Articles | Interviews
i-Classics, klassiek voor jongeren in de Koepelhal
De philharmonie zuidnederland start met nieuwe reeks laagdrempelige symfonische concerten in Koepelhal Tilburg.
In de ban van klassiek. Op landelijke tv hebben ze het al ontdekt. Of het nu gaat om Podium Witteman, Maestro of De Tiende van Tijl, er is een groeiend publiek voor Bach, Mozart en Beethoven. Symfonieorkesten in het land boren nieuw, vaak jonger publiek aan met breed toegankelijke, klassieke concertprogramma’s als Symphonic Junction (rockpodium Paard van Troje Den Haag) of Maestro Jules Onthult (TivoliVredenburg Utrecht). De ene keer wordt er geflirt met popmuziek, de andere keer wordt er van alles uitgelegd over de klassieke composities.
De philharmonie zuidnederland doet een ferme duit in het zakje met hun gloednieuwe crossover concertreeks i-Classics. Woensdag 22 maart gaat de reeks van start in de Koepelhal in Tilburg. Een unieke concertlocatie want dat hoort ook bij het concept van i-Classics, legt philharmonie-medewerker Roxanne Doyen uit. “Tijdens een i-Classics concert willen we de drempel om een klassiek concert te bezoeken verlagen. Een onverwachte concertplek hoort daarbij. Maar ook een kruisbestuiving met andere disciplines. Tijdens de eerste editie gaat het orkest in zee met Toneelgroep Maastricht. Daarna zoeken we de combinatie met film, technologie en mode.” De concertavond duurt ook niet langer dan één uur. “Een goede spanningsboog voor de meeste mensen én als bezoeker heb je de gelegenheid tijdens en na het concert een drankje te pakken”, weet Doyen.
Tijdens de eerste i-Classics avond passeert de geschiedenis van de klassieke muziek in ijltempo. De hippe stoomcursus klassiek is een idee van theatermaker Vincent van Warmerdam van Toneelgroep Maastricht en componist Micha Hamel. “Het idee houden we helder en eenvoudig want de symfonische muziek staat voorop”, legt regisseur Van Warmerdam uit. “Op het podium zien we het orkest en een verteller. Micha Hamel maakt ons wegwijs door de muziek. Zijn lezing is een heerlijke muzikale snelkookpan.
De snelheid waarmee hij dit doet vormt op zich al een ware theaterperformance.” Actrice Sofie Porro onderbreekt de performance en werpt een geheel nieuw licht op de muziekgeschiedenis. Ondertussen schiet het orkest onder leiding van Frank Zielhorst in sneltreinvaart langs hoogtepunten van Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, Etta James en Ennio Morricone. Van Warmerdam kan niet wachten: “Ook Micha Hamel en ik dragen enkele composities bij. Heel benieuwd hoe dat straks allemaal op elkaar gaat inwerken.”
De eerste editie van i-Classics is te beleven in de Koepelhal (Spoorzone) Tilburg (wo 22 maart, 20.30 uur), en daarna in de Muziekgieterij Maastricht (do 23 maart, 20.30 uur) en Dynamo Eindhoven (vr 24 maart, 20.30 uur).
20 maart 2017 - https://universonline.nl/
BSO New Year Johann Strauss Gala, Weymouth Pavilion
You can't get too much of a good thing and that most certainly applies to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
So it was certainly no hardship to head down from Bournemouth to Weymouth Pavilion at the end of a long week for a second Viennese spectacular, less than a fortnight after New Year's Day at the Lighthouse.
It was the final date of the traditional six concerts across the region, this year all under the baton of former young conductor in association, the popular Frank Zielhorst.
He invited the packed house to conjure up images of waltzes, beautiful gowns, and dark suits, champagne and glittering ballrooms in 19th century Vienna as he led the audience from the imperial capital across Europe to the Middle East and Far East before returning to Austria-Hungary along the blauen Donau.
The intimate atmosphere of the Pavilion offers a very personal BSO experience and was the perfect venue to witness the amazing talent of young soprano Soraya Mafi who was an absolute delight as soloist in Voices of Spring and the Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus. The crystalline vocal chords of this charming rising star from Lancashire can seemingly do the impossible.
The programme included perennial favourites such as the Kaiser Waltzer, Gypsy Baron, Acceleration Waltz, Persian March and Waldteufel's fabulous Spanish Waltz. Mafi returned after the interval for two more wonderful pieces, from the Mikado and Air de Coraline from Le Toreador where she teamed up with first flute, Anne Pyne, to produce the most spellbinding performance with this very familiar tune.
We finished (where else) along the Blue Danube and with enthusiastic clapping to accompany the Radetzky March. The music of Strauss and friends cannot help but leave you smiling and the Weymouth audience showed its appreciation for a splendid evening. A marvellous way to start the neujahr. Twice.
Dorset Echo - 14 Jan 2017 / Andy Martin
Conductor Frank Zielhorst: Why the BSO will always have a special place in my heart
We are sitting in the unlikely setting of Sprinkles in Poole bus station, across from the Lighthouse which isn't yet open. In a couple of hours, the BSO's former young conductor Frank Zielhorst will be on stage, presenting and conducting the New Year's Day Strauss Gala.
He appears as relaxed and chilled out as ever, as only a Dutchman can be. But he admits to being, actually, just a little nervous.
"This is really the first time I have presented a major concert, as well as conducting. I hope it goes okay. I have a couple of jokes lined up, so we shall see." As it turned out, he need not have worried. His presenting skills were excellent and his jokes very funny. Especially the festive EU one. What will Christmas dinner look like after Brexit? 'No Brussels.'
The amiable and accessible Zielhorst is back at the BSO podium for the first time since his two-year tenure ended last August on something of a high note. He conducted the Friday night classical extravaganza at the Proms in the Park.
"I am delighted to have been invited back so soon for this series of Strauss concerts. I have amazing memories of the BSO. It was a very important and special time for me. "Conducting at the Proms in Meyrick was just such an incredible experience for me. I feel I went out on a real high." His parents (and the family dog) came over from the Netherlands to watch the classical extravaganza, which made the occasion even more special for him.
"It was a bit of a stressful time as I was packing up my apartment and moving out that day. But the orchestra gave a little speech for me on stage before the concert and it was quite emotional. My last performance with them as young conductor. I was very grateful for all the opportunities they have given me. It was a dream."
The 31-year-old, who grew up near Utrecht, is now based in North London, but at the moment he doesn't mind where he lives "as long as it is near an airport". Which is rather appropriate for the Flying Dutchman, one of whose ambitions is to conduct Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, all fourteen-and-a-half hours of it. Zielhorst (who was educated in the German tradition of classical music) studied orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague and the Conservatoire of Amsterdam after studying viola.
In June 2013 he received his Master's degree 'cum laude' following a concert with the Brabants Orchestra, Eindhoven. He has been a guest with most of the orchestras in his homeland, either to conduct or to receive masterclasses. After graduating, he worked with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, The Hague Philharmonic and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, conducting in the fabulous Smetana Hall. But his two years with the BSO was a really important time, both in terms of developing his skills as a conductor and in getting his name 'out there' in what is a very competitive field.
"Basically I am a freelance conductor, so it's about getting the work, as in any profession. You have to invest beforehand and then you may get booked a year or two in advance. That's a big part of why being with the BSO was so crucial for me. "People have said, 'well you seem to have done a good job for them, so let's see if you can do something for us'. It all requires a lot of patience on my part which I find very difficult.
"And of course being a freelance, there's always a sense of insecurity which I find a bit unsettling, but it gives me motivation and energy. I always need to be on top of my game. My livelihood depends on it." If the next few months are anything to go by, he should not have to worry. Since leaving the BSO, Zielhorst has been busy.
He has been engaged to teach back at the Conservatoire in the Hague and has engagements booked until August, including a big educational project and concerts in Derby Cathedral to be recorded by Classic FM, and a spell as assistant conductor for a series of operettas at Wormsley, and work in Belfast. He is very much an accessible conductor, he likes to know his audience and you can't in any sense describe this bicycling, football-playing man as aloof.
Before a concert you might find him having a sandwich and double espresso at the Lighthouse, or a having a quick cigarette out the back. "I like to be accessible and talk to people. It's just the sort person I am and the kind of conductor I like to be. "Whatever happens in my career I will always have a special place in my heart for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
"And as long as I can make music and be involved with an audience, I'll be happy man." n You can see Frank Zielhorst and the BSO next perform the Strauss Gala at Weymouth Pavilion next Friday.
Daily Echo - 6 Jan 2017 / Andy Martin
MEET THE MAESTRO Frank Zielhorst
Classical Music Magazine October 2016
As the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association comes to the end of his two-year stint, he tells Fiona Clampin what he has learnt
Frank Zielhorst's career could so easily have been different. Although he was making music froman early age, his father Athony Zielhorst was himself a choral conductor in the Netherlands, and the young Frank was determined to do anything but stand up in front of a group of musicians. "My father was away so much from home and I didn't like that," he remembers. "So I said 'I will never do what you do'. But when I was about ten years old my grandfather took me to an orchestral concert and I thought, this is different."
It would be a few more years before Zielhorst finally set his heart on conducting. He studied viola and conducting at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and at the Amsterdam Conservatoire, and kept his options open by simultaneously studying classics at university. It was conductor Jac van Steen's encouragement at the Hague conservatoire that proved decisive, and succes quicksly followed, including winning the Dutch conducting scholarship of the Kersjes Foundation in 2013. Two years ago he was named Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, a position which has been transformative for the young Dutchman.
"The moment I started with the BSO I was thrown in at the deep end," he says. "In my first season I had about 15 concerts with the orchestra, and I was assisting all the guest conductors as well as the principal conductor, Kirill Karabits. My repertoire was given a huge impulse, which was fantastic. When I came to the UK two years ago, nobody really knew me, apart from some orchestras where I'd been as an assistant or I did a masterclass. So it's useful to have a position behind your name now when you introduce yourself to orchestra directors or festival managers."
Zielhorst seizes the opportunity provided by the BSO appointment to raise his game. In the second year of the post, he says he directed close to 40 concerts and learnt how to adapt his conducting when the orchestra repeated programmes in different venues. He took advantage of breaks in the rehearsal schedul to discuss scores and technique with Karabits, who he describes as a mentor.
"I learned a lot from Kirill in terms of how you prepare a score, what you work on with an orchestra. I was very interested in the way he is in front of an orchestra, particularly the non-verbal side. When I started out, I put pressure on myself to do well, and make sure the orchestra did the best they could, which could be counterproductive. So I talked to Kirill, and he said, 'Let the orchestra come to you.' Kirill really likes to be together with musicians and see what they offer him, and if it's something beautiful then don't get in the way. That was fascinating for me, and liberating."
Zielhorst is keen to absorb all aspects of the conductor's craft and talks enthusiastically about his experiences on and off the podium with the BSO. He was involved in a range of activities behind the scenes, from education projects with the orchestra to understanding how the library works. With a thorough grounding in the life of an orchestra under his belt, he is optimistic about the future.
"The BSO programme was always going to be for two years, and it's time to move on," he says. "We both invested so much in each other, and I've gone from a good starting conductor to someone who can really function in the profession as a guest conductor. They've invited me back, which feels like a big vote of confidence."
He will be conducting BSO concerts over the new year, and make his debut with the Ulster Orchestra in 2017. Opera being one of his passions, he is excited about returning to work with Garsington Opera, and the conservatoire in The Hague has asked him to teach its conducting students.
This will give him the chance to drop in on his family. How does his father feel about his son's success? "He's immensely proud. He was reserved about me going into the profession but he knows it will work out. I ask him a lot of advice, and he's always there for me."
Bournemouth Echo Profile
BSO Young Conductor Frank Zielhorst:
"I feel a great responsibility to show the genius of the composers"
Frank Zielhorst may not be everyone's idea of a classical music conductor. At least not at first glance. I'd last seen him a couple of weeks earlier on a sunny Saturday evening, casually sitting at the bottom of the Bournemouth Pavilion steps overlooking the gardens, takeaway espresso in one hand, a book about the World War Two in the other.
He was waiting to watch the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's annual benevolent concert of Ron Goodwin classics. A bit of a Busman's Holiday, (or an evening anyway) for the amiable Dutchman.
On a Tuesday afternoon, after rehearsals, you'll find the BSO's Young Conductor in Association playing football (he loves the game) in Poole Park with other members of the orchestra. They even bring their own mini goals. And if you're in Poole, you may well see him bicycling around the town to and from work at the Lighthouse or just enjoying a day off.
"I was riding home from Sainsbury's with my shopping under my arm the other day when a couple of boys shouted over to me," he recounted. "Aren't you that guy from the Lighthouse," one of them asked him. The boy aged about eight had been to a recent schools concert and began humming a piece of music he had heard there. "It really made my day," said Zielhorst. "It was great that he remembered the experience and that we had made music accessible for him. And maybe he'll listen to more pieces, who knows?"
The 31-year-old is coming to the end of his two year tenure with the BSO. It has been, he says, an incredible experience. Not just the music of course, but also the role the orchestra plays in the community. "It's very different to how things are in the Netherlands where I had all my musical education and grounding, first learning the viola. It serves the community so well across almost the whole of Southern England, but particularly here in Dorset. The schools, the hospitals, the care homes for instance. It's amazing. It's just one of the ways in which the BSO is quite extraordinary. There is no orchestra in the Netherlands that does so many things."
The philosophy of the BSO is similar to Zielhorst's personal one. "I love immersing myself in the place I live. I want to know the person who serves me coffee or the name of the guy in the fruit market. I love being part of the community. It's great on a Wednesday night when I meet so many supporters of the orchestra before and after the concerts and can chat with them."
Zielhorst was one of around 150 who applied for the Young Conductor post and one of twelve shortlisted. There were six pieces of music in his audition including Elgar's Enigma Variations and Stravinsky's The Firebird. Ultimately the orchestra voted for him which probably explains the obvious rapport he has with the players. He has a pretty good one with the audience too.
"I think the audition is pretty tough, partly to see how versatile you are. If you do this job you have to study a new programme every week. You are either conducting or assisting the chief conductor, Kirill Karabits, or the guest conductors. You have to process all that music and be ready to step in at the last minute if a conductor is late or has to cancel. You really have to be at the top of your game to do that. The BSO is a fantastic orchestra. We are very lucky to have Kirill who is a world class conductor and you only have to look at the history and tradition of the BSO to see what a great institution it is."
The audiences love the Dutchman, his energy, boundless enthusiasm and infectious personality, his bouncing up and down on the podium. I have seen that for myself at a number of concerts. He has the greatest of respect for the composers whose work he conducts, not least because he has tried his hand at composing himself: "I feel a great responsibility to show the genius of the composers and to do them justice. "I tried to compose myself in high school and I tried and tried and tried but I couldn't do it. I know how difficult it is to put a note on a page so I have the utmost respect for anyone who can do that."
He has plenty of treasured memories from his time with the BSO. He was delighted to conduct Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony and recently Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade at the Pavilion, "both pieces very dear to me." Richard Strauss' Salome at the start of the current season was another huge highlight. "I still very much remember my first concert with the BSO in Yeovil back in 2014. It went very well. I was very nervous at the start but I was elated afterwards. I felt that now I was part of the orchestra, part of the BSO family. And it really feels like a family. I think it's unique like that."
Zielhorst has one more BSO engagement before he leaves. And it's a big one. He's conducting the opening night of the first Proms in the Park for five years. The Friday Classical Extravaganza will feature pieces from Bizet’s Carmen, Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture and music by the master of the film score, John Williams.
And it won't be the last audience and musicians will see of the popular, bicycling, football loving conductor who will base himself in London to further his career, rather than return to the Netherlands. He'll be making a number of guest appearances with the BSO next season having been invited back already by 'the management.' And judging by his smile as he explains this, the Den Haag supporting Zielhorst who loves using football analogies about his work, is absolutely delighted at the prospect.
Music, it's a funny old game Frank.
Hall of Fame, BSO, Pavillion Theatre, Bournemouth
Descibes in the programme notes as "one of the brightest young stars in classical music", Charlie Siem couldn't have looked more dapper if this concert by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Pavilion had taken place when the theatre first opened in the 1920s. In addition to his career as a violinist, he's a visiting professor at Leeds College of Music and has modelling engagements with brands such as Dior and Armani.
The camera would have loved his performance of Bruch's first violin concerto under the baton of Frank Zielhorst, the BSO's new young conductor in association, striking a pose, motionless with chin to the fore when it was the orchestra's turn to take centre stage.
Sweet in tone, Siem demonstrated that it can be a fine line between limpid and limp, with Zielhorst and the BSO providing all the voltage and passion.
They did so again in Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet fantasy overture, which was achieved without conductor engaging in any heart on sleeve distortion of the gorgeous enough love theme, and without any heart in mouth when the agitated theme of the warring Montagues and Capulets re-emerged; the BSO strings coped with the demands with no hint of stress or strain.
The voluptuous string tone was a constant in Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, and Faure's Pavane, although in Smetana's Vltava, the depicted river rather lumbered to its final destination.
Certainly Zielhorst is a dynamic but sensitive musician, and the "one of the brightest young stars" sobriquet belongs to him, the BSO providing him with the opportunity make progress towards centre stage.
The Pavillion Theatre concert was introduced by Classic FM presenter John Brunning, who paid tribute to Bournemouth Council's continued support of the BSO to spontaneous audience applause.
Bournemouth Echo, 12 November 2014
Meet conductor Frank Zielhorst, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's newest rising star
23 Jul 2014 / Patrick Gough / Daily Echo
Frank Zielhorst from the Netherlands will officially be the 2014 Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association, a key role at the BSO.
The challenging audition process saw Frank and fellow candidates given 20 minutes with the world-class BSO to demonstrate their rehearsal techniques and as well as their conducting skills. The candidates had pieces selected by the BSO including works by the composers Brahms, Copland, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky.
All of the candidates commented on how helpful and supportive the BSO musicians and team were during the auditions. In the last two years, Frank has been a guest with almost all of the orchestras in the Netherlands, either to conduct them in concert or to receive master class. Internationally, Frank has conducted at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (Cardiff) and the Ulster Orchestra (Belfast) in the UK and at the EPABI Orchestra in Covilhã, Portugal.
Dougie Scarfe, BSO chief executive says: “The Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association is a key role at the BSO and an important part of our work to help develop new generations of artistic talent. I am delighted with the interest the role has generated, the quality of the young conductors was very high indeed and huge congratulations must go to Frank Zielhorst on his selection to the post. Everyone at the BSO is looking forward to working with Frank next season.”
Frank’s skills will be developed further as the young conductor will also be involved in the orchestra’s award winning education programme, BSO Participate, leading conducting master-classes in schools and mentoring youth ensembles across the south and south west.
Frank Zielhorst, BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association says: “Thank you to the BSO for this fantastic opportunity I’m very much looking forward to working with the Orchestra in the forthcoming concert season across the South and South West. The BSO’s organisation of the Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association auditions was a brilliant experience and offered such a broad repertoire.”
Frank Zielhorst appointed Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association
Thursday 17 July 2014
'The Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association is a key role at the BSO and an important part of our work to help develop new generations of artistic talent. I am delighted with the interest the role has generated, the quality of the young conductors was very high indeed and huge congratulations must go to Frank Zielhorst on his selection to the post. Everyone at the BSO is looking forward to working with Frank next season, both on the concert platform and with our Participation Department, engaging communities across the full 10,000 sq miles of our home territory.’ Dougie Scarfe, BSO Chief Executive
'Thank you to the BSO for this fantastic opportunity I’m very much looking forward to working with the Orchestra in the forthcoming concert season across the South and South West. The BSO’s organisation of the Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association auditions was a brilliant experience and offered such a broad repertoire.' Frank Zielhorst, BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association
On Friday 11th July the second round of auditions took place, with four candidates conducting works by composers Stravinsky, Elgar and Saint-Saens with a cello concerto performed by Jesper Svedberg – BSO Principal Cello. In the afternoon the two finalists had 30 minutes each to rehearse either Stravinsky or Elgar and to conduct a final performance. After the final Frank Zielhorst was announced as the 2014 BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association.
Frank Zielhorst studied orchestral conducting with Jac van Steen and Kenneth Montgomery at both The Hague and in Amsterdam,after studying viola with Ferdinand Erblich. In the last two years he has been a guest with almost all of the orchestras in the Netherlands, either to conduct them in concert or to receive master class. Internationally, Frank has conducted at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (Cardiff) and the Ulster Orchestra (Belfast) in the UK and at the EPABI Orchestra in Covilhã, Portugal. In November 2013, Frank received the prestigious Kersjes Foundation conducting scholarship, enabling him to continue developing his conducting skills.
The BSO are thrilled to welcome Frank as the 2014 BSO Leverlume Young Conductor in Association and everyone is very much looking forward to working him next season. This role will provide Frank with the opportunity to develop his conducting skills through direct experience of working with and conducting the Orchestra in rehearsals and concerts with the formal support and mentorship of BSO’s Principal Conductor Kirill Karabits and its Principal players.
Over the course of the year, this invaluable experience will hone Frank’s conducting technique, performance style and communication skills. These skills will be developed further as the young conductor will also be involved in the Orchestra’s award winning education programme, BSO Participate, leading conducting master-classes in schools and mentoring youth ensembles across the South and South West.
Jonge Nederlander aangesteld als Young Conductor in Association bij toporkest Engeland
Den Haag – De Nederlandse dirigent Frank Zielhorst (29) bekleedt vanaf september 2014 de positie van Young Conductor in Association bij het Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) in Engeland. Deze prestigieuze positie is voor het eerst opengesteld voor dirigenten van buiten Engeland. Zielhorst krijgt de kans zijn dirigeerkwaliteiten te ontwikkelen door in het komende seizoen een aantal concerten te dirigeren. Daarnaast is hij nauw betrokken bij de educatieve projecten van het orkest en assisteert hij de overige dirigenten van het orkest.
Hij wordt in zijn positie gecoacht door de chef-dirigent van het orkest, Kirill Karabits.
Dougie Scarfe, directeur van het BSO: “De Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association speelt een sleutelrol bij het BSO en is een belangrijke bijdrage aan ons werk om een nieuwe generatie jong artistiek talent te helpen zich te ontwikkelen. Iedereen bij het BSO kijkt er naar uit met Frank te gaan werken, zowel op het concert podium als in onze educatieve afdeling.” (originele citaat: “The Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association is a key role at the BSO and an important part of our work to help develop new generations of artistic talent. Everybody at the BSO is looking forward to working with Frank next season, both on the concert platform and with our Participation Department”.)
Zielhorst volgde zijn opleiding aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium van Den Haag. Hij was in 2013 de eerste student, die afstudeerde van de Nationale Master Orkestdirectie (NMO), waar hij les kreeg van Jac van Steen en Kenneth Montgomery. De NMO, georganiseerd in samenwerking met het conservatorium van Amsterdam en alle Nederlandse beroepsorkesten, stelde hem in staat om in Nederland zich op het hoogste niveau te ontwikkelen en gecoacht te worden door de chef-dirigenten van de Nederlandse beroepsorkesten. Ook is Zielhorst de winnaar van de Kersjes Directiebeurs 2013.
Unieke opleiding Master Orkestdirectie
Frank Zielhorst over de masteropleiding:
In 2011 startte de Nationale Master Orkestdirectie, een samenwerking tussen het Conservatorium van Amsterdam en het Koninklijk Conservatorium, dat van harte ondersteund wordt door Het Kersjes Fonds.
Zomer 2013 sloten de eerste twee studenten aan deze opleiding Gregory Charette en Frank Zielhorst hun tweejarige masterstudie af. Over hun ervaringen vertellen ze hierboven in de respectieve video.