Author Archives: Thea Derks

About Thea Derks

I am a Dutch music journalist, specializing in contemporary music, and a champion of women composers. In 2014 I wrote the biography of Reinbert de Leeuw (3rd edition in 2020) and in 2018 I published 'Een os op het dak: moderne muziek na 1900 in vogelvlucht'.

Tapping and hi-hatting clarinettist in Keyla Orozco’s Estudio del Pajarillo

Though in the last decade she has been living in the United States, Keyla Orozco still has a strong bond with the Netherlands. On 11 April clarinettist David Kweksilber will perform her Estudo del pajarillo for a live stream from … Continue reading

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Rob Zuidam zooms in on Joanna the Mad in his opera Rage d’Amours: ‘Joanna took me by the hand’

In 2005, Dutch National Opera and Holland Festival presented Rob Zuidam’s opera Rage d’Amours. Five years later, he received the Kees van Baaren Prize for this blood-curdling production about the life of Joanna The Mad. The award ceremony was part … Continue reading

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Lisa Neher & Kendra Leonard present strong women in micro-opera festival

For over a year, theatres and opera houses have been closed. The American singer and composer Lisa Neher and librettist Kendra Leonard therefore organized the One Voice Project Virtual Micro Opera Festival. With few resources they realized a varied series … Continue reading

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Composer and pianist Anne-Maartje Lemereis: ‘When the tour of my song cycle was cancelled I felt like a 6-year-old whose birthday party is called off’

The financial damage caused by the corona crisis is immense, and the end is not yet in sight. What are the stories behind the figures? The Dutch website Theaterkrant asks freelancers in the theatre sector how they are dealing with the crisis, … Continue reading

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In 2021 the theme of ‘female composer’ still touches upon an open nerve

Even in 2021 the theme of ‘Female composer’ touches apon an open nerve. Continue reading

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Bass clarinettist Fie Schouten: ‘We must not control nature but give it room’

Fie Schouten studied with bass clarinettist Harry Sparnaay and follows in his footsteps as an advocate of contemporary music. She organizes the biannual Bass Clarinet Festival and the monthly series Nieuwe Noten Amsterdam. She recently released the CD Nature, with six … Continue reading

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Groot Omroepkoor sings Kate Moore’s Eclipsed Vision: ‘I hope to unite people from every walk of life, male and female’

On the initiative of their new chief Benjamin Goodson the Dutch Groot Omroepkoor introduces a new variation on the now almost obligatory live stream, In the living room. Designed for the radio series AVROTROSVrijdagconcert, the concerts will be broadcast semi … Continue reading

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NTRZaterdagMatinee presents Zimmermann’s gripping ‘Ecclesiastical Action’

Five days before his voluntary death in 1970, Bernd Alois Zimmerman completed his ‘Ecclesiastical Action’ Ich wandte mich um und sah an alles Unrecht das geschah unter der Sonne. Significantly, this moving piece for 2 speakers, bass and orchestra ends … Continue reading

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Maya Verlaak presents portrait-CD: ‘I like to use subversive methods’.

Every night she fell asleep to the sounds from a music box; from the age of four she made her own melodies. In 2015 Maya Verlaak completed her master’s degree in composition, three years later she obtained her doctorate. In … Continue reading

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Ritratto Willem Jeths: a luscious soundworld that vies with Puccini

On 11 March 2020 the Dutch government decreed a lockdown to curb the spreading of the Covid-19 virus: all theatres were to be closed as of the next day. Tough luck for Willem Jeths, the premiere of whose opera Ritratto … Continue reading

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