Author Archives: theaderks

About theaderks

Thea Derks is a Dutch music journalist, who studied musicology at Amsterdam University. She' specialized in contemporary music and always has an eye open for women composers. In 2014 she wrote the biography of Reinbert de Leeuw and in 2018 she published 'Een os op het dak: moderne muziek na 1900 in vogelvlucht'.

‘We know exactly what the right decision is, but often choose against our intuition’ – Lera Auerbach sets 72 demons to music

In 2016, the Russian-American Lera Auerbach (1973) stunned both audience and press with her full-length cycle 72 Angels for choir and saxophone quartet. Three years later she composed a sequel, Goetia 72, dedicated to as many demons. This time the … Continue reading

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Conductor Elim Chan: ‘I cannot run away from music’

‘When I was unexpectedly asked to conduct the “Dies Irae” from Verdi’s Requiem , I felt how raw and impactful music could be. I knew at once: this is what I have to do, I can no longer walk away … Continue reading

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James MacMillan: ‘My Percussion Concerto No.2 is a musical and visual spectacle’

‘When Colin Currie asked me to compose a new percussion concerto for him, I grabbed this chance immediately, for this idea had already been in my mind for a while. I was very curious to explore new grounds and intended … Continue reading

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Winnaar Kersjesprijs Lodewijk van der Ree: ‘Taal bepaalt sterk de klank van een koor’

‘Een bevlogen dirigent, met een intelligente benadering van de partituur, een heldere slag en het vermogen een koor mee te slepen in zijn visie. Aldus de jury van de Kersjesprijs over Lodewijk van der Ree (1986), die dit jaar de … Continue reading

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La Cenerentola Rossini: coloraturas by linear metre

  The first thing that catches the eye when entering the Dutch National Opera is the large number of young people who crowd into the cloakroom. The organisation has emphatically advertised its new production of La Cenerentola (Cinderella) as a … Continue reading

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Aspasia Nasopoulou: ‘If the doors for new music don’t open quickly enough, we have to knock harder!’

The Greek/Dutch composer Aspasia Nasopoulou (Athens, 1972) was appointed as the new artistic leader of orkest de ereprijs. Though she has lived in the Netherlands for a long time, she is not as well known to the general public as … Continue reading

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Veertig jaar pionieren – orkest de ereprijs viert jubileum met vier premières

Bij wijze van intro speelt de slagwerker van orkest de ereprijs een cadens van luchtslagen. Wanneer hij onverwacht een snoeiharde mep op zijn snaredrum gaf, schrikt iedereen zich een ongeluk. Zo, met Bewegung ohne Bewegung voor cello en ensemble van Jan van … Continue reading

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‘Composing for today’: John Adams wins Erasmus Prize 2019

‘He has made contemporary classical music communicative again’, writes the jury of the Erasmus Prize about John Adams. This year’s theme was ‘Composing for today’, an area in which the American composer has more than earned his spurs. On Thursday … Continue reading

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‘Wikileaks has never been caught on a single error’ – Iris ter Schiphorst writes Assange: Fragmente einer Unzeit

‘There is an information war going on at the moment, which shows how important data are. The Assange case is the most poignant example of this,’ says the Dutch-German composer Iris Ter Schiphorst. She addresses this theme in Assange: Fragmente … Continue reading

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The soprano sighs, whispers, breathes in, breathes out, groans and squeeks – Helmut Lachenmann’s Got Lost in November Music

The German composer Helmut Lachenmann (1935) is the champion of evocative squeaks, grindings and splatters. Like John Cage, he hears music in unusual sources. Rarely an instrument is played as is prescribed in the books. ‘Making music with sounds is … Continue reading

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