Squire Artists - Roelof Jonker
Colombiahof 35, 2622 AD Delft
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31(0)15 8899331
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E-mail: officesqar.nl
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Ishay Shaer - A stunning new recording by an eminent Beethoven interpreter

28 NOVEMBER 2017

Ishay Shaer CD cover BeethovenFrom the review by Aart van der Wal / OpusKlassiek, November 2017: "Shaer allows himself a great deal of poetic license, in which his foremost priority is to infuse the works he is playing with a certain musical glow ... with an engaging style of cantabile playing that is embedded in a warm piano sound at the other end of the rich spectrum ..."

"I heard the staccato notes of both the second and fourth Bagatelle, Op. 126 in a dynamically powerful rendition, almost ‘liberated’ from the monotony that mars so many performances of these pieces. Hearing Shaer at work on the Bagatelles is like a breath of fresh air ... "

"The recording was produced by no one less than Andrew Keener ... It sounds just as we have come to expect from him: formidable. In conclusion, a stunning CD!"

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 28 in A, Op. 101 - No. 30 in E, Op. 109 - Bagatelles, Op. 119 & Op. 126 / Orchid Classics ORC100076

Quatuor Van Kuijk’s French CD: Sensitive and sonorous quartet playing

19 NOVEMBER 2017

Quatuor van Kuijk CD cover DebussyEvery year, the European Concert Hall Organisation selects a number of musicians and ensembles to participate in the next season’s Rising Stars programme. The chosen artists are given the opportunity to perform in the organisation’s network of concert venues and thus reach a wide international audience and gain solid ground beneath their feet.

The Van Kuijk Quartet was also among this year’s chosen few. Although the quartet will not perform in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw until next June, proof is already available that is certainly well worth listening to. On their second CD – their first, featuring Mozart quartets, was released only recently in mid-2016 – the French musicians recorded the classic combination of Ravel and Debussy, to which they added Chausson’s Chanson Perpétuelle.

The Van Kuijk Quartet produces a highly sensitive and luxurious quartet sound, in which the balance between the four instruments is practically perfectly and the timing is organic. These string players remain entirely unfazed, playing according to a calmly executed plan, entirely of their own making: highly intelligent. We look forward to a promising concert next June, when they will be playing not only Debussy but also Schubert. 

© Frederike Berntsen - Trouw, Cultuur&Media

New to Squire Artists: Ensemble 4.1

26 june 2017

Ensemble 4.1Our ongoing search for unique ensembles recently brought us to Weimar, where we heard Ensemble 4.1 in a concert at the German National Theatre. Acclaimed chamber music player and pianist Thomas Hoppe and four solo wind soloists from top-class German symphony orchestras make up this ‘Piano Windtet’. Not only their outstanding musicianship, but the infectious enthusiasm, exceptionally communicative playing and passion for music demonstrated by the ensemble instantly held us enthralled.

Aside from the scant standard repertoire for this combination, Ensemble 4.1 focuses primarily on unknown works (undeservedly so, we might add) from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, and has also had several arrangements written especially for them. Unique in this respect is Cord Garben’s arrangement of Schubert’s song cycle Die Winterreise, featuring lyrical baritone Roman Trekel.

New to Squire Artists: Matthias Bamert

21 MAY 2017

Matthias BamertSquire Artists is honoured to welcome conductor Matthias Bamert aboard! Elegant, dynamic, enthusiastic - and even sensational: all labels that have been used to describe Maestro Matthias Bamert throughout the course of his long career. Classical, Romantic or Contemporary: he is renowned for his ability to gain an in-depth grasp on a score in no time at all; always culminating in a widely acclaimed performance. Bamert will be turning 75 this July, but hasn't given the idea of retirement a single thought. He was offered a principal guest conductor position by the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea, which he accepted earlier this year.

New to Squire Artists: Antje Weithaas

16 MARCH 2017

Antje WeithaasIt is with great pleasure that Squire Artists welcomes violinist Antje Weithaas to its roster of performing artists. For many years, she has been one of those rare artists who is able to transform every performance into an unforgettable event. Technical perfection, a passionate performer and driven by a desire to get through to the core of a musical score: these are the key phrases that describe a great musician, and the character traits with which Antje Weithaas enthuses her audiences. She has been doing just that as a soloist with numerous orchestras all over the world, as a player of chamber music in various ensembles and as the inspirational driving force behind chamber orchestra Camerata Bern. 2017 will see several recordings added to her discography, including Brahms’ Double Concerto and the Schumann and the Tchaikovsky violin concertos.

A festival that brings Schubert back to life

19 FEBRUARY 2017

Classical Now

For five full days, the spirit of Franz Schubert could be felt throughout The Hague. The Viennese composer’s chamber music was the common thread running through the Classical Now Festival. Among the festival’s highlights was the reconstruction of a musical soiree organised by Schubert in late March 1828 in memory of Beethoven. It proved to be a long, beautiful evening in the Nieuwe Kerk.

The French Quatuor Van Kuijk fulfilled its promise as a rising star with a passionate and theatrical performance. Almost taking on the role of a story-teller, baritone Tobias Berndt mesmerised the audience; every word clearly enunciated and charged with emotion. The same could be said for the Netherlands Chamber Choir, whose programme presented in the hours approaching midnight evoked the subdued atmosphere of nocturnal song.

However, the most impressive performance was that of the Second Piano Trio, in which Schubert allows the deceased genius of Beethoven to quietly blaze like the setting sun. Young Israeli pianist Ishay Shaer, violinist Liza Ferschtman and cellist Quirine Viersen held the audience spellbound in an almost hypnotic trance. The listeners were so enthralled that they even forgot to cough! Could they have been witness to the birth of a new piano trio?

Schubert’s instrumental music often conveys the impression of being based on a text - words that he may have erased at a later point in time. This notion holds true here, as well. The piano, violin and cello held passionate conversations, enjoying each other’s phrases and playing with the silence in between the notes. In the blink of an eye, Schubert was transformed into a magician, one about whom Grillparzer once wrote that he could transform poetry into sound and allow music to speak.

Review NRC - Joost Galema, concert 18 February at Nieuwe Kerk, The Hague
(Photo Joris-Jan Bos)