Naarden Internationaal Piano Festival

Ronald Brautigam

[mk_page_section][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”311″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading source=”post_title” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:center” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1601234185131{margin-bottom: 40px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1603381587443{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Ronald Brautigam has deservedly earned a reputation as one of Holland’s most respected musicians, remarkable not only for his virtuosity and musicality but also for the eclectic nature of his musical interests. He has received numerous awards including the Dutch Music Prize and a 2010 MIDEM Classical Award for best concerto recording for his CD of Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Parrott.

A student of the legendary Rudolf Serkin, Ronald Brautigam performs regularly with leading orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw, London Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Rundfunk- Sinfonieorchester Berlin. He has performed alongside a number of distinguished conductors including Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Marek Janowski, Sir Roger Norrington, Marin Alsop, Ivor Bolton, Sir Simon Rattle, Ivan Fisher and Sir Mark Elder.

Besides his performances on modern instruments Ronald Brautigam has established himself as a leading exponent of the fortepiano, working with orchestras such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tafelmusik, 18th-Century Orchestra, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Hanover band, the Wiener Akademie, Concerto Copenhagen and l’Orchestre des Champs-Elysées.

In 1995 Ronald Brautigam began what has proved a highly successful association with the Swedish label BIS. His discography of over 60 recordings so far includes the complete works of Mozart and Haydn on fortepiano. In 2004 he released the first of his 15-CD Beethoven cycleon fortepiano. After the first six volumes the series had already become firmly established as the benchmark cycle on fortepiano. According to US magazine Fanfare ‘this could be a Beethoven piano-sonata cycle that challenges the very notion of playing this music on modern instruments, a stylistic paradigm shift.’ In 2009 he began what has proved a highly successful association with the Kölner Akademie and conductor Michael Alexander Willens, resulting in a series of 11 CD’s with Mozart’s complete piano concertos on fortepiano.

Besides his work for BIS, Ronald Brautigam has recorded piano concertos by Shostakovich, Hindemith and Frank Martin with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Chailly for Decca, and has made several recordings with violinist Isabelle van Keulen.

Brautigam’s recordings have earned a number of awards including three Edisons, a Diapason d’Or de l’année, a ‘MIDEM Classical Award’ for best solo piano recording (2004) and in 2010 he won the prestigious MIDEM Classical Award for best concerto recording. In 2015 his Beethoven recordings won him an Edison Award and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Ronald Brautigam is Professor at the Musik-Hochschule in Basel. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/mk_page_section]

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As a little girl I walked with my mother in Naarden Vesting, on the way to the Turfpoortstraat, on the way to my grandmother. the buildings! The Spanish House, St Andrew’s Church! The former church building which was built by the Robert F.W. Bruinsma 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

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