Dutch artists at UK’s leading new music festival include Reinier van Houdt, Aart Strootman, Marco Blaauw, Monica Germino

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) has announced a new three-year partnership with Dutch Performing Arts which will bring leading new music performers, composers and Dutch-based international projects to audiences at the Festival.

Now in its 41st year, hcmf// is the UK's foremost contemporary music festival which takes place across venues in and around the northern town of Huddersfield over 10 days every November. Regarded as a weather-vane for the state of contemporary music in all its forms, the festival is a must for audiences, composers, ensembles and commentators from all over the world.

The association begins at this year’s Festival (Friday, November 16 – Sunday, November 25, 2018) with an unparalleled lineup of Dutch artists. An accomplished pianist whose career has been spent in search of nonconformist works, Reinier van Houdt interprets graphic scores by hcmf// Composer in Residence Christian Marclay, and restlessly inventive electric guitarist Aart Strootman and ‘chamber metal’ band TEMKO reimagine Terry Riley’s iconic work Shri Camel on new instruments built for the occasion.

Marco Blaauw’s The Monochrome Project brings together seven trumpets and a speaker to give the UK Premieres of two works by one of experimental music’s most adventurous voices, the American composer Anthony Braxton.

MUTED is a collective work by four composers, including Louis Andriessen, written in sympathy for performer Monica Germino. Suffering from hearing problems, the violinist has been incapable of playing her usual repertoire due to its loud volume. This multi-layered performance deconstructs solo concert conventions and considers our vulnerable relationship with sound.

A master of minimalism and sometime member of New York Bang on a Can collective, Tom Sanderman performs at hcmf// as both solo saxophonist and as a member of the experimental Ensemble Vonk. Kluster5, with its unorthodox assembly of instruments and wayward influence from both jazz and pop, prove their versatility, performing five contrasting pieces written for them by emerging composers.

Netherlands-based accordion duo TOEAC (Pieternel Berkers and Renée Bekkers) are dedicated to the possible experimental techniques of their instruments. In their hcmf// concert they join forces with Amsterdam-based Scottish composer Genevieve Murphy to give the UK Premiere of her thoughtful new work the one I feed.

Den Haag-based Ensemble Klang are a virtuosic group with curatorial interests who work closely with composers, and also run their own label. The ensemble join forces with composer and sound artist Matt Wright for their performance at hcmf//’s latest, coolest venue, Magic Rock Tap Room.

Welcoming the new partnership with Dutch Performing Arts hcmf// Artistic Director Graham McKenzie said: In 2006 hcmf// formed its very first international partnership – with Gaudeamus Muziekweek. Now, in 2018, and at the beginning of the Festival’s welcome new relationship with Dutch Performing Arts, there is a whole new generation of Dutch artists, composers, ensembles and musicians coming through. Within this new arts infrastructure in The Netherlands there’s a strong desire to try and make sure that those artists get out there and get noticed internationally. We at hcmf// think that our festival will help to provide that platform as well as nourishing our audience.”

Pieter Zeeman, Programme Director of Dutch Performing Arts added: "The Netherlands and hcmf// have a long-standing and warm relationship. Even after considerable budget cuts, including the closure of Music Centre the Netherlands, hcmf// kept the exchange going. Dutch Performing Arts is very excited to give a new boost to the collaboration."


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