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Alexey Sioumak – Frost, Red Nose

‘Frost, Red Nose’ is a chamber opera based on the poem by Nikolay Nekrasov with music by Alexey Sioumak, a music theater production of the experimental Theater Practice (Moscow). Read more about this intriguing production…   

This is a performance about death, and overcoming it, about pain, about grief, about disaster, about winter, about misfortune in their female dimension – not without a reason that all these words are feminine. In the center of the plot is a woman experiencing a loss. Death is something that everyone sooner or later faces in his life: the performance suggests following this path – from collision with catastrophe to rebellion, protest, and from it to acceptance, to the search for a way out and a solution. Opera in “Practice” offers to approach this topic by means of aesthetics. Thinking about the inevitable, about living grief occurs in a space of beauty – music, scenery, voices, in an atmosphere of a bewitching winter.

The opera, written by Alexei Sioumak specifically for Theater Practice, is an exclusive performance that reveals the complex and rich musical nature of Nekrasov’s text. For the theater, this is a kind of experiment – the first chamber opera in the repertoire. The performance includes musicians and vocalists – participants of the ensemble “Practice”, created in the theater in the spring of 2019, and a dramatic actress from the Brusnikin Workshop Yana Enzhaeva.

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Alexei Sioumak at Donemus

Rick van Veldhuizen – unde imber et ignes

The Nederlands Studenten Orkest (NSO) will go on tour with a program called ‘Extase’. Physicality, sensuality and primal power are central and the surrender to the inevitable is expressed not only in highly romantic songs but also in exciting musical entanglements and primitive cacophonies. The orgasmic – and deadly – power of both Isoldes love for Tristan and the earthly, carnal sacrifice at the end of Le Sacre du Printemps are combined in unde imber et ignes by Rick van Veldhuizen…   

The physical can be dark and violent, but can also bring salvation and pleasure. The abstract atmosphere of the above as a whole has been an important aspect in the choice of the theme ‘Ecstasy’, because it does not so much frame something concrete, but rather creates an atmosphere.

The theme ‘Ecstasy’ has meaning for everyone because each person has their own memory or association with this word. The theme is not only applicable to young people, as a reference to being young, the growing party culture and the need to free oneself from the increasing pressure to perform in daily life through ultimate enjoyment. The theme can also evoke associations with memories, milestones, life events and otherwise special experiences. Therefore, the concerts will undoubtedly also be enriching experiences for the audience.

unde imber et ignes (‘whence flood and fires’) is a back-and-forth between soprano and orchestra, both expressing a quest for physicality through sound, text and melody. This tense, sexual yearning does not confirm to the usual template for love songs, but instead is raw, uncompromising and even violent.

Throughout three songs the soprano – playing neither ‘man’ nor ‘woman’, but a universal, dark undercurrent in our sexuality – looks for the desires that make them human. They challenge the orchestra to open itself up and flourish into a vibrant mutant, full of microtonal sonorities and unconventional sounds. When it reciprocates, a process starts in which the soloist and the orchestra start to fuse into one, driven by their mutual yearning and abandonment.

The models for the music lie in pre-modern love songs, but from the outset stray from their blueprints and construct their own, deviant identity from the shrapnel of history. A hand-crafted temple to our fears and desires alike.

Someren, De Ruchte
Zo 9 februari 2020, 20:30
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Eindhoven, Muziekgebouw
Ma 10 februari 2020, 20:15
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Leiden, Stadsgehoorzaal
Di 11 februari 2020, 20:15
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Nijmegen, Concertgebouw de Vereeniging
Vrij 14 februari 2020, 20:15
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Rotterdam, De Doelen
Za 15 februari 2020, 20:15
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Groningen, De Oosterpoort
Zo 16 februari 2020, 20:15
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Maastricht, Theater aan het Vrijthof
Ma 17 februari 2020, 20:00
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Leeuwarden, De Harmonie
Di 18 februari 2020, 20:15
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Utrecht, TivoliVredenburg
Wo 19 februari 2020, 20:15
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Enschede, Het Muziekcentrum
Za 22 februari 2020, 20:00
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Amsterdam, Het Concertgebouw
Zo 23 februari 2020, 20:00
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Davo working 30 years at Donemus

Since January 1990 Davo van Peursen is working at Donemus. Starting as assistent editor and since 2013 leading the company to a new episode. Read his personal review on three decades of music publishing (Dutch)…   

In de zomer van 1989 rondde ik mijn studies af aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium. Daarna wachtte mij de militaire dienstplicht. Als gewetensbezwaarde mocht ik zoeken naar een passende functie met een sociaal doel. Op de 40 open sollicitatiebrieven kwam alleen een positieve reactie van Donemus, net op tijd. In januari 1990 begon ik als kopiist bij Donemus aan de Paulus Potterstraat.

De eerste dag werd mij te kennen gegeven dat ik mezelf niet onmisbaar zou maken. ‘Dat zien we nog wel’ dacht ik toen. Ik schreef partijen uit van Hallelujah I van Jan Vriend. Fascinerende complexe partijen. Daarna volgde de solopartij van het pianoconcert van Jan van Vlijmen etc. Ik ontwikkelde het vakmanschap van ruimteverdelingen voor septolen, heptolen etc, het schrijven met 3 verschillende pendiktes en het gebruik van sjablonen en metalen bogen.

De computer deed voorzichtig z’n intrede bij Donemus. Ik mocht me wagen aan het noteren van de Sonate voor fluit en piano van Leo Smit op een Mac II met Finale 2.6. Een zware bevalling. Omdat er middelen beschikbaar kwamen voor de heruitgave van werken van Matthijs Vermeulen, mocht ik na mijn diensttijd bij Donemus blijven om de gehele 2e Symfonie in de computer te zetten. Een paar maanden later bood Donemus mij een fulltime baan aan als redacteur. Ik voelde me thuis in de nieuwe muziek temidden van leuke collega’s en intrigerende componisten.

Als ik componist was zou ik een zeer onderhoudende opera over 30 jaar Donemus kunnen schrijven. 12 directeuren, 6 verhuizingen en een wispelturige en teleurstellende overheid. Maar gelukkig was daar ook altijd prachtige muziek van veelsoortige componisten. Het voelt als een eer en ook als een verantwoordelijkheid als je 14.000 composities mag koesteren van 600 componisten. Een ijzersterke catalogus om trots op te zijn. Als ik met vrienden praat over Donemus vertel ik steeds dat ik de mooist denkbare baan heb. Zoveel componisten met elk hun eigen verhaal, eigen stijl, eigen kracht. Al die prachtige nieuwe en oudere werken, die samenkomen in die veelkleurige Donemus catalogus.

In 30 jaar Donemus maakte ik heel veel spannende concerten mee. Premieres, belangrijke zalen, top-orkesten, top-dirigenten. Regelmatig ben je je er dan van bewust: hier wordt een mijlpaal in de vaderlandse muziekgeschiedenis neergezet. Momenten om te koesteren. Wat een voorrecht om je als kind aan huis te voelen in onder meer het Concertgebouw, het Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, De Doelen, TivoliVredenburg, en ook tal van podia in het buitenland.

Maar wat mij niet minder inspireert is het contact met componisten en andere muziekvrienden. De ontmoetingen met mensen als Ton de Leeuw, Robert Heppener, Bernard van Beurden, Rudi M. van Dijk, Jan van Vlijmen, Luc Brewaeys etc. Gesprekken met Peter Schat. Lange reflecties op het muziekleven met Simeon ten Holt en Misha Mengelberg.

Als muziekuitgever bevind ik mij in een speelveld van componisten, producenten, podia maar zeker ook van musici die als dappere ambassadeurs geloven in de kracht van de muziek die zij spelen. Een van de leuke kanten van het muziekuitgeverij-bedrijf is het veelvuldige contact met die musici als belangrijke partners voor al die mooie parels. Ondanks de weerbarstige muziekpraktijk, zijn ze vaak de initiators van aansprekende projecten.

De laatste zeven jaar draait Donemus zelfstandig zonder structurele subsidie. Tegenover het nadeel van het gemis aan die inkomsten staat het voordeel dat de focus scherp kan blijven. Er hoeft geen tijd meer verloren te gaan aan het schrijven van plannen, het verdedigen van onze taken of het onderhandelen over opgelegde fusies. De concertagenda is voller dan ooit. Zowel beginnende als gearriveerde componisten kloppen op de deur van Donemus. Tal van succesvolle projecten zijn gepasseerd en andere staan in de planning

Het netwerk van Donemus groeit sterk, zowel nationaal als internationaal. Behalve met componisten hebben we veelvuldig contact met programmeurs, dirigenten, orkesten etc. Donemus bereikt meer dan 80 landen. Dagelijks worden onze berichten op social media gelezen door meer dan 1000 vrienden. De webshop functioneert optimaal naar tevredenheid van klanten wereldwijd. Zo’n 70% van de verkoop/verhuur betreft digitale bestellingen van partituren en partijen in PDF. Donemus acteert op het gebied van filmmuziek en brengt veel mooie opnamen naar digitale kanalen als Apple Music, Spotify.

Dat alles is mede te danken aan een zeer betrokken bestuur van de Stichting Beheer. Voorzitter Paul Oomens en bestuursleden als Leo Samama, Paul Dijkema zijn al zeven jaar lang de denktank en het klankbord voor de uitgeverij. De al vertrokken bestuursleden en de onlangs toegetreden leden zorgen elk met een specifieke expertise voor een gedegen basis, bij het wel en wee van de business.

Als ik één ding goed heb gedaan in mijn loopbaan, dan gaat dat over het verzamelen van de juiste mensen om mij heen. Het Donemus-team, met Aleksandra Markovic, Gabrielle van Oosterom, Valeria Gorokhovskaya en Tobias de Haas met daarbij nog allerlei meewerkenden als Wim, Sandra, binnen- en buitenlandse kopiisten, zorgt voor een gigantische prestatie. Tal van ballen worden in de lucht gehouden. Daarmee geeft het de buitenwereld soms de indruk dat er bij Donemus een veelvoud aan medewerkers actief is, dan in werkelijkheid het geval.

Kijkend naar de toekomst is het mijn wens dat al die prachtige muzikale juwelen in de Donemus catalogus, niet alleen worden gekoesterd, maar ook effectief worden geëtaleerd. Al die composities verdienen een breder publiek. Als de wereld om ons heen net zo gelukkig wordt van al dat moois als ik dat ben, is de mission completed.

Welkom om met mij dit feestje van 30 jaar Donemus te vieren op onze netwerkborrel op 24 januari in The Penthouse Restaurant Sky Bar – Haagse Toren.

The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven by Louis Andriessen

During this ‘year of Beethoven’ one of the most popular works of the Donemus catalogue is ‘The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven for Promenade Orchestra and Ice Cream Vendor’s Bell’, written by Louis Andriessen 50 years ago!   

Louis Andriessen composed De Negen Symfonieën van Beethoven voor Promenade Orkest en Yscobell in 1970 as a musical contribution to the Beethoven bicentenary celebrations of that year. Written during a period of social and political upheaval in many western nations, including Andriessen’s native Holland, the work constitutes one of Andriessen’s many musical contributions to social and political discourse concerning both local and global issues. The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven also represents a significant moment in Andriessen’s œuvre, after which he was to question and subsequently refashion his approach to socio-politically engaged composition. A parodic collage of Beethoven quotations, The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven presents an abrasive postmodernist critique of aspects of musical tradition and concert practice, prior to his ensuing development of more constructive musical manifestations of his social and political convictions.

Check our concertlist

Read the full article written in 2011 by Stephen Loy

Andreaspenning for Martijn Padding

Composer Martijn Padding received the ‘Andreaspenning’ on Wednesday, January 8th, because of his contribution to the Amsterdam music sector. Padding received the award from Sebastiaan Capel, chairman of the board of the Zuid district council. This happened after the world premiere of his composition Softly Bouncing, performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Concertgebouw…   

Martijn Padding is a recognized composer who is praised for the quality and originality of his compositions. Worldwide many ensembles, soloists and orchestras perform his works. Besides being a composer, Padding works as professor of composition at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

In 1993 the composer was awarded the Encouragement Prize by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts. More music prizes followed later, such as the International Rostrum of Composers Competition in 2009, the Edison Klassiek in 2011 and the Johan Wagenaar Prize of the municipality of The Hague in 2016.

The Andreaspenning is an award for people who have made great achievements in the social, cultural, social or economic fields for Amsterdam and who have worked as volunteers for a social purpose for more than ten years.

More about Martijn Padding

Martijn Padding – Softly Bouncing

Valery Voronov – Acqua Alta

On January 16th ASKO|Schönberg and the Dutch Chamber Choir will give the world premiere of Valery Voronov’s ‘Acqua Alta’, a monumental four-part piece of 45 minutes for choir and ensemble, dedicated to Reinbert de Leeuw. One of its parts – Touch the Cloud – was written for 80th birthday of De Leeuw whom Voronov admires…   

The choir switches from language to language – English, Italian, Russian and even Dutch. There come along texts by Brodsky, Petrarca, Shakespeare, Tytchev, Nietzsche, Dickinson, Ryzhy and Strotsev.

According to Voronov: “Acqua Alta is perhaps the longest composition I have written so far. That is not a conscious choice. A composition simply gets certain proportions at some point and then it is impossible to make it shorter or longer. Just as a person of his own has a certain length … I write detailed scores – that is very work-intensive but another way is impossible. You can compare it to a craftsman who creates space and depth with the help of shadows. ”

“This piece is about the immensity of the ocean, including the ocean of memory, that comes from all those different text fragments, like echoes from ‘past lives. ” The connection is associative. All images exude the same atmosphere: the search for land and the inability to find it. A recurring theme is moving through space. ”

With Venice as its center (‘acqua alta’ refers to high water) Valery Voronov has collected texts from not only classical Western writers and poets, but also from the Bible (the book of Numbers in Hebrew), from the Old Norse text Keninngar (in Icelandic) and from Arabic philosophy. A special place occupies a recent quote: the exclamation of a mother whose son was indicted and sentenced to death in 2011 after a bomb attack on the Minsk metro. His involvement in the explosion has never been proven. And the mother knows for sure: “He could just say that he hadn’t even been on the metro that day.”

“Perhaps it is not logical to link the eternal beauty of the Venetian canals to the death of an ordinary boy. Apparently, there is no connection, but I think there is. You can hear that at Nietzsche, Tjuchev and Shakespeare.”

“As in films by Andrey Tarkovsky, with its water that lives, has depth, moves, changes, gives mirror reflections, you can drown, swim in it, you can drink it … In addition, you can move along it, trusting the hereditary craving for any movement. She evokes memories, and she herself has the ability to remember. Acqua Alta – appeal to water, to its pool of memory, to its ‘aspect of infinity in its purest form.’ We call witnesses that do not end anywhere. From all floating and traveling, from those who are looking for their little patch of land.”

Article by Jacqueline Oskamp (in Dutch), ‘De Groene Amsterdammer

More info and tickets

Martijn Padding by RCO and Jaap van Zweden

On Friday, January 8th, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Jaap van Zweden, gave the world premiere of Martijn Padding’s ‘Softly Bouncing’. It is a one-part work written for a relatively small orchestra comparable to that of a somewhat larger symphony from the first Viennese School. A striking role is given to the two percussionists who play an arsenal of small Thai gongs that lie on foam rubber and colour the music softly…   

In addition, they stand out because of their playing on melodicas that open the work with chorale-like fragments. They form the basis of the composition and keep coming back in different forms such as echo, imitation or canon.

The title Softly Bouncing refers to the bouncing of chords from one orchestral group to another, creating a labyrinth of soft pulsating harmonies, melodic formulas and chords echoing. The work is restrained and melancholic and in a sense rather atypical for the composer Martijn Padding, who likes to make himself heard in an exuberant, vital and light-hearted way.

The explanation for this is that the composer noticed that so many new works for symphony orchestra are by definition firm in dynamics and gestures. Nothing to the detriment of the quality of those new works, but there is a lot of noise around us in 2020. On the streets but also in the concert hall. Padding ( in general not too bad to make a lot of noise himself) therefore decided to take a softer approach. (After Softly Bouncing he wrote This is a loud World, a concerto for clavichord and packed orchestra).

The strings play the work mostly with dampers and some even with ‘practice mutes’. These are even softer than the normal sourdines and produce a mysterious silvery soft sound. For the same reason, the brass players combine different dampers in different combinations. Moreover, the main hall of the Concertgebouw is one of the most beautiful halls in the world, mainly because soft sounds and transparent music sound so beautiful there.

Info & Tickets

Martijn Padding at Donemus

Jaap van Zweden in the Parool

Softly Bouncing at the Donemus Catalogue

Matangi Quartet: new CD with Canto Ostinato

Matangi Quartet will present its new CD ‘Canto Ostinato Strings Attached’ at their anniversary concert on Sunday, January 19, 2020 in Korzo in The Hague…   

Not long before the Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt died he spoke with the Matangi’s about a new string quartet to be composed. He felt himself too old to write one, but he advised the members of the quartet to dive into his rich oeuvre for piano and transcribe them for string quartet themselves. In doing so, all the possibilities of the string instruments had to be used in particular; from ponticello to pizzicato and from sul tasto to battuto. And so they did!

The arrangements have been developed by Marijn van Prooijen. “With this adaptation of Canto Ostinato, in our eyes, Beethoven’s opus 131, perhaps the greatest work for string quartet, has gained a strong competitor,” says Matangi cellist Arno van der Vuurst.

On the occasion of their 20-year anniversary, the new Matangi Quartet album: Canto Ostinato Strings Attached will be released on January 10, 2020. Never before has a string quartet released this masterpiece by Simeon ten Holt on CD. The presentation and anniversary concert will take place on Sunday, January 19, 2020 in Korzo in The Hague.

Marijn van Prooijen wrote these arrangements.

Concert info

Website Matangi Quartet

Introdans – Icon; Lucinda Childs’ choreography on Canto Ostinato

Lucinda Childs is one of the iconic ‘grand old ladies’ of American modern dance. Her movement language is absolutely unique: in an abstract, almost mathematical fashion the ‘queen of minimal dance’ uses relatively simple ballet and athletic movements to create hugely complex masterpieces. Her ‘Canto Ostinato’ will tour again in February till May 2020…   

There is a special bond between Childs and Introdans: Introdans is the only Dutch company allowed to perform her work. In addition to existing top-level dance pieces the group has now also produced three world premieres of her work. In June 2020 Childs will be celebrating her 80th birthday. So that’s a great opportunity for Introdans to turn the spotlight on her exceptional work in the tribute programme ICON (Dutch-ICOON), featuring some of the finest jewels in her wide-ranging oeuvre. A unique show highlighting a unique dance personality!

Kilar is the first work that Lucinda Childs made specially for Introdans, in 2013. This choreography features an ingenious interaction with the Piano Concerto by (film) composer Wojciech Kilar. Childs’ movement language captivates the audience with her trademark sparkling, abstract and pure dance patterns. In this work she has challenged herself in a way new for herself by having the dancers perform in crinolines and with cubes of steel wire. This not only results in many fine images but also gives her work a more romantic touch.

Following on from Kilar the next work that Childs created for Introdans was Canto Ostinato, which proved a major hit at its premiere in 2015. “Simple, pure and wonderful,” said one reviewer. When making this work Childs took her inspiration from sections of the famous composition of the same name by Simeon ten Holt. The choreography displays an apparent simplicity: simple walking steps, low jumps, tight formations. But appearances are deceptive. The constantly shifting patterns, directions and rhythms reveal brilliant inventiveness and demand the utmost from the dancers.

Concert info and tickets

Newzik now fully integrated in the Donemus Webshop

Donemus and Newzik proudly present a new step in their collaboration: The Donemus Webshop has now Newzik fully integrated in its webshop. Customers can choose hardcopies, direct PDF download or download to the Newzik software on iPads. The complete catalogue of over 14,000 titles is available into Newzik. This offers musicians and librarians the most efficient and affordable way to use our scores and parts…   

Newzik aims at providing musicians with the best technology and content possible. Every day, their team works hard to develop innovative products and features tailored to the specific needs of musicians. From day one, their objective has always been to work hand-in-hand with music publishers to provide content.

Now it is possible to buy or rent digital sheet music from the Donemus catalogue and receive it directly in the Newzik library. Already in April 2018 Newzik, Asko|Schönberg and Donemus had a successful pilot with a work of Yannis Kyriakides (see the short movie on YouTube). Since then technology has improved and more and more ensembles use the services of Newzik.

This new integration of Newzik in the Donemus webshop makes it very easy to use the digital content of over 14,000 titles at the Donemus catalogue within the sophisticated Newzik app.

Website Newzik

Pilot Asko|Schönberg, Newzik and Donemus

Donemus webshop