Martynov at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle

Vladimir Martynov – Autumn Ball of the Elves, for string orchestra; now with ballet by the Pacific Northwest Ballet!

Vladimir Martynov’s Autumn Ball of the Elves, for string orchestra, represents a Russian mix of minimalism and post-romanticism that can also be heard in the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Both composers abandoned academic compositional styles following religious conversions and developed individual voices influenced by personal interests and convictions. In Autumn Ball of the Elves, Martynov applies a theme and variations structure to a minimalist palette.

(Program note by Doug Fullington.)

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Vladimir Martynov at Donemus

World premiere Vanessa Lann – Rise for two bassoons and (amateur) orchestra

Martine Reurings & Dick Hanemaayer (bassoons) and the Van Wassenaer Orchestra under the direction of Benjamin Boers will perform the world premiere of Rise of Vanessa Lann on November 19…  

A more prominent role for the bassoon – not hidden within, but standing in front of, the orchestra – that is what the Dutch Bassoon Network wished to create through its commission to Vanessa Lann to compose a concerto for two bassoons and orchestra. And with the unique goal of creating a work primarily intended for amateur bassoonists. The Dutch Performing Arts Fund provided the financial support for this commission. The first performance will take place on Sunday, 19th November 2017, featuring Dick Hanemaayer and Martine Reurings as soloists, along with the Van Wassenaer Orchestra under the direction of Benjamin Broers.

Concertos for two bassoons and orchestra have existed for some time, but this work is unique: the sound combinations between the two bassoons are totally new, as are the timbres within the orchestra. The work begins with the two bassoon soloists, the first bassoon standing before the orchestra, and the second bassoon answering from within the ensemble. Their tones intertwine in short garlands, followed by repeated rhythms that will return in the second movement to give an important impulse to the music. With a leap of a minor ninth the bassoonists land on the beloved low C. That’s how the first movement begins. And yes, after the first movement the title of the piece will be celebrated, quite literally. But “Rise” (as a piece and as a project) is unique for other reasons. From the very start the main goal was to give as many players as possible the opportunity to perform the work. Special arrangements have also been made with the publishing house Donemus to make the work available to orchestras inside and outside the Netherlands. The two bassoonists from each orchestra performing the piece will have their hands full with the notes and rhythms. Even though the piece does not contain the virtuoso passages and cadenzas of the typical classical solo concerto, the solo parts are still demanding in other ways. In the second movement the music speeds up, with repeated rhythmic patterns. The third movement brings the sounds, tones and intervals from the first movement back into the picture. And in the fourth movement the rhythmic interplay within the entire orchestra leads to a surprising conclusion…..

Van Wassenaer Orchestra

Rise at the Donemus Webshop

Dutch Bassoon Network

Joey Roukens at the New York Philharmonic

Boundless, by Joey Roukens, will have its US premiere during the New York Philharmonic’s festival around Bernstein’s 100th birthday, Bernstein’s Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival (October 25-November 14)…  

Boundless was written as an homage to Leonard Bernstein, as the composer-conductor was a big influence for Roukens. The piece, conducted by Alan Gilbert, will be performed along with a number of well-known orchestral pieces by Bernstein. It will be performed a total of five times during the festival, on October 25-28, and October 31.

Boundless (Homage to L.B.) was composed as a companion piece to Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium), requiring similar forces of string orchestra, harp, and percussion. Roukens has his percussionists play a larger array of instruments, and he adds a keyboard player, but does not use the solo violin spot- lighted in Bernstein’s piece. In the second of his three connected movements, Roukens alludes to the Adagietto of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, and he also draws on two of Bernstein’s Thirteen Anniversaries (1988), short piano pieces written in honor of people in that composer’s circle — in this case, the Anniversaries No. 5 (for composer Leo Smit) and No. 13 (for Bernstein’s friend Ellen Goetz, in memoriam).

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Ton de Leeuw – Piano concerto world premiere

On October 12, Ralph van Raat will give the world premiere of a recently discovered piano concerto by Ton de Leeuw at the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam!   

The piano concerto, from the year 1948, was put aside by the Ton de Leeuw when he left The Netherlands to study in Paris. The piece had not been picked up since then. Fortunately, the work was recently rediscovered and submitted to the well-known pianist, Ralph van Raat, and he is enthusiastic about finally letting the world hear its content! Following the premiere in Laurenskerk will be a second performance on October 14 in the Schönbergzaal, The Hague.

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Momo, new opera by Svitlana Azarova

On October 15, the world premiere of Momo and the Time Thieves by Svitlana Azarova, will be performed by the Royal Danish Opera…   

The opera of Svitlana Azarova tells the story of a magical little girl named Momo, who comes to live in a small village, and her dealings with The Time Thieves, who are stealing the free time of the villagers. She is the only one who can see these strange grey men, so it is up to her to save the village! The opera comes from the book of the same name, which is one of the most beloved children’s books in Germany.

Take a trip to the land of fairy tales with your whole family to see Momo bring back the stolen time!
Running from October 15 – December 10.

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World premiere Bram Kortekaas

Bram Kortekaas – Footnotes to the human comedy: Musings of Arnon Grunberg
The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Choir and conductor Karel Mark Chichon will present a new composition by Bram Kortekaas on 14 October 2017 in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.   

The NTR ZaterdagMatinee commissioned Kortekaas to write Footnotes to the human comedy: Musings of Arnon Grunberg. The composition is based on the daily columns by Arnon Grunberg in the newspaper de Volkskrant. The composition deals with some of the main recurring themes in Grunberg’s columns: guilt, political freedom, the homo economicus and death.
The concert will be broadcast live by NPO Radio 4.

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Website Bram Kortekaas
Concert at the Concertgebouw
Bram Kortekaas at Donemus

Composer Jan Welmer 80!

In September many churches in Utrecht are part of the festival on Jan Welmers, who gets 80. Several concerts and projects.   

Jan Welmers is one of the Dutch leading composers for new organ music. But his oeuvre contains works for other instruments and ensembles as well. His works are regularly performed both nationally and internationally.

With this festival marks his 80th birthday. A great milestone with many concerts with famous musicians like Jan Hage, Jetty Podt, Tatiana Koleva, Piet van der Steen. From September 16 to October 1, 11 concerts will be given as a tribute to composer Jan Welmers.

There will be a presentation on the work and the compositions of Welmers. A new CD with his works for organ by Jan Hage, will be presented and authors prof. dr. Hans Fidom, drs. Hugo Bakker, drs. Willem-Jan Cevaal and dr. Jan Hage will release a book on Welmer’s works.

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Simeon ten Holt at DortdYart

This weekend, Sense of Music will start. Sense of Music is the music program in the Sound Pavilion (Klankbodempaviljoen) of Dré Wapenaar.
The Sound Pavilion is build on the outside area of DordtYart. In this special pavilion the audience sits against the resonance box of the musicians, which makes the experience of a concert very intense and intimate at the same time.  

Sense of Music opens on Friday 15th of September with Lemniscaat by Rondane Kwartet, one of the warmest advocates of the works by Simeon ten Holt. From his oeuvre we programmed a number of concerts by different artists. The repetition of Ten Holt’s works and the freedom to experiment therein works very well with the acoustics of the Sound Pavilion.
During the opening weekend Rubric Piano Trio will also perform Incantatie 4 but this show is already sold out. Luckily there are plenty of other options left: organist Toon Hagen and Philine Coops who will perform the seldom performed piece Shadow Nor Prey, together with Hagen’s reaction to this piece: Going On.
There is a special version of the Canto Ostinato, Ten Holt’s best known work by Ivo Janssen (piano) and Vincent van Amsterdam (accordion).

Aren’t you able to come to the opening night? On Sunday the 24th of September Rondane Kwartet will play a combined program with music from Bach (a great inspiration to Ten Holt), Joep Franssens and a coupure of Lemniscaat from Simeon ten Holt.
And last but not least Sense of Music programs a solo concert by Ivo Janssen where he will play among other pieces Natalon in E and soloduiveldans I of Simeon ten Holt.

For the full music program, please check out the website

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The Andriessen/De Klerk Festival 2017

In 2017 we are remembering that Hendrik Andriessen was born 125 years ago and Albert de Klerk 100 years ago. What better place is there to celebrate this than the city where both these prominent musicians were born: Haarlem.

From 15 September until 3 October 2017 the centre of Haarlem will reverberate to the music by these two composers. Musicians from home and abroad will perform in several churches and concert halls in a wide ranging programme of chamber music, piano and organ music, songs, oratorios and choral works. All of these composed by Hendrik Andriessen and Albert de Klerk of course.

And there is more. Louis Andriessen, Hendrik’s world famous son, has composed a new composition for organ commissioned by the festival. There is also a an exhibition to be seen about the lives of both Hendrik Andriessen and Albert de Klerk in Museum Haarlem. And there is a plaque that will be unveiled at the houses where both composers were born and there is an accompanying book written especially for the festival. These are just a few activities which will take place during the festival.

Donemus is publishing some unpublished works and will also republish some works that were still in a copy of the manuscript. Especially his opera ‘THE MIRROR OF VENICE’ that will be performed on September 26 and 27!
Hendrik Andriessen wrote this one-act comic opera in 1963/1964 for the ensemble of the Dutch Opera and it was intended to be broadcast on television. In 1967 the television compnay KRO broadcast this ‘musical tableau’ which was recorded in the castle Muiderslot near Muiden. Since then the opera has not been performed in its enirety. The opera takes place in 1630 in the Muiderkring [Muider society] a company of aristocratic art connoisseurs. For composer Dirk Sweelinck (the oldest son of Jan Pieterszoon) is this Muiderkring just a load of amateurs and rich snobs.

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Annual International Young Composers Academy

Davo van Peursen, managing director at Donemus, will present a condensed version of Donemus Academy (described above) in two sessions, on August 30 and September 1, for the participants of the 7th Annual International Young Composers Academy in Tchaikovsky City, Russia… 

In addition, Yannis Kyriakides and Dmitri Kourliandski, both guest professors at the Young Composers Academy, gave several group lectures on music and multimedia, as well as daily composition lessons. His Karaoke Etudes will also be performed by Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble during the opening evening on August 31.

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