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György Kurtág

Reinbert de Leeuw showered with honours on his 80th birthday

Accompanied by Asko|Schönberg, Katja Herbers sings parts from Im wunderschönen Monat Mai, Reinbert's adaptation of classics by Schubert and Schumann. The poignant lyrics get a witty twist in the last song. In 'Röslein auf der Heiden', the 'victim' is not the fragile little flower from the original but Reinbert himself. "Und der wilde Knabe brach Reinbert auf der Heiden; Reinbert wehrte... 

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... 

#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... 

Amsterdam Sinfonietta shines in shadow play with Kurtág and baroque

The Great Hall of the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is pitch dark. Then a spotlight flashes on the first side balcony on the right. There, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Maria Milstein, Rosanne Philippens and Jacobien Rozemond play three movements from Telemann's Concert for four violins. They end in a freeze, after which the whisper-soft, fragile tones sound from Treasures by György Kurtág. We only see... 

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,... 

Ode to soul piercing sounds of György Kurtág

On 19 February 2016, György Kurtág celebrated his 90th birthday. Though frail, the Hungarian grandmaster of soul-crushing notes is still working on his first and only opera, Fin du Partie (Endgame), based on Samuel Beckett's play of the same name. The prologue was already premiered at a grand birthday festival at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, where he himself once studied. On Thursday 13 October, the... 

Pascal Gallois: formidable champion of the bassoon #HF16

Bassoonist Pascal Gallois gets laughs when he tries in vain to insert the flowers he has just received into the tube of his instrument. Also in the now classic Dialogue de l'ombre double by Pierre Boulez, he manages to make the audience chuckle on Sunday 19 June, when he produces a kind of elephant-like trumpet with much misfiring. His performance is part of the ''Save the bassoon', which will conclude on Sunday 25 June with a concert at the Holland Festival Proms at the Concertgebouw. For this hundreds of (amateur) bassoonists ON. Action successful, in other words.

Powerladies in Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ

In 1989, the Holland Festival placed composers from the Soviet Union at the centre. The music of Galina Ustvolskaya and Sofia Gubaidoelina hit like a bomb. The ladies proved to be here to stay, although they move at two extremes of our perception of sound. Ustvolskaya pounds her message into our eardrums with monomaniacal drive, Gubaidoelina intoxicates us with mysterious rustling and whispering sounds. For me,... 

The 5 concerts not to miss at Musica Sacra

From Thursday 17 September onwards, Maastricht will be dominated by four days of arts festival Musica Sacra. Started in 1983 as the European Festival of Religious Music, other art disciplines are now also presented, in atmospheric churches and other historical venues. This year's theme is 'The Way', loosely inspired by the pilgrimage route to pilgrimage site Santiago de Compostela, with the central question of whether... 

Reinbert de Leeuw in Zomergasten, not in Muziekzomer

In just over two weeks, the NJO Music Summer will start, with more than sixty-five concerts performed by young musicians, spread across more and less obvious venues in the province of Gelderland. One hundred and sixty-one youngsters streamed in from all over the world to show their skills from 1 to 17 August. Anyone staying in Gelderland at that time could not possibly miss their presence.

There are performances at former factory sites, such as the Zoetenlaboratorium in Arnhem, the Zwitsalterre...

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Biography Reinbert de Leeuw released today

Today, Leporello Publishers in Amstelveen published my long-awaited biography Reinbert de Leeuw: man or melody, on which I worked for more than seven years. The book is on sale at several bookstores in Amsterdam and can be ordered through any bookstore in the Netherlands. When I attended a concert conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw in early 2005, I discussed with a number of... 

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