News

CD Dutch Piccolo Project by Ilonka Kolthof

Six works for piccolo (and piano) by six different composers will be put on CD by Ilonka Kolthof and Ralph van Raat. Consider to be partner of this great project…   

The Dutch Piccolo Project is founded by flautist and piccoloist Ilonka Kolthof. With this project, Ilonka wants to emphasize and bring to the limelight the piccolo as an autonomous solo instrument. Furthermore, she aims to contribute to the creation of a large-scale (inter)national canon of piccolo works.

During the past five years, six Dutch composers wrote wonderful new music for piccolo and piano. To celebrate this, Ilonka now wants to record those pieces on CD together with world-renowned pianist Ralph van Raat.

Please support the project…

Overview of the compositions

Jan-Peter de Graaff: Meccanica(2019) 7′ (work in progress…)
Allan Segall: The last cocktail… (2015) 8′
Bart Spaan: Halo (2014) 13′
Ned McGowan: Rickshaw Zip (2015) 9′
Piet-Jan van Rossum: Anemoon tot wolk (2014-15) 5′
Jan Vriend: Sonata for piccolo and piano (2018) 25′

Dutch Saxophone Octet will record Canto Ostinato

This year the Dutch Saxophone Octet exists for 5 years. Reason for a special project! Recording and releasing a CD with ‘Canto Ostinato’ of Simeon ten Holt has been on their wishlist for a number of years. Please support this debut CD. To make this jubilee year an extra large party, the CD presentation will take place in the Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on 12 November 2019…   

One of the first arrangements that the Dutch Saxophone Octet played was that of Canto Ostinato by Simeon ten Holt. Saxophonist Stefan de Wijs made the arrangement and received the approval of the heirs of Ten Holt.

Canto Ostinato consists of a carefully selected set of notes that develops through 8 mouths, along 16 hands and 80 fingers. In an organic way, rhythm and melody become more complex and again simple, noisier and again calm, emphatic and serene again. The musicians follow each other or take a different initiative in an apparently endless game.

Canto Ostinato is perhaps the most popular composition from the Netherlands. The piece is in the top ten of the Heart and Soul List of Radio 4 every year. In 2018 it was number five and the Dutch Saxophone Octet was invited to give a live performance during the Heart and Soul Festival in TivoliVredenburg. The fact that they received dozens of enthusiastic e-mails from listeners afterwards indicates how much this Canto of air and keys is appreciated.

Their adaptation of Canto Ostinato is unique and they are happy to share it with as many people as possible. Their Canto CD will be an addition to all existing Canto Ostinato recordings.

Support at Voordekunst

Brussels Philharmonic celebrates Frédéric Devreese turning 90!

Frédéric Devreese, the father of Belgian film music, turns 90 next year. Reason enough for Brussels Philharmonic and Flagey to honour this exceptional composer with a musical portrait on June 5th at Flagey…   

The importance of the works of Frédéric Devreese cannot be underestimated. As a film music composer he has made a name for himself with haunting scores for virtually all of André Delvaux’s films, including ‘Benvenuta’ and ‘L’Oeuvre au Noir’.

But his work is much broader than that: he has written four piano concertos, one violin concerto, a symphony, chamber music, two operas, ballet suites and lieder, and in 1983 he was commissioned to compose the compulsory work for the Queen Elizabeth Competition.

His piano concerto No. 4 has been performed by Ralph van Raat and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Otto Tausk.

Program:

  • Passage
  • Benvenuta Suite, No. 1
  • Piano Concerto No. 4
  • L’Œuvre au Noir, suite No. 2

Opening Concert of Nieuwe Noten Amsterdam

On Saturday, June 22th, Plein Theater will present the start of the Nieuwe Noten Amsterdam concert series. In this series for contemporary chamber music, works and ideas from composers and thinkers are presented…   

Composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven will present his interactive performance “Practical Heroism for each of us: the role of beauty, imagination and play in tackling wicked problems”. The performance is the result of Merlijn’s residency at Cultureland- Composer’s Treat 2019.
Dudok Quartet will perform ‘String quartet nr. 1‘ (1933) by K.A. Hartmann and ‘String quartet nr. 2‘ (1985) by Tristan Keuris.
Master students from Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Marta Fossas Mallorquí – cb, José Nunes – vla, Pau Sola Masafrets-vlc) will perform ‘If the river was whisky’ (2007) for string trio by Max Knigge

Concert series Nieuwe Noten Amsterdam
Every month Nieuwe Noten Amsterdam will host well-known ensembles and young musicians in an intimate setting. In every concert a special guest from science, visual arts and literature will join in. Curators and hosts of the series are bass clarinettist Fie Schouten and composer Aspasia Nasopoulou.

Join the Opening Concert of Nieuwe Noten Amsterdam on Saturday the 22nd of June 16:00h at Plein Theater Amsterdam.
Tickets and info

Petra Strahovnik wins prize of the International Rostrum of Composers

‘Prana’ (2018) by Slovenian composer Petra Strahovnik is the work selected by radio music producers participating in the 66th International Rostrum of Composers (IRC) held in San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina)…   

Pursuing its mission to promote contemporary music creation through broadcasting for over sixty years, the annual Rostrum has this year again strengthened its role as one of the most important “rendez-vous” for professional exchange between radio producers. Its overall objective remains to foster the exchange of performances of contemporary music between broadcasting organisations. For example, works chosen at the preceding Rostrum (2018) were given some 700 broadcasts by participating networks as well as affiliates of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The 2019 Rostrum gathered representatives from 27 national radio networks from four continents, which presented 50 works composed within the five years preceding the Rostrum. 19 of these works were by composers under the age of 30 and 17 by female composers. Evert van Berkel, recording producer and coordinator for P2 live at the Swedish Radio, chaired the sessions. After the listening sessions, the assembly of delegates selected and recommended the most distinctive works in two categories: general and “young composers under 30”.

These and other works will be presented in concerts and broadcast after the Rostrum by the participating and other interested radio stations.

In the general category, Prana (2018) for symphony orchestra by Slovenian composer Petra Strahovnik (born 1986) was selected by the delegates as most outstanding. The work was presented by RTV – Radio Slovenija.

The inspiration for this work stems from the idea of creating and capturing the atmosphere of attraction between two contrasting poles (e.g., magnetic resonance). The concept of capturing Prana as inspiration; in Hinduism, it represents the breath of the life force. Prana is understood as a universal energy that flows in currents in and around the body.

The RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra was prepared to experiment with new techniques and the use of preparations such as magnets on strings, polystyrene in the piano and harp, etc. The sound sculpture resulting from the basic use of these preparations is interesting and fresh, and the orchestra experimented with new techniques.

Don’t miss her intriguing project in The Hague with Ensemble Modelo62 called DisOrders. Read more…

 

070, Muziek achtâh de dùine…

In collaboration with the Netherlands Music Institute, Ciconia Consort brings a special Hague program with compositions by the legendary conductors Willem van Otterloo and Willem Mengelberg, who raised the Residentie Orchestra and the Concertgebouw Orchestra internationally to great heights in the 20th century. June 1st at the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague…   

Ciconia Consort and the Netherlands Music Institute have gathered manuscripts that were not previously published from the archive and publisher Donemus produced new editions of the works especially for this concert.

The Hague has a unique place in Dutch art history. Partly due to its position as a royal city and centre for international relations, art life in The Hague was the first to be open to international art movements such as rococo and art nouveau. Moreover, The Hague was the cradle of the innovative painters of the Hague School. Israëls, Mesdag and Weissenbruch have been influenced by French impressionism since 1860. And just like with writers such as Louis Couperus, composers were inspired by art and culture from the former Dutch East Indies. Constant van de Wall and Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer were influenced in their work by gamelan music.

Willem van Otterloo was the chief conductor of the Residentie Orchestra for many years. Both works of the program have only been heard once before. The famous Willem Mengelberg was the chief conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra in a music-loving The Hague, in the famous Diligentia concerts. His Sinfonietta for string orchestra was never fully performed in the Netherlands.

Orchestral works by Robert de Roos, who received composition lessons from Johan Wagenaar, Darius Milhaud and Sem Dresden, were regularly performed during his lifetime, especially by Willem van Otterloo with the Residentie Orchestra. After his death in 1976, his compositions were forgotten. His Sinfonia in due moti will have its world premiere on 1 June.

The Ciconia Consort gladly brings the public back to this heyday of classical music performance practice of The Hague in the 20th century and, in ‘070, music achtâh the dùine’, works together with Mengelberg-expert Frits Zwart, for some never before performed exclusive The Hague compositions.
The concert is presented by Maartje Stokkers. During the concert, she discusses with Frits Zwart the works and classical music performance practice of The Hague.

Frits Koeberg (1876-1961) – Serenata indarno
Willem van Otterloo (1907-1978) – Prelude, dans en epiloog voor klarinet en strijkorkest
Willem van Otterloo (1907-1978) – Passacaglia voor strijkorkest
Constant van de Wall (1871-1945) – Wajanglegende voor strijkorkest opus 25
Robert de Roos (1907-1976) – Sinfonia in due moti per orchestra d’archi wereldpremière
Willem Mengelberg (1871-1951) – Sinfonietta voor strijkorkest Nederlandse première

Hana Ajiashvili new opera – consider to donate!

Donemus is excited to announce the world premiere stage production of the opera of Hana Ajiashvili called ‘Cut Glass’, which will be featured at the Felicja Blumental International Music Festival, Tel Aviv, in March 2020…   

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

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, praised 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 it deserves, Hana Ajiashvili and the musicians of the Meitar Ensemble, with 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.

Shortly after its first concert performance, the team was approached by the Felicja Blumental Festival, performing annually at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, to premiere the new version of the piece in March 2020. It will be the world premiere stage production of the opera.

To realize this staged performance your help is needed. Please consider to donate and be a partner to the premiere of this opera.

Looking forward to seeing you at the staged world premiere of the opera “Cut Glass” by Hana Ajiashvili in March 2020, in Tel Aviv!

Aftab Darvishi at the Holland Festival 2019

On June 5 and 6 the new opera ‘Turan Dokht’ of Aftab Darvishi will be performed at the Holland Festival in the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ. The libretto is written by Miranda Lakerveld. Read more about this very intriguing opera…   

The opera Turan Dokht (‘Daughter of Turan’) corrects a historical inaccuracy. Composer Aftab Darvishi and director Miranda Lakerveld’s ‘intercultural rewriting’ of Puccini’s beloved opera Turandot (1924) returns the title character to her Persian homeland. In Puccini’s work she is a cruel Chinese princess who has all her suitors decapitated. The mystical Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209) reveals that she was actually a queen of Turan. With this epic narrative and Puccini’s music in mind, the young Iranian Aftab Darvishi composed new music blended with authentic Iranian elements. Nilper Orchestra, the only chamber orchestra for new music in Iran, and mezzo soprano Ekaterina Leventhal in the title role will show Turan’s daughter as you have never heard or seen her before.

The opera Turan Dokht by Iranian composer Aftab Darvishi and director/librettist Miranda Lakerveld is set in 5th-century Persia. A prince intends to choose a wife out of seven princesses, each of whom has a pavilion in a different colour. The red princess tells the story of Turan Dokht, presenting him with riddles to test his self-knowledge and moral virtue. This story forms part of the epic poem Haft Peykar (‘The Seven Beauties’) written by the 12th-century Persian mystic and scholar Nizami Ganjavi. It’s a mystical frame narrative in which the symbolism of the number seven plays a key role. The protagonist in the beloved opera Turandot by Giacomo Puccini is based on this princess but, inspired by Carlo Gozzi’s version of the story, librettists Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni moved the story to China and made Turandot into a vengeful princess who kills her suitors. In Turan Dokht, composer Darvishi and librettist Lakerveld bring Turandot back to her origins. Where the princess in the Puccini opera is a female Bluebeard, Turan Dokht is about an inner search for self-knowledge and humility. Puccini had already combined Eastern and Western elements in his opera. Darvishi, who was born in Iran and completed her music education in the Netherlands, takes this one step further. Her music for the Nilper Orchestra, which is complemented by Iranian percussion and a kamancheh (an Iranian bowed string instrument), is based on Western tonality, but with flourishes derived from Iranian music. Darvishi’s use of repetition gives voice to the mystical aspects of Nazimi’s text. The performance includes projections created by Siavash Naghshbandi based on the miniature paintings illustrating Haft Peykar.

More info & Tickets

Read the article (Dutch) in the Groene Amsterdammer

Website Aftab Darvishi

World premiere Chiel Meijering by Kathleen McLean

On July 15, Kathleen McLean will be premiering Chiel Meijering’s concerto ‘Highlander’s Farewell’ for bassoon and strings (2017/revised 2019) at the International Double Reed Conference in Tampa, Florida. This piece was dedicated to her and the title refers to her Scottish roots. The piece is filled with Celtic ideas as well as pop and minimalist elements and references to old composers, all part of McLean’s musical background…   

Bassoonplayer Kathleen McLean studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and started her career as principal bassoonist with the Toronto Symphony before moving to Indiana where she now teaches as bassoon professor of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. She has performed with famous orchestras like the London Symphony, Boston Symphony, World Orchestra for Peace. She has worked with some of the greatest composers and conductors during her career including Leonard Bernstein, Sergiu Celibidache, Pierre Boulez, Valery Gergiev, Witold Lutoslawski, Krsysztof Penderecki, Essa Pekka Salonen, Peter Eotvos, Elliot Carter, John Adams to name a few.

She is a member of Canada’s most acclaimed chamber music ensembles, Octagon. She has been a founding member of the Toronto Wind Quintet, Caliban Bassoon Quartet and has made several recordings with these ensembles as well as solo recording “Nightsongs” featuring commissions of several Canadian composers of chamber music for bassoon and the Accordes String QuartetHer career focus is now mostly on solo and chamber music performances and she is an advocate of promoting and commissioning and recording new pieces by living composers.

Kathleen also is recently delving into other genres of music and has made recordings in collaboration with Chiel Meijering: 5 new CDs of electro-pop tracks as a featured artist. This month, she will be performing in Indianapolis as a member of the backup band for the rock band The Who which takes the instrument into a whole new direction in the pop world. Kathleen was attracted to Meijering’s music, one of Holland’s leading composers who has added to the Donemus collection an enormous amount of new works written for the bassoon (over 120 works).

McLean approached Meijering about writing a piece for a recording project she had in mind while on a sabbatical in 2016. Meijering began reworking some of his recorder concertos for bassoon and strings and then was inspired to carry on with original works for the instrument because of McLean’s enthusiasm and her international success. She liked the combined elements in his style of rock and pop along with minimalism and influences by the old great masters. Immediately his writing style struck her aesthetically and she became very interested in commissioning new pieces in order to give the bassoon a ‘sexy’ place as a virtuosic solo instrument on concert stages.

This has developed in a highly productive collaboration between Chiel Meijering and Kathleen McLean over the last two years, producing high energy, provocative, and appealing pieces for the instrument, several recordings and performance premieres of these already produced. The mutual inspiration between McLean and Meijering continues with several new performances and projects planned for the future. So much music yet to be performed. She is certain that she will never be able to perform all of these works in her lifetime and it is her mission to perpetuate this magical outpouring of Meijering’s bassoon masterworks onto the concert stages of future generations of players.

It is without a doubt, that Chiel Meijering has made a historic and monumental contribution to the world of double reeds. On July 15, Kathleen McLean will be premiering Meijering’s concerto Highlander’s Farewell for bassoon and strings (2017/revised 2019) at the International Double Reed Conference in Tampa, Florida. This piece was dedicated to her and with the title, refers to her Scottish roots. The piece is filled with Celtic ideas as well as pop and minimalist elements and references to old composers all part of McLean’s musical background. McLean will also be premiering a new woodwind trio dedicated to her by Meijering in mid June, 2019 in Toronto Canada and there are also plans to play a Meijering octet with the Octagon ensemble in Canada on their next Ontario tour in November 2019,

For more information about Kathleen McLean

Chiel Meijering

Support the Dutch Saxophone Octet with Canto Ostinato by Simeon ten Holt

A debut CD of the Dutch Saxophone Octet with Canto Ostinato by Simeon ten Holt in the unique arrangement for eight saxophonists. This year the Dutch Saxophone Octet exists for 5 years. Reason for a special project. Recording and releasing a CD has been on our wish list for a number of years…   

Consider to  support them 
Renting the recording location, recording, post-processing, shaping and pressing the CD costs a lot of money. With a donation we can make this project a success. The Saxophone Octet would like to give something in return. On the right-hand side of the crowdfunding page at Voordekunst of the page one will find nice gifts such as a signed CD and for the true Canto connoisseurs: adopt the favorite section!

To make this jubilee year an extra large party, the CD presentation will take place in the Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on 12 November 2019. The octet would be happy to treat their sponsors to a live performance by Canto Ostinato.

About the Dutch Saxophone Octet
The Dutch Saxophone Octet was founded in Amsterdam in 2014 by a group of recently graduated saxophonists who wanted to look beyond the saxophone quartet. With the sopranino and bass saxophone and all sizes of saxophones in between, they as an ensemble have a wide range that lends itself to interesting arrangements from chamber music works to symphonies. For example, they received permission from the Schönberg Foundation to arrange and play Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht. They also regularly work with composers on contemporary music. They premiered Via Dolorosa by Bernard van Beurden and contributed to a major project in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. In the Netherlands they were guests at a variety of festivals such as the Grachtenfestival, Wonderfeel, Festival Classique, Mañana Mañana, Uitgast and CityProms.

Canto Ostinato
One of the first arrangements that the octet played was that of Canto Ostinato” by Simeon ten Holt. Saxophonist Stefan de Wijs made the arrangement and received the approval of the heirs of Ten Holt. Canto Ostinato consists of a carefully selected set of notes that develops through 8 mouths, along 16 hands and 80 fingers. In an organic way, rhythm and melody become more complex and again simple, noisier and again calm, emphatic and serene again. The musicians follow each other or take a different initiative in an apparently endless game.
Canto Ostinato is perhaps the most popular composition from the Netherlands. The piece is in the top ten of the Heart and Soul List of Radio 4 every year. In 2018 it was number five and the Dutch Saxophone Octet was invited to give a live performance during the Heart and Soul Festival in TivoliVredenburg. The fact that they received dozens of enthusiastic e-mails from listeners afterwards indicates how much this Canto of air and keys is appreciated.

Their adaptation of Canto Ostinato is unique and the octet is happy to share it with as many people as possible. Their Canto CD will be an addition to all existing Canto Ostinato recordings.

Thank you very much for your help!

More info and donations