For us classical music-lovers, February sees a terrific line-up of chamber and orchestral concerts. It’s a good thing too: since the weather seems only to be getting colder as we strive optimistically towards Spring, it’s a great pleasure to know we can duck out of the wind into a beautiful seventeenth-century church or even one of the great concert halls of Europe and console ourselves with an enlivening shot of pure music. The orchestral and instrumental greats of the nineteenth century are the backbone of this month’s selection, but there’s something to please the early music aficionados too, and some new music and multimedia performance to boot. Here are my ten top picks for February, and this month, every single concert in this list is completely free.
12:30-13:00 Tueday 4 February 2014
The unusual combination of flute, clarinet and saxophone brings a fresh interpretation to music new and old. Liane Kuipers, Ties Kemper and Gerd Verrijdt play Rameau’s Overture from Platéé, alongside Alexandre Tansman’s Suite pour Trio d’Anches and Georges Auric’s I.Decide.
Sara Gabalawi, cello and Noriko Yabe, piano
20:00-c.21:30 Tuesday 4 February 2014
Two outstanding young instrumentalists team up for the Oosterkerk’s Young Talent concert-series, with a sumptuous programme of Beethoven, Bloch, Piatti and Chopin.
Martina Prins, soprano and Mirsa Adami, piano
12:30-13:00 Tuesday 11 February 2014
The lirico-spinto soprano Martina Prins has been making waves since her operatic debut as Donna Anna (W.A. Mozart, Don Giovanni) in 2001, and has several Wagnerian roles planned in upcoming productions with De Nederlandse Opera and the Tiroler Festspieler. She is accompanied by Mirsa Adami, who is repetiteur for the Dutch National Opera Academy as well as being in demand as a soloist and chamber musician.
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
12:30-13:00 Wednesday 12 February 2014
The high-flying young Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado has led an astounding number of the world’s finest orchestras, and was recently named Musical America’s 2014 Conductor of the Year. Here he leads the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in an open rehearsal in the splendid Grote Zaal.
Matilde Loureiro, violin and Vadim Parra Trouchina, piano
12:00-12:45 Sunday 16 February 2014
Hailing from Portugal and Colombia, these two gifted young musicians were already attracting notice in their home countries before coming to study in Amsterdam. Here they perform music by Lizst, Beethoven and Saint-Saens.
12:00-c.13:00 Sunday 16 February 2014
Ensemble Timber is a chamber group of flutes, oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons. In a relaxed coffee concert, Ivo Meinen leads the ensemble in a programme of nineteenth-century favourites by Richard Strauss, Max Reger and Maurice Ravel.
Mixed Art Ensemble
14:30-15:30 Sunday 16 February 2014
Blue Note, Conservatorium van Amsterdam
Mixed Art Ensemble use multiple forms of media to explore and celebrate new music. Their new programme ‘Out of the box’ combines improvisation and a multiplicity of musical genres in a narrative of self-discovery.
12:30-13:00 Wednesday 19 February 2014
Director Dick van Gasteren’s chamber orchestra was only formed in 2012. However, each individual in this ensemble has already established themself as a talent on the national and the international stage. In this concert they perform Tchaikovsky’s Serenade in C, Op. 48.
12:30-13:00 Thursday 20 February 2014
Plein van Siena
This exciting new period-instrument ensemble combines the latest scholarship in the field of historical performance practice with their own irrepressible joy in music. Following a successful tour in Portugal they have just been accepted for a prestigious artists’ residency at Ambronay Festival.
19:30-21:00 Sunday 23 February 2014
The Westerkerkkoor perform J. S. Bach’s sacred cantata Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn BWV 23, directed by JanJoost van Elburg. They are joined by vocal soloists Wendy Roobol (soprano), Elsbeth Gerritsen (alto), Scott Mello (tenor) and Bert van Wetering (bass).