A summer full of compositions with Eva

8 September 2021

When we think of composers, we think about the big names and big stories: Mozart’s extravagant lifestyle living like a pop icon, Beethoven’s utter disappointment with the political systems in Europe and Bruckner’s deep devotion to God.
But what does it look like to actually be a composer in our times? Many composers are still politically interested just as Beethoven was and challenge the ideas and systems of our time. And there might be a glamours party here and there, just like last week when the Queen and King came to visit our new home AMARE and composition students presented their latest work. But to be honest: Most of the days you will spend working, working, working, because being a composer also means continuously creating new work and it might not be as extravagant as people imagine it to be.

Composition students at the opening of AMARE

Together with Bachelor of Composition graduate Eva, we are looking at her summer projects of 2021 and the diverse and numerus pieces she wrote in that time. Eva started her studies at the Royal Conservatoire in 2017. She studied with Calliope Tsoupaki and Peter Adriaansz and chose a Minor in Education and Classical Music Trumpet. Composing and creating things is something that Eva always did. Composing is also a process of making something. ‘I will always ‘make’ things, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be music.’

The Harp Sirens in The Hague
The Harp Sirens, consisting of six (!!!) harps are one of the most spectacular ensembles in The Netherlands. KonCon alumna Classical Music Harp, Michela Amici founded the ensemble in 2018 for a collaboration project with the composition department. Since then, the ensemble preformed new music on all the main stages and festivals in the country. Together with Artist Robin Valster, Eva was commissioned by the ensemble to write an opera which premiered during a series of garden concerts in The Hague.

The Harp Sirens in The Hague

Two more KonCon students contributed with compositions to this concert: Liucilė Vilimaitė and Mári Mákó were on the programme as well. Eva had a great time collaborating with the ensemble consisting of KonCon students and alumni. This garden concert series was organised by Michelle Verheggen, who also plays in the ensemble.

Karmit, Eva, Elisa and Michela

NJO Muziekzomer
The Nationale Jeugdorkesten Nederland (NJON) commissioned 2 pieces from Eva. She wrote the pieces 'In Hete Stilte' and 'Zwaluwen' which are inspired by Japanese Haikus for the Oostertrio. Izak de Dreu, a fellow composition student of the Royal Conservatoire, composed pieces for the NJO Muziekzomer as well.

The Oostertrio concert during the NJO Muziekzomer

Gaudeamus: New Traditions
Another project of the summer and again with harpist Michela is the yearly contemporary music festival Gaudeamus in Utrecht. During the Gaudeamus Festival, many new works whose ink has only just dried will be played. One of these ‘freshly written’ pieces will be composed by Eva. Her new piece Pinocchio will be performed By Michela Amici und Elisa de Toffol at Podium Hoge Woerd.

When Eva was commissioned the piece for Michela und Elisa, she was immediately enthusiastic. She was thinking about creating game-like pieces with interactions to allow the musicians as much freedom as possible. She also knew that she wanted to do something with the fact that there can be a live audience again: „Since the goal was to perform the composition several times, I wanted to make something that is different every time. This also keeps it interesting for the musicians who have to play the piece a couple of times.” Read more about the Gaudeamus Festival and the full interview with Eva here.

Composition Workshop with RO
This project was already a while ago, but recently the Residentie Orkest published a video trailer with Eva’s music in the background, which gives us a nice reason to look back on this workshop. Four new compositions by our KonCon students were conducted by our National Master in Orchestral Conducting students and then recorded by our KonCon AoS students. This is a great example for interdisciplinary collaborations between our departments and our partners such as the RO that give our students first-hand experience in the professional world.The music you hear in this video is composed by Eva and has the title „to the end“ (tot het eind). All students did a wonderful job! Eva Beunk, Andrew Haig, Leo Lehtinen, Charles Baumstark, Moonyoung Lim, Lolita Fussa, Ka Hou Fan, Andreas Hansson, Chloe Rooke, Sam Weller.

Eva was fascinated by the fact that all four compositions couldn’t be more different. And composing for an orchestra setting was quite a challenge, something that Eva hasn’t done before. Also working directly with a conductor was a new experience for her. A conductor then interprets the work of a composer and transfers his version to the orchestra.

Visit Eva’s website to learn more about this captivating young artist: https://evabeunkmuziek.com/