Now that the year has finished at Codarts Rotterdam it gives a moment to look back on the past year. We had a particularly busy concert schedule which included the 40-year Jubileum concert in November for our Conductor-in-Residence, Arie van Beek, who gave a great account of Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique. The Rotterdam Philharmonic Codarts Academy followed up on this in March when students were able to connect with the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s performance of this same work under Valery Gergiev.

In January, our String Orchestra enjoyed a creative collaboration between its Director, Gordan Nikolic, and jazz violinist Tim Kliphuis’ Tim Kliphuis Trio. Building on a performance of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik in the first half, Nikolic and the trio improvised together and led orchestra members to do likewise in a fabulous display of inventive string playing. Tim Kliphuis returned to Codarts in May to take masterclasses and we hope to work with him regularly in the future.

Our series of collaborations with KC Den Haag brought us a chance to perform Mahler’s 10th Symphony in three performances at the end of February. This giant, late work was coupled with Schonberg’s Erwartung (with an outstanding Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet) with pre-concert talks looking at the circumstances that caused Mahler and Sigmund Freud to meet in Leiden in the summer of 1910. We were delighted that Susanne Malkki was able to conduct these performances and her inspirational work will remembered by all who took part. The concerts in Den Haag, Rotterdam and Amsterdam were very well attended with a capacity audience in De Doelen’s Grote Zaal in Rotterdam.

In April. Patrick Ayrton directed a  programme of colourful works including Biber’s famous Battalia, Vivaldi’s Concerto di Amsterdam, Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No 1 and Haydn’s Symphony No 99.

Codarts is now trying to give as many concerto opportunities as possible to its students and each year the auditions see more than thirty applicants for the available performance spaces. This year, Hayato Ishibashi played the Stravinsky Violin Concerto in Arie van Beek’s Jubilee Concert to great acclaim and en route to a top result in his final Masters examination this summer. Eva Otero Picado played a touching account of the Dvorak Cello Concerto in January in the Grote Zaal, De Doelen with Hans Leenders conducting  and in April, Mario Molina Gomez played the Ravel G major Piano Concerto in a double bill that also featured William Hayter playing the Karel Reiner Bass Clarinet Concerto, both conducted by Arie van Beek.

We look forward to more exciting performances in the autumn, not least with a chance to play Sibelius 2nd Symphony with  Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin on 20 October in De Doelen.


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