Nieuw Ensemble comes to a halt

Having worked in the field of new music for almost four decades, the Nieuw Ensemble comes to a halt at the end of 2019. One of the leading ensembles for contemporary music, the ensemble has been praised for its groundbreaking programming and renewal of the repertoire with almost 1000 commissioned compositions. Plucked instruments are at the heart of its characteristic sound; Ed Spanjaard has been the principal conductor from the start.

In 2012 the ensemble was one of the groups most heavily affected by the severe cuts in the arts in the Netherlands. With the support from the City of Amsterdam the group could still survive for a few years but in 2017 this subsidy also stopped. Now there is no budget left.

"We started with nothing and we end with nothing", said Joël Bons, founder and artistic director. "We are lucky to have experienced the most wonderful blossoming of ensemble-culture you can imagine. So we count our blessings: the NE has done a huge amount of stimulating projects, worked together with hundreds of composers of all ages and backgrounds, continuously premiered pieces especially written for us and gave concerts all over the world. We have realized almost all our dreams, it is time to move on". Ed Spanjaard and the musicians meanwhile have busy schedules as freelance musicians or are retired; Bons made a new start concentrating on composing. Recently his work Nomaden, written for the intercultural Atlas Ensemble which he founded in 2002, won the Grawemeyer Award. The Atlas Ensemble will continue to exist.

In 1998 the Nieuw Ensemble and Joël Bons were awarded the prestigious Prince Bernhard Fund Music Prize for the ‘markedly lively and adventurous programming that could be described as crossing borders, both in the literal and figurative sense'.
In the autumn of 2019 the same Nieuw Ensemble under the baton of Ed Spanjaard will bring a finale with three different programmes: a tour with a new version of Bons' Thirty Situations (2017-19), a programme around the music of John Adams and Tan Dun and a closing concert on Saint Nicholas eve – a Dutch feast celebrated annually with the giving of gifts– where the ensemble will perform favorite repertoire chosen by the audience and give away most part of its archive. 

An Evening of Today 2019
Thu 14 March 2019 Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ 20.15 > 
introduction 19.15
Sat 6 April 2019 Den Haag Korzo 20.30

Nieuw Ensemble
Ed Spanjaard conductor

six premieres
Celia Swart                          Zoning out  
Thomas Brown                     Another Configuration 
João Ceitil                            Laminar Flow
Alberto Granados Reguilón    Wrecks  
Andrea Guterres                  The False Awakening
Vitali Karagkezidis                Quotes  

see also www.aneveningoftoday.com
 

Premiere Georges Aperghis – Lost Connections 
Mon 6 May 2019 Cologne Philharmonie 20.00
Thu 9 May 2019 Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ 20.15 >
introduction 19.15

Nieuw Ensemble
Ed Spanjaard conductor
Makiko Goto koto
Harrie Starreveld flute

programme
Misato Mochizuki           Silent Circle
Hanna Eimermacher      new work 
Carola Bauckholt           Points of Presence
Georges Aperghis          Lost Connections (premiere)

 _ _ _

Nomaden
Mon 15 October 2018 Arnhem Musis 20.00 >
Thu 18 October 2018 Antwerp deSingel 20.00 >
Sun 21 October 2018 Amsterdam Cello Biënnale 17.00 >

Jean-Guihen Queyras & Atlas Ensemble
Ed Spanjaard conductor

Joël Bons Nomaden (2016)

A highlight of the Cello Biennale Amsterdam 2016 was the premiere of Nomaden, composed by Joël Bons and performed by master cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Atlas Ensemble, conducted by Ed Spanjaard. Nomaden is a richly varied mosaic, a continuous stream of music lasting for one hour. Queyras enters into dialogues with top musicians from different cultures such as the Azerbaijani virtuosi Elshan Mansurov on kamancha and Elcin Nagijev on tar, the superb Zhao Yuanchun on Chinese erhu, the renowned Persian setar player Kiya Tabassian, the poetic Neva Özgen on Turkish kemençe, Chinese sheng phenomenon Wu Wei and Japanese sho magician Naomi Sato.  

Words of praise for Nomaden
review Het Parool 31-10-16 >
review de Volkskrant 5 stars 31-10-16 >
review NRC November Music 8-11-16 >
excerpt Nomaden from 1H10Min in Podium Radio 4 >
Het Parool interview with Joël Bons 27-10-16 >
de Volkskrant interview with Joël Bons 20-10-16 > 

 


Past

Tradition and Innovation
Thu 13 December 2018 Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ 20.15 >
introduction: Joël Bons in conversation with Rodney Sharman 19.15

Nieuw Ensemble
Ed Spanjaard conductor
Mattijs van de Woerd baritone
Roméo Monteiro Airmachine 2
Wilbert Bulsink Airpiano 

programme
Dufay/Robert Heppener         Donnes l'assault a la fortresse 
Dufay/Robert Heppener         J'atendray
Rodney Sharman                  Nader tot U for baritone and ensemble
Rodney Sharman                  Small Flowers (premiere)
Pavel Haas/Jan van Vlijmen   Vier Lieder for baritone and ensemble 
                                           intermission
Wilbert Bulsink                     Op/Weg...geblazen 
                                           for Airpiano and ensemble
Ondrej Adamek                    Conséquences particulièrement
                                           blanches ou noires Concert for
                                          Airmachine 2 and 14 instruments 

The big change
After three decades of prosperity the Nieuw Ensemble was severely hit by the big cuts in the Arts. The Big Change meant that we continue our work on a much smaller scale. We work at our studio EAR, a vibrant hub we share with other musicians and composers located at the Grasweg 41R in Amsterdam Noord.

The Nieuw Ensemble said goodbye to structural subsidy in 2012 with The Ark of Joël, featuring the music of artistic director Joël Bons.
The concert of 21 December in Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ received rave reviews:
5 stars in de Volkskrant >
4 stars in Het Parool > and NRC >