“Donemus is courageous and committed in the way it actively promotes new music…. While some other countries have equivalent organizations, I am not aware of any that is so proactive. Donemus sets a standard that others should follow.”
(Stephen Baggaley, Brisbane)
City Imprints, Torstensson’s new composition for large symphony orchestra, was commissioned by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (GSO) to celebrate the 400-year anniversary of the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2021…
City Imprints is Torstensson’s first orchestra work following the much performed triptych A cycle of the North (2007-2012)– Fastlandet, Polarhavet, Himmelen. This cycle was co-commissioned by a number of European orchestras for performances in venues such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konserthuset Stockholm, Stavanger Konserthus (Norway), and Berwaldhallen Stockholm.
After having been destroyed several times in the previous centuries, the city of Gothenburg was founded and rebuild as a heavily fortified, primarily Dutch, trading colony, by royal charter in 1621.
In the centuries to follow, Gothenburg developed into Sweden’s main harbour for trade towards the west. Countless ships with emigrants sailed off to North America, and so did Pole expeditions heading for the North. Torstensson’s opera The Expedition (1994-1999) is about one of these expeditions – the unfortunate Andrée balloon expedition of 1897.
In City Imprints, we can hear not only traces of the farewells by the beloved ones, standing on the quay in the Gothenburg harbour, but also of the sounds originating from the shipbuilding industry (riveting machines!) and from the stonemasonry, both so typical for this city and its factories. Even the street network– the planning of the streets and canals of Gothenburg closely resembled that of Jakarta, which was built by the Dutch around the same time – has been given a modest place in the composition.
Before the reconstruction of the cityin the beginning of the 17th century, it threatened to sink into the mud. In City Imprints, this sinking can be heard at the end of the work. Happily enough, in art, the chronology does not have to be realistic.
City Imprints as a soundscape: a personal search for both the public and the hidden memories of a city… Exciting and full of drama, but also of stillness and beauty.
(Due to the Corona-pandemic the festivities have been postponed until a later date.)
In 1621 one of the greatest Dutch composers of all time passed away: Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. 400 years after his death, NTR Podium asks six contemporary composers to transform his legacy into new music. One of them is composer Sarah Neutkens…
As inspiration for her new work, Neutkens looked at Sweelinck’s vocal side. Four singers of the Nederlands Kamerkoor will sing the premiere. “I used a psalm text that Sweelinck also set to music, In te Domine speravi. That text is about hope, something that I think fits in these times.”
Neutkens has worked with singers of the Nederlands Kamerkoor in the past. The documentary The Camp of Sarah Neutkens follows her while she stays on Vlieland and writes music, at the invitation of the festival Into The Great Wide Open. “That collaboration tasted like more. The Nederlands Kamerkoor is one of the top choirs in the Netherlands, so it’s a treat that four singers are going to sing my music.”
“As a composer, I am not someone who gets very involved with the musicians during rehearsals. I like to leave the singers free to interpret the music. Music starts to flourish when the musicians start working on it.”
Greek (Rhodian) composer Savvas Karantzias has signed a publishing contract with Donemus. His two large oratorios will be the first works to be published…
Savvas Karantziasreceived his music education in A. Corelli Conservatory (Rhodes), where he is currently the Conservatory’s professor and director. He also works in the synthetic study of the sound phenomenon and the depiction of image in sound. He is co-founder of the festival “European Polyphony / Polyphonie Europeenne” and founder of Ars Artis Organization. His first appearance in the record industry was in 2015 in the record “Echomonologues”, done in collaboration with Subways Music. Karantzias has created multiform compositions for orchestra, choir, theater, chamber music and pieces of music for solo instruments. In 2016 he composed the music-theatrical play titled “O kiklos tou 10” (The circle of 10) which was presented at Michael Cacoyannis Foundation and has worked with very significant actors, directors and choreographers. In 2017 Karantzias composed the Oratorio “Theophanes the Greek”, about the founder of Russian iconography.
This work was presented before an audience for the first time at the Cathedral Church of the Annunciation in Rhodes, followed by a performance in Istanbul (Turkey). The play was subsequently presented at the Collège Notre Dame de France in Paris (France) and in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (Russia). It was also presented at the Bibliotheca of Alexandria (Egypt) under the auspices of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and following the invitation of the Pope and the Patriarch Theodore II’ of Alexandria and all Africa, where he was awarded the honor of the Grand Commander of Our Lion Battalion of Alexandria. The compositions of Savvas Karantzias have traveled the world and his works were presented by significant Greek and international artists as well as by significant ensembles. In 2018 he started a long-term collaboration with the Moscow Synodal choir from whom he receives annual orders for the composition of new plays intended to be premiered in front of the Russian audience. In 2020 Karantzias composed the Oratorio “Andrei Rublev” which was presented in Moscow (Russia) in Zaryadye Concert Hall. Since 2020, Savvas Karantzias is represented worldwide by MUSICENTRY, the Donemus partner in Greece.
Musicentry continues the successful cooperation with Donemus Publishing for the worldwide promotion of Greek composers. We are pleased to announce the new publication of 2 superb works of the Rhodian composer Savvas Karantzias by Donemus Publishing. The powerful music of his two Oratorios with deep religious feeling ‘’Theophanes the Greek’’ & ‘’Andrei Rublev’’, will begin their worldwide journey.
Composer Savvas Karantzias:
I particularly welcome the beginning of my collaboration with Donemus Publishing House for the publication of my two works ‘’Theophanes the Greek’’ and ‘’Andrei Rublev’’. My special thanks to Davo van Peursen, as well as to Musicentry for their valuable support and representation.
Davo van Peursen:
We are impressed by the strong musical language of Savvas Karantzias. His oratorio “Theophanes the Greek” is an impressive composition with past performances at important venues. Donemus is looking forward to cooperating with him and with Muscentry to gain more attention to his oeuvre.
Donemus Records has just released recordings of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos 3 & 4, performed by Jacob Bogaart and the Radio Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Ernest Bour…
Emanuel Overbeeke: Jacob Bogaart is already known for his CD-Box The Art of dutch Keyboard Music. Boogaart plays with a lightness that one would expect from fortepianists who, at the time, were hardly concerned with Beethoven’s concertos, and with a sense of structure that one would expect from powerhouses of an older generation. The performances are very vital and seem smooth, while they are hardly faster than those of well-known pianists. In his approach, full of energy, lightness, architecture and transparency, he has an excellent ally in conductor Ernest Bour, who has the unsurpassed and unfortunately discontinued Radio Chamber Orchestra playing at its peak. In short, this is one of the most interesting releases in the context of the Beethoven year, an audio recording of the broadcasters from 1985. Finally available, it fascinates for its intention and its result, two things that do not always go together at this level.
Jacob Bogaart: It was intense working in such a short period of time – especially for me as a pianist – but also a unique opportunity to fulfill the work with this conductor, with whom I would reach an agreement on the very last details. With gratitude, I look back to these recordings, and I see it as a privilege to have been working with Ernest Bour. A cooperation in which we shared an inspiring harmony of view. He himself alluded to our cooperation in an emotional letter. Words of appreciation, written by a man who always avoided personal effusions: “…la résurrection des concertos de piano et l’exécution en particulier du troisième et quatrième reste un des rares moments privilégiés de ma vie.” [ “… the resurrection of the Piano Concertos and in particular the performance of the third and the fourth, will remain with me as one of the rare and privileged moments of my life.”]
Isidora Žebeljan’s Zujte strune (Hum away, hum away, strings!): Metamorphosis to themes from Mozart’s opera ‘The Magic Flute’ for symphony orchestra will be released by Donemus Records on April 5th…
“Zujte strune” has been recorded by the Moravská filharmonie Olomouc, conducted by Tomáš Netopil. Written in 2013, this work was commissioned by Bregenzer Festspiele and dedicated to Sir David Pountney. The Pre-Save and Pre-Add are available now.
On platforms like Primephonic and Tidal, the recording comes with the score to read along.
On March 18th, 2021, the Slovenian-Dutch composer Petra Strahovnik received the prestigious Berlin Art Prize for Music. In the words of the jury, “Despite her young age, Petra Strahovnik can already look back on a surprisingly extensive, varied and original oeuvre, with nearly eighty works played by a diverse array of ensembles. Her work is deserving of the Kunstpreis Berlin in the Music Section and of being made known to a broader audience”…
As a researcher of sound, Petra Strahovnik looks for sounds, structures and forms that defy conventional notions of music and transcend the traditional dichotomy of thought and emotion, body and mind in order to ‘make the mind tremble’, as she puts it herself. At the centre of her work and research are the expressive power of music and the conviction that it alone can move, affect and unsettle a person in their entirety. Her instrumental compositions resemble immersive soundscapes that do not exhibit the specific characteristics of individual instruments but instead generate a total sound with an often suction-like effect. In large part, this total soundscape conceals how it is created using traditional orchestral instruments, until suddenly, out of the dense and at times drone-like textures, individual voices emerge, reminiscent in a phantom-like way of familiar timbres and styles of playing.
New, fascinating possibilities for preparing wind and, in particular, stringed instruments (strings, piano, harp) are key to Petra Strahovnik’s work. Special magnets are attached to a very specific contact and connection points, such as along the violin strings between the fingerboard and bridge, a technique that gives the violins different playing, vibration and radiation qualities. The results are microtonal structures rich in overtones that appear to be electronically enhanced, even though all the sounds are generated purely instrumentally. The fact that the composer is not interested in superficial effects that can be arbitrarily substituted is evident in the experiments she has been systematically carrying out in her various pieces for years, as well as in her exact notation of bowing, speed, pressure and contact point on the strings and her precise notion of the acoustic results.
Rainer Nonnenmann, Köln / Cologne
Rolf Riehm, Frankfurt am Main
Iris ter Schiphorst, Wien / Vienna
Donemus is excited to announce that Belgian composer Jeroen D’hoe is joining Donemus Publishing. His large oeuvre contains symphonies, concertos, an oratorio, a number of chamber music works, solo works, as well as many vocal works. Reaching beyond conventional forms, Jeroen also composes soundscapes and sound installations. His works will soon become available at Donemus…
Jeroen D’hoe: Donemus inspires me as a composer with its pro-active approach and international appeal. With its rich tradition and future-oriented online platform, this publishing house is the ideal partner to reach the best musicians, ensembles and orchestras. I am very much looking forward to our cooperation!
Davo van Peursen: We are very honored to have Jeroen D’hoe signing with Donemus. With his strong musical language and his superior composing skills, he is one of the most remarkable Belgian composers. We will treasure his compositions and work together with him to find new opportunities for performances. His works certainly deserve a larger audience.
Jeroen D’hoe (1968) is a prolific composer, pianist and musicologist, who engages in various dialogues with other musical styles and other art disciplines, usually commissioned by orchestras, ensembles, festivals and museums. He received a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) and Master of Music in composition with John Corigliano from The Juilliard School (New York), in addition to Masters in composition (Piet Swerts) and piano (Johan Lybeert and Alan Weiss) at LUCA School of Arts, Campus Lemmens (Leuven) and a Master in Musicology (KU Leuven). Jeroen D’hoe won the National Composition Competition of Queen Elisabeth (2003), the SABAM Prize for Composition (2003) with Toccata-Scherzo, and the Composition Competition of the Province of Flemish Brabant (2002) with Festival Anthem. He received the “Golden Poppy” Award (SABAM) for his oeuvre in the classical composition category (2008).
Jeroen D’hoe’s idiom essentially consists of two components: on the one hand, he draws inspiration from the compositional innovations that composers have implemented in recent decades, and on the other, there is a strong connection with tradition. He also feels a great affinity with twentieth-century composers such as Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Witold Lutoslawski, György Ligeti and John Corigliano. His roots are generally in the large symphonic repertoire with its direct expressiveness. In addition, Jeroen D’hoe mentions the great importance of his training as a musicologist and the research work that followed. They are as essential as his purely musical training. He states that a historical, aesthetic and analytical perspective – from musicology – provides a necessary background for composition. He therefore strives for an ideal interaction between the artistic and the scientific.
Climate change is a fact and it is sending out clear signals calling for action. Government leaders and heads of state meet every so often but rarely produce satisfactory results. In the face of such a global problem, can personal commitment make a difference? A scientist, an activist, an environmentalist and composer Saskia Venegas will debate this, moderated by Klara presenter Sander De Keere…
The voice of science will be heard by Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, professor at UCLouvain and Belgium’s best-known climate scientist. His book In het oog van de klimaatstorm (In the eye of the climate storm) offers a look behind the scenes of major international climate conferences. The second speaker is the Spanish-Belgian composer, violinist and music theatre artist Saskia Venegas Aernouts. Among other projects, she has composed music for Milo Rau’s socially engaged theatre. To what extent is her work influenced by issues such as climate change? The third person to take part in the debate was delegated by Extinction Rebellion. Eka van Baaren has been active in the Belgian branch of this radical environmental movement since 2018. The debate will be opened by violist Rhea Vanhellemont, one of the laureates of SUPERNOVA 2020 with the Desguin Quartet, who will perform Premonición (Premonition) by Saskia Venegas Aernouts.
Premonición is a programmatic piece that depicts the emotional struggle of a person confronted with a painful life situation: the death of a loved one. Something inside her tells her that there will be no solution, and although not all possibilities of a cure have been ruled out, she feels that the end is already near. The fear of loss, the fear of death is unbearable and she does everything she can to create some hope.
The composition is characterised by contrasting textures that interrupt each other as a metaphor for the inner conflict that arises when we try to silence our instincts in order not to look the future in the eye. Woven into the structure of the piece, we hear fragments of the first part of a lullaby that reflects the character’s love and care for the person she is about to lose. These caring feelings are interrupted with outbursts of pain, anger, fear and hopelessness. One emotion leads to another, and although they are extreme and antagonistic, they are all intertwined.
The composition was originally written for violin and later, on the occasion of the Peter Benoit Fund Autumn Concert 2020, arranged for viola.
The debate takes place on Tuesday, March 16 at 19h and can be attended online.
Sinfonia Varsovia will perform the world premiere of Martyna Kosecka: Concerto for Clarinet, Multipercussion and String Orchestra. The concert will be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook…
Martyna Kosecka is the youngest composer featured in the “Resounds” evening, forming a powerful female trio with the authors of the other premiere works of the series, Żaneta Rydzewska (December) and Teoniki Rożynek (March). Following the path of the artist for several years now, she makes an impressive carreer. In her early works, Kosecka explicitly referred to the sonorist tradition of the Polish school, then she became fascinated with the spectral and Persian music, still searching for herself and her roots. She will certainly get closer to them at this concert, as Sinfonia Varsovia will be led by Szymon Bywalec, with whom the composer also studied conducting.
On March 23, Donemus Records will release a new recording of Simeon ten Holt’s Palimpsest by Soloists from the Open Sound Orchestra…
The title Palimpsest comes from the Greek language and historically refers to a parchment scroll that was rewritten after the original writing had been scratched off or made invisible. Often the original text remained somewhat legible. This last characteristic is always perceptible to the listener in the composition. Despite differences in key or character, the motif can be traced back to the initial theme.
The first and second violin introduce the theme, after which the composition comes to life through an accumulation. The overall form of the composition is divided into a number of episodes separated by so-called transitions. In these, the violinists pass the fast movement part to each other as in a relay. The second change is followed by an Interlude, which can be regarded as a chromatic and through-composed loop; the fourth episode is followed by a coda.
Open Sound Orchestra
OpenSoundOrchestra is presented by young and professional musicians with the main goal to popularize contemporary music. The orchestra is fond of both minimalism and serialism, as well as electronic music. OpenSoundOrchestra records and plays music by young and well-known Russian composers in different halls such as the conservatory and the philharmonic, stadiums and small concert rooms. The name of the orchestra “Open Sound” stands for the openness of new music and new ways of representing it to the audience.
The orchestra was founded by passionate musicians Stanislav Malyshev and Olga Kalinova.