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Great Broadcasting Choir

'High time for an end to segregated religions!' - Joost Kleppe composes Spirit of Mustafa for Groot Omroepkoor and Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

'Everything I make stems from feeling, from being touched', Joost Kleppe (1963) once said about his music. That sensibility is often triggered by poetry and his oeuvre therefore includes many vocal works. His lyrical, rhythmically varied pieces regularly appear on the desks of both professional and amateur choirs. With his appealing style, Kleppe follows in the footsteps of illustrious composers,... 

'Quite a few ex-believers have thrown out the baby with the bathwater: the music, the rituals, the language.' Composer Daan Manneke turns 80.

Daan Manneke will soon turn eighty. On 5 October, this great purveyor of vocal music and 'chapel master of space' will take centre stage during a programme by the Groot Omroepkoor in Utrecht's Jacobi Church. For this programme, he composed the brand new Geistliche Dämmerung, commissioned by the AVROTROSVrijdagconcert. Even at eighty, Manneke is still all zest for life and energy. 'I continue to... 

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... 

Opera 'The Rise of Spinoza' by Theo Loevendie deserves permanent place in repertoire

In 2014, the world premiere of The Rise of Spinoza by Theo Loevendie received an enthusiastic reception at the NTRZaterdagMatinee. Rightly so, as Markus Stenz steered the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Groot Omroepkoor, vocal soloists and recorder player Erik Bosgraaf through the colourful one-act aptly. The live recording was recently released on CD, allowing the opera to reach an international audience as well. The now 87-year-old Loevendie... 

Composer Marijn Simons: 'Everything is about timing'

Although the press picks it up only sparsely, not only the NTRZaterdagMatinee pays much attention to Dutch composers. Indeed, they are also well represented in the AVROTROS Vrijdagconcert (formerly De Vrijdag van Vredenburg). In 2014, for instance, Joey Roukens wrote The building of the temple to mark the reopening of TivoliVredenburg. Two years later, the season opened with Atlantis by Robin... 

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.... 

#Grammy for Barbara Hannigan & Ludwig Orchestra, Reinbert de Leeuw misses out

Expectations were high. Both Reinbert de Leeuw and Barbara Hannigan had been nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award. Hannigan was shortlisted for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album, for her recordings of music by Berg, Gershwin & Berio. De Leeuw competed in the Best Classical Compendium category with his compilation of all conducted choral and ensemble pieces by György Kurtág. Hannigan... 

Ton de Leeuw by Groot Omroepkoor & RFO brass ensemble: music of 'being' versus music of 'becoming'

At the end of the nineteenth century, Western music gradually began to come apart at the seams. Composers used more and more dissonances so that the familiar tonality hardly fitted into its shell. From a constant desire for even more expression, the orchestra was expanded with ever-newer instruments. This led to monster productions such as Gustav Mahler's 'Symphony of the Tausend', with more than a thousand... 

Heart cry of Lili Boulanger echoes through TivoliVredenburg

Although Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) is considered one of the most important French composers of the early 20th century, her music is rarely performed. On Friday 10 November, Du fond de l'abîme will be heard in the AVROTROS Friday Concert. A godsend, because this setting of psalm 130 is of a throat-splitting beauty. Boulanger completed the piece in 1917, a year before her death. American conductor James... 

Reinbert de Leeuw conducts Kurtág on historic CD box set

The three-part CD box set of choral and ensemble works by György Kurtág is, in a word, overwhelming. His soul-transcending sounds are sublimely interpreted by Reinbert de Leeuw et al. The recording, too, is impeccable. This box set is already historic, a monument to the Hungarian grandmaster, who turned 91 last February. Kurtág's existentialist music was played in our country as early as the mid-1970s,... 

Radio Philharmonic Orchestra & Great Broadcast Choir: ecstasy in concert

Traditionally, the AVROTROS Friday Concert marks the festive end of the season with a joint concert by the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor. On 9 June, American star conductor David Robertson leads them through Maurice Ravel's compelling ballet Daphnis et Chloé in the final concert. In addition, the orchestral work L'Ascension by his compatriot Olivier Messiaen and a selection of... 

Wolfgang Rihm links suffering Christ to Holocaust in 'Deus Passus' - podcast

In this period before Easter, Johann Sebastian Bach's Passions seem almost inescapable. But the alternatives are on the rise. Last week, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor presented two highly successful new Passions. Alternative passion Tomorrow bring the AVROTROS Friday Concert Deus Passus by German composer Wolfgang Rihm. It will be performed by the Groot Omroepkoor and the Radio Philharmonic ... 

Composer Robin de Raaff makes world perish in 'Atlantis'

Friday 23 September will open the new season of the AVROTROS Vrijdagconcert with the world premiere of Atlantis by Robin de Raaff. He composed this 50-minute piece commissioned for this broadcasting series, for the Groot Omroepkoor and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, augmented by solo soprano and solo baritone. The text is largely taken from the poem of the same name by American Hart Crane,... 

Hello, here Hilversum

Last weekend, more than 500 monuments in the Netherlands could be visited for free during the annual Open Monumentendag. Each year, this special day has a theme, this year it was 'Icons and Symbols'. After a thorough restoration, Hilversum's Studio 2 in the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep also opened its doors after 85 years. During the same week, a pop-up exhibition... 

Programmer to talk: Astrid in 't Veld's dream season

When you go to a concert, you think about the music, the ensemble, the soloist and/or the conductor. Maybe you look up something about the composer but you never think about the programmer who made the concert possible. Astrid in 't Veld is someone who thinks about the range of concerts on offer years in advance in order to help you with... 

Culture Council: broadcast orchestra should broadcast more, perform less

The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor should focus more on broadcasting and less on concert practice. So says the Council for Culture in an opinion released today on the policy plan of the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Foundation (SOM), which includes the choir and orchestra.

While the Council is very appreciative of the Saturday matinee, are the two other series the Foundation is bringing

Composer Joey Roukens: 'In my new Violin Concerto, I explore my lyrical side'

Joey Roukens (Schiedam, 1982) studied composition at Rotterdam Conservatory and took private piano lessons with Ton Hartsuiker. Since graduating in 2006, he has been able to reach a large audience with his energetic, infectious music. Commissions are pouring in, from no small number of clients. He has already written two pieces for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra: Out of Control (2011) and Chase... 

Krzysztof Penderecki: 'In chamber music you can't gloss over anything'

In 1961, Krzysztof Penderecki (Dębica, 1933) put his name on the map in one fell swoop with Lament for the Victims of Hiroshima. This avant-garde, expressionist piece for string orchestra flogs the ears with heavily dissonant harmonies full of microtones. With this uncompromising orgy of sound, the Pole struck the mental and physical inferno caused by the atomic bomb on the Japanese city in 1945 in the... 

Theo Verbey: 'A composer is first and foremost a songwriter'

Dutch composer Theo Verbey (Delft 1959) writes music of lush tonal beauty, in which the achievements of centuries of musical tradition resound. He made his name with works such as Triad (1991) for orchestra and Expulsion (1988) for large ensemble, and with orchestrations of pieces by composers such as Modest Mussorgsky and Alban Berg. For the closing concert of De Vrijdag van Vredenburg, he wrote Traurig wie... 

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.... 

World premieres by MacMillan and Roukens at Vredenburg's Friday

After years of concerts in the 'Red Box' on the A2, AVROTROS' De Vrijdag van Vredenburg on Radio 4 returned to the centre of Utrecht last summer. The new TivoliVredenburg was built entirely around Vredenburg's former Great Hall, renowned worldwide for its fabulous acoustics. Many a tear was shed at the reopening. To a new hall belongs... 

Requiem for the Red Box

Na zeven concertseizoenen neemt de omroepserie ‘De Vrijdag van Vredenburg’ afscheid van noodlocatie Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn, beter bekend als ‘De Rode Doos’. Vanaf september vinden de concerten weer plaats in de in oude luister herstelde Grote Zaal van het verder gloednieuwe TivoliVredenburg. Tijdens het concert van 6 juni wordt groots uitgepakt door het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest en het Groot Omroepkoor onder leiding van Antony Hermus. Zij spelen muziek van Beethoven, Richard Strauss en een gloednieuw stuk van Wim Laman, Requiem Songs.

Volksopera is a celebration of Ondiep, but what will be left when the cameras are gone?

Barely five months between first audition and first performance. That was all the time the makers and local residents had for the Volksopera Ondiep, which experienced the first of two performances on Friday 23 May. It was a warm May evening, touching at times, sometimes dreadful, but fun anyway: classics by Verdi (most of them), Bizet, Puccini and Offenbach, set to Dutch text and sung by complete amateurs. Accompanied, for once, by the Groot Omroepkoor.

John Adams' other Gospel of Mary @HollandFestival: masterpiece just too long

Holland Festival Holland Festival

Maria is gearresteerd bij een demonstratie en in een cel gegooid naast een heroïneverslaafde, terwijl haar zus Martha zojuist een opvang voor daklozen is begonnen. En Lazarus, ja, Jezus brengt ook hier hem weer tot leven, met ronduit adembenemende klanken. En dan zijn we nog niet eens halverwege.

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