The Valerius ensemble: a revelation in musicThe Valerius ensemble was founded in 1988 and is the only professional chamber music ensemble in the province Overijsel in The Netherlands. Depending on the program, they perform with various casts and the number of musicians varies from two to ten or even more. Most of the musicians are members of The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra.
With its annual series of chamber music concerts on Sunday afternoons, the ensemble plays a significant role in the programming at the Music Centre in Enschede and also in the Rabotheater in Hengelo (in The Netherlands). Ever since these concerts began both public and press have reacted with great enthusiasm and the halls are often filled to capacity.
The Valerius ensemble has received invitations to perform throughout The Netherlands and is also living up to its growing reputation via radio, television and c.d. recordings. Internationally, the ensemble has given concerts in Germany and Spain and has toured Brazil extensively. Over the years, the Valerius ensemble has played with a large number of national and international solists. Jaap van Zweden, Miranda van Kralingen, Wenzel Fuchs, Jacques Zoon, Norman Krieger, Emmy Verhey, Ronald Brautigam, Jacob Slagter and many others have appeared with the ensemble.
Besides performing chamber music, the Valerius ensemble is also regularly involved in Music Theatre productions. For instance, Maestro Gabriele Bellini conducted a series of performances of Stravinsky's "Soldiers Tale". Together with the Dutch cabaret artist Herman Finkers, the ensemble created an innovative version of Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals" , which has been broadcast several times on Dutch telivision.
In a co-production with Sonnevanck, a youth-oriented theatre company, there have been a number of performances of "The Nightingale", a work which is based upon the Andersen's fairy tale set to the music of Theo Loevendi, one of the important composers in the Netherlands. The ensemble also shows an avid interest in contemporary music. Various composers have written works especially for the Valerius ensemble such as Carlos Míchans (2x), Alexander Comitas, Leo Samama en Wim Beunders , all from the Netherlands; Dimas Sedícias from Brazil, Icelandic composer Daniel Bjarnason and Raimundo Penaforte from the USA. With the so-called 'Join-in' and school concerts, the VE brings classical music close to the youth in a relaxed and yet educational manner.
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