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Me, Peer Gynt – Maya Fridman & Tomoko Mukaiyama

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Cellist Maya Fridman is a young music pioneer who is indisputably destined to make an impact on contemporary music. She’s bursting with ambition and dares to pull out all the stops with her arrangement of Schnittke’s Peer Gynt, in which, together with pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama, she blends new arrangements for cello and piano with other artistic genres and disciplines.

Me, Peer Gynt is a cross-disciplinary performance involving music and an installation, based on the ballet of the same name by Alfred Schnittke (from Henrik Ibsen’s world-famous play). During her studies in Moscow, Fridman did extensive research into Alfred Schnittke and became fascinated by his Peer Gynt, in particular by the Epilogue he wrote in 1993 for piano, cello and tape. She was captivated by the beauty and finesse with which he managed to convert the work into sublime chamber music. For Me, Peer Gynt, Fridman arranged the entire orchestral work for this same line-up, thereby breathing new life into Schnittke’s masterpiece.

For this production Fridman and Mukaiyama form an artistic team, together with fashion designer Ting Gong and technical designer Yutaka Endo. This interdisciplinary collaboration promises to deliver an idiosyncratic performance full of contrast, whereby the individual works of the different artists will melt together to form a whole. Or as the artistic team itself describes it: “by means of a new synaesthesia of different disciplines, we add a new dimension to the concert venue as we know it’’.

Cellist Maya Fridman has a residency with Gaudeamus until 2019. In 2016 she graduated cum laude from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. She is a genuine master of the cello. She can, and does, play everything: classical, pop, rock (including gothic), folk, jazz, new music and flamenco. Fridman refuses to tie herself to a single genre. As musician-in-residence she has the chance to focus totally on developing her own projects, without being confronted with boundaries in terms of style or form. Fridman is also a finalist in the 2018-2019 Dutch Classical Talent Award.

Tomoko Mukaiyama is a Japanese pianist, visual artist, composer and director. She studied piano at the conservatory in Tokyo, at the University of Indiana (USA) and at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Having made her debut in 1990, she won the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition the following year. She has a fascination with offbeat contemporary art projects and plays with the conventions surrounding her instrument and her profession as pianist. She has worked with film directors, designers, architects, dancers and photographers, including Marina Abramović, Merzbow, Jiří Kylián, Michael Gordon and Toyo Ito.

Alfred Schnittke - composer
Maya Fridman - arranger, cello
Tomoko Mukaiyama - director, piano
Yutaka Endo/LUFTZUG - technical director
Pavla Beranova - light design
Ting Gong - installation


Korzo (co-production) Tomoko Mukaiyama Foundation