With Festivals for Compassion, European festivals that are cancelled, or go on in a different form, are showing compassion and solidarity with everyone affected by corona in any way and expressing this by sharing a solo composition, Thin Air especially written by the Greek-Dutch composer Calliope Tsoupaki. Each festival chooses its own artist and instrument to perform this solo. Wiek Hijmans will be kicking off for the Holland Festival on guitar. After this, the work will travel from festival to festival like a compassion relay race and be shared digitally.
As Composer Laureate, Calliope Tsoupaki is the figurehead of current Dutch music. She sees it as her job to make the craft of composing more visible for a broad audience and to respond to
current events. Tsoupaki emigrated to the Netherlands in 1988 to study composition with Louis Andriessen. She then went on to become one of the most talked-about composers of the Netherlands with her unmistakably personal style, in which her Greek roots can be heard. Her work was often featured on the Holland Festival, most recently with Oidípous at the 2014 Holland Festival.
Wiek Hijmans (Netherlands, 1967) is an acknowledged pioneer on the electric guitar. Renown composers including Christian Wolff and Theo Loevendie have written solo works for him. Hijmans has performed solo and as a chamber musician in Europe, Russia, Indonesia, the U.S. with ensembles including the L.A. Chamber Orchestra, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, the Nieuw Ensemble and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. His solo CDs have received international critical acclaim. The guitarist formed the CATCH electric guitar quartet at the request of American composer Steven Mackey. CATCH made its debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014.
Hijmans studied with David Starobin at the Manhattan School of Music (New York) where he was the first ever electric guitarist in the classical guitar department. His groundbreaking work at the Manhattan School was awarded the prestigious Andrés Segovia prize. He regularly performs at the Holland Festival and has worked with Calliope Tsoupaki several times before.