jeths were originally written for bandoneon. However, the music gains in strength and emotion when played on the accordion. Jeths’ compositions are marked by exuberance. Although much of this concerto is calm and pensive in character, there are some extremely forceful bravura passages.

More info concert in Amsterdam

More info concert in Haarlem

The Accordion Concerto at Donemus

Dmitri Kourliandski – Der Golem

On May 10th and 16th the symphony-orchestra of Cottbus will perform Dmitri Kourlandski’s ‘Der Golem’ for soprano, piano and symphony orchestra. This work was commissioned for a project “Brandenburg double concertos” by Cottbus Staatstheater Orchestra and conductor Evan Alexis Christ. The proposed topic for the work was a dialogue between two countries – USA and Russia…   

Dmitri Kourliandski took the Golem legend as a kind of open question to the political games in general. The creature which turns into a fatal monster to its creator. The piece has an open form and the parts are done in open notation providing the musicians with a certain level of freedom. The material is highly reduced, so the freedom turns false. There is no conductor; however, the soloists, as well as some musicians of the orchestra, sometimes take the role of “local conductors”, initiating synchronized events.

Having in mind all these ideas of freedom and power Kourliandski prefers to avoid the direct connotations – the work is rather about posing the questions. Each answer is the Golem.

The text for the soprano part is written by Nastya Rodionova, a poet and political journalist, writing mostly about political prisoners and Russian opposition. In her text, she also imposes questions on political games and the “toys” the politicians play. But for both, Kourliadnski and Rodionova it is important to keep the distance, to abstract the topic, staying in the creative art field.

More info about the concert