Wanted: venues with grand piano and great acoustics in Leiden, Amsterdam, around Utrecht, Crete, and Taiwan


alternative title: Planning for the future

I am floating between the past and future (concerts) this June, a month for practising new repertoire, forever working on our first CD, getting coaching from great masters, and doing market research. That is, I’m waiting for video and audio clips of our concerts in Spain (to load onto our website) and simultaneously looking for venues with (grand) piano and (great) acoustics for future concerts. Rather than waiting for someone to “discover” us, we are deciding where we want to go and actively looking for venues and sponsors.

Dutch composer Gijs van Dijk, Spanish biography May 2009

Dutch composer Gijs van Dijk, Spanish biography May 2009

We are giving our contemporary programme of music of (mainly) Dutch composers in Amsterdam on Sunday 12th July. I’m looking for other venues around that time, as the composers will be present — and only max 50 will be admitted in Funen Park 125, Amsterdam. How about Saturday 11th July in Utrecht and Monday 13th July in Leiden, for example? Where can I find concert producers and venues with piano?

Dutch composer Heleen Verleur, Spanish biography May 2009

Dutch composer Heleen Verleur, Spanish biography May 2009

We presented the same 21st century programme of piano guitar duo music on 3rd May 2009 in La Coruña, Spain, in the beautiful Museum of Contemporary Arts. Three of the Dutch composers were featured, with their biographies translated into Spanish, printed on nice glossy paper, inserted into the ongoing “El Oido Contemporaneo” hard-bound binder initiated and researched by Spanish composer Ruben Someso. This impressive collection of biographies of composers, 20th and 21st century composition techniques, musical instruments, and related musical vocabulary will surely become a book one day.

Dutch composer Henk Alkema, biography in Spanish, May 2009

Dutch composer Henk Alkema, biography in Spanish, May 2009

In the last week of July, the celebrated violin guitar duo of Matt and Beth Gould, also known as Duo46, will stopover in Amsterdam on their way back from the Contemporary Music Festival (founded by pianist Nathanael May in 2005 and continued annually in Cortona and Pavia, Italy). We’re actively looking for a suitable venue in Utrecht or Amsterdam, or surrounding cities/villages, for a double duo concert, tentatively called 2 + 2 = 6, on Monday afternoon 27th July 2009. How many combinations can we make out of 2 guitars, a violin, and a piano?

The million dollar view in Cortona, Italy July 2007

The million dollar view in Cortona, Italy July 2007

Ideally we’d like to give a concert everywhere we go. But I honestly think we will have no time the first week of August 2009 when we’re in London. That is, no time to organise a concert, I should say. We will never say NO to someone else organising the publicity, concert venue, ticket reservations, etc, especially if the concert is for Sunday 2nd August. Maybe I should just throw my wish to the wind? A concert in Ealing? Or a solo guitar concert or a guitar/flute concert as part of the analyticalQ home concert series?

Embracing uncertainty and opportunity, we’ve booked our flights to Chania, Crete for the 14th Levka Ori project in the ancient village of Paleohora. We’ve put a deposit on our accommodations for 21st to 28th August, and look forward to working with other artists with open minds. It’s our first trip to Crete, and Robert Bekkers’ first to Greece. So far, I have NOT found a piano in Paleohora (also spelled Paleochora). Between now and then, if we’re lucky and find a piano, then I’ll be able to schedule a live concert there. And whatever we plan or produce will get presented and exhibited in a museum in Belgium the following January.

In September/October 2009, we plan to give a concert in beautiful Leiden or its surroundings, so as to work with some 14 videographers, to communicate the real-time live performance to an audience who cannot be present physically. In other words, it will be podcasted — captured on video, for the rest of the world to see, whenever and wherever they want. It’s going to be a very interesting experience. But we still need to find a venue and set a date.

As the saying goes, “if Mohammed can’t come to the mountains, the mountains will come to Mohammed.” We took our music to Maui to share with my mother and sister, who had never seen us perform until then. Next winter, we’re looking for venues in Taiwan. Any ideas?

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