Lavinia Meijer and Carel Kraayenhof together in concert

C&L300dpi-130-2Carel Kraayenhof as well as Lavinia Meijer are known around the world as musicians who are masters of their instruments. Both have reached large audiences far beyond the borders of their country with instruments that are not commonly seen; the bandoneón and the harp, respectively. Another common factor between these two musicians: they do not allow themselves to be “one more in the crowd”. Kraayenhof has worked with musicians such as Sting, Ennio Morricone, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, JURK!, Caro Emerald and the 3JS. Lavinia has been seen frequently on stages on the past months with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Holland Symfonia, Michiel Borstlap and Gare du Nord, among others.

In the past years Kraayenhof and Meijer have often met backstage at several concerts and festivals. Standing on the starts that lead to the artist café at the Theater Carré the idea popped out: let’s meet up some time soon and rehearse for a few concerts together. The repertoire consists of tangos, milongas and other beautiful Argentinean/Spanish/Italian compositions from composers such as Piazzolla and Morricone, but also Kraayenhof’s own compositions. The combination from bandoneón and harp sounds magical. The already enchanted notes from each instrument complete en strengthen each other in a harmonious way. We can already say that this is a dream combination of musicians come true.

(text Eric van het Groenewout)
Voor concert dates for Lavinia and Carel in Haarlem, Ede, The Hague, Den Bosch and Rotterdam, please see our concert agenda.

Cd recording Liberacion started! Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble

BqU0zJYIEAAH8y2We have started to record Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s new CD, Liberación. The Kerkzaal (“church room”) at Beauforthuis in Austerlitz has been transformed into a studio and will be our home for the next three days. With Studio Engineer Hans Bedeker is in charge of the sound table and our Sound Engineer Rimmert van Lummel working hard at the moment, our CD release in October is looking certain!

Carel Kraayenhof Newsletter June. On vacation to Porugal?

Dear friends and colleagues,

18The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble is back from a great tour in Indonesia. Next to the successful concerts at the Theater Salihara and at the Erasmus Huis, both in Jakarta, the Ensemble also gave a beautiful concert in the Kraton in Yogyakarta. The Sultan and his family live in this “Kraton” and during the concert we were honored by the presence of his oldest daughter, the crown princess. It was a pleasant surprise to see that many of the visitors who were present in our last concert, two years ago, were once again present during these concerts. At the Erasmus Huis we were able to give an entire concert with the collaboration of local musicians, two dancers and to play a song with the enormously popular Indonesian pop idol Calvin Jeremy. The workshop and master class in Argentine Tango in Jakarta and Yogyakarta were a lot of fun. In Yogyakarta we had some challenges to get enough musicians to join, considering that the strings and piano players had they main exams on that same day! For that reason we had an interesting mix musicians in the classroom, even drummers and electrical guitar students. Luckily they jumped right in, with Juan Pablo’s first rhythmic notes and enjoyed the Argentine tango and folklore. Full of enthusiasm they watched on the following day our concert at the Kraton.
For the Ensemble it was great to be able to play the new repertoire, this not only for the new theater show ‘Liberación’, but also as preparation for the CD recording on the 17th, 18th and 19th of June.
The rest of the month we will be working on mixing and assembling the music recorded. This new album will also be released under our own label. The official release will take place on the 28th of October.

Repertoire CD ‘Liberación’
After more than one and half year of preparation we are proud to confirm that this new album will have even more own compositions than our last one. We are also glad to share with you the titles of songs that will be present in the album. Carel’s own compositions: So Long, Island, Cry for freedom, Ida y vuelta, Lampedusa, Bamestra, Aleppo, El fuego del fueye, Charlotte, Lament, Un tornillo en la maquina tanguera, El Corte.
Juan Pablo’s compositions: Candombe sin esclavos, Andes.
The dates for the theater tour are already known, please visit our website for the dates and you may also contact the theaters for tickets purchase.

If you are planning a vacation to Portugal this summer, maybe an option is to visit Espinho on the 25th of July. On this date, at 22:00hrs Carel will give a concert at the main square, together with the Classical Orchestra of Espinho. Carel will join the orchestra as bandoneon soloist playing the first three parts of “Aconcagua” – Concerto for bandoneón and Orchestra and Adios Nonino from Astor Piazzolla.
This concert will take place as part of the 40th International Music Festival of Espinho.
Summer vacation
From the 7th to the 16th of July our office will be closed for a summer vacation.

Warm regards,
Carel and Thirza

Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble to Indonesia.

Yogyakarta paleisFor the second time in the existance of the ensemble the musicians will travel to Indonesia, invited by Ton van Zeeland, director of the Erasmus House in Jakarta, to give a number of concerts and workshops.
During the stay in Indonesia Dennis van Driel will replace our sound-technician Rimmert van Lummel. We are very grateful towards the Fund for the Stage-arts, because it promised us a travel-subsidy for the 9 flying-tickets (6 musicians, manager, sound-technician and cello). Without this financial support this journey would not have been possible.
The first concert will take place in the ‘Komunitas Salihara’ in Jakarta. This is a beautiful theatre/galery in which western as well as local projects are being programmed. The day after this concert, 29 May, our musicians will give a workshop Argentinian tango in the Erasmus House. From our experience of two years ago we know that this always will draw very motivated musicians. We already enjoy this special day. The workshop-musicians recently received the tango-compositions from Jaap Branderhorst, our double-bassplayer and coordinator workshops, so that they can prepare themselves.
Our concert in the Erasmus House, in which also the workshop-musicians will participate, will take place on 30 May.
On 31 May we will travel to Yogyakarta, university-city and known because of the batik-industry. On the conservatory I.C.I. of Yogyakarta we will give a masterclass Argentinian tango that day.
That we ever should give a concert in the ‘kraton’ of the Sultan was just a dream. And yet this dream comes true! On 1 June we will give a concert in the middle of the palace ‘Keraton Ngayogyaka’. Tickets for this concert are available on May 28, Indonesian-Dutch Cultural Center,Suryodiningratan 37-B, accross Hotel Brongto, Yogyakarta.
Follow our diarynotes of this journey by way of Twitter or Facebook.

Concerts in Doha Carel Kraayenhof & Juan Pablo Dobal

van ambassade met ministers en YvetteWith two sponsored KLM-tickets Carel and I flew to Doha on 28 April. Juan Pablo and Rimmert followed us in a flight by Qatar Airlines. We travelled on invitation of the Dutch ambassador in Doha, Yvette van Eechoud, to celebrate ‘Kings Day’ there on 29 April in the National Theatre together with The Dutch community.
When you arrive on the airport it is immediately clear that you landed in a totally different world. It is a country where the smell of Musk overwhelms and fascinates you completely, where most men walk in a thob with gutra, a white robe with a white headscarf, and many women in a niqaab, a black robe under which the eyes are still visible.
Qatar is a country, that is lead by one family, the Al Thani family and where the local population is a minority (200.000 Qatari, 2 millions of foreigners). The heat in June, July and August is so extremely high that for us it was immediately incomprehensible why the Fifa has planned the World Championships to take place there in summer!!
Most of the Qatari are sunni muslims, all the other inhabitants are foreigners who do most of the work and took their own religions and traditions. In this special country we were going to give a concert.
That concert took place in the National Theatre in Doha. It is not very known by the ‘common’ Qatari, but it does have all the facilities of a theatre in a middle sized Dutch city. Unfortunately for Rimmert his sound-table was placed at the utmost left side of the hall, because in the middle, where it is normally situated, stood the unmovable chair of the emir. Fortunately Rimmert dealt with bigger problems and he mixed the sound perfectly. For Juan Pablo it was a feast to drink in the artists foyer, which very much looked like a Bedouin tent, the Arabian coffee with five (!) lumbs of sugar. Strange people those Argentinians!
From the Dutch community 400 people had come to the with orange flowers decorated theatre to attend the alcoolfree reception and to listen to our concert. Our ambassador received many CEO’s of Dutch companies in Qatar, she also welcomed minister Mohamed Bin Saleh Al Sada, the minister for Energy and Industry, and also ambassador Ibrahim Fakhroo, head Protocol of the Foreign Office.
The ambassador opened her speech in Arabic, followed by a beautiful text in English, in which she explained that music unifies peoples and cultures.
As soon as both the national hymns were finished the concert of Carel and Juan Pablo started. For an hour the audience listened breathlessly to these musicians, to finish after the encore, with a hit: the presentation of the song ‘Aan de Amsterdamse grachten’, sang by our ambassador.

The next day it was Carel who performed solo in ‘Jazz at Lincoln
Center Doha’, in one of the towers of the famous St Regis Hotel. This Jazz Club, with the head-office in Lincoln Center in New York, presents a free admissable concert every evening. The owner of St Regis and the Jazz Club is Omar Al Fardan, who also was present this evening. The performance was so successful that Carel was invited to return at the end of this year as Artist in Residence for possibly two weeks.

The next day we attended a beautiful concert of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. At the end we met Kurt Meister, the artistic leader of this orchestra.
Perhaps maybe in the future can be listened in Qatar to Carel’s ‘Suite Compasion’…..

To be continued……

Special Kings Day Concert, April 28 in Doha, Qatar by Carel Kraayenhof & Juan Pablo Dobal

This year, the Kingdom of the Netherlands marks an extraordinary national day, as it will be the first King’s Day since the investiture of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander in 2013. The Embassy in Doha has therefore planned a special King’s Day celebration at the National Theatre on the evening of April 29th .

The King’s Day Concert will start with an official reception against a backdrop of abundant orange flower arrangements, with special Dutch delights presented by a group of lovely traditional cheese girls. The reception will be followed by a live performance of world famous bandoneón player and composer Carel Kraayenhof ( Kraayenhof’s performance at the Royal Wedding of Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima in 2002 left an unforgettable impression with many viewers across the world. Kraayenhof and pianist Juan Pablo Dobal will perform several pieces composed by themselves and various other composers.

Seats are limited and the concert is by invitation only. Dutch nationals are invited to register by sending an email to A waiting list system applies on a first come first serve basis.

News letter April

Dear friends and colleagues,
As our good friend and colleague you probably know that in 2006 Carel recorded the CD ‘Guardians of the Clouds’ with Ennio Morricone’s music. This CD is still available in our webshop. Ennio Morricone will be playing in The Netherlands during this next month. Because we highly appreciate you as a receiver of our newsletter we would like to offer you a free Morricone’s composition which Carel recorded but is not present on the CD. The title of this song is ‘Playing Love’, with Sebastian van Delft on the piano.
On April 16th Carel and Juan Pablo will take part on the benefit program from Omreop Max together with the Hersenstichting (brain association) in order to raise as much money as possible for research projects. To be seen on the Dutch channel Nederland 1 at 21:30hrs.

Crowdfunding – Liberación- Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble (CKE)
We would like to thank the more than 75 supporters for their financial donation. With more than 30 days still to go we have reached more than 90% of our financial target for this campaign. It is heartwarming to see all the reactions and donations, from the small to the large ones. Some supporters have donated a great amount, €1.500, and will receive a new composition from Carel as a reward. Carel is also looking forward to all the ‘thank you’ phone calls he will place to all supporters who donated a smaller amount. The musicians are also enthusiastic to meet all the supporters who will come to attend the rehearsals. Our crowdfunding campaign is runs on the Stichting Voordekunst platform. This association is affiliated to the ANBI (Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling), a cultural organization. This means that any donation to our campaign has tax benefits to the person or company making the donation. For more information please visit:
Unfortunately we have not yet found a sponsor for ‘Liberación’. At this moment we do not know if the Fund of Performing Arts will grant us subsidies, especially after being denied subsidies from the VSB Fund. We will keep our fingers crossed, in the mean time the CKE will work on preparing themselves for the show.

Special concerts
On Sunday the 6th of April, at 15:00hrs, Carel and Juan Pablo will give a special unique kids concert at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam. The presentation will be done by Dieuwertje Blok. The concert will last 60 minutes.

In the season 2014-2015 the famous harp player Lavinia Meijer will be the “The Residing Artist” at the Philharmonie in Haarlem. This means that she may plan several exceptional evening programs, with special guests with who she will perform. For September 12 2014 she has invited Carel to program this evening with her. This promises to be a wonderful program. Tickets are available via: LINK

International travel
Currently we are waiting for an answer from the Fund for Performing Arts on our request for travel subsidies so we can finalize the arrangements of our trip to Indonesia at the end of May. If these subsidies are granted, the CKE will give two concerts and a workshop in Jakarta and one concert and workshop in Yogyakarta.
But before that we are going to Germany. ‘Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue’ will perform on the 26th of April in Osnabrück.
After that, on the 29th of April, Carel and Juan Pablo will depart to the Middle East for a private concert.

Warm regards,
Carel and Thirza

In early April several concerts together with
6 april 15:00u Amsterdam
13 maart Beets 15:30u
20 maart Purmerend 20:00u
Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue
26 april Osnabrück, Duitsland 20:00u
27 april Amsterdam , 18:00

“LIBERACION” A theater production where image and music become one based on the theme ‘freedom’.

Carel Kraayenhof has been busy for more than a year and even rehearsals have taken place. Now the entire world may know: together with his ensemble and two filmmakers he is creating a new theater show: ‘Liberación’. A theater production where image and music become one based on the theme ‘freedom’.
It is actually pretty logical, as the bandoneón player and composer Kraayenhof says: “At home we had an “LP” with the song ‘Ouverture 1812’. This song told the story of how Napoleon’s army were defeated by the Russian army in 1812. On the cover you could see a painting from that time period showing a battlefield. That painting showed exactly what the music was about; that made the music live. You could see what you were hearing.”
“We live in a visual time. Everyone matches music and image on their daily lives. I believe that video and music can bring extra excitement to the theater. At times the music will lead and at times the images will guide you on.”
The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble works together with direction Jos Groenier and filmmaker Joost Gulien. Some pieces have already been worked on. For example images of the Italian island Lampedusa were already edited, here Kraayenhof wrote a powerful composition for. “The fishermen of that island are forbidden to help the African refugees who come ashore in that area of the Mediterranean Sea. ‘Not helping’ goes against their instincts and against their tradition. Long time ago, their grandparents walked on the same shoes as these refugees.”
The images fit the theme, because Kraayenhof does not make music without a meaning. “We have been a little bit around the world and everywhere you can see that the need for freedom ignites the creation of new music. In the past you could see that with the Irish, but now also with the Cubans. Liberación is about the musical freedom. Music with a fancy touch, wanting to reach higher levels.
“That is why I composed a song inspired by Tula, the leader of the slave revolution in Curaçao in 1795. This man held himself to the French Revolution’s ideal: freedom, equality and brotherhood. Based on this ideal the Haitian slaves had already gained freedom. If you travel a lot, just like we do, you gain knowledge and impressions; inspiration.”
Kraayenhof plays a short piece of music. Alex North’s slow theme for the film about the Roman slave Spartacus, who he compares to Tula. It was a milonga, melancholically colored by strings and the bandoneón. Seamlessly, and almost unnoticed, the musical mood turns Irish, when the sounds of the ‘pipes’, bagpipes, play along. “This sound is also generated by the vibration of ‘tongues’. You are influenced by people and the landscapes, you feel how it is to be there.”
All that remains the base of the tango language. That is one of the reasons why he added a piece of music from his mentor Astor Piazzolla in his song ‘Libertango’; but Kraayenhof adapted it to the style of his other musical father: Osvaldo Pugliese.

“Don’t expect an extremely serious evening. Humor and optimism are a great part of it. Just think of how people with big problems, in many different countries, are great in improvising. Argentineans are masters in that, and also in Indonesia they have a good hand in it.
At the end of this year the try-outs will take place and in the beginning of 2015 ‘Liberación’ will have its premiere. Until then a lot of investments have to be done. Challenging, because subsidies are pretty hard to get, or unexciting and because it is such a new concept theaters are somewhat hesitant to book the show. In order to manage to put all that money together we have started a crowdfunding campaign. That means that whoever supports this project financially will receive a special something in return; from an hour at the gym with Carel to a new composition written by Carel dedicated to the supporter/sponsor. How are you going to do that? “This summer I won’t be bored, writing on request is not that crazy, I may even say that it is nice. Composers such as Mozart and Beethoven lived of it.
Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble #