Jan Brandts Buys Festival 2018

JBBFestivalLOGO390Jan Brandts Buys born in Zutphen 150 years ago

The Zutphen born composer Jan Brandts Buys (1868 -1933) is the most successful composer in the history of Dutch opera. Since its creation in 1916, his comic opera Die Schneider von Schönau has been performed over a thousand times in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Operas such as Der Mann im Mond and Micarême enjoyed international success. Stars such as Richard Tauber created his works on the most important stages of Germany and Vienna and yet, for unclear reasons, his works disappeared from the stage with the rise of Nazi Germany in 1933. Since Brandts Buys died in the same year, his works could not recover after the war was over. In 2018 it is 150 ago that he was born. A good moment to bring attention to his name and fame of ere before an international audience with a Festival that will perform an overview of all his compositions. Apart from highlights from each of his nine operas there will also be concerts dedicated to his songs, his piano works, chamber music and organ repertoire. Zutphen and the province of Gelderland may well be proud of one of the greatest artists in their history. Since no other Dutch opera (or any) composer has ever enjoyed a similar success, the Netherlands as a whole might actually take a little more pride in Brandts Buys. The programme for our Jan Brandts Buys Festival in Zutphen in memory of his 150th birthday aims to bring Brandts Buys' music to new prominence.

Het festival

The Jan Brandts Buys Festival 2018 is spread out over three days, from Friday September 21 to Sunday September 23. On Saturday evening the main concert will take place, the opera concert in Hanzehof (Buitensociëteit). Star of the evening is the internationally renowned soprano from Zutphen Johannette Zomer. An array of guest performers (tenor, baritone, altmezzo) and the Zutphen Male Choir choir will perform highlights from all nine Jan Brandts Buys operas in arrangements for  piano, violin, cello, flute en clarinet). Among them three world premieres, one from the torso of a youth opera and two from his last operas that never made it to the stage due to his death and the changing prospect fro his operas. Among the instrumental musicians there is the renowned cellist Jeroen den Herder star of the matinee chamber concert on Saturday. Sunday will feature the Song Concert in Kapel op ’t Rijsselt with Johannette Zomer, tenor, baritone and altmezzo. The festival opens on Friday night with a performance of the short opera Micarême in Dat Bolwerck (with heldentenor Hendrik Vonk, who sang leading Wagner and Richard Strauss roles at Scala, and from Leipzig to Tokyo; then soprano Julia Bronkhorst, baritone Hans de Vries, pianists René Rakier and Wolter Willemsen and the girls choir of De Muzehof. On Saturday morning there is a piano recital in the IJsselsalon with Jan ten Bokum, Zutphen-born musicologist, pianist and author of the distinguished Jan Brandts Buys biography (2003). Ten Bokum also arranged the performance editions of all scores  in the opera and chamber music concerts. On Sunday afternoon there is a conclusive organ concert in St.-Jan’s Church, with organ player Frank van Wijk.

For the children’s’ choruses in some of the operas we work together with schools in the region such as De Muzehof.  The Zutphen's Male Chorus appears in the conclusion of the opera concert. The chamber music recital will combine masters of music such as the mentioned cellist Jeroen den Herder, with young talent from the region. In terms of organization we work together with local partners such as Operaplatform Gelderland-Overijssel. With the city of Zutphen we are developing a school module for music schools. For the opera concert in Hanzehof no less than 200 seats are reserved for children who followed the Brandts Buys school programme.

SHort programme preview

Friday, September 21,  7 + 8.30 PM, the one act opera Micarême (Dat Bolwerck)

Saturday, September 22, 11 AM, Piano Recital (IJsselsalon, piano: Jan ten Bokum & special guest)

Saturday, September 22, 2 PM, Chamber Music Recital (Dat Bolwerck, cello: Jeroen den Herder)

Saturday, September 22, 20.15 OPERA CONCERT (Hanzehof, Buitensociëteit, with Johannette Zomer & friends)

Sunday, September 23, 11.30 AM, CONCLUSIVE CONCERT Song recital (Kapel op ’t Rijsselt, with Johannette Zomer & friends)

Sunday, September 23, 4 PM, Organ Concert (St.-Janskerk, with Frank van Wijk)

Additional activities: teaching programme for music schools, placement of a commemorative tile on Jan Brandts Buys house of birth, exhibition, city tour & Jan Brandts Buys menu

An exceptional composer

In part through circumstance and certainly unjust the once world famous composer Jan Brandts Buys is currently forgotten – even in his city of birth, Zutphen. With the Jan Brandts Buys Festival 2018 an overview of his integral oeuvre is revived and disclosed. The entire Festival will be recorded and the highlights will be released on cd. The complete Festival recordings on audio and video will be released through our downloads programme. The aim of the Festival is to restore Brandts Buys to the place that he is entitled to in the history of Dutch music.

Brandts Buys'operas, chamber music, songs, piano compositions and organ music testify of a delicate musical soul with an open ear to his audience. He wanted to compose individual music that was at the same time accessible. The revolutionary concepts of his operas were reserved for the libretti and the conceptual experiments he employed in them. The nine Jan Brandts Buys' operas will have a prominent place in both the Jan Brandts Buys Festival and in the anthology of 401DutchOperas in progress that opera journalist, concert organizer and Festival initiator René Seghers has been working on since 2010.

The Festival will permanently disclose a prominent part of Brandts Buys' oeuvre for an international audience (the 401DutchOperas website is bilingual, attracting 50% of its audience from outside the Netherlands, and 30% from outside the Europe). Thus the concert registrations and publications with secure a distinct and glorious part of Zutphen’s, Gelderland's and the Netherlands' musical heritage.