Luc Brewaeys – Whisky Tour

In November 2019 the glass will be raised to the internationally respected Flemish composer Luc Brewaeys. He died far too early in 2015. Brewaeys dreamed about a trip to Scotland to visit the distilleries of his favorite whiskeys, after which he also named some of his works.
Together with Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, I SOLISTI, HERMESensemble, ChampdAction and the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, deSingle presents the Brewaeys whiskey works in one concert week. An ode to one of the greatest Flemish composers…   

In Luc Brewaeysutterly beguiling Fifth Symphony ‘Laphroaig’, electronica and a large orchestra (more than 10 percussionists and an additional orchestra on the balcony!) go hand in hand. Annelies Van Parys follows in her master’s footsteps with her First Symphony. Two works by Debussy are added to these home-grown gems: the groundbreaking ‘Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun’ and the swirling ‘Rhapsody’ featuring Nele Delafonteyne, the orchestra’s solo clarinettist, in a starring role. Get ready for an irresistible orgy of sound!

The creation of ‘Talisker’ in the gigantic hall of the Central Station was a memorable and spectacular opener for Antwerp 93, Cultural Capital. The extremely long reverberation time in the station concourse (no fewer than seven seconds) inspired Luc Brewaeys to create a monumental work spread over the whole building. An orchestra of clarinettists and percussionists entered into dialogue with five wind and two percussion soloists, culminating in a moving march… Many passengers let their trains leave without them in order to experience this overwhelming concert to the end. On the initiative of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, this feast of sound is being reprised in the run-up to the concert with the performance of ‘Laphroaig’ the same afternoon in the Queen Elisabeth Hall. ‘Talisker’ is offered to you free of charge!

More info about all concerts

Luc Brewaeys at Donemus

Simon Knighton starts PhD in Manchester

Utilising his past experiences of music technology (his undergraduate degree) and contemporary composition (his Masters), Simon has recently begun a PhD at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. His research will investigate the area of acoustic instrumentation plus electronics and will tackle the issue of the perceived ‘coherence’ between acoustic and electronic sound sources…   

Simon Knighton aims to use existing knowledge of acoustic and psychoacoustic phenomena to blur the boundaries between what is perceived as ‘acoustic’ and ‘electronic’ sound. This will involve modifying acoustic instrumentation to appear ‘electronic’ as well as developing electronics that appear to be of an ‘acoustic’ nature. This will effectively create a spectrum of sound (from purely acoustic to purely synthesised) which can be manipulated and played with creatively. The resulting ambiguity will then become the space in which the composition is realised, giving rise for opportunities to create a sense of unreality and illusion in the mind of the listener.

He aims to make contemporary music that pushes sound design forward whilst maintaining the integrity and qualities inherent in concert music. This will open up innovative, creative avenues for the use of electronics from conceptual, aesthetic, theatrical and compositional viewpoints. This research very much looks to be of value to the wider musical community – composers, producers, sound engineers should all benefit from the ideas, techniques and methods that are developed.

Some of his recent works:

Douwe Eisenga – US premiere of ‘The Flood’

On November 8th the orchestra and choir of the Cornell University College will give the US Premiere of ‘The Flood, Requiem’. The work memorizes the victims of the flood in 1953 in Zeeland a Dutch province…   

The Dutch composer Douwe Eisenga combines in his immediately convincing The Flood, Requiem the Latin tradition with modern texts and recognizable, sometimes medieval musical forms. A wealth of effective contrasts and relief in this music reminds sometimes to Verdi, the frenetic rhythmic choire-pieces refer to the Carmina Burana. According to the Dutch press The Flood is an impressive requiem.

The Flood, Requiem, a composition for alt, choir and orchestra, was written in 2001/2002 and premiered in 2003 as Requiem 1953 at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the North Sea flood of 1953. The piece memorizes the victims of this inundation in the southwest of Holland, where 1845 people drowned in the flood. The texts are taken from the Latin Mass for the death, Sea-elegy of Vasili Zjoekovski, poems of Hieronymus Savonarola and from The Flood – Zeeland 1953 of the Canadian rescuer Christopher Levenson. The texts are in Latin, English and Spanish.

Press quotes
“Strong, eclectic work”  BN De Stem – Hans Roozenboom

“This composition, under the guidance of maestro Marcel Verhoeff, testified of an unprecedented mysticism. Verhoeff conducts as Leonard Bernstein and is able to lead orchestra and choir to unprecedented altitude. The Flood of composer Douwe Eisenga can now already be labelled as one of the greatest compositions of this time. The combination of Eisenga and Verhoeff is unique. We will hear more of this duo, in Vienna, New York, London? We seldom heard such a balance, soundcolor and musical depth” – Radio Rumania 

The Flood at the Donemus catalogue

Douwe Eisenga at Donemus


Shalygin, Retinsky and Lunyov at ‘Mariologia’

On November 5th, the Ukrainian vocal ensemble ‘Alter Ratio’ will perform Shalygin, Retinsky and Lunyov in Vienna – Votivkirche…   

The project presented by Ukrainian vocal ensemble Alter Ratio is named “Mariologia”. In Christian tradition Mariologia is the science about God’s mother. But in this case it is an anthology of works written on Latin medieval texts, dedicated to God’s mother: ‘Alma redemptoris Mater’, ‘Ave Regina caelorum’, ‘Regina caeli’ and ‘Salve Regina’, known as ‘B.V.M. Antifone’.

This music was written by modern Ukrainian composers: Svyatoslav Lunyov, Maksym Kolomiiets, Alexey Retinsky and Maxim Shalygin. The works are composed for vocal ensemble of 12 soloists and divers music instruments (harp, vibraphone, timbal and tamtam).

More info about the concert

Read more about:
Svyatoslav Lunyov
Alexey Retinsky
Maxim Shalygin


Alexey Retinsky – Norma, theater play

On November 6  there will be a world premiere in Moscow of the theater performance ‘Norma’ with music by Alexey Retinsky. It is based on the first novel by Vladimir Sorokin ‘Norma’…   

Maxim Didenko, director: ‘This text is like a drill that takes out the metaphysical basis of Russian consciousness. On the one hand, the concept of the norm is static, but at the same time the current one: the norm is constantly changing, time is flowing, life is going on, we are changing and we don’t notice how the norm becomes that it was impossible to imagine some time ago. Russian people sometimes get used to radical and terrifying things, and I want to explore it. This text is like a rebus that I want to solve.’

The production will be a synthesis of music, dance, performance and digital arts.

Norma‘ is a joint project of the Theater on Malaya Bronnaya and Brusnikin’s Workshop. The performance will take place on the stage of the Yauza Palace, and will enter the permanent repertoire of the Theater on Malaya Bronnaya.

More info

More about Alexey Retinsky

Frédéric Devreese – Lifetime Achievement Award

Frédéric Devreese, the father of Belgian film music, is honoured with a musical portrait, following his 90th birthday. He will be guest of honour at the 46th Film Fest Gent…   

On October 19th, during the World Soundtrack Awards Gala & Concert in Gent, the Brussel Philharmonic with maestro Dirk Brossé will perform some of de film music of Frédéric Devreese.

Devreese will receive the World Soundtrack Lifetime Achievement Award together with Krzysztof Penderecki. 

Frédéric Devreese wrote many memorable film scores. He wrote essentially for André Delvaux, ‘Un Soir, un Train’, ‘Benvenuta‘, ‘Rendez-vous à Bray’ and for Marion Hänsel ‘Noces Barbares’ and ‘Il Maestro’. His film music exerted a major influence on his other works.

More info

Frédéric Devreese at Donemus

Groot Omroepkoor performs Daan Manneke

In November 2019, the composer, conductor and teacher Daan Manneke will turn 80. On October 5th the Groot Omroepkoor will perform several works of Manneke and give the world premiere of ‘Geistliche Dämmerung’…

Daan Manneke can be called the champion of professional choirs and amateur companies, of chamber music ensembles and orchestras, of opera singers and conductors. All the more reason to put this musical centipede in the spotlight. In his music, you hear the reverberation of especially the Renaissance and the Baroque, but if there is something that resonates everywhere, then it is the pure human singing voice as a starting point.

On October 5th Manneke is the sun around which other composers will be performed. The best compliment he ever received in a review: “Daan Manneke is the Sweelinck of our time.”

Huib Ramaer will give a presentation before the concert., at 19.30h.

More info about the concert

Other concerts on Daan80

Support new CD by Maxim Shalygin

The “Todos los fuegos el fuego” project was initiated by two Dutch saxophone quartets – Amstel Quartet & Keuris Quartet and composer Maxim Shalygin. Never before have two saxophone quartets collaborated on a piece of such difficulty and length (75 min.) with the usage of the saxophones from the soprano down to the bass saxophone. With this project, creators want to expand the possibilities of saxophone performance and contribute to the creation of an international saxophone repertoire…   

After two years of hard work, from the beginning of the project to its premiere, they ask for your support in creating a high quality CD of this exceptional piece.

The “Todos los fuegos el fuego” is a unique musical work: a musical cycle that immerses the listener for one hour in a mystical act, sparking the imagination and opening up unknown emotional conditions. The piece was inspired by “Todos los fuegos el fuego”, arguably the most enigmatic book by the great Cortázar. All the short stories in this collection share an entrance into a parallel, magic reality, sometimes near to ours, sometimes strikingly different from it. Suite’s overall structure consists of eight parts, performed by eight saxophone players — as many as there are stories in the book. The saxophone is chosen for a reason, since, for all his knowledge and passion for music, jazz claimed the most of Cortázar’s attention. Jazz, and accordingly the sound of the saxophone, was his muse and a constant presence in many of his most well-known fiction.

Why donate?

The production of a CD is a milestone in the creative career of every ensemble and composer. They are sure this recording will be impressive for the audience, and inspiring for saxophonists around the world. Your financial support will be used to pay for the rent of the recording space, the work of musicians and the work of the recording company.

More info