The Sound of Violin
For several years, The Sound of … has been the theme of a fantastic festival day with classical and contemporary music performed by well-known as well as unknown artists. Each time, we link our theme to that of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, which will once again focus on violin in May 2024.
Trembling strings and compelling dances
Veronique De Raedemaeker and Mathilde Wauters
Violinist Veronique De Raedemaeker and harpist Mathilde Wauters are two local talents. Over the past few years, they have had a very busy schedule, winning various prizes and attending master classes given by the very best musicians. So they have gained enough experience to perform on stage themselves. They will interpret several lesser-known compositions: Baroque pastiches by Alfred Schnittke and Romantic duets by forgotten composers. Besides these more or less obscure gems, Béla Bartók and Manuel de Falla serve as the strong pillars. Their interest in traditional music clearly appears from Romanian Folk Dances and Suite Populaire Espagnole.
Nordic Noir - music by Pärt, Grieg and Sibelius
Jolente De Maeyer and Nikolaas Kende
Violinist Jolente De Maeyer and pianist Nikolaas Kende bring a musical journey through the Far North, characterized by its nature and folklore, but also by its silence and spirituality. They effortlessly combine a contemporary composer like Pärt with romantics like Grieg and Sibelius.
Praised by critics for their ‘musical symbiosis’, ‘penetrating lyricism’ and ‘powerful but poetic playing’, the duo is considered one of the leading Belgian chamber music ensembles. With this atmospheric programme, they will celebrate their twentieth anniversary as a duo.
After Jolente was awarded a Diapason Editor’s Choice and the Young Soloist of the Year award from VRT-Klara, Warner Classics released the duo’s debut CD, Kreutzer Sonata, in 2016. This CD won a Golden Label for best chamber music CD of the year by Klassiek Centraal. De Standaard wrote: “You will want to listen to this endearing recital album again immediately after the last track.”
In 2020, their follow-up album Remains was released by Evil Penguin Record Classics.
North Sea String Quartet (NSSQ)
The quartet – founded in the Netherlands, but with an international lineup – consists of violinists Pablo Rodríguez and George Dumitriu, violist Yanna Pelser and cellist Thomas van Geelen.
In addition to their classical background, they share a great interest in folk music from Europe, South America and Africa, as well as jazz. Using all kinds of innovative playing techniques, the four musicians manage to translate these worlds into the string quartet. They played on several stages and festivals in and outside Europe, such as Het Concertgebouw, Bimhuis, De Doelen, Podium Witteman (TV) and Wonderfeel Festival.
In addition to playing their own work, the NSSQ also likes to join forces with other artists. For example, they made a Brazilian program with singer Lílian Vieira and recorded the EP Songs for Flying (2019) with the virtuoso singer/violist Roland Satterwhite, inspired by the Delta blues. They recorded the album Electric Amazigh (2021) with guitarist Javier Infante, who draws on North African, Sephardic and Canarian folk music. Their latest collaboration is with the Mali-based Trio da Kali, which previously recorded their album Ladilikan with the Kronos Quartet. The Malian trio praised the collaboration extensively, precisely because the NSSQ really knows how to play a groove, regardless of any fixation on a score.
Laura Masotto is a classically trained Italian violinist who is constantly on a journey of discovery. She began studying the violin at the age of 5 and began her career at the age of 15, giving concerts in chamber and symphony orchestras throughout Europe.
In 2019, she released her first solo album Fireflies. Her latest LP WE combines strings with electronics and was released mid 2021 on 7K! Records. In anticipation of her new album, she now launches the song Dark Horse.
In the autumn of 2023, she toured alongside pianist Hania Rani and she also collaborated on the last album of Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen, well known to us from her two fantastic tours in Leuven.
Aidan O’Rourke and Brìghde Chaimbeul
Acclaimed folk musician Brìghde Chaimbeul gives Scottish folk a surprisingly contemporary feel. Inspired by living legend Rona Lightfoot, she started playing the bagpipes at the age of 7, developing a style rooted in Gaelic language and culture.
Her critically acclaimed debut album The Reeling was produced by Aidan O’Rourke and brought the pair together for the first time. O’Rourke is a renowned violinist, composer and producer from Edinburgh. His roots are in Scottish and Irish music, but he tends to wander around the edges of those traditions.
In close collaboration with O’Rourke, Chaimbeul develops an innovative bagpipe playing: penetrating, repetitive, trance-inducing and enchanting. Together, they expertly push the boundaries of their instruments and their music.
It is also a happy reunion with the talented Brìghde Chaimbeul. In December 2022, she already gave a solo concert in our 30CC/Predikherenkerk in a double bill with South Korean musician Park Jiha.