Monument House Concert 5 years on: Brendan Kinsella 2nd July 2011

Anne Ku remembers the piano concert of Brendan Kinsella and invites the guests to comment.

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Exactly five years ago on 2nd July 2006, we invited our friends guitarist Matt Gould and violinist Beth Schneider of Duo46 to open our Monument House Concert Series with the first concert. Fittingly entitled “Music of the Americas,” the one hour programme contained music by the American composers Astor Piazzolla, Robert Beaser, Allan Segall, and Jorge Liderman. Duo46 who flies from Phoenix, Arizona to Italy via Amsterdam every summer has a trio with pianist Nathanael May called the Strung Out Trio. On 1st July 2006, Dr Gould conducted a guitar master class at the Monument House.

It was much simpler then. Master class one day. Concert the next. My friend Linda from Wassenaar made carrot cake for the two dozen guests that gathered in the back garden after the concert.

Five years later, in contrast, the back-to-back concerts came with chef-catered pre-concert dinners, panel discussions, organic wine tasting, raffle prize draw, silent auction, discount vouchers for Chinese massage and manicure, post-concert organic luxury cookies, and home-made desserts generously donated by our neighbour Ita (on both evenings).

The piano room before the concert begins. Photo: Willem de Vriend
The piano room before the concert begins. Photo: Willem de Vriend

Three volunteers arrived early to anticipate the full house audience. Rotary scholar from Honolulu Robbieana Leung joined Amir and Susan, who had volunteered the day before at Nathanael May’s solo piano concert. As Eveline Scheren was arriving after dinner from another organic wine tasting, Susan took over the wine service.

Last year at the Glass Vase Concert where Egyptian cuisine was served, my Vietnamese friend in Houten offered her Vietnamese chef friend for a future concert. Chef Hong and her daughter drove hours to here with pre-cooked fried rice, chicken, noodles, pickled salad, and vegetarian dishes. The spring rolls were deep fried on location.

Vietnamese dinner by Chef Hong at the Monument House. Photo: Willem de Vriend
Vietnamese dinner by Chef Hong at the Monument House. Photo: Willem de Vriend

Once again the weather was agreeable to an outdoor gathering, necessary to make space for the non-dinner guests who arrived between 7:30 and 8:15 pm. One couple called to ask if it was possible to attend without prior reservations. Several more not on the pre-paid reserved guest list showed up. Luckily there was standing room.

Robert Bekkers played two solo guitar pieces to welcome Brendan Kinsella.

Full house at Monument House Utrecht Kinsella Concert. Photo: Willem de Vriend
Full house at Monument House Utrecht Kinsella Concert. Photo: Willem de Vriend

Brendan Kinsella apologised for playing Liszt in Utrecht where the International Liszt Piano Competition is held every three years. One Liszt fan who had attended every Liszt semi-final round later commented that she had never heard the pieces chosen by Kinsella. His programme is listed below.

“a la consolation” by Leonardo

” Angelus” and “Les jeux d’eau a la Villa d’Este” by Franz Liszt

“Aubade” by Francis Poulenc

“Down by the Riverside” by Frederic Rzewski

INTERMISSION

“Sonata in C Major, op. 53” by Ludwig van Beethoven

Encore: “Erlkonig” by Schubert/Liszt

As a special treat, Utrecht-based American entrepreneur Katie Miller donated 100 luxury organic cookies including a box for silent auction. The winner took home a box of 20 cookies for her birthday.

The best part of the concert, for me, was sitting behind Brendan and experiencing his performance close up. I wonder what was the best part for the more than 3-dozen guests who attended this concert? Please LEAVE A REPLY below.

Brendan Kinsella gives virtuosic performance. Photo: Willem de Vriend
Brendan Kinsella gives virtuosic performance. Photo: Willem de Vriend