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 published 'Een os op het dak: moderne muziek na 1900 in vogelvlucht' in 2018.

Clara Schumann: after 200 years still overshadowed by Robert

Two hundred years ago, on 13 September 1819, Clara Schumann was born in Leipzig, as Clara Wieck. She ranks as one of the greatest pianists of the nineteenth century. Against her father’s will she married Robert Schumann, whose work she … Continue reading

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Whoever said modern music is humourless and cerebral? Kelley Sheehan wins Gaudeamus Award 2019

For a moment the envelope doesn’t seem to open, but then Ingrid van Engelshoven conjures up the redeeming piece of paper. ‘The winner of the Gaudeamus Award 2019 is Kelley Sheehan!’ The small American composer is visibly surprised, she hasn’t … Continue reading

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Gaudeamus nominee Remy Siu: ‘I got fed up with the notion of being a composer’

On Wednesday 4 September the 69th Gaudeamus Music Week kicked off with W.A.L.L. that Aart Strootman composed for a self-designed 60-tone marimba, four percussionists and four guitarists. – He won the Gaudeamus Award in 2017. Before its première I moderated … Continue reading

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Gaudeamus nominee Scott Rubin: ‘All performance is to an extent composition’

Scott Rubin (1989) is one of the five nominees for the Gaudeamus Music Award 2019. The prize is intended for composers under 30, but the Chicago based Rubin defies a strict interpretation of the concept of  composer. – Or of … Continue reading

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Gaudeamus nominee Stefan Maier: ‘I embrace the unpredictability of sound’

For its 69th edition Gaudeamus Music Week again nominated five composers under 30 for its coveted Award. Some 300 scores were submitted by 95 composers from 29 different countries. The jury (Gerhard Stäbler, Yannis Kyriakides and Clara Ianotta) selected Nicholas … Continue reading

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Gaudeamus nominee Kelley Sheehan: ‘I enjoy an open dialogue with the performers’

From 4 to 8 September the Gaudeamus Music Week presents state of the art contemporary music, performed by a plethora of ensembles and musicians. Five composers compete for the coveted Gaudeamus Award 2019: Stefan Maier (CA, 1990); Nicholas Morrish (GB, 1989); Scott Rubin (US, … Continue reading

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Fifty years of Raschèr Saxophone Quartet: ‘Stay upright!’

On 22 September the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary with a gala concert in Freiburg. This is a sample of their versatility, with works by such diverse composers as Bach, Xenakis and Auerbach, and with the collaboration of … Continue reading

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Violinist Monica Germino plays MUTED: ‘I feel like the cat Mehitabel, on the threshold of a new career’

On Sunday 21 July Monica Germino will play MUTED in the festival Wonderfeel. This piece was composed for her by Louis Andriessen and the composers of Bang on a Can when she was diagnosed with hyperacusis, a hearing disorder that … Continue reading

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Zomernieuwsbrief: Holland Festival en meer

Ook zo aan het genieten (of balen) van de aanhoudende hitte? Hierbij wat verstrooiend lees- en luistervoer. Enjoy! Op vrijdag 7 juni nam het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest afscheid van chef-dirigent Markus Stenz. Ik interviewde hem voor het Avondconcert op Radio … Continue reading

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Four reasons to attend Pelléas et Mélisande at Dutch National Opera #HF19

Due to its wide range of events the Holland Festival is at times its own competitor. I missed Turan Dokht and the premiere of Pelléas et Mélisande because I attended aus LICHT. To visit a performance of Debussy’s first and … Continue reading

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