Skip to content

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ

Fisherman's friend

'Darkness with something of hope' - Second #Zomergasten under Theo Maassen delivers impressive Fishermansfriend moment

At a little before half past eleven, Sunday evening 30 July, cabaret performer and gifted interviewer Theo Maassen asked world-famous cameraman Hoyte van Hoytema: "What's the question you don't get answered?" Hoyte: "Shit, are you going to close with that?!" It was in the telling finale of an extraordinarily impressive second episode of Zomergasten 2023. An episode, too, in which we talked a lot about cinematography... 

Muziekgebouw aan t IJ Grote Zaal cr Postman81 (Postman81, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

Music building big loser at glorious start of #Zomergasten 2023 under Theo Maassen.

The motorhome sank. The theatre group Vis à Vis-inspired studio set of the legendary summer series Zomergasten had had its day. Was probably also because of the new presenter. Theo Maassen is very tall and lanky, and likes to flap his legs, so he would never have lasted without a wet suit to spend six summer Sunday evenings on the... 

Ernestine Stoop - image provided by Asko|Schönberg

Stairway to Music - Scala for Ernestine - Saturday 27 May

Stairway to Music, a programme by Asko|Schönberg and the Muziekgebouw, is an intimate listening experience of about 45 minutes on the steps of the Muziekgebouw. This time the program also has a personal touch. Harpist Ernestine Stoop says goodbye to Asko|Schönberg after more than 40 years and has put together a concert in which she condenses her time with Asko|Schönberg... 

Asko|Schönberg opens 2022/2023 season with festival Words & Music

After the successful first edition in 2020, Asko|Schönberg presents Words & Music, a festival full of cut-ups & f*ck-ups, on 3 September. In unexpected ways, various art disciplines come together in an adventurous programme that plays with the relationships between music and language. This time, Words & Music is inspired by composer Luciano Berio (1926-2003) and literary enfant terrible of the sixties.... 

Jelinek's Kein Licht offers extra suffocation in already dark times. #HF22

Actually, it was too bad to persevere. Perhaps I should indeed have followed my impulse to walk away hard, but I stayed with Kein Licht. Indeed, this play, written by Elfriede Jelinek, composed by Philippe Manoury and directed by Nicolas Stemann, was technically quite good. Only that little dog, I so did not like that. Animals and... 

Stairway to Music: Double Dutch | World premiere Robin de Raaff

Saturday 23 April, 2.15pm and 4pm: Stairway to Music by Asko|Schönberg and the Muziekgebouw is an intimate 40-minute listening experience on the steps of Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Stairway to Music is inspired by a story told at the farewell gathering of conductor/pianist Reinbert de Leeuw, who died in 2020. When Reinbert played the piano in his flat, people would take... 

Asko|Schönberg brings Inhabit_inhibit: Crushing sound experience

Belgian composer Stefan Prins rattles the conventions of musical practice with his innovative approach. His brand new inhabit_inhibit is a visionary work, based on the ideas of Timothy Morton, in which man's loss of control over his environment is made audible and tangible in a penetrating way. To do so, Prins uses spatially arranged instruments, electronics and feedback loops. Follow the news,... 

Goodbye movie house, longing for museums: (my) insights after corona

What does culture visit after corona look like? The topic came up regularly on this site in recent months. I myself wrote two personal contributions on it. Now that cultural institutions may almost reopen their doors, the crystal ball is giving way to reality. In my article on 'the promise of the empty hall', I noted a reluctance to... 

No better time imaginable for Splendid Isolation. Personal initiative soprano provides unique concert in times of Corona.

Splendid Isolation is about the happiness of loneliness, but, Elgershuizen stresses, it is best experienced together. 'It needs to be performed, because as humans we need to be able to be together'.
If all goes well, it can be experienced on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December.

Lera Auerbach decries 72 demons: ''We know exactly what the right decision is, but often choose against our intuition''

Guts cannot be denied the Russian-American Lera Auerbach (1973). After all, you have to be 'a bit crazy and a bit of a genius to write a full-length choral work on a text limited to a list of 72 angel names', as one reviewer noted in 2016 after the world premiere of 72 Angels for the Netherlands Chamber Choir and the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet.... 

'Wikileaks has never been caught at a single fault' - Iris ter Schiphorst writes Assange: Fragmente einer Unzeit

'There is an information war going on right now, which shows how important data is. The Assange case is the most poignant example of this.' Dutch-German composer Iris Ter Schiphorst wrote a piece about Julian Assange, the now controversially declared founder of Wikileaks. She is on a mission with this: 'Although Wikileaks has never been caught at a single fault, Assange has been accused of... 

Joy of life and icy constriction. Ensemble Modern performs striking world premieres by female composers during November Music

Ensemble Modern presents world premieres by German-Dutch Iris ter Schiphorst and Turkish Zeynep Gedizlioğlu in November Music. And that is good news, because the female composer remains too often invisible even in 2019. In the brochures of any Dutch orchestra, you will find none, or only a single work by a woman. On the new Heart & Soul list of... 

Iranian Turandot disarms with engaging music. But Puccini remains undefeated

It is quite daring. To take a classic Italian opera and give it a 'primal version'. I know a small army of militant opera critics who would prefer to take up arms against that. If that comes from Iran, you soon have the puppets dancing. To get right to the first... 

Eight by Michel van der Aa: hallucinatory mixed reality at Holland Festival. - But don't forget to take off your pumps

Slightly nauseated and with shaky legs, I leave the corridor in which I have just experienced Eight by Michel van der Aa. 'Did you follow the circuit in those high heels?' a Holland Festival staff member asks incredulously. Indeed I had better leave my pumps at the entrance. The mixed reality project Eight will have its world premiere on Tuesday 4 June at Muziekgebouw... 

Jan van de Putte: 'My work is about conquering music'

Dutch composer Jan van de Putte (b. 1959) invariably crosses the boundaries of music. Hesitant starts, silence, wide gestures and explorations of our subconscious are as natural in his score as resounding tones. Last autumn, he published his four-part song cycle set to poetry by Pessoa, in which he aptly stammers the Portuguese poet. On 8 November, his latest composition, Cette... 

Hilda Paredes immortalises African-American freedom fighter in her opera 'Harriet'

On 3 October, the opera Harriet by Hilda Paredes will premiere, dedicated to legendary African-American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman (c. 1822-1913). In the mid-19th century, she escaped from a slave existence, after which she risked her life to free many peers via the so-called Underground Railroad. After years of wrangling, the US Department of the Treasury decided in September 2018 to take Tubman's effigy and... 

Lessons in Love and Violence: glowing music fails to spark icy drama at @hollandfestival

'Love is poison' Mortimer sings to the king in the first scene of Lessons in Love and Violence. The military adviser denounces his relationship with Gaveston, whom he showered with favours while his subjects went hungry. 'Don't bore me with the price of bread' ripostes the king. Rather than worry, he treats his lover to poetry and music... 

Hewar and Gurdjieff Ensemble @Hollandfestival: music unites two troubled peoples

After the smashing finale of Ishtar by Dima Orsho, the audience stands up as one and erupts in an ovational applause. I am almost stunned by the loud cheers and shouts that overwhelm the members of Hewar and the Gurdjief Ensemble. Bewildered, I look around me: surely there would be another song? But no, there... 

It's up to us to offer Octavia E. Butler's sower fertile ground in the @hollandfestival

First of all, the chairs have to leave the auditorium of the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Then some discomfort, those two hours that Octavia E. Butler's The Parable of The Sower lasts. At least it would make for some shared sorrow, and possibly some awkward swinging. Because the way things were going, that first night of Toshi Reagon's debut at the Holland... 

Michel van der Aa in the spotlight of Nieuw Amsterdams Peil

On Thursday 19 April, composer Michel van der Aa takes centre stage at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Besides his own music, the adventurous Nieuw Amsterdams Peil will play pieces by kindred spirits chosen by him. Special guest is Wende Snijders, who composed a number of songs with Van der Aa. She will also solo in the world premiere of the integral cycle... 

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... 

Baltic souls by Cappella Amsterdam: Estonia 100 years independent/not independent

Although Estonia is almost 4,000 square kilometres larger than the Netherlands, it has barely more inhabitants than the province of Utrecht. For centuries, superpowers such as Denmark, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Poland disputed rule over this country on the Baltic Sea. Indeed, its geographical location made it an important link between East and West. It was not until 1918 that a state of its own was declared, but... 

Silvia Colasanti: 'My string quartet is about the beauty and nostalgia of Rome'

Whether flowing melodies, driving rhythms or dense clouds of sound, the music of Silvia Colasanti (Rome, 1975) is always lyrical. On Monday 29 January, Quartetto di Cremona will perform the world premiere of her string quartet Ogni cosa ad ogni cosa addio at Muziekgebouw aan' t IJ Amsterdam. The concert is part of the String Quartet Biennale, which takes place from 27 January... 

Symphony of Psalms Igor Stravinsky: away with romantic sentiment

On Wednesday 24 January, the Nederlands Kamerkoor presents an adventurous concert at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ to kick off a short tour. On the lecterns are rarely heard music by Lili Boulanger and Ton de Leeuw. The highlight is Igor Stravinsky's famous Psalm Symphony in a version for choir and piano four hands by Dmitri Shostakovich. Ralph van Raat and Bobby Mitchell sign... 

Private Membership (month)
5 / Maand
For natural persons and self-employed persons.
No annoying banners
A special newsletter
Own mastodon account
Access to our archives
Small Membership (month)
18 / Maand
For cultural institutions with a turnover/subsidy of less than €250,000 per year
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
All our podcasts
Your own Mastodon account
Access to archives
Posting press releases yourself
Extra attention in news coverage
Large Membership (month)
36 / Maand
For cultural institutions with a turnover/subsidy of more than €250,000 per year.
No annoying banners
A special newsletter
Your own Mastodon account
Access to archives
Share press releases with our audience
Extra attention in news coverage
Premium Newsletter (substack)
5 trial subscriptions
All our podcasts

Payments are made via iDeal, Paypal, Credit Card, Bancontact or Direct Debit. If you prefer to pay manually, based on an invoice in advance, we charge a 10€ administration fee

*Only for annual membership or after 12 monthly payments

en_GBEnglish (UK)