What does Dutch music sound like nowadays? Under the direction of Antony Hermus, the Concertgebouworkest is juxtaposing a playful work by the veteran Louis Andriessen and Tristan Keuris’ Symphony in D Major with newly commissioned works by young composers Celia Swart and Bram Kortekaas. The soloists are harpist Remy van Kesteren, percussionist Dominique Vleeshouwer and Flemish soprano Katrien Baerts.
Dutch composers have always been a large component of the Concertgebouworkest’s repertoire. Still, fifty years ago the rebellious ‘Nutcrackers’ criticised the orchestra’s programming. The young Dutch composer Bram Kortekaas based a newly commissioned work for the Concertgebouworkest and soprano Katrien Baerts on fragments from the heated historic debate from 1970. One of the ‘Nutcrackers’, Louis Andriessen, would become the Netherlands’ most important and influential living composer. In his playful Tapdance, award-winning Dominique Vleeshouwers is the soloist.
For years Tristan Keuris’ well-crafted traditional music was deemed ‘too conservative’; an innovator such as Andriessen would never have used a classic title such as Keuris’ Symphony in D Major. In the long run, Keuris garnered international acclaim. The contrast between innovation and tradition that dominated the music world until the 1990s is meaningless to Dutch composers nowadays. In her newly commissioned Reflections the versatile composer, musician and graphic designer Celia Swart closely collaborated with harpist Remy van Kesteren.
Celia Swart’s Reflections and Bram Kortekaas new work have been made possible with support of the Performing Arts Fund NL.