performers on a musical voyage from Beethoven to modern
Tjeerd Top & Mariken Zandvliet in concert on
October 10 at 7 p.m. at the Golden Ballroom of The Colombo Plaza
"Technical competence and pure expression characterise the
performance of the young Dutch performers", enthused a review
of Tjeerd Top and Mariken Zandvliet's concert in San Jose (Costa
capable of rendering every note with such clarity may rightfully
call himself a full fledged soloist", were the words used by
the Dutch press to describe Tjeerd Top's playing. Tjeerd Top started
playing the violin at the age of eight. In 2000, he graduated with
honours from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (Netherlands) after
studying with Qui van Woerdekom and Jaring Walta. For his Master’s
Degree he continued his studies with Alexander Kerr at the Conservatory
of Amsterdam, where again he graduated with honours.
Top was the first prize winner of the Dutch National Violin Competition-
'Oskar Back' in 2001. As a soloist Tjeerd Top has performed with
several leading orchestras and conductors (Hans Vonk, Vassily Sinaisky
and Peter Oundjian among them) in the key concert halls of Europe.
He has made concert tours to Japan, South America and the Middle
East. From January 2005, Tjeerd will be working as the First Assistant
Concertmaster of the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.
Mariken Zandvliet made her debut as a soloist at the age of 14,
with the "Gewestelijk Orkest" of South Holland. In Utrecht,
Mariken studied with Herman Ulhorn and obtained with honours her
diploma of "Performing Musician". Later she studied chamber
music and lieder, accompanying Norman Shetler at the Mozarteum in
Salzburg. Besides appearances as a soloist she has performed with
various orchestras and chamber music ensembles and has toured Scandinavia,
France, England, Germany, Morocco and China. She is also a member
of the Bonnard Trio, the Trio Damase and the Basho Ensemble. Mariken
Zandvliet teaches at the conservatories of Utrecht and Amsterdam.
Top and Mariken Zandvliet have made successful tours to Indonesia,
Costa Rica, The Netherlands, Antilles and Argentina. The duo's repertoire
varies from classical to contemporary music. They won a prize for
their interpretation of a contemporary work written by the Dutch/Argentinean
composer Carlos Michans. In February 2002 a CD was released with
music of Carlos Michans, performed by Tjeerd Top and Mariken Zandvliet.
programme for the evening will include Beethoven's 'Spring Sonata',
works of Fritz Kreisler, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Schubert as well
as some contemporary pieces.
priced at Rs. 750 inclusive of refreshments are available at the
Sunera Foundation Office, 65, Rosmead Place, Colombo 7 from 9 a.m
to 5 a.m. The main sponsors for the event are The Royal Netherlands
Embassy and The Colombo Plaza. Electronic Media Sponsors are MTV,
Yes FM and Classic Radio. Proceeds will be in aid of the Sunera
did reach the sky
'Turtles Will Never Fly', Sunera
production went on stage on September 17,18
'Piyaambaa No-yethi Ibboh' may be translated as 'Turtles Will Never
Fly'; and the phrase could well register as a hyperbolic figure
of speech but, in the context of the performance by The Butterflies
Theatre Company-Second Wing, this was possibly an interpretation
and demonstration of 'the tyranny of empire being replaced by the
illegitimacy of parliamentary democracy!'
opening night of their recent stage-production under the aegis of
the Sunera Foundation was on September 17 at the Bishop's College
auditorium in Colombo. Their previous presentations such as 'Butterflies
are Free' from 2000 onward were blatantly anti-war in sentiment,
but this play was an attempt at taking a more inward perspective
from a social point of view, which curiously reminded me of the
title of one of composer Thelonious Monk's works from the late 1940s,
'Ugly Beauty' which was written during the 'reckoning period' following
the conflagration of World War II.
was broad in scope and generous in depth (occasionally laboured
in depiction), with the use of vibrant mime and urgent changes in
wardrobe, employing stark choreography as creative responses ranged
through pathos and comedy. Juxtaposed with sound effects, corny
Tin Pan Alley tunes and serious musical fragments, this evocative
satire lampooned the overarching paradoxes, the rampant commercialism
of our times, bathetic trends, overweening media and the stunning
failure of leadership.
evening was episodic in its presentation; yet one could detect an
intensive thread that linked much of the action, until in the final
stages of the production, when with a frank, brutal and carnal gesture
lay 'exposed' the sad and naked deception which is this much vaunted,
gilded human ideal of democracy. The 'broken promises' and the edging
out from pledges, the hideous imagery and choreography of crossings
over the floor and hooliganism among 'elected representatives',
societal fragmentation, bogus flirtations, suppressive tactics,
commercial sponsorships and its weak sop of crass entertainment,
endless parades of bloated personalities, wanton militarism and
the tendency toward violence and even media-overload were scorned
and caricatured with abandon.
this and yet some in variously colourful and melancholic, fractured
and whole, fluid and erratic and even ecstatic portrayal by young
people courageous enough to overcome their limitation in size, shape,
articulation, mental acumen, or vision. It was they who wished that
the 'truth be told'- not their mentors working with Sunera! Thankfully
no cloying sentimentality or irksome gimmickry was pressed on the
audience to generate sympathy, but there were times when hardly
a dry eye might have prevailed when all was done (and little actually
determining whether this is therapeutic for the participants, one
comes closer to the point that it must well serve as therapy for
us. One young wheel-chaired performer speaking his eager mind afterward
said: 'Uncle, we are on the outside of your world, we are hoping
to have been able to communicate a small message. This message may
have been heard by the few; but that is sufficient for us, for we
are counted as outside the fringe. This evening, we have seen so
many of the diplomatic and overseas community present. But where
are our leaders?" Indeed- where?
of what is commented on above could account for mere rhetoric, except
were one to know (appreciate) the background of the players, that
would constitute the potent reality of the 'drama'; That these young
minds and hearts are among the least fortunate in what could well
be marginalized communities. Theirs is a permanent encounter with
disappointment and despair.
they also possess an indomitable spirit that must be recognized.
The other fact is that they would scarcely ever have had a chance
to express themselves in any context save for this venture. It is
therein and with this success that their aesthetic challenge offers
its greatest meaning and exhibits a most persuasive triumph.