an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Make my day news: The biker girl with the Handel bars has signed a record deal

Remember Daria van den Bercken? She took her passion for Handel on her bike around Amsterdam and wound up inviting strangers to her house for a sampling of sonatas. All on video, of course.

Well, Daria’s enterprise has won her a date at the Concertgebouw (October 25) and a contract with Sony for her first record. It’s a limited deal, but it’s all her own doing. She crowd-funded the recording, persuaded the in-demand Michael Fine to produce it and lined up a string of recitals to support it – Concertgebouw, Vredenburg, De Doelen.

What’s more, she has done it without an agent. She signed the deal today.

They used to say you could never get a record label interested unless you were with one of the big agencies. Well, Daria’s done it her way, and she’s going strong.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Romuald Sztern says:

    Fine playing . The girl is well educated and seems to have a genuine love for the music she plays . A great advocate for so called classical music . Gives one hope after the nauseating spectacle of the 7 year old so called conductor.

  2. This is terrific. I love this off-the-beat-and-bath kind of stuff – if it also includes impressive playing. Thank you for letting us know.

  3. Another that thinks outside the parochial box to expose and introduce folks to classical music. Well done!

  4. And it is a very beautiful recording!

  5. Daria is a breath of fresh air in what all-too-often has become a tired, jaded business… A very talented, creative, enthusiastic artist!

  6. I found extremely original and very nice idea to share classical music in this way! but…her talent is great (this is for sure), but enough talent to undersign with sony? I don’t think so at all!! there is plenty of pianists who play much better or with the same quality. To let believe to the people that Sony did undersign a contract with her is due only for her musical qualities is a lie! Sony saw a wonderful occasion for them to use her originality to make money!! what’s drives me nuts it’s that the people still believe in this story and say there is no buisness goal behind! this is only marketing that’s all! now, I’m quite sure, from her side, that she (when she got this idea to perform in the streets) was honest with herself when she got this idea. But please don’t be to naive!!
    I find also that to let believe the people, to succeed in classical music you just have to get an original idea and play well is enough. That’s perfectly wrong! Thta’s just my opinion.

    • Operasinger says:

      It’s not the first time that an okay musician with nice looks is preferred in the Netherlands. It’s easier to make money of what is handed to you instead of making the efford of searching for really exceptional talent. The most popular musicians are not always the best ones. Especially in a country like the Netherlands where average is preferred to exceptional. We have a popular saying that sounds like “Act normal and you’ll act crazy enough” There is no understanding for excellence.

      Furthermore our so-called “culture” is about economics, trade. We present ourselves in other countries with tulips and cheese, not with our art. Artists are seen as freeloaders who mooch off taxpayers money. This has always been the case, Rembrandt went bancrupt, van Gogh cut off a piece of his ear, both got recognition only long after they died.

      This fresh-looking young lady symbolises money in the bank, another musician who will be an investment that will bring in the bucks. I tend to root for the Dutch musicians who are forced to work abroad in anonimity, who manage to survive only because they are fabulous inspite of having had the misfortune of growing up and being educated in the Netherlands.

      • Nuno Ivo Cruz says:

        Mies van der Rohe used to tell his students: design well, that will be original..
        Concertgebouw? Gustav Leonhardt? Anner Bijlsma? Bernard Haitink? Average indeed!

  7. you had me at “Biker” – but it’s not a bike, is it? more like a piano being tugged by a mommy van. :)

  8. By the way I would like to precise that Daria van den Bercken is a real performer. She was performing in 2007 with the Rotterdam Phil.Clara Schumann Concerto and others… so means what? just a wonderful marketing project with her piano on the street. To do a short cut is sometimes dangerous and can make believe young performers that they can succeed with originality. Miss van den Bercken IS a professional performer who did (or at least the people around her) built up in a very intelligent way her carreer. Nothing more nothing less. So there is a question: Do we need (performers) to get your attention to built up a nice story around music because music is not enough to touch you? if the answer is yes, so… where is the place of the genuises who did let us an amazing compositions? and I arrive to the point: performers (nowadays) are they more important than the composers?

    • Dr. Marc Villeger says:

      Notwithstanding the double standard with which these marketing stunts are received, depending on WHO is featured, responses will vary from benevolent “so original, wonderful, fresh air” to spiteful “anything to get noticed!”
      We were in fact laughing recently about how to get a free ride of national and likely international publicity, had we got a piano delivered in front of a national broadcaster building, written a banner with slogans supporting some punk group and played a few Rachmaninov Preludes… Imagine the coverage! A call from Madonna, Sir Paul’s limousine… who knows?
      But when a bus driver is in tears after a recital in a small venue, because he was touched by Bach played in style, it won’t make even the local news; however, this is the reward.
      As long as the classical music business doesn’t get this, its new priests of dress codes, screens and “active audience” will keep sounding like Monty Python’s skit “Four Yorkshire men” elbowing each others out of demagogical ideas.

an ArtsJournal blog