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Panorama The Lion

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,... 

Holland Festival blames itself with Orphanage of Music #HF17

The Orphanage of Dutch Music presents monthly 'forgotten Dutch masterpieces' at Amsterdam's Splendor stage. 'To discover the finer points', these are performed twice, interrupted by 'a short commentary or interview with special table guests'. On paper, a golden formula. Rightly so, the Holland Festival adopted three episodes. With the music, during the opening concert on Thursday, it was all in... 

Andriessen's The Matter opens World Minimal Music Festival

Wednesday 5 April kicks off the fifth edition of the biennial World Minimal Music Festival. For five days, the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ will be filled with hypnotic rhythms, trance-inducing melodies and conjuring drones. Alongside well-known works by pioneers such as La Monte Young and Terry Riley are new compositions by Kate Moore and Bryce Dessner. There will also be performances by the Master... 

Music life loses colourful figure in Bernard van Beurden

"Thea, I must have that concert organiser's number!", his commanding baritone sounded in my ear. Bernard van Beurden (1933-2016) invariably phoned from the South of France, where he lived - he had a modest pied-à-terre in Amsterdam. As a music journalist, I had interviewed him several times and seemed the right person to help him get information from his distant homeland. Subsequently, we sat for hours... 

With George Pieterson, music life loses another coryphée

Last Sunday, 24 April, clarinetist George Pieterson died at his home in Amsterdam, aged 74. 'George was an iconic player with a big musical heart,' says his former student Frank van den Brink. 'He invariably went full steam ahead and whichever recording you listen to, his playing is always remarkable. You didn't necessarily have to put up with his... 

Franz Liszt: from virtuoso keyboard lion to ascetic innovator

Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was revered in his own time as a true devil's advocate, whose virtuoso piano playing set many a woman's heart racing. But above all, he was an innovator, whose ambition was to "hurl a spear into the infinite space of the future". The Concertzender highlights life and work for two hours on Wednesday, 2 December 

Satie in the supermarket

In the 1970s, Reinbert de Leeuw stormed the popular charts with recordings of Erik Satie's early piano music. He managed to strike exactly the right chord with his ultra-rare performances of pieces like Gnossiennes and Gymnopédies. The albums sold like hot cakes and were awarded gold and platinum records. Two decades later, he recorded them... 

Orlando Festival is broad and varied - with one blind spot: the female composer

Thursday 20 August sees the start of the annual Orlando Festival again in Kerkrade. Established in 1982 by cellist Stefan Metz, this event has been luring young musicians to Rolduc Abbey for over three decades to train in musical practice. Named after the then renowned Orlando Quartet, the festival traditionally pays close attention to strings, but other instruments are not forgotten either.... 

Amstel Quartet surprises with chansons

The CD Sax avec Elan! is the latest project by the ever enterprising Amstel Quartet. The four saxophonists made their name with impeccable and inspired performances of contemporary music, but do not shy away from the beaten track. For this CD, they joined forces with French chansonnier Philippe Elan. To my pleasant surprise, the... 

Reconstruction: anti-American opera on Concertzender

In 1969, Reinbert de Leeuw et al's opera Reconstruction caused a huge uproar because of its anti-American tenor and glorification of Cuban freedom fighter Che Guevarra. Journalist Henk van der Meijden started a smear campaign in newspaper De Telegraaf, parliamentary questions were asked, but the production went ahead despite - thanks to ? - all the commotion and Theatre Carré was... 

#Reinbertbio one year on: biographer looks back

There was once a celebrity (pianist, composer and conductor Reinbert de Leeuw), a biographer (Thea Derks) and a riot. De Leeuw was against the publication of his biography Reinbert de Leeuw: man or melody and made no secret of it. In the TV programme Zomergasten (Summer guests), he even dismissed the dissertation-like standard work as an almost endearing puff piece. Meanwhile... 

Book becomes radio: Thea Derks presents Panorama De Leeuw on Concertzender

For seven years, Thea Derks worked on her biography of Reinbert de Leeuw. And it did not go unnoticed. Except for the reaction of the person portrayed, unanimously rave reviews and soon a second printing. Rightly so, because the book offers an indispensable description of modern music in the Netherlands, with many composer portraits and an understandable leading role for Reinbert de Leeuw. 

Reinbert de Leeuw defies limits of orchestra in Saturday Matinee

Reinbert de Leeuw turned seventy-five last September, but already in May the VPRO honoured him with three full-length broadcasts on Radio 4. Together with Aad van Nieuwkerk, I made a selection from his best recordings of Kagel, Ustvolskaya and Louis Andriessen, among others, about which I also let him speak. This was followed in September by a real Reinbert festival and his own magazine. The magazine not only highlighted him... 

A century of new music: Ruyneman and De Leeuw

Deze maand viert Reinbert de Leeuw zijn vijfenzeventigste verjaardag. Niet alleen wijden televisie, radio, internetmedia en geschreven pers uitvoerig aandacht aan de niet geringe prestaties van deze voorvechter van de hedendaagse muziek, maar ook wordt hij geëerd met een eigen festival, ‘Reinbert 75’. Dit wordt georganiseerd

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