2023 (the year in which I have the magical age of 42, a lucky number) is the year in which I feel I am at a great crossroad. The question that is dominating my mind at the present is in which direction I want to go. Every direction seems enticing in its own way. There are several which are pulling at me more than the others. First and foremost, it is imperative that "we" work at stimulating classical music, and music making in general, in the next generation. I want to play a large role in this. I believe that making music is a realistic way to inspire healthy communication and goodwill between people of all nations and ranks of life. The rather cliché "earth without art is just eh" is actually quite appropriate. Of course the earth could rather care less about the destructive humans rummaging about on it's surface, but for humanity itself, art makes one feel needed, alive, bound to each other and the cosmos, and inspires us to bring out our best qualities in a non-destructive manner.
My work with amateurs in the last decade has troubled me in the sense that there is very little inflow of younger people into ensembles that have proudly existed for decades, even centuries.
For this coming year, therefore, I will be expanding my work with children. The previous decades has allowed me to work with children as a conductor and teacher in various orchestras and choirs in Palestine and the Netherlands, and of course with my own wonderful children, Eva and Abel. This year I will continue to work with more groups at Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam, Jonge Strijkers, and am looking into even further possibilities with other organizations.
The next directions that I am contemplating on pursuing are exciting and daring, but also needed for my personal development. My dream has always been to be an opera conductor (after having tasted it during my assistantship at the IU opera theater in Bloomington) and to step into the professional conducting world. It's time to really push for my dreams. I have applied for two conducting competitions this year, after having done two masterclasses with Jorma Panula in the past year. (for those who don't know me.. I have a masters in orchestral conducting from IU Bloomington and a bachelors in violin cum laude from SFSU). It's time to feel the discomfort of instability, and to push myself to welcome a new step in my musical career.
The last road which I am currently contemplating is management. This is a scary road which brings much responsibility and knowledge that I am not yet a master of. This might even be a complete step away from the musical world. As I know of myself, seeds of thought are planted and sometimes take years to germinate. We shall see.
There is a budding compositional idea being formed as well - Marijke. (my mother).