"Piano als Orkest"


Piano as Orchestra

Monument House Concert Series

Sunday 17 December 2006


Colour invitation card in English, in Dutch

PDF concert announcement one page in English

Back to Concert Announcement, or House Concerts Home Page

Maria Goudimov, Dec 2006

Some 50 people came to the second public house concert of the Monument House Concert Series. At last minute, someone called from Amersfoort, only to be greeted with "sorry, only standing room and garden seats left." 18 people had paid in advanced while still more had confirmed in writing that they'd attend.

Despite a few gate-crashers and several with no view of the performers at all, never mind the chefs at work in the kitchen, everyone (including the children) sat still and listened attentively to the performances.

Promptly at 3 pm, Anne Ku welcomed everyone and announced the programme for the day. No programme notes were distributed to avoid the shuffling of papers during this afternoon concert.

Anne Ku and Maria Goudimov, Dec 2006

Maria Goudimov opened the concert with a harp solo piece. In the setting sun of winter, only the sound of the harp could be heard in this centennial monument house next to a canal in central Utrecht.

Following a resounding applause, Anne introduced the next piece --- a harp concerto written at the turn of the century (1901) by a French female harpist Henriette Renie. The concerto became more famous after it was recorded on CD in the last ten years and selected as an orchestra piece for harp competition finalists. Anne Ku played the orchestra reduction on the piano while Maria Goudimov played the solo part --- in three movements.

It was the first time, for many people, to be in such close proximity to a concert harp.

Robert Bekkers, December 2006

After the harp was moved, Robert Bekkers appeared with his Jeroen Hilhorst concert guitar to play the well-known Guitar Concerto in D major by Vivaldi. It's a fast piece with three movements (fast, slow, fast). It's the first piece in the repertoire of their piano guitar duo.

The next guitar concerto was also written in the key of D, and perhaps the most famous guitar concerto of all, the Aranjuez by Rodrigo. Robert Bekkers had arranged and performed the slow second movement for two guitars, flute, and bassoon for an outdoor house concert in July 2002 in London.

During the next 20 minutes of intermission, the guests devoured the 120 cookies made by Elea.

Anne Ku, December 2006

Fewer than ten who attended had also been to the first house concert of this Monument House Concert Series, the violin guitar duo46's "Music of the Americas" on 2 July 2006. Two had reserved after visiting the Piano Concerten website, which lists mainly piano solo concerts. Several of Robert Bekkers' guitar students and their families came. Anne Ku's classmates and teachers from Utrecht Conservatory were also present. Most guests were at this house for the first time. The performers and guests were of many nationalities --- Dutch, Spanish, Russian, German, American, Italian, Irish, Austrian, and British.


Harm Vuijk, December 2006

After the intermission, Anne Ku introduced Henk Alkema who had taught her composition. Henk wrote the 18-minute euphonium concerto "All in Good Time" for Harm Vuijk who played on a silver-plated euphonium. The euphonium, he later explained, is a tenor tuba, usually played seated. He preferred to stand.

"All in Good Time" will be premiered with orchestra on 18th March 2007 in Culembourg, Netherlands.

Anne Ku closed the concert by thanking the performers and the guests. She urged everyone to stay and try the home-baked gourmet organic cakes.


Henk Alkema, December 2006

A few more people deserved thanks --- the welcome committee who made sure coffee and tea were freshly made, and clean cups and glasses always available:

Kristen, a former housemate, and now a PhD student at University of Utrecht, who arrived at 1:30 pm to help.

Elisenda, housemate and visiting PhD student from Barcelona

Elea, who baked the cookies and prepared the initial setting before anyone arrived.


Emily and Paulus of Innerfireworks, who made their gourmet organic cakes in the kitchen: the delicious chocolate cake and nutmeg cake (with warm icing) enticed the guests to remain after the concert for conversation and drinks.

Page turners are essential in the smooth performance of the pianist. They have to be at constant alert, anticipating the next page turn, an effort not to be underestimated.

Erik from Rotterdam, sightreading through Vivaldi and Rodrigo when called upon last-minute to turn pages for Anne Ku as Maria Goudimov had to leave immediately for the train

Willemijn who turned pages for Henk Alkema


Photo credit with thanks to Heleen, Kristen, and Elea.

Sunday 17 December is probably the busiest day for musicians, as it's the last weekend before the Christmas period for concerts. It was also a Cultural Sunday in Utrecht, where already some 75 locations were offering free house concerts.

For those who stayed after the concert, conversations followed in music and other topics, ending with a thank you dinner of marinated chicken, baked potatoes with rosemary and thyme, garlic bread, fresh salad, and wine.


From the guestbook:

I'm here via the harpist Ms Goudimov. Very beautiful music and atmosphere. Thank you very much!!
Erik van Veldhoven, Soest

We're enjoying your music yet again. Thank you!
Orla, Fionnuala, Kees, en Ita, Utrecht

Wat heerlijk, al die muziek in huis! Wat een gevarieerd aanbod ook. Ik hoop nog vaker gast op jullie huisconcerten te zijn.
Frans, Bussum

Wat was het ontzettend mooi!! Ik krijg gelijk zin om zelf ook te gaan spelen!
Marieke, Bussum

Fantastische middag met prachtige muziek, we hebben ervan genoten! Voor herlaling vatbaar veel succes
Kars, Lia, Arie, Bussum

We hebben erg genoten van alle mooie muziek, en natuurlijk de cake
An en Bert, Hoofddorp

Super!! Volgende keer zijn wij weer. We hebben genoten
Marco, Christine, Rina, en Peter, Almere

Eindelijk eens eer huisconcert bij jullie! Wat spelen julllie heel mooi samen, gitaar en piano... prachtig!
Jac en Maria, Ede Wageningen

Dank vielmals, es war herrlich

I wanted to thank you again for your hospitality and the gezelligheid of last Sunday! Willemijn and I enjoyed it very much!
Harm, Utrecht