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“To allow yourself to be seduced by classical music; this is inevitable when you listen to Esther Apituley play the viola” 9LROD9LRODBEURFKXUHBBELQQHQLQGG


MISSION Stichting Viola Viola will promote the viola at home and abroad. The viola is an instrument that has been underappreciated as a solo instrument for a long time and as a result it has a limited repertoire. It will require a new approach and a fresh presentation. With exciting new projects, Viola Viola wants to break through the indifference, the unknown-so-

unloved trend and challenge new, more varied and especially younger audiences in order to win them over to classical music. We believe the key lies in modernizing the way music is presented: by narrowing the gap between performer and audience; by creating a more relaxed and playful ambience, the music itself can be experienced as direct, exciting, intense, inspiring and

captivating. The experience of the listener will become the main focus. Its success will be determined by the way it is performed and the moment of recognition. Choosing the right tone: that’s what counts.



OBJECTIVES Viola Viola aims to show the viola in a different light: as a solo instrument as well as with other musicians and art disciplines such as rap, dance, choirs and theater. The following steps will be taken:

• •

organizing educational projects aimed at specific target groups, such as young people or socially and financially underprivileged

people at home and abroad in order to acquaint them with classical music. supporting and promoting international careers for Dutch violists. organizing an international viola festival. organizing lectures and seminars.

Viola Viola will actively contribute to all the objectives mentioned above in order to make classical music more accessible to everyone, in the broadest sense of the word.



“Esther Apituley and her viola taught me to appreciate contemporary composers: Cage, Horsthuis.” - Ariepieter Versloot



WHY THE VIOLA? The great composers – Bach, Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven – all played the viola. It was their favorite instrument because of its sound, and because the harmony of a piece was heard best from the position of the viola. However, they did not compose for it. That is mostly due to the fact that good players were few and far between in those days. Quantz wrote: ‘In Music, the Viola is generally perceived as insignificant: perhaps

that is because they are placed in the hands of men, who have either never completed their education, or who have no particular talent for the Violin.’ As a result, fewer violas were made and hardly any works were composed for it. The great viola virtuoso, Tertis, changed all that: Hindemith, Bartók, Britten and Milhaud, and later Kurtág, Penderecki and Schnittke too,

composed beautiful viola concertos and other solo literature for the viola. However, that progress has run out of steam. Viola Viola aims to renew the appreciation for this instrument with composers, players as well as listeners.



TARGET AUDIENCES Stichting Viola Viola is convinced that classical music can also be made attractive to audiences other than the traditional ones. Old, traditional performance habits are partially, albeit unintentionally, responsible for the seemingly unbridgeable gap between performers and the audience. Decreasing numbers of concertgoers, especially among the young, is one of the reasons why the classical performing art has been struggling with its identity for years now.

Viola Viola wants to help reverse this negative trend. Negative, because for large groups of adolescents and young adults the treasures of classical music will remain largely hidden. When thinking of new target audiences, the first that usually comes to mind is youngsters of school age. Through educational projects and making contact with (music) schools, Viola Viola pays a great deal of attention to the listeners of the future. And we also focus on young adults without a (classical)

music background. Tastes can change over the years and it is possible to awaken an interest for classical music. Usually the curiosity is already present and Viola Viola wants to reach out to this target group and introduce it to this remarkable art form. We must create the conditions to lure this busy target group into the fold: the effort is certainly worthwhile.



“With her fabulous musicianship, Esther touches the strings of your soul and makes your heart beat faster.� - Jan Hoekema

PROJECTS On June 14, 2009, the opening concert was held at Felix Meritis in Amsterdam. This festive occasion was given added luster by the musicians of the Amsterdam Viola Quartet led by Esther Apituley, actor Hans Dagelet and pianist Rie Tanaka. Coaching young musicians With master classes and concerts Stichting Viola Viola wants to give young musicians the opportunity to develop in a different, less formal way. With a more accessible and playful presentation, the gap between performer and the audience can be narrowed. In the 2011-2012 season we are planning a joint project with the Princess Christina Concours.

During a workshop, followed by a series of concerts, young talent is coached in performing more emotionally and made aware of their stage presence. Seminar – audience research Focusing on the audience as listeners also means giving the audience the opportunity to have its say on the development of new performance styles. With an annual seminar, Viola Viola accumulates knowledge in that area. Prominent organizers, planners, marketeers or presenters will lead discussions on audience penetration, innovative programming and presentation. Viola Viola will use the feedback from those discussions to conceive innovative projects.

International The language of music is universal and forges bonds. It is what motivates Viola Viola to present its productions in foreign countries. The foundation will contact Dutch embassies and impresarios in other countries in order to create a network and a broad breeding ground for productions by Viola Viola. For example, in February 2010 there was a extensive tour throughout Indonesia, supported by Viola Viola.



Watching and listening to the Amsterdam Viola Quartet is a genuinely exciting experience. Are we attending a classical chamber music concert? Is this a new form of music theater? Or is it neither? Perhaps we shouldn’t ask ourselves that question or attempt to answer it. What you are left with then is a thrilling, theatrical way of making music that pleases the eyes and the ears, that moves us, and that can be pleasantly disconcerting at times. And I have yet to mention the extraordinary virtuosity, the humor and the heart-melting musicality of this ensemble… Lodewijk the Boer (writer, director)

“Everything is music; the things you comprehend, the things you desire, and the things you cannot bear…” - Esther Apituley

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR As the prima donna of the viola, Esther Apituley has focused on innovative programming and lively interpretations. After years of experience in classical music performances, she has found the right tone with which to narrow the gap between her and the audience, and to make music more accessible. Her performances fit the objectives of Stichting Viola Viola like a glove: in a creative way, she alters the traditional performance of the ‘classical concert’ and shatters accepted expectations of audiences. Together with her musicians, Apituley wants to go in new directions, to surprise people, lower thresholds and, in doing so, reach a larger audience. Through

a sophisticated, complementary combination of auditory and visual elements, the audience becomes intensely involved in the music. ‘What motivates me in life, which at times can seem like a struggle, is what motivates me in music. Obviously that leads to struggles there as well.’ Esther Apituley

‘Whoever hears and sees Apituley play, will not be bored for an instant. She makes music theater… Apituley walks on, plays and conquers.’ Paul Witteman (De Volkskrant)




VIOLA VIOLA FESTIVAL IN THE NETHERLANDS Spring 2012 Thursday 15 through Sunday 18 of March In March 2012 the viola will be the center of attention in the first international Viola Viola Festival in Haarlem. The Stichting Viola Viola is organizing this event in close cooperation with the city and with the wealth of cultural platforms and institutions this city, with its rich cultural history, possesses. With this initiative, the foundation wants to focus attention on its main objective in a spectacular way.

Residents and visitors of Haarlem should not be surprised to see the viola everywhere during the 2011 – 2012 season: in the Philharmonie, in the Municipal Theater, in cafés, on sidewalks, on the menus of many a restaurant; yes, people will even discern the viola in the shape of clouds... For a few months Haarlem will be the capital of the viola, home of the first ever viola festival in the Netherlands. Are you familiar with the viola? For a long it has been the modest, unsung little brother of the cello and the violin. Slowly, but surely, it is coming into its own – basically because the fine, deep, somewhat husky sound of the instrument resonates with

modern audiences. The festival, which will take place in April 2012 in Haarlem, aims to illustrate that in a remarkable way: the viola will take center stage in a series of formal and informal concerts and performances that highlight its many facets and possibilities through music in various styles and settings, and from different backgrounds. Not only professional musicians, but also children and schools will actively participate in the festival. And - last but not least – other artistic disciplines will make their presence felt as well: poets, writers, actors and visual artists will make important contributions

to what promises to become a thrilling symbiosis of different art forms. The aim is to reach and touch a large and diverse audience; of all ages, from lovers of baroque to rock-’n-rollers, from city dwellers to country folk. Today’s music culture will be featured in all its different facets (traditional, contemporary, alternative); its focal point, the viola, will set the tone and transform its usual subservient role into a triumphant and bewitching leading part.



The Viola Festival program is broad. A few of the highlights are: • Opening and closing concert with Holland Symphonia and international guests with; • Professional musicians, amateurs, young talent (Princess Christina Concours) and conservatory students. • Concerts in traditional settings: recitals, chamber music (quartet and nonet), string orchestras and symphony orchestras. • Special settings: viola quartet, viola nonet, and the one and only Viola Viola Symphony Orchestra in the world. • Theater performances: viola and dance, theater, VJs, mimes, puppeteers, acrobats.


The themes and ingredients on offer in the program are varied and include: • Commissions for composers • Education (working together with music schools in the area) • Inspire artists, exhibitions • International musicians The festival will manifest itself all over the city: in the Philharmonie, the Municipal Theater, De Toneelschuur, in churches and museums, but also in cafés, on sidewalks, on the water, in evening concerts and night concerts, and – upon request – a private performance in your home.

We are seeking help in putting the viola and the festival on the map. That is why Viola Viola is looking for: • •

Movers and shakers! Want to volunteer? Contact us at @ Donors and sponsors. You can fill in your contribution of the enclosed card.


ENCORE Stichting Viola Viola depends on outside financing for her projects. For example, from private and government funds (the founding concert was made possible by a grant from the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunsten), but also from sponsors. The board members of the foundation also contribute. Every contribution helps us realize

our goals: attention for the viola and larger audiences for classical music. The foundation was granted the ANBI status. That means you can now deduct your donation (partially) from your income or corporate taxes. For Viola Viola, this very favorable arrangement

means that a gift is now free of inheritance or gift tax. Go to for more information on the terms and conditions.

“Music can be the international language for 14


mutual understanding.� - Ida van Veldhuizen 

STICHTING VIOLA VIOLA FOUNDATION Leggiero: with a one-time contribution of €60 or more you help Viola Viola get started and for a whole year we will keep you informed with our newsletter (appears twice a year). Espressivo: a sponsorship for three years of €60 or more a year (that is €180) helps support the continuation of Viola Viola and as thanks you will receive not only our newsletter, but also a discount to one of our concerts (to be determined each year by Viola Viola). Passionato: with a sponsorship of €200 or more a year, you help set the tone for our projects. We will give you a place of honor at one of our concerts. Espressivo e passionato ma rubato: you become part of a select company of true fans. This viola orchestra has room for 99 friends who donate at least €500 a year for three years. Besides the Package of Privileges, your contribution will commission 8 bars in a new composition for violas. This Gran Partita will become an ode to the viola – and your encore. You can also make a one-time contribution to the festival.



Esther Apituley, violist and artistic director of the new Viola Viola foundation, performs classical music with lively abandon and manages to narrow the gap between her and her audience in an exciting new way. Stichting Viola Viola is dedicated to the promotion of the viola and to get a new audience excited about classical music. We can turn the tide of decreasing numbers of people attending classical concerts. We not only focus on classical music fans, but also on future listeners, adolescents

and young adults. In this time of overwhelming choice and quick thrills, this new and diverse audience must be challenged to not only listen to classical music, but to really experience it. Musicians – bound to their music stands and sheets for centuries – will have to abandon their positions.

“Music sooths and excites the soul” - Bessel Kok



“I adore the passion and the richness of Esther’s musicianship: she lets me hear unexpected things and that moves me time and time again.” - Sophie Lambo 17




Stichting Viola Viola Foundation Board: Bessel Kok (chairperson) Hedy d’Ancona Ida van Veldhuizen Jan Hoekema Hans van Kuik Sophie Lambo Ariepieter Versloot


Information: Stichting Viola Viola Houtrib 47 1141 DC Monnickendam ©2009, Stichting Viola Viola Producer: Guido van den Ende (GE#sharp artists events) Photography: Riekus Heller, Jilles de la Rie, Leander Lammertink, Thenya Ruhe, Thom Hofmann

Design:, Claessens | Cartils We wish to thank: PricewaterhouseCoopers (fiscal consultant of Stichting Viola Viola) Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts – grant for the founding concert) Arthur van Eck (text editor) Claessens | Cartils (design brochure)

Viola Viola Foundation NL information  

Mission statement, goals and projects of the Viola Viola Foundation. Aim: promoting the appreciation and performances with the viola in a re...

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