Micha Hamel

Profile

Micha Hamel (Amsterdam, 1970) is a composer, poet, and researcher. His concert music was performed by nearly all major Dutch orchestras and ensembles. In 2008, his tragic operetta Snow White (Nederlandse Reisopera) toured the country to great acclaim. In June 2012, he was ‘Composer in focus' at the Holland Festival, for which he composed two full-evening works: a Requiem for our civilizational ideal and an interdisciplinary production inspired by the painting The Red Kimono by George Hendrik Breitner.  In 2014, his full-evening melodrama Een pure formaliteit (‘A Pure Formality’, theatre group Orkater) was well-received. His opera Caruso a Cuba (Dutch National Opera, 2019) was praised in both the national and international press. He published five volumes of poetry with the publisher AtlasContact. His latest collection of poems Toen het moest (2017) stood out with its unconventional typography and imaginative approach to language. He also makes poetic experiences for virtual reality in collaboration with the animation artist Demian Albers (studio Apvis, Breda). These installations are found at various festivals of technology, contemporary art, and literature, and draw a diverse audience. Since 2010, Micha Hamel has served as 'Performance Practice’ lecturer at Codarts University for the Arts, Rotterdam, where he does research on new directional and necessary developments in the concert practice. The report of his first research project appeared under the title Speelruimtevoor klassieke muziek in de 21ste eeuw (‘Playroom for classical music in the 21st Century’). He is currently researching whether video games are a suitable medium for getting audiences involved with classical music in a quality manner. This interdisciplinary project is called GAMPSISS and is a collaboration between Codarts, the TU Delft, the Erasmus University, and the Willem de Kooning Academy. Since 2015, Micha Hamel has been a member of the Akademie van Kunsten of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), where he chairs the Arts and Science section.  Arlon Luijten studied at the Toneelacademie Maastricht and was granted the Hustinx award upon completing his studies. In his work he likes to combine elements from the so called ‘high art’ and the ‘low art’; well-constructed, theatrical concepts with elements of philosophy, art, games, opera and Broadway-show. He creates new (interdisciplinairy) repertoire with actors, dancers, designers, musicians and composers. Herefore he always invites people from outside the art-world to co-create in the concepts and in the performances. Interactivity and co-creation are key-elements in his work. Next to staged theatre like Bear v Shark, Shelter and Mammoth and film Amor Fati, Luijten creates and directs more ‘applied’  performances and large scaled projects like PARSIFAL-playingfields (2012-1016) a 3 year City-Opera, for the city of Rotterdam, including a ‘game-opera’ and Ring of Resilience a 4-year project based on Wagners Ring des Nibelungen combining film, performance, music, serious gaming and Socratic dialogue. Besides the traditional tools of staging and story-telling Luijten uses co-creation and gamification to create new performance strategies. In 2018, Luijten founded Little Wotan, an urban laboratory in which he further explores and expands on this work and working method. Luijten is a teacher involved in various bachelor and master programs and co-designing RASL (Rotterdam Arts & Science Lab); a Master in Transdisciplinary Research and Practice in the Arts and Sciences. He is also involved in GAMPSISS, a collaborative project between Codarts, Willem de Kooning Academy, the TU Delft, and Erasmus University, in which he researches and develops 'Gameful Music Performances for Smart, Inclusive and Sustainable Societies'. Since 2016, Luijten has been a Dutch member of the European Cultural Parliament, in which he works on new international collaborations. Composer Bram Kortekaas (Amsterdam, 1989) studied composition at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and political science at the University of Amsterdam and University of Copenhagen. In his compositions, he is inspired by current musical developments as well as social issues. For instance in Voetnoten bij de menselijke komedie: Mijmeringen van Arnon Grunberg, commissioned by NTR ZaterdagMatinee, he put Arnon Grunberg’s columns in de Volkskrant to music. Both the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Residentie Orkest performed this work with the Netherlands Radio Choir. Commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Kortekaas wrote Leonard Bernstein, Security Matter – C, a work for wind quintet and singer Carina Vinke about the political past of the American composer Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Kortekaas’ orchestral music is characterised by its expressive characteristics and attention to orchestration. In 2015, he took the first prize in the Euregio Youth Orchestra Composition Contest with the composition The Pillars of Creation, inspired by the iconic photo from the Hubble telescope of the same name.  The composition The Dreamcatcher, commissioned by the Netherlands Student Orchestra, was one of two Dutch entries at The International Rostrum of Composers 2018. He has written other orchestral works commissioned by the Noordhollands Jeugdorkest, the Ricciotti Ensemble, the VU Orchestra, and the Nederlands Studenten Kamerorkest (Nesko).  Foreign Body, written for the VU Orchestra,was on the music stand in 2014 during the Järvi International Academy for Conductors in Estonia. In December 2020, the Netherlands Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra premiered a new work from Kortekaas via a live stream of the concert.