Willem Pijper (1894-1947) has been an integral part of Dutch musical life since 1917. His symphonic works are played by all major orchestras in the Netherlands, his chamber music is already on the desks in the early 1920sin Berlin, Vienna, Prague, London and Paris. For a whole generation of young musicians, Pijper - a born teacher - was a beacon moreover. The general public considered him to be the representative of new music.
But Pijper was also a talented writer of razor-sharp reviews and penetrating essays. In October 1934, he was appointed permanent music editor of De Groene Amsterdammer. Until the outbreak of World War II, he contributed just over sixty essays to the weekly. Based on these texts, Simon Vestdijk judged Pijper to be a "man of letters".
Toekomstmuziek is an anthology of 35 articles. They are general reflections on the world of music and on political developments in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. Topics that are still topical today pass the review, such as the distinction between 'high' and 'low' art, the problems encountered by the general public when hearing 'new music' and the organisation of the concert business, which stands in the way of a flourishing musical life. Increasing cultural pessimism, fuelled by developments in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and in Stalin's Communist Salvation State.
The compiler of Toekomstmuziek is neerlandicus and musicologist Arthur van Dijk, who has studied Willem Pijper's life and work for 35 years. The book's introduction was written by Christiaan Weijts. Published by Studio Kers in co-edition with literature festival Woordnacht.
PRESENTATION | Sat. 29/10, 14:00-15:00, The New Institute, Rotterdam
During Literature Festival Woordnacht, Christiaan Weijts and Arthur van Dijk will talk to Jan Hiddink about composer Willem Pijper and his essays.
Following is the presentation of Toekomstmuziek. Wim Pijbes, director of Stichting Droom en Daad, will receive the first copy. The presentation is free to attend.
Toekomstmuziek | deluxe paperback, 136p. | isbn: 978-94-91835-28-5 | Price: € 20