"The two musicians are equal and know by the diversity of instruments that comes along to keep the sound fascinating."Luister, 01-2-2017
Confluence: a place where two rivers or streams join to become one.
The year is 1996. Classically trained saxophonist Niels Bijl is at the end of his Conservatorium education. In a record shop in the centre of Enschede: in a spare hour he is trawling the cd racks, looking for unknown music, new inspiration. Ronald Moelker walks past him, purposefully, towards the counter. With a clear question: do you also have recordings of classical music on saxophone? A conversation quickly follows, a friendship is born.
What follows; more than 20 years of research, collaboration and a shared passion for enjoying life. Niels and Ronald, managing to remain unfettered by the apparently different worlds of their chosen instruments, take on all challenges together. The 15th Century British complexity of Baldwine’s A Duo, the light-footedness of Francois Couperin’s Tic-Toc-Choc. Bach as uniting thread, with highlights such as the two-part canon from the Kunst der Fugue and the flute sonata BWV 1035. Aided by the expert mastery of recorder builder Adriana Breukink, the saxophone and recorder come ever closer to each other. The romance of young love is reflected in Tandernaken. The festive cadans of the early middle ages are celebrated in the Estampie Petrone. In an unknown duo, referred to as No. 3, harsh dissonant sounds are continuously replaced with beautiful harmonies, ending in a perfect unison. Ronald Moelker’s composition Ithaca, written for Niels, is the perfect introduction to the heart of the collaboration and friendship: Two fantasies by Telemann.
Flute Player Ronald Moelker has done numerous concert tours and CD recordings as a recorder soloist and in ensembles like Ensemble Super Librum, the Lacrimae Ensemble and the Bassano Quartet.
He moves easily and seamlessly between different musical genres. He unites a large number of styles and timbres and proves that boundaries of what is possible with a recorder have not yet been reached.
In addition to his work in the area of early music, he performs his own work, utilizing Tibetan Bowls and Percussion.
Last but not least, Ronald Moelker performs in several duos with Harp, Saxophone, Harpsichord and Lute.
He has performed at major European Music Festivals such as the ECM Festival in Heraklion and the Festivals for Early Music in Utrecht, Brugge, Skara, Basel and St. Petersburg. He won several prizes and received awards at The Early Music Festival in Brugge and The Van Wassenaer Competition NL (First Prize).
Ronald Moelker studied recorder at the Conservatory in Rotterdam and at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
For Niels, it’s all about musicality and integrity. Whether he’s playing Bach on baritone, JacobTV on alto, Baldwine on soprano or original pieces written for him on his beloved tenor saxophone, it’s all about bringing music to life. Niels Bijl is an exceptionally versatile saxophonist.
His major projects include CDs with repertoire for tenor saxophone, the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, The Four Baritones and his collaboration with Ronald Moelker and many other varied musicians from accordion to harp to string quartet.
Highlights of his career are his Solo tenor saxophone tour Australia-New Zealand 2010. He has played on tour with Valeri Gergiev’s World Orchestra for Peace. The theatre production Ik ben niet bang with René Groothof received the prestigious Silver Krekel Prize in 2012. In 2014 he shared the stage with esteemed colleague and friend Branford Marsalis, in Paradiso Amsterdam and in Niels’ hometown Enschede.
As part of his integrity he gives back to young musicians. He has given numerous masterclasses almost everywhere in Europe as well as Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Canada and America.
The two musicians are equal and know by the diversity of instruments that comes along to keep the sound fascinating.