Naarden Internationaal Piano Festival

About us

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.

In 2024, in addition to the opening concert in the Grote Kerk in Naarden, the festival included two recitals by international master pianists and two Discovery Concerts. Interviews with pianists and professionals (programmers and impresarios) can be attended by the public.

  • Nino Gvetadze – Artistic Leader
  • Dorien van Londen – Business Leader
  • Marco van Es – Marketing and Communication
  • Satu Hoogeveen – Producer
  • Brenda Duthie – Coordinator volunteers

Nino Gvetadze

Artistic Leader & Co-founder

Hankie Bruinsma Verbrugh


Professionals (programmers and impresarios)

Several guests of honor have been specially invited during the Naarden International Piano Festival. They represent the Dutch concert world, including impresarios, programmers and concert hall directors. The young piano talents are given the opportunity to exchange ideas with them.
In 2024 we have invited the following guests of honor:

  • Leontien van der Vliet – Managing partner Interartists Amsterdam
  • Jasper Bartlema – Programmer Walloon Church Amsterdam
  • Liesbeth Den Boer – Programmer Philharmonie Haarlem
  • Jan-Willem van Ree – Programmer Edesche Concert Hall
  • Karien Guinée – The Small Hall around the Corner
  • Valentine Laout – Challenge Records

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
(founder and chairwoman from 2018 until her death on October 23, 2023)

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I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, country of beautiful landscapes and rich musical traditions.
Even though non of my family members were professional musicians, I discovered piano from an early age. I loved composing little Waltzes and by the time when I was 5, I could already present a modest recital at the entrance exam of the Tbilisi Music School. Since that moment I have been blessed with the most inspiring teachers and possibilities to learn and develop, therefore, despite the turbulent years in my homeland, my first musical steps were full of interesting experiences.

For my Master’s degree I moved to the Netherlands and soon made my second home in Amsterdam, magical city, that charmed me from the first sight. During my studies I was honoured to have won the National Piano Competition (YPF) and later became a laureate of the Franz Liszt Piano Competition followed by the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Award. These awards opened many doors to the concert halls all around the world.

I love playing solo recitals, where I can tell a personal story, as well as piano concertos and chamber music: to be inspired and communicate with other musicians is an incredible experience.

Making an album is always a magical moment, that’s probably where I become most demanding and honest. With every record I have been telling the stories, that are in a certain way connected to the certain stage of my life.

A few years ago I co-founded a piano festival in Naarden, that became a meeting point for pianists of different generations. I also lead the Delft Chamber Music Festival, where we celebrate the beauty of music and tell interesting stories annually, together with wonderful musicians.

I enjoy teaching my students at the Rotterdam Conservatory and giving master classes as well as listening as a Jury member to the young talented pianists at the International Competitions.

Being on stage and filling the room with a golden tone of a grand piano – that’s what I love the most in my profession, those moments when we get a chance to stop the time in the concert halls and communicate with our audience through the sound of music.

Hope to see you all in Naarden!

Nino Gvetadze
Pianist / Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Naarden International Piano Festival

As a little girl I walked with my mother in Naarden Vesting, on the way to the Turfpoortstraat, on the way to my grandmother. I can’t remember much about my visit to grandma, but what I still remember clearly are the high sidewalks and the buildings! The Spanish House, the Andreas Church! The former church building that was built by the Robert F.W. Bruinsma foundation was converted into a concert hall. How did that happen?

In my youth I listened to the St Matthew Passion many times in the Grote Kerk in Naarden. My parents were both organizationally involved in these beautiful performances by the Netherlands Bach Society. At that time, the seeds were sown for my development in and love for music. After my childhood and schooling, my husband and I have done a lot of work abroad and have lived in France for 25 years. The music then came into the background a bit, but it never really left my head. My husband passed away in 2005.

During that period I started organizing piano concerts on our estate in France. It was a success! And it gave me the energy and the idea to take up that also in the Netherlands after I sold the estate. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, the Robert F.W. Bruinsma set up. The main objective of our foundation is to support young musicians, especially piano students, on their way to their future.

The Andreaskerk in the Turfpoortstraat in Naarden Vesting has been purchased with the aim of creating a home base for the activities of our foundation. After three years of renovation, we have transformed the former church into a small-scale concert hall. In the initial phase of the renovation I met the pianist Nino Gvetadze. She was introduced to me by Jan Wijn, a well-known piano pedagogue in the Netherlands. Nino and I had a few conversations and it soon became clear that we are on the same page regarding thoughts about music and youth. So Nino presented her plan to me. An idea to bring young top talent from the piano master’s program at the conservatories into contact with people who are important for their development on the way to their career. And this was the starting signal for the ‘Naarden International Piano Festival’. We are both very proud that it has come to this.

You have a dream but you have to dare to stick your neck out to make it come true. Persevere, don’t hesitate, go after your goal!
Music connects people!
We hope to connect students with master pianists!
With a small team of employees, we are doing our best to put this festival on the map for the future.
We hope to offer you as an audience a few days of beautiful music!

Hankie Bruinsma Verbrugh (December 14, 1946 – October 23, 2023)
Co-founder of the Naarden International Piano Festival
Founder and former chairman of the Robert F.W. Bruinsma Foundation

Hankie Bruinsma Verbrugh
© Ronald Knapp