Caucasian Sounds

Caucasian Sounds

A musical-anthropological journey
with soloist Isabelle van Keulen

Ciconia Consort conducted by Dick van Gasteren
Isabelle van Keulen, violin

Please note that you will need the CoronaCheck app for upcoming concerts.

Friday October 8, 2021 – 8:00 PM
Outdoor Society Theater Hanzehof, Zutphen

Saturday, October 9, 2021 – 8:15 PM 
New Church, The Hague 
extras: dinner Pavlov + €24
TICKETS or via the box office in the Nieuwe Kerk (also for tickets with Ooievaarspas), open on Tuesdays & Fridays between 1 pm and 6 pm

Sunday October 10, 2021 – 4:00 PM
Old Blasius Church, Delden

Sunday October 31, 2021 – 2:30 PM
Kleine Zaal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

Edward Mirzoyan (1921-2012) – Shushanic’ – Elegy
Fikret Amirov (1922-1984) – Mugham Poéme (1979) for violin and string orchestra
Eduard Hayrapetyan (b. 1949) – “The Lost Balloon” for string orchestra
Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925-1992) – Miniatures on Georgian Folk Themes
Pēteris Vasks (b. 1946) – Vientulais Engelis, Meditation for violin and string orchestra
Fikret Amirov (1922-1984) – Symphony for string orchestra, In commemoration of the poet Nizami

Now that traveling to faraway places has long been impossible, the Ciconia Consort and Isabelle van Cologne take you on a journey to the Caucasian countries of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Caucasus has always been a crossroads of many cultures, religions and languages . Great powers such as the Soviet Union, the Ottoman Empire, the Persian Empire and the Roman Empire tried to bring the Caucasus into their sphere of influence. All these influences can still be heard in the contemporary music of this region . Less known is that Western-oriented classical music also exists in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
This results in a thriving and extraordinarily varied musical journey: in addition to the beautiful Russian-oriented (Prokofiev-like) string symphony with Persian influences by the Azerbaijani composer Fikret Amirov, you will become acquainted with the eastern Arabian ‘Mugham’, one of the many folkloric forms of music. from Azerbaijan based on the Iranian-Arabic-Turkish Maqam. Ciconia plays the lyrical and poetic film music Shushanic by the Georgian-Armenian composer Mirzoyan. The living Armenian Hayrapetyan plays ‘The Lost Balloon’, poetic soothing music with tense, almost ghostly cluster harmonies and thin melodic lines. Both works echo the sweet poetic literature known from writers such as Kader Abdolah. Tsintsadze transforms the folk music of the Georgian countryside into art music.
Star soloist Isabelle van Keulen will demonstrate her versatile musical qualities in the virtuoso Mugham Poeme and the meditative mystical Vientulais Engelis by Pēteris Vasks.

Isabelle of Cologne
Isabelle van Keulen followed her education at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam, where she studied with Davina von Wely. She continued her education in Salzburg at the Mozarteum with Sandor Vegh. In 1983 she won the silver medal at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition. And in 1984 her big break came when she won the Young Musician of the Year Competition.

Van Keulen has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and has collaborated with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Colin Davis, Sir Neville Marriner and Valery Gergiev. From 1997 to 2006 she was artistic director of the Delft Chamber Music Festival. Van Keulen has been a member of the Leopold String Trio since 2007 and was the artistic director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra from 2009 to 2012.
She is also committed to music by contemporary composers: her repertoire includes works specially written for her, such as violin concertos by Theo Loevendie, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Henri Dutilleux, John Adams and Brett Dean. She also pays attention to the lesser-known repertoire, with violin concertos by Krenek, Pettersson and Busoni.
Many recordings have been made by her on labels such as Chandos, Challenge, Berlin Classics and Hyperion. CDs have been released with works by Strauss, Respighi and the complete works for violin and piano by Sergei Prokofiev together with Ronald Brautigam, the Mozart Clarinet Quintet with Sharom Kam and Bach’s Goldberg Variations with the Leopold String Trio. In May 2013, a prestigious CD/DVD was released on Challenge Records, as well as a documentary called ‘Tango!’ with music by Astor Piazzolla, played by the Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble.

Isabelle van Keulen regularly gives master classes and since 2012 she is a professor at the Hochschule Luzern, Switzerland, for violin, viola and chamber music.

Van Keulen plays a Guarneri del Gesù violin from 1734, the ex-Novello.