New Works for Ties Mellema

Very bad news just after the 2015 summer.  My friend and colleague Ties Mellema – I wrote quite a few pieces for him and his Amstel Quartet and he has been a great inspiration over many years – has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. He is now being treated and his chances of recovery are…

Adaptation Canciones Flamencas

The sax/percussion duo Lorenci/Mlacnik from Slovenia (both of them studying in Amsterdam at the ConservatoriumVanAmsterdam) asked to make an alto sax version of the three Canciones Flamencas, originally for soprano saxophone and marimba (+ bass drum ad lib.). I am a fan of the duo so I could not say no although I am really…

Present from the Melisma Quartet

On the doormat today a very nice present: the new CD by the Melisma Saxophone Quartet with music by Bach, Grieg, Ligeti and Lago. The Melisma is a very international group (Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland) and they all graduated from the Amsterdam Conservatory with Arno Bornkamp (and a bit with me as I take over…

Wind Quintet, BOST

One of the finest musicians I ever worked with is hornplayer Ron Schaaper (Residentie Orchestra The Hague; Netherlands Wind Ensemble). He also plays some lovely guitar and sings wonderfully, a typical specimen of a very handy and naturally gifted musician. (with a good sense of humor) Always wanted to write something for him and two…

Consecuencias

Sort of outburst of creative energy over the last month. Over two weeks ago now I finished ‘Consecuencias’ for alto saxophone (or clarinet in Bb) and string quartet (or string orchestra). A three movement piece, first movement ‘de la ignorancia’ (consequences of ignorance), second ‘del amor’ (for my wife Saskia) and third movement ‘de la…

New commission for clarinet solo

When in Porto last week I got a phone call from clarinettist Harmen de Boer. He asked me if I would be interested writing a solo piece for clarinet for the upcoming https://www.facebook.com/klarinetfestival in the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan het IJ as he is co-hosting this huge festival. Did not take me too long to answer…

Porto Visit May 2015 (by Saskia Törnqvist)

It is a long climb from Porto’s ancient town centre to the Escola Superior de Música e das Artes (ESMAE), the Porto Academy of Music, but the walk is wonderful. Leading from the Douro river through stairways, squares full of houses covered with traditional azuléjos, the famous blue porcelain tiles from Portugal, and small mysterious…

Premiere of a friend’s music

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of hearing a new work of a dear friend being premiered. Composer Perry Goldstein wrote …shreds and patches… for pianist Gilbert Kalish and it was premiered in the (New York) Lincoln Center Chamber Music series on April 30. I met Perry in 1994 when as a member of the…