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John Adams

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.... 

'I decided to make an unabashedly grand romantic gesture and blow people away' - Mathilde Wantenaar writes new piece for Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Being creative on demand? That's impossible, you would think. Yet it is the reality for composers and artists who work on commission. Mathilde Wantenaar (1993) therefore got acute choice stress when the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra asked her for a new piece. She was just working on a commission from De Nationale Opera. 'I felt like a rabbit in the... 

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... 

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... 

MIRROR MIRROR by Conny Janssen Danst

For this one moment, you won't want to miss MIRROR MIRROR by Conny Janssen Danst

You can think of several reasons to go and see MIRROR MIRROR by Conny Janssen Danst at the RDM Submarine Wharf. But there is one in particular. Conny Janssen Danst is back in a former submarine hangar in Rotterdam with MIRROR MIRROR. That shed is located on the waterfront near the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and an Innovation Lab. An industrial setting that also returns... 

Arnold Schoenberg is dead, long live Arnold Schoenberg!

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) is often accused of driving audiences out of the hall with his drive for innovation. After all, his twelve-tone system swept away the foundations of tonality, which had provided listeners with a safe haven for centuries. Deprived of its foothold, it would have turned its back on contemporary music forever. Nonsense, because not only did Schoenberg write fantastic works, but also... 

Opera The New Prince: pretentious bombast

It is not easy to visit an opera presented as a stunning piece of contemporary social criticism without fear. Especially when it evokes such totally different reactions. Some call The New Prince 'an opera on the vein of our own time' (Mischa Spel, NRC), while others give it 'a fat fail' (Erik Voermans, Het Parool). Another needs more... 

Conductor Alan Gilbert makes Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra shine

Alan Gilbert conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for the fifth time on Wednesday 8 February. He is chief of the New York Philharmonic until the end of this season, exuberantly expressing his love for contemporary music. He proved to be the ideal conductor to premiere Joey Roukens' new work, aptly leading the musicians through the exhilarating... 

Roaring, pounding big band overwhelms with conspiracies #hf16

A big band, a ticking clock, conspiracy theories and twelve-tonality. Mix that in a theatrical setting and it can go whooping out of control. Yet composer Darcy James Argue manages to make it a propulsive and energising whole, with help from director Isaac Butler and cinematographer Peter Nigrihi.

Composer Anna Meredith: 'It was a revelation that classical music is a living art form'

On 4 March 2016, her debut CD Varmints, a mixture of new-classical, electronica and avant-pop, was released and Scottish-Canadian Anna Meredith (b. 1978) was showered with praise. 'One of the most innovative minds in modern British music,' wrote one critic. 'Vibrant and kaleidoscopic,' wrote another. 'Exceptional soundscapes of synthesisers, beats and other things' reposted a third. A fourth felt... 

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... 

Music journalist Erik Voermans: 'I keep interviewing composers whether they want to or not'

On 4 February, music journalist and musicologist Erik Voermans' latest book was presented: From Andriessen to Zappa. After twenty-five years of writing for Het Parool, Voermans has collected his conversations with the greats of modern-classical music in a chic edition. Paul van der Steen's detailed drawings inspire listening to the music discussed. The presentation in the Great Hall of the Muziekgebouw... 

John Adams Scheherazade.2 disappoints - despite phenomenal Leila Josefowicz

For a moment on Friday, 16 October, it looked like Leila Josefowicz would give an encore, but it did not happen. The audience in the sold-out Concertgebouw had cheered her for minutes for her phenomenal rendition of Scheherazade.2, the second violin concerto (or third, if you include Dharma at Big Sur for six-string electric violin and orchestra) by John Adams, who himself led the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra... 

Top performance of rarely heard Sonata by Bartók

Ralph van Raat is by far the most important solo pianist in the contemporary repertoire in our country, fellow pianist Maarten van Veen pursues an idiosyncratic course in ensemble playing in modern music. When the two musicians work together, they prove to complement each other perfectly. Under the aegis of the Doelen Ensemble, they played together with percussionists Colin Currie and Benjamin Ramirez, for whom the same... 

NTR Podium

Not just Kunststof TV, NTR Podium is also ending. Long live Podium Witteman.

NTR Podium: the television programme about music and dance, is calling it quits. Tonight is the last broadcast with the Harmonium by John Adams by the Residentie Orkest. In 2015, NTR Podium gives way to the new Podium Witteman. This will be mainly about classical music and jazz.

Amy Tan and the whip

Amy Tan - a guest at the John Adams Institute in Amsterdam - personally introduced her new book to Dutch audiences this week: Valley of wonder. She gave a very personal lecture at the Amstelkerk on the difficult lives of her mother and grandmother in ancient China before the great agitator Mao. The setting: early 20th century... 

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.

Peter van Onna: 'Treaty of Utrecht is also topical now'

Three hundred years ago, the Treaty of Utrecht was signed, bringing an end to both the War of Spanish Succession, and the War of Queen Anne. Remarkably, this peace treaty was not negotiated on the battlefield, but at the negotiating table. It took a year and a half for the many parties to come to an agreement, and the treaty counts as the beginning of... 

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