Press overview

Concertgebouworkest to perform and stream works by Dutch composers

24 November 2020

‘Play Dutch with Me’: concert streams with music from the Netherlands in collaboration with the conservatoires of Amsterdam and The Hague

On Sunday 6 December the Concertgebouworkest will be streaming solely post-war music from the Netherlands. The concert streams themed Play Dutch with Me will appear on and the Facebook and YouTube pages of the orchestra. 

At 5 p.m. CET Kees van Baaren’s Septet will be streamed, as performed by musicians of the Concertgebouworkest.

At 8.30 p.m. CET the orchestra will be streaming a concert under the direction of Dutch conductor Antony Hermus, with the world premieres of newly commissioned works by young composers Celia Swart and Bram Kortekaas and works by Louis Andriessen and Tristan Keuris. Soprano Katrien Baerts, harpist Remy van Kesteren and percussionist Dominique Vleeshouwers join the orchestra as soloists.

On the website and the YouTube channel of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, a collaboration concert will be streamed at 3 p.m. CET, with Kees van Baaren's Septet by musicians of the Concertgebouworkest and works by other Dutch composers performed by students of the conservatoires of Amsterdam and The Hague.

The symphonic programme

Bram Kortekaas based his Notenkrakers’ notulen (Nutcrackers’ minutes) on text fragments – sung by Katrien Baerts - from the public discussion that took place in April 1970 between the so-called ‘Nutcrackers’ and the board of the Concertgebouworkest. The discussion was a result of the infamous 1969 ‘Nutcrackers Action’, when a group of angry young composers disrupted a Concertgebouworkest performance in order to demand more involvement and innovation. The former ‘Nutcracker’ Louis Andriessen became an influential composer and a well-loved composition teacher at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. The orchestra will perform his Tapdance with award-winning percussionist Dominique Vleeshouwers. Another highly respected Dutch composer and teacher was Tristan Keuris, who opposed avant-gardists such as Andriessen with his ‘traditionalist’ approach, as illustrated by his beautiful Symphony in D major. Celia Swart – who studied at the Royal Conservatory - composed her commissioned work Reflections in close collaboration with harpist Remy van Kesteren. Kortekaas’ and Swart’s work illustrates how little there is left of the controversy between modernists and traditionalists that characterised Dutch music up until the early 1990s. The versatile Celia Swart, who is also a graphic designer, provided illustrations to be used with the concert stream.

Kees van Baaren

Kees van Baaren (1906-1970) was one of the first composers in the Netherlands who embraced Arnold Schönberg’s twelve-tone technique. After World War II he educated many young composers, including Louis Andriessen and the other ‘Nutcrackers’, which is why Van Baaren is regarded the founder of what would be called the Haagse School (The Hague School). His Septet is a playful work for wind instruments, violin and double bass that proves twelve-tone composing does not necessarily result in dry or cerebral music.  


5 p.m. CET
Musicians of the Concertgebouworkest:
Kees van Baaren – Septet (1952).

8.30 p.m. CET
Tristan Keuris – Symphony in D major (1994-95). 
Celia Swart - Reflections (2020). Remy van Kesteren: electric harp.
Louis Andriessen: Tapdance (2013). Dominique Vleeshouwers: percussion.
Bram Kortekaas: Notenkrakers’ notulen (2020). Katrien Baerts: soprano. Lex Bohlmeijer: text.