The idea for the Fifty Fiddles Festival which took place on 26 and 27 September in De Doelen, Rotterdam came from the earlier collaboration that Codarts organised with jazz violinist Tim Kliphuis joining Gordan Nikolic and the Codarts String Orchestra in concerts that combined string works of Mozart and Vivaldi with jazz improvisations. Some Codarts students (notably Pablo Gonzalez Rodriguez and Chris Kosidis) have gone on to study jazz violin and thus to feed the principle of interrelation between the five music departments of Codarts (classical, jazz, pop, musical theatre and world music).
In discussions with Tim Kliphuis over the past year or more, the Fifty Fiddles Festival sought to bridge the gaps between the various musical genres with a special focus on the violin. A two-day festival with folk fiddlers, jazz violinists, classical violinists and representatives from the many world music traditions would surely be quite a celebration.
In the end, Tim directed an inspiring weekend that had solo and ensemble concerts from Gjermund Larssen (Norwegian folk violin and hardanger fiddle), Frankie Gavin (Irish Folk Fiddle), the Tim Kliphuis Trio (Jazz Violin, Guitar and Bass), Lenneke van Staalen (Indian violin), Yannick Hiwat (electric violin), Hayato Ishibashi (classical violin), Kristie Su (classical violin), the DOT Quartet and with two fine concerts by the Holland Baroque Society (directed by Aisslinn Nosky) in which Codarts students participated in Concerti Grossi of Corelli. These events celebrated the voice and virtuosity of the instrument in amazing style and produced a chance to show the diversity that Codarts seeks to work with. The beautiful eloquence of the the playing of Gjermund Larsen, the energy and brilliance of Frankie Gavin, the reflective grace of Lenneke van Staalen, the originality of Yannick Hiwat, the amazing playing of HBS and Aisslinn Nosky especially in the Concerto Grosso of Veracini, the unaccompanied Bartók of Hayato Ishibashi, and of Paganini by Kristie Su and the freshness of the DOT quartet will not be forgotten easily by those who were there.
Thanks to Neil Wallace, Miriam Duiker, Madelène Roovers of De Doelen, Tamar Brüggemann and all at Holland Baroque Society, Myrte Hoes, Aart Muizer, Karlijn Verschoor, Hans Boerrigter and all at Codarts and of course to Tim Kliphuis himself – what an amazing festival it was! And Mr Corelli would have been proud if not a little astonished………