Gaudeamus Crosses Musical Boundaries

Gaudeamus Crosses Musical Boundaries

Music festival offers new listening experiences with unique combinations of music, electronics, video, theatre and performance.

Between 5 and 9 September 2018 Gaudeamus will run the gamut of musical genres with a Festival programme packed with new listening experiences for the music lovers of today. The annual Gaudeamus Muziekweek takes place in Utrecht and is unique in the world. The Festival presents the vitality and diversity of the latest generation of composers, who are particularly influenced by developments outside classical music. Gaudeamus scouts for talent far beyond Dutch borders, looking for music pioneers whose fresh, personal view of contemporary music makes them stand out from the crowd. The result is a Festival devoted entirely to the latest music in all its guises.

Young Music Pioneers
This year the talented music pioneers will provide more surprises than ever, with unique collaborations and combinations of different disciplines: music, live electronics, video, performance, visual art and theatre. This is because music pioneers are not composers in the traditional sense. They create new sounds, build their own musical instruments and even appear onstage as a performer. TivoliVredenburg is the ideal Festival venue for enjoying contemporary music in all its breadth – from grand and compelling works in the Grote Zaal to small-scale experimentation in Club Nine.

But new music demands new forms of presentation. During Gaudeamus Muziekweek there will also be concerts in an art gallery, a synagogue, a sawmill or in the open air: wherever the music is shown to its best advantage.

New listening experiences
This year’s Gaudeamus Muziekweek will be launched with a unique open-air concert on the Utrecht town canal (Singel). During the Singel Serenade top-class musicians from the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group will perform in small boats sailing around the Utrecht Singel in front of TivoliVredenburg. This free concert pays tribute to Utrecht and its canals.

The sound art exhibition Senses Working Overtime, organized in collaboration with Het Huis Utrecht, offers an all-encompassing sensory experience. It is an idiosyncratic collection of seven different sound installations and performances which encourages the audience to expose themselves to new genres of music.

After two successful editions in 2016 and 2017, Gaudeamus Saturday Night has become a permanent fixture in the Festival programme. With no fewer than twenty-two different concerts and performances, Gaudeamus presents a packed programme in a single evening, with unique acts, music theatre and performances which cannot easily be labelled. Featuring, among others, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Coby Sey, Silbersee and the Rosa Ensemble.

The programme also includes booming bass lines during the Bass Clarinet Festival, brand-new music on unusual percussion instruments from Slagwerk Den Haag, vintage synthesizers in Kytopia, a world premiere for no fewer than three string quartets, and new hybrid forms of electronic and acoustic music from Ensemble Nikel.

New Music Course
Because new listening experiences often require a new approach to listening, a contemporary music course is being given during the Festival. With the aid of many musical examples, musicologist Thea Derks explains developments in contemporary music, enabling her audience to form an auditive image of 21st-century music. Armed with the knowledge gleaned from this course, it is even more fun to listen to the latest compositions during the Festival. Alongside this course there is an extensive context programme for the general public, professionals and students, which includes pre-concert introductions, composers meetings and artists talks, lectures by renowned composers, reading sessions with top-class musicians, and various workshops. Admission to the context programme is usually free.

Gaudeamus Award
After the final concert of the Festival, the Gaudeamus Award, an incentive prize for young talent, will be presented to one of the five nominees. Jury members Mayke Nas, Nicole Lizée and Richard Ayres have nominated Raphaël Languillat, William Kuo, Sebastian Hilli, Matthias Krüger, William Dougherty and Lawrence Dunn for this internationally renowned prize. A number of their works will be performed during the Festival, after which the jury will decide which music pioneer will carry off the prize.

More info & tickets
The Gaudeamus website features a playlist of music from the Festival programme.
The complete Festival programme will appear online from 25 June onwards. Tickets for the first concerts can already be purchased via


About Gaudeamus
Gaudeamus presents, stimulates and supports the newest works of young music pioneers. Its activities are internationally considered to be trend-setting and to act as a catalyst for new developments in (composed) music. Gaudeamus scouts music pioneers worldwide and always manages to present the very latest music hot off the press to an inquisitive audience during the annual Gaudeamus Muziekweek.

Talent programme
The development of talent is one of the most significant cornerstones supporting Gaudeamus’ achievement of its all-important ambition: to enrich the musical world with new music by music pioneers.

Therefore, in 2015 a programme of talent development was set up in the form of residencies. This year three talented artists/composers have a residency with Gaudeamus. This gives cellist Maya Fridman the chance to tackle wide-ranging collaborations and to write new music. Composer and music theatre producer Thanasis Deligiannis is spending his residency in search of new genres of music theatre with a view to presenting his own production early in 2019. Composer and guitarist Jerzy Bielski is provided with a workplace in which to develop his expressive music theatre works.

Every year Gaudeamus commissions many young music pioneers to write new works. Almost all the commissions are premiered in-house, and Gaudeamus then becomes the driving force behind promoting further performances both at home and abroad.

As (co) producer, Gaudeamus is involved in various music projects. 2018 will see the premiere of Me, Peer Gynt, a cross-disciplinary performance by cellist Maya Fridman in collaboration with composer/pianist/visual artist Tomoko Mukaiyama. As Gaudeamus musician-in-residence, Fridman breathes new life into the relatively unknown orchestral masterpiece Peer Gynt by Alfred Schnittke with her arrangement for piano, cello and tape.

Contact us
About Gaudeamus

Gaudeamus presents, stimulates and supports the latest music by young music pioneers. The concerts and activities of Gaudeamus, such as the annual Gaudeamus Muziekweek festival, international co-productions and the Gaudeamus Award, are leading the way in contemporary music. Gaudeamus scouts young talent and contributes to its professional development. For more than 70 years Gaudeamus is breaking new ground supporting music pioneers worldwide. Gaudeamus knows how to present the music of tomorrow to curious music lovers.

Loevenhoutsedijk 301
3532 XE Utrecht
The Netherlands