Gaudeamus starts 2021 with a new management. Martijn Buser, who has been programmer for Gaudeamus since 2011, will be the new artistic director. He will be assisted by the new business manager Rogier van Splunder. Henk Heuvelmans, who started to work for Gaudeamus in 1981 and became director in 1991, is retiring.
A change of management is quite rare for Gaudeamus: Henk was only the third director in 75 years, after Gaudeamus founder Walter Maas and his successor Chris Walraven. According to Henk, the explanation for this is clear: “At Gaudeamus you never get bored as a director!”
With the appointment of Martijn Buser, a Gaudeamus tradition is honored in which directors have plenty of experience within the organisation before taking the lead. Martijn has been working as a programmer and producer for Gaudeamus since 2011. Before that, he was music programmer for Theater Kikker, among other things. He was also curator for the The Hague based festival Rewire in the last years.
In broad terms, Martijn will keep doing what Gaudeamus has been doing for 75 years now: making the artistic dreams of young artists come true. He does want to change some accents. Like starting more local cooperations, finding new ways of bringing contemporary music to life outside of the concert hall, put a greater focus on technology as a driving force for musical inventions and offering an intercultural view on contemporary music from non-Western countries and regions.
Rogier van Splunder also has considerable experience in the artistic field in which Gaudeamus operates. For years he was the business manager and director for ensemble Asko|Schönberg, a yearly guest in the programme of Gaudeamus. In the last years he was active as freelance manager for Slagwerk Den Haag and Pynarello, among others.
With his retirement in 2021, Henk ends an impressive career in the world of music. In the 30 years in which he was director for Gaudeamus, he placed the organisation more firmly on the national map, and he was a passionate driving force in various international cooperations in contemporary music, such as the European Ulysses Network and the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music). Under Henk’s supervision, Gaudeamus opened its doors for interdisciplinary experiments and he initiated the move to Utrecht of the organisation.
In 2006 Henk Heuvelmans was already appointed Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau for his services and during the closing concert of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2020 he was promoted to Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau.