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Kaija Saariaho central composer at November Music: subtle timbres paint inky black scenario

Pièce de résistance will be the brand new Reconnaissance (Rusty Mirror Madrigal) for choir, percussion and double bass. Saariaho composed it commissioned by November Music and the Donaueschinger Musiktage. The first performance was scheduled at the German festival, which, however, was also cancelled. - A stroke of luck for November Music.

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... 

Season 2018-19: Concertgebouw picks up women's hand that Concertgebouw Orchestra leaves behind

Joel Fried, artistic director of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra visibly startled for a moment. I asked him if there is really only one female composer scheduled in the 2018-19 season. Indeed, during the presentation on Monday 26 February at the Concertgebouw, I only heard the name of Lotta Wennäkoski. Indeed the Finn appears to be the only one to defend the honour of composing women.... 

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... 

Cello Biennale shines through groaning glissandi and whispering ghost choir

During the sixth edition of the Cello Biennale, the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is a bustling place to be. Immediately upon entering on the first floor, you enter an atmospheric pop-up brasserie, with market stalls set up in every other nook and cranny. There is a selection of handmade cellos, bows, bridges, dampers and strings alongside a large selection of magazines, CDs... 

Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016): Finnish icon of contemporary music

Last Wednesday night, 27 July, Einojuhani Rautavaara died at his home in Helsinki, following complications during an operation. Aged 87, he was widely regarded as the uncrowned heir apparent to Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), who wrote his last notes around 1930.
Freed from shadow Sibelius
After that, things remained quiet on the Finnish front for a long time. It was not until the mid-1950s that Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016) breathed new life into Finnish music, with a series of symphonies and oper...

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Dying Swan (Rinus Sprong), photo Studio Oostrum

Even with eyes closed, DEDJDD's Ballet Blanc is a beautiful evening

The Zuiderstrandtheater in The Hague premiered Ballet Blanc on 8 March. It is the new full-length performance by The Dutch Junior Dance Division. The young dancers tour the country with a collage of fifteen short pieces. Blanc is the unifying factor in a fresh mix of classical and modern ballet, with tragedy, poignancy and humour. The juniors... 

NJO Symphony Orchestra shakes former broadcasting station to its foundations

While the young musicians of the NJO Symphony Orchestra emit fearsome war sounds, behind them we see two toddlers frolicking uninhibitedly across the Veluwe moor. Moving and at the same time oh so appropriate, because although Carl Nielsen composed his overwhelming Fourth Symphony during the First World War (1914-16), he remained convinced of the good in man. He christened it Det Uudslukkelige, which means as much... 

Hero Brinkman: Facts are for the elite, it's all about the tone

Classical music is elitist, most conductors and orchestra members don't have a clue what they are doing and audiences have absolutely no clue. Subsidised art should be both accessible to a large audience and socially engaged. I also believe that The Joshua Tree is perhaps the best album ever. Signed, Hero Brinkman... 

Composer Henryk Górecki: art or kitsch?

This Saturday, 14 February 2015, Reinbert de Leeuw will conduct the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Polish composer Henryk Górecki's (1933-2010) Fourth Symphony at the NTR Saturday matinee. Górecki established his name overnight in 1992, when the CD of his Third Symphony shot to the top of the classical charts like a flare. The recording of this Symphony... 

Gergiev Festival full of Sunday afternoon music

What could be the matter with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival - the official name to emphasise its international appeal anyway? As soon as you enter concert hall de Doelen, you immediately get the feeling that you have arrived at an ordinary, weekday concert, even though Valeri Gergiev is on the posters. No decoration of the large rooms... 

#HF11 Thomas Adès sails his own ship and steers across familiar waters with new compositions

The ark as the earth, as a spaceship carrying us through the chaos of the universe to a safe haven. The pole star as the apparent magnetic centre of the universe around which all the stars revolve. No, this is not woolly new age chatter, these are the starting points for Tevot and Polaris, two major orchestral works by Thomas Adès, which had their Dutch premiere under the composer's own direction.

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