Category Archives: music

‘Like a terrifying chorus of ghostly aliens’ – Why you must simply undergo Anna Korsun’s music

‘With her surprising and communicative music, Anna Korsun rose high above her colleagues.’ I wrote this in 2014, when she won the Gaudeamus Award. I concluded: ‘We’re definitely going to hear more from her’, and since then the Ukrainian composer … Continue reading

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‘I decided to make an unembashed romantic gesture and blast people away’ – Mathilde Wantenaar composes new piece for Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Be creative on demand? Impossible, one would think. Yet it is reality for composers and artists who work on commission. Mathilde Wantenaar (1993) suffered acute choice stress when the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra asked her for a new piece. She was … Continue reading

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‘Topical themes inevitably seep into my compositions’ – Meriç Artaç artist in residence for two seasons of Dag in de Branding

Born in 1990 in Istanbul, Meriç Artaç rapidly made a name for herself in the Netherlands, after graduating from Rotterdam Conservatoire in 2015. She realized topical operas such as Zonderland, Madam Koo and Vrouwenstemmen, leads her own ensemble AKOM and … Continue reading

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‘I hope we will glide into another world together’ – Calliope Tsoupaki composes Bosch Requiem ‘Liknon’ for November Music

In 1988 Calliope Tsoupaki (1963) came from Greece to the Netherlands to study composition with Louis Andriessen. Exactly 30 years later she was appointed ‘Componist des Vaderlands’ (Composer Laureate). In this capacity she has already composed a number of highly … Continue reading

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Hanns Eisler: life-long struggle against oppression. Two-day symposium in Amsterdam and Hilversum

Who was Hanns  Eisler? He may be a celebrity in Germany and Austria, but in the Netherlands his music is seldom heard. Nevertheless, his work is still highly topical. Throughout his life he fought against oppression, just as today people … Continue reading

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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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