Dutch Sounds

Get to know the music of first-rate Dutch musicians and composers

The Netherlands has countless first-rate musicians and composers, many of whom have resounding international reputations. But who are they? And what does their music sound like? The Muziekgebouw is more than happy to introduce them to you in three concerts. In Dutch Sounds we offer an English pre concert talk in a comfortable and informal setting with drinks. And afterwards you can enjoy the post-concert chat and get to know some other English-speaking city dwellers.

Language no problem
Every year the Muziekgebouw presents over 200 concerts, performed by top musicians in a variety of genres: from contemporary to classical, to jazz and electronic… all in fantastic acoustics. Although language is naturally no issue in music, our introductions are often in Dutch, which may be a problem. As an acquaintance to the Muziekgebouw we are therefore organising three concerts this season especially for our city’s English speakers, as a prelude to a larger future series and a bilingual website.


The concerts

Fri 5 October 2018 / 20:15 / Main Auditorium
Ferschtman’s Fratres

Top violinist Liza Ferschtman, daughter of Russian parents, was born and raised in the Netherlands. She was previously one of the Muziekgebouw’s Kindred Spirits, performing her own series of concerts. In this concert, performing with the fantastic Dutch ensemble Amsterdam Sinfonietta, she tackles Dmitri Shostakovich’s furiously complex and emotionally and physically demanding Sonata for Violin for the first time. Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony, with its aggressive second movement, Allegretto furioso, is also stirring. Bach and Pärt add a note of calm.

Arvo Pärt started composing where Shostakovich let off: dissonant and desolate. But in 1977, he surprised the world with a completely new and personal composition style that recalled the choral music of the Renaissance and Bach. His composition Fratres (Brothers) thereupon conquered the world. Another model of tranquillity is the collection of fugues Bach perfected in the autumn of his life in Die Kunst der Fuge: each and every one of them is a gem, in which craftsmanship and inspiration are in perfect harmony.

19:15 / Foyer Deck 1 / Introduction + pre-concert talk with drinks
Pre-concert talk by music journalist Joep Stapel (NRC)

20:15 / Main Auditorium / Programme

Johann Sebastian Bach Contrapunctus I-IV, from Die Kunst der Fuge
Daníel Bjarnason & Ben Frost Reyja, from Music for Sólaris (Dutch premiere)
Dmitri Shostakovich Sonata for Violin, Strings and Percussion, op. 134
Arvo Pärt Fratres, for violin, strings and percussion
Dmitri Shostakovich Chamber Symphony, op. 118a

Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Candida Thompson leader and violin
Liza Ferschtman violin


Sat 1 December 2018 / 20:15 / Main Auditorium
Bassoon concerts

In 2009 Dutch bassoonist Bram van Sambeek was the first bassoonist to be awarded the prestigious Nederlandse Muziekprijs, not only because he is a great bassoonist, but also because he dares to look further than classical music and also plays rock and jazz. He is such a gifted chamber musician that the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York included him in its own select group of chamber musicians. In this concert, performed with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Bram van Sambeek evokes echoes of Haydn and Mozart in J. N. Hummel’s Concert for Bassoon and String Orchestra. He also plays Swiss composer Otmar Nussio’s virtuoso Variations on an Arietta by Pergolesi.

The unique string sound of the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra then comes fully into its own in Dvořák's Serenade. During the 2015-2016 season Bram van Sambeek was a Muziekgebouw Kindred Spirit, performing a number of exceptional and greatly appreciated concert programmes.

19:15 / Foyer Deck 1 / Introduction + pre-concert talk with drinks
Pre-concert talk by music journalist Joep Stapel (NRC)

20:15 / Main Auditorium / Programme

Johann Sebastian Bach Contrapunctus I-IV, from Die Kunst der Fuge
Johann Nepomuk Hummel Concert for Bassoon and String Orchestra, arr. Michael Waterman
Otmar Nussio Variations on an Arietta by Pergolesi, for bassoon and string orchestra
Antonín Dvořák Serenade for Strings, op. 22

Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Bram van Sambeek


Fri 11 January 2019 / 20:15 / Main Auditorium
Ferschtman Cello Quartet

In the days of silent cinema, films with live musical accompaniment were one of the most normal things in the world; nowadays they are a rarity. In this concert - featuring the unique horror classic Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1920) - we hear a brand-new live score by Florian Magnus Maier, a German composer who lives and works in the Netherlands. It is performed for us by the Dutch Ferschtman Cello Quartet. Dmitri Ferschtman emigrated from the Soviet Union to the Netherlands in 1978. Maier and the Ferschtman Cello Quartet are both top performers in the Dutch music world.

Dr Jekyll - a respected surgeon in Victorian London - is fascinated by man’s duality. When his experiments manage to separate man’s good and evil character traits, he decides to explore his dark side as the remorseless Mr Hyde. The transformation of Dr Jekyll into Mr Hyde is one of the horror genre’s strongest acting performances.

Actor John Barrymore - a celebrated Shakespearean actor in 1920's USA - glitters in this classic from the heyday of the silent film, giving an unforgettable performance as the remarkable Dr Jekyll who explores the unknown and darker aspects of his character. A chemical formula enables him to separate his good and his evil sides… until his evil alter ego Mr Hyde gets out of control. Barrymore performed the impressive transformation without the aid of make-up or special effects.

Florian Magnus Maier’s composition was commissioned with the assistance of the Performing Arts Fund NL. In collaboration with Cello Biennale Amsterdam and EYE.

19:15 / Foyer Deck 1 / Introduction + pre-concert talk with drink
Pre-concert talk by music journalist Joep Stapel (NRC)

20:15 / Main Auditorium / Programme

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), director John S. Robertson, with music by Florian Magnus Maier

Ferschtman Cello Quartet:
Dmitry Ferschtman cello
Larissa Groeneveld cello
Ketevan Roinishvili cello
Willem Stam cello and electronics


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