Media opera ‘Letter of happiness’ by Dmitri Kourliandski

The idea of the opera came literally at the beginning of the isolation period – in the second half of March. We all regularly receive spam, in particular the so-called “Nigerian letters” (they describe the tragic fate of fictional rich people and propose to share the capital left by victims of accidents and fatal diseases)…   

In a situation where communication with the outside world is limited and communication is largely displaced into the Internet, it seemed interesting to Dmitri Kourliandski to imagine that these fictional characters and virtual reality is the only world with which interaction is possible. Virtually all of the opera’s material – both text and visual and musical – is obtained with the help of available online generators of random texts, melodies, rhythms and photographs of non-existent people (and cats). Generated texts are read out with standard computer voices. It is possible that the listener of this opera is the same non-existent, virtually generated character.

Some sounds are taken from online libraries, some are recorded by musicians – Vladimir Gorlinsky (guitar samples), Anton Svetlichny (synthesizer) and Alexei Kruglov (saxophone). In the programme, created in collaboration with Oleg Makarov, all this material undergoes fragmentation and deformation, also following the random principle. Nevertheless, Kourliandski sets a certain direction for this flow of chance, so he gets exactly the result that he needs in this or that act.

For five acts of opera, Kourliandski made the video himself. The second act presents the work of musician and multimedia artist Alexander Serechenko, also based on the principle of chance. The sixth act, the work of video artist Marina Chernikova, is inspired by the ideas of psychogeography, which has its own special relationship to chance.

The listener/viewer can even find some plot in the opera. Four non-existent characters (“the authors” of Nigerian messages) live in a non-existent Argleton (a real non-existent city). One day they receive a threatening letter from Anonymous Hacker. One of the characters knows the Hacker and tells his story. The characters hold an online conference where they decide how to deal with the Hacker. Once the problem is over, they gather at a local bar and recite poems. In the finale of the opera, it turns out that there is a love affair between the female characters.

Act I

Act II


Act IV & V

Act VI


Tomoko Mukaiyama (piano) and Reinier van Brummelen (video) perform Canto Ostinato on June 6th!

Together with Multus (Japan), the Tomoko Mukaiyama Foundation (TMF) is organizing a live streaming concert series from the Netherlands. Cross-disciplinary artist Tomoko Mukaiyama will play a piano concert and create a visual experience with cinematographer Reinier van Brummelen and his team performing Canto Ostinato by Simeon ten Holt…   

After the successful 1st edition of “A Live” from the (empty) hall of Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, Mukaiyama and Van Brummelen continue to explore the new platform of music, performance, moving image, fashion and design during the Corona period. They aim to create an environmental experience, to explore the vivid music in a colourful visual journey and to share it with art, music and fashion lovers all over the world.

Within the culture sector, they are looking for new ways to distribute art and creation. Thanks in part to the far-reaching technical possibilities they can produce this live stream and show Tomoko’s concerts to the world.

Still, they want to make it clear that there is also a team working on this production behind the scenes. Without them, this would never have been possible. They, therefore, ask our audience for a small contribution € 10 to watch the live stream. Payment is done via PayPal. Only together they can keep the live concerts up and running!

Date & Time: June 6th 15:00 (NL)

Music program: Canto Ostinato (1976) by Simeon ten Holt

Artistic team:
Concept Tomoko Mukaiyama, Reinier van Brummelen
Piano Tomoko Mukaiyama
Director Reinier van Brummelen
Design Tomoko Mukaiyama, Reinier van Brummelen LiveStreamed LUFTZUG
Sound Engineered Yuji Tsutsumida
Camera Floris van der Lee
Grip/Camera/Light Simon Ruesink, Roy van der Vlekkert, Erwin Roodhart, Reinier Zoutendijk

Tomoko Mukaiyama Foundation Multus (Tokyo) Singel Film Studios LUFTZUG LUX&CO

Special thanks to:
Fonds Podiumkunsten
Arts Council Tokyo
Chris Maene
Cam-a-lot audiovisual Equipment
Singel Film Studios

Streaming link and tickets

Donemus Records launched!

Donemus is very excited to have signed a contract with FUGA. This aggregator is one of the five worldwide ‘preferred plus’ partners of iTunes. FUGA provides flexible music distribution and marketing services, powered by our industry-leading technology. With their full suite of products and a team of music industry experts, they do a great job for many labels…   

Donemus Records Alive

For a long time, Donemus produced CDs at the Composers’ Voice Label. Recently, Donemus has been looking for ways to help composers and musicians increase their international visibility, and reach wider audiences worldwide. So now it will boost its label again under the name of ‘Donemus Records’, with more options for the near future. The new cooperation with FUGA is essential to bring this ambition to life. From now on, Donemus will be able to offer its composers not only publishing their sheet music but also releasing their recordings, helping them gain attention and worldwide promotion.

Fair Practice

This new cooperation offers composers and musicians new opportunities to release their recordings through Donemus. Donemus will take care of the mastering to achieve fine audio quality, will take care of the artwork, and of all the metadata. Donemus splits the revenues from FUGA to composers (25%), performers (50%), and keeps 25% for its own efforts. This might generate an additional income stream for composers. Because of this transparent approach, many composers and performers choose to join Donemus Records.

The FUGA Platform

Donemus will submit finalized recordings to FUGA. This company has built a complete content management system that sits at the heart of the digital business. Their platform streamlines the digital supply chain: upload and create releases, re-compile catalog, create audio/video bundles, deal with the complexities of classical repertoire, set tracks to pre-order, and timed release dates.

Their network goes beyond just the top streaming sites. They also deliver to a wide array of services, including niche online stores, rights collection agencies, royalty software and anti-piracy companies. Pressed for time? No problem: 90% of their deliveries arrive on the same day, and content can be set to go live within hours of delivery.

Well-equipped for Classical Music

FUGA’s interface has all the necessary features to accommodate the complexities of classical music. Just one track can contain all kinds of artists with different roles, like the composer, the orchestra, the conductor, soloist, text writer, etc. All contributors to a concert or recording can be accurately specified. In addition to the main metadata, some providers also offer the possibility to present biographies and performers’ photos. Donemus being closely connected to the majority of artists it cooperates with, it will present them on the digital platforms in the best way possible.

Donemus can enrich releases by submitting lyrics, booklets and even scores.

Music going Everywhere

During last weeks, when many composers and musicians stayed home, Donemus invited them to submit their content. More than 50 releases are already in the pipeline. All those recordings will be distributed to:

Apple Music
Fizy (Turkcell)
FLO Music
Google Play Music
iHeartRadio USA
iMusica (Claro Musica)
Kuack Media
Line Music
MTN MusicTime fka Simfy Africa
Napster (Rhapsody)
Naver Music/ Vibe
NetEase Cloud Music
Neurotic Media
Nuuday (TDC Play/YouSee Musik)
Tencent Music
Tidal (Aspiro)
TikTok Inc.
TIM Italia
United Media Agency
Yandex Music

More than 100 Releases

In the upcoming weeks we will keep you informed about the new developments. Composers who are about to be released at Donemus Records are, among others:

  • Dmitri Kourliandski
  • Hanna Kulenty
  • Joep Straesser
  • Kris Oelbrandt
  • Nubim Kim
  • Rick van Veldhuizen
  • Rieteke Hölscher
  • Roland Emile Kuit
  • Elmer Schönberger
  • Simeon ten Holt
  • Willem Boogman
  • Willem Mengelberg
    and many more to come!

Music for Empty Spaces – live ­stream from the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ

The concert halls are closed, yet these twelve corona compositions will soon premiere! All concerts taken off the agenda and still playing: during the live stream concert: Music for Empty Spaces’ twelve world premieres by twelve composers, played by twelve musicians, will be heard…   

A razor-sharp sound wave clears the silence in the main concert hall of the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ in Amsterdam as if a grindstone is placed in a pound of steel. Hammering follows. Radio 1 in the background. Maintenance can take place undisturbed now that the concert halls are closed.

“The acoustics are fantastic, even for such building sounds,” says composer Heather Pinkham. She is standing next to the stage on which one musician and one composer will take place during the live stream concert ‘Music for Empty Spaces’. Pinkham invited eleven Dutch colleagues whose styles are far apart. She linked them to as many instruments; accordion, cello, harp, electric guitar, and so on. The invitation was: would you like to write a four-minute piece in which you reflect on the present time?

“In order to keep working, I must have a purpose,” says Pinkham. “From one day to the next an empty agenda and no income, that’s disastrous, not least psychologically. If you make music, you want to play it.” With Music for Empty Spaces Pinkham initiates the performance of twelve world premieres in the middle of the toughest weather imaginable for the performing arts, in the eye of the hurricane.

Energy in the room

Mood states encased in nuts alternate in Pinkham’s own miniature ‘Days blur’: fear, anger, resignation. The work was written for Maya Fridman. The cellist not only plays, but also sings lyrics like ‘I am one of the lucky ones’ and ‘Tired of this new routine’.

When the halls are closed, streaming is the solution to reach an audience – if it weren’t for the fact that as a musician you make the performance together with your audience. The person on stage is fed by the energy in the hall. How do you take the listener who is following what you are doing from behind the laptop?

Maya Fridman: “Of course I miss the interaction enormously, the warmth, the facial expressions, but I try to imagine the audience as well as possible, I have imaginary listeners in my head. It’s much harder work when I’m streaming music, at a live concert you’re lifted up because you’re together”.

Emptiness and loneliness

Violinist Pieter van Loenen agrees with the latter. When the stage world came to a creaking standstill, questions came to him like: who am I, what does my profession mean if I can’t tell my musical story? “In recent years I have become even more aware of the physical aspect of having a violin in my hands, the resonance of those sounds, and how attached I am to them. The way I make music is coloured by the situation I am in. When you play in front of a camera, the emptiness speaks back. In the short piece Celia Swart composed for me, I experience that emptiness and loneliness in the thin melodies.

Van Loenen is in a good mood, the strength of Pinkham’s initiative inspires him. He wants to perform and share, even if he can’t do it live. For the first time in weeks he has studied with others again, a Beethoven Quartet. “Four musicians at a distance of one and a half meters from each other, but the music, there’s nothing better,” says Van Loenen. “The ears had become rusty and eager at the same time. You shouldn’t have spoken to me two months ago, then I saw it completely gloomy, everything cancelled, closed concert halls.

I can and I want to express myself in music, that certainty is becoming more and more important to me in these times and it gives me energy and self-confidence, even now that I can’t feel and see the listener for a moment”.

For Fridman, this time is a period of research. She tries to get to the core of what she is as a cellist, as a musician. Every day, behind her instrument, she wonders what she does, what sounds, what emotions she wants to convey. “I am more aware of my breathing, for example. I look for the flow I come into when I perform, a state that is naturally there when I give a concert. If I can understand what’s happening, I can evoke that situation whenever I want, even without a live audience.”


“That image, a musician on that large stage in an empty hall, is nothing less than poignant”, Jacob ter Veldhuis thinks. He initially put aside Pinkham’s invitation to write a piece, felt paralysed by the situation, although as a composer he is used to a monastic existence. It was only later that his fantasy came to fruition. Ter Veldhuis saw for himself how he could perform an earlier plan to incorporate the call of dying birds into a composition: Ilonka Kolthof’s piccolo would merge beautifully with the richness of colour of the songbirds.

“That miraculous bird song moves and inspires. The piece wrote itself directly and reflects the current era. It is not only characterised by this pandemic, but also by a global environmental crisis. Farewell Feathered Friends’ is a statement in which I express my concern about global warming. That’s how I usually compose, involved in the world I live in.”

In difficult times, twelve musicians and twelve composers are exploring the road to a better future. Heather Pinkham: “The fact that all these people have pledged their cooperation is fantastic. By creating something together, we can make our voice heard and draw attention to the beauty and urgency of contemporary music. You can’t get us under it.”

Works by:

Anthony Fiumara – Zone Blanche for accordion and soundtrack
Celia Swart – oneness for violin
Joey Roukens – Roaming Empty Streets for piano
Bianca Bongers – Come wide close for saxophone
Jacob ter Veldhuis – Farewell Feathered Friends for piccolo with soundtrack
Monique Krüs – No one is an island for baritone with soundtrack
Chiel Meijering – Happy Hours for bass clarinet with soundtrack
Karmit Fadaël – Double for kalimba with soundtrack
Matthias Kadar – Chatouille! for flute
Aspasia Nasopoulou – Τύρβη (Tyrvi) for electric guitar
Piet-Jan van Rossum – apple on the sideboard for harp
Heather Pinkham – Days Blur for cello/vocals with soundtrack

(Text by Frederike Bernsten)

More info

MONUMENTUM – Roland Emile Kuit

On May 21 at 0.00h Roland Kuit gives the world premiere on YouTube of his MONUMENTUM, In memory of all the victims who died as a result of epidemics worldwide…   

For Roland Kuit, the starting point was to create sounds to the 40 largest pandemics in history using the Kyma system, a super computer for the creation of, among other things, all kinds of synthesis forms. Roland Kuit developed a new model for each pandemony that forms a viral network.

This 4.2 hour work should be sent out to 4 sound pillars that distribute the microtonal frequencies quadraphonically, creating a spatial movement. Tomorrow morning at 00:00 a YouTube premiere (stereo) of this sound art.

Research, imagination and association in a technical way made Roland Kuit write his books about combining synthesis techniques. Lecturing at diverse universities and creating radio programs about electronic music giving him a platform to discuss his conceptual worlds.

He performs on concert stages and in art galleries and museums. His books and music are published by Donemus, Publishing House of Dutch Contemporary Classical Music.

More about Roland Kuit

Meeting Point – Calliope Tsoupaki

Calliope Tsoupaki composed Meeting Point as a poetic statement in this era of social distancing. By doing so she wants to express that the distance that now arises between us can be bridged by music and love. In order to give her message extra eloquence, she has made a video clip of her new work, with the director Michael Middelkoop and the dancer/choreographer Shay Latukolan…   

Calliope Tsoupaki plays her own composition on a grand piano in a deserted location between tall buildings. The dancer Shay Latukolan passes her, forced by the corona crisis, from a distance. A wordless bond develops between the passers-by.

“I composed Meeting Point caught in the Corona crisis months of social distancing and isolation. The protective measures are becoming less austere. We dare to face each other again and hope that we will catch up with our lives soon. After all there is no distance between us when it comes to music, when it comes to love.” Calliope Tsoupaki, Componist des Vaderlands.

Director Michael Middelkoop invited dancer and choreographer Shay Latukolan to give a free interpretation of a deserted location. The film is a HEAT production, commissioned by Buma and CISAC. Special thanks to Maene-Ypma pianos. The score of Meeting Point can be downloaded for free from This was made possible with the help of Donemus.


Composer & Artist: Calliope Tsoupaki
Director: Michael Middelkoop
Production: HEAT and LUSTR
Dancer: Shay Latukolan
Producer: Luc de Kock
Production Assistance: Merle Keller
Audio engineer: Tom Gelissen
Director of Photography: Zeeger Verschuren
1st Assistant Camera: Maric Dam
Steady Cam: Jasper van Gheluwe
Editing: Maarten Ernest
Grading: Ruben Labree

Link to the free score

Virtual concert European Union to Mongolia presents Canto Ostinato

On May 16th, the delegation of the European Union to Mongolia marks Europe Day and the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration with a variety of activities. In a virtual concert, a fragment of Simeon ten Holt – Canto Ostinato was presented to an online audience…   

Virtual Classical Music Concert has been streamed live on our YouTube channel on 16 May 18:00 with a video message from the EU Ambassador and the Foreign Minister of Mongolia. The Concert plays famous musical pieces from European Union Member States as well as the anthem of the European Union and Mongolia. The concert will be also screened on the Mongolian UBS TV channel.

More about the Europe Day 2020 in Mongolia

Support the Foundation Donemus

Behind the scenes of many beautiful concerts is the work of music publisher Donemus, with a catalogue of 15,000 scores by 600 composers. Donemus is an indispensable link between composers and performers and thus the audience, in more than 80 countries…   

[Dutch:] Achter de schermen van veel prachtige concerten gaat het werk schuil van muziekuitgeverij Donemus. De catalogus telt 15.000 partituren van 600 Nederlandse componisten, waarvoor uitgavecontracten met componisten en erven zijn geregelden waarvoor kwalitatief hoogwaardige partituren worden gemaakt door specialisten. Nieuw en bestaand repertoire brengt Donemus dagelijks onder de aandacht in binnen- en buitenland.

Alle muzikale parels vinden hun weg naar de lessenaars van musici, ensembles, orkesten en dirigenten. Donemus is een onmisbare schakel tussen Nederlandse componisten en uitvoerenden en daarmee het publiek in meer dan 80 landen.

Het Covid19-virus heeft wereldwijd geleid tot een kaalslag in de uitvoeringspraktijk. En daarmee wordt ook Donemus hard getroffen. Wat als al die muziekwerken straks niet meer beschikbaar zijn? Eenvoudigweg omdat niemand meer op de rechten let en niemand ze aan de man brengt. Alsof je een Kandinsky op een onvindbare plaats in een duister depot hangt.

Zonder Donemus een groot verlies aan orkest-, kamer- en koormuziek. Een verlies aan opera’s en balletmuziek. En een zwijgend gat in ons muzikale erfgoed. Donemus wil klaar staan om straks, als er weer meer ruimte komt, al die bijzondere werken nog steeds beschikbaar te hebben. Die prachtige composities verdienen het om blijvend te worden gehoord. Ook in de toekomst.

Zie Voordekunst

Jan Rokus van Roosendael (1960-2005) again in the spotlight

On 6 May 2020 it will be sixty years since Jan Rokus van Roosendael, one of the leading Dutch composers of his generation, was born. He left behind a very versatile oeuvre that is still important, especially right now. His interest in bringing together world music and modern classical music fits in seamlessly with trends in our contemporary pluriform society. On the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, there is now a YouTube channel in which his music, which still amply deserves a place in contemporary concert programs, is once again in the limelight…   

Each phase of Van Roosendael’s career produces other interesting music. In his early works, such as Facetten (1981) and Chamber Music (1982), he is still searching for his way and tries to give his great examples, including Igor Strawinsky, a place, without losing his voice.

From the late eighties onwards he searched for other sources and eventually ended up with non-Western cultures. Especially the cyclical form and rhythmic principles from countries like India and Indonesia made a great impression on him. In that phase, he created his musical universe in which modal elements and musical concepts from other cultures found a place. This resulted in works such as Tala (1987) and Windows (1996).

In his compositions after 1996, he was inspired by Western European vocal polyphony and church music from before 1600. Also in his instrumental music from this period, religious sensitivity is evident.

Van Roosendael’s complete oeuvre can be heard as his life course. My music is the philosophy of life’, he once said. 

A YouTube channel Jan Rokus van Roosendael will be launched on his birthday. It will be supplemented in this year of remembrance.

 The double CD Static Motion (Attacca, 2008) with an overview of the composer’s most important works is available via the website

Photo Marco Borggreve

Works of Jan Rokus van Roosendael at Donemus