Roland Kuit

General
From his childhood, Roland Kuit has always been fascinated by the phenomenon of sound. Surrounded with instruments like a grand piano, violins, double bass, trombone and guitars, he started to experiment with these sounds and the tape recorder. He was 6 years old at that time. This early playground formed a conceptual brain scheme for the rest of his life: sound-experiment, experiment-sound.

Education
At early age he started to play the flute and was accepted at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague continuing his sound research in extended flute techniques. Here he met the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luigi Nono, Berio, Dick Raaijmakers and other composers in electronic music. Experiencing limitations in acoustic music, Roland bought his first synthesizer. The ARP 2600.

At that moment Roland made a decisive step in his career by subscribing at the prestigious Institute of Sonology in the Netherlands, one of longest-running research and production hubs on the European electroacoustic music scene. It was at the end of formalism, serial music and new ways in sound creation and composition had to be explored. Under the influence of director Gottfried Michael Koenig this post-formal framework was opened for experiment. Roland studied analogue and digital sound science. Synthesis- and studio techniques next to composition.

Compositions
At the IRCAM in Paris, Roland experienced new ways in acoustic composition and research of physical modeling in spectral music. Earlier he had accomplished a virtual string quartet with use of analogue synthesis. Analogue synthesized sounds have something alive in the sound due behavior of the apparatus. Sounds created by digital means seemed to be a kind of static so Roland used his knowledge to apply his techniques in the digital realm. His morphing between different techniques and shaping of algorithms became Roland’s signature. His output spans composition through sound art, sound-architectural installations, collaboration with experimental artists, designers and scientists, acousmatic performance and live electroacoustic improvisation.

Career
Research, imagination and association in a technical way made him 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.

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Vladimir Rannev

Artist Statement
Music composing is for me an absolutely reflexive activity. It is the sound representation of my personal resonance with the surrounding social environment, memory of culture and experience of introspection. The formation of my compositional technique has been influenced by classical music education, years of playing in a rock band and projects with contemporary artists. Now I see no contradiction between these “schools”, on the contrary, this crossover experience has made me free from the domination of one of them. Rock-n-roll and visual art scene has helped me in more reactive attitude to life and academic education – in creativity in form, structural thinking and sound searching (extended instrumental and vocal techniques).

General
Vladimir Rannev was born in Moscow, USSR, 1970, and has been living since 1998 in Saint-Petersburg (Russia).

Education
In 2003, he graduated from the composition department of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied with Professor Boris Tishchenko. From 2003 to 2005, he studied electronic music at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne with Professor Hans Ulrich Humpert.

Compositions
Rannev writes acoustic and electroacoustic music, which has been performed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the UK, Finland, Japan and the USA by various ensembles, including the Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Conservatory Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra, eNsemble, Studio of New Music, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, vocal ensemble N’Caged (Russia), ensemble Nostri Temporis (Ukrain), Orkest de Volharding, Amstel Quartet (The Netherlands), ensembles Mosaik, Les Eclats du Son, Integrales, LUX:NM, Clair-obscur, El Perro Andaluz, choirs Singakademie Oberhausen and Cuntus Domus (Germany), Ums’Jip, KontraTrio, Ensemble Phönix Basel, Ensemble Proton Bern (Switzerland), ensemble NAMES (Austria).

Career
Rannev works also in theatre, where he took part in numerous staging projects in several theaters, such as Alexandrinski Theatre (St. Petersburg) and the Theatre Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin). Rannev works also as a lecturer at the St. Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and the St. Petersburg State University. He is a member of the StRes (Structure Resistance) group of composers (Russia).

Awards
Rannev is a recipient of a Gartow Stiftung scholarship (Germany, 2002), the winner of the Salvatore Martirano Award of the University Illinois (USA, 2009), Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award (Switzerland, 2010). His opera ‘Two acts’ to a libretto by Dmitri A. Prigov was premiered in the Hermitage Museum in November 2012 (with Ensemble Mosaik and conductor Enno Poppe) and took the Grand-Prix of Sergey Kouryohin Prize 2013. The opera ‘Drillalians’ was nominated for the National Theatre Golden Mask Prix 2016.

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Theo Loevendie

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

Education
He studied composition and clarinet at the Amsterdam Conservatory.

Career
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.

Compositions
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.

Awards
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

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

Education
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.

Career
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.

Compositions
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).

Awards
– 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.

Michael Fine

Education
Michael has a degree in English Literature from the State University of New York. Despite having no formal music education, he has an active international career in several aspects of the music business.

Career
Michael Fine is widely acknowledged as one of the top classical recording producers in the world.

In addition to recording production, Fine is active in artistic planning including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France where he is currently serving as Interim Artistic Director and with the Seoul Philharmonic.

Formerly Vice President of Artists & Repertoire at Deutsche Grammophon, he was the first American to hold the post of Artistic Director of the hundred year old label. In this capacity, Fine produced the label’s top selling releases for 1997, 1998 and 1999, among them A Hymn for the World and Voices from Heaven with Cecilia Bartoli, Andrea Bocelli, Bryn Terfel & Myung-Whun Chung, and Anne-Sophie Mutter’s recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Responsible for overseeing the recording activity of the prestigious label, Fine produced many recordings with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Myung-Whun Chung, among others.

Fine also has given lectures, talks, and seminars about the music and recording business – from the Juilliard School and Hamburg Hochschule fur Musik, to the keynote address at the International Organisation of Music Competitions.

He is also a sought-after panelist for music industry congresses, including most recently IAMA (International Association of Music Administrators) and ABO (Association of British Orchestras).

Prior to joining DGG in 1997, he was Vice President & General Manager of KOCH International Classics, a label he launched in 1990 with the critically acclaimed world premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles. The international best seller won a GRAMMY Award and appeared on BILLBOARD’s crossover chart. Under Fine’s direction the label quickly developed a reputation as one of the most innovative in the world: as Fanfare Magazine put it: “the most consistently interesting label.”

Despite his busy schedule in Rotterdam and Seoul , Fine continues to produce recordings, and was recently again a Grammy nominee for Classical Producer of the Year. Recordings he has produced appear on labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, SONY, Virgin Classics, EMI, BMG Classics, and Naxos, and have won virtually every major award in the recording industry, including numerous Grammys, Edison Prize, Deutsche Schallplatten (now known as the ECHO award), Grammophone Award, Diapason d’Or, and Australian Music Award among others.

In the past few years, Fine has produced many recordings with renowned artists and ensembles Myung Whun Chung, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, Eliahu Inbal, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Emmanuel Pahud, Renaud Capucon, Gautier Capucon, Sumi Jo, Nicholas Angelich, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, and the Quator Ebene among many others.

Compositions
Recently, Michael began composing as well. The inspirations from his musical memories, his surroundings, and from everyday life, led to his first composition – Quartet Moments.

Fine’s output in the short time he has been composing already includes several orchestra scores and chamber music for several instruments.

Awards
GRAMMY Award winning Classical Producer of the Year (1992)

Also, he has multiple Platinum and Gold records to his credit, and has additionally been awarded prizes for his work for the Advancement of Women in Music, and was named Best Recording Producer by Classical Insites Global Classical Music Poll.

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Patrick van Deurzen

Education
Patrick van Deurzen (1964) studied Classical Guitar from 1983-1989 with Dick Hoogeveen and Music Theory from 1987-1991 with Peter-Jan Wagemans and Jan Kleinbussink and Instrumentation from 1983-1987 with Klaas de Vries at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music. Although he composed from an early age, van Deurzen considers his works from 2001 as his official output.

Career
Patrick van Deurzen was active as guitarist, conductor, singer and wrote several articles on 20th century music. At this moment, he devotes his time to composition and teaches Music Theory, Instrumentation and Arranging at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague and the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music and has some private composition students.

Compositions
– Wrote for the Aicart festival ‘Cantigas d’amor’ for tenor and piano (Performed in- and during Porto/Rotterdam cultural capital 2001).
– The Netherlands National Youth Choir performed ‘Eight Scenes from Alice’ during the World Choir Symposium in Japan 2005.
– The Schoenberg ensemble performed in 2006 ‘Six: a line is a dot that went for a walk‘.
– The DoelenKwartet performed in 2009 van Deurzen’s first stringquartet ‘Seven‘.
– The Latvian Radio Choir performed his ‘If I were God‘ for Choir, soloists, viola and cello a the fifth choir biennale in Haarlem 2009.
– 2010 – 11 a music-theatre piece ‘Turris Babel‘ for five female singers, stones, sticks and water is premiered by Wishful Singing at the Noorderkerk Amsterdam and toured through the Netherlands and Germany.
– In 2011 his works for solo clarinet and Bass clarinet were released on the double CD – Doubles, performed by the Spanish clarinetist Xocas Meijde.
– His orchestra-work ‘Tornado‘ (2011) was performed eight times with success in different Brazilian theaters; a.o. the Teatro National in Rio de Jainero and the MASP in Sao Paulo. Two years later the Novosibirsk Chamber Orchestra gave the Siberian premiere of ‘Tornado‘.
– In 2012 – 13 a 33 min. new work, ‘De Brief’, for Soprano & Theorbo was performed on sevral historic locations in The Netherlands by Leonore Engelbrecht and Elly van Munster. Van Deurzen wrote in 2013 also his first video-opera that was broadcasted on Dutch Television.
– New works for Marcel Worms (piano), Maarten van Veen (piano) and the New Morse Code (New York based cello/percussion duo) were premiered in 2014.

Awards
Won in 2002 the 2nd international competition for Choir-music in Belgium with ‘Deux poémes de Baudelaire’ for choir a-cappella (performed by the Flemish Radio Choir).

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Carlos Micháns

General
I am a Dutch composer born, raised and educated in Argentina”, is Carlos Micháns’ favourite answer when asked about his nationality. Born in Buenos Aires in 1950 into a family with roots in England, Scotland, Flanders, Cataluña, the French Basque provinces and even the USA, he moved to the Netherlands in 1982, later becoming a Dutch citizen.

Education
In his native Argentina he studied piano, organ and later composition with Susana Oliveto and Roberto García Morillo, one of the country’s leading composers. He also graduated in conducting at the University of Buenos Aires and the Art Institute of the Teatro Colón, South America’s major opera house.

Awards
In 1982, he was awarded a scholarship from the Dutch Ministry of Culture and Science, which enabled him to do postgraduate studies in composition and electronic music with Hans Kox, Tristan Keuris and Ton Bruynèl at the conservatory of Utrecht, where he obtained the Composition Prize in 1988. A new grant from the Ministry of Culture allowed him to continue his training in electronic music for a year.

Other awards:
1977 – 1st Prize “Promociones Musicales” (Argentina), for ‘Tema, Toccata & Fuga for organ
1990 – 1st Prize of the city of Gerona (Spanje), for ‘Apparitions‘ for piano
1993 – “Trinac” (Tribuna Nacional de Compositores, Argentina), for ‘String Quartet Nr. 2
1996 – “Trimarg” (Tribuna Musical Argentina), for ‘Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 2
2000 – “Trinac”, for ‘Après Minuit‘ for ensemble
2006 – “Trinac”, for ‘Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 4
2008 – “Toonzetters”: selected among the ten best Dutch compositions of 2007, for ‘Concerto for Harp and Orchestra
2010 – “Salvatore Martirano Award” (Honorable Mention) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for ‘Trois Visions Tantriques‘ for harp and saxophone quartet
2010 – “C4-Commissioning Competition” (New Your, USA), for ‘Ave Maria – Pater Noster‘ for mixed choir a cappella.

Career
In Buenos Aires he was active as a composer, music teacher and choir conductor.

Between 1995 and 2012, Carlos Micháns was in charge of “Podium Neerlandés”, a programme of Radio Nederland aimed at introducing Dutch concert life to Spanish speaking audiences around the world, mainly in Latin America.

Micháns is also active in the field of literature. He has written and published several works in Dutch, Spanish and English, which include novels, poetry, short stories and essays on history and art.

Since 1986, and thanks to financial support from Dutch and foreign funds, the Gaudeamus Foundation, music institutions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Micháns has organized several international concert tours aimed at promoting Dutch musicians and contemporary music abroad.

He has also been invited to lecture on his music by universities and institutes for higher education in India, Indonesia, North, South and Central America (Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panamá) and Poland.

Also, along with concert tours he organized tournament for gambling on the playground online casino Cop17.

Compositions
Micháns’ extensive catalogue includes works in almost every genre, among which five ‘sinfonie concertante’ for soloists and orchestra, two symphonic overtures, several compositions for choir and orchestra, a harp concerto, a saxophone concerto, quartets and quintets for a variety of combinations (strings, saxophones, clarinets and mixed ensembles), countless solo pieces and for small and large chamber groups.

Most of them are commissioned by the Dutch Fund for Performing Arts for distinguished Dutch and international soloists and ensembles, such as Ronald Brautigam, Isabelle van Keulen, Liza and Dmitry Ferschtman, Arno Bornkamp, Lavinia Meijer, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Chamber Orchestra, Holland Symfonia and many others. They are published in Hilversum (Holland) by Donemus.

Micháns about modernity in his work: “Modernity is in the ears of the listeners, and their concept of it will vary, develop and change according to their experience and ability to understand what they hear. As for my own music, I do believe it to be contemporary and to reflect some aspects of our time more strongly than others, our time meaning not just this very instant but the last few decades and even further. After all, we haven’t spent more than a thousand years creating and developing techniques, inventing and perfecting instruments in order to stick to the latest ones and discard the rest as obsolete.

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Nimrod Borenstein

General
With five world premieres, scores of performances and multiple recordings of his music – and all of this just in the second half of 2016 – British-French-Israeli composer Nimrod Borenstein is much in demand. Leading artists and orchestras who champion his work include Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Roberto Prosseda, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, the Oxford Philharmonic and many others. 2017 promises to be a banner year with the release on the Chandos label of a major album conducted by Ashkenazy, entirely devoted to Borenstein’s music.

Education
The son of a renowned artist, Nimrod’s first musical experience came as a child on holiday in France, when on a family walk through a forest they came across an outdoors concert. “I just stopped and refused to move until the concert was finished two hours later. And I told my parents then and there that I wanted to learn violin and be a musician.” recalls Borenstein. A love affair with music started, with the young Borenstein challenging himself by listening to classical works on the radio, then turning the sound down halfway through and himself scoring the way he felt the next 30 seconds would continue (he was often more or less correct)! Aged eight he developed a twelve-tone system. “I was very pleased with myself, until someone told me that someone called Schoenberg had got there first,” laughs Borenstein.

In 1984, he won the competition of the Cziffra Foundation and became one of its Laureats. He moved to London in 1986, to pursue his studies as a violinist with Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music. He was then awarded the highest scholarship from the Leverhulme Trust to study composition at the Royal Academy of Music (where he is now an Associate).

Compositions
Every composer needs artists to perform their music. One of the most important for Borenstein has been Vladimir Ashkenazy, who took an interest early on. A first opportunity to work together arose when Ashkenazy conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra for a performance of The Big Bang and Creation of the Universe to great acclaim. This was quickly followed by a Philharmonia premiere, again with Ashkenazy, If you will it, it is no dream. The collaboration has continued, culminating in 2017 with the new recording.

Borenstein’s music continues to rise in popularity, with his ‘Suspended opus 69‘ in particular proving a success with more than 100 performances (from the Edinburgh International Festival to the Taipei Arts Festival) since its premiere in January 2015 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The music was commissioned especially by Sean Gandini and Gandini Juggling for their ballet for jugglers and dancers 4 x 4 Ephemeral Architectures. A huge international success, the piece continues to tour the world.

A full-orchestra recording of Suspended opus 69 launched the Berlin-based Solaire label. Among the excellent reviews, The Arts Desk wrote, “Borenstein’s transparent, athletic string writing is stunningly realised…glorious, singing lines…Borenstein’s sense of fun is infectious.”

Borenstein has shown particular focus in recent years on concertos. His ‘Violin Concerto’ was premiered by Sitkovetsky in 2014, the year after his ‘Cello Concerto’. His ‘Saxophone Concerto’, commissioned for saxophonist Michel Supera, was premiered in 2016 by the Orchestre de la Garde républicaine conducted by François Boulanger. The same year saw his ‘Concerto for Trumpet, Piano and String Orchestra’, with the English Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Woods, with Simon Desbruslais and Clare Hammond as soloists. A guitar concerto for Costanza Savarese has been completed and Borenstein is writing on a second cello concerto, for the cellist Corinne Morris.

An ongoing “Songs Without Words” project recently launched with Robert Prosseda playing Borenstein’s The Dream in Athens. Future plans include recordings – as well as the Ashkenazy / Chandos disc – of the ‘Concerto for Trumpet, Piano and String Orchestra’ (Signum), of the ‘Cello Concerto No. 2’, piano works played by Nadav Hertzka (Skarbo) and more.

A very talented composer.” Vladimir Ashkenazy, pianist and conductor

Picture: Nataliya Gorbovskaya, 2017

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Hans Koolmees

General
Hans Koolmees was born on the 27th of October 1959 in Abcoude, Holland.

Education
At the conservatory of Rotterdam, Koolmees studied composition with Klaas de Vries, organ with Jet Dubbeldam, arranging and conducting with Bernard van Beurden, and electronic music with Gilius van Bergeijk.

Career
Koolmees is of the Rotterdam School of composition. “The composition department here is strongly influenced by Klaas de Vries and Peter-Jan Wagemans, for whom intuition is the guiding thread in composition.

He works as a composer, as a teacher in composition and instrumentation, and as an organist.

Between 2003 and 2008, Hans was the artistic director of the DoelenEnsemble. In 2009 and 2010 he was artist-in-residence in the Van Doesburghuis in Meudon, near Paris.

Compositions
Koolmees tries to strike a balance between detachment and sentiment – something he admires in the music of Igor Stravinsky – and leaves room in his work for irony, for the grotesque and the over the top. Regarding the content of his music, he says: “Ultimately, the sole subject of music is time – not human misery or some such thing. The passage of time, all human misery lies concealed in it.

His compositions have been performed by Oliver Knussen, Jurjen Hempel, Daniel Reuss, Ellen Corver, Lucas Vis, The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra, The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Ballet Orchestra, Cappella Amsterdam, Brisk, the Schönberg Ensemble, the DoelenEnsemble and Calefax reed quintet.

Theater Lantaren/Venster organized a four-day festival of Koolmees’ music in 1999. Along with earlier pieces came the premieres of three new works, including ‘De Toren van Babel’ [The Tower of Babel, 1998].

In 2005, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra performed ‘As Time goes by‘ (2004), a symphonic scherzo which takes as its motto a short poem by Jules Deelder: “Alles blijft/ Alles gaat voorbij/ Alles blijft voorbijgaan” [Everything continues/ Everything passes by/ Everything continues passing by]. Koolmees says of the piece: “My initial idea was that I wanted to make the passage of time palpable, which the poem does with great concision. There is linear time, in which things develop, and there is circular time, which is based on repetition. I attempt to unite the two in this piece.

On 16 April 2009, the first performance of Koolmees’ opera ‘De Waterman‘ took place in Dordrecht.

Awards
His composition ‘Cantate’ for large orchestra was awarded the first prize of the composer’s composition organized by The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra on the occasion of its ninetieth anniversary in 1994.

 

UNDULATING MOTION BETWEEN INTUITION AND SELF-CONTROL

Man with woman walked through meadow, said: so neatly mowed this land is.

Woman however, contrariwise, spoke: mowed is it not, but trimmed, man most
adamant; now said man that mowed and woman said trimmed.

Man, incensed, threw woman in water.

Now being in water and unable to speak, thrust she her hand above water, making
gesture with fingers of scissors, indicating that it was trimmed.

Grote Spiegel (Velicoe Zercale), Russia 1766

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Elmer Schönberger

General
Elmer Schönberger was born in Utrecht on January 1, 1950.

“Writer, composer, musicologist” is the most concise biographical summary Elmer Schönberger is inclined to assign himself, although the order has the habit of changing.

Education
Schönberger studied piano at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, with Jan de Man and Gérard van Blerk and musicology at the University in Utrecht. He graduated with theses on Stravinsky and on interdisciplinary aspects of musicology.

He continued studying composition privately with Escher and after his death sat on the Escher Committee, devoted to the promotion of his music. In 1985, he co-published an edition of Escher’s Debussy lectures (Debussy. Actueel verleden).

Career
From 1982, he wrote the column “Het Gebroken Oor” for Vrij Nederland. In that period he also contributed to a wide range of books and journals, including Key Notes – Musical Life in the Netherlands, where he served as editor and, later, editor-in-chief from 1975-1987.

In “Histoire d’Oor” (1993) – an essay in book form about his career as professional listener – he portrays the Utrecht Institute for Musicology in the period 1968-1974 as a world mired in the middle ages.

His longstanding love affair with the music of Stravinsky resulted in “Het apollinisch uurwerk. Over Stravinsky” (1983, together with Louis Andriessen), which Richard Taruskin described as “the one book about Stravinsky Stravinsky would have liked.” The English translation appeared in 1989 and the Russian version in 2003.

Until the mid-1990s the focus of Schönberger’s work lay primarily in musicography, alternately combined with activities such as conservatory lecturer, programmer at the Holland Festival (he introduced the Russian composers Gubaidulina and Ustvolskaya to Dutch audiences) and – until the present day – advisor to the Schoenberg Ensemble. For this ensemble he made an adaptation of Darius Milhaud “Saudades do Brazil” (1921/1990).

Schönberger made his literary debut in 2003 with the novel “Vic, met name”. “Vuursteens vleugels” (2009), his second novel, is, like his composition ‘Dovemansoren’, a spinoff on his play ‘Dovemansoren’.

Compositions
On recommendation of Herman Strategier, his theory teacher, he composed his first “official” composition ‘Chasse à l’enfant’ (1971), for the International Choir Festival.

As a composer Schönberger has manifested himself primarily in the theatre (the music theatre work ‘Verhuisbericht’ in 1983, incidental stage music), until he returned to the concert hall in 1997 with ‘En nergens Bach’. A lifelong love of the theatre and for just the right word inspired him to write a number of plays, including ‘Kwartetten’ (1999), about a string quartet and played by four actors and a string quartet.

His most recent works include:

  • Caliban Sings‘ (Three Songs from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest) for mezzo-soprano and ensemble;
  • Tempo impetuoso d’estate sull’ esempio di Vivaldi‘: for ensemble;
  • Solemn and Strange Music‘: for ensemble;
  • Nobodyes Gigge‘: for ensemble.

Awards
In 1990 he was awarded the Pierre Bayle Prize for music criticism.

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