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'.

Annelies Vrieswijk honours French composers on CD Héroines

On her latest album, alto saxophonist Annelies Vrieswijk presents music by three French composers who have been very inspirational for her. The title is as simple as it is effective: Héroines. She graduated with honours twice: in 2006 Annelies Vrieswijk … Continue reading

Posted in review, women composers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Russian composer Roman Stolyar writes B-ut-c-h-a: ‘I can’t remain silent on the war against Ukraine’

Shocked on learning how Russian soldiers had ruthlessly killed innocent civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha in March 2022, Roman Stolyar composed B-ut-c-h-a for piano and strings. Though he offered the score as a free download, the piece has … Continue reading

Posted in Interview, news | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Elena Firsova composes Piano Concerto for Concertgebouw Orchestra: ‘A new work of art brings new life’

On 16 and 17 June, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will present the world premiere of Elena Firsova’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra. She was inspired by a quotation from Boris Pasternak and a motif from Beethoven. I interviewed her for … Continue reading

Posted in Interview, news, women composers | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Composer Indra Riše: ‘I get bored if music doesn’t come from the soul’

Whereas the Dutch government seems to regard culture as a superfluous luxury, other countries cherish its intrinsic value. The Latvian Music Information Centre regularly presents new CDs by composers from Latvia. In 2021 it released Trumpets of Angels with six … Continue reading

Posted in Interview, news, women composers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Jennifer Walshe composes Mars I: ‘My robots follow the trajectory of the Perseverance Rover’

In collaboration with AMMODO, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ regularly presents brand new compositions intended to reach a general audience. In the afternoon, a piece is worked on extensively in a public rehearsal; in the evening, the world premiere is performed. … Continue reading

Posted in Interview, news, women composers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sofia Gubaidulina makes the earth tremble in ‘Der Zorn Gottes’

For Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931), composing is anything but a frivolous affair: every note stems from a deep-rooted belief in man’s connection with the universe. This must be cherished, to protect mankind from degeneration. On Friday 13 May, the Radio … Continue reading

Posted in background, news, women composers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Composer Beat Furrer: ‘We have become detached from nature’

On Friday 6 May 2022 Beat Furrer makes his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with his brand new Sechs Gesänge. He used texts from Sara Gallardo’s novel Eisejuaz about the fate of the indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon: ‘Eisejuaz … Continue reading

Posted in Interview, news | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wim Henderickx explores the pitfalls of intercultural relationships in The Convert: ‘My opera is highly topical’

On 10 May, the Opera Ballet Flanders presents the world premiere of The Convert by Wim Henderickx. The libretto was written by Krystian Lada and is based on the book of the same name by Stefan Hertmans. At the time … Continue reading

Posted in Interview, news | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Alma Quartet joins forces with Dominique Vleeshouwers for an exciting musical adventure

The Amsterdam-based Alma Quartet fosters varied audiences and adventurous collaborations. They play in packed night clubs with top DJs, premiere daring new works by experimental composers, or simply perform the standard repertoire at top notch level. On 28 April they … Continue reading

Posted in background, news, women composers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gundega Šmite denounces the violence & futility of war

The CD As I go off to War by the Latvian Gundega Šmite was released last year, and has since gained an unintended extra charge by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is a publication of the Latvian Music Information … Continue reading

Posted in review, women composers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment