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Arvo Pärt

Dutch National Ballet DUTCH DOUBLES premiere 23 March 2018 Amsterdam

Wende Snijders turns ballet temple upside down in Dutch Doubles

In Dutch Doubles 2018 by the Dutch National Ballet, choreographers collaborate with other artists for the second time. The chemical reaction between Wende Snijders and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa almost blows up the formula. BAM! The audience jumps up. BAM!"It had to take 11 years for me to make something here again?", choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa seems to be saying. The Belgian/Colombian is lumbering... 

Baltic souls by Cappella Amsterdam: Estonia 100 years independent/not independent

Although Estonia is almost 4,000 square kilometres larger than the Netherlands, it has barely more inhabitants than the province of Utrecht. For centuries, superpowers such as Denmark, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Poland disputed rule over this country on the Baltic Sea. Indeed, its geographical location made it an important link between East and West. It was not until 1918 that a state of its own was declared, but... 

Andriessen's The Matter opens World Minimal Music Festival

Wednesday 5 April kicks off the fifth edition of the biennial World Minimal Music Festival. For five days, the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ will be filled with hypnotic rhythms, trance-inducing melodies and conjuring drones. Alongside well-known works by pioneers such as La Monte Young and Terry Riley are new compositions by Kate Moore and Bryce Dessner. There will also be performances by the Master... 

Artists: please don't teach me anything, I just want to enjoy myself.

The public takes no part in the ongoing debate about the role of art in society. Government and art-makers argue or engage constructively with each other. Visitors' opinions are not sought. Hence this contribution. Of course, my voice is just one of thousands. I can only give my own opinion. Last week, I attended the play... 

Congratulations to Daniel Reuss on royal honour!

On Tuesday 2 November, Cappella Amsterdam presented a new CD at the Orgelpark. This includes Arvo Pärt's large-scale choral work Kanon Pokajanen, which was also performed live. After the concert, chief conductor Daniel Reuss was appointed Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion. This very high royal decoration is only awarded to people "with extraordinary merits... 

Cello Biennale shines through groaning glissandi and whispering ghost choir

During the sixth edition of the Cello Biennale, the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is a bustling place to be. Immediately upon entering on the first floor, you enter an atmospheric pop-up brasserie, with market stalls set up in every other nook and cranny. There is a selection of handmade cellos, bows, bridges, dampers and strings alongside a large selection of magazines, CDs... 

Dying Swan (Rinus Sprong), photo Studio Oostrum

Even with eyes closed, DEDJDD's Ballet Blanc is a beautiful evening

The Zuiderstrandtheater in The Hague premiered Ballet Blanc on 8 March. It is the new full-length performance by The Dutch Junior Dance Division. The young dancers tour the country with a collage of fifteen short pieces. Blanc is the unifying factor in a fresh mix of classical and modern ballet, with tragedy, poignancy and humour. The juniors... 

Pierre Boulez turns 90 yet again

This year was a celebration of two composers from two seemingly completely different planets. The Estonian Arvo Pärt (b 1935) turned eighty, the Frenchman Pierre Boulez (b 1925) ninety. One is unparalleled among a wide audience for his eloquent 'tintinnabulist style', the other is applauded by a select group of insiders for his avant-garde compositions, which the general public, however, experiences as incomprehensible... 

Arvo Pärt's music: not always a warm bath

What titles come to mind when you hear the name Arvo Pärt? Sonatina opus 1; Symphony no. 1; Perpetuum mobile, or Fratres; Für Alina; Spiegel im Spiegel? My guess is the second set, because it was with pieces like these that Pärt conquered the world in the late 20th century. Audiences flocked in droves to immerse themselves in his sonorous sound world, but... 

Muziekgebouw jubilees - Ten years of music on the IJ

Next weekend, from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September, the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ celebrates its tenth anniversary with a jam-packed festival three-day event. From a cruise on the IJ with music by John Cage, a sleep concert by bassoonist Bram van Sambeek, a world premiere by Dutch Composer Willem Jeths, to a musical picnic in the entrance hall. No fewer than eight... 

With the French stroke: Cappella Amsterdam sings Ton de Leeuw

Ton de Leeuw lived in Paris for the last decade of his life and studied with Olivier Messiaen in his younger years. On 21 May, Cappella Amsterdam will present four of his French-language choral works in the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. The programme also includes works by his student and friend Daan Manneke and the young French composer Laurent Durupt.... 

Less is more? No, less is FAR too much, by Michael Nyman's Potemkin. #hf12

Two days later... Sometimes you don't quite know what to write: even reviewers have writer's block from time to time. Fortunately, Jenny Diski of London Review of Books published a blog just Friday about the functionality of not being able to write (yet). Apparently, more time was needed. Anyway, at some point you have to tie the knot. ... 

Sculpted Ovation for 'ingenious' conductor Iván Fischer

"Programmatic ingenuity goes hand in hand with Fischer's ebullient and finely crafted performances". So when someone says that about you, you have earned a prize. So that is what the jury of formerly the Classical Music Prize thought of Iván Fischer, the Hungarian-born conductor who was therefore awarded the 'Ovation' on Monday 17 October 2011. And so then the 'Ovation'... 

Delft opens with fewer chamber music surprises than other years

For another 15 years, the Delft Chamber Music Festival, so named to reflect its international character, has encompassed 15 years. Violinist Isabelle van Keulen handled the chamber music festival's programming for the first ten years, Lisa Ferschtmann - also a violinist - took over from her five years ago. But even this already successful festival fears the upcoming budget cuts. A pity, because what... 

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