Merlijn Twaalfhoven

Merlijn Twaalfhoven

2016 Duration: 7:30
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Program Notes


Merlijn Twaalfhoven
(b. 1976)

Composed for
50 For The Future:
The Kronos Learning

Artist Statement

“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

Composer Interview

Merlijn Twaalfhoven discusses his musical background, his composition process, his relationship with Kronos, and more.

Artist’s Bio

Merlijn Twaalfhoven

Twaalfhoven_Headshot_c Jaq van der Feesten

Merlijn Twaalfhoven is a Dutch composer and creative researcher of complex social problems working in conflict areas and unconventional locations, and occasionally in a concert hall. Twaalfhoven looks for ways to break through existing boundaries between genres and styles, but also between population groups and cultures to make new connections. A UNESCO Award recipient and nominee for the Amsterdam Prize for the Arts, he founded The Turn Club in 2017, a collaboration of art professionals and bridge builders who tackle urgent issues with an artist mindset. His book It's Up to Us, focuses on how each of us can activate an artist mindset and thereby play a meaningful role in tackling global problems big and small.

Learn more about Merlijn >>

Support Kronos’ 50 for the Future

Help support Kronos’ 50 for the Future as we commission fifty new works designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals.
David Harrington - Twaalfhoven
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Merlijn centers his work around creating musical experiences for refugees and making sure music reaches the most disadvantaged people in the most distressed parts of the world. I love his idealism and his desire to use music to make the world a stronger, better place. It's absolutely perfect that Merlijn's work is part of 50 for the Future.

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David Harrington

Artistic Director, Kronos Quartet
Kronos Quartet

World Premiere

June 23, 2016

Holland Festival

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ / Amsterdam, The Netherlands More Info