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.

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


“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

Author: BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.

8 thoughts on “Monument House Concert 5 years on: Brendan Kinsella 2nd July 2011”

  1. When I had first arrived to the Netherlands, my Rotary host counselor had told me about her fellow Rotarian, Anne Ku, and her delightful house concerts. Having never been to a house concert before, I was intrigued and excited by this unique idea. Ten months later, I finally had the chance to attend! Anne was so kind to invite me to volunteer and enjoy the event.

    It was a delightful evening – from cutting fresh mint from her yard for the water jug to squeezing in chairs into the living room…then another, followed by another, as the guest list grew; from preparing snacks, coffee and tea and wine glasses for the array of organic wines to meeting a diverse group of guests gathered by a common interest; from eating delicious Vietnamese food and trying Katie Miller’s gourmet cookies and Ita’s pies, to watching the guests excitedly hope to be the lucky winner of an eclectic array of prizes during the many raffle draws.

    Perhaps the best part was watching the ever talented Robert, Brendan and Anne play the guitar and piano. Despite the concert being a full house, with chairs spilling out from the living room into the entrance, it seemed as though every member of the audience was captivated by the mesmerizing music. The musicians seemed to be equally lost in the beautiful melodies and story that they were passionately bringing to life.

    Anne and Robert, mahalo you for opening your home up to us and sharing your talents and passions with friends and strangers alike in such a fun, Aloha-spirited way! I appreciate all the planning you both put into the event, and I am sure others would agree. Best wishes for future house concerts, be it in the Netherlands or the States, and for your upcoming musical adventure in Boston! 🙂 I am blessed by you both.


  2. This is absolutely poetic, and very much like what we encounter during the house concerts that we have been fortunate enough to have performed at. I realize that you generally host classical music, and that we are a duo from Texas, but I wonder if perhaps somewhere over there, anyone may be interested in another genre of music? As I said, we’re a songwriting duo, and we’re about to make a trip this summer to the Netherlands, and beyond and we’re in search of these lovely House Concerts. We generally play House Concerts because of the intimacy of the room and the interaction we can have with the audience, who eventually become friends.
    If there is any interest at all or to learn more about us… /
    Thank you so much for supporting House Concerts, Music, and Life!

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