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Free the Piano

By Mahan Esfahani, Daria van den Bercken, Emer McDonough, Thomas Gould, Britten Sinfonia

New ideas arise where musicians play together. If there ever was a single piece of exemplary musical collaboration, it would be J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg concertos. In one of those concertos, Bach decided to move the harpsichord from its traditional accompanying role and put it in the spotlight. He was the first person to give the instrument a long and virtuosic cadence. This marked the birth of the very first piano concerto and formed the basis for the piano concerto as we know it. 

This piano concerto, however, we haven’t heard before: Mathilde Wantenaar composed her Rhapsody for Piano and Strings specifically for Daria van den Bercken and Britten Sinfonia, and the piece will have its Dutch premier tonight. The young composer and her work are currently conquering concerts halls across the globe. We consider ourselves lucky that she rose to the challenge of finding a suitable answer to Bach’s fifth Brandenburg concerto. The world’s oldest and very youngest piano concerto on a single night – the Piano Biennial has commenced!


De Vereeniging,
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Who are you going to see?

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J.S. Bach – Brandenburg Concert nr. 5, BWV 1050
Dmitri Sjostakovitsj — Two pieces for String Octet Op. 11
Mathilde Wantenaar – Rhapsody for Piano and Strings (Dutch premiere)


Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Daria van den Bercken, piano
Emer McDonough, flute
Thomas Gould, violin
Britten Sinfonia

Find out more!

Daria van den Bercken


Mahan Esfahani


Britten Sinfonia


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