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The Bunschoten Fund supports unique initiative aimed at youth: the Amsterdam Young Philharmonic

Imagine: an orchestra whose young members decide for themselves what they want to perform and how the concerts are organized. In a nutshell that is AYPhil (pronounced as ‘I feel’). This new project for high school students is an initiative of the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. The Bunschoten Fund was immediately charmed by the unique assumptions of the AYPhil and supported the first concert with a € 5,000 contribution.

AYPhil is an Amsterdam symphony orchestra for youth between the ages of 12 and 18 and performs three to four concerts during each season. They are professionally coached by the musicians of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. The Bunschoten Fund was immediately impressed by AYPhil's goal to primarily give concerts meant for the peer group of the orchestra’s members — in other words, a new and especially young audience. This perfectly suits the principles of the Fund.

The AYPhil, in full the Amsterdam Young Philharmonic, operates as follows: once a year a program is executed for which students can enlist. If you are hired, you are automatically invited to play the next time as well. Director is Jacob Slagter, former solo horn player in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and lecturer in conducting at the Sweelinck Conservatorium.

The AYPhil’s baptism of fire was Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 "From the New World". A unique happening, because Amsterdam did not have a top-level orchestra that played the major symphonic repertoire. The new Amsterdam youth orchestra is housed in the NedPhO-Koepel in Amsterdam-East. Corine Haitjema, one of the founders: ‘If you’ve had private lessons for a couple of years, performing in an orchestra with people your own age is the crown on the many hours of study. Suddenly making music becomes social. Plus it is a great opportunity to learn symphonic repertoire “from within”.’


The Oranjewoud Festival takes a leading role in renewing classical music

The verdant parkland Oranjewoud hosts the Oranjewoud Festival, which connects people with classical music through an exciting program. The Bunschoten Fund supports the festival with a contribution of € 20,000, of which € 5,000 in cash and € 15,000 in the form of a coaching program that enhances the fundraising efforts.

There’s a broad audience that feels at home at the Oranjewoud Festival: from aficionados of classical music and culture, to hipsters or families with children. The Festival succeeds in bridging high quality with low thresholds. The result is a boost for the Heerenveen municipality. Of special interest to The Bunschoten Fund is the fact that the Festival invests in educational and participatory programs. A stable, successful society can only function, according to the Oranjewoud Festival’s organizers, if there are sustainable connections between all people. The Festival can play a constructive part in that: values such as openness, connectedness and diversity are a natural part of the arts, which society need as well.

Several names stand out in the 2017 program: Noa Wildschut and Lucie Horsch (winner of the Bunschoten Younger Talent Award 2015) with the Opening Concert, private concerts for hotel guests inside their rooms, exhibitions and performances of sound artist Hans van Koolwijk, the Candle Light Concert, Teepees classic (a stroll from tent to tent for three different concerts), Waltzing in the Woods with festive dance music by Johann Strauss, tangos and foxtrots by the LUDWIG ensemble, Minimal Landscapes with music by Steve Reich and Fuse Studio Live, performed by one of the most exhilarating classical bands.

Relaxed ambiance during Wonderfeel eases the access to classical music

One of The Bunschoten Fund’s goals is ‘to protect the unique, fragile classical music culture’. This also means connecting with the changing appetites of the audience as far as leisure activities are concerned. A good example of this contemporary way of conveying classical music is Wonderfeel in ’s-Graveland. The Bunschoten Fund supports the modest festival with a Quick Scan worth € 5,080 and a contribution of € 5,000 for acquiring the Dutch charitable foundation status.

The six roofed in stages of Wonderfeel are located on the twenty-five acres of nature reserve Schaep en Burgh in ’s-Graveland. You can visit each and every one of them during a mini walk. They offer every visitor something of his or her liking: from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Steve Reich, from Antonio Vivaldi to Arvo Pärt, fanning out to jazz, world music and pop. Visitors can make themselves comfortable on benches, on beanbags under the trees or on a blanket in the grass and enjoy world-class musicians, from rising stars to seasoned talent. The program is supplemented with movies, stories and crafts for children. Wonderfeel works closely together with Natuurmonumenten to realize all of this.

Here are a few examples to give you a foretaste of the Wonderfeel 2017 program, which encompasses more than a hundred concerts, music documentaries, lectures, children’s activities and rolling kitchens: • Neo-fanfare 9×13 brings Trance on a mobile, a Mad-Max-inspired chariot full of tribal elements, traditional percussion and junk percussion. Trance is badass, smooth and dark, full of absurdism. • Mezzo Adèle Charvet and pianist Florian Caroubi, winners of no less than five awards during the 50th International Vocalists Concours, bring their sensory program with the theme Duft, the miracle of odor. • The Amstel Quartet & Pascal Meyer bring the Orphanage of the Hits. • The ASKO|Schönberg Kwartet brings The Sonic Great Wall of Huang Ruo. • The string men of BartelomeyBittman perform their magic on simply acoustic instruments, bringing forth a sound that turns the classical palette of sound completely on its head. On cello, violin and mandola it is neither jazz nor metal, neither rock and roll nor minimal music and not classical music either— so what is it then?


Tradition and renewal united in Operadagen Rotterdam (‘Opera Days Rotterdam’)

Conserve all that is good about classical music for the future. That requires a subtle balance between tradition and renewal; something Operadagen Rotterdam succeeds in — par excellence. This was proven once again during the twelfth edition in 2017. Operadagen Rotterdam is diverse and accessible; these are the main reasons why the international branch society Classical:NEXT put the cultural institution on the Innovation Award shortlist — the only Dutch candidate. The Bunschoten Fund has given a Quick Scan, worth € 5,080, to help Operadagen Rotterdam acquire new insights for fundraising in the future, plus a coaching program worth € 17,500.

Operadagen Rotterdam is the premier festival for contemporary opera and music theater. The twelfth edition in 2017 brought more than a hundred performances in all corners of the city: on the main cultural stages, but also on squares, on top of stores, in the harbor and even in a fitness center. Visitors make a journey along new and adventurous forms of opera and music theater.

Operadagen Rotterdam presents international eye catchers, new interpretations of classics and brand new compositions. From old traditions like the Paradijskerkconcert to brand new ones like GALA! Also new in 2017 were multimedia projects and installations and a youth and family program. 2017 was also the year when a new, four-year festival theme took off: Lost & Found. The first part focuses on Departures: the moment of leaving. The festival theme connects to the here and now in which our society is moving constantly.

Operadagen Rotterdam is known for its new and adventurous shows and special locations. For example, on the Nolet terrain in Schiedam AquaSonic was programmed: the first underwater opera ever. The musicians and the singer performed while being immersed entirely in large aquaria, while the audience enjoyed the sounds of this Danish collective on the dry waterside.

Just as remarkable is the performance Parsifal, Richard Wagner’s opera, completely ‘refurbished’ to match the ‘Rotterdam celebrates the city’ theme. Parsifal combines tap dancing knight choirs, philosophy, pop music, transition experts and carton children’s musicals.

The Bunschoten Fund supports La Mascotte’s professional approach to music theater in the region

Music theater requires a serious effort: it’s not easy to put on a complete, successful show. That makes the achievements of La Mascott worthy of praise. The Bunschoten Fund has stimulated this music theater society with a contribution of € 1,000 in the form of a participation in Wijzer Werven (an initiative by, among others, the Dutch government to improve fundraising through courses and coaching).

Music theater society La Mascotte is based in the town of Emmeloord. The society counts around sixty members and rehearses on a weekly basis in the Cultuurbedrijf Noordoostpolder, previously the Muzisch Centrum. As a regular guest of the theater ’t Voorhuys in Emmeloord, La Mascotte brings a production in three shows every year, maintaining a semi-professional level. La Mascotte is seen as part of the top ten of amateur music societies in the Netherlands, with a close affinity to light opera — opera comique / operetta. Sometimes a Dutch translation is sung, sometimes the original language (Italian, French, German). The productions are always in a enscened setting, with professional guest soloists and a professional orchestra. This conscious choice of repertoire and realization makes La Mascotte attractive for aficionados of the genre in the wider region of Emmeloord.

In 2016, The Pearl Fishers, Georges Bizet’s opera, was played.

Innovation in classical music suits KAM

Typical for KAM are the innovative programs and the exceptional contact with the audience. Musicians take chamber music aficionados on an adventure. To support this progressive way of working, The Bunschoten Fund has made a Quick Scan available, worth € 5,080.

KAM can rightly be considered as one of the most adventurous concert series in Amsterdam. For both the experts and those who want to acquaint themselves with a solid repertoire, but within new frames and without downgrading from the top level. KAM musicians take the listener to a world of new ideas and collaborations with musicians, dancers, writers and filmmakers.

Another notable feature of KAM concerts is the brainstorming and rehearsing by the musicians, and the final performance of the program in the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, TivoliVredenburg and other venues. The integral process from brainstorm to performance is accessible for the public, for example through (documentary) films, public rehearsals, webcasts of classic broadcasters and other online media.

The performance continues beyond the concert stage, especially through a dialogue with the business and management world. Coupled with every concert in the series is a separate concert at the Nyenrode Business University, followed by a lunch of the musicians with a selected group of Nyenrode students. This way KAM concerts creates a bond between two worlds that have a lot to say to one another.

In 2016, when The Bunschoten Fund supported KAM, the program presented several special concerts. Such as the enchanting and poetic concert about the night, Nocturne, in Kasteel Nyenrode, with the Ragazze Kwartet and Dichter des Vaderlands (Dutch national poet) Anne Vegter. Anne Vegter told stories about dreams, about insomnia and about a nightly relationship. With his light design, Maarten Warmerdam created a pitch-black night. The music was written by György Ligeti, Terry Riley and Arnold Schönberg.

The Bunschoten Fund supports new, worldwide String Quartet Biennale

For the worldwide premiere of the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, The Bunschoten Fund jumped in. With a contribution of € 15,000 the fundraising could be completed and the first Biennale ever (2018) was given the go-ahead.

Worldwide, the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam is the first festival that celebrates one of the most special genres in classical music so deeply and on such a large scale: the string quartet — the poetry among chamber music. For a whole week in 2018, Amsterdam will be the place to be for string quartets and composers, from the world top to young talent, as well as for aficionados and curious listeners. The program makes for an impressive read already.

Among the performers in 2018 are winners of awards like the Melbourne International String Quartet Competition (Noga Quartet), the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition (Quatuor Akilone), the Banff International String Quartet Competition (Rolston String Quartet) and the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition. Among the expected soloists, speakers and special guests are Gary Hoffman, cello, Jörg Widmann, clarinet, Diamanda Dramm, violin, Katharine Dain, soprano, Sarah Maria Sun, soprano, Marine Fribourg, mezzo soprano, Alex Ross, Prof. Barry Cooper, Leo Samama and Louis Andriessen.

The first Biennale 2018 is expected to bring world premieres of Jörg Widmann, Manuela Kerer, Silvia Colasanti, Lucio Amanti, José Maria Sánchez-Verdú, Bart Visman, Klaas de Vries and Albert Schnelzer.

Coaching and financial support for Tromp Percussion Eindhoven
One of two organizations The Bunschoten Fund chose in 2014 was Tromp Percussion Eindhoven. The Bunschoten Fund aids Tromp with establishing financial continuity in the form of a coaching program, supplemented with a financial contribution.

Every two years, Tromp Percussion Eindhoven brings the world’s best percussionists together during the international percussion competition Tromp International Percussion Competition Eindhoven. A week long competition, surrounded by unique concerts and productions, versatile education projects and a composition competition. Since its founding in 1971, Tromp has organized twenty competitions and has welcomed many prime talents. The list of prize winners says everything about the position the organization upholds in the music world: among others Emmy Verhey (1971), pianist Bart van de Roer (1996), percussionist Claire Edwardes (2000) and the Dutch percussionist Dominique Vleeshouwers. All winners have since evolved into excellent musicians with an international career.

The fact that there is also a prominent place for young talent during the Tromp International Percussion Competition Eindhoven has attracted the interest of The Bunschoten Fund. The Fund aims at conserving classical music for the future. The part of new generations in that future can hardly be overstated. Tromp Percussion Eindhoven was named after Theo Tromp (1903-1984), former chairman of the board of Philips and in that capacity a prominent business figure in the city of Eindhoven and a strong supporter of culture. Through his legacy and the generous support of the city of Eindhoven, the competition has grown since the early 1970s into an event with international allure. Members of the jury through the years have included Evelyn Glennie, Colin Currie, Peter Sadlo, Nancy Zeltsman, Emmanuel Séjourné, Bill Cahn, James Wood, Anders Loguin, Andre Pushkarev, Trilok Gurtu and Terry Bozzio.

For the 23rd Tromp International Percussion Competition Eindhoven, in November 2016, international jury members will once again participate, side by side with prime percussionists like Colin Currie, Evelyn Glennie and Mark Pekarsky.

Pianoduo Festival establishes ANBI proof foundation with support from The Bunschoten Fund
With a contribution of € 5000 from The Bunschoten Fund, the Pianoduo Festival can establish a fully ANBI-proof foundation. ANBI is the Dutch designation for a Public Benefit Organization, as used by the Dutch Tax Administration. Submitting to the ANBI rules is a requirement for a careful approach to fundraising, but for smaller organization it can be a difficult legal and administrative task. With the contribution from The Bunschoten Fund the Pianoduo Festival can call for fiscal and legal help in making this necessary step as soon as possible.

The Pianoduo Festival is organizing its third edition in October 2015 in the Amstel Church in Amsterdam. Lestari Scholtes and Gwylim Janssens are the artistic leaders of what the Pianoduo Festival calls ‘the get together of the world of twenty fingers on one and two pianos’. This will take place in the form of classical music and jazz, with special attention to children and workshops, and the participation of leading musicians like Arthur and Lucas Jussen, the Israeli Silver-Garburg Pianoduo, jazz pianists Mike del Ferro and Mike Boddé, and of course the piano duo Scholtes & Janssens themselves and many more.

Another part of the festival is the Open DuoPodium, where all (amateur) duos, young and old, beginners or advanced, can participate. Four piano duos also get the unique opportunity to follow a public masterclass with Piano duo Scholtes & Janssens.

The Bunschoten Fund contributes to the ‘Kindergarten Sinfonietta’ of the Concertgebouw
Many children grow up without classical music. The Concertgebouw established the KleuterSinfonietta (‘Kindergarten Synfonietta’) to create an opportunity to make children acquainted with classical music through their schools. Initiatives like these are in line with the wish of Willem Bunschoten, founder of The Bunschoten Fund, to secure the future of classical music by stimulating new generations. In 2014 the Fund contributed € 10,000 to the KleuterSinfonietta.

Apart from making and keeping classical music alive with the youngest generation, schools have another reason to stand in line for the KleuterSinfonietta: singing with children gives pleasure and helps to create a good atmosphere in the classroom. The accompanying teaching materials allow teachers to give music lessons and build further on what the children learn. Children also experience through music how you can work towards an end goal and take on a challenge.

The KleuterSinfonietta consists of a teaching pack for preparations and finally a visit to the Concertgebouw. In the lessons, the toddlers learn the songs they can sing along with during the show and they learn the movements that go with it. One of the musicians, Servaas, tells the exciting tale of the fisherman who visits the moon and the stars. Part of the lessons are some attractive audio excerpts from the show’s music, but also music about the stars. The KleuterSinfonietta is a project for groups 1 and 2 of primary school.

Together with musicians from Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the Royal Concertgebouw, director Dagmar Slagmolen developed the show. The curriculum was compiled by Margriet Prins, Marloes van Ede, Anne van Groenekan and Claudia Lotti.

During the show ‘Who turns on the stars at night?’ the children make their acquaintance with the six musicians of Amsterdam Sinfonietta, their instruments and their music, all in a playful way. The show is a musical story about the magical power of the night. Why is it that everything sounds different at night? Who sees to the moon and the stars rising at the right time, and going under again? And where are the stars when we don’t see them? The children are challenged to look, discover, participate, move and, above all, to listen.

Support for Holland Baroque Society
‘It is no longer natural for children to experience classical music,’ the website of Holland Baroque Society says. ‘Therefore musicians consider it a mission to share their enthusiasm and their fascination for music with young people.’ The Bunschoten Fund, especially attracted to this focus on the generations who will have to keep classical music alive in the future, has supported Holland Baroque Society with € 5000 for building a new, better website. That is no luxury, because a well-functioning, modern website plays a crucial part in attracting an audience, participants and sponsors.

With about 60 concerts a year, the Holland Baroque Society has filled the podium in the last couple of years with different musical programs in which musical genres meet, in collaboration with leading soloists like Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Hidemi Suzuki, Emma Kirkby and Riccardo Minasi. But the Holland Baroque Society also engaged in an adventure with the complete Quatuor Mosaïques, the Nederlands Kamerkoor, componist Nico Muhly, jazz trumpeter Eric Vloeimans, Calefax and actor Porgy Franssen. Currently they are looking forward to collaborating with Orkater, Oorkaan, Vox Luminis and many others.

With baroque music as the anchor for all programs, Holland Baroque Society strikes a balance between tradition and regeneration. The tight group of musicians continues to look for the actuality of the musical experience and thus enthusiastically contributes to the development of classical music for today’s audiences.

Since its founding, education has been an important spearhead for the Holland Baroque Society. With pleasure and drive the organization has now realized countless Kids Only concerts and educational projects. In recent years more than 10,000 children have made their acquaintance with classical music. The goal is to give children a listening experience on a top level. This evokes disarming responses from children: ‘It was as if the violinist was the music himself...!’ and ‘I hadn’t expected thát sound to be from an orchestra...’

Support for the International Choral Biennale Haarlem
With a very own outlook on choral song, the Internationale Koorbiënnale Haarlem (International Choral Biennale Haarlem) attracted the attention of The Bunschoten Fund. This organization places singing right in the middle of society, from top choirs coming from the Netherlands and abroad, to amateur ensembles who perform during the open and free ‘Hofjesconcerten’. The Bunschoten Fund has supported the Choral Biennale 2015 with € 7500.

We sing together to celebrate our lives, to commemorate our dead, to seduce one another or to tell stories. All of this, and more, will be on the program during the 8th edition of the Choral Biennale. From June 26 to July 5, 2015 the heart of Haarlem will host concerts given by leading vocal ensembles from the Netherlands and abroad. The Grote of St. Bavokerk (the Great or St. Bavo Church), the Waalse Kerk (the Walloon Church), the Philharmonie and several (outdoor) locations are the podium for The Sixteen, het Nederlands Kamerkoor (the Dutch Chamber Choir), Cappella Amsterdam, Ensemble Amarcord, Wishful Singing, Música Temprana, The Scottish Choir of St. Salvator’s Chapel, Cunfraterna di a Serra from Corsica, Lo Cór de la Plana from France and the Rundfunkchor Berlin.

On Sunday June 28 some forty amateur ensembles will sing at the popular and freely accessible ‘Hofjesconcerten’. Under the banner ‘Singing of today’ the Biennale brings old and brand new music for vocal ensembles back to the place where it really belongs: in the heart of our lives and our society. The best locations are the scenery for musical happenings of the highest level, while the boundaries between performers and public fade or even disappear.

Some highpoints:

• The Missa Salisburgensis (1682) by Von Biber opens the festival. 120 performers bring to life this spectacular Mass from the High Baroque in the Grote or St. Bavokerk in Haarlem.
• In This is your Life important moments in life are addressed. Stories from ‘ordinary’ concert visitors, told to presenter Lex Bohlmeijer, are the starting points of applicable choral music sung by Cappella Amsterdam.
• In the Misa Criolla by Música Temprana and the multimedia Night for the Unknown Soldier by the Choir of St. Salvator’s Chapel, St Andrews the victims of war are commemorated with forceful music of life.
• In Ballroom Dreams the men of the Amarcord ensemble and the women of Wishful Singing seduce each other singing to old and new jazz music.
• A hearty menu of eating, drinking and singing together is served by La Cunfraterna di a Serra from Corsica, followed by a concert of rough harbor songs from Marseille by Lo Cór de la Plana.
• As always there is the festivity of the free accessible ‘Hofjesconcerten’ on Sunday June 28.
• A Choral Night, when the audience is divided into groups which will bike through nocturnal Haarlem to listen to small focal ensembles on several secret locations.

For the second time the Choral Biennale will spread its wings to Amsterdam for a collaboration with the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ. This edition will close at that location with one of the greatest, recent successes of the Berlin concert and theater season: Human Requiem. The Rundfunkchor Berlin will give a performance of Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem in the version for piano with four hands and a semi-scenic direction by Jochen Sandig and Sascha Waltz.

The Bunschoten Fund supports the Delft Chamber Music Festival
The first choice by the Board of The Bunschoten Fund in 2013 was the Delft Chamber Music Festival. The organization has received support for working on the financial continuity in the future in the form of a coaching program that will be executed in 2014.

Since its establishment in 1997 the Delft Chamber Music Festival has grown into a world class chamber music festival. In The Netherlands the Festival takes a special place: the audience comes from all over the country and even from abroad. Every year in the summer top classical musicians from all corners of the world come to Delft for ten days. There they perform in special and unique programs. In 2014 works from Arvo Pärt, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, Erich Korngold, Francis Poulenc, Gabriel Fauré, Béla Bartók and Johann Sebastian Bach were performed.

Besides the coaching program The Bunschoten Fund also sponsored the Jong Talent Dag (Young Talent Day) on July 30, 2014, a special day in the program of the Delft Chamber Music Festival, with its motto Seen and Be Seen. Upcoming talent — from fresh to almost arrived — gave three short concerts in Het Prinsenhof:
• Mayte Levenbach and Léon Blekh, winners lordens Viooldagen 2014
• Rosalía Gómez Lasheras, winner YPF Pianoconcours
• Ragazze Kwartet, winner Kersjes Prijs 2013
Also on the program was Vis-à-vis, a unique experiment that answers the question as to whether music exists without people listening? In the former army museum Armamentarium the public became part of a special one-off musical installation.


The Bunschoten Fund enables the concert series ‘Terra Incognita’
The concert series ‘Terra Incognita’, part of the Grachtenfestival (Amsterdam Canals Festival) has in part been made possible by The Bunschoten Fund. It premiered on August 19.

Monday August 19: Rosanne van Sandwijk (mezzosoprano) and members of the Netherlands Bach Society
Tuesday August 20: Nicolas van Poucke and Igor Roma (pianist)
Wednesday August 21: Thomas Beijer (pianist) and Erik Vaarzon Morel (guitarist)
Thursday August 22: Mikhail Zemtsov (violist), Quirine Viersen (cellist) and Dudok Kwartet (string quartet)

(Foto: Ronald Knapp)