Vanessa Lann – Rise

Rise is a modern work, yet also fun and accessible for both the musicians and the audience. The piece gives bassoonists the opportunity to be in the spotlight, supported by their fellow orchestral players (a real change from their all-too-often accompanying role at the back of the symphony orchestra!).

The work was premiered on November 17, 2017, by the Netherlands’ Van Wassenaer Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Boers. The soloists were Martine Reurings and Dick Hanemaayer. Since that time Rise has been performed twice more by the Netherlands’ Airchestra, under conductor Johan Olof.

The version of Rise in this fragment is the original version, for chamber orchestra. And it is equally suitable for performances by larger orchestras. If there is enough demand, however, a symphony orchestra version will be published, which will include the original parts as well as additional orchestral instruments.

The piece (in the chamber orchestra version) is available online from the publishing house Donemus. Amateur orchestras receive a reduction in costs. The staff at Donemus are also available to answer any questions:

Short description of the work.

Rise, for two bassoons and orchestra, was composed at the request of the Dutch Bassoon Network, an initiative taken as part of the Year of the Bassoon 2016. Their goal was the creation of a piece to be performed by amateur orchestral players and soloists, and that the bassoons have the most prominent role possible.

The composer had intensive working contact with the commissioners, solo bassoonists and orchestra during the composition and rehearsals for Rise. Both soloists (Martine Reurings and Dick Hanemaayer) made copious suggestions, starting with their own wishes as players but also including ideas about the instrument, extended techniques and performing practice. The Dutch Bassoon Network successfully applied for a grant from the Dutch Performing Arts Foundation to fund the composition of the work, and Donemus Publishers agreed to special price reductions for amateur orchestras worldwide. The piece was premiered by the Van Wassenaer Orchestra, Martine Reurings and Dick Hanemaayer on November 17, 2017, conducted by Benjamin Boers.

The music: in the first movement the two solo bassoonists call to each other from different positions, the second bassoonist sitting in the back of the orchestra and the first standing next to the conductor in the traditional soloist’s position. The music leaps back and forth between the two bassoonists – from a middle D-flat to a low C – their motives gradually taken over seamlessly by the other orchestral players. At the end of this movement the meaning of the word “rise” becomes ever clearer. In the second movement the two soloists circle around each other with driving rhythms, the orchestra answering them while dancing in irregular meters. Movement three brings back the sounds and instrumental patterns of the first movement. At the end of this movement the bassoonists get the chance to improvise within suggested patterns, incorporating trills, glissandi, references to famous works – anything they come up with. The rhythmic dances of the fourth movement lead to a surprising conclusion where the bassoonists have the last word…

If you’d prefer to order Rise, but in the version for symphony orchestra, please let us know by sending a mail:

Rise at the webshop of Donemus


Austin Yip

Born in Hong Kong, Austin Yip’s works have been performed worldwide. Places like the United States, Argentina, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, China and Australia have seen traces of his performance records. His musical creations are very diverse, ranging from orchestral piece to electroacoustic works, from Western orchestral to folk instruments. All the above shows his knowledge and creativity upon different styles of music.

Yip has participated in numerous music festivals, in which he has worked closely with many world-renowned performers and ensembles. Festivals he participated include the ISCM (Beijing), ACL 2017 (Japan), Thailand International Composition Festival (Thailand), London New Wind Festival (UK), ACL (Vietnam), 17th World Saxophone Congress (France), Singapore Saxophone Symposium, ACL (Singapore), International Rostrum of Composers (Czech), Sguardi Sonori (Italy), World Saxophone Congress (Scotland), Intimacy of Creativity, Hong Kong Arts Festival, ISCM (Australia), ACL (Japan), WOCMAT (Taiwan), Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival (Indonesia), Shanghai Conservatory of Music New Music Week, Asian Art & Cultural Workshop (Korea), Asia Culture Forum (Korea), Hong Kong Asian Film Festival etc. Yip has received commissions from the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio and Television Hong Kong, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Hong Kong Composers’ Guild, Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia, HellHOT! New Music Festival and more.

Yip received his PhD and Master of Philosophy degrees at the University of Hong Kong under the supervision of Dr. Joshua Chan with the support from the University Postgraduate Fellowship and University Postgraduate Studentship. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Music) degree from the University of California, Berkeley with a “high distinction in general scholarship”, and a FTCL in composition. Yip is the holder of CASH Golden Sail Music Award 2017 with his orchestral work “Metamorphosis”, 2018 Chou’s Annual Composition Commission Award, James Kitagawa Memorial Music Scholarship, Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship, Henry Holbrook Scholarship, James King Scholarship, Eisner Prize, Milton C. Witzel Memorial Prize, Rayson Huang Scholarship and CASH Best Commissioned Piece Award.

Yip’s works are published by ABRSM (UK), BabelScores (France), Ablaze Records (US), Navona Records (US), Hugo Production and Hong Kong Composers Guild. He is the chairman of Toolbox Percussion, and is currently a lecturer at the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Jan-Peter de Graaff – De Grens

De Grens (The Border)
The year is 1918: World War I is nearing its end. The German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, arrives at the Dutch border as an exile from his own country, seeking asylum in the Netherlands. However, the Dutch government was not notified in advance of the Kaiser’s arrival and takes its time to decide whether the royal visitor is welcome.

Pending the government’s decision, the Kaiser (mezzo-soprano Eva Kroon) is stuck at the railway station of Eijsden, a small town at the southern border of the Netherlands. At the station, he meets the station manager (soprano Ginette Puylaert), a man whose character, lineage and political views are in complete dissonance with those of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The two gentlemen have a fiery discussion, but despite all the differences, they have one thing in common: a total lack of control over their own situation.

A historical event with a contemporary twist, wrapped into a compact chamber opera: De Grens is an attractive performance of 25 up to 45 minutes that brings new music close to the audience. The length is flexible because the two scenes can be performed separately. Due to its small setup – two singers and five instrumentalists – De Grens can be performed both in concert halls and on less traditional locations, such as industrial buildings or living rooms, and even multiple times on the same day. The chamber opera makes use of unique film material from 1918, supplemented with new footage.

Cast & crew
Eva Kroon and Ginette Puylaert, who play the two male characters, are highly accomplished singers on their way to the top of the opera world, and both participated in young talent projects at the Dutch National Opera. They are accompanied by violinist Pieter van Loenen (Finalist and Audience Prize winner Dutch National Violin Competition 2016) and the ensemble But What About, who together form an active part of the dramaturgy. The ensemble But What About consists of clarinet, accordion, double bass and percussion and won the Grote Kamermuziekprijs 2016 of the conservatories of The Hague and Rotterdam.

The music has been composed by the young Dutch composer Jan-Peter de Graaff, based on a libretto by Yuri Robbers. The performance is directed by Saskia Bonarius. Film images have been shot and mixed with original 1918 footage by Caroline Keman.

The resulting 25-minute chamber opera De Grens premiered in Vught on April 22nd and was met with spectacularly enthusiastic responses. The entire cast & crew of this chamber opera agreed that this project was so special – and the suspense with regard to the Kaiser’s fate so unbearable – that a second scene has been created, making a full-length performance of De Grens last a good 45 minutes.

music: Jan-Peter de Graaff
libretto: Yuri Robbers
director: Saskia Bonarius

Kaiser Wilhelm II: Eva Kroon (mezzo-soprano)
station manager: Ginette Puylaert (soprano)

music performed by: But What About,
featuring on violin: Pieter van Loenen

bass clarinet: Vincent Martig
accordion: Wilco Oomkes
percussion: Antonio Pierna García
double bass: Julián Sarmiento Escobar

film and images: Caroline Keman

Performances confirmed
12-08-2018 Culemborg, NJO Muziekzomer (try-out)
16-08-2018 Amsterdam, Grachtenfestival (try-out 2x) 17:00 & 19:30
17-08-2018 Amsterdam, Grachtenfestival (try-out 2x) 17:00 & 19:30
25-09-2018 Kerkrade, Parkstad Limburg Theaters (premiere) 20:30
16-10-2018 Maastricht, Ainsi 20:00
07-11-2018 Den Bosch, November Music 19:00

Vladimir Rannev – Prose

PROSE is an opera based on texts by Yury Mamleev and Anton Chekhov, whom the creators of this opera consider to be two of the harshest, most uncompromising writers in the 150 year tradition of Russian realism. A full century separates the times in which they worked, but their manner of exploring human nature and social relationships is timely even today – or, to be exact, is especially timely today. Composer Vladimir Rannev interprets Yury Mamleev’s story “The Bridegroom (1980), and fragments of Chekhov’s story “The Steppe (1888) as di erent stages in the development of a single story. The former is an example of “cruel” prose, the latter is meditative and virtually event-free.

Mamleev’s story is simultaneously the hyper-realistic and phantasmagorical exploration of an incident that occurs in a common Russian family, changing it radically and incontrovertibly.

The boy Yegorushka, the hero of Chekhov’s “The Steppe,” is traveling to be raised by distant relatives. He is thrilled by the natural world surrounding him, but is already preparing for the discovery of a new, alien and terrifying world – the world of people.

We see before us a single person, captured at di erent moments in his life, as if Chekhov and Mamleev had written about one and the same life, and the very same anxieties. The di erent types of texts give rise to a tension that dictates a principal di erence in the way they are presented. In turn, this gives rise to the dramaturgical nature of the opera, and helps reveal to the viewer a statement about the complex nature of the relationships among people in contemporary society.

Composed and directed by Vladimir Rannev
Designed by Marina Alexeeva
Lighting designed by Sergei Vasilyev
Musical director: Arina Zvereva

Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes
First night: November 20, 2017,
at the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in Moscow

The press about Prose

Nezavisimaya gazeta
“This composition is capable of stunning. It is a radical great-grandson of Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk. Vladimir Rannev employs musicians of tremendous virtuosity, who, for almost an hour and a half, work on the outer limits of their physical capabilities.” (November 22, 2017)
“A miracle has happened at the Electrotheatre. The appearance of this production should be compared with the landing of aliens. Rannev’s Prose, based on stories by Chekhov and Mamleev, is a completely new degree of thinking. It is impossible to imagine what kind of hellish work must stand behind the subtle and fragile beauty of the vocal ensemble’s work.” (November 22, 2017)

Rossisskaya gazeta
“Suspense, aesthetic bliss, and philosophical freedom – this is what the viewer conquered by this modern opera remains with.” (November 26, 2017) 

“A performance of technological harmony and beauty, in which the interplay of textures is not inferior to the richness of the music.” (November 23, 2017)

“In the absence of instrumental accompaniment, which makes the vocals seem especially ethereal, one hears the pulse of that genuine ‘life of the human spirit,’ which Stanislavsky dreamed of materializing on stage. Vladimir Rannev’s opera Prose is an important milestone in the biography of the genre.” (December 1, 2017)

The Village
“Complexity is what Rannev demonstrates with this show. Forget literary meanings –the complexity here of form alone, both theatrical and musical, is sufficient.” (December 1, 2017)

Max Knigge

Max Knigge (1984) started playing the violin at the age of eight, and switched to viola at seventeen. Max studied at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. As an instrumentalist Max plays with orchestras and ensembles in the Netherlands, with focus on contemporary repertoire.

Besides viola, Max studied composing with Daan Manneke, Willem Jeths and Wim Henderickx in Amsterdam. His style is adventurous and based on resonance. If possible, he tries to create for each ensemble its own sound, in a narrow collaboration with the musicians.

His compositions are performed by a.o. Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Nobuko Imai, Ensemble Ludwig, Amstel Quartet, Dudok Quartet, members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Duo Hochscheid-Van Ruth. In 2006 Max won the first prize in the Ricciotti Arrangers Competition, in September 2007 Max was awarded the second prize of the NOG Young Composers Concours for his orchestral work Nazomer,

Zaid Jabri

Zaid Jabri was born in Damascus. His mother is a renowned modernist artist and his father a retired director of television and theatre. His background and early interest in music alerted him to the dense and long histories of shared and reworked harmonic and instrumental strategies across such divides as East and West. The intersection of Western and Middle Eastern musical traditions converge in his compositions.

Drawn to music from an early age, he studied violin with Riyad Sukar in Damascus. At the age of 19, he was accepted at the Academy of Music in Kraków where he completed his M. A. degree with honors and then pursued his doctorate under the directorship of Zbigniew Bujarski and Krzysztof Penderecki. He obtained his doctorate in 2014.

While still studying for his doctorate, Zaid Jabri began receiving international recognition when he won the prestigious Adam Didur Composers’ Competition in Sanok in 1997 for his “Two Songs for Soprano and String Orchestra.” The following year he was appointed Artist/Composer in residence at the Istanbul Bilgi University Music Department during Polish Composer’s Week. He was an instructor at the Krakow Academy of music and currently a resident composer at The Norwegian University of Sciense and Technology.

Jabri is also committed to facilitating the future careers of young musicians and composers, serving on juries for AFAC, the Adam Didur Composers’ Competition, ‘2 Agosto,’ Bilgi University and the Gdańsk Academy of Music.

He has lectured at Barnard College and Columbia University in New York, Harvard University, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Bilgi University in Istanbul, the Gdańsk Academy of Music, the Onassis Centre in Athens, and Alwan for Arts in New York, and The University of Victoria in Canada.

Zaid Jabri’s work has been performed in Belgium, Canada, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Syria, Tunisia, the Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA. His work as featured at numerous festivals that include: the MATA Festival in New York, the SALT New Music Festival in Victoria, Canada, the Mediterranean Voices Project, the Oriental Landscape Festival in Damascus, the Musiikin Aika Festival in Helsinki, ECLAT in Stuttgart, the Modern Music Festival in Kiev, Ravenna Festival, the Festival of Polish Premiers of Contemporary Music in Katowice, and the Warsaw Autumn Festival. His works have been commissioned and performed internationally by such ensembles as Gidon Kremer’s Kremerata Baltica, the English Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Zera n, the Orchestra of the Teatro Communale, Bologne, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Neue Vocalsolisten, Stuttgart, the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra.

His recent compositions demonstrate the range of his skills. These include: A Garden Among the Flames,  for soprano, baritone, children’s choir, mixed choir and orchestra, Altum, for cello and accordion, Variation on (R)evolution, for mezzo-soprano, violin and piano and Glyptos 2, for tape, flute, clarinet, trumpet, piano, violin and bass

One of his most ambitious current undertakings is the score for the opera Cities of Salt, based on the novel by Abdulrahman Munif, with a libretto by Yvette Christianse and Rosalind Morris. Four scenes and an intermezzo were showcased at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theater as part of the Shubbak Festival in July 2015.

Ziad Jabri is the recipient of prestigious fellowships and residencies. In 2011 he held a Tactus Composer’s residency and, in the same year was admitted to the Polish National Composer’s union (KZP). He also received the George Evans memorial fellowship at the Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts in the United States (2014), the Tactus Young Composers Forum residency in Belgium (2012), and a residential fellowship with the Rockefeller Foundation/Bellagio Centre (2015). In 2016-2017 he was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institution at Harvard University. He is currently a resident composer at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway

In addition to the 1997 Adam Didur Composers’ Competition in Sanok, Poland, for his Two Songs for soprano and string orchestra, and second prize at the 2012 ‘2 Agosto’ Competition in Bologna with Les Temps des pierres for baritone and symphony orchestra.

Bram van Camp

Bram Van Camp (Antwerp °1980) graduated from the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music in Antwerp (2003) where he studied the violin, chamber music, composition, music analysis, counterpoint and fugue. He studied composition under Wim Henderickx (1998-2005) and Theo Loevendie (2003-2005) at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. His works contain solo and chamber music, ensemble works, orchestral music (including a symphony called Tetrahedron ), a Violin Concerto and Piano Concerto and a song cycle (The Feasts of Fear and Agony, inspired by poems by the Flemish poet Paul Van Ostaijen).

He has received many prizes for his work as a composer: in 1999 he won the Aquarius Composition Competition with Rhapsody for violin and orchestra. In 2002 he won the BAP prize (Belgian Artistic Promotion) awarded by SABAM, for his Trio for clarinet, viola and piano (2000). His String Quartet (2004) and his The Feasts of Fear and Agony (2012) were selected for the ISCM Catalogue (International Society for Contemporary Music). In 2007 he won the Jeugd en Muziek Prijs voor Compositie (Youth & Music Award for Composition) and in 2014 his String Quartet (2004) won the second prize at the International Composition Contest ‘New Note’ in Croatia.

His compositions were commissioned by several organizations: the ‘Festival of Flanders’, the TRANSIT New Music Festival, ‘deSingel’ (Antwerp) and the Ars Musica Festival. His works are performed by (among others) the Arditti Quartet, Hermes Ensemble, I Solisti, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, Het Collectief, Oxalys, Blindman Collective, Wibert Aerts, Piet Van Bockstal and Jan Michiels. Furthermore, his works are performed in various Belgian concert houses, including deSingel, BOZAR and the Concertgebouw Brugge. From 2012 his work was also programmed in London and at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Croatia, Denmark and Slovakia.

His portret cd (including The Feasts of Fear and Agony, Music for 3 instruments and Improvisations ) recorded by Het Collectief in 2013 (Fuga Libera) was higly praised at home and abroad, including 5 stars in Diapason (Fr) and The Gramophone (GB).

In creating his music Bram Van Camp always strives for a style with an intuitive starting point in which each note can still be explained within its own consistent system. He always keeps a musical and organic sounding result in mind. In this way, his composition system does not constitute a goal in itself, but is used as a means to a natural sounding essence: the actual organic music. To him composing is a quest in which he always tries to renew his style compared to his previous compositions. On the philosophical level a clear similarity with György Ligeti can be detected. His stylistic roots originate from Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky and Alban Berg.

Because of his penchant for natural, organic musical freedom, his music is often influenced by jazz music.

Bram Van Camp is professor of composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp and at the Academies of Merksem and Schoten. He is also the initiator of The Times, a forum for young composers organized by the Hermes Ensemble, where he acts as coach each year.

Alexey Retinsky

Alexey Retinsky (ukr. Oleksii Retynskii) was born in 1986 in Simferopol, Crimea. Retinsky began his musical training with playing wind instruments. He graduated from the Simferopol School of Music, mastering the oboe, saxophone and trumpet. In parallel, he began to study composition autodidactically. Later on, he studied composition and electroacoustic composition at the Kiev Music Academy (under the tutelage of Prof. I. Sherbakov) and the Zurich University of the Arts (under Prof. Bruno Karrer and Prof. German Toro-Perez). In 2013-2014, he was working in the field of composition and audio design with a focus on multi-channel music in the sound studio “Idee und Klang” (CH; Basel). He completed his postgraduate studies with Prof. Beat Furrer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. Since 2014, he has been living and working in Vienna.

Retinsky’s oeuvre is broad and diverse; he creates symphonic, chamber and electronic music, as well as music for theatre, film, installation and performance art. His music works and various projects have been performed at the Mariinsky Theater (RU), National Philharmonic of Ukraine, MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, Museum Joanneum Graz (AT), Dresdner Zwinger (DE), and at the Festivals CIME/ICEM Denton (USA), MDR Musiksommer Eisenach (DE), Musik der zeitgenössischen Komponisten in Luzern (CH), Gaudeamus Muziekweek (NL) and many others. He has collaborated with such musicians and collectives as Antoni Baryshevski (UA), Voldymir Lawrinenko (DE), Luigi Gaggero (FR), Michail Menabde (GEO), Jean-Bernard Matter (FR); Olga Pryhodko and choir “Alter Ratio” (UA), the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Keuris Saxophon Quartett (NL), Ukho-ensemble (UA), Teodor Currentzis and MusicAeterna choir (RU). In the field of cinema, he has worked with the film company LenDoc (RU) and the director Nick Dreyden. In addition to his work as a composer and musician, Retinsky does painting and film photography.

His musical language seems peculiar in that it is distant from the tradition of the avant-garde and the so-called ‘minimalism’, despite the fact that the formal characteristics of the two can be found within his oeuvre. His experimental electroacoustic music often presents a different “music culture” as it aims to unite and transform a multitude of musical streams into a holistic experience. The term “music culture” in this context encompasses both the temporal and the geographic dimensions. Retinsky sees it as self-evident to try to revert the musical expression in all genres back to its original ritual meaning and create a connection between the listeners and musicians.

“… Alexey Retinsky is a fascinating young composer. This is a completely different category of music … “
Theodor Currentzis

Robert Holl

Robert Holl was born in Rotterdam and studied with Jan Veth and Davis Hollestelle. In 1971 he won the First Prize at the International International Vocal Competition ´sHertogenbosch and continued his studies with Hans Hotter in Munich. In 1972, he was awarded the 1st Prize at the ARD Music Competition.

From 1973 to 1975, Robert Holl has been a member of the Bavarian State Opera Munich. In the following years he reduced his operatic activities in favour of concert and Lied recitals. From the late 1980s he could be heard increasingly in opera productions. Mr. Holl was a regular guest at the Vienna State Opera, the Brussels and Zurich Oper House, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Deutsche Oper Berlin as well as at the Cologne Opera – mostly in the main Wagnerian roles.
His roles at the Vienna State Opera since 2002 include Landgraf Hermann, König Marke (TRISTAN UND ISOLDE) under Christian Thielemann, Franz Welser-Möst and Peter Schneider, Gurnemanz (PARSIFAL) under Donald Runnicles and Pimen (BORIS GODUNOW) under Daniele Gatti.

After his huge success as Hans Sachs at Bayreuth´s MEISTERSINGER production in the years 1996 to 2002 under conductors such as Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann, Robert Holl sang Gurnemanz from 2004 to 2007 in Christoph Schlingensief´s production of PARSIFAL. In the years 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 he could be heard as König Marke at the Bayreuth Festival.

In 2013, Robert Holl participated at the autumn tour of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Christian Thielemann with Beethoven´s IX Symphony in Japan and Russia. Season 2013/2014 included concerts at the Vienna Musikverein with the Vienna Symphonic under the baton of Philippe Jordan with extracts from Wagner´s “Meistersinger” as well as in the cycle “Poesie und Musik” (“Poetry and Music”). Further highlights were Haydn´s Nelson-Mass in San Francisco and Copenhagen, his Mass in Time of War in Los Angeles and concerts in Vicenza, all under the baton of Sir András Schiff, Shostakovich´s Michelangelo-Suite in The Hague as well as recitals with pianist Oleg Maisenberg in Moscow and at the Vienna Musikverein.

The current season sees recitals at Wigmore Hall in London, in Stuttgart, Linz and Rotterdam, to name only the most important ones.

Being an internationally sought-after concert singer, Robert Holl has worked with the most renowned conductors and orchestras in Europe, the USA and Japan. But before all, he is one of the most important Lied singers of our time. He is particularly interested in the German and Russian Lied repertoire and especially close to the work of Franz Schubert.

Robert Holl has participated at important international festivals in Europe and abroad. Upon invitation of Swjatoslaw Richter he participated several times at the Moscow Winter Festival and the Tours Festival. As artistic director of Schubertiades in the Netherlands and in Austria he realizes special programs and concert cycles.

Numerous recordings of orchestral works and Lieder – with piano partners such as Sir András Schiff and Oleg Maisenberg – show the artist´s versatility. Compositions by Robert Holl – songs and piano works – have been published in print and on CD.

Since 1998, Robert Holl has been a professor for Art Song and Oratorio at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

In Austria Robert Holl was awarded the title Kammersänger and the Cross of Honor for Arts and Science. In 1997, he became honorary member of the Society of Music Lovers in Vienna. In his native country he has been „Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw“ since 2007.

2017/2018 by Machreich Artists Management Seite

Sander Germanus

Artistic vision

Sander Germanus has a unique vision of music. Hallucinatory and disorienting harmonic progressions play an essential role in his world of sound. The expectations of the listener can be optimally put to the test by the dizzy fluctuations of his ‘dualistic tuning’ that he has developed. Within this strange but consonant musical context the hearer can also be put on the wrong track by means of contrary rhythms. With these unexpected but pleasurable dizzying sounds he is searching for a kind of intellectual entertainment that should make all intoxicants unnecessary. That’s why his motto is: “You don’t need drugs, just listen to my music!”
The composer explains: “From all the hallucinatory stimulants, the ones which enter the human body through the ear will cause the most beautiful alienating experiences, in my opinion. The way listeners can get pleasantly disoriented, just by playing with their musical expectations, fascinates me. These expectations, which are not given by nature but created by men and culture, are hammered into the brains of most people by endless repetition of the same tonal chord progressions in music. I like to play with this fact in an inventive and original way. The question to what extent these expectations can be changed in the mind of the average listener, so new musical perspectives could be accepted, intrigues me. Thereby also raises the interesting question whether new and unknown tonal functions and chord progressions, which are in a different way as logical as those that we know, will confuse the audience or will be adopted by them. My belief is that these listeners will be delightfully overwhelmed.”


Sander Germanus started composing music with microtones in 1996, based on his first microtonal experiment from 1992, in which he tried to let microtones sound beautiful. But it was not earlier than 1999 that he wrote a complete microtonal composition; his orchestral work Continental. After this year, almost all his works were composed in his ‘dualistic tuning’, using microtones. Since his composition Lunapark (2005-2006), which he wrote for the DoelenEnsemble and Calefax Reed Quintet, this dualistic tuning theory came together with his other inventions in terms of tempo and rhythm. Movement modulations, tempo circles, microtonal voice leading, tempo averages, stumbling rhythms; all these finds lead to a kind of ‘music thermic’, where the turbulence of the air, as it were, can be felt in his music. Without leaving these artistic principles, his music has recently evolved into various musical styles beyond contemporary classical music, after deciding to set up his own music group. With this group and its converted music instruments, he started a newand important phase in his musical work. 
Sander Germanus composed music for several ensembles, among others the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, Calefax Reed Quintet, Asko|Schönberg, Musikfabrik, Amstel Quartet, Il Solisti del Vento, Nieuw Ensemble, Quatuor Danel, DoelenEnsemble, Studio for New Music Ensemble Moscow, Residentie Orchestra, Percussion The Hague, Aurelia Saxophone Quartet and the North Holland Philharmonic Orchestra. He received commissions from several concert series and festivals, such as the ZaterdagMatinee at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Festival of Flanders in Antwerp. His music has been performed in various countries and has been broadcasted by radio and television. His composition for piano Beetje Precies (Bit Precise) and his Capriccio voor genoeg vioolsnaren (Capriccio for enough violin strings) for violin were both recorded on CD. In 2011 the Etcetera label has released a CD, named Lunapark, with an overview of his microtonal chamber work, which was rated 10 stars in the renowned magazine for classical music ‘Listen’.


Sander Germanus (Amsterdam, 1972) studied classical saxophone from 1988 until 1995 with Ed Bogaard at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where he finished his studies as a soloist with the highest grades and a distinction for artistic qualities. He began his music composition lessons with Peter-Jan Wagemans as his composition teacher and Klaas de Vries as his orchestration teacher in 1992 at the Conservatory of Rotterdam, where he finished his composition studies with honors in 1998. During 1994-1995 he also studied with Luc Van Hove at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory in Antwerp. At the invitation of De Nederlandse Opera (Dutch National Opera & Ballet) he attended a master class of Pierre Boulez in 1995. He was admitted to the Orpheus Institute in Ghent in 1999, where he obtained his laureate diploma with his thesis on microtonal music in the spring of 2005. At this institute he joined several residential seminaries from Helmut Lachenmann, Jonathan Harvey, Jan van Vlijmen, Dick Raaijmakers among others.
In 1998 he won an incentive prize from the City of Amsterdam for his composition Adamsarchipel. And in 2000 he was nominated for the NPS Culture Prize on television for his quarter-tone orchestral work Continental and reached the final with a second place. During the season 2001/2002 he was offered a stipend at the Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia in Bamberg, where he stayed for more than half a year to compose and to give lectures.
Since 2007 he is the artistic director of the Huygens-Fokker Foundation, centre for microtonal music in Amsterdam. Between 2010 and 2014, he was also a lecturer in contemporary art music at the master academy of the Lemmens Institute in Leuven (LUCA School of Arts).