Push your musicians to the limit?
Yesterday I performed (as a singer in the choir) in the performance of Symphony #9 by Beethoven in the Concertgebouw with the following line-up. Cappella Amsterdam (professionals) supporting the VU Kamerkoor (amateurs), the Orchestra of the 18th Century (of course the best professionals) and soloists Katherin Dain, Esther Kuiper, et etc, all led by Jonathan Darlington.
First off, generally speaking I was extremely happy with the professional, empathetic, vigorous, musical, and precise conducting by this gentleman. Finally! I conductor who can do it all, and that with a healthy and friendly attitude.
The singers were invited to join the O18 because they were hosting a Beethoven Festival. They had an absolutely gruelling schedule of daily rehearsals of various pieces and three evening performances in a row: day 1 Beethoven 1 and Violin Concerto, day 2 Erioca and the 5th piano concerto, and day 3 the 9th Symphony. We, of course, only joined for the 4th movement of the 9th. My observation, having heard this orchestra in collaborations numerous times, was the following: they had a very amicable and yet powerful musical bond with this particular conductor (I've seen them hate a conductor as well). The musicality of the strings, timpani, and some winds, including the fabulous 1st bassoonist just bloomed under his direction. In particular I have to mention the 1st violin section, which under the leadership of Alexander J. was technically and musically impressive. It was a huge Beethoven, raw and over the top where needed, emotionally vulnerable, without boundaries.
The 1st and 2nd movements of the ninth were the height of their passions, abilities, and technique.
And now I get to the "however." The third movement I attribute to a management blunder. The embouchure and concentration of winds and perhaps also conductor were struggling with fatigue. Intonation, which I have a high ability to forgive in such circumstances, became an unavoidable irritation. The 4th movement rekindled the energy and brought the symphony to a roaring standing ovation. However, that 3rd movement still bothers me. The O18 is simply a fabulous orchestra that under this particular conductor, could have sounded at their very best. I think that the management needs to analyze how far they can actually push these musicians without compromising quality. A full rehearsal day on the same day as a concert of the 9th, after a long full week and two concerts of different repertoire is simply too much to ask of the wind's embouchure and the concentration of all the players and, let's not forget, the conductor!
The orchestra is embarking on a new path, and many great steps are being taken to ensure the future of the orchestra. To that, bravo!
Off to see Panula again
Probably for the 3rd and last time, I'll be taking a masterclass from Jorma Panula again. This time the repertoire is Ravel La Mere L'Oye, Dvorak's Carnival Overture, and Mozart 39. We received an email yesterday (3 days prior to masterclass) that we would also be conducting Brahms 3 and Sibelius 6. So instead of writing this blog, I should actually be studying my ass off.
Sibelius 6 I did with Panula last year, but even as I look at the score, I wonder, why did I do that then? Strange how time forms the bizarre mushroom in your skull called the brain. And Brahms 3.. I did that with Panula in 2007. He must recycle. Not bad pieces to do so with. The violin part is in any case less daunting than it was back in my orchestral violinist days. Crossing the fingers (well, toes are more appropriate) at the leaps of faith still applies.
I remember in any case that the orchestra in Budapest was not so musically warm and communicative as I had hoped. Of course they played well, but there was a wall between us conductors and them. This situation is different. There will be a 19 piece ensemble (I'll play along as well, seems much more fun than sitting around waiting my turn). Far from complete...
What's been on my mind recently is the future of classical music. I see my orchestra petering out (literally). In my choirs there are young people, but not nearly enough to replenish the old, especially tenors and basses. The Netherlands, (and the world), on the other hand, becomes fuller and fuller and fuller of people who have nothing to do with, or no interest in, or not enough schooling for practicing a musical art form. The world is becoming full of emptiness.
Less is more less is more less is more...
Some day I might start my own school where-in children sing and play an instrument daily. It's been on my mind.
I have performed in hundreds and hundreds of concerts in my lifetime. As a child, I was the fast one, the one that got annoyed at the slowness of others and the ineptitude of various conductors. I was the one that wanted to participate, to move to the music. I longed to move the group. I was a leader. I guess that it's only natural that I wanted to become a conductor. It sounds ridiculous, but I think it's the same reason that girls are often obsessed (as I was) with horses. To control something big, to have an emotional bond with the animal, to feel the wind course through your hair on a trail ride canter, the exhilaration, the smells, the empathy, the danger. Your youthful energy and enthousiasme makes it possible. The thing is, is it necessary to retain this as age sets in? As the need subsides? Is it a sign of maturation, in a positive manner, that the need to lead changes and slightly subsides? Does that fact that experience teaches you to temper yourself and to accept the tempo around you instead of push it on, show signs of a bore-out, or is this natural?
The concept of conducting has always been a questionable issue for me. What is the need for a conductor? Are we simply there to pull up those who can't pull their own weight to join those who can, or do we only give that extra bit of fire, or do we, as a benevolent dictator, lead the group to follow our own "brilliant" vision of how something should go, or do we simply feel empathy for the group dynamic and subtly help it to bloom?
Over the years and before a huge variety of ensembles that I've stood in front of, I have been all of the above. Perhaps a palette is needed due to the incredibly diverse levels that one deals with in the music world.
Sigh. The search continues. How closely it resembles political systems. The question that I have been grappling lately is: a conductor-less ensemble (including chamber music groups.). Does it represent communism in it's best form (one in which everybody pulls their own weight before it descends into lethargic "hangmat" socialism), or is it truly a democracy?
Bach and this weekend's concerts
I like to start the mornings when my kids are at their father's, after having slept in a bit and eaten my traditional bowl of muesli with fruit and kefir, with playing Bach. I feel as if this mental yoga clears up my mind, sorts the myriads of thoughts tumbling over each other. Today I played the G minor Fugue from the first Sonata. And as I stood in my sun-drenched living room, delighting in the views of my blooming pear tree and calm street, a few thoughts passed by that I though would be good to write down.
First, I was bothered a week ago by a post by a facebook friend. He had posted a picture of a shoot coming out of a tree, stating that nature always comes back, and that we don't need to do anything to aid it. Harmless as it may seem, this statement shrouds far-right frustration and ignorance, both of which are having dangerous repercussions in society. Looking out of my window this morning, I see a huge amount of blooming trees and shrubs: all empty. Not a single flying insect adorns their perfumed en enticing blossoms. When I first moved to this house 12 years ago, there were hundreds of butterflys and several species of bees, bumblebees, and of course, wasps. I have literally seen their numbers decimated over the years. The year after all of the old trees were removed in order to tear up the street for sewer removal, was the most devastating. Most of the butterflies were gone after that.
The idea that we do not need to do anything to protect nature is astoundingly stupid. When we have crowded out literally every other species on earth with our increasing population, it is VITALLY necessary that we do protect nature, and with that I mean animals, plants, AND their habitats. Not only out of shame for being the cause of so much species extinction, but also out of purely selfish reasons, for without a stable ecosystem, our own survival is at risk.
After writing down this first thought, the second will have to wait.
I am preparing Antonin Dvořák's Carnival Overture at the moment, and as I frequently do, I play through all the string parts and write my own bowings and fingerings. As this is a very virtuosic piece, I am hanging around the 1ste violin part for quite a while. Just for a laugh, I decided to see which recording I could play along with on Spotify. I started with Concertgebouw under Chailly and was very unpleasantly surprised. He asked the orchestra to do un-human feats of accomplishment with out of proportion (literally, as the last piu mosso was almost impossible) fast tempi. The orchestra in 1988 must have been comprised of exclusively virtuoso strings and secondly, must have been in survival modus and severely pissed off after this recording. Anyhow, I then switched over to Boston with Seiji Ozawa and subsequently I breathed a sigh of relief. Everything is clear as a bell, playful and in character, and most of all, playable with room for musicality and enjoyment. Keep that in mind, conductor's looking for a thrill and ego boost!!
Singing B minor Mass
Just this last week I joined the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir in two performances of the B minor Mass by J.S. Bach under the astounding direction of Ton Koopman. I am ashamed to say that this all took place on the island group of Gran Canaria. I am not proud of joining the international fleet of musicians who hop from here to there to "do their thing," and yet this seemed to important and great an opportunity to miss.
Let's be real. Ton Koopman is a legend. At 78, he is still conducting with the energy of a 20 year old. On the day of the concert, he easily gives a lecture at a local university before rehearsing and finally conducting the concert. He is well organized, having written out a plan before rehearsing so that no musicians have to wait or tire themselves out with too much playing or singing. The music making in the concert is intense. There is no boring Bach. There is an intensity and energy needed which finally adheres to what Donington writes about in his book Performing Baroque Music, and that is that nothing in the baroque was small and weak. It is big and profound. The voices were well trained and were meant to carry.
When singing with Koopman, which I have experienced for two productions now, the intensity expected of the choir and orchestra is so great, that even I have to be careful of my voice. The risk is that sheer will to elevate the music to the level that Ton wants will easily surpass the physical ability of the vocal chords.
My colleagues are the best of the best. Young and old, everyone is a highly trained expert in their distinctive fields. Especially my colleague altos Iris Bouman, Sofia Eisen, whom I stood next to, were an inspiration.
I'm inspired and informed at a much higher level than before I left for Gran Canaria to conduct this piece in three weeks.
Premiere: June 10th 2023 in the Hartebrugkerk. Written for the Leiden English Choir in collaboration with the City of Oxford Choir, the Astrolabium Chamber Choir, organist Kirstin Gramlich, and cellist Willemijn Knödler.
In short the set-up of the piece is small soprano ensemble (6 sopranos) situated behind the large choir (choir 1) which sings primarily with the organ and smaller choir 2 opposite of choir 1. The cello has a very expressive role and accompanies both soprano choir and choir 1. This large choir, here sung by the Leiden English Choir and Astrolabium, represents humanity as a whole with all of it's messes, hopes, cyclical behaviour, business as usual, and power. The intervals of the 3rd and tritone are represented as an impure contrast with the "pure" data of the soprano choir. These “human” intervals are symbolic of several societal ideas. The interval of the third represents the Holy Trinity and thus Christian dominance. In certain circumstances it can be pure and majestic, for instance in the manifestation of a major chord, here represented at it’s greatest on the word Joy. At other times it is tonally impure and causes, in conjunction with the tritone, for example, harsh dissonance. The tritone is the interval which perfectly divides the octave. It is the most dissonant interval in Western tonal music. I use this to represent how perfectly divided our society is at the moment. While the data is clear that climate change is caused by human activity and fossil fuel consumption, most of society either refuses to believe it, or refuses to act on this knowledge. However, the 4th and 5th are the basis for this choir as well, as intentions are sometimes pure, even within the dissonance that we grapple with when it comes to climate change. We are, in fact, all victims and perpetrators alike.
The small soprano choir's function is to sing the data retrieved from the observatory on Moana Loa, which has been used since 1958 to gather data on atmospheric concentrations. The soprano choir uses pure intervals of the 4th and 5th stemming from A 440, and occasionally incorporate the interval of the major and minor second under insistence of the scientists. When I first started the piece I originally named those soprano parts the “angels of Moana Loa.” There is a set number of 6 sopranos which is a loose symbol for the 6 winged seraph Isaiah. However, in the final version I chose to drop those Christian religious connotations. The sopranos singing the Moana Loa data should sound like deities that are coaxed to life by the scientists who act in the same manner as man has for centuries. I.e., regarding profound manifestations in nature, such as the volcano Moana Loa, as God-like and therefore searching for profound wisdom within.
Choir 2 represents the scientists who extract and interpret the data. Their role is to seek out the pure data, but are definitely emotionally impacted by their findings. They are somewhat ritualistic in their search for data from Moana Loa. The become increasingly disturbed throughout, ending in monotony in repetitive despair. Their intervals are those of the 4th, 5th, and 1/2 step.
The text used for this piece, aside from the repetitious outbursts of “Moana Loa” and the data findings, comes from 8 lines from William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence. Written in 1803, this long poem puts into words the great contrasts inherent in humanity. It’s entirety can be read here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43650/auguries-of-innocence
The lines used in my composition are:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
If there's anything that I feel strongly about (next to music education in schools, the dwindling appreciation of classical culture, loss of biodiversity and natural places), it's climate change. To be more specific, our ineptness in facing the huge challenges hanging over humanity that are so out of proportion to anything that we have collectively battled and found solutions for in the past. As a conductor of choral (and orchestral) music, it's quite hard to find a way to make an impact to be part of the solution, not the problem. The first thing that comes to mind is obviously to program music that at least addresses this issue. This, preferably, with the intention of abstaining from flying in "necessary" talent from all parts of the world and/or touring internationally by air. Programming music that addresses these very new issues and is appropriate for the ensemble is like searching for a few needles in a haystack. I have come across one exceptionally relevant and also well-composed piece for 40 voices called Earthrise (inspired by Spem in allium) by Alec Roth, which can be accompanied by organ and cello. One work that goes well with this approximately 30 min piece is a stunning work by Sven-David Sandström called To See a World. The first time I conducted this piece, the text just gripped me. Written in 1803 bij William Blake, it juxtaposes innocence and corruption. Although Sandström only uses the first verse of this work of 132 lines, they are the most poignant. They can mean so much on different levels, but for me it is a plea for finding meaning in less (of everything). Less is more.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
I have been dabbling in composition since the beginning of the corona crisis, and decided to put up my sleeves and take a jab at composing a piece myself for the three choirs, cello, and organ, using William Blake’s text as well. The reason being that one of my choirs is organising a three-choir collaboration for their Jubilee project in June/July 2023, and the thematic thread is sustainability. I decided to include the following verses from the Auguries:
Man was made for Joy and Woe
And when this we rightly know
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
Composing my To See a World was in a non-lockdown situation was tougher than I had first imagined it would be. Months of brooding over possible themes and how to link them with intervals, which texts to use, how to incorporate contemporary texts that are directly relevant to climate change yet making it not an affront to the listener, pondering over the possibilities of the large church balconies, considering the different levels of the choirs involved. All of this while speeding through “normal” life again of daily evening rehearsals in different cities, preparing scores and practicing voice in the daytime, managing my household, and finding time to take care of my health.
The day before yesterday I put the finishing touches on the first draft during a nine hour long train ride to Berlin.
Relief! I will be recording small bits myself during the next few months, but the première will take place in the Hartebrugkerk in Leiden on June 10th 2023. I’ll be posting more about this at a later time.
My question for my fellow choir conductors out there: what is the future looking like for you in terms of repertoire? A very insistent theme that comes up repeatedly is that my choir members don’t want to sing religious music anymore. I am ready to agree with them. “Mooi muziek, jammer dat het altijd over God gaat.” When 90% of your repertoire is about a subject that doesn’t have nearly the same relevance as when it was written, you have to start reevaluating your intentions as an ensemble.
What is the role of an artist in confronting the public with your own concerns about the world? Are we only there to provide beauty and comfort, or are we also there to expose and disturb?
Nederlands! Programma toelichting geschreven door Thies de Waard, Fedde Bloemhof, Hebe de Champeaux
Tijdens de coronaperiode kwam de wereld knarsend tot stilstand. De schaal van ons bestaan raakte op veel manieren danig ingeperkt, en het effect van de pandemie bracht wereldwijd discussies op gang over ons bestaan van vóór corona. Over het mondiale consumptiepatroon (de verspillende patronen, de infrastructuur en logistiek die daarvoor nodig zijn, de mentaliteit die eraan ten grondslag ligt) en de gevolgen daarvan voor de planeet en voor ons als mensen. Een soortgelijk achter-de-oren-krabben ontstond over de manier waarop we met onszelf omgaan, binnen families, en binnen de samenleving in wijken, steden, landen. In allerlei opzichten dwong Corona ons tot een pas-op-de-plaats, en tot heroverwegen en misschien (hopelijk?) zelfs herijken. Met dit programma willen we aandacht geven aan de zaken die ons tijdens de stilte die corona ons oplegde, bezighielden. Omdat we snel geneigd zijn nieuwe inzichten te vergeten zodra de vaart der volkeren ons weer meesleurt. We bundelen hiertoe de krachten van twee kamerkoren die in wisselende combinaties zullen zingen. Tevens is er een rol weggelegd voor een kinderkoor.
De kern van het programma wordt gevormd door twee monumentale en belangwekkende composities, die beide over genoemde thema’s gaan, maar er vanuit verschillend perspectieven naar kijken.
Raua Needmine (Curse upon Iron, 1972), van Veljo Tormis is een indringend, rauw en energiek werk voor koor en Shamaan-trommel, dat deels is gebaseerd op oude teksten uit de Finse mythologie (de Kalevala) in combinatie met nieuwere Estse poëzie. Met deze compositie vraagt Tormis op onontkoombare wijze aandacht voor onze relatie met de natuurlijk bronnen, en wijst hij erop dat alles wat de mens creëert zich tegen hem kan keren als het niet gebeurt met respect voor de levende planeet.
In 1968 werd de aarde voor het eerst door mensen vanaf de maan gefotografeerd. We zien een nietig, kwetsbaar, blauw balletje in een onmetelijk groot heelal. Dit beeld inspireerde Alec Roth tot het schrijven van Earthrise (2009), een episch werk voor meerdere bezettingen, waarin hij teksten uit de bijbel aanwendt die ons wijzen op het belang van goed rentmeesterschap. Earthrise is daarmee echter geen religieus stuk; het laat zien dat juist de mens, en de mens alleen, de verantwoordelijkheid heeft voor het beheer van de planeet. We voeren het werk in dit programma uit in de bezetting voor dubbelkoor en strijkers.
We vullen het programma aan met een aantal werken die eveneens onze relatie tot de natuur en tot elkaar aan de kaak stellen. To see a World van Sven David Sandström handelt op een ingetogen manier over de tegenstelling die we als mensen creëren (rijkdom tegenover armoede, de elite tegenover de kansarmen) en nodigt het publiek uit om de kwetsbare schoonheid en balans in de natuur weer te herkennen. Sandström schaart zich daarmee naast Tormis wat betreft thematiek, maar in een volkomen contrasterend idioom. Van Pēteris Vasks zingen we een aantal Klusas dziemas (silent songs) die handelen over afscheid. Met deze weinig uitgevoerde, maar bijzondere en sfeervolle werken staan we stil bij de mensen die als gevolg van pandemie niet meer onder ons zijn. Aussi bas que le silence uit de Figure Humaine van Francis Poulenc laat ons horen wat overblijft als het schone verdwijnt. De Cantate de la Paix van Darius Milhaud (met medewerking van het kinderkoor) roept op tot vrede en tot een humanere omgang met elkaar. In Mille Regrets reflecteert Hebe de Champeaux aan de hand van een persoonlijke ervaring op de toegenomen afstand en eenzaamheid die voor velen het gevolg was van de pandemie. (zie blogpost hieronder)
De Stabat Mater van Nystedt was eigenlijk ook een slachtoffer van de coronacrisis. Geannuleerd in het vorige programma doordat de dirigent in quarantaine moest, werd dit stuk doorgeschoven naar Tijdens de Stilte, waar het raar genoeg ook een sleutelrol heeft gekregen in het programma. Dit stuk is een dialoog tussen cello en koor, waarin de tekst van de Stabat Mater op indringende manier samen wordt gevlochten met de muziek. De tederheid en liefde en het wenen van de moeder wordt uitgebeeld in fragiele dalende lijnen door de sopranen en alten, terwijl het verstikkende beeld van de dood en de huilende moeder met strakke herhalende noten en kruipende dissonanten wordt uitgebeeld in klank. Het het programma komt dit stuk direct na het oerstuk Raua Needmine, waarin in feiten het einde van de wereld door nucleaire oorlog wordt gepresenteerd als waarschuwing. Dat de Stabat Mater hier op volgt is een symbool van rouw. De moeder rouwt om haar kind, de mensheid rouwt om haar onvermogen om ramp af te wenden, de vrouw rouwt om de man, die de destructie grotendeels heeft veroorzaakt. Aan het einde van dit stuk is de troost van de liefde dat vanuit de moeder stroomt alomwezig. De liefde van de moeder zorgt ervoor dat, ook al sterft het lichaam, de geest de glorie van de hemels paradijs zal bereiken. In de komende decaden zal troost nodig zijn. Laat het de vrouwen zijn die de leiders worden en vanuit wijsheid en liefde regeren.
De teksten van al deze muziekstukken zijn niet van het laatste jaar: ze werden reeds tien tot enige duizenden jaren vóór de coronacrisis geschreven, hetgeen onderstreept dat we ons als mensheid al erg lang bewust zijn van de gevolgen van ons handelen. We combineren de oude teksten in dit programma daarom ook juist met heel recente gedichten van Claartje Chajes, ontstaan tijdens de coronatijd. Claartje schrijft poëzie in nauwe relatie tot de belevenis van de mensen in haar omgeving, en is onder andere bekend van haar Amsterdamse Poëtische Buurtatlas. Een aantal van de gedichten zal door de kinderen van het kinderkoor worden voorgedragen – want zij zijn het tenslotte die de planeet van ons overnemen.
Looking back on Mille Regrets
In just a few weeks time, my composition Mille Regrets will go in premiere with the multi-choral collaborative program Tijdens de Stilte. I'll express a few of my ideas here about why I wrote it.
At the time I was influenced by several severely contrasting musical genres. First of all, the influence of Pēteris Vasks, and in particular his Cello Concerto, the Dona Nobis Pacem, and of course Māte Saule, is imminent. In particular the combination of strings and voices, and the "cloud" technique are important. The second influence is pop, especially Lady Gaga. I wanted to use a harmonic structure that would be accessible and still would portray the mourning aspect of the song clearly. Gaga's at the time new album Chromatica, plus her album A Star is Born, (especially the ballads) were songs that I was listening to frequently, and I even made string cover of Always Remember Us This Way. The third influence is Purcell. I've always been gripped by the descending 4th as a bass ostinato. And lastly, I'll never forget my theory lessons in which was explained that Wagner always heightened emotional expression with extreem melodic intervals.
The idea for the piece came out of immense frustration and fury about the corona restrictions. A seemingly unsolvable conundrum. The protect the fragile elderly, they were forbidden to receive visitors for months on end. In fact, their homes became prisons. Wasting away in loneliness, they were asked to spend (in many cases) their last remaining months/years in isolation from their loved ones. This blatant example of human insistence on prolonging quantity of life instead of quality of life was something that I found extremely offensive.
It has a lot to do with my own past, I'm afraid. My mother was hospitalized for a very long time, and wasted away in care homes and eventually the hospital. She wrote it in her diary herself, she was no longer living, she was a shell. I still feel guilt that I (a child, and also living in a different country) didn't have the attention for her. I'm not sure she wanted to live on. She was being kept alive by endless medicines, and died at the age of 55, looking 100.
Isolating elderly from their loved ones to protect them was a mistake that we should be utterly ashamed of. Couples who shared a bed for half a century, separated by the restrictions, could not see each other unless one of them was on their death bed. Elderly couldn't be touched, held, hugged, and were separated by screens, windows, plastic sheets. What kind of society have we become if we shove aside our empathy, restrict human connection for months on end for those that only have a few months left anyways? What are we saving? It's a terrible conflict.
And therefore, Mille Regrets.
Mille regrets de vous abandonner
Et d’être éloigné de votre visage amoureuse
J’ai si grand deuil et peine douloureuse
Qu’on me verra vite mourir
A thousand regrets at deserting you
and leaving behind your loving face,
I feel so much sadness and such painful distress,
that it seems to me my days will soon dwindle away
I added my own text for the important middle section in which a simple chorale in E flat major is sung by the sopranos and altos on the original text "Mille regrets de vous abandoner." The tenors and basses sing a cloud of text as softly as possible on the most dissonant note possible, A natural. They represent the virus. "When you breath I die, I die a little inside." The virus was/is real and did really cause casualties in the nursing homes. The question is, are we willing to sacrifice our humanity to simply prolong life, or do we embrace quality of life and family love as the more important goal?
I saw my mother dwindle away during my yearly summer visits and carry that guilt, although I could not have brought any change to the situation as a young child/teenager. There was no honor and no joy in that wasting away. There was no warmth on her sterile hospital walls. I do not wish that on anybody.
I made a home recording that you can see here: https://youtu.be/lhEEO4GXcxw
But even better: come to the premiere!
June 12th -- Dominicuskerk Amsterdam 16:00
June 18h -- Geertekerk Utrecht 20:00
June 19th -- Titus Brandsmakerk Nijmegen
For tickets -- TICKETS TIJDENS DE STILTE
Hebe de Champeaux
conductor, mezzo-soprano, violinist, composer