Willem Jeths, Chairman
On 28 November 2014 Willem Jeths was officially appointed the first Dutch Composer Laureate at the Buma Classical Convention in TivoliVredenburg (Utrecht). Fulfilling this position for two years, he seized upon every opportunity to act as ambassador for new national notes. He put the spotlight on 20th century Dutch musical heritage, focused on the latest composer generation, championed music education and in passing reflected on the current state of musical composition:
‘During the second half of the 20th century an explosion took place in our musical culture’, according to Jeths. ‘What is on offer now is more fragmented and variegated than ever. The challenge that a contemporary composer faces, is to distill something authentic from this vast ocean. Whether he succeeds doesn’t really depend on the concept of “innovation”. I think that passion and inspiration are more relevant nowadays.’
Jonathan Dove’s music has filled opera houses with delighted audiences of all ages on five continents. Few, if any, contemporary composers have so successfully or consistently explored the potential of opera to communicate, to create wonder and to enrich people’s lives.
Born in 1959 to architect parents, Dove’s early musical experience came from playing the piano, organ and viola. Later he studied composition with Robin Holloway at Cambridge and, after graduation, worked as a freelance accompanist, repetiteur, animateur and arranger.
Starting with his breakthrough opera Flight, commissioned by Glyndebourne in 1998, Dove has gone on to write over twenty operatic works. Flight, a rare example of a successful modern comic opera, has been produced and broadcast many times, in Europe, the USA and Australia. More recently, The Adventures of Pinocchio, premiered by Opera North at Christmas 2007, achieves another rare feat in contemporary opera, being a successful full-length symphonically-conceived entertainment for a family audience. It too has been produced across the world.
2015 brought the World Premiere of The Monster in the Maze, a new community opera commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, performed under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle in three separate productions.
Dutch versatile musician Monique Krüs likes to connect and engage. Next to the more traditional soprano-repertoire she loves to sing contemporary music. Her colorful compositions encompass opera, music theatre, chambermusic, lieder, works for choir, music for media. A large part of her work contains educational elements.
Monique Krüs studied psychology at the University of Utrecht, combining a preparatory year of classical guitar studies at the Conservatoire of Utrecht. At the same time she had her own jazztrio and wrote and produced the title song of the first movie of Oscar-winner Mike van Diem.
Hereafter she auditioned for solo voice at the Utrecht Conservatoire, where she discovered her affection for opera and new music. She finished her studies with one year opera class at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
As a composer she is completely self-taught.
The flautist Marieke Schneemann studied with Karl-Friedrich Mess at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart and with Frans Vester at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague where she was awarded the soloist’s diploma cum laude. Marieke Schneemann was Principal Flautist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Valery Gergiev and member of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and the Fodor Quintet. As a recitalist she performs with pianist Marietta Petkova, harpist Godelieve Schrama and cimbalom players Michiel Weidner and Jan Rokyta. With Ralph van Raat she focuses on the performance of contemporary music and together they have recorded solo works by Rudolf Escher. With Marietta Petkova she has recorded a CD devoted entirely to songs by Gabriel Fauré. She has performed at international festivals and appeared as a soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Ulster Orchestra and I Solisti di Zagreb under the conductors Edo de Waart, Roy Goodman, Marc Minkovsky, Thierry Fischer, Ivan Fischer, Iwaki Hirokami and George Benjamin. She teaches as a Professor at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.