Calliope Tsoupaki: Memento Nostri

Like no other, the Greek-Dutch composer Calliope Tsoupaki knows how to stop time. She touches people straight in the heart with her breathtaking music that spans centuries. During November Music 2019, she was allowed to realise a dream project. With her penetrating Bosch Requiem Liknon, she glued the listeners to their seats. This year there is a sequel…   

In her Memento Nostri, Calliope intertwines Latin and Byzantine texts. A brand new mass that connects traditions like a universal meta-requirement, Tsoupaki reveals. For Tsoupaki’s requiem, the choir is accompanied by a special ensemble, Consort Company: a quartet of viola da gambas conducted by Mieneke van der Velden joins forces with a recorder quartet led by Daniël Brüggen. In Tsoupaki’s new mass, it all comes together. The warmth of the choir sound, the mercurial sound of a collection of viola da gambas, combined with the clarity of a recorder ensemble.

Calliope is one of the defining composers of Dutch musical life, she has lived in the Netherlands since 1988 and is a composition teacher at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Her aim is to express the essence as simply and clearly as possible. In her compositions, she uses elements from ancient and contemporary music and the music of Greece and the Middle East. She skilfully combines them into a musical idiom that is entirely her own. Her music is praised for its melodic character, warm sound and emotional quality. To date, her oeuvre comprises more than 100 works for various instrumentations and instruments from different cultures (qanun, ney, kemençe, hurdy gurdy, vielle, viola da gamba) from solo to orchestral works, choral music, dance, theatre, opera and multi-sensory projects.

At the request of Anthony Zielhorst, conductor of chamber choir Ad Parnassum Tilburg, and with support from the Performing Arts Fund, Calliope Tsoupaki has composed the Requiem composition MEMENTO NOSTRI (2020), which was originally intended to be premiered during Requiem in Koningshoeven in November 2020. This performance could not take place due to the pandemic, so the upcoming performances will bring the world premiere. Tsoupaki’s combination of instruments (choir accompanied by recorders and viola da gambas) was frequently used by many composers in the 17th century, because the sounds of both ensembles can melt together beautifully without losing their individuality.

Memento Nostri consists of two parts. The first part, Requiem Aeternam, is a musical elaboration of the opening section of the funeral liturgy. The texts of the entrance song and the prayer for mercy are combined with a fragment from the Tractus Absolve Domine and a fragment from Psalm 23, which occurs in the Greek Orthodox funeral liturgy. The music is melodious in a broad gesture. We enter the room where we pay our respects to the deceased and sing of his eternal peace. This first part consists of a fine alternation between choir and consorts and concludes with a moving Lamento by the sopranogamba. Calliope Tsoupaki wrote this Lamento for Mieneke van der Velden, who leads the gamba consort. Lamento is followed by a passage in which God is invoked to hear our plea for mercy, both in Latin and in Greek. The sound becomes fuller, the movement fiercer. God’s mercy must not only concern this deceased person, but all the deceased. A sharp fragment of the recorder consort underlines this statement; our prayer continues endlessly.

The second part, entitled Memento Nostri, consists of four sections. The first section Os anthos marenete opens with a meditative overture by the gamba consort, which is later joined by the recorder consort. The music is polyphonic: the theme introduced by the sopranogamba is imitated in the other instruments. This theme, which in the opening seems to refer to the great hymn Te Deum laudamus, forms the leitmotiv of this part of the composition. We hear it return in various forms in alternation with the choir. Contrasting with this is a passage of fast notes that ‘flies’ through both consorts and appears as a second theme in the dialogue with the choir. In the meantime, the choir sings fragments from the Greek Orthodox Troparia of St. John Damascene, the Chrysorrhoas: carried, tuneful and painful.

The liturgy continues with a grand homophonic Sanctus, which Calliope Tsoupaki has set up as a chorale. Here too, Latin is alternated with Greek passages. ‘Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus’ becomes ‘Agios, agios, agios’. The Agnus Dei is designed as a lament, a Threnos. The supplication becomes personal: give them eternal rest.

Memento Nostri concludes with a prayer for God’s protection not only for the deceased, but for us all: Memento nostri Domine, miserere nobis. Because the prayer is sung completely a cappella and increases in intensity, it forms an impressive conclusion to a monumental composition.

The work is dedicated In memoriam Louis Andriessen, Calliope’s teacher who passed away this summer.

7 November – Koningshoeven

10 November  – Jheronimus Bosch Art Center

14 November – Orgelpark

Bestuursleden gevraagd

De Stichting Donemus Beheer zoekt twee nieuwe bestuursleden…   

Beschrijving en aard van de stichting 

Donemus is in 1947 opgericht en kent een rijke geschiedenis. Ontstaan als het instituut dat zich bezighoudt met de documentatie van hedendaagse muziek, gecomponeerd in Nederland, heeft het decennialang een indrukwekkende catalogus kunnen opbouwen met de muziek van belangrijke Nederlandse componisten. Het archief van naar schatting 1,3 miljoen pagina’s is volledig gedigitaliseerd. De catalogus telt 13.000 werken van meer dan 650 componisten. Donemus staat internationaal bekend als een innovatieve, betrouwbare muziekuitgeverij, behoorlijk vooroplopend waar het gaat om contracten en ICT-beheer en in toenemende mate ook (weer) actief als label.

In 2012 is Stichting Donemus Beheer opgericht. Voortbouwend op de rijke erfenis van ruim zes decennia muzikaal erfgoed, is Donemus Beheer de eigenaar en beheerder van alle werken in de catalogus. De Stichting brengt de uitvoerende uitgeeftaken onder bij een ander, commerciële partner: Donemus Publishing BV. Deze exploiteert in opdracht van de stichting de contracten door verkoop en verhuur aan uitvoerenden. Periodiek evalueert de Stichting de wijze waarop Donemus Publishing daarin acteert. Donemus Publishing telt op dit moment zes medewerkers. De directeur van Donemus Publishing is secretaris van het bestuur van Donemus Beheer.

De Stichting ontvangt BUMA-afdrachten voor uitvoeringen behorend bij de uitgavecontracten. De stichting werft bij gelegenheid en in specifieke gevallen ook fondsen voor aanvullende financiering. Donemus Beheer bevindt zich in de keten tussen componist en uitvoerenden: de componisten als leveranciers van muziekwerken en de uitvoerenden als klanten. 

Als culturele stichting, zonder winstoogmerk en zonder structurele overheidssteun, zoekt Donemus Beheer steeds artistiek inhoudelijke kennis, zakelijke deskundigheid en juridische know-how in zijn bestuur. 

Omvang en samenstelling van het bestuur 

De omvang van het bestuur is zodanig dat het bestuur in zijn geheel effectief en verantwoord zijn taken kan vervullen en dat ieder individueel lid van het bestuur zijn/haar specifieke kennis en vaardigheden kan inbrengen. Het bestuur bestaat uit 5 tot 7 leden.

Het bestuur vraagt van elke bestuurder affiniteit met het werkgebied van de stichting, dus in staat de doelen, de strategie en het beleid van de stichting en de daaruit voortvloeiende resultatenontwikkeling te overzien. Het bestuur vraagt onafhankelijk en opbouwend kritisch te opereren in het belang van het beheer en de exploitatie van de catalogus, een goede bereidheid tot samenwerking en geen tegenstrijdige belangen te hebben op het moment van benoeming en gedurende de zittingsperiode in het bestuur

Twee vacatures

Er ontstaan nu twee vacatures als gevolg van de beëindiging van de tweede termijn van twee zittende bestuurders:

  1. Vacature voor lid van bestuur die goed vanuit de belangen van componisten kan adviseren
  2. Vacature voor lid van bestuur die goed vanuit de belangen van uitvoering en productie kan adviseren

Donemus Beheer zoekt één bestuurslid die actief is als componist en wiens werk in de catalogus van Donemus is opgenomen Het is de taak van dit lid om vooral de belangen van de aangesloten componisten en hun erven te overzien en te behartigen binnen de kaders van de doelen van de stichting. Voor de componisten die verenigd zijn in Nieuw Geneco is dit specifieke bestuurslid het eerste aanspreekpunt. Andersom geldt niet dat dit bestuurslid een formele vertegenwoordiger is van Nieuw Geneco. De vertegenwoordiger dient te beschikken over een brede blik op (internationale) ontwikkelingen ten aanzien van het componeren van hedendaagse klassieke muziek tot aan de cross-overs met bijvoorbeeld jazz, filmmuziek en popmuziek. 

Daarnaast zoekt Donemus Beheer een nieuw bestuurslid met sterke affiniteit met het uitvoerende veld Het is de taak van dit lid om vooral de belangen van het uitvoerende veld te overzien en te behartigen binnen de kaders van de doelen van de stichting. Voor uitvoerenden, producenten en theaters is dit specifieke bestuurslid het eerste aanspreekpunt van de stichting. Andersom geldt niet dat dit bestuurslid een formele vertegenwoordiger is van het uitvoerende veld, zoals bijvoorbeeld vertegenwoordigd in de Nederlandse Associatie voor Podiumkunsten (NAPK). De vertegenwoordiger dient te beschikken over een brede blik op (internationale) ontwikkelingen ten aanzien van uitvoerende musici, theaters en producenten.

Onbezoldigde functies

Op verzoek kunnen de leden van het bestuur een vacatievergoeding ontvangen die gelijk staat aan € 150 per vergadering. Voor het overige gaat het om onbezoldigde functies. Dit geldt ook voor de voorzitter en de secretaris. 

Voor meer informatie kunt u terecht bij Davo van Peursen (secretaris, 06-14554712) of Paul Oomens (voorzitter, 06-34255102). 

Reacties graag vóór 1 januari 2022

Kyriakides: Ein Schemen by musicAeterna

On October 31, the choir of musicAeterna, conducted by Teodor Currentzis will perform Yannis Kyriakides – Ein Schemen in Baden-Baden, Germany…   

Yannis Kyriakides is the author of more than 100 works for musical theatre, multimedia, and electroacoustics. His music is regularly performed at major festivals and in concert programmes of leading contemporary music ensembles in Europe and Russia.

Kyriakides’ works reflect on musical communication, breaking down stereotypes about listeners and performers, exploring new connections between words and sound with computer technologies. In concert works and sound installations, the composer uses information coding systems to translate verbal texts into musical paintings and synthesise imaginary or inner voices.

A 70-minute piece, Ein Schemen, is Yannis Kyriakides’ homage or even a re-composition of A German Requiem by Johannes Brahms. The seven movements, which seamlessly flow into one another, are based on the corresponding parts of the original Requiem. Elements of Brahms’ musical language are extracted from the original score, extended and transformed into soundscapes. Frozen time forms a space where the listener is free to follow in Brahms’ footsteps. The harp framing the choral parts encodes the texts of A German Requiem. The static character of the choir and electronics is deceptive and fluid.

The title quotes a line from the third movement of Brahms’ Requiem: ‘Sie gehen daher wie ein Schemen’. Ein Schemen in German means a shadow, apparition, ghost. Probably it originates from the Latin ‘schema’. This word precisely reflects the nature of the composition, which balances between the worlds of the dead and the living, and follows the source material like a shadow while the music of Brahms imbues it as an otherworldly force.

More info

Ein Schemen at the Donemus catalogue

Concert with works by René Samson

The very first Samsoniade with works by René Samson, will take place on Sunday afternoon, November 14th. The concert takes place in the Uilenburgersjoel in Amsterdam and will start at 14.00h…   

The programme includes Oaks for mezzo-soprano and harpsichord (premiere), the song cycle Regardant … écoutant… for soprano and piano trio, Butternut Squash Za’atar for flute and piano (Dutch premiere) and Walking into Clarity for baritone and piano. Performers are cellist Doris Hochscheid, pianists Shuann Chai and Frans van Ruth, violinist Jacobien Rozemond, harpsichordist Goska Isphording, flutist Marieke Franssen and vocalists Mijke Sekhuis, Fanny Alofs and Mattijs van de Woerd.

The board of the René Samson Foundation
Theo Kemperman, chairman | Thomer Gil, treasurer and secretary | Annelies Kok – van Leengoed, member

Initiative group
Mattijs van de Woerd | Doris Hochscheid | Frans van Ruth | Shuann Chai | Ken Gould | Jaron Samson | Hanna Samson

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Resonances XXI: Works by Egbert Jan Louwerse

On November 14th the French Flute Orchestras, Résonances XXI, will perform two works by flutist and composer Egbert Jan Louwerse…   

The composition 50 Fish for flute and electronic soundscape for flute and tape was composed for Ivo Visser. The work is to be performed with an electroacoustic soundtrack, or a video to be projected on the body of the player.

Bataclan can be performed by one player too but the soundscape of this piece can be played live as a piece on it’s own. It was composed as a graphical score. Therefore this piece can also be played by soloist and live playing flute ensemble or –orchestra, or even without piccolo-solo as a piece for flute ensemble/orchestra and soundtracks. In these cases using the electronic soundscape version for piccolo solo, live flute ensemble and soundtracks.

In the electronic soundscape the voice was added of Channel 4 reporter Jonathan Rugman, trying to make a recapitulation of what happened that night. The voice of the French president François Hollande is also there, saying the attacks were an act of war. The newsreader ends saying that there may be more such scenes as long as the accomplices are on the loose. Many months later, we know he was right and that danger for new attacks is there every day…

Gábor Tarján: Heat and Memory

What is time? A question that is almost impossible to answer. Yet composer Gábor Tarján and violinist Emma Breedveld take the plunge. Thanks to Einstein, we know that there is not just one time, but an uncountable number of times that all intertwine. In addition, each person’s own experience of time is more or less diametrically opposed to this. Einstein’s real time and our deep, emotional, human relationship with time both exist and are equally real…  

In their imaginative concert performance Heat and Memory, Tarján and Breedveld go on a quest to explore both worlds. Both violinist and composer stand on the floor. The violinist plays, moves and whistles. The composer operates the electronics live. Slowly, out of nowhere, clouds of sound emerge, composed of several layers of violin. Times and tempi are intertwined. An alienating and melancholy quest for the elusiveness of time as sound.

The Canadian-Hungarian percussionist and composer Gábor Tarján has been living and working in the Netherlands for some time now. He is mainly active for his interdisciplinary company Het Filiaal Theatermakers. His performance Baron Rabinovich could be seen in New York (Broadway), Hong Kong and Cleveland, among other places. His compositions have been performed by the Nederlands Kamerkoor, the Ives Ensemble, Arraymusic and the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble.

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Maxim Shalygin: Guest composer at the Soundsofmusic Festival in Groningen

Maxim Shalygin is a guest composer at the Soundsofmusic Festival in Groningen. The festival program includes chamber works from various periods. There will also be the premiere of new work, “SATARSA”, as well as an arrangement of Schnittke’s Choral Concerto, that have been made especially for the Kamerorkest van het Noorden…   


Shalygin’s works will be performed by Cello Octet Amsterdam, Kamerorkest van het Noorden, Amstel Quartet, Keuris Quartet, Maya Fridman, Tatiana Koleva, Fie Schouten, students of the Prins Claus Conservatorium Groningen and Haydn Jeugd Strijkorkest & Rob van den Broek (instrument builder). Kamerorkest van het Noorden will also present a concert full of reflections with the music of Guillaume de Machaut, Alfred Schnittke and Maxim Shalygin in the Lutherse Kerk.


Maxim Shalygin: ‘Palindromes in music are just as normal as the Fibonacci numbers in the structure of leaves on the trees. Therefore, when I read the story of Cortazar “Satarsa”, I immediately felt the mysterious musical current in it. Surprisingly, for more than 15 years, I periodically return to his unusually rich work and find sources of inspiration for myself. My SATARSA is a desert of pleasure. A desert with gardens of paradise, crooked mirrors and an endless horizon, from which the melodies of our past lives are heard.
The choir concerto of Schnittke is one of my favorite pieces in music history and the arrangement of the ‘Where every verse is filled with grief’ (part II) proved to be another bond with this great composer.’

More info about Soundsofmusic Festival

Saskia Venegas: Medusa by Maya Fridman

Medusa was written especially for Maya Fridman by the Spanish-Belgian composer, violinist and music theatre maker Saskia Venegas. It will be performed by Maya Friday on November 6th at Zael in Meppel. Maya Fridman will also play works by Calliope Tsoupaki and Wilma Pistorius…   

Venegas brings the mythological figure of the cursed young priestess into today’s ‘MeToo’ era. Venegas: “Medusa’s transformation from woman to monster is a good example of the horrors that rape victims carry with them. With this story I want to unfold the nightmare of women who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of abuse.”

Fridman: “I know that Saskia feels enormous urgency to tell this story. This subject is not easy. Playing the music is also often very difficult for me. I am the channel through which Saskia tells her story to the audience. That’s why I want to do it well.”

Medusa, which will eventually consist of four parts, is still being developed. “Our collaboration is very intense,” says Fridman. “When I start playing a piece, it is an obsession for me to get to the bottom of the message of the story and the intention of the music. Seventy per cent of that process is communication. Saskia and I have become real friends. I am now practising hard on the second movement and I expect to premiere it during the Erato festival. I will also play five other compositions. The pieces by Fjóla Evans and Wilma Pistorius were written for me as well. I also sing in Zulu in one of them.” She laughs. “That was quite a challenge in the beginning, but now I have mastered it.”

When asked what rituals mean to Fridman, she says: “Rituals are a part of all human societies. The first music was made during rituals: outside around fires, in a temple or in a church. I find the relationship between rituals and music so interesting that I am doing artistic research on a sub-question and writing a paper. I hope to get my PhD soon. The pieces I play in Rituals were inspired by the magical powers of spells and invocations. And by nature itself. The greatest source of what we call divine.”

More info about the concert

Calliope Tsoupaki: ‘Neverending’ for bassists of Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest

At the Dutch Double Bass Festival, the bassists of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra will play the world premiere of Neverending, the last piece Calliope Tsoupaki wrote as Laureate Composer of the Netherlands…   

This new work will be performed during a performance by the bassists on Saturday 30 October in Theater Zuidplein in Rotterdam, where trumpeter Eric Vloeimans will also play a special role. Part of the programme will be repeated on Sunday 31 October in the NedPhO-Koepel in Amsterdam.

Since 2006, the double bass section of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra has been led by Luis Cabrera, who recently released a CD entitled Canto Interno. ‘The deep sounds of the double bass fall into such fertile ground that you automatically think this is how it should be, and not otherwise’, wrote Luister magazine about this release. Cabrera has played with many symphony orchestras, including the Orchestre National de France, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, with famous conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Kurt Masur and Bernard Haitink. Cabrera teaches at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Codarts Rotterdam. He is also a popular guest teacher worldwide.

Calliope Tsoupaki

Calliope Tsoupaki has held the title Composer of the Fatherland since the end of 2018 and in that capacity has written eleven pieces with mostly current themes. For one of those works, Thin Air, she received the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize 2021 in July. Tsoupaki enjoyed writing an extensive composition for double bass: ‘I think the sound of the instrument is just as beautiful as that of the cello, maybe even more so, because the soloistic register of the double bass is just a bit more melodious and profound. The double bass slides up more difficultly, but that gives an enormous thickness to the sound. I think it’s a shame that the soloistic sound of the double bass is still too little developed, both from the side of the player and from the side of the composers. I want to change that with this piece.’

James Oeis, artistic director of the Dutch Double Bass Festival, is honoured that Tsoupaki has accepted the commission: ‘I find it impressive how she can give shape to urgency and relevance in music. Music that is always beautiful to listen to, great to play and that touches both the audience and the performers. To me, these are the right ingredients for a work that aims to bring an unknown solo instrument like the double bass to the attention of the public. But above all Tsoupaki has an honest and sincere love for the double bass.

About the Dutch Double Bass Festival

The Dutch Double Bass Festival is the festival that shows why the bass is so beautiful. It is the only festival in the world that has a programme around the bass, from jazz and classical to world and pop. With bands, orchestras and soloists; with double bass, bass guitar and viola da gamba. This year, the festival will take place on 29 and 30 October in Theater Zuidplein in Rotterdam with performances by Dominic Seldis, Sasha Witteveen and Mike Boddé, Grammy-winners John Scofield and Dave Holland, Derrick Hodge and the Dudok Quartet with James Oesi and Ben Williams, bassist of pop and jazz stars like Common, Maxwell and Q-Tip, among others.

More info about the concert

Max Knigge: Kastanjespel

Max Knigge wrote the compulsory work for Bassoons for Future, competition for professional bassoon players in Maastricht. Every participant in the competition will play the composition Het Kastanjespel, for which Max was commissioned by the Bassoon Network…  

The versatility of the bassoon! The singing quality as well as the powerful articulation of the double reed. The firm low register and the expressive higher register. The resemblance to the human voice and also the nature-based, earthy sound.
In the fast section, the composition is technically challenging but full of playing pleasure and joie de vivre: a game between the musicians. The meditative melodies are an (inner) search for balance, a form in which we as people can be with each other and in the world, an invitation to reflection.

The 4 different versions of the piece are basically the same. The original version is for bassoon and 4 wind instruments (together a quintet), while the version for bassoon and piano is the one-to-one translation of the former. The version for baroque bassoon and harpsichord is transposed but follows the tension curve. The version for double bassoon is transposed with omission of a-typical (read: very high) passages.

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