Borletti-Buitoni Trust
11 April 2011

Music, honesty & craftmanship

by Erik Bosgraaf

On the 21st February I was awarded the Dutch Music Prize, the highest Dutch state award for music, at a concert with the Dutch Chamber Orchestra at Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam.  On the same day Graham Johnston, David Hoskins and I got together for the second time to shoot part of a short documentary film for BBT.  Earlier, we had gathered (with Susan Rivers as well) in Paris at the workshop of Ernst Meyer and sons, a world famous recorder builder. The BBT has enabled me to pursue our mutual quest for a recorder sound propelling us right into the 21st century, fitted for big orchestras and large halls. His instruments and the way I can use them to project sound is simply stunning – Ernst’s work was of great use in the collaboration with the Dutch Chamber Orchestra and Gordan Nikolic.

Playing with Gordan became absolutely magical in the double concerto for recorder and violin that was especially written for the occasion by Matijs de Roo, a very talented Dutch composer. I remember one instance where in the second rehearsal Gordan asked Matijs to explain a little about the piece. Until then we mainly had been busy with playing the notes but when Matijs explained that he wrote the piece in a period of mourning over the death of his father, we all felt what was to be done with the notes. It suddenly made one thing very clear for all of us: the need of artists of our time expressing timeless emotions in the music of today. And when that is done with a combination of honesty and craftsmanship, the music’s relevance will become timeless by consequence.