Skip to content


Gaudeamus: as a 75-year-old younger than ever

Anno 2020, Music Week is buzzing like never before. Even corona has barely caught on. How many 'Mozarts' have emerged by now I will leave open, but the rich and varied off- and online offerings create some choice stress. At 75, the organisation is younger than ever: Gaudeamus is the place to be.

Soon - Rahi Rezvani

Dutch dance world back on stage in September with these performances

From small dance schools to big dance companies, the Dutch dance world is daring to expose itself on a stage again. Dance lovers can get back into the studios or theatres, or both, thanks to protocols, and bookings are being made enthusiastically as many performances are already sold out. After all, nothing beats dance art in the flesh. In the words of dance dramaturge Jochem Naafs: 'If you... 

Retrospect Opera presents Fête Galante by unjustly forgotten Ethel Smyth - Buy that CD!

'Had I not possessed three things unrelated to music, I would have perished early on from loneliness and disillusionment,' wrote Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) at 60. Those three things were: 'Iron health, a distinct fighting spirit and a modest but independent income.' Whereas women in the nineteenth century were condemned to compose 

Conductor Elim Chan: 'I can't walk away from the music.'

'When I unexpectedly had to conduct the "Dies Irae" from Verdi's Requiem Verdi, I felt how raw and impactful music could be. I knew immediately: I can no longer run away from music.' Elim Chan is moving like a rocket and will make her debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra on 17 January. In 2014, Elim Chan (Hong Kong, 1986) was the first female... 

'High time for an end to segregated religions!' - Joost Kleppe composes Spirit of Mustafa for Groot Omroepkoor and Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

'Everything I make stems from feeling, from being touched', Joost Kleppe (1963) once said about his music. That sensibility is often triggered by poetry and his oeuvre therefore includes many vocal works. His lyrical, rhythmically varied pieces regularly appear on the desks of both professional and amateur choirs. With his appealing style, Kleppe follows in the footsteps of illustrious composers,... 

Why you shouldn't miss 'Im wunderschönen Monat Mai' at Paradiso

On Wednesday 16 January, Reinbert de Leeuw will present his cycle Im wunderschönen Monat Mai at Paradiso. A unique opportunity to see him at work once more in his globally believed masterpiece. In 2003, he surprised friend and foe alike with this composition inspired by songs by Schumann and Schubert. Was that not swearing in church? Arnold Schoenberg had the Romanticism... 

Music publicist Maarten Brandt: 'For one note from Mahler's Ninth, I would give the gift of Shostakovich's entire oeuvre'

Sounding Alchemy, is the name of the chunky volume recently published by music publicist Maarten Brandt (1953). It has 715 pages, including illustrations and an extensive index. In 98 articles, Brandt unfolds his views on music and music programming. He dedicated the beautifully designed book to his admired Marius Flothuis, programmer of the Concertgebouw Orchestra for many years. His heirs received a first copy during... 

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... 

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.... 

Julia Bullock sings Anne Truelove in #TheRakesProgress: 'Anne is a very mature woman'

At the first opportunity, he abandons her. He leads a debauched life, marries another and ends up in the madhouse. Yet Anne Truelove continues to love Tom Rakewell, the protagonist in The Rake's Progress. The National Opera will present its fourth production of Stravinsky's opera from 1 February, in collaboration with Aix-en-Provence. There, last July, the... 

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... 

Dobrinka Tabakova writes double concerto for Lucas and Arthur Jussen: 'It shimmers with energy'

The AVROTROS Friday Concert cherishes mainstream masterpieces as well as less heard and new repertoire. In the 2017-18 season, no fewer than five (world) premieres are on the programme, three of them composed by a woman. - Come and see that among the national orchestras. Friday 17 November will hear the brand new double concert Together Remember to Dance by British/Bulgarian Dobrinka Tabakova. She composed it on... 

Jussen piano brothers step out of their comfort zone at Holland Festival #hf17

Among classical music-loving audiences, the two young pianists Lucas (1993) and Arthur (1996) Jussen need little introduction. For many years, the talented piano brothers have been filling halls like the Concertgebouw with four-handed or otherwise, interpretations of classics such as Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert. With the avant-garde piece Mantra by Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007), to be performed as part of the Holland Festival,... 

Rito de Primavera, José Vidal & Cía., Festival de Marseille. Photo: Fabian Cambero.

Rito de Primavera: spectacular, but also a mountain of kitsch, unworthy of the Holland Festival

Rito de Primavera, seen at the Holland Festival early this week, is a group choreography for fifty young dancers. Choreographer José Vidal has loosely based himself on Sacre du printemps, Stravinsky and Nijinsky's 1913 piece for the Ballet Russes. Fragments of Stravinsky's music have been transformed into 4-quarter beetz by DJ Jim Hast, while Vidal has added the ritual aspect of the sacrifice, essential to the many versions made throughout the 20th century (in addition to the oe...

You can now log in to continue reading!

Welcome to the Culture Press archive! As a member, you have access to all, over 4,000 posts we have made since our inception in 2009!

(Recent posts (under three months old) are available for all to read, thanks to our members!)

Become a member, or log in below:

7 reasons why you should invest in Holland Festival 2017 #hf17

Ruth Mackenzie has achieved an enormous amount in the short time she has been boss of Holland Festival. I've experienced the festival now since the late 1990s and watched it evolve from something very personal and sometimes obscure (under Ivo van Hove), to an ethereal feast of sizzling aesthetics (with Pierre Audi), to what it... 

'Quite an uproar': a century of contempt for the arts

In 1975, jazz musician Misha Mengelberg and artist Wim T. Schippers organised Een behoorlijk kabaal (Quite a racket) at Amsterdam's Mickery Theatre. For a week, they explore the different meanings of a concert in 'inimitable musical theatre'. Jacqueline Oskamp chose it as the title of her recently published book describing Dutch music history of the past century. Sad conclusion: there is... 

Salome Dances for Peace Terry Riley: opening hit Musica Sacra

Thursday 15 September saw the kick-off of arts festival Musica Sacra in Maastricht. While I was in a traffic jam, Bobby Mitchell played the eighth and final movement of Frederik Rzewski's piano cycle The Road, who himself was present. It also marked the conclusion of last year's festival, which was dedicated to 'the road', the journey made by pilgrims ... 

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...

You can now log in to continue reading!

Welcome to the Culture Press archive! As a member, you have access to all, over 4,000 posts we have made since our inception in 2009!

(Recent posts (under three months old) are available for all to read, thanks to our members!)

Become a member, or log in below:

Erik Voermans 'From Andriessen to Zappa': enthusiastic plea for elitist music

Erik Voermans (1958) is one of those people who writes down what you think yourself, but would never air publicly. The music editor of Het Parool likes to pose as your unsuspecting neighbour's boy, watching the music world with amazement. Take the phenomenon of opera: 'That's when someone with a knife in his taas walks around for half an hour singing that he's going to die.' If he... 

Storioni Festival: champagne bottle whose cork almost pops off

Thursday 21 January sees the start of the ninth edition of the Storioni Festival, dedicated to the five-hundredth anniversary of Hieronymus Bosch's death. Free after his famous triptych Garden of Earthly Delights, the musicians of the Storioni Trio and Frank Veenstra, artistic manager of Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, chose the theme 'Dreams and Demons'. Composer in residence is Poland's Krzysztof Penderecki, who became famous... 

Unsuk Chin: 'Holland is more open to new music than other countries'

In 1985, Unsuk Chin (Seoul 1961) won the Gaudeamus Music Prize with Spektra for three cellos, six years later she made her breakthrough with her Akrostichon-Wortspiel for soprano and ensemble composed for the Nieuw Ensemble. In 2004, she won the Grawemeyer Award, the world's most prestigious music prize; in 2007, she made a deep impression with her opera Alice in Wonderland. Tomorrow, Thursday 22 October. 

Spotlight on Chopping Board and Psalms Pump

Cimbalom and harmonium are not the first instruments you immediately think of when you think of classical music. Yet, the ever-adventurous Ludwig collective puts precisely these mavericks at the centre of two concerts, on Saturday 26 September at the AVROTROS Vrijdagconcert in Utrecht and on Sunday 27-9 at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam. In 1915, Igor Stravinsky and a friend visited a... 

We can escape the world - but ourselves? - Lucas Wiegerink composes opera Ik Vertrek

Previously, he created the show Being Arthur for Kameroperahuis Zwolle, in which the famous knights of the round table travel across the country by coach. On Friday 4 September, during the Stadsfestival Zwolle, you will sail by boat to the premiere of his latest opera, Ik Vertrek. A love couple leaves the hectic world behind and returns to nature, where... 

Wonderfeel successful despite summer storm

Three days of classical music among the trees and cows. Festival Wonderfeel presented a unique classical music festival last weekend from 24 to 26 July, under the smoke of 's-Graveland. Top musicians from home and abroad gave dozens of concerts. Lectures were given and, as befits a festival, there was also plenty to eat, drink and... 

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)