Calliope Tsoupaki – Inner Life by Saskia Lankhoorn at Podium Witteman

The famous Dutch TV show ‘Podium Witteman’ will continue this time with special broadcasts around a theme. They kick off with the theme ‘Alone’. With contributions by Paul Witteman, Floris Kortie and Mike Boddé. And a new work by Calliope Tsoupaki, ‘Laureate composer of the Netherlands’, performed by pianist Saskia Lankhoorn…   

Shortly after the corona virus paralysed our public life, Laureate Composer Calliope Tsoupaki wrote the piano piece Inner Life, subtitled ‘A Piece for Courage and Hope’ and with a short message: “Amsterdam 18 March 2020, home because of the Corona crisis. A musical wish for everyone: Like a lotus flower blossoms in murky water, I wish that our inner life will continue to blossom in these difficult and uncertain times”.

Laureate Composer Calliope Tsoupaki wants to use the power of music to offer comfort in this time of global crisis. Because mankind needs beauty to get through the crisis. Tsoupaki has written this meditative piece for piano solo.

Pianist Saskia Lankhoorn will play the premiere in the television programme Podium Witteman from her living room on Sunday 29 March. Calliope Tsoupaki made two versions of Inner Life.

Download the score for free!

Inner Life – original version

Inner Life (short version)

Read more at the website of Podium Witteman

Update on the Coronavirus

The Dutch government announced a decision that has a strong impact on premieres, concerts and other public events. All gatherings with estimated more than 100 visitors should be postponed. This affects the world premiere of the opera of Willem Jeths – Ritratto, the world premiere of Elmer Schönberger – Gezien Hercules Segers and the world premiere of Patrick van Deurzen – SURA Cantate, as well as other concerts planned for the upcoming weeks…   

We deeply express our sympathy to all composers and musicians that have to deal with these disappointments. We hope and pray for better times. Above all, we hope that these measures will curb the further spread of the Covid-19 virus, and keep the public safe and healthy.

Following the official recommendation, the Donemus team will work from home till March 31.

Vacancy at the Donemus office

We’re looking for a college to help us this summer. Read more…   

For replacement during maternity leave (period May-September), we are looking for an all-round secretary who can do all kind of tasks;
who picks up the phone, manages contracts, keeps track of the accounts, reports works and concerts to Buma/Stemra, and many more.
Living in/near The Hague.
Min. MBO level.
Knowledge of the music field and music is an advantage.
In the run-up you can already work for 1-2 days in starting from now.

Requirements: English language skills, social attitude, stress resistant, team player, friendly and helpful.

Interested? please contact Davo van Peursen

In memoriam Reinbert de Leeuw

On February 14th Reinbert de Leeuw passed away. Throughout his life he devoted himself with unbridled dedication to contemporary music. We are losing a great advocate for our composers and their works. Read the personal reflection of Davo van Peursen…   

To Reinbert, from Davo:

Shortly after my studies at the Conservatoire in The Hague, I was invited to be one of the four soloists in the work ‘Musik for Tasteninstrumente’ by Maurico Kagel. The orchestra of the conservatory was conducted by you. It was a special experience to play as a young keyboard player under your inspiring leadership in the presence of the composer.

During my time with Donemus I spoke to you regularly in the 1990s when Donemus published a number of arrangements by your hand. At that time we had fascinating conversations about notation of music, the application of conventions and the right approach to accidentals. Your point of view was always to avoid the naturals. Accidentals apply only once, very consistently.

You were closely connected with Donemus. You took care of countless premieres. Bicycle couriers often came to your place with scores of which the ink was still warm. With your lifelong commitment to contemporary music, you were one of our most important ambassadors. We will miss you tremendously.

In recent years we have appreciated you especially as a great composer. I remember the premiere of your ‘Der nächtliche Wanderer’. A breathtaking work conducted by yourself. After that the premiere, the work saw three more performances, including one during the famous Proms in London. On the occasion of the premiere of this work I placed this text on our social media and sent it to you personally in a letter:

Words fail to describe Der nächtliche Wanderer.
Nearly one hour, one block of sound.
A solarium of music, a bath of beauty.
Perfect curves of building and releasing tension.
Revealing all detailed colors of the orchestral palette.
Maestro Reinbert as a craftsman of orchestration,
guiding his musicians to impressive heights.
A rich fountain of notes, yet all useful and effective.
Decades of intense conducting experience
compressed in a high-density monument of music.
Perfection can’t be more perfect.

Thank you, Reinbert,
for sharing so much with us.

Elmer Schönberger – Gezien Hercules Segers

On March 12th the Doelen Ensemble & Charlotte Riedijk will perform a new work by Elmer Schönberger – Gezien Hercules Segers, in the Jurriaanse Zaal at the Doelen in Rotterdam…   

Hercules Segers mainly painted and etched mountainous fantasy landscapes, inspiring various artists and writers, including the Russian-French painter Nicolas de Staël and the Dutch poet Hans Faverey. In his composition, Elmer Schönberger reflects on the world of Segers and his townsfolk and contemporaries, including Sweelinck. Given Hercules Segers, music is like a landscape to disappear into.

Elmer Schönberger:

Gezien Hercules Segers is after Seen Giacometti my second composition inspired explicitly with visual art. Seen Giacometti (2015) was a dance concert with a choreography from Beppie Blankert. In Seen Hercules Segers there is no dance, but live image, to an idea of Marijke van Warmerdam and Menno Otten. While I have not tried to compose Giacometti-like (whatever that may be) in Seen Giacometti, in Seen Hercules Segers I have strived to compose both full as well as empty landscapes of Segers into sound. Art with which I am feeling deeply connected, is art to disappear into.

Hercules Segers, older contemporary and fellow townsman of Rembrandt and Sweelinck, is known as the most original and innovative landscape artist of his time. As an etcher he was the creator of a mysterious oeuvre, which with its realism bordering on abstraction culminates in non-existent landscapes. Like Segers’ contemporary Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa was a source of inspiration for composers until well into the twentieth century, Segers has influenced a number of visual artists and writers, such as the Russian-French painter Nicolas de Staël and the Dutch poet Hans Faverey

Gezien Hercules Segers is presented in a program that moves between old music and visual arts. Stravinsky and Louis Andriessen added a fourth voice to Bach’s three-part Prelude in b minor; Otto Ketting cast a shadow over the Middle Ages in Quodlibet; Oliver Knussen borrowed more than just the title from Purcell in Upon one note, while his Reflection is inspired by Gauguin; Willem de Kooning gave his surname to De Kooning of Morton Feldman; and Stravinsky’s Double canon is an in memoriam for Raoul Dufy.

More info & tickets

Score at the Donemus catalogue

Michael Fine – Double Concerto

On March 23 Double Concerto by Rotterdam-based American composer Michael Fine will get its Ukrainian premiere. The concerto for two violins and string orchestra will be performed by Kyiv Chamber Orchestra conducted by Bogdan Pushak, with Igor and Vesna Gruppman as soloists…   

The Double Concerto for Two Violins and String Orchestra, is a 21st century Concerto Grosso contrasting tightly woven, virtuosic music for the two soloists with the string orchestra which responds in kind but occasionally chooses a different direction which the soloists then follow. Although the work is in three movements, its melodies, harmonies, and musical lines flow across the movement boundaries, ending with a miniature cadenza for the two soloists.

The work was premiered in 2017 by violinists Andrew Irvin and Kiril Laskarov with Philip Mann conducting the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Igor Gruppman and Vesna Stefanovic Gruppman recorded the Double Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor Philip Mann.

More info about the concert

Michael Fine at Donemus

Double Concerto at the Donemus catalogue

Michael Fine – CD release ‘Five for Five’

Paris based Evidence Classics release their second recording of Michael Fine’s music: Five for Five – Five Quintets for five woodwind soloists and string quartet. The recording was made following performances at Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo with musicians from leading musical organisations including the Metropolitan Opera, Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and Atlanta Symphony among others…   

These are all world premiere recordings, recordings, produced by Michael Fine himself. Jin Choi was engineer for the sessions at Cuesta College’s Harold J. Miossi Center for the Performing Arts. Evidence Classics are distributed world-wide by Harmonia Mundi/PIAS and can be heard on all the major streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify, and Idagio…

Scott Yoo, Artistic Director of Festival Mozaic and First Violin of the Mozaic Quartet said:

It is a lot of fun to make music with close friends. It is a privilege to bring to life the music of a great composer, who also happens to be a friend. This recording is both. Performing these pieces was so interesting. They look extremely simple upon face value, but even after a few measures we all realized that each phrase was very complex and detailed. We all got the best results when we relaxed and purged our minds of any restless thoughts – Michael’s music, very much like Copland’s, demands a certain amount of serenity. My colleagues and I hope we have done the music justice in this album. – Scott Yoo, Director, Festival Mozaic, Violin 1, Mozaic Quartet.

Evidence Classic’s Executive Director, Jean-Hugues Allard said:

“It is an honor and a pleasure to release our second recording of the music of the composer Michael Fine who offers us here again a magnificent disc, with five works highlighting the expressive power of the woodwinds , and which will undoubtedly be added in the future to the core repertoire of chamber music. Written in an original Franco / American musical aesthetic, sometimes close to that of Milhaud or Gerschwin, these quintets served by exceptional soloists remain resolutely modern and visionary. A particularly successful recording also in terms of sound, which will delight the most demanding audiophiles. Well done Michael!”

Composer and producer Michael Fine added:

As a clarinet player, I feel a particular affinity for my colleagues in the woodwind section. Each of these Quintets attempts to capture not only the character of the instruments but also the musicians for whom each piece was written. Recording these with dear friends and colleagues at Festival Mozaic, was a particular joy, especially after two weeks of working together in the Festival Orchestra. I owe a debt of gratitude to Scott Yoo, Artistic Director of the Festival, whose idea it was to perform and record these works and to my colleagues who gave their time, energy, and extraordinary musicianship for this project.

Five for Five (catalogue nr, EVCD070); Quintets for Winds and String Quartet by Michael Fine

Fei Xei, bassoon; Robert Walters, English Horn; Anton Rist, clarinet; Xiaodi Liu, oboe; Alice K. Dade, flute, Scott Yoo, violin; Erik Arvinder, violin; Maurycy Banaszek, viola; Jonah Kim, cello

Hana Ajiashvili – opera ‘Cut Glass’

In March 2020 the world premier stage production of Hana Ajiashvili’s opera Cut Glass will be featured at the Felicja Blumental International Music Festival in Tel Aviv…   

Cut Glass – a chamber opera based on Scott Fitzgerald’s short story about the collapse of an American middle class family – was commissioned by the Adele and John Gray Endowment Fund. It had its first concert performance in April 2018 in Tel Aviv by the Meitar Ensemble conducted by Yuval Zorn to an overwhelming reception.

It became clear from the start, that this was a unique event in the Israeli contemporary music scene, and the audience as well as the press lauded Hana Ajiashvili’s unique writing style, which is both adventurous in its soundscapes, its unique use of instrumentation and of the singing voice, and at the same time warm, direct, accessible and above all: theatrical.

Following the concert, Amir Mandel (Ha’arets Magazine’s music critic) commented, that “a piece of such quality must not disappear”.
In order to give the piece the future life the Meitar Ensemble, composer Hana Ajiashvili and conductor Yuval Zorn have teamed up with award winning librettist, Royce Vavrek, as well as eminent director Omer Ben Seadia, in order to revise the libretto and bring the piece to a fully staged performance.

More about The Felicja Blumental International Music Festival

More about the Meitar Ensemble

Kate Moore – Psalm 3 by Netherlands Chamber Choir (world premiere)

3000 years ago, 150 songs were gathered together to become the Hebrew Bible’s Tehillim, then the Old Testament’s Book of Psalms. Songs about justice, humanity, compassion, liberation and power. Of people struggling with leadership or passing on responsibility; humans using and exploiting the environment; refugees desperately looking for a safe haven.

In March 2020, Adelaide Festival presents 150 Psalms, the fourth incarnation of a remarkable choral event with three of the world’s greatest choral ensembles: The Tallis Scholars from England; Netherlands Chamber Choir (Nederlands Kamerkoor), Norwegian Soloists’ Choir (Det Norske Solistkor) and Australia’s finest vocal group, The Song Company.

Over four days, in four sacred spaces and one secular space, 12 concerts will encompass all 150 psalms in musical settings by 150 different composers spanning 10 centuries of choral tradition, from Gregorian chant to Ockeghem, from Monteverdi to Bach, from Brahms to Britten and beyond. Many Australian premieres, and world premieres of newly commissioned works by Elena Kats-Chernin, Clare Maclean, Cathy Milliken and Kate Moore. In the final concert all the voices converge in the Adelaide Town Hall for Tallis’ mighty motet in 40 individual parts, Spem in alium.

Conceived in 2017 by Netherlands Chamber Choir, this is much more than a banquet for lovers of choral music as audiences discovered in Amsterdam, Brussels and New York. It’s a symposium for the spirit and the intellect.

Each concert is introduced by a noted writer or contemporary thought-leader focusing on one of twelve identified themes running through this ancient songbook. Further insights are provided by an exhibition of work by renowned Australian photojournalists that pairs each psalm with a powerful image.

These poems are etched on humanity’s psyche and their concerns still burn hot. They represent not the word of God, but of humankind; shouting or whispering its fears, its worries, its anger, its sorrows, its thanksgiving and joy to the universe.

More about this concert

More about the project in Adelaide, Australia

Kate Moore – Psalm 3

Light Trace by Nikos Kokolakis, Yael Levy and more

You can listen to music, but according to the Catchpenny Ensemble you should be able to watch it too. On March 7th Festival Dag in de Branding presents the Catchpenny Ensemble at Korzo…

You can listen to music, but according to the Catchpenny Ensemble you should be able to watch it too! For Light Trace, together with composers Yael Levy, Nikos Kokolakis, Sascha Thiele, guest composers Þráinn Hjálmarsson, Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir and visual artist Tivon Rice, the ensemble has looked for an innovative way to make a score visible to the public. The result is an interdisciplinary play of light beams, video and sounds in the space of an interactive score based on images. You are as it were drawn into it and you experience a magical, inner world of visual and sonic landscapes.

More about Light Trace

More info about the concert

Nikos Kokolakis at Donemus