Naarden International Piano Festival was founded at the end of 2018 to serve and nourish young pianists, that are about to graduate from the Conservatory and are ready to dive into the independent music world.

Young talents, hand picked for the “Discovery” Concert Series, will have an opportunity to personally meet well experienced Master Pianists, will receive their advice and guidance. They will also receive the opportunity to perform concerts, attended by Honorary Guests consisting from representatives of major concert halls, music agencies and record labels.

The festival hosts two concert series: Master Pianist Concert Series and Discovery Concert Series. The audience will also get the chance to attend interviews with pianists and members of the Honorary Guests.

  • Rogier Hageman – business director
  • Lineke Lever – executive director
  • Vera Vos – marketing & PR
  • Satu Hoogeveen – production
  • Marco Meijdam – productional support

Nino Gvetadze

Artistic Director

Hankie Bruinsma Verbrugh

Chairman & Co-founder

Honorary Guests

During the Naarden International Piano Festival, several Honorary Guests are specially invited. They represent the Dutch concert world, including impresarios, programmers and concert hall directors. The young piano talents get the chance to exchange ideas with them.
In 2021 we invited the following Honorary Guests:

  • Anita Crowe – programmer Concertgebouw Amsterdam
  • Leontien van der Vliet – partner, manager at Interartists Classical Music Management
  • Valentine Laout – product manager (promotion and marketing) at Challenge Records
  • Lestari Scholtes – programmer Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, artistic director Piano Duo Festival
  • Matthew Trusler – Orchid Classics UK

The Robert F.W. Bruinsma Foundation

The Robert F.W. Bruinsma Foundation

The idea for this foundation arose a long time ago, following the passing of my husband Robert Bruinsma. We wanted to help young people on their way and provide them with opportunities to further develop their talents. Our attention was predominantly focused on piano students.

It took several years before our idea began to take shape. In 2015 we finally launched the Robert F.W. Bruinsma Foundation!

It became a foundation that supports mainly young musical talent, both financially and practically, and offers them a platform to present themselves. Not just to an audience, but also to representatives of concert halls and music agencies.

The board of our foundation consists of three enthusiastic and competent people. Furthermore, we managed to gather several experts to support us in the musical area. I consider myself very lucky to have these people around! Their presence, thoughts and advice are a great contribution to this project.

We have had a lot of plans from the beginning, but we started with converting the former Andreas church in Naarden Vesting to a concert hall. This will be our foundation for the future. Our own place where young, talented pianists can come to make music, perform and practise with friends. But we also welcome other cultural talents! The transformation of the building was completed in the beginning of 2018, and BIJ ANDREAS is now a fact.

During the renovation we already contacted music schools, conservatories and other cultural institutions. Time and again, they will let us know which talent needs our support, and in what way we can provide that support.

​Hankie Bruinsma Verbrugh

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There comes a time for young musicians when they graduate and are about to start independent lives in search of their true identities. This moment has been a turning point for many of us, as we were about to make our own choices, without the guidance of our teachers. As a young independent musician you are the one to choose the repertoire for your future recitals, build a network around you, find the interesting opportunities and the way to keep on growing and developing. For some of the students the transition happens naturally, but many of them need more opportunities and possibilities to create their own network.

Even though we have incredible amount of music competitions around the world and some of them are truly creative and help young artists to develop and give them opportunities to play around the world, I still think, that music is not about competing and we should be able to recognise a talent without the list of many prizes in their biographies.

As a young girl, I had my heroes, pianists, that I admired, but never dared to go near them, as they were completely out of my reach. Time has passed and I personally met some of my heroes and learned so much from them, in a simple conversation and especially while listening to them very closely.

Some time ago I started thinking , what if we could actually create an event, a festival, where young talented pianists could actually meet their heroes, a festival, where there are no sides, but one unity, where young can learn from the experienced and perform on the same stage.

Thanks to Hankie Bruinsma Verbrugh this idea took shape and found its home in Naarden, in a beautiful little concert hall “Bij Andreas”, where it took its start in May 2019. In spring of 2022 we’ll be hosting our 3rd edition, which gives me hope, that, the Festival will create many interesting possibilities for young talented musicians and will establish itself as a yearly event celebrating classical music.

Hope to see you all in Naarden!

Nino Gvetadze
Pianist / Co Founder / and Artistic Director of the Naarden International Piano Festival.

Hankie Bruinsma Verbrugh
© Ronald Knapp

As a little girl, I used to walk with my mother through Naarden Vesting, on our way to the Turfpoortstraat, to visit my grandmother.

I can’t remember a lot from the visit to grandma, but I do still have vivid memories of the high curbs and buildings! The ‘Spaansche Huis’, the Andreas church! The former church was converted to a concert hall by the Robert F.W. Bruinsma Foundation.

So how did all this come about?

In my youth I listened to the Matthäus Passion in the Grand Church of Naarden many times. My parents were both involved in the organization of these beautiful performances by the Nederlandse Bachvereniging. During this time, the seeds for my development in and love for music were sown.

After I finished school, the work of both my husband and myself required us to spend a lot of time abroad. I even lived in France for 25 years. The music was relegated to the background, but it never really left my mind.

My husband died in 2005.

During that period, I started organizing piano concerts at our estate in France. It became a success! And it gave me the energy and the idea to continue it in the Netherlands, after I sold the property.

To lead the initiative in the right direction, we started the Robert F.W. Bruinsma Foundation. We bought the Andreas church at the Turfpoortstraat in Naarden Vesting to create a home base for our activities. After three years of renovation, we managed to convert the former church to a small-scale concert hall.

The main goal of our foundation is supporting young musicians, primarily piano students, on their path to the future.

In the beginning phase of the renovation I met pianist Nino Gvetadze. She was introduced to me by Jan Wijn, a renowned piano teacher in the Netherlands.

Nino and I had a few conversations, and it quickly became clear that our thoughts were well aligned when it came to music and youth.

Therefore, Nino explained her plan to me. An idea to bring young talent from the piano master’s degree of the conservatory into contact with people who are important for their career development.

This marked the starting point for the ‘Naarden International Piano Festival’.

We are both very proud that it came to this. You can have a dream, but you need to be willing to stick your neck out to make it come true.

Push forward, don’t hesitate, chase your goal!

Music brings people together!

We hope to connect students with master pianists!

Together with our producer Marco Meijdam and a small team of employees, we do everything we can to put this festival on the map for the future.

We hope to offer you a couple of days of beautiful music!

Hankie Bruinsma Verbrugh
Co-Founder of the Festival
Chairman of the Robert F.W. Bruinsma Foundation.