Forgotten gems from 70 years of the Holland Festival

Orphanage of the Holland Festival

In the last 70 years many new pieces by Dutch composers have been performed at the Holland Festival. Some of these compo­sitions have been unjustly neglected since and rarely performed again. In this special festival edition a series of the festival’s forgotten gems are being performed at Splendor, as part of their regular series of contemporary chamber music. On three ­evenings, pieces by Maarten Bon, Willem Breuker, Misha Mengelberg, Jan van Vlijmen, and no less than three Andriessens are being given a much needed second performance. Each composition is being performed twice, with a short talk show in between – after which you can discover the music in all its richness.

Programme 8 June

Programme 15 June

Programme 22 June

Programme

Tue 8.6

Jan van Vlijmen (1935-2004)
Serie per sei strumenti (1960)
Holland Festival 1962

Misha Mengelberg (1935)
Omtrent een componistenactie (1966)
Holland Festival 1966 (world premiere)

Talkshow: David Dramm, Wim Laman

Tue 15.6

Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981)
Aubade (1951)
Holland Festival 1952 (world premiere)

Jurriaan Andriessen (1925-1996)
Hommage à Milhaud (1948)
Holland Festival 1953

Louis Andriessen (1939)
Cantico Job (1962)
Holland Festival 1967

Talkshow: David Dramm, Louis Andriessen

Tue 22.6

Willem Breuker (1944-2010)
Aah Jonge Eéj (1981)
Holland Festival 1981 (world premiere)

Maarten Bon (1933-2003)
Boréal II (1981)
Holland Festival 1981 (world premiere)

Talkshow: David Dramm, Olga Zuiderhoek, David Kweksilber

Biographies

Jan van Vlijmen (Rotterdam, 1935-2004) was a Dutch composer. He studied organ, piano and composition (with Kees van Baaren). 'Music should be compelling and sober,' he told the Dutch newspaper NRC in 1999. 'But that doesn't mean I'm simply a rigorous note counter. I'm 

full of emotion.' Van Vlijmen composed chamber music, orchestral works and operas. In 1969 Van Vlijmen collaborated with Reinbert de Leeuw, Louis Andriessen, Peter Schat, Misha Mengelberg, Hugo Claus and Harry Mulisch to make the controversial opera Reconstructie, which fiercely criticised capitalism and the Vietnam War. His final opera Thyestes was completed in 2004, the year of his death. Van Vlijmen was also involved in cultural sector management. He was director of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague from 1968 to 1985. From 1986 to 1987 he was the director of the Dutch National Opera, and from 1990 to 1997 he led the Holland Festival.

 

Misha Mengelberg (Kiev, 1935) is one of the founders of European improvised music. In the late 1960s Mengelberg, along with his lifelong drum partner Han Bennink and the saxophonist and composer Willem Breuker, founded the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra (ICP Orchestra). In 1969 Mengelberg made the controversial opera Reconstructie, together with Reinbert de Leeuw, Louis Andriessen, Peter Schat, Jan van Vlijmen, Hugo Claus and Harry Mulisch, which fiercely criticised capitalism and the Vietnam War. From the 1990s Mengelberg and the ICP Orchestra gained international recognition for the orchestra's instantly released collage works and Mengelberg's work. He has won the Gaudeamus International Composers Award (1961), the Wessel Ilcken Prize (1966), the Bird Award (1989) and the Matthijs Vermeulen Award (2001). In 2015 the Holland Festival hosted the world premiere of Mengelberg's opera Koeien (Cows), which was completed by Guus Janssen and Cherry Duyns.

 

Hendrik Andriessen (Haarlem, 1892-1981) was an organist and a composer. He wrote both spiritual and secular music. Andriessen was the organist at the St. Jozefkerk in Haarlem until 1934, and chiefly composed church music in that period. His Missa in honorem sacratissimi Cordis (1919) attracted particular attention. Andriessen's organ music followed in the footsteps of César Franck (who was also an organist) and Albert Roussel's music, enriched with modern elements. He often wrote bitonal music, such as in the Sinfonia for organ, or the two Piano Sonatas. Andriessen wrote music for amateur string orchestras and four symphonies, two operas, Lieder and chamber music. From 1930 to 1945 he was the organ and composition teacher at the Amsterdam Conservatory. From 1934 to 1949 he was the organist and choirmaster of the Roman Catholic cathedral in Utrecht, where he was also the director of the conservatory. From 1944 to 1957 he was the director of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and from 1952 to 1967 he was an associate professor of musicology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen.

 

Jurriaan Andriessen (Haarlem, 1925-1996) was the composer Hendrik Andriessen's son. He studied with his father, Willem van Otterloo and Olivier Messiaen in Paris. His oeuvre consists of works for orchestra, chamber ensemble and concert band, and music for theatre, film and radio plays. Andriessen worked in the United States between 1949 and 1951. In this period, he attended the Berkshire Music Festival, was commissioned by Serge Koussevitsky to compose the Tanglewood overture and by the Dutch government to compose the Berkshire symphonies. This composition was first performed at the Holland Festival in 1950 by The Hague Philharmonic, conducted by Willem van Otterloo. Many of the pieces he wrote were commissioned for special occasions, such as Thai (1960), for the visit of the King of Thailand to the Netherlands, and Respiration Suite (1962), for a pulmonology congress. Andriessen was also a conductor (mostly of his own compositions) and he directed concert performances and ballets for television.

 

Louis Andriessen (Utrecht, 1939) is the composer Hendrik Andriessen's son. He studied piano, music theory and composition with Kees van Baaren at the Royal Conservatoire. He continued his studies with Luciano Berio. In 1969 Andriessen, together with Reinbert de Leeuw, Misha Mengelberg, Peter Schat, Jan van Vlijmen, Hugo Claus and Harry Mulisch, made the controversial opera Reconstructie, which fiercely criticised capitalism and the Vietnam War. In the 1970s, he founded several ensembles, including Hoketus and Orkest De Volharding. He achieved success on an international level with pieces such as De Staat (The Republic) (1976), Mausoleum (1979) and De Materie (Matter) (1989). Even though Andriessen had eschewed symphonic composition in 1967, he composed Mysteriën (Mysteries) nearly 50 years later, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra performed its world premiere in 2013. His music has regularly been performed at the Holland Festival since 1969. The premiere of his film opera La Commedia was shown at the 2008 edition; the 2016 edition hosted the premiere of his opera Theatre of the World.

 

Willem Breuker (Amsterdam, 1944-2010) was a saxophonist and composer. In 1967 he founded the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra (ICP Orchestra) with Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. In 1974 Breuker left the ICP Orchestra to found the Willem Breuker Kollectief, an ensemble which aimed to make unconventional music accessible to a broad audience, often in combination with other art forms such as theatre, film and dance. A brief collaboration with Louis Andriessen resulted in Orkest De Volharding, which Breuker left in 1974 as he did not agree with the idiom. Breuker combined elements of classical music, jazz, pop and world music in his music.


Martin Bon (Amsterdam, 1933-2003) was a pianist, composer and arranger. He founded the Amsterdam Piano Quartet (later Quintet) and was the guardian of the musical legacies of his grandfather Johannes Jacobus Raaff and his brother Willem Frederik Bon (1940-1983). Bon created a modest oeuvre as a composer. He made arrangements of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Pétrouchka, as well as Arnold Schönberg's Fünf Orchesterstücke and Claude Debussy's Jeux. He also taught piano at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.


David Dramm (Illinois, 1961) is a Dutch-American composer. He studied composition with Robert Erickson, Louis Andriessen and Earle Brown. His compositions and arrangements have been played by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Albany Symphony and Electra. He has also worked with many pop musicians, theatre makers and choreographers, including John Cale, Junkie XL, Low, Krisztina de Châtel, Scapino Ballet and Orkater. Dramm is one of the founders of Splendor, a platform and club conceived by and for musicians.


Olga Zuiderhoek (Assen, 1946) is an actress. She has worked for the theatre groups Werkteater, De Mexicaanse Hond and Orkater. In 1986 she was nominated for a Golden Calf award for her role in Alex van Warmerdam's film Abel. Netty van Hoorn made a documentary about Zuiderhoek in 2012, entitled Het Nieuwe Huis van Olga Zuiderhoek (Olga Zuiderhoek's new House). Zuiderhoek was Willem Breuker's partner for 28 years.


David Kweksilber (1973) is a clarinettist and a saxophonist, at home in both composed and improvised music. Kweksilber is a soloist and ensemble player who has played in ensembles such as Asko|Schönberg and the New Cool Collective Big Band. In 2008 he founded his own big band for contemporary improvised music, the David Kweksilber Big Band. He regularly performs with the pianist Guus Janssen.

 

Wim Laman (1946, The Hague) is a largely self-taught composer. His first compositions were performed by student orchestras, after which he was noticed by the professional music world. Laman has composed for the Schönberg Ensemble, the Xenakis Ensemble, the Gijsbrecht van Aemstel Quartet, Orkest de Volharding and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. His opera Agamemnon was performed at the Holland Festival in 1997. Laman has also been a programme maker for VPRO Radio 4.

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Credits

music
Hendrik Andriessen, Jurriaan Andriessen, Louis Andriessen, Willem Breuker, Maarten Bon, Misha Mengelberg, Jan van Vlijmen
coproduction
Het Weeshuis van de Nederlandse Muziek, Holland Festival, Splendor, VPRO
with support of
Buma Cultuur
performance
Orphanage of the Holland Festival 8 June 2017
flute
Jeannette Landré
oboe
Dorine Schoon
clarinet
Jesse Faber
bassoon
Marieke Stordiau
horn
Laurens Otto
trumpet
Bas Duister
piano
Pauline Post
Orphanage of the Holland Festival 15 June 2017
mezzo soprano
Nora Fisher
transverse flute
Jeannette Landré
trumpet
Ramon Wolkenfeit
trumpet
Marc Kaptijn
French horn
Petra Botma-Zijlstra
trombone
Sebastiaan Kemner
piano
Pauline Post
Het Ruysdael Kwartet:
Joris van Rijn (violin)
Emi Ohi Resnick (violin)
Gijs Kramers (viola)
Jeroen den Herder (cello)
Orphanage of the Holland Festival 22 June 2017
saxophone
David Kweksilber
piano
Pascal Meyer
piano/keyboard
Tomoko Muikayama
piano
Pauline Post

This performance was made possible with support by