Bernard Benoliel in Riga
Ever heard of Bernard Benoliel? Until recently I had never heard of him, despite the fact that he owned an apartment in Amsterdam’s canal district for 30 years and was a Dutch citizen. This composer of Italian origin ( 1943-2017) grew up in the US and worked for a long time in England as a promoter of English composers (including Parry and Vaughan Williams). If you want to know more about this extraordinary composer, read this article: Bernard Benoliel, Biography
Through Donemus, I came into contact with Bruce Walter Roberts, a close friend of Benoliel’s and also the administrator of his estate. Together with Donemus he is working on recording all works of which no (good) recordings exist yet, on CD. I was asked to conduct his only two orchestral works: the symphony “Sinfonia Cosmologica” and “Infinity – Edge, a transcendental requiem”. Both works are composed for a huge orchestra and the requiem also requires a large choir, a chamber choir, a violin and an organ soloist.
On May 20, both works will be performed by the National Orchestra and the National Choir of Latvia under my direction in a concert at the Riga Concert Hall. The days after will be spent making a CD recording.
Masterclasses Conducting Technique in the Belgian Ardennes
After an exceptionally successful masterclass last February/March in the Belgian village of Chiny (read here the Report of the masterclass winter 2022), I will offer two courses in early July, from 4-11 July (masterclass A) and from 11-18 July (masterclass B). Every musician who wants to learn, broaden or deepen the conducting profession through a good conducting technique can register for one of the two weeks. If you are interested yourself or know someone who might be interested, you will find all the information here Masterclasses, Summer 2022. More and more musicians from all over the world are enrolling, and conductors working in the professional world are also discovering how valuable this masterclass is for them.
Here are some quotes from participants of previous courses.
“I can highly recommend the conducting courses given by René Gulikers. As a conducting-student having joined one of René’s courses, I have to say the organization and classes were excellent. René is a talented and experienced professor who skilfully improves everyone’s conducting technique and vision on music. More important, I’ve gained a great amount of knowledge, ideas and inspiration towards the future!”
“The course with Mr. Gulikers was just right for me: clear tasks, intensive cooperation, sufficient feedback. Each participant was taught at his or her individual level, and observing the lessons of others was just as exciting as experiencing my personal development day by day.”
“I can fully recommend this masterclass! René admirably adapts his teaching to every level, gives confidence and security but also pushes for more. The surrounding nature helps to relax and calm down while Astrid’s wonderful cooking and the overall hospitality of the hosts creates an atmosphere where you can come as you are and feel free to try out new things, develop old things further and learn.”
Hochschule für Künste Bremen
After two years of toiling and struggling, normal life at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen where I work is back on track. Currently we are preparing a program for my concert series: “What do the neighbours write?” with in this edition music from Denmark. Still living composers from different generations (Per Nørgård, Hans Abrahamsen, Simon Steen-Andersen, Matias Vestergård en Mette Nielsen) will be performed under my direction by the ensembleANM of the Hochschule on June 9 next.
We are also already preparing a large tribute to Iannis Xenakis who would have turned 100 this year. In November/December about 10 large ensemble works by Xenakis will be performed by various ensembles and in different concerts.