maandag 30 april 2007

Yesterday was Koninginnedag (Queens day) in the Netherlands; The queen...

Yesterday was Koninginnedag (Queens day) in the Netherlands; The queen's birthday. Although I am a republican 'in heart and kidneys' I have to admit that it was a lot of fun. One of my friends who I didn' see for some years was there as well. We had some drinks, listened some music and went home at 20:00. It was great. And beautiful weather.
 /><br /><br /><div align=The day before we played in The Hague during Koninginnenach. The night preceding Koninginnedag. The Hague is famous for its party the night before. It was very crowded and we just got out of there after we played on a little square behind the Nieuwe Kerk at the Spui.

vrijdag 27 april 2007

Yesterday Wijnand and I played intermezzo's during the award ceremony ...

Yesterday Wijnand and I played intermezzo's during the award ceremony of the VSP Poetry Prize. We had a great time. I played Philip Glass Melodies (three of them, from my solo CD Grab it!) and together we played Scaramouche. I think we did ok. I am really ready for a new saxophone. Preferably a Reference. I have been trying my students' References and they play great. Very souple and flexible. And good intonation. But maybe I am making this too big in my head...? Well, I think I am right. I will still have to resolve instrumental problems but I know that!
Today I am going to go make a bike ride with Ailed to Broek in Waterland for a couple of hours. Finally some recreation other than tv or reading in the train (which is great too BTW).

donderdag 26 april 2007

Friday afternoon

Friday afternoon. It's been hot the last couple of days, close to 30 C. Strange for this time of year. Tonight I am playing Glass and Scaramouche during the VSB Poezie Prijs ceremony in the Rode Hoed in AMsterdam. Yesterday I met with Anner Bylsma. He will be my Netherlands Music Prize mentor. I think he is a very inspiring person. He is of course famou for his Bach interpretation. So I will do some Bach with him. But he also recorded the Bb Cellosonata by Mendelssohn, which I will record with Wijnand in the end of June. That should be interesting. Next week my quartet is recordning the Glazounow quartet. On eof the most important saxophone quartets. We studied very hard to get it right. It is a hard piece to find a comfortable way of playing for. Bu twe have something now I think. I must say: to play the piece by heart helped a great deal. Glazunow overnotated his saxophone quartet and playing b y heart is one way of detaching from the written notes.

vrijdag 20 april 2007

Back from US

Back from US. As well as my parents. We picked them up today from the airport, they went to visit me and see us in Carnegie.
I had a great time. I love the US and especially NY. And I discovered Brooklyn. What a shame I couldn't be there more. In August we'll be back.
Tomorrow I have a concert with Wijnand: Brahms, Bach and Mendelssohn. A programme with only great composers! Wijnand finished his Bach commentary and it's wonderful!
Today I was going to try out new saxophones at Harry Bakker, but they haven't gotten a new batch so they only have a few today. So I will go later.

 /><br /><div align=
Louis Van Dijk talked about Grab it! in an interview in Elegance, a music magazine. He recommended my Cd and said that I was a jazz musician  /></div></div>
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woensdag 18 april 2007

Amstel Quartet back from their US debut tour
This 17th of April, the Amstel Quartet gave a phenomenal US debut Recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City , with works by Sweelinck, Glazunov, Torke, Wilson (US premier) and Nyman.
Within a week, the quartet gave 6 concerts throughout New York City, amongst others at Trinity Church on Wall Street (click here to see the concert as a webcast or download it as a podcast), and at the famous musicbar Barbes in Brooklyn (read review here).
They gave a multimedia performance with The Public Dance Theater and visuals by Bushwick at Monkeytown, including a world premier by dutch composer Renske Vrolijk, and performed at a benefit evening for Darfur organised by the Clinton Global Initiative , with Robert de Niro, Meryl Streep and Matt Damon on the guestlist. Aziz exlusively designed new costumes for this US tour.
The quartet will be back in the US in August. Highlights of that tour will include a concert at the well-known festival River to River in New York City.
Please also visit the website of Concert Artists Guild, the quartet's management based in New York City.

maandag 16 april 2007

Last evening before Carnegie

Last evening before Carnegie. Tomorrow is the day. Reeds are still bad, I might play 3,5's tomorrow in stead of the 4's. They are just too bad in this climate. All iof us are having this problem.
Ian arrived today to hear his piece. He was happy. It's a beatiful piece!

zondag 15 april 2007

Last days in NY

Last days in NY. Tomorrow is Carnegie Debut for Amstel Quartet. We did 5 concerts so far. The last days there was so much rain. We are having some reed problems due to the climate here. It is too dry (in spite of the rain!). I am experimenting now with soaking the reeds in water and then letting them dry. I hope this will work. All of our reeds are collapsing during our concerts. It still sounds ok I guess, but the feeling is no comfortable.

Friday I spend the morning and lunch with Paquito D'Rivera, That was very inspiring. He's a great guy. I asked what his one tip would be for musicians: Sound, beauty of sound and make sure you surround yourself with beauty...

zondag 8 april 2007

While listening to Brahms' first pianoconcerto I am packing my suitcas...

While listening to Brahms' first pianoconcerto I am packing my suitcase. If I find some time I should go to the repairman to have a little thing fixed on my baritone. Otherwhise I need to find one in NY.
Yesterday we had one of the first spring picnics in the Erasmuspark. We prepared some pasta, salad and tapas. It did get a bit cold in the end, but summer is coming. Can't wait to get the first bbq out!
Tonight a last rehearsal before leavind for the VSB poetry prize. A small ensemble. Presentation is the 24th of April in De Rode Hoed in Amsterdam.

zaterdag 7 april 2007

The last pieces of lead weigh the most we say in Dutch

The last pieces of lead weigh the most we say in Dutch. I am arranging everything now for our NY tour and it looks like it's going well. We still have to schedule some rehearsals there, but everything seems to be arranged! I also have a meeting with Paquito d'Rivera, I can't wait to meet him. He's a great musician and I admire him greatly. He is also a wonderful composer. Just maybe...?

donderdag 5 april 2007

We just came back from our Latvia tour in Riga and outside

We just came back from our Latvia tour in Riga and outside. Two concerts during the 'Restarting Bach' Festival, we played works by Bach (what a great composer, he lifsts the quartet right to heaven when we play!), Sweelinck, Buxtehude and Indra Rise (she got us invited). Riga is a beautiful town and we had almost a day to walk around there. I like it much better than Vilnius, but then again, we didn't really get to see Vilnius last year. We played good I think. In spite of us having to spend a lot of focus on getting our visa stuff arranged for next week (New York). We landed at 14:35 yesterday and we had an emergency appointment at the American consulate in Amsterdam at 16:00. We made it. I was there at 15:30 even! My father was waiting for us to take care of our luggage and he had enveloped prepared to send the visa in but they gave them with us right on the spot after just less than an hours wait, so we were really happy. Although Remco and I made mistake on his form so he had to get a new one, but even that turned out great! So we are off to New York. Very exciting stuff. I live the city of New York, especially Manhattan of course. I love to walk around, talk to the people, listen to jazz, read books, sit at Starbucks and eat burgers (not MacDonalds, please!).
Off to quartet rehearsal now!