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Luciano Berio

Goeyvaerts and Ustvolskaya: man and woman with hammer

In February 2017, The Collective combined the radical music of Galina Ustvolskaya with the heavenly chants of Hildegard von Bingen. Less strange than it seems, as both were deeply religious and composed from inner necessity. On Thursday 26 October, Spectra Ensemble places Ustvolskaya alongside Karel Goeyvaerts at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Ustvolskaya is well enough known here in the country by now, but who was... 

Klaas de Vries finds neotonic heaven: 'I can't resist composing'

Dutch composer Klaas de Vries (Terneuzen 1944) pairs Stravinskyian clarity with southern sensuality. He harbours a love for poets such as Pablo Neruda and Fernando Pessoa, and his work excels in recognisable melodies and rhythms. 'However innovative, to be communicative, music must always contain a traditional element,' he said. On 28 and 30 November, Asko|Schönberg will play... 

Han de Vries: delving through four centuries of oboe music

It will happen to you. At 70, they honour you with a CD box set, five years later you are offered a compilation twice the size. It happened to Dutch oboist Han de Vries (The Hague, 1941), who celebrated his 75th birthday last August. In 2011, his former student Peter Bree collected the radio recordings on nine CDs, this time he filled a... 

Hymn to St. Cecilia by Britten: state dangerous (c)ode?

On Friday 10 February in Utrecht, the Nederlands Kamerkoor will kick off its concert series Sacred and Profane, based on Benjamin Britten's choral work of the same name. The programme also includes his popular cycle Hymn to St Cecilia, which he composed during World War II. The score was confiscated by the US Customs Service in 1942 because it allegedly contained codes that were dangerous to the state. The American fear of a... 

Joseph Puglia shines in music Luciano Berio

American-Dutch violinist Joseph Puglia is a passionate advocate of contemporary music. Last year he scored highly with his rendition of the Violin Concerto by Anders Hillborg, together with the young musicians of the NJO Symphony Orchestra. He is first violinist of Asko|Schönberg, with whom he presented the world premiere of the violin concerto composed especially for him earlier this year Roads to Everywhere By Joey Roukens.

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.

Louis Andriessen: 'I've never found a new sound'

For Theatre of the World, his fifth full-length opera, Louis Andriessen (1939) was inspired by the Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680). He was the last Renaissance man, someone who could do everything and knew everything. Kircher wrote books full of the most diverse subjects, from the meaning of hieroglyphics to vulcanology and musical instruments. He even designed a cat piano, based on the idea that each cat screams at a different pitch when you press ...

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Forever waiting for Godot: Pierre Boulez died

He would have turned 91 on 26 March, but died Tuesday night, 5 January, in his hometown of Baden-Baden. Pierre Boulez was the last surviving composer of the group that changed the direction of music after WWII. His fellow maestros preceded him: Karlheinz Stockhausen died in 2007, Luciano Berio in 2003, Karel Goeyvaerts in 1993 and... 

breastplate hamel

Two bright minds tread new music paths

They are each other's opposites: Michiel Borstlap exudes luxury and relaxation, Micha Hamel a tense frown. But the two not inconsiderable gentlemen have both recently joined the Academy of Arts. They played new work last weekend and I spoke to them afterwards. Actually, I was programming Michiel Borstlap's concert for a theatre in Driebergen. In an expensive Jaguar, we drove to a restaurant for coffee... 

Voice artist Cathy Berberian was NOT 'the wife of...'

American-Italian voice artist Cathy Berberian (1925-1983) has gone down in history as 'the wife of Luciano Berio', the Italian composer with whom she realised such high-profile pieces as Circles, Sequenza III, Recital I for Cathy and Thema, Omaggio a Joyce. Yet they were married for only 14 years, from 1950 to 1964. Moreover, it is widely known that she had a large compositional share 

Delft opens with fewer chamber music surprises than other years

For another 15 years, the Delft Chamber Music Festival, so named to reflect its international character, has encompassed 15 years. Violinist Isabelle van Keulen handled the chamber music festival's programming for the first ten years, Lisa Ferschtmann - also a violinist - took over from her five years ago. But even this already successful festival fears the upcoming budget cuts. A pity, because what... 

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