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Asko|Schönberg in Gaudeamus Opening night and concert in honour of Reinbert de Leeuw in Muziekgebouw

Gaudeamus 2022 Opening Festival Energising programme with a.o. sheng grandmaster Wu Wei During the opening night of this annual festival, Gaudeamus shows the many faces of new music: surprising, moving and who knows, frustrating. Asko|Schönberg, a regular guest at this festival, is part of the festive opening night and presents a programme that spans generations and continents. Including the wacky... 

Live music brightens up vaccination venue Jaarbeurs 

From 5 May, the XL vaccination venue at the Jaarbeurs Utrecht will be brightened up several times a week by performances by Utrecht music ensembles. Utrecht has a very diverse musical life that is eager to serve the city. The Netherlands Bach Society kicks off on Wednesday 5 May. Utrechters receiving vaccinations must wait 15 minutes after the jab. GGD region of Utrecht... 

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.... 

'Like a terrifying chorus of ghostly aliens.' Why you just have to suffer Anna Korsun in November Music.

'Anna Korsun stood head and shoulders above her peers with her surprising, introspective and communicative music.' I wrote that in 2014, when she won the Gaudeamus Award. 'We are definitely going to hear more from her,' I concluded, and since then the Ukrainian has more than fulfilled that promise. She has made a name for herself as a composer, pianist, vocalist, conductor and (co-)organiser of concert series.... 

Who said modern music was humourless and cerebral again? American Kelley Sheehan wins in Music Week full of humour and reflection

For a moment, the envelope seems unopenable but then Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven conjures up the redeeming paper after all. 'The winner of the 2019 Gaudeamus Award is Kelley Sheehan!' The little American almost falls off her stool in amazement. Probably not entirely by chance, the new music organisation has positioned her right in the middle of her four fellow candidates. - She herself would... 

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... 

Cellist Maya Fridman: 'The best thing about making music is communicating with my audience.'

Cellist Maya Fridman was born in Moscow in 1989, where she emerged as a child prodigy. Even while still studying at Schnittke College, she won first prize at the International Festival of Slavic Music. In 2010, she came to the Netherlands, where six years later she graduated Cum Laude from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Fridman naturally places contemporary... 

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... 

Welcome back to Amsterdam Huang Ruo!

Saturday 13 December, the NTR Saturday matinee presents the world premiere of Unscrolled for piano and orchestra by Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo (Hainan, 1976), with pianist Emanuele Arciuli and the Residentie Orkest conducted by Emilio Pomàrico. This kicks off his three-month stay as composer in residence of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Ruo is the first to receive this honour,... 

Unsuk Chin: 'Holland is more open to new music than other countries'

In 1985, Unsuk Chin (Seoul 1961) won the Gaudeamus Music Prize with Spektra for three cellos, six years later she made her breakthrough with her Akrostichon-Wortspiel for soprano and ensemble composed for the Nieuw Ensemble. In 2004, she won the Grawemeyer Award, the world's most prestigious music prize; in 2007, she made a deep impression with her opera Alice in Wonderland. Tomorrow, Thursday 22 October. 

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... 

The 5 concerts not to miss on @oudemuziek

Utrecht is fast overtaking Amsterdam as cultural capital. Centrally located and easily accessible by train, bus, car, bicycle or on foot, and blessed not only with a host of beautiful churches but also with the imposing TivoliVredenburg, it attracts more and more music lovers to its city centre. For over three decades, it has hosted the Festival of Early Music,... 

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.... 

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