Jan-Peter de Graaff – ‘Le café de nuit’ at the BBC

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On March the 5th, 2019, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jac van Steen, will give the UK premiere of ‘Le café de nuit’ of Jan-Peter de Graaff, as part of their ‘Hear and now’- broadcast series for BBC Radio 3. The piece will be performed and recorded during a live concert at the BBC Maida Vale Studios in North London. The concert will be broadcasted on BBC Radio 3 later this year…   

Jan-Peter de Graaff wrote his ‘Le café de nuit’ in 2017 and it was premiered at the ZaterdagMatinee in January 2018. This work was selected as most worthy for worldwide broadcasting by radio music producers participating in the 65th International Rostrum of Composers (IRC) held in Budapest in May 2018.

“Le café de nuit” is a 13-minute fantasia/nocturne for orchestra, based on the painting (with the same name) by Vincent van Gogh, and the letters he wrote to this brother Theo during his stay in Arles, where he rented a studio above the café. In the letters, he describes this place as “a place where you can ruin yourself, go mad, commit crimes”. This subject interested Jan-Peter de Graaff as there is really a conflict within the concept of a café. Usually, one goes to a café to escape the ongoing world and everyday problems, to dance, to celebrate life and to drink and go drunk to immerse oneself in a different reality. However, there is a danger, as van Gogh states, as the café also influences the world outside. It is a place where the darkest side of human behaviour emerges. In the piece, De Graaff tried to find this strange balance between joy and danger, between alertness (or even panic) and being drunk, between passion and truth.

To attend the performance, reserve your (free) tickets via BBC’s ‘Shows and Tours’ – web page (limited availability)

Le Café de Nuit at Donemus