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Programme Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2020 complete

Thursday 27 Aug 2020 — In two weeks time, Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2020 starts with an ambitious programme from Wednesday 9 to Sunday 13 September. A combination of online events and physical concerts and activities in and from various locations in Utrecht: TivoliVredenburg, Het Huis Utrecht, Het Stadsklooster, the new library of Utrecht, Amelisweerd, De Havenloods and Peron-E. There are regular concerts, workshops, interdisciplinary performances, interactive pieces, podcasts, a seminar and an outdoor walking concert. Gaudeamus celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and has used this corona year to present its most eclectic and varied programme as of yet.

From the moment that it became clear in March that a ‘regular’ Gaudeamus Muziekweek was not doable, a brand new programme has been produced in which online and physical musical experiences coexist equally. “2020 is a challenging year, but Gaudeamus has never yet shied away from challenges,” says programmer and new artistic director per 2021 Martijn Buser. As the current general director Henk Heuvelmans puts it: “For 75 years we have been making the case for music which, beyond all genres and pigeonholes, has been written and performed by young music pioneers who still have to prove themselves.”

Interactive and interdisciplinary pieces

Various young makers responded to calls to make work that plays into the special conditions of this year. Results of this are shown in the online sound playground Screen Dive, visible 24/7, in which visitors can listen to, manipulate and play 20 interactive pieces. The pieces and installations in the multidisciplinary programme Senses Working Overtime – a collaboration with Het Huis Utrecht on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 September – also explore the dynamics between distance, intimacy, freedom and safety. On Sunday 13 September, music theatre maker Jerzy Bielski brings his performance No-One Show in Het Huis Utrecht: a performance made with Artifical Intelligence, in which no human performers are on stage.


The most loved and hated medium of 2020, Zoom, also has its place in the programme. The legendary piece Poème Symphonique by György Ligeti for 100 metronomes – a Gaudeamus commission premiered in 1963 – is performed again with this medium on 13 September in living rooms and other locations across the world, under the heading Poème Zoomphonique. The yearly Gaudeamus Saturday Night, our festival-within-a-festival that explores the areas between composed, electronic and pop music, takes place online as well. Composers and musicians Brechtje van Dijk and Allison Wright (a.k.a. Bec Plexus and No Compliments) present audiovisual pieces for 7,5 hours. Halfway the stream gives way to a concert by Slagwerk Den Haag with a new piece by Zeno van den Broek, that can be experienced both online and live in TivoliVredenburg.

Music in and outside of the concert hall

The audience that yearns for physical live experiences is also served with the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2020, of course while keeping distance and following protocol. Pianist Zhabiz Hafizi and bariton singer Arash Roozbehi give three concerts in TivoliVredenburg (Fri 11), the new library of Utrecht at the Neude (Sat 12) and the Stadsklooster in Lombok (Sun 13) with new music by Iranian composer Amin Amel Ebrahimi using texts by Persian poet and philosopher Rumi (12-07-1273). During the opening night in TivoliVredenburg Asko|Schönberg will play fragments of pieces by composers who have during the history of Gaudeamus been closely connected to the festival, such as Louis Andriessen, Calliope Tsoupaki and Yannis Kyriakides. Almost all the concerts where a live audience is present are also viewable online at the same time. This is however not the case with the outdoor walking concerts by the young Utrecht based improv collective BUI on Sunday afternoon in Amelisweerd: a unique experience that only a small group of people will be able to experience live.

Anniversary publication

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Gaudeamus a special anniversary publication has been made, containing five books that each give its own perspective on the history of Gaudeamus. This includes essays by Persis Bekkering and Kees Tazelaar and a double interview with composer Aart Strootman and artist Soña Lee, who made a new artwork based on Strootman’s piece Nyctophilia. The book is for sale at the renewed website of Gaudeamus, on which the content of the publication can also be found as a series of online articles.

Media & Downloads

No-One Show (foto Marta Musial)