Category Archives: background

Maxim Shalygin composes Severade for 9 cellos & sound sculpture: ‘At first I had no idea what to do with all those new instruments’

The Ukrainian-Dutch composer Maxim Shalygin has established himself firmly in our Dutch musical life with his adventurous pieces. Last October, his choral work While Combing Your Hair, dedicated to the Belarusian dissident Maria Kaleshnikava, was a great success. In September, … Continue reading

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Le grand macabre György Ligeti: Surprisingly topical opera about the end of time

In Le Grand Macabre, the only opera György Ligeti ever composed, the protagonist Nekrotzar announces the end of time, but at the moment supreme he is the only one who perishes. The absurdist work was staged in this country in … Continue reading

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Musical journey down the Nile in ‘Afrique’ by Richard Rijnvos

Born in Tilburg, the Netherlands, in 1964, Richard Rijnvos avoids the beaten tracks; his work cannot be pigeonholed. Indeed, he does not regard ‘style’ as a starting point, but as the unsuspected outcome of the creative process. On Saturday 13 … Continue reading

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Thomas Larcher voices fatal mountain climb in Third Symphony

In 2020, the world premiere of Thomas Larcher‘s Third Symphony fell through due to corona. The subtitle A Line Above the Sky refers to British mountaineer Tom Ballard, who fatally crashed in 2019. It wasn’t until February 2021 that the … Continue reading

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Sam Adams’ take on Concerto grosso premieres in Concertgebouw: Movements (for us and them)

For the season 2020-2021 Samuel Adams was booked as composer in residence of The Concertgebouw. Both his residency in Amsterdam and the new orchestral work he was to compose for NTRZaterdagMatinee fell prey to Covid-19 however. On Saturday 22 May the … Continue reading

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Thomas Larcher: ‘Each composition is an excavation from my past’

On Saturday 22 May, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, principal conductor Karina Canellakis and pianist Kirill Gerstein will premiere the new Piano Concerto by Austrian composer Thomas Larcher in NTRZaterdagMatinee. – Unfortunately still no audience is allowed in Main Hall The … 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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Kenza Koutchoukali: ‘Corona made me feel the more intensely that my passion lies in directing’

The financial damage caused by the corona crisis is immense, and the end is not yet in sight. The website Theaterkrant assembles the stories behind the figures in their series ‘corona practices’. How do freelancers manage? Do they still have work and … Continue reading

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Lera Auerbach: ‘I love the other-worldly sound of the theremin’.

The theremin is an electronic instrument that is played without physical contact. Because of its eerie sound it is often used in soundtracks for horror movies. But classical composer Lera Auerbach also regularly writes for it. Between 1999 and 2017 … Continue reading

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The music of Arvo Pärt: from fierce dissonance to euphonious bell sounds

Which titles spring to mind on hearing the name of Arvo Pärt? Sonatina opus 1; Symphony no. 1; Perpetuum mobile, or Fratres; Für Alina; Spiegel im Spiegel? My guess is the second series, for in the nineties Pärt conquered the … Continue reading

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