Usual International Festival Suspects


AMSTERDAM – The new Muziekgebouw hall on the Amsterdam waterfront, which only opened about a year ago, is a spectacular space – or rather, spectacular collection of spaces. In addition to the comfortable and precision-engineered main hall, there is the upstairs black box called Bimhuis (billed as a space for jazz and improv, but actually perfectly well-suited for new music in general), as well as several vast foyers superb for concerts, sound installations, and the like. I’m halfway attending the Output festival of new music employing electric guitars, but mainly hanging out with John Luther Adams, two of whose installations are involved in the festival. Guitarist extraordinaire Fred Frith improvised along with John’s Veils last night, and I’ve also been hanging out with Renske Vrolijk, Anthony Fiumara, Tim Brady, Derek Bermel, and the ubiquitous Samuel Vriezen:


The Muziekgebouw is also where the Orkest de Volharding will perform my piano concerto October 31. It appears to be where almost all Amsterdam new-music activity takes place these days.