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November Music 2021 starts ticket sales and presents the programme.

November Music 2021 starts ticket sales and presents the programme. The festival cuts across musical genres with 90 concerts in 10 days with 20 commissioned works and 25 premieres. November Music will take place from 5 to 14 November 2021 at various venues in 's-Hertogenbosch, including the Bosch Requiem 2021 composed by Hawar Tawfiq, festival composers Rebecca Saunders and Kaija Saariaho, Brad... 

Hanna Kulenty composes new piece for Bass Clarinet Festival: 'I'm making a collage of emotions'

Polish-Dutch Hanna Kulenty (Białystok, 1961) writes music that gets under your skin. Whether it is early works like Fourth Circle for violin and piano (1994), the opera Mother of Black-Winged Dreams about multiple personality syndrome (1995), or more recent compositions like the Viola Concerto (2015) and her Flute Concerto No.3 (2018), irrevocably you are taken on an exhilarating journey with a... 

Kaija Saariaho central composer at November Music: subtle timbres paint inky black scenario

Pièce de résistance will be the brand new Reconnaissance (Rusty Mirror Madrigal) for choir, percussion and double bass. Saariaho composed it commissioned by November Music and the Donaueschinger Musiktage. The first performance was scheduled at the German festival, which, however, was also cancelled. - A stroke of luck for November Music.

Down with the veil! Three gutsy girls found Iranian Women Composers Union: 'We want to form a global home front'

Things can change. In 1979, Iran changed from a Western-oriented secular state to a spiritual dictatorship, where Islamic leaders call the shots. Women must henceforth go through life veiled and music is banned as extremely sinful. Four decades later, three women founded the Iranian Female Composers Association. In America, though. 'Music is like a drug, those who feel... 

Joy of life and icy constriction. Ensemble Modern performs striking world premieres by female composers during November Music

Ensemble Modern presents world premieres by German-Dutch Iris ter Schiphorst and Turkish Zeynep Gedizlioğlu in November Music. And that is good news, because the female composer remains too often invisible even in 2019. In the brochures of any Dutch orchestra, you will find none, or only a single work by a woman. On the new Heart & Soul list of... 

She is a woman and a composer - so what?

Recently, Kees Vlaardingerbroek, programmer of the NTRZaterdagMatinee published a plea against what he calls 'identity politics' in music. 'Bach was not a woman and not Western. So what?" reads the headline. In the subtitle, we read: 'If a composer is not a woman or Western, then it no longer fits into the classical canon.' Quite boldly put, because in any concert brochure you will find... 

Long-winded Juditha Triumphans at DNO

Oratorios are notoriously undramatic, because they only tell a story for one second and do not zoom in on human emotions. Juditha Triumphans is no exception and the narrative itself has little to it. To rid her town of its assailants, Judith gets their general drunk and then cuts off his head. This could make for a compelling story, were it... 

Music publicist Maarten Brandt: 'For one note from Mahler's Ninth, I would give the gift of Shostakovich's entire oeuvre'

Sounding Alchemy, is the name of the chunky volume recently published by music publicist Maarten Brandt (1953). It has 715 pages, including illustrations and an extensive index. In 98 articles, Brandt unfolds his views on music and music programming. He dedicated the beautifully designed book to his admired Marius Flothuis, programmer of the Concertgebouw Orchestra for many years. His heirs received a first copy during... 

Camilla de Rossi in NTRZaturdayMatinee: three centuries late premiere

After years, my harping on the invisibility of female composers is starting to bear fruit. Thanks in part to the #MeToo movement, composing ladies are also finally being taken seriously and performed. The NTRZaturdayMatinee is even making them a spearhead of its programming this season. This post is more than a year old, and so may have been overtaken by time by now.Last Saturday, we sounded... 

Between nappy and dishes - the (in)visibility of female composers

Amsterdam, 8 March 2018. Today is Women's Day, no one can fail to notice. The media are brimming with articles about women's unequal pay and their still limited representation in prestigious positions. Whether in politics, business, academia or the arts. Perhaps the most conservative is the classical music world. There, the female composer has yet to... 

Season 2018-19: Concertgebouw picks up women's hand that Concertgebouw Orchestra leaves behind

Joel Fried, artistic director of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra visibly startled for a moment. I asked him if there is really only one female composer scheduled in the 2018-19 season. Indeed, during the presentation on Monday 26 February at the Concertgebouw, I only heard the name of Lotta Wennäkoski. Indeed the Finn appears to be the only one to defend the honour of composing women.... 

Fanny Mendelssohn: in the shadow of Felix

Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847) was the four-year older sister of Felix Mendelssohn. They both received a solid musical education, with her surpassing him in virtuosity at the piano. Her relationship with Felix was intense, but also suffocating. At his hands, Fanny Mendelssohn failed to build an independent career as a composer. To this day 

Bass-baritone Pieter Vis died: music life loses a highly social musician

Completely unexpectedly, bass-baritone Pieter Vis (1949-2017) died on Thursday 28 September, aged 68. A brain haemorrhage proved fatal to him. Just that morning, he had shared a post on Facebook from the radio programme De Ochtend van Vier. - Under his pseudonym Pyoter Riba, the Russian translation of his name. Since he discovered this social medium, he showed himself to be an enthusiastic user 

The Muse of South - What does a street name sound like?

Some time ago, I discussed with broadcaster MAX the idea of phoning random residents in music districts to ask what they thought of 'their' composer. Would they spontaneously burst into an ode to, say, Carolus Hacquart, Cornelis Schuyt or Henriëtte Bosmans? Unfortunately, this playful plan never materialised, but lo and behold: a number of musicians joined hands.... 

Erik Voermans 'From Andriessen to Zappa': enthusiastic plea for elitist music

Erik Voermans (1958) is one of those people who writes down what you think yourself, but would never air publicly. The music editor of Het Parool likes to pose as your unsuspecting neighbour's boy, watching the music world with amazement. Take the phenomenon of opera: 'That's when someone with a knife in his taas walks around for half an hour singing that he's going to die.' If he... 

7 bridges - 5 concerts

Next Tuesday, 29 September, the 7 Bridges Festival begins in the heart of Amsterdam. It is an initiative of pianist Edward Janning, driving force behind the Erard Ensemble playing on authentic instruments. In five concerts, he will take us past the Amstelkerk on the Amstelveld, Museum van Loon and Museum Geelvinck on Keizersgracht, the Stadsarchief on Vijzelstraat and the Goethe Instituut... 

Greece special (4): Aspasia Nasopoulou hits the mark

When I went on holiday four weeks ago, the European Union was anxiously awaiting the Greek government's response to its latest ultimatum on the terms of a new money loan. After being offline for over a month, I read that it is still muddling through, with yet another 'ultimatum' expiring on 20 August. Ah well. 

Festival 'Alba Rosa Viva' puts forgotten composer centre stage

This Sunday, September 28, the one-day festival Alba Rosa Viva will take place in Utrecht, in honour of the 125th birth anniversary of Alba Rosa Viëtor. Alba Rosa who?!!! Well, Alba Rosa Viëtor was an Italian violinist and composer who was born Alba Rosa in Milan in 1889. In 1919, she married Dutch businessman Jan Freseman Viëtor and in... 

Twelve-tone horror at KCO

Tonight and tomorrow night, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra kicks off the fourth season of its AAA series, with film music entitled 'Suspense'. But not everyone will immediately associate composers like Bartók, Lutyens and Schoenberg with cinema. Their works stand alongside film scores by Bernard Herrmann to Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and Psycho and world premieres by Joey Roukens, Vincent van Warmerdam and Fons Merkies, who wrote music to a film clip of their own choosing. The most...

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Vredenburg Friday in 'Red Box' for one more season

When Muziekcentrum Vredenburg closed its doors for an ambitious renovation in 2007, the symphonic concerts were moved from the centre of Utrecht to the emergency location Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn on the A2 motorway. The broadcasting series 'De Vrijdag van Vredenburg', created two years earlier, moved along to this temporary accommodation, which was soon renamed 'Red Box'. Against all odds, programmer Astrid in 't Veld managed to develop the fledgling concert series there into a public...

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Marion von Tilzer wins Women's Composition Prize MCN with Rote Schuhe

Amsterdam, 8 October 2012 During the well-attended Classical Music Day at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ the prize winners of the competition for women composers were announced this afternoon. The day was organised for the 11th time by Music centre Netherlands (MCN), which will cease to exist on 1 January. Thanks to an anonymous bequest, explicitly intended for women composers, three prizes could be awarded.

VARA honours Barbara Strozzi, tone poet at lonely level

No fewer than eight collections of arias, cantatas, duets and sacred works were published by Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677). She enjoyed great prestige in the Accademia degli unisoni founded by her father, and lived off her compositions. Exceptional at a time when women were expected to become nuns or wives. From 1 to 5 October, her music will be heard daily in VARA's Composer of the Week programme on Radio 4, between 19.30 and 20.00.

Unfortunately, the cliché that whole vo...

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