Willem Jeths at the Staunton Music Festival

Willem Jeths is Composer-in-Residence at this year’s Staunton Music Festival in Staunton, VI. The festival, established in 1998, spans 10 days and presents 30+ performances each year, bringing world-renowned musicians to Virginia each August. See the concerts that include works by Jeths below…   

Monday Aug 19, 12 pm
First Presbyterian Church
100 East Frederick Street, Staunton
Tickets via Staunton Music Festival

Hear the U.S. premiere of Maktub by composer-in-residence Willem Jeths, along with music by Purcell and Shostakovich.

Tuesday Aug 20, 3 pm
Central United Methodis Church
14 North Lewist Street, Staunton
Tickets via Staunton Music Festival

Meet the composer: Jeths will discuss his work and festival musicians perform his String Quartet No. 3 and The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis for recorder (US premiere).

Friday Aug 23, 12 pm
First Presbyterian Church
100 East Frederick Street, Staunton
Tickets via Staunton Music Festival

This eclectic noon concert brings together three very different works, including premieres by composers-in-residence Willem Jeths and John Yannelli, and the delightful Septet by Camille Saint-Saëns, which sparkles with late-19th-century French radiance.

More info…

Worldpremiere Austin Yip – Koto

The new work by Austin Yip – Koto – based on Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata’s novel of the same title, will receive its premiere on 10 August, 2019 in Kyoto, Japan by the Rosetta Contemporary Ensemble…   

The project “Koto” is initiated by a commission from Rosetta, a Kyoto based contemporary music ensemble, in 2019. The idea behind the concert is to investigate on the possibility of “without framing”, which challenges on the traditional concept of music being a “framed”, or “bounded” art form. “Koto” is a collection of 26 small works, with most of them has no fixed duration, some are written in the traditional format. All the movements are inspired by dialogues from Yasunari Kawabata’s novel of the same title, published in 1962.

The novel was cited by the Nobel Committee as a part of decision to award Kawabata the 1968 Prize for Literature. The story is about Chieko Sada’s life in Kyoto, where she lived with her adopted parents, and later on met her long lost twin sister Naeko.

More about the concert
More about Austin Yip

Daan Manneke 80!

In November 2019, the composer, conductor and teacher Daan Manneke will turn 80. Many concerts and a symposium coming up!…   

The Babel Foundation and Stichting Archipel organize a festival during autumn 2019 with, among other events, a public symposium (meet and greet between music scientists and students around Daan Manneke), concerts in the Netherlands, Flanders and elsewhere in Europe.

On July 7, Koor – Studium Chorale with conductor Hans Leenders, and musicians Dirk Luijmes, Raphaela Danksagmüller and Marcel Verheggen will give a concert with works of Ton de Leeuw (Sweelinck-variaties 1972-73), Gerard Beljon (Planctus Cygni I) and of course Daan Manneke.

Please consider to donate!

The complete overview of concerts can be found here.



Music of Lex van Delden in documentary ‘The Good Terrorist’

A former Jihadi speaks out in a film about a Dutch terrorist group, which finds new patterns and answers far inside the darkness of radicalisation. Zeppers Film made a documentary with music by Lex van Delden, arranged and edited by Reyn Ouwehand…   

In 2004, Jason Walters was apprehended with plans to commit a terrorist attack. After a violent 14-hour gunfight with the police from a besieged apartment, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The action took place just eight days after the terrible killing of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and Holland was in shock.

Today, Walters regrets his past life as a Jihadi. What happened, and how do you become an advocate of tolerance after being a hateful extremist? The story of the dreaded Hofstad group is unravelled in an in-depth and dramatic film, which also gives the floor to psychologists, experts, kiosk owners and not the least Walters himself, who lays all his cards on the table in an exceptionally frank interview. The former Jihadi Nouriddin El Fahtni confirms the complex but often banal causes of the dark radicalisation, which are larger and more widespread than the religion or ideology that is used to justify it. Good answers to good questions are given in a film that manages to keep its balance while dealing with an extreme subject.


Regie: Robert Oey
Camera: Rogier den Boer, Reinier van Brummelen and Robert Oey
Sound: Tim van Peppen, Mike van der Sluijs and Maaik Krijgsman
Montage: Chris van Oers
Sound Design: Giel van Geloven
Music: Lex van Delden and Reyn Ouwehand
Producer: Frank van den Engel, Zeppers Film

In theaters from June 27th:

AMERSFOORT • Lieve Vrouw
AMSTERDAM • De Balie • Na de vertoning op 30 juni vindt er een nagesprek plaats met regisseur Robert Oey en Hoessein van Stichting Achterblijvers. Sinds zijn dochter radicaliseerde en zijn zoon in Syrië sneuvelde, wil Hoessein jongeren ervan weerhouden ‘over te lopen’.
AMSTERDAM • Het Ketelhuis
DEN HAAG • Filmhuis Den Haag
GRONINGEN • Groninger Forum
HILVERSUM • Filmtheater Hilversum
MAASTRICHT • Lumière Cinema • op 27 juni met vraag-en-antwoord-gesprek met Johan van de Beek, onderzoeksjournalist bij de Limburger en gespecialiseerd in radicalisering en regisseur Robert Oey.
ROTTERDAM • LantarenVenster • on July 3 with Robert Oey
TILBURG • Cinecitta • only once on Tuesday, July 2!
and on PICL

Michael Fine at the Colorado Music Festival

On June 18th Michael Fine’s Chamber Symphony will be premiered at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival with conductor Scott Yoo…   

Michael Fine feels very excited that an astonishing group of 11 young top instrumentalists from major institutions under the direction of Scott Yoo will create his Chamber Symphony at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival on 18 June. A mini-Concerto for Orchestra, the Chamber Symphony began with the jazzy, muted trumpet solo that occurs early in the piece after a rather pastoral introduction. Much of the music of the first movement revolves around and reacts to that theme. There are numerous and occasionally challenging solos for each instrument.

The second movement turns the heat up taking motifs from the first movement and playing with them at speed but not too fast. An andante third movement is a stroll in a verdant park while the final Allegretto is playful in attitude and not too long. The spirit of the piece is, like most of his music, American in character with a subtle hint of jazz and for better or worse, elements of his whimsical and occasionally elusive personality. It is music which Michael Fine hopes is direct enough to be enjoyed rather without too much effort.

With Alice Dade, flute; Elizabeth Koch, oboe; Anton Rist, clarinet, bass clarinet; Michael Thornton, horn; Kevin Cobb, trumpet; Tonya Jilling, harp; Steven Copes, violin; Virginia Barron, viola; David Ying, cello; Susan Cahill, bass Scott Yoo, conductor

Chiel Meijering – St. Louis Blues

St. Touchstones, Orkest de Ereprijs and Musis en Stadstheater Arnhem present the opera St Louis Blues, written by Chiel Meijering and Paul Binnerts. Originally written and produced in 1995, this opera will be performed on stage again this September by the same ‘Orkest de Ereprijs’…   

The Dutch-language opera St. Louis Blues by is based on true events in the year 1939.

In that year, the St. Louis passenger ship sails with 937 Jewish passengers from Hamburg to Havana. The refugees hope to bring themselves into safety from persecution by the Nazi’s, and to obtain in Cuba an entry visa for the US. What starts as a journey full of euphoria ends in deception: Cuba, the US and South America close their borders to refugees. With more than 900 Jews, The ship is forced to return to Europe, where a horrible fate awaits many of them, the most, the same fate that befell as millions of Jews during World War II.

Does history repeat itself? 80 years later, it is bitter to find that the fate of boat refugees is still uncertain today. Thus, the opera connects the past with the present: by reflecting on the past, we might be encouraged to re-think the present. Is there place for humanity today? Or is that a bridge too far?

Performance dates:
Tue 10 September – 8 p.m.
Wed 11 September – 8 p.m.
Thu 12 September – 8 p.m.
Fr 13 September – 8 p.m.
Sat 14 September – 3 p.m.
Sat 14 September – 8 p.m.
Sun 15 September – 3 p.m.
Sun 15 September – 8 p.m.

staging: Jeroen Kriek
co-staging: Goos Meeuwsen and Helena Bittencourt
composition: Chiel Meijering
libretto: Paul Binnerts
music: orkest de ereprijsled by Wim Boerman
singers: Francisca Branco, Pim van Drunen, Luke Mitchell, Ginette Puylaert, Jan Kristof Schliep, Jorien Zeevaart a.o.

More info and tickets…

GVIDO available at Donemus

Donemus is now a distributor of GVIDO hardware. GVIDO is the world’s first dual-screen digital music score, with features such as a 13.3-inch dual screen using ePaper; same size and feel of traditional paper music scores; it weighs only 660g. The flat hinges make the screens fold open nice and flat, so you can view them easily like a music book…   

Unlike LCD tablets, reflection and glare are virtually gone, so, just like with paper, you can perform under sunlight with full visibility of the screen. No backlighting, so it’s gentle on the eyes, preventing strain and fatigue.

Turn pages with a touch
Flip pages easily and without a sound by using the infrared touch switch. Three touch switches can be personalized, assigning each one different functions to make it easier for you to use. Hands-free page turning with the optional footswitch.

Write notes on scores
With the included stylus pen, write and erase notes directly on the screen. Save up to 100 layers of notes and share them easily with other users.

Prices excl. VAT
€ 1500 – Digital Music Reader
€   320 – Foot Switch
€   320 – Genuine Leather Case

Contact us to see the hardware in our office and to test it!

(; 070 2500 786)

Gerard Beljon – Planctus Cygni

On June 14th Collegium Vocale Eindhoven will bring the world premiere of the full version Gerard Beljon’s ‘Planctus Cygni’, commissioned by the ‘Nederlands Gregoriaans Festival’. The Latin lyrics and melody are originally written in approx. 800 AD….   

For Planctus Cygni is written for solo soprano, Arabic vocalist, duduk/fujara or saxophone, harp and chamber-choir. The work is based on an anonymous Latin poem written in the Middle Ages, about a swan losing its way while flying over the sea. The swan gets lost, and of course panics while flying on for hours on end across the dark waters, getting very tired and afraid to drown, but in the end it reaches land and is happily saved. But this is not the land where it came from! So from now on the swan is an ‘exulata’, ‘al-manfa’, an exile.

When Gerard Beljon read Planctus Cygni, I immediately associated it with the refugee crisis whime have in Europe. Therefore to him, it was clear that the central theme for my Planctus Cygni composition would be the cultural differences between East and West, and how we can build mutual understanding by communication.

The prospect of mixing our Western notes with these beautiful Eastern ones was also very exciting to him
Festival November Music and the Nederlands Gregoriaans Festival have made that possible by both giving him commissions to compose Planctus Cygni. The result is a 30-minute score full of intriguing new music that offers a sea of possibilities and musical landscapes for soloists, choir and audience.

Beljon is convinced that communication between the different cultures in Europe is the only way to solve our problems: Concurrite omnia Alitum et conclamate Agmina: Join together, all winged creatures, and sing together all of you!

More info

The previous, short version of Planctus Cygni:

Kris Oelbrandt – Ignatius Cantata in the Krijtberg, Amsterdam

What would the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola sound like if they were to be sung? Kris Oelbrandt was confronted with this question when two Jesuits from the Old Abbey of Drongen passed by. They also had something to celebrate, namely 150 years of retreat home in Drongen, and commissioned him to set the Spiritual Exercises to music. The result was the Ignatius cantata, a piece for choir, baritone, guitar and ensemble. This cantata will now be performed at the Krijtberg in Amsterdam on June 9th…   

The baritone personifies Ignatius, accompanied by guitar because of the Spanish atmosphere. His vocals are something between speaking and singing, the so-called Sprechstimme. This technique makes it possible to make continuous text, prose (what the Spiritual Exercises are), lyrical by means of bends in the voice and rhythmic recitation. On expressive words he switches to “ordinary” vocals, which gives these words extra shine.

It was impossible to set the complete Exercises to music. That is why only the most concise sentences have been chosen, supplemented with texts from the Bible and tradition. The choir sings these other texts, accompanied by woodwinds. In this way, the textual augmentation (other texts being added) is supported by a musical augmentation (from baritone to choir).

Because of Ignatius’ universal ideas, the choice was made for world languages, namely Spanish and English.

The cantata consists of six parts: the four phases of the Spiritual Exercises, framed by an extensive prologue and a musing epilogue. The prologue focuses on the well-known text by Teresa of Avila, “What do You want to do with me?”: it expresses the central motive of in fact the entire Spiritual Exercises, namely surrender and trust. Each subsequent movement begins with a quote from the Exercises, which is complemented musically and textually by choir and ensemble. The epilogue is a song that combines and reconciles different themes from the cantata, just as the retreatant at the end of the retreat reconciles with Christ.

More info

Maxim Shalygin: premiere by the Amstel and Keuris Quartets

On June 29 the Amstel & Keuris Quartets will give the world premiere ‘Todos los fuegos el fuego’ of Maxim Shalygin. This work is a musical cycle that immerses the listener for one hour in a mystical act, sparking off the imagination and opening up unknown emotional conditions…   

Todos los fuegos el fuego for saxophone octet, composed by Maxim Shalygin, constitutes a mysterious and exciting link between music and literature. For the second chapter of the life-long Similar cycle (where the first one is Lacrimosa or 13 Magic Songs for 7 violins), Shalygin draws inspiration from ‘Todos los fuegos el fuego’, arguably the most enigmatic book by the great Cortázar. All short stories in this collection share an exit into a parallel, magic reality, sometimes near to ours, sometimes strikingly different from it. Their forms provoke peculiar musical dramaturgic solutions, whereas an abundance of pseudo-musical forms enables for the creation of a unique atmosphere, using an enlarged variety of performance techniques.

Suite’s overall structure consists of eight parts, performed by eight saxophone players — as many as there are stories in the book (and syllables in its title, which, incidentally, sounds like a saxophone phrase by itself). The saxophone is chosen for a reason, since, for all his knowledge and passion for music, jazz claimed the most of Cortázar’s attention. Jazz, and accordingly the sound of the saxophone was his muse and constant presence in many of his most well-known fiction. Moreover, the saxophone is involved in many mystical moments in music, literature, and, last but not least, cinema — a fascination Maxim shares with him as well.

Two of the Netherlands’ most exciting saxophone quartets join forces to perform this work on June 29th at the Zuiderstrandtheater. The Amstel Quartet and the Keuris Quartet will give this concert, as part of ‘Dag in de branding‘.


Amstel Quartet

Keuris Quartet