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Gaudeamus Music Week

Gaudeamus: as a 75-year-old younger than ever

Anno 2020, Music Week is buzzing like never before. Even corona has barely caught on. How many 'Mozarts' have emerged by now I will leave open, but the rich and varied off- and online offerings create some choice stress. At 75, the organisation is younger than ever: Gaudeamus is the place to be.

#Corona-classics 3: Maxim Shalygin: organ-playing saxophones on CD 'Todos los fuegos el fuego'

A rainy day in #coronaquarantine seems like the ideal time to listen to a CD about fire. So I slide Todos los fuegos el fuego by Ukrainian-Dutch composer Maxim Shalygin into the laptop. 'All fires the fire' is named after Julio Cortázar's collection of eight short stories of the same name. The CD also has eight songs, which together... 

#Corona-classics I: Le Dernier sorcier Pauline Viardot

When corona measures were declared on Thursday 12 March, it felt surreal at first. The next day, the world premiere of Willem Jeths' opera Ritratto fell through. I had been looking forward to this immensely, just like all the other productions in the Opera Forward Festival. Besides, I was in the midst of preparations for numerous introductions the next... 

Requiem for an ideal music lover. 'Grandpa Hippo' is no more: Frans Curvers dies, aged 91

'Thea, have you heard that new piece yet? It's beautiful!' And there plopped another wetransfer in with a recording by Kate Moore, Pete Harden, Calliope Tsoupaki or any other composer. Frans Curvers was at the front of every (world) premiere. Whether it took place at Paradiso in Amsterdam, De Doelen in Rotterdam, TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht or a backstreet church somewhere.... 

Shout out! The big fill-in for the new arts plan.

The Council for Culture has just proposed the new Basic Infrastructure (BIS), and it has become a very big, in traditional terms 'prosperous', baby. Since the Council is not allowed to name names, and can only list functions, we have already made a fill-in list here, in which we list (very briefly, because little time and not knowing about everything) which existing cultural... 

Maya Fridman: Prokofiev's Fire Angel with hard rock attitude

Russian-Dutch Maya Fridman (Moscow, 1989) plays classical and contemporary music as well as rock, jazz, folk and flamenco. Communication with the audience is now her main aim. So why limit yourself to a particular style or genre? The Cello Biennale website rightly describes her as a 'musical jack-of-all-trades'. She scored highly in 2016 at this... 

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra plays Fires by Raminta Šerkšnytė

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is coming to our country. On Monday 9 April, they will give a concert in TivoliVredenburg Utrecht under their young chief conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. They will play music by Wagner, Debussy and Beethoven, a fairly standard programme at first sight. But fortunately, Lithuanian Gražinytė-Tyla brings a piece by her compatriot Raminta Šerkšnytė. Who wrote Fires... 

Ligeti festival - tribute to adventurous and idiosyncratic composer

Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923-2006) suffered under several dictatorships; the Nazis killed his father and brother during World War II, and after the War the communists forced him to write sweet 'folk music'. After the 1956 Hungarian uprising, he fled to Vienna and then to Cologne. In the West, he unpopularised into an idiosyncratic composer, who already... 

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... 

Kill the West in Me - musical theatre about East-West clash

These days we are bombarded to death with opinions on the pros and cons of multiculti. Depending on their political preferences, people are either very enthusiastic or very negative about the increasing 'colourisation' of our society. The gamelan ensemble Gending, the Doelen Kwartet and Het Geluid Maastricht decided to take the bull by the horns. They based Kill the West in Me on feminist letters from... 

Sound explorer Aart Strootman wins Gaudeamus Award 2017

On Sunday 10 September, the Gaudeamus Award for composers under 30 was presented in TivoliVredenburg. Winner was Dutch guitarist, composer and instrument designer Aart Strootman (1987). He was chosen from five nominees and received the prize from jury member Christopher Trapani. The jury also included Joe Cutler and Mayke Nas. Like last year, Gaudeamus invited its... 

Gaudeamus Music Week: the squeak-grunt definitively over?

The Gaudeamus Music Week seems to have definitely left behind the stage of thorough but audience-unfriendly 'bleep-grunt'. The renowned festival of new music will present 129 compositions from 32 countries over five days. Asko|Schönberg and Cappella Amsterdam kicked off Wednesday 6 September with a motley variety of styles. Thus, the opening concert was a measure of what modern music lovers could expect up to... 

Anthony Vine wins Gaudeamus Award #Gaud16

The 70th audition of the Gaudeamus Music Week ended Sunday 11 September in TivoliVredenburg with the presentation of the Gaudeamus Award. Director Henk Heuvelmans presented the prize for composers under thirty to American Anthony Vine (1988). The prize money of five thousand euros is intended for a new composition, to be performed during a subsequent edition. The jury, consisting of... 

Enchanting concert Silbersee in Pieterskerk Utrecht #Gaud16

A creak. A squeak. A plop. A cough. Geneurie. In Utrecht's Pieterskerk, the singers of Silbersee surround us with almost inaudible, mysterious sounds. The fragmentation evokes an atmosphere of a restless nocturnal forest. Does an owl screech there? The fabric condenses and the sound shifts colour as the singers buzz through cardboard tubes, blow mini harmonicas and shrill... 

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... 

Alexander Khubeev wins Gaudeamus Award 2015

This year, too, the Gaudeamus Award went to an Eastern European. In 2014, Ukrainian Anna Korsun won the coveted competition for composers under 30; this year, the €5,000 prize goes to Russian composer Alexander Khubeev* (1986, Perm). This was announced on Sunday 13 September in TivoliVredenburg by Henk Heuvelmans, for many years the driving force behind... 

70,200 samples in 33″ - music of the future at Gaudeamus Music Week Academy

Just after the end of the Early Music Festival, the Gaudeamus Music Week, the Mecca of cutting-edge notes for seventy years, starts in Utrecht. Five nominated composers under thirty compete for the coveted Gaudeamus Award, previously won by now established composers such as Unsuk Chin, Yannis Kyriakides and Michel van der Aa. For the second year, the... 

Giya Kantsheli: 'I never wanted to compose Georgian music'

Georgian composer Giya Kantsjeli (Tbilisi, 1935) composes archaic-sounding, expressive works with slow progression, tremendous tension and heartbreaking melancholy. Characterised by fierce dynamic contrasts, his music often suddenly switches from an almost inaudible pianissimo to an oorsplitting fortissimo. On 23 February, Vredenburg's broadcasting series The Friday presents his monumental Styx for viola, choir and orchestra.... 

Anna Korsun wins Gaudeamus Music Prize

Last night, Ukrainian composer Anna Korsun (1986, Donetsk) won the coveted Gaudeamus Music Prize in TivoliVredenburg. This consists of a cash prize of €4550, which serves as an honorarium for a new composition that will have its world premiere in a subsequent instalment. The international jury, consisting of composers Vanessa Lann (Netherlands), Oscar Bianchi (Switzerland) and Wim Hendericx (Belgium) chose her unanimously from... 

Gaudeamus organises seminar on music criticism

Tonight begins the international Gaudeamus Music Week, in which five composers under 30 compete for the coveted Gaudeamus Music Prize. The jury, consisting of Vanessa Lann, Oscar Bianchi and Wim Henderickx selected them from eighty entrants from all over the world. It is the fourth edition in Utrecht of the competition, which started in 1951 in Bilthoven; the new TivoliVredenburg serves as the festival centre.... 

Concertzender fights for his life again

For the umpteenth time in its more than 30 years of existence, the colourful Concertzender going down. That is why there will be a benefit concert at the Amstelkerk in Amsterdam. Greats like Liza Ferschtman, Yuri Honing, Erik Bosgraaf and the Ragazze Quartet will perform for free, to support the station that broadcasts so many live recordings of their concerts. I myself started my career as a radio producer there in 1995, so I would say: come all, and donate generous! For less than two tonnes a year, the station will stay on air.

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