My return to Apeldoorn was every bit as exciting as 2014, though I was considerably more relaxed this time around. There were no missed or delayed connections, no being trapped in Dubai for twenty-four hours, (or being trapped in a toilet cubicle in Apeldoorn…), and no impending deadline of my thesis weighing on my mind. The generosity of Wim Boerman and Orkest de Ereprijs is second to none; a very hearty thank you to the musicians for performing my new piece ‘Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax’ throughout the week and to Clark Rundell and Wim for conducting!
This year I managed to fit in some sight-seeing (Vermeer, Van Gogh, and Escher, anyone?), reconnect with friends from last year, make some super lovely new ones, sit in on lectures by senior composers Louis Andriessen, Richard Ayres, Martijn Padding, Errollyn Wallen and Cathy van Eck, see sixteen world premieres, including Padding’s ‘Slow Landscape (with Thunder) with Marije van den Berg on bass flute, and attend three concerts featuring my commissioned piece. The third concert I didn’t even know about until my arrival, but was lucky enough to catch as my flight was not until 10pm on my final day! And, of course, no YCM is complete without a visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum. I cannot recommend the Young Composers Meeting enough to young composers; apply for 2016! The food in itself is enough of a reason to apply.
I greatly enjoyed attending the workshops of the sixteen young composers; all of the pieces were of high quality, though I did have my favourites! This year’s participants were: Finola Merivale, Rob Jones, Molly Joyce, Natalie Dietterich, Jonathan Brigg, Nolan Krell, Liisa Kirsch, Jon Myers, Ivan Vukosavljevic, Yfat Soul Zisso, Septian Dwi Cahyo, Sebastian Dumitrescu, Matyas Wettl, Haukur Þór Harðarson, Jacek Sotomski, and Rachel Devorah Trapp. Congratulations to the prize winners Matyas Wettl, Jonathan Brigg, and Liisa Hirsch.
I’m also thrilled (and surprised) to say that I’ll be returning to The Netherlands again next year! I’ve been commissioned by Het Gelders Orkest to write a new piece for the Orchestra of the 21st Century (RKST21), which is a combined ensemble of HGO and Orkest de Ereprijs. I can’t wait!