Royal Conservatoire's student Mieke organises new Piano Festival in Gouda

5 February 2024

Master's student piano Mieke Verduijn- Glasbergen proves with the Piano Festival Gouda that conservatory students really are much more than just musicians. From 15 to 17 February, de Agnietenkapel in Gouda will be filled with the sounds of piano, curated by this passionate student.

The festival is a unique opportunity to admire various talents, from well-known names such as piano duo Beth & Flo, to Mieke's own piano trio the Brioso Trio. The programme, with concerts such as "Night Concert by Candlelight" and "Family Concert 'Captain Beethoven'", promises a varied and engaging experience for young and old.

Website Pianofestival Gouda

A place for up-and-coming talent

The festival is not only a stage for performances but also has an educational aspect. A master class, provided by top pianist Helena Basilova, offers five young pianists the chance to show and develop their talent. On top of that, there is an open stage that in fact, attracted so much interest that there is now even a waiting list of 25 participants.
"I have had my own teaching practice in Gouda for quite some time, and I also wanted to offer my students a stage. I find it special and important that amateurs as well as students and professionals perform at my festival."

Going from idea to festival

As a master's student at the Royal Conservatoire, there are three main pillars in your studies: your instrument, your research, and your 'PIA'. The PIA involves organising something, this could be a workshop or a concert, for example. Or so, as in Mieke's case: an entire festival.
Her vision led her to the Agnietenkapel, a picturesque location in the heart of Gouda, the city where she has lived all her life. Despite the lack of a grand piano or piano, she imagined how this place could shine with Chamber Music. "Gouda has some venues for classical music, but there are almost no venues that are very well suited for chamber music," she explains. "I wanted to create something that wasn't there yet, something special. And so it soon became a festival."

Mieke went through the challenging first steps, from fundraising and, when that proved unsuccessful, looking for sponsors, all the way to arranging a grand piano. With perseverance and a touch of entrepreneurship, she managed to bring the festival to life. "I think the first time is the hardest when organizing something like this," she acknowledges, "but I believe now it would be a much lesser step to organise something a second time. It is also nice that within my studies I get space to throw myself fully into this festival and that I can always talk to my PIA coach. I benefit a lot from her tips."

Creating your own stage

The festival reflects not only Mieke's love of music but also her belief that students should be entrepreneurial alongside their studies.

"Nowadays, the best pianists are not necessarily always the ones to be heard. There are a lot of fantastic pianists who don't really play anywhere at all, so that's why I think it's important to at least make sure I have a stage myself. I really like the fact that now I am not only creating a stage for myself, but also a stage to invite others."

So, embrace the versatility of our students, discover new sounds, and buy your tickets now for this special festival. Get carried away by the magic of music and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague!


There are still tickets available for this special festival.
For students, there are special tickets for €11,- per concert. Regular tickets cost €26.
There are also free concerts, such as the Masterclass and the lunch concert.

Buy your tickets now!