Jan Brandts Buys Festival 2018

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WEDNESDAY 12 September (7 PM)

– CONCERT 5 generations Brandts Buys in 8 composers
(Geelvinck Museum, Zutphen)
TICKETS 21,50 euro

FRIDAY 21 September (7 PM + 8.30 PM) MICARÊME (opera in one act)
(Dat Bolwerck, Zutphen)
19.00 uur TICKETS euro 21,50
20.30 uur TICKETS euro 21,50

SATURDAY 22 September (2 PM) OPERA CONCERT with Johannette Zomer
(Hanzehof Buitensociëteit, Zutphen).
TICKETS euro 24,75

SATURDAY 22 September (7 PM) PIANO RECITAL with all 4 Festial pianist
(Dat Bolwerck, Zutphen)
TICKETS euro 21,50

SAT 22 September (8.30 PM) JEROEN DEN HERDER meets Brandts Buys
(Dat Bolwerck, Zutphen)
TICKETS euro 21,50

PASSE-PARTOUT Piano recital & Chamber Recital Jeroen den Herder
TICKETS euro 30 (coming soon)

SUNDAY 23 September (11.30 AM) SONG RECITAL with Johannette Zomer and Hendrik Vonk
(Chapel op 't Rijsselt, Eefde)
TICKETS euro 24,75

SUNDAY 23 September (8 PM) ORGAN RECITAL with Frank van Wijk & vocal soloists.
(Bader organ in Walburgis Church, Zutphen) TICKETS euro 21,50

TICKETS 115 euro (coming soon)

PASSE-PARTOUT Opera Concert + 3 performances of choice TICKETS 65 (coming soon)

JBBFlyerOnlinefinalThe Zutphen born composer Jan Brandts Buys (1868-1933) was (and remains to date) the most successful Dutch opera composer in history. Since its 1916 premiere his opera Die Schneider von Schönau has been performed over 1000 times throughout Germany, Austria, Hungary, Switserland and the Netherlands. Operas such as Der Mann im Mond and Micarême had international success as well. Stars such as Richard Tauber, Minnie Nast and Lotte Lehmann created his works at the most important German stages. On 12 September 2018 401DutchOperas celebates the 150th anniversary of Brandts Buys's birthday with a Festival in Zutphen that brings a retrospect of the composer's entire output. It features a shimmering line up of Dutch classical music stars, such as the Zutphen born diva Johannette Zomer, who is featured in both the opera recital on Saturday September 22 in Hanzehof as in the Song recital on Sunday September 23. Cello player Jeroen den Herder and the Cello Festival are featured with a guest performance. Organ player Frank van Wijk plays the mighty Bader organ of the recently restaurated Walburgis Church. Apart from solo organ works of Brandts Buys there are also songs for organ performed by our biggest opera voices. There's an exhibition with a recital including songs composed by 5 generations Brandts Buys. There's a recital with his music for piano including all Festival pianists.


Artistic leader of the Festival René Seghers: 'Zutphen and the province Gelderland can be proud of the greatest musician that the city and province ever produced, and along with that the entire Netherlands could actually be a bit more proud of Brandts Buys, whose international fame is unique among Dutch composers. The Festival discloses a veritable survey of Brandts Buys's oeuvre 1891-1932: live in front of the audience and then for the rest of the world by means of the cd-issues that we will publish of the recorded performances. The ten Jan Brandts Buys operas will not only feature prominently in the Festival, but they will ultimately also have a prominent place among the most important works in my 401DutchOperas handbook in progress, which I have been working on since 2010.'

Partners: City of Zutphen, Operaplatform Gelderland-Overijssel, Nederlands Muziek Instituut (NMI), Province Gelderland, Prins Bernhard Foundation Gelderland, Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, Jan ten Bokum
The Jan Brandts Buys Festival 2018 is dedicated to the memory of our house pianist Wolter Willemsen, who died unexpectedly on June 15. Wolter was to have been the key accompanist in our Brandts Buys Festivalprogramme but fate decided otherwise. The three Brandts Buys songs that he recorded for us with tenor Hendrik Vonk for our Brandts Buys Festival promo cd Micarême are Wolters musical legacy.

Festival preview CD & video trailer

Jan Brandts Buys has been a regular guest in the 401Concerts series ever since the very first concert in Hoog-Keppel, which featured the central aria and duet from Micarême, with soprano Jolien De Gendt and tenor Denzil Delaere. As artistic leader of the 401DutchOperas ensemble it had since been my dream to perform and record the complete work with them. Since the Spring of 2018 this dream has been realized by means of a studio recording of Micarême which was released on our first cd, the promo cd for the Brandts Buys Festival Zutphen 2018. Apart from Micarême with my dream cast, augmented by baritone Hans de Vries as Alte Herr and Dutch piano legend René Rakier. At the Brandts Buys Festival Zutphen Rakier plays the first performance, and Pieter Dhoore the second.

MicaremeCD500onlineDhoore can be heard on the preview cd in an excerpt from Die Schneider von Schönau, with De Gendt as soprano and Ann Vancoillie (first violinist of the Ghent Opera House) on the violin. Another trump card in the Festival is our mesmerizing lyric-dramatic soprano Barbara Schilstra, who can be heard on the disc in a solo from Hero und Leander. Heldentenor Hendrik Vonk presents a preview of the Song Recital on Sunday September 23. Jan ten Bokum is presented with highlights from the Brandts Buys piano recital, in which he will appear together with his fellow Festival pianists René Rakier, Wolter Willemsen and Pieter Dhoore. Julia Bronkhorst is on the disc with the two songs that she will sing in the '8 compsoers from 5 generations Brandts Buys' programme st teh opening o the exhibition in Geelvinck Muziek Museum on September 12. This concert will also feature baritone Hans de Vries and vocal talents from the region.



7 PM + 8.30 PM  OPERA MICARÊME in DAT BOLWERCK (with Denzil Delaere (ten), Jolien De Gendt (sop), Hans de Vries (bt), René Rakier/Pieter Dhoore (piano), Girls Choir Muzenhof)

BannerMicaThe Jan Brandts Buys Festival 2018 opens on Friday 21 september and lasts until Sunday 23 September. The festival opens on Friday 21 September with a performance of the short opera Micarême in Dat Bolwerck (with o.a. tenor of the Flemish Oper House Denzil Delaere, soprano Jolien De Gendt, baritone Hans de Vries, pianists René Rakier and Pieter Dhoore and a girls choir assembled by the Muzenhof.
19.00 uur TICKETS euro 21,50
20.30 uur TICKETS euro 21,50


14.00 OPERA CONCERTin HANZEHOF, buitensociëteit (SPECIAL GUEST: Johannette Zomer. With Jolien De Gendt, Barbara Schilstra (s), Eske Tibben (ms), Denzil Delaere, Hendrik Vonk (t), Hans de Vries (bt), Nemanja Milisevic (bs), Royal Zutphen's Male Choir, Girls Choir of the Muzenhof), instrumental quartet. TICKETS euro 24,75

BannerOperaReinildOnlineSaturday 22 september (14.00 uur) brings our main matinee concert, the opera concert in Hanzehof (Buitensociëteit). Honorary guest and star of the matinee is the internationally acclaimed Zutphen born soprano Johannette Zomer. A string of soloists (sopranos Jolien De Gendt and Barbara Schilstra, mezzo-soprano Eske Tibben, tenors Denzil Deaere and Hendrik Vonk, baritone Hans de Vries, bass Nemaja Milisevic), the Royal Zutphen's Male Choir and the 401GirlsChoir under Ivette van Laar perform highlights from all ten of Jan Brandts Buys's operas (arranged for chamber setting by the Zutphen born musicologist and Jan Brandts Buys biographer Jan ten Bokum). On the programme three world premieres, o.a. from the composer's last two operas, which did not make it to the stage due to his passing in 1933, which coincided with the rise of the Nazis and difficult political times). Unique is also the world premiere of the so called 'Spanish fragment', Brandts Buys's first operatic experiment, dating back to 1898. From there on, the concert takes us on an adventurous journey from Das Veilchenfest (1905) through Glockenspiel (1912), Die Schneider von Schönau (1915), Der Eroberer (1917), Der Mann im Mond (1918), Micarême (1919), Traumland (1925) and then from Hero und Leander (1929) to Brandt Buys's final opera, Ulysses (1932). Bar three isolated performances of Die Schneider von Schönau and our own performances of Micarême, not a single note of any of these works has been heard since World War II.

7 PM PIANO RECITAL in DAT BOLWERCK (piano: Jan ten Bokum, Pieter Dhoore, René Rakier, Wolter Willemsen)
TICKETS euro 21,50

BAnnerPianoOn Saturday evening 22 September (7 PM) festival pianists Jan ten Bokum, Pieter Dhoore, René Rakier and Wolter Willemsen bring a rich bouquet of Brandts Buys's piano music, from the early 'Impromptu' (composed in Zutphen 1888) up to the  'Walz in Bes on the letters ABB [Alma Brandts Buys]’ from 1921. Sine our four pianists are all strong personalities with distinct views on how this music should be played, they will no doubt inspire and fuel each other during the concert.

8.30 PM CHAMBER MUSIC RECITAL with Jeroen den Herder (Dat Bolwerck, cello: Jeroen den Herder) TICKETS euro 21,50

BanneKamerAfter a short pauze on Saturday evening 8.30 PM the piano recital will be followed by a chamber music concert, which is a guest performance of the famous cellist Jeroen den Herder and his ensemble. Apart from original compositions they will also play a number of special arrangements of the best Brandts Buys music, arraned by Jan ten Bokum. Apart from providing arrangements and being Brandts Buys's biographer, Ten Bokum is alo the person with whom I conceived the idea of the festival in 2015. Although... technically spoken the idea to present Brandts Buys in a Festival rather than in an opera concert was Johannette Zomer's, who thought the composer deserved more than 'just' an opera concert!


11.30 AM SONG RECITAL in CHAPEL OP 't RIJSSELT (with Johannette Zomer (sop), Hendrik Vonk (tenor), Wolter Willemsen (piano), Meander Quartet, Barbara Merlijn (flute) TICKETS euro 24,75

LiedOnlineReinildOn Sunday 23 September the central Song Recital will take place in Chapel op ’t Rijsselt with Johannette Zomer, heldentenor Hendrik Vonk (wo performed leding roles at La Scala, in Leipzig and Tokyo), the Meander Quartet, flute player Barbara Merlijn and pianist Wolter Willemsen. A survey of the fascinating song repertoire of Brandt Buys is presented. Costs nor efforts have been spared to be able to include also the songs for string quarted and those for piano and flute. For the strings the wel known Meander Quartet has been engaged, and the flute will be played by Barbara Merlijn. The mesmerizing song 'L´aube naît' for tenor has piano, cello and violin accompanyment. Apart from Johannette Zomer en Hendrik Vonk's appeareance there will be a surprise guest performance...

8 PM ORGAN RECITAL in WALBURGISKERK (met Frank van Wijk (op het grote Bader orgel !!), Barbara Schilstra (sop), Hendrik Vonk (ten), Hans de Vries (bt)) TICKETS euro 21,50

BannerOrgelOn Sunday evening 23 September (8 PM) the hauntingly beautiful WALBURGIS CHURCH is the location of out concluding organ recital, in which Frank van Wijk will play the monumental Bader organ. Van Wijk plays organ compositions by Jan and Marius Brandts Buys senior. The latter was organ player of the Walburgis Church during the late 19th Century and thus the Festival really comes home to Zutphen in this recital. In order to make the occasion extra festive, we have included three songs fror organ and voice by both Jan and Ludwig Felix Brandts Buys. These are performed by our lyric-dramatic diva Barbara Schilstra, our heldentenor Hendrik Vonk and dark hued baritone Hans de Vries. Just take a look at the organ on the photograps, imagine Frank van Wijk seated at 15 meters hight in the center of the Bader organ, and then imagine our vocal superstars on the organ gallery on both sides of him, singing those gorgeous melodies on the wings of that majestic instrument... There can be no doubt that the organ concerto is the apotheosis of the Jan Brandts Buys Festival Zutphen 2018.



19.00 uur Opening Exhibition Nederlands Muziek Instituut presents Brandts Buys in Geelvinck Muziek Museum
19.00 uur Concert 5 generations Brandts Buys
(Geelvinck Muziek Museum)
Songs by Cornelis Alijander Brandts Buys (1812-1890), Marius Brandts Buys sr. (1840-1911), Ludwig Felix Brandts Buys (1847-1917), Henri François Brandts Buys (1850-1905), Jan Brandts Buys (1868-1933), Marius Brandts Buys jr. (1874-1944), Hans Brandts Buys (1905-1959) en Bea Brandts Buys (1934).
TICKETLINK 21,50 euro

Julia Bronkhorst (soprano, reciter), Sarah Koning, Esmée van Nieuwenhuijzen (mezzosopranos), Hugo Kampschreur (tenor), Hans de Vries (baritone), Reinild Mees en Wolter Willemsen (piano), Judith Heeren (violin)


On his birthay 12 September, we commemorate the 150th birthday of Jan Brandts Buys with the opening of an exhibition in the Geelvinck Muziek Museum. The exhibition features original prints, handwritten manuscripts, documetnation and photographs of Brandts Buys, his ancestors, cousins and their offspring including Hans and Marius Brandts Buys (both of Jan's marriages remained without children). A substantial part of the manuscripts come from the archives of our regular partner, the Nederlands Muziek Instituut.  In additon there are documents and memorabilia from the family, Jan ten Bokum and City of Zutphen's archeologist Michel Groothedde. The exhibition opens with a concert that features songs of 8 composers within 5 generations of Brandts Buys relatives. Among the music are world premieres from a reconstructed song by Cornelis Alijander Brandts Buys, whose first two unfinished songs on texts by Goethe and Heine have been merged into one complete song by Ten Bokum. This splendid song is premiered by baritone Hans de Vries (who recently triumphed in our concert revolving around Dutch Court composer's in the 18th Century Den Haag). De Vries further interprets songs by Marius Brandts Buys junior, Hans Brandts Buys and Ludwig Félix Brandts Buys. Soprano Julia Bronkhorst sings a song each from Jan and Ludwig Félix Brandts Buys, along with the spoken melodrama 'Het Beestengevecht te Brühl' by Marius Brandts Buys senior. Young regional talent will further perform six songs by o.a. Henri Brandts Buys. A highlight of the conert is the performance of Bea Brandts Buys's 1974 chanson  het 'Dromenkoffer'. Bea is the only living composer among the Brandts Buys family today.

A unique composer given back to the world

Brandts Buys’ operas, his chamber music, songs, piano compositions and organ pieces bear witness of a refined musical sensibility. He combined accessible music with revolutionary stage concepts. All ten Jan Brandts Buys operas will not only feature prominently in the Festival, but they will ultimately also find a place among the most important works in the 401DutchOperas handbook in progress, which music philosopher and initiator of the Festival René Seghers has been working on since 2010. Through the combination of book + recordings + website a significant part of  Brandts Buys' oeuvre is now being disclosed to an international audience (the 401DutchOperas website is bilingual, withincidental translation also in French and German; 55% of its vistors are from outside the Netherlands, 34% from outside Europe). The concerts thus secure an important chapter in the the musical history of Zutphen, the province Gelderand and the Netherlands as such.

Seghers: 'Chance made Brandts Buys pass away in 1933, at a moment in time that coincided with the rise of Nazi Germany, which particularly affected his works. After the war he was no longer there himself to advance his once so pupular works and he ultimately fell into complete oblivion, even in the Netherlands and his city of birth, Zutphen. This is most certainly not justified, sine Jan Brandts Buys produced a number of veritable masterpieces such as Die Schneider von Schönau, Micarême and Der Mann im Mond. In fact, even those that weren't so popular at the time, later operas such as Der Eroberer, Hero und Leander and Ulysses, have stunning music when heard today. With this Festival a large survey of the composer's output is revived for the first time since his passing. The Festival will be professionally filmed and recorded. The highlights will be presented on several cd issues devoted to the different concerts. The complete programme will be made available on our download website. Our aim is not to just perform his music before the live audiences that visit the Festival, but to restore Brandts Buys to his rightfully place in the pantheon of Dutch music, which is among the very finest from Sweelinck through Van Wassenaer and from there to Van der Does, Van Bree, Dopper, Ruyneman, Van Gilse, Pijper, Vermeulen and, why not, Ten Holt.'