Kronos’ Fifty for the Future Composers

Merlijn Twaalfhoven - Netherlands

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About Play

Merlijn Twaalfhoven provides performance instructions for Play:

Merlijn Twaalfhoven provides resources

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Program Notes

About Play, Twaalfhoven writes:

“What is music making? Is it high performance? Or can it be ... play? Is it the delivery of an achievement with set expectations or can it be open to the moment, challenge the players and connect everybody?

“In the classical music of today, the separation of performer and listener is very strict and clear. We might forget how for centuries (and still today, outside the conventional concert halls), music was the most effective way to connect, to create together, to participate, to play. Both in religious service as in celebrations or ritual, music establishes a sense of unity.

“Today, our society is fragmented and divided. Can musicians play a role to create new forms of connectedness and community? In this composition, I invite all people that are present to contribute and ... to play.”

Merlijn Twaalfhoven's Play was commissioned as part of the Kronos Performing Arts Association’s Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, which is made possible by a group of adventurous partners, including Carnegie Hall and many others.

About Merlijn Twaalfhoven

Composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven (b.1976) connects styles and cultures, but first of all people. He has worked with symphony orchestras, choirs, and classical soloists as well as rock bands, folk singers, DJs, dance, and theater.

With a passion for spectacular monumental locations—a shipyard, an old factory, on rooftops, in churches, or a submarine—he includes non-Western musical traditions (Japanese, Arabic, Indian) and designs events for places with political and social tension. He has created innovative projects in refugee camps, a Roma ghetto and across dividing lines in Cyprus, Palestine, and Syria, involving children and the local communities, and connecting professional and amateur musicians.

Currently he is working on audience engagement and interactive concerts in the world of classical music, building a network of innovative singers and choirs and developing a method for musicians and other artists to engage more directly in society.

He received an UNESCO award and presented his vision on the role of the artist in society at the Aspen Institute in Washington, the EU Forum in Brussels, TEDxAmsterdam, and at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Kronos premiered Twaalfhoven’s On Parole at Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall in March 2015.

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