Thursday 15 Jul 2021 — Ticket sales for the 2021 edition of Gaudeamus, the festival for young music pioneers famous all over the world, has started. From 8 to 12 September there will be no less than 51 concerts, multi-disciplinary performances, workshops and lectures at 14 locations all over Utrecht. Music lovers with an adventurous mind can once again get their fill of brand new music and experiments by young and upcoming composers, (sound) artists, performers and musicians – keeping a 1.5 meter distance.
After the 75th anniversary in 2020, Gaudeamus starts this edition with a clean sheet. New director Martijn Buser has taken over from Henk Heuvelmans, together with business manager Rogier van Splunder. “We are happy to once again be able to organise a more or less ‘old fashioned’ festival within the current measurements,” says Buser, “but we also incorporate many lessons and positive experiments from the special edition in 2020. Experimenting and innovating have always been a part of Gaudeamus’s DNA.” A brand new visual identity was developed with designers Sacha van den Haak and Magma, and for the first time since 1947 the word ‘Muziekweek’ (‘Music week’) is dropped from the name of the festival.
Brand new compositional talents by key ensembles
According to tradition, Gaudeamus once again presents an overview of talented young and upcoming composers. The four young music pioneers Annika Socolofsky (USA), Jenny Beck (USA), Gen Tanaka (JPN) and Matthew Ricketts (CAN) are nominated for the Gaudeamus Award. New and existing pieces of them will be performed in various concerts. In many concerts in the festival, music is played that was collected through Open Calls, for which young music pioneers from all kinds of backgrounds could send their music. Together with the Prinses Christina Concours, a Summer School was organised. Here, 5 composers from 15 to 19 years young are being coached in writing brand new music especially for the festival. The ensembles and musicians that will perform the work by all the different young composers are active in the absolute top of The Netherlands and outside: from Ralph van Raat, Postland and Asko|Schönberg to the Canadian Quatuor Bozzini and the Viennese Black Page Orchestra.
Crossover between disciplines and cultures
Gaudeamus also looks far beyond the borders of western composed music in this edition. The limits of what a concert can be are stretched with for example the juggling concert Sounds Like Juggling in Fort Ruigenhoek (a cooperation with youth theatre festival Tweetakt) and the digital opera Follow by Igor C. Silva by Ensemble Klang with Stephanie Pan, about ‘fake’ and other news. The Catching Cultures Orchestra, founded in several refuge centres, plays music that was written especially for them, and the new ensemble Sabr of Farid Sheek plays music informed by Perzian traditions in the Stadsklooster in Lombok. In a full programme spread across 2 days in De Nijverheid, the meeting point between eletronics and the body is explored under the header Electronica for Lovers. The Iraqi/British composer and researcher Khyam Allami presents his self-developed music software Apotome in a concert as well as a workshop. This software counters the culture biases of contemporary electronic music software and offers possibilities to work with the microtonality and free flowing rhythms of many non-western musical traditions.
In order to also let as many fans as possible from outside The Netherlands enjoy the festival, this edition is paired to a compact but varied online programme. During the festival weekend there will be two live broadcasts that present a combination of live streams, recordings from earlier in the festival, ‘behind the scenes’ fragments and interviews. In the weeks after the festival, various full concert videos will be offered for payment. Details about the full online programme will be announced later.