In the year 2016, the members of Intercontinental Ensemble formed a collaboration with Beeldend Gesproken, an art gallery located inside De Hallen, in West Amsterdam. Every second Wednesday of the month, we have been presenting our musical interpretations to a featured art work, and it has been a very enjoyable process.
So far we have done six West Wednesdays in total, with more to come! We are also pleased to announce that we have a page on our website dedicated to the recordings of all the past West Wednesdays works. You can find the page by clicking here.
All of the “pieces” are semi-improvised. We first view the given painting, focus on few elements that are prominent in the work (e.g. figures, texture, colors, etc.), and then try to translate them into sound (e.g. keys, register, rhythm, harmony, etc.) to form a blueprint for the music. After that, we simply improvise around the blueprint. This format gives us a good balance between two components that are present in art: freedom and structure.
A typical West Wednesday goes as follows:
- The audience gets seated and examines the painting for 1 minute.
- Discussion about the painting takes place.
- Intercontinental Ensemble presents the musical reaction and then explains the thought process behind it.
- Another round of discussion, mainly over the question: Did the music reflect the painting?
Until now, it has been a very rewarding experience. We felt that we were able to intensify the audience’s experience with the art work every time. If you live in the Netherlands and have not had a chance to come out to a West Wednesday, we would like to welcome you to one of the upcoming editions!
Our violinist Ernst is performing next saturday a concert in Amsterdam’s Keizersgrachtkerk that’s filled with Beethoven, Beethoven and good old Ludwig van Beethoven. He has the honour to perform together with maestro Joan Berkhemer and MOKUM SYMPHONY the 8th Symphony, Coriolan Ouverture and the 4th Pianoconcerto (Soloist the wonderful Patricia de la Vega) – all by Beethoven. For all the Sturm-und-Drangers amongst you, be welcome!
For more information: http://www.mokumsymphony.nl
Our next Nonet performance will be on the 3rd of May, at 20:00. The location this time is the Oosterkerk, Kleine Wittenburgerstraat 1, 1018LS Amsterdam. The entrance is free again, and you can listen to our core repertoire: Rota, Martinu, and Leyenda.
But we have something special too: If you are a big lover of Schubert’s chamber music, you just got very lucky: Our Viola player, Iteke Wijbenga, will perform Schubert’s “Forellen”quintet, one of his masterpieces, together with world-famous double-bass virtuoso Rick Stotijn!
When and where? 7th of May, 14:00, at the Noorderkerk in Amsterdam (Herengracht 247, 1016 BH Amsterdam).
Hope to see you there!
Your Intercontinental Ensemble
Next to play in the ensemble, our members also perform with other formations to bring you even more music!
As a nonet, we will perform on May 3rd, 20:00 in the Oosterkerk (Amsterdam), with our good friends Nino Rota and Bohuslav Martinu.
Next weekend, you can our hear our horn player Diechje Minne playing the first horn in the Symphony Orchestra of the CvA, to bring you amongst other things a smashing 6th symphony by Tchaikovsky.
22rd of April, 12:30, Tivoli Vredenburg: https://www.tivolivredenburg.nl/nl/agenda/detail/4015/Lunchpauzeconcert
23rd, of April, 21:00 Muziekgebouw Frits Philips Eindhoven: https://www.muziekgebouweindhoven.nl/concerten/casual-classics-symfonieorkest-conservatorium-van-amsterdam-768/23-04-2016-21-00/
24th of April, Muziekgebouw aan het IJ: https://www.muziekgebouw.nl/agenda/Concerten/4250/hs=2
Our violinist Ernst Spyckerelle will be heard in Mozarts last work, the Requiem. It will be performed at the beautiful grote Kerk Naarden, to remember the fallen victims of war, on May 4th, at 20:00.
See you there!
The members of the Intercontinental Ensemble would like to wish all fans and friends a happy new year! Thank you all for your support in 2015!
We got to end 2015 with our Muziekgebouw debut in the 12th edition of Calefax PAN Festival! As one of the guest artists, the ensemble performed first movement of Bohuslav Martinu’s Nonet and Gabriel Lubell’s Kathedraal van Stoom (World Premier).
Next morning, the ensemble got together for one last time in 2015 to work on a demo recording of Lubell’s new work. We all had a wonderful time working on the recording and the process went very well! We hope to have the recording up on our website in a few weeks, so stay tuned for more of Intercontinental Ensemble in 2016!
Thank you to everyone that came to one or more concerts of the D-I-Y series! We had a great time performing at all three of them. Once again, thank you to the guest artists Severin von Eckardstein and Wim Henderickx. Also a big thank you to the all the players who substituted for the members, as well as collaborative performers Anne Veinberg and Eva van Haaften for your help!
Now that the D-I-Y concert series came to an end, the Intercontinental Ensemble is preparing for the Calefax PAN Festival, where we are invited as one of the guest artists.
We will be performing the first movement of Bohuslav Martinu’s Nonet (1959) and Gabriel Lubell’s (b.1983) new worked titled Kathedraal van Stoom (world premier).
Also, the Intercontinental Ensemble recently finished our first public school projects! We got to present our “Fairy Tales” program featuring Maurice Ravel’s Ma mere l’oye to around 800 children in two days! Check out some of the photos below!
In the fall of 2015, the Intercontinental Ensemble will have the occasion of playing with Severin von Eckardstein, pianist, (prizewinner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2003) and Wim Henderickx, composer.
The idea: Musicians play again their own compositions – and composers pick up their instruments to share the stage with the others!
There will be three occasions for you to see this concerts, where the boundaries between musicians and composers have vanished. Come and listen to the fascinating results of this adventure!
When? 15/11/2015, 29/11/2015 & 13/12/2015
Where? Splendor, Amsterdam
More info: http://www.splendoramsterdam.com/
See you there!
This year we started to work together on a very interesting project called ‘Haydn op Zondag’ (Haydn on Sunday).
Haydn op Zondag is an initiative from Bastiaan Witsenburg to play once a month a Haydn Symphony. Are you a good amateur? You want to rehearse and preform Haydn within 2 hours? Then sign up firstname.lastname@example.org. You will play together with members of the Intercontinental Ensemble.
The first ‘Haydn op Zondag’ will be on 21st of september in Felix Meritis. You can sign up at email@example.com.
This was a nice week for the ensemble, filled with rehearsals, coachings and a great concert to top it off. In preparation for the concert last night, we received lessons from the world renowned baroque oboist Alfredo Bernardini, violinist Shunske Sato and pianist Frans van Ruth. We had an amazing time working with all of them!
We had a wonderful time performing in Papekop again, as the concert was a great success. Big thanks to Eliška for stepping in and playing with us! We would also like to thank Bas’ parents for organizing such a wonderful concert once again.
Our next concert is on the 18th of May and we are very much looking forward to it!