"I recommend the Entangled Tales CD for anyone wantlng an introduction to this signlficant 21st -century compositlonal voice."The Whole Note, 01-2-2018
The Rotterdam Philharmonic is a modern orchestra which has its roots deep in the classical music tradition. It embodies the temperament of its home base, Rotterdam.
Experts say that it distinguishes itself by the intensity of its concerts, the rich variety of its sound and the bold way in which it communicates with its audiences. This is enjoyed by many Rotterdam residents and visitors from far and wide.
The orchestra also enjoys success on the world’s major stages. Critics are unanimous: this orchestra, together with its music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is among the best in the world.
Residentie Orkest The Hague proves that even in the 21st century, symphonic music can still be meaningful to large and diverse audiences. Its reputation as one of the finest orchestras in Europe makes it an appropriate figurehead for The Hague as a cosmopolitan city of justice, peace, and culture. The orchestra performs concert series in the Zuiderstrandtheater in Scheveningen and in addition performs at venues such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, TivoliVredenburg Utrecht and De Doelen in Rotterdam. Special crossover and innovative productions are also provided at The Hague’s prominent pop venue Paard van Troje throughout the season. The Residentie Orkest performs regularly at various other major concert halls abroad. Tours have brought the orchestra to New York, Boston, Chicago, London and Vienna amongst others and the orchestra also performed in countries like Japan, China, Germany, France and South America. There are also many prolific collaborations with a wide range of partners, including the Dutch National Theatre, Gemeentemuseum and the Dutch National Opera. Recent seasons have seen a much acclaimed production of Messiaen’s rarely performed opera Saint François d’Asisse and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites.
A rich history Since its first concert in 1904, the Residentie Orkest has developed into one of the prominent symphony orchestras of The Netherlands. Founded by Dr Henri Viotta, who was also its first principal conductor, it quickly attracted composers like Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Max Reger, Maurice Ravel, Paul Hindemith and Vincent d’Indy. Guest conductors included Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein and Hans Knappertsbusch.
After World War II, Willem van Otterloo was appointed chief conductor. He led the orchestra from 1949 to 1973 and built a strong reputation by combining high-quality performances with adventurous programming. Van Otterloo was succeeded by Jean Martinon, Ferdinand Leitner, Hans Vonk, Evgenii Svetlanov, Jaap van Zweden and Neeme Järvi.
Chief conductor Starting season 2018/2019 Nicholas Collon is chief conductor and artistic advisor of the Residentie Orkest. Richard Egarr will join the orchestra as principal guest conductor in 2019. Until the summer of 2019 Jan Willem de Vriend will act as principal conductor.
Antonello Manacorda is currently Artistic Director of Kammerakademie Potsdam, a position he has held since 2010. He has been Principal Conductor of the Het Gelders Orkest in the Netherlands since 2011 – a position he bids farewell to in the 2018-19 season. He was Principal Conductor of I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan from 2006-10.
In addition to his two current positions, Manacorda also has guest conducting relationships which include the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and the Tapiola Sinfonietta. He has also worked with a number of other orchestras including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony.
In January 2015 Antonello Manacorda made his debut at the Salzburg Mozartwoche with the Mozarteumorchester in a performance of Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella followed by an appearance at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in a programme of Strauss and Stravinsky. In February 2014 he conducted a Beethoven Cycle over four consecutive days in Potsdam with Kammerakademie Potsdam, while in April he conducted a performance of Mendelssohn’s complete Midsummer Night’s Dream which was broadcast live from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Manacorda is currently engaged in recording a Schubert Symphony cycle for Sony Classical with the Kammerakademie Potsdam. The recordings have been met with high praise, including one being listed in Die Welt’s top ten CDs of 2013. He has also recently recorded a CD of Mahler’s 4th Symphony with Het Gelders Orkest and soprano Lisa Larsson, which was released in November 2014 by Challenge Records.
With a strong experience in opera as well as symphonic repertoire, in December 2014 Manacorda conducted Kammerakademie Potsdam’s Winter Opera production of Mozart’s La Betulia Liberata to great critical acclaim. He also has a long-standing relationship with Teatro La Fenice, and the director Damiano Michieletto, and will be returning to La Fenice in November 2015 to conduct The Magic Flute. Future opera collaborations include La Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, Komische Oper Berlin and Frankfurt Opera.
A founder-member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra Antonello Manacorda was its vice-president and concertmaster for eight years. A scholarship from De Sono in his home town of Turin allowed him to pursue his goal of becoming a conductor by enabling him to study with Jorma Panula for two years in Helsinki. From 2003-06 he was Artistic Director for chamber music at the Académie Européenne de Musique du Festival d’Aix en Provence.
Robin de Raaff (Breda, 1968) discovered his own diverse musical world through playing classical piano as well as bass guitar from a very early age. After being introduced to the legend and legacy of Jaco Pastorius, De Raaff’s musical world expanded explosively as an instrumentalist. Parallel with this early development he created his own music and lyrics for his Band where instrumental sections grew in significance, ultimately in to completely scored instrumental works. These instrumental compositions led him to enrol as a student of composition.
De Raaff is of the generation of Dutch composers emerging in the nineties. He first studied composition with Geert van Keulen at the Amsterdam Conservatory and later with Theo Loevendie, graduating cum laude in 1997. Still being a student in 1995 he encountered Pierre Boulez in a Masterclass who praised his String Quartet No. 1 “Athomus” creating a whole new momentum to his development and career. In 1999 De Raaff had the privilege of being invited to work as George Benjamin’s only composition student at the Royal College of Music in London where he also studied with Julian Anderson.
In 2000 De Raaff was invited to the renowned Tanglewood Music Center as the ‘Senior Composition Fellow’ which was the beginning of an ongoing relationship resulting in a series of commissions and performances (Piano Concerto No. 1 for the Festival of Contemporary Music and Entangled Tales for the Boston Symphony Orchestra) and performances of his septet Ennea’s Domein and Un Visage d’Emprunt. For 2015 De Raaff was commissioned to compose a Fanfare dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of the Tanglewood Music Center. His residency at Tanglewood in 2000 was the beginning of a bigger exposure with performances and residencies in North America through festivals and theaters such as: The Aspen Music Festival, Cabrillo Festival (Santa Cruz), State of the Union Festival (London), ISCM World Music Days, The Banff Center, CBC Parry Sound Festival (Ontario), Takefu International Chamber Music Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Ultima Contemporary Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center (New York), Betty Oliphant Theatre and Glenn Gould Studio (Toronto).
After a creative period of nearly 10 years, De Raaff finished his first opera RAAFF in 2004, which was commissioned by the Dutch National Opera in a co-production with the Holland Festival. The birth of this opera started with De Raaff’s success at a master class for young composers with Pierre Boulez organised by DNO in 1995.His second opera, also commissioned by DNO, resulted in Waiting for Miss Monroe (2012), which was received with much acclaim by the international press including The New York Times, Der Tagesspiegel and Der Süddeutsche Zeitung.
De Raaff’s Violin Concerto No. 1 “Angelic echoes” (2008, written for Tasmin Little and Jaap van Zweden) was selected as the Best Orchestral Work of the year 2008 in the Dutch composition competition Toonzetters. His special interest in this genre led him to compose many Concertos of which his Percussion Concerto (2014 commissioned by The New Juilliard Ensemble and premiered in Lincoln Center), is the most recent one.
In September 2016, his Oratorio “Atlantis”, an In Memoriam Pierre Boulez, was successfully premiered in Vredenburg, Utrecht (the Netherlands), to date De Raaff’s largest work for the concert stage. Early in 2017, his Symphony No. 4 “Melodies unheard” was premiered during a concert tour with the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra as part of his term as Composer in Residence.
The 2nd Sonata for Violin and Piano “North Atlantic Light” was given its world premiere in the Kurt Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall on the 4th of June 2018. It is based on the famous painting by Willem de Kooning, a fellow countryman of De Raaff. The larger vision on this painting, Violin Concerto No. 2 “North Atlantic Light”, was premiered in the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, both versions were written for Tosca Opdam.
With the recent world premiere of Sfera for large orchestra in the esteemed ZaterdagMatinee, De Raaff finished his Symphony No 5 “Allegory of Time, of which Sfera is movement I and Unisono for large orchestra movement II.
Commissioned by the Holland Festival for their 75th Anniversary De Raaff composed his Piano Concerto No. 2 “Circulus”, premiered by Ralph van Raat, Matthias Pintscher conducting the Radio Filharmonic Oerchestra.
For 22 successive years, De Raaff has been Professor of Composition and Instrumentation at the Composition Department of the University for the Arts in Rotterdam, Codarts.
I recommend the Entangled Tales CD for anyone wantlng an introduction to this signlficant 21st -century compositlonal voice.
The Whole Note, 01-2-2018
The fact that three major Dutch orchestra's put there forces together for an amazing Dutch composer deserves all credits.
Robin de Raaff: Remember this name, his third symphony is a masterpiece
This CD with works by the Dutch composer Robin de Raaff invites the listener to a cornucopia of new sound experiences which Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Neeme Järvi and Antonello Manacorda are eager to display committedly with their excellent orchestras.
Although the title of this album suggests, is a short title piece not the defining characteristics of the album.
The three pieces for the orchestra that Challenge Records has collected by composer Robin de Raaff on the Entangled Tales CD provides a beautiful steel chart the work of this particular composer.
Nieuwe Noten, 26-5-2017
Strange composer, Robin de Raaff (1968), one of the best we have; how is that possible, so complex but so accessible?
De Groene Amsterdammer, 10-5-2017
From the very first notes, De Raaff builds an intriguing soundtrack that delivers all her secrets, but intrigues immediately.
(...) The composer plays with the light-dark contrast into a four-part structure that begins to evolve into dark clouds, tangled layers and finally to complete dilution and solidification. (...)
De Volkskrant, 14-4-2017
(...) A miracle is a big word, but inspired workmanship, it certainly is.
(...) The music from Robin de Raaf doesn't let itself describe easily. (...)
Opus Klassiek, 14-3-2017
"(Laura) Aikin makes de Raaffs technically demanding music sound like childs play, mastered with a uncomparable naturalness and impressive ease."
" (...) It is an intelligent if not entirely successful attempt on a tempting but, perhaps in the end, a dramatically intractable subject. (...) "
The Guardian, 16-12-2015