Over the centuries, people have imagined the underworld in a range of different ways. In Greek mythology, Hades was a complex underground world in which all sorts of punishments were meted out. Escape was impossible – only the mythical musician Orpheus, who wanted to bring his beloved back to the land of the living, was an exception. The story inspired one of Stravinsky’s most melodic ballets. In Liszt’s sensual piece, Mephisto Waltz No. 1, a devilish figure visits our world: Mephisto has Faust in his thrall and plays a seductive waltz for him in a village inn. Composer and conductor Thomas Adès is also fascinated by the underworld. In 2016, he led the Concertgebouworkest in his own Totentanz. Now he is back with the Dutch premiere of Inferno – the first part of The Dante Project, based on the Divine Comedy, which recounts the story of Dante’s own imagined journey through the afterlife.
Thomas Adès is considered to be one of the leading British composers of our time. Music is stylistically eclectic yet original and of a mind-blowing creativity. He broke on to the international scene with his first opera Powder Her Face in 1995.
Four years later, his orchestral work Asyla won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award. His operas The Tempest and The Exterminating Angel, his Violin Concerto and his string quartets were also big hits with critics and audiences alike. Thomas Adès has regularly conducted orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Melbourne and Sydney, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the opera houses of London and Zurich, and his own Tempest in New York and Vienna. He served as artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1999 to 2008. Adès’s compositions have been performed by the Concertgebouworkest since as far back as 1995. In 2011 the Holland Festival paid special attention to Thomas Adès. During the festival he made his debut as conductor of the orchestra in a concert with works by Matthijs Vermeulen and himself. He returned with music by Liszt, Martinů and himself, including the newly commissioned Totentanz, in 2016. In the current season he works closely together with the Concertgebouworkest (Meet Thomas Adès) in several orchestral programmes and as a pianist in chamber music concerts.
Based in Amsterdam, the Concertgebouworkest was founded in 1888 and officially received the appellation ‘Royal’ on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is patroness.
The Concertgebouworkest is one of the very best orchestras in the world due to its unique sound and stylistic flexibility. The exceptional acoustics of The Concertgebouw play an important role in this respect. Equally important is the influence exerted on the orchestra by its chief conductors, of which there have been only seven: Willem Kes, Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Bernard, Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons and Daniele Gatti. Leading composers such as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss conducted the Concertgebouworkest on more than one occasion. The orchestra continues to collaborate with composers, and contributes to the creation of new repertoire by regularly commissioning new compositions. In addition to some ninety concerts performed at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Concertgebouworkest gives forty concerts at leading concert halls throughout the world each year. The orchestra has its own in-house label since 2004 and helps develop talent through the Academy of the Concertgebouworkest, collaborative efforts with other institutions and organising masterclasses. In 2019 Young was launched: a youth orchestra for ‘hidden talent’ from all over Europe. The Concertgebouworkest is co-funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Municipality of Amsterdam, sponsors, funds and numerous donors all over the world. The largest portion of its income is generated by proceeds from the concerts it gives in and outside the Netherlands.
LeineRoebana, the contemporary dance company of choreographers Andrea Leine and Harijono Roebana, twenty-five years occupies an important place in the Dutch and international dance. The choreographers developed a unique personal dance idiom from a new approach to symmetry, rhythm and composition. The interaction between dance and music, in collaboration with musicians and composers, is the core of the work of LeineRoebana. Their musical tastes ranging from Renaissance to contemporary composers and reflects their search for authenticity. By as many live music to use, often commissioned works, they explore the power of dialogue between dance and music. The group has harvested success far beyond the border. Smell of Bliss with violinist Liza Ferschtman, Ghost Track by Indonesian composer Iwan Gunawan and his gamelan ensemble Kyai Fatahillah and Theriak with harpist Lavinia Meijer are some highlights from the past twenty-five years. LeineRoebana won at home and abroad and played in Europe, the United States, Canada, Russia, Africa and Indonesia. Next season does the company, besides the Dutch theaters, including Singapore, Germany and Poland.
- Thomas Adès,
- performed by
- Concertgebouworkest, Thomas Adès
- LeineRoebana (Orpheus)