Philippe Boesmans (1936 – 2022)

Belgian composer, Philippe Boesmans died last night after a short illness. Born on 17 May 1936 in Tongeren, Belgium, he and studied piano at the conservatory in Liège, where he was also introduced to serial composing techniques by Pierre Froidebise. It was only after coming into contact with the “Liège Group” (Henri Pousseur, André Souris,Continue reading “Philippe Boesmans (1936 – 2022)”

Luc Brewaeys: a life of timbre, bells and exuberance

BREWAEYS UNFOLDING is the title of a project dedicated to the hyperkinetic Flemish composer Luc Brewaeys (1959 – 2015). With an exhibition, a catalogue and a webpage, the curators have succeeded in keeping the colourful beauty of his musical career up-to-date. MATRIX (Centre for New Music) in Leuven is the driving force behind this project,Continue reading “Luc Brewaeys: a life of timbre, bells and exuberance”

Antwerp Symphony gives wings to Van Hove’s Symphony IV

Sometimes you can hear from the first bar whether the collaboration between conductor, orchestra and composer is right. This rarity occurred at the premiere of Luc Van Hove’s Symphony IV, where the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Elim Chan, showed how energy, pride and pleasure can result in a gripping musical story. On paper, theContinue reading “Antwerp Symphony gives wings to Van Hove’s Symphony IV”

Jan Michiels revives Marcel Proust musically

Marcel Proust’s iconic chronicle A la recherche du temps perdu has been given a contemporary interpretation in a beautifully crafted recital by pianist Jan Michiels, complemented by live electronics (Juan Parra) and video art (Lise Bruyneel). The concert, last Saturday in De Singel in Antwerp, was announced as a cathedral of piano music, partly toContinue reading “Jan Michiels revives Marcel Proust musically”

Alfonso Gómez paints Morton Feldman with light and air

The Spanish-German pianist Alfonso Gómez has dared to put Morton Feldman’s last three piano works on CD. His interpretation is remarkably light and sparkling, adding a new element to the meditative sound world of this American composer. The piano was the favourite instrument of Morton Feldman (1926 – 1987). “What is the difference between anContinue reading “Alfonso Gómez paints Morton Feldman with light and air”

A winter walk in the musical labyrinth of Luciano Berio

Luciano Berio, the Italian omnivore who, through his compositions, was constantly entering into discussion with musical culture, is the subject of a joint project by music centre De Bijloke Gent and MATRIX [Centre for New Music]. With the Berio 360° project, De Bijloke is bringing a selection of his works to the concert stage, andContinue reading “A winter walk in the musical labyrinth of Luciano Berio”

The infinite melody of the number Pi

Anyone looking for the squaring of the circle often ends up in poetry. Or in music, such as Squaring the Circle by Heleen Van Haegenborgh, which premiered last Saturday at Zindering, the festival around the sound of silence in Mechelen, Belgium. The performance was in the hands of the percussion ensemble GAME. The piece forContinue reading “The infinite melody of the number Pi”

The slow hands of Jan Michiels

Transit 2021 honours the piano as a spiritual medium Slowly, after the last stanza by Osvaldo Coluccino, Jan Michiels’ hands slide from the keys to the edge of the keyboard. They form fists that rest on his knees. It is finished, silence and repentance have been stretched to the limit. The recital has ended, nowContinue reading “The slow hands of Jan Michiels”

From half-god to the homeless and back again: Julius Eastman rediscovered

Classical music is full of mavericks, but the American composer, pianist, singer and choreographer Julius Eastman still holds the world record. With a new recording of his work Femenine, he takes a decisive step towards definitive recognition. By Wynold Verweij Julius Eastman (1940 – 1990) was predestined to tread the classical paths with elegance andContinue reading “From half-god to the homeless and back again: Julius Eastman rediscovered”

Feldman’s sparkling harmonies by Het Collectief

Last Sunday, a few dozen listeners gave themselves over to Morton Feldman’s trio For Philip Guston for over four hours. With an unlikely degree of concentration, the three musicians of Het Collectief were able to convey a sense of adventure and freshness as if every note were new. By Wynold Verweij One of the characteristicsContinue reading “Feldman’s sparkling harmonies by Het Collectief”