The 2023 MUZE VAN ZUID festival in Amsterdam

Juliana Martina. Photo by and © Liz van den Akker

Muze van Zuid 2023 celebrating the city of Amsterdam and ensemble culture ran from14th – 17th September.

Festival Muze van Zuid brings house concerts, music walks and a wide variety of music styles in a rich sound palette of voices and instruments. In its sixth edition, the festival also shows how lively and varied the typical Dutch ensemble culture still is: for example, the Herz Ensemble presents a special triptych dedicated to Kate Moore, Nieuw Amsterdams Peil presents Jan-Bas Bollen’s HyperTheremin, Ensemble Klang presents the hypnotic  dreams of airs  by Rozalie Hirs, and Neo-Fanfare 9×13 irony à la Monty Python and Tati in the climate comedy  Under NAP  with music by Geneviève Murphy, Huba de Graaff, Marc Kaptein, Ned McGowan, Moondog and Pete Harden (Harden won the 2023 Matthijs Vermeulen Prize for composition this year). The top vocal ensembles Utopia and Psallentes will also be visiting from Flanders, including choral works by Orlandus Lassus, the ‘Belgian Orpheus’.

The culture of all these ensembles flourishes through cooperation based on equality, based on a philosophy that is also characteristic of the festival. Muze van Zuid is a widely supported festival, which exists thanks to the commitment and solidarity of people who open their homes, studios or shops to the musicians. Top musicians like the soprano  Channa Malkin , guitarist  Izhar Elias , mezzo-soprano  Michaela Riener , accordionist  Vincent van Amsterdam , percussionist  Tatiana Koleva , or wizard in live electronics  Ruben Kieftenbelt  challenge the audience with new and rarely heard music. This edition offers chamber music at the highest level at an affordable price  Chianti Ensemble , it  Animation Quartet  and the string trio with  Rosanne Philippens ,  Hannah Strijbos  and  Lydia Blijdorp . Violinist  Paul Fischer  and accordion player  Jacob Jedlinsky  come especially from Prague.  

Today’s musicians are given the opportunity to present new programmes. All round musician  Jean Jacques Rojer  brings with singer  Julian Martina  premiering a project reviving the old ties between South America and the Caribbean islands. Soprano  Lucretia Stark  and countertenor  Arthur den Hartog  develop with pianist  Maxime Snaterse  a new program that brings together romantic song art with works by composers from their birthplace Paramaribo.  Ghaeth Almagoot  and his musicians cast with the Iranian theater and film scholar  Anahita Shamsavari  a surprising oriental light on the renaissance. Violinist  Julia Philippens  explores with her band the heritage of Paul Godwin and Nap de Klijn, top violinists who were both equally at home in light and classical.

Recorder Quartet  brisk  plays renaissance and new music in the Vondelkerk. The soprano  Renate Arends  brings with organist  Geerten van de Wetering  a masterpiece by Hendrik Andriessen in the Obrechtkerk, where the  Dudok Quartet  of  Shunske Sato  will shine in the String Quintet of Anton Bruckner, who is so celebrated in Amsterdam. The NTR is also enthusiastic and will be recording the concert for later broadcast on Radio 4.