a journey to the ancient world
with Herman Pleij

Ciconia Consort conducted by Dick van Gasteren
Herman Pleij, speaker
Anushka Pedano, viola


Friday, April 9 , 2021 – 12:30 PM, LIVESTREAM
Main Hall – TivoliVredenburg         To review click here.

Sunday, May 30, 2021 3:00 PM and 5:15 PM CANCELED
The New Church, The Hague

Thursday, April 22, 2021 – 8:15 PM CANCELLED
Oudshoorn church, Alphen aan den Rijn
Entrance fee: €21

Saturday, April 24, 2021 – 8:00 PM CANCELLED
Great Church, Maassluis
Entrance fee: €25

Thursday, May 27, 2021 8:15 PM CANCELLED
Great Church, Naarden
Entrance fee: €32 (unplaced)
Young people< 27 years €15 / Children 4 to 10 €5

Program Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) – Italian serenade
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) – Mars from Harold and Italy
Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) – Antiche danze et arie per liuto, suite no. 3
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) – Souvenir de Florence, opus 70

The Grand Tour represents an extensive journey through mainland Europe, as was customary from the 16th century to the early 20th century. Those who come from a good family make a Grand Tour, especially to Italy, to admire the treasures of Greek and Roman antiquity. For young men from Europe’s elite, the tour is an almost obligatory part of general education, a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood . Letters, travel guides and travel journals are eagerly read by those who stay at home. Together with the souvenirs they bring, they ensure that the culture of classical antiquity is known to a wider audience.

The term ‘tourism’ as we know it today comes from ‘Grand Tour’: a way of traveling for the purpose of learning new things and exchanging knowledge. Just like in the past, many young people still cross Europe every summer, armed with an Interrail card. Rome, Naples, Florence and Venice are still popular destinations to see and experience what you have learned at school.

Pioneers of the Grand Tour were Wolfgang Goethe and Lord Byron. They put fascinating stories in writing and artists and composers follow in their footsteps. However, many artists do not have the financial means to visit Rome. King Louis XIV therefore instituted the ‘Prix de Rome’ in 1666, so that French artists could study the artistic expressions of antiquity with their own eyes. Prize winners can therefore work in Rome for four years. The original French Prix de Rome survives for three centuries. Hector Berlioz is one of the prize winners and makes his Italy trip in 1830. The work Harold in Italy is about Berlioz’s poetic memories of his wanderings in Abruzzo. Inspired by Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, the viola solo symbolizes this wistful dreamer.

Tjaikovsky also visits Italy and stays in Florence for several months. During that period he makes sketches for a string sextet. Back in Saint Petersburg, he completes his Souvenir de Florence , a reminder of a creatively fruitful and free period, surrounded by the splendor of this city. For Tjaikovsky, Souvenir de Florence is a lyrical work, “a subjective experience with feelings of joy and sorrow”.

Herman Pleij takes you on his Grand Tour with his inspiring storytelling. He talks about the historical and sociological identity of Grand Tour travelers from then and now; from medieval pilgrimages to contemporary pleasure trips. A music program full of nostalgia, melancholy and temperament.

Herman Pleij
Herman Pleij studied Dutch language and literature at the University of Amsterdam. He obtained his doctorate in 1979 on ‘The Guild of the Blue Barge. Literature, folk festival and civic morality in the late Middle Ages’. From 1981 to 2008 he was professor of Historical Dutch Literature at the University of Amsterdam and he is currently emeritus professor at the same university. In 1993 he was awarded the Francqui chair for foreigners by the Belgian government, in 2000 by the Catholic University of Brussels with an honorary doctorate, and on his retirement from the university as a knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
His interests lie in medieval folk culture, literature and the printing press, the development of civic morality and Dutch identities in general. He wrote many essays and books on these subjects. Several CD boxes with lectures were also published.

In 1991 Pleij made a six-part radio and TV series for Teleac under the title Speaking about the Middle Ages . Essays on Dutch mentalities and the history of national civilization have been collected in the anthologies The Dutch Unease (1991), Hollands Welbehagen (1998), Against Barbarism (1999), The Rediscovery of the Netherlands (2003) and Erasmus and the Polder Model (2005). These publications resulted in the ten-part TV series Wij Nederlanders .
More recently published: Should be possible. In search of a Dutch identity and Luck!? From heavenly gift to gadget. His latest book was published in early 2020: Exercises in pleasure. Love and Lust in the Late Middle Ages, about which he – standing on the presentation table – told De Wereld Draait Door .

Anuschka Pedano viola
Anuschka Pedano started viola lessons at the age of nine with Julia Dinerstein, from whom she still takes lessons. She attended masterclasses with Michael Kugel, Jürgen Kussmaul, Sven Arne Tepl, Alexander
Pavlovsky, Orfeo Mandozzi, the members of the Zemtsov viola quartet.

Anuschka has already had an impressive career at her young age. In 2015 she won the British Viola Competition, was a finalist of the Royal Concertgebouw Competition, won first prize and the “Prix Marie-Christine Cid-Diaz” at the “Concours Européen pour Jeunes Solistes”. In 2016 she won the Classic Young Masters Award and the Sinfonia Award. At the beginning of 2017 she won first prize at the regional final of the Princess Christina Competition in Rotterdam.
Since September 2016 she has been a member of the international string orchestra LGT Young Soloists in Zurich, with whom she performs as a soloist in Europe, America and Asia. Anuschka regularly plays at (international) festivals such as: Wonderfeel festival, Grachtenfestival, Vocal Art Rhein-Main festival in Frankfurt and Spivakov festival in Moscow. She has performed as a soloist with the Royal Marine Band, Domestica Rotterdam and together with the Russian violinist Nikita Boriso-Glebsky with Sinfonia Rotterdam.
In October 2017, she and her sister, Maria Pedano, appeared as a guest in the television program Podium Witteman.
Anuschka plays a French viola built by Gand & Bernadel Freres (Paris, 1877), donated to her by the National Musical Instrument Fund.