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Translation spoken text in Dutch by Annemarie Kremer:

The role of Heliane is very close to my heart. I have had the opportunity to sing it several times. I expressly say "opportunity" because it is not performed very often. So when you get the chance to do it, it's really fantastic. Also because the role suits my voice incredibly well. I am also a singer who is well suited to Strauss, and Strauss also has a lot in common with Korngold. When I started to study this role and eventually sang it in concert a few times - it fits like a glove, even though it is quite an extreme role. I've sung a lot of demanding roles, but this one really sits with the very demanding ones, because it's very high, with long phrases, and then yet another step higher, and then again another step higher. It's also hard because it's sometimes quite low.

The role of Heliane gives me a lot of satisfaction because there is a great development in her character. And that's what I really enjoy... For me, opera is where singing and acting come together. If you can combine that in one role... that’s really my thing to portray Heliane as she is. Besides, I love Korngold's music - it engulfs you, embraces you, overwhelms you. You are completely swept away by it - I love it.

Translation spoken text in Dutch by Jac van Steen:

If I were to leave out the image, the music is so strong that the characters, the atmosphere, the celestial, the dark dictatorship that's in it, all of that already portrays the drama, all the way through as a kind of image, a musical cartoon with leitmotifs, like in Wagner, or with colors about love and nature in Ravel. That's Korngold!

It is so well written, remember, Korngold was a child prodigy. So writing something difficult, for us, was not difficult at all for him. He could play anything, he was a brilliant pianist. And now I'm quoting Gustav Mahler! I think that just the charisma and the fun that we have as a kind of Korngold family for a few weeks, that the audience can take that vibe with us, and I hope everyone has a wonderful evening with beautiful music. It's like Tristan & Isolde four times over, with really beautiful, great romantic music.

Henk Badings (1907-1987) Concerto for Viola and String Orchestra Orchestra of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague Conductor: Jac van Steen Viola: Elisa Karen Tavenier Venue: Arnold Schoenbergzaal, Royal Conservatoire The Hague Recordings made by the Art of Sound department, Royal Conservatoire The Hague Recording Producer: Wera Wrzosek Recording Engineers: Paul de Vugt, Bart Vliex, Jacopo Greci Producer Royal Conservatoire Recordings: Daan van Aalst Video: TLN Media

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Jac van Steen (cond), Janet Sung(violin) and the Britten Sinfonia recording for SOMM Records – release of the CD November 2019     Click photo to play the video

Thea Musgrave at 90

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra celebrates the music of Thea Musgrave in her 90th-birthday year: conducted by Jac van Steen and joined by soloists Evelyn Glennie and Nicholas Daniel.

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Van Steen's Royal Philharmonic is alert to unexpected mood changes in the Mignone and unobtrusively supportive in the Albéniz. Recording balance between the piano and orchestra is a model of how it should be done. As a bonus there are four solo tracks: two movements from the much better known Suite Espagnole of Albéniz, and two of Mignone's languid waltzes. To these Iruzun brings real charm. This disc of what might have been mere curiosities is lifted to a higher level by the excellence of the performances.

Phillip Scott - Fanfare Magazine

ALBENIZ, MIGNONE: Iruzun / RPO / van Steen (Somm Recordings SOMMCD 265) ****

The composer Francisco Mignone (1897-1986) is little known outside his native Brazil where he was renowned as the “King of the Brazilian Waltz”. You can hear why in his two short solo works included here as a bonus, the first and fifth Valsa de Esquina from the set of twelve he composed between 1938-1943. They are immediately attractive and infectious pieces played with great élan by Clélia Iruzun for whom, as a schoolgirl in the 1970s, Mignone wrote solo piano works.

Mignone’s love of dance forms is apparent in his colourful piano concerto from 1958 where Iruzun is equally at home, with excellent support from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Jac van Steen. Their performance of Isaac Albeniz’s rhythmically snappy and vibrant Concierto Fantastico is equally persuasive. But in Iruzun’s hands Albeniz’s Granada and Sevilla (from Suite Espagnole) suggest that his and Mignone’s genius lay in the shorter solo forms.

Norman Stinchcombe

BBC Philharmonic Hull     

Elgar and Walton 

BBC Philharmonic Hull

Bizet and Debussy

Konzert Mitschnitt 22.02.2017 Arthur Henning

Musikkollegium Winterthur - conductor Jac van Steen

Konzert mitt Schnitt

Nationale Master Orkestdirectie

Unieke opleiding Master Orkestdirectie

'Maestri' NTR film over de NMO

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 in een filmpje, dat te zien is op deze pagina.

De volgende kandidaten, de Duitser David Niemann, de Zwitser Konradin Herzog en de Hongaar Huba Hollóköi sloten zomer 2015 glansrijk hun masteropleiding af m.m.v.het NNO en het Residentie Orkest.

Onder de bezielende leiding van de hoofdvakdocenten Ed Spanjaard, Jac van Steen en Kenneth Montgomery studeren momenteel de volgende dirigenten aan de NMO: Leonardo Sini, Ryan Bancroft en Yuwon Kim.

Meer over de opleiding in onderstaand filmpje uit 2013.

Hieronder vertellen Gregory Charette en Frank Zielhorst iets over de masteropleiding.

De opleiding is een unieke samenwerking met negen professionele Nederlandse orkesten en het Nationaal Jeugdorkest. De innovatieve aanpak zorgt voor een goede aansluiting op de beroepspraktijk en betekent een belangrijke uitbreiding van het professionele netwerk van de op te leiden dirigenten. De opleiding wordt financieel mede mogelijk gemaakt door Het Kersjes Fonds. De Master is een vervolgtraject op de bestaande hbo-Bacheloropleiding orkestdirectie en is een voorbereiding op het hoge niveau en de benodigde ervaring die vereist zijn om een professioneel symfonieorkest adequaat en artistiek verantwoord te kunnen leiden.

De master omvat een studie van twee jaar binnen beide conservatoria. Om het niveau te kunnen garanderen is het aantal studieplaatsen zeer beperkt.

De hoofdvakdocenten zijn: Jac van Steen, Ed Spanjaard en Kenneth Montgomery.

De deelnemende orkesten zijn:

1. Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Amsterdam

2. Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest en Nederlands Kamerorkest, Amsterdam

3. Residentie Orkest, Den Haag

4. philharmonie zuidnederland, Brabant, Limburg en Zeeland

5. Noord Nederlands Orkest, Groningen

6. Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Hilversum

7. Het Gelders Orkest, Arnhem

8. Het Balletorkest, Amsterdam

9. Het Symfonieorkest, Enschede

    supporter: Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, Rotterdam