Insomnio performs Bernard Benoliel

On Wednesday December 18, Insomnio will play a special concert with works by Bernard Benoliel (1943-2017). This unknown composer wrote 15 uncompromising works in often very unusual instrumentation, half of which were never performed before.
With this concert, Insomnio offers its listeners a unique opportunity to be the first to experience works by Benoliel that were never heard in live performance up to now. Unconventional music that demonstrates craftsmanship and adventure…   

The Black Tower Variations (1968, rev. 1999; 14 min.). For soprano and 12 instruments.

Invoking Sonic Stone (2003, 40 min.). One of his core works, for an extremely unusual instrumentation with e.g. church organ, amplified piano and viola, 10 timpani and all kinds of percussion. Underlying to this work is the 9th-century hymn Veni Creator Spiritus.

Like many great composers before him, Bernard Benoliel was uncompromising in his artistic choices. He sometimes opted for very unusual instrumentations, making his works difficult to perform. Only now do possibilities exist for this, so that the entire oeuvre of this hitherto unknown composer can be unlocked.
During the concert, a further explanation of the composer and his works will be given by Bruce Walter Roberts, who has known Benoliel very well, and Ulrich Pöhl, conductor of Insomnio.

All of Benoliel works will soon be published by Donemus and posthumously recorded on CD. Insomnio was the first to be asked to contribute to this project and will be entering the studio in January 2020 for this purpose.

Bernard Benoliel

Bernard Benoliel was born in 1943 in Detroit (USA) from parents of very diverse origins. He died in Amsterdam in 2017. He was a musicologist by training and gained fame and a social position in England as the administrator of the Vaughn Williams Trust, from which he could offer opportunities to many young composers. Benoliel was someone with a profound interest in philosophy by, among others, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Thoreau and poets such as Whitman or Emily Dickinson.
As a composer, Benoliel has always been looking for his own sound. His music is rooted in the canon of our music history (Beethoven, Brahms), but his musical sources of inspiration were mainly Schoenberg, Wolpe, Busoni, Skriabin and Varèse. Benoliel’s work is quirky, often with wonderful instrumentations. He has never had the opportunity to hear half of his work performed.

Bernard Benoliel at Donemus

More info about the concert

HALO – new album by Ilonka Kolthof & Ralph van Raat

For this album, Ilonka Kolthof chose six compositions written for the ‘classical’ combination of piccolo and piano, highlighting the piccolo in a wide variety of different guises. It whispers, sings, cries and even screams at times. One moment it revels in virtuoso acrobatics, the next it moans in hushed undertones. The whole gamut of its expressive potential is explored. On Sunday, November 24th Ilonka Kolthof & Ralph van Raat will present this new album…      

Ilonka Kolthof is convinced that the piccolo has entered a new era. After years of being perceived as just a colour in the orchestra, the time has come for this beautiful little instrument to conquer the stage on its own merit. Despite its negligible size, the piccolo harbours a surprisingly rich palette of sounds. Its powers of expression and outspoken character offer endless opportunities to elevate it into the ranks of solo instruments, equal to the flute, the violin, the piano and so on.

With that in mind, Ilonka Kolthof founded the Dutch Piccolo Project. Its aim is to actively promote the piccolo as an autonomous solo instrument and create a repertoire. Close collaboration with a number of Dutch composers has so far resulted in an eclectic collection of new compositions for the piccolo as a solo instrument and in combination with other instruments such as the piano, the harp and percussion. In doing so, its repertoire has expanded substantially.

The compositions on this recording also demonstrate the variety and remarkable standard of contemporary music in The Netherlands. Ilonka therefore carefully selected composers who not only show affinity with the piccolo, but also speak with a unique voice, each showcasing the diversity of musical creativity in her home country.

This album is the beginning of an exciting journey, which definitely will take her to places she hasn’t been before. It raises expectations for the future of the instrument she so dearly loves.

Album at TRPTK

Dutch Piccolo Project

Scores of the works

Jan-Peter de Graaff – Meccanica

First LayDownConcert by the Danish Piano Duo with Canto Ostinato

Bring something to lay down on and lie down comfortably around the pianos. Let go of the stress and worries and let the Christmas peace embrace you with beautiful piano music and lighting design…  

For the first time in Denmark this minimalist music that takes hours is played, namely Canto Ostinato by Simeon ten Holt. This work is more a ritual than a concert. Canto Ostinato enchants and touches audiences around the world with mesmerizing sequences of repetitive motifs, subtly changing textures and unique tones.

LayDownConcerts concept came to Tanja Zapolski as inspiration from the Netherlands, where one of the minimal music master pianists Jeroen van Veen performs Canto Ostinato with his Tanja would love to bring this new and amazing type of concerts to Denmark and hope you will enjoy it as much as people do in The Netherlands.

Tickets here

LayDownConcert has limited lie down places, so whoever comes first, will get the lie down places.

Bring something nice to lie on, maybe a blanket and a pillow. You are also welcome to sit on a mat. There is also seating options in the church.

Concert Location: KoncertKirken, Blågårds Plads 6 A

Time: LayDownConcert at 7.30pm, doors open at 7pm

Price: Normal ticket:1 Concert 150
Students / low salaries:1 Concert 70 kr.

More info about the Danish Piano Duo

An impression of a LayDownConcert by Jeroen and Sandra van Veen:

Nederlands Saxophone Octet – Canto Ostinato

On November 12th the Nederlands Saxophone Octet presented their CD with Simeon ten Holt’s Canto Ostinato. This CD was released after a very successful crowdfunding. Saxophonist Stefan de Wijs made the arrangement and received the approval of the heirs of Ten Holt…  

Canto Ostinato of Simeon ten Holt 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.

More info about the concerts of the Nederlands Saxophone Octet

More about the CD

Maarten van Norden – Gloria Musica

The Amsterdam Bach Society invited Maarten van Norden to write a new piece for their 50th anniversary. The theme of the anniversary-concert is ‘Gloria through the Ages’ in which a series of Gloria’s from the sixteenth century up to now will be presented. Maarten van Norden’s Gloria Musica will be preceded by Gloria’s by Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Schubert, Gounod and Ton de Leeuw…   

Maarten van Norden: “I have used the original Latin psalm-text and turned it into an ode to the music. The religious terms are replaced by a celebration of music in all its glory. Also, I was inspired by Van Morrisons 1965 hit-single ‘Gloria’ with the group Them. From this, I took the idea of using separate letters as text.”

The music refers to old music and polyphony as well as contemporary minimal music. As usual in Maarten van Norden’s music, there is a strong emphasis on the rhythmical aspect. Bach is celebrated by using the letters of his name, and Händel is present in a little quote from his ‘Ode for Cecilia’s Day’ which is just like Gloria Musica an ode to the music.

The first performance will be in the Dominicus-church in Amsterdam on November 16th at 4 PM and is sponsored by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst. From then on the piece is available for performance by other choirs. Since the first performance is by an amateur choir we especially encourage professional choirs to program this piece.

Music Gloria at the Donemus store

More info about the concert


November Music 2019

Visitors to November Music 2019 can fully enjoy today’s eclectic musical landscape. The festival showcases the prominent composers of our time. Not to mention top-notch ensembles, jazz & world pioneers, sound installations, and interdisciplinary concerts. November Music takes place from 1 through 10 November at various locations in the Dutch city of ’s-Hertogenbosch. Check the program and be there…   

November Music’s 27th edition is brimming with surprising combinations. It features 11 new commissioned works as well as pieces and groups that have hardly been heard in the Netherlands, if at all. Such as the brand-new Bosch Requiem that will be performed on All Souls Day (2 November). This version is written by festival composer (and Dutch Composer Laureate) Calliope Tsoupaki with the vocalists Marcel Beekman and Maarten Engeltjes. Tsoupaki’s requiem is a musical ode to the Virgin Mary in times of doubt and distress.

Performances that add an extra dimension to music are VAL by theatre-maker Baukje Schweigman with ensemble Calefax and SOLAS by dance company LeineRoebana. Music by Yannis Kyriakides.

A large number of choirs from the province of North Brabant (capital: ’s Hertogenbosch) features at November Music 2019. The audience will hear numerous vocal pieces sung by professional as well as amateur choirs under the heading Koren Centraal. The works are written by various composers that include Kris Oelbrandt who is active as a Trappist monk in addition to his musical accomplishments.

November Music is once again the home base for the best Dutch modern classical music ensembles such as Holland Baroque, Ragazze Quartet, Silbersee, Ives Ensemble, Asko|Schönberg, and Nieuw Ensemble which will be playing a farewell concert, with a new version of Wilbert Bulsink’s ‘Spelingen’.

November Music had its first edition in 1993 has ever since taken place in the beautiful Mediaeval Brabant capital of ’s-Hertogenbosch (also called Den Bosch) in the south of the Netherlands. It is the most important international gathering for contemporary music in the country. The annual festival, which lasts 10 days, presents 90 concerts across all genres, featuring today’s music by today’s makers. November Music is commissioning Dutch and international composers to compose new work as it initiates collaborations between musicians from the Netherlands and those hailing from elsewhere. It attracted 11,500 visitors in 2016 and more than 12,000 visitors in 2017.

Highlighted Concerts:


Calliope Tsoupaki – Bosch Requiem
Marcel Beekman, Maarten Engeltjes
PRJCT Amsterdam, Manoj Kamps
Theater aan de Parade


Calliope Tsoupaki – Song for Life and Death
Matthijs Koene
Babel, Hofzaal

Calliope Tsoupaki – Narcissus
Heleen Hulst, Gerard Bouwhuis

Kris Oelbrandt – Loflied der Verzoening
Capella Brabant, Dudok Quartet
Grote Kerk


Bianca Bongers – Surrounded by Air, Appearance III
Trio Catch
Willem Twee Toonzaal

Yannis Kyriakides – Val, muziektheater Schweigman& Calefax
Theater aan de Parade


Daan Manneke – Psalmenrequiem etc.
Grote Kerk Den Bosch

Calliope Tsoupaki – Pour Notre-Dame
Daan Manneke – Voorspel op de naam BACH
– Agnus Dei (Tombeau pour Maurice Pirenne)
– Patronen
Veronique van den Engh

Daan Manneke – Grote Archipel
Ralph van Raat
Willem Twee Toonzaal


Daan Manneke – Grote Archipel
Ralf van Raat

Maxim Shalygin – Todos los fuegos el fuego
Amstel Quartet & Keuris Quartet

Wilbert Bulsink – Spelingen
Miriam Overlach
Asko|Schönberg, Bas Wiegers
Theater aan de Parade

Willem Boogman – Nieuw werk
Ives Ensemble
Willem Twee Toonzaal

NOV 10

Calliope Tsoupaki – Paraklitikon
Gerard Beljon – Planctus Cygni
Collegium Vocale Eindhoven
Grote Kerk

Donemus joins nkoda

The Donemus catalogue will soon be available at nkoda, the world’s greatest library of sheet music. Nkoda has over 110,000 pieces of music from the world’s leading publishers – all on subscription. Donemus will add a substantial amount of works to the nkoda library. Musicians from all over the worlds can access scores and parts on with a subscription license of € 9.99 per month…   

Already 7 years ago, Donemus offered all scores and parts not only as hardcopy but also as PDF. Since then musicians prefer the digital option more and more. Nowadays 70% of all sales and rentals of Donemus is done digitally as PDF.

The company nkoda built a great app and curates a growing catalogue. As the ‘Spotify for sheetmusic’ they offer a subscription based access to sheet music.

Their musicologists have cataloged scores into playlists, making discovering music a breeze.  The app offers many features beyond just reading PDFs. The Donemus catalogue of 14,500 titles, together 1,4 million pages, will become available at nkoda over the next months.

Enjoy the new digital world with endless possibilities…

Download the nkoda app

Klas Torstensson – Two Queen Christina Songs

On November 1st, Charlotte Riedijk, soprano and Gerrie Meijers, organ, will perform the ‘Two Christina Songs’ of Klas Torstensson at the Orgelpark…   

The Two Queen Christina Songs were dedicated to Charlotte Riedijk and Aron Nilsson and written in 2016
Le dolci parole is an arrangement of the song with the same title from the song cycle In großer Sehnsucht for soprano and piano trio (2004).

Sempre mia is an arrangement of the song with the same title from the work for large choir Arcadia 1689 (2015)

composition: Klas Torstensson
Charlotte Riedijk, soprano
Gerrie Meijers, organ

More info about the concert

Le dolci parole

Tu segui ancora in sì turbati accenti tuoi vani lamenti?
Da gli Elisi oh venga almeno
un bel sogno a consigliarti;

ed ei prenda a favellarti
su gli incendi del mio seno.
Più non ascolto il suono
delle dolci parole:
nè si conced’ancora
lo splendor de’ bei lumi ai lumi miei;

Sweet words

Do you still continue, in such tormented tones your pointless laments?
At least let a beautiful dream
of the Elysian Fields come to console you;

and let him tell you
of the fires in my breast.
I no longer hear the sound
of sweet words:
nor does the splendor of the beautiful lights yield to my own.

More info

Klas Torstensson at Donemus

Kris Oelbrandt – Loflied der Verzoening

On November 3rd 2019 Capella Brabant will perform the world premiere of Kris Oelbrandt’s ‘Reconciliation Magnificat’, together with the Dudok Quartet. Soloists are Katrien Baerts, Elsbeth Gerritsen and Mattijs van de Woerd. The concert is preceded by a lecture by musicologist and theologian Martin Hoondert and concluded with a dialogue on “Reconciliation”. After the premiere, this work will be performed in three other cities…   

Kris Oelbrandt has a truly unique position within the contemporary music. He is active as a Trappist monk, but also as a composer. A double mission that Oelbrandt, born in Belgium, fulfills with great enthusiasm. In Oelbrandt’s music on can hear links to composers such as Arvo Pärt and Olivier Messiaen, but he follows his own spiritual path. His compositions leave the monastery walls more and more. For example, pianist Ralph van Raat and organist Jan Hage perform his works and Capella Brabant has established a special bond with him.

Reconciliation Magnificat

New spiritual music that bridges and brings worlds together. With his ‘Reconciliation Magnificat’, composer Kris Oelbrandt provides a warm answer for a seemingly divided world. His composition unites three world religions, as a reconciling hymn to a new world. A world in expectation of a hopeful future. A modern Magnificat that uniquely highlights and reinforces the long-standing bond between those world religions, from the Jewish hymn of Hanna and the Christian hymn of Mary to the Islamic Sura 87. In his composition, Oelbrandt converts these lyrics into a meditative cathedral of sound in which words and music come into an inspiring dialogue.

Music as the key to everyone’s heart. No art form that offers as universal comfort as music. Kris Oelbrandt’s new composition not only takes a conciliatory look at our time, but also offers hope for a new future. Courage is needed to turn away from the fear and anger that holds the world in its grip and to meet the dissenting person. More than ever, a frank conversation leads to new insights.


Capella Brabant chamber choir
Dudok Quartet string quartet
Katrien Baerts soprano
Elsbeth Gerritsen mezzo-soprano
Mattijs van de Woerd baritone
Niek KleinJan percussion
Rieneke Brink flute
Judith van Driel, Marleen Wester violin
Marie-Louise de Jong viola
David Faber cello
Ernestine Stoop harp
Marc Versteeg conductor

More info at November Music

More info at Capella Brabant

Kris Oelbrandt at Donemus