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An Ox on the Roof

An introduction to contemporary music in plain language.

An Ox on the Roof 19: Ox in times of the coronavirus #6. 


Today, the nineteenth episode of An Ox on the Roof of Thea Derks, based on her book Een os op het dak: moderne muziek na 1900 in vogelvlucht.

In the last episode , future looked fairly hopeful as regards to corona. Since then, unfortunately, the virus evidently is spreading again and more severe measures are again proclaimed. Luckely, concert halls are still allowed – with exemption – to receive an audience, but it is a sad sight: all those empty seats in big halls like TivoliVredenburg (Utrecht), Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw on the river IJ (Amsterdam).

Last time, Derks paid attention to newly released CDs with music of Anahita Abbasi and Peteris Vasks. Also the Dutch pianist Hannes Minnaar recently released a new disc. Beside works of Schumann and Ravel, it contains Nox of Robert Zuidam, which was composed especially for Minnaar, and after which the release is named. The fourth piece is called ‘Afscheid van Reinbert de Leeuw op Zorgvlied’ (Farewell to Reinbert de Leeuw on Zorgvlied cemetary’. 

This piece will have its world premiere only on seven November in Muziekgebouw on the river IJ in Amsterdam, but you can hear it already in our broadcast of today. Zuidam is one of the composers who are considered in Een os op het dak: moderne muziek na 1900 in vogelvlucht. The same goes for the Korean-German Unsuk Chin, of whom Subito con sforza had its world premiere in the Concertgebouw last month. She composed this piece at the request of the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, she was inspired by Beethoven’s notebooks.

In an interview with Thea Derks, Chin told that it often takes a long time for a composition to become reality. For example, about her cello concerto she said, ‘When I heard cellist Alban Gerhardt play for the first time, I decided immediately to write a cello concerto, but it took me eight years to realize it.’

Chin completed her cello concerto in 2009, and made several revisions in 2013. The last version was recorded by Alban Gerhardt with Seoel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.

Tip: als u de Os aanschaft via de website krijgt u per omgaande een exemplaar met persoonlijke opdracht.



1. Unsuk Chin [picture ]. Concerto for Cello and Orchestra.

Alban Gerhardt, cello.
Seoel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.

2. Rob Zuidam. Nox. 

Hannes Minnaar, piano.


Compilation, montage and host: Thea Derks

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