Monument House Concert Series

Effusion invitation

Monument House Concert Series

Monument House
Keulsekade 25
3531 JX Utrecht
The Netherlands
tel: 030 291 0214

About Monument House Concert Series:
Originally built by the Dutch National Water Board for its employees in 1903 to operate the lock in front, this row of terraced houses was awarded monument status in 2003. Keulsekade 25 is the home of the Piano Guitar Duo of Anne Ku and Robert Bekkers, who co-founded the concert series in 2006 to reach local communities and international visitors.

Offering a breathtaking view of the peaceful canal between Lombok and Oog in Al neighbourhoods of (west) Utrecht, the nonsmoking venue houses a restored Steinway Grand Piano (188 cm, model A, New York 1909) and excellent acoustics with its high ceilings and centrally-heated oak floors. Collaborators and sponsors are actively sought for future concerts.

CONTACT for press and invitation enquiries.

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READ concertblog REVIEWS 17/2/10

Julian Scaff

Julian Scaff is a media and environmental artist, and a faculty in media communications at Webster University in Leiden, the Netherlands. As a media artist Julian explores how narrative and landscape form a symbiotic relationship within cinematic or aural space. His environmental artworks use ethnographic methods as a starting point to explore the dialogue between people and their environment, and seek to restore or bring clarity to the cultural and ecological layers of the landscape. His documentary films have been shown at international film festivals and on Dutch public television, and his radio shows have been broadcast in Amsterdam, London, Paris and Beirut.

Julian holds an M.F.A. in Public Art from the Dutch Art Institute, an M.A. in Film and Television Critical Studies from UCLA, and a B.A. (honors) in Film and Video from Pitzer College.

Effusion is the first of a new kind of event taking place at the Monument House Concert Series. Unlike previous ones which have been solely focussed on live (classical) music, with conversation secondary, Effusion is the genesis of cross domain exploration.

"Cross domain" means crossing different domains and not remaining in one. Effusion is not only about live music or video or urban planning or architecture. It is about all of these domains.

Each domain, with its own vocabulary and rules, commands its own experts and audiences. When we cross into another domain, we require metaphors or analogies to help bridge the communication gap. When we describe music, for instance, we use words like speeding up, slowing down, going up, going down, which are words we use to describe the way we travel.

At another level, there may be synergies that generate new thinking, new approaches to existing problems, opening new kinds of dialogues.

The idea for this event came about while planning a memorial tribute concert for the late architect Ayyub Malik, a personal friend who had advised us about sound-proofing space for musicians. At this concert in London in September 2008 I met many of Ayyub's architect colleagues and friends whose conversations led to the topic of space. Architects and urban planners create and make space. Artists and musicians need space. Surely there exists a synergy somewhere? How can we start a dialogue to make it happen?

By coincidence, I learned of Julian Scaff's A12 project with Jeroren van Westen, which was commissioned by Utrecht architects of Stichting A12Nu. The A12 is a highway that borders three areas in the province of Utrecht: Utrecht city, Nieuwegein, and Houten.

At the Effusion event, Julian will present the concept behind this short film. This will be followed by live piano duet performances against the raw footage used to create the video.

Anne Ku, 16 February 2009

Jeroen van Westen

Jeroen van Westen is a landscape artist living in Heeten, the Netherlands. Van Westen believes that the borderline between sensorial and intellectual perception should cease to exist in a landscape. For him a landscape is a portrait of a culture as much as it is a product of natural phenomena. In addressing the sensorial experience he seeks to create conditions in which questions can grow, and travelers can become ones who communicate and understand. Van Westen's major public artworks have and continue to redefine the contemporary Dutch landscape, and his observations of landscape in the form of photographs, sound, and video are documented in both printed and electronic publications designed by the artist himself.

Heleen Verleur

Amsterdam-based pianist, composer, and Suzuki piano teacher, Heleen Verleur studied piano at the  Hilversum Conservatory (The Netherlands). She has long written music for her own pupils, and also gave composing lessons to children. Among her many works are piano trio, violin and piano, baritone sax and piano, and voice and piano. On the CD "I carry your heart" a variety of poems was put to music for soprano & piano. This CD has been broadcasted integrally on Dutch radio. The Tango from Piano trio number 2 was first performed and aired on Dutch radio in celebration of the wedding of the Dutch prince to his Argentine bride.

The modern piano duets from "Onderweg" first published in 2007 are written for 4-hands, one piano, consisting of 9 different modes of transport, from cycling to flying.

Anne Ku Born in Brunei of Chinese parents, Anne Ku studied piano under Betsy Hermann in Okinawa and Randall Love at Duke University. She began accompanying choirs from age 12, followed soon after by wedding engagements as pianist and organist. A graduate of London Business School and London School of Economics, she brings her passion for producing thematic house concerts from Houston and London to the Netherlands. Anne concluded her composition studies in June 2008 at Utrecht Conservatory with a final exam which included the premiere of her second chamber opera, Culture Shock! and a piano teaching thesis on sightreading. She reviews operas, competitions, and music festivals for Le Bon Journal, an online publication she founded in 2001. Anne and her piano guitar duo partner Robert Bekkers founded the Monument House Concert Series in 2006 to share their private space with the public in annual grassroots events involving either the piano or the guitar.