Neglected Genius: The Music of Julius Rontgen
Thursday, Nov. 10 at 8pm in Glenn Gould Studio
On Thursday, November 10, at 8:00 pm at the Glenn Gould Studio, ARC (Artists
of The Royal Conservatory) - a resident ensemble at The Royal Conservatory of
Music featuring the faculty of The Glenn Gould School - presents a concert exploring
the music of the Dutch composer Julius Röntgen (1855-1932), a neglected musical
genius, whose influences include Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Edvard
Grieg (Röntgen's close friend and valued colleague).
The concert coincides with the150th anniversary of Röntgen's
birth and highlights his highly imaginative, infectiously melodic
and instrumentally idiomatic works, long overlooked by the musical
Dutch critic, musician and Röntgen scholar Jurjen Vis will introduce
the concert from the stage.
"In sampling Röntgen's massive musical output, ARC hopes
to provide a glimpse of his chamber music and to provoke a broader
discussion about the ways in which contemporary repertoire choices
and our listening habits are determined by the extra-musical
considerations," said Simon Wynberg, Artistic Director of
ARC and The Royal Conservatory of Music are most grateful to
his excellency Jan Hesseling and the Consulate General of the
Netherlands for generously supporting this ARC project.
Born in Leipzig, Germany, Julius Röntgen moved to Holland in
his early twenties and lived most of his life there. Despite
his prodigious contribution to Dutch music, in the areas of education,
performance and the exploration of indigenous folk music traditions,
Röntgen maintained a strong German identity and his musical loyalty
and cultural spirit remained close to his native Leipzig, where
he spent his early formative years.
The catalogue of Röntgen's output as a composer, compiled by
his grandson Juriaan, is overwhelming: myriad works for piano,
including sonatas, character pieces, dances, suites and variations;
sonatas for solo strings, 14 piano trios, 16 string trios, over
20 string quartets, 3 piano quartets, 3 piano quintets, 25 symphonies,
7 piano concertos, 5 violin concertos and a huge body of vocal
Julius Röntgen also played an important role in the planning
and design of Amsterdam's famous concert hall, the Concertgebouw.
It was he who suggested to a committee of city elders that they
study the dimensions and acoustic qualities of Leipzig's recently
completed new concert hall - the Gewandhaus. The completion of
the Concertgebouw in April 1888 changed the city's performance
tradition forever, as did the formation of its eponymous orchestra,
which became one of the world's greatest.
In 1884, Röntgen co-founded the Amsterdam Conservatoire, together
with the Dutch composer Daniel de Lange, the violinist Frans
Coenen and the baritone Johannes Messchaert. His association
with this institution lasted some 42 years, the final 11, from
1913 to 1924, as its director. Röntgen's influence was substantial.
He introduced the Netherlands to Grieg, Brahms and Nielsen as
well as to works of the new Russian school by Alexander Borodin
and César Cui. He also prepared and mounted the first Dutch performances
of Bach's B Minor Mass, the Magnificat, several cantatas and
ARC is The Royal Conservatory's resident ensemble. Led by Artistic
Director Simon Wynberg, this group of virtuosi - all faculty
at The Glenn Gould School - is dedicated to the performance of
chamber music, and to creating diverse and compelling programs.
ARC ensemble are: David Louie and Dianne Werner (pianos); Marie
Bérard and Erika Raum (violins); Steven Dann (viola); Bryan Epperson
(cello) and Joaquin Valdapenas (clarinet). ARC has also invited
special guests Carolyn Blackwell (viola) - a student at The Glenn
Gould School - and Peter Cosbey (cello) - a graduate of The Glenn
Founded in 1886, The Royal Conservatory of Music is the largest
and oldest independent arts educator in Canada, serving more
than 500,000 active participants each year. To provide an even
wider reach for its programs, the Conservatory has launched the
Building National Dreams Campaign to restore its Victorian home
and to build a state-of-the-art performance and learning centre.
Opening in 2007, the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning
will be one of the world's greatest arts and education venues
and a wonderful resource for all Canadians. Designed by Kuwabara
Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB), this stunning facility
will feature new academic and performance space, including an
acoustically perfect 1,140-seat concert hall, new studios and
classrooms, a new media centre, library and rehearsal hall. Technologically
sophisticated, it will be the heart of creative education in
For more information, please contact Jack Kado, Director of Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 408 2824, ext. 461.