”The sheer sound was fabulous…but what set the seal on things was the electrifying performance…these players brought it off time and again, and played with lovely stylish grace. The whole thing was a joy, and I doubt whether I’ve seen all year a performance prepared with such loving care.” Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph
Calefax are: Oliver Boekhoorn oboe, Ivar Berix clarinet, Raaf Hekkema saxophone
Jelte Althuis bass clarinet, Alban Wesly bassoon
Calefax, established 25 years ago, are now in great demand worldwide, not least because of their unique instrumentation. The quintet performs standing up and always introduces itself and the programme me to the audience. Most importantly, the five musicians arrange, recompose and interpret music from eight centuries to suit their unique constellation: from early music to classical and jazz to world premières; in the hands of Calefax it all sounds fresh and new.
The Amsterdam based ensemble has won a number of prestigious prizes and can be heard frequently throughout Europe and further afield in Russia, China, India, Turkey, Japan and the USA.
The Times: “Calefax – five extremely gifted Dutch gents who almost made the reed quintet seem the best musical format on the planet”.
As in previous seasons Calefax has a considerable number of interesting programmes and concert tours scheduled. The ensemble can be heard in the USA, Japan and South Africa and will undertake several tours to the UK (eg London’s Wigmore Hall and a “Music in the Round” tour), Germany (amongst others Wittener Tage für Neue Musik) and Belgium (such as the Bach Academy Brugge and Antwerp/De Singel).
Season highlights are:
- Music & Image in Image & Music, a programme me in which the five Calefax musicians will be accompanied on stage by five movable projection screens for which video material (to be screened while the musicians play) has been specially developed
- a cooperation with the New York based composer Nico Muhly and Dutch rising star soprano Lenneke Ruiten (concerts in the Netherlands – Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Belgium and England – Wigmore Hall)
- the ‘Scherpdenkers’-series with Rob Riemen, director of the highly respected Nexus Institut (Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Eindhoven)
- the Far East Revisited-project with jazz trio Jungle Boldie (Amsterdam/Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Leidse Jazz Week)
- a concert in the Donderdagavondserie Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Amsterdam (with world premières of Works by Carola Bauckholt, Klas Torstensson and Yannis Kyriakides)
Calefax has released 16 CDs for the renowned German label MDG as well as for their own label RIOJA Records, which without exception, have been applauded by the international press: ”A sublime sense of timing [...]. In short: here are five souls playing as one. These are … masters!”
Recently two CDs appeared. One with recordings of the CalefaXL(Calefax Extra Large)-project for which Calefax was extended to a formation of twelve reed players.
Dutch leading newspaper ‘De Volkskrant’ on CalefaXL:
“CalefaXL juggles with notes,and keeps these in the air in a grandioso manner.” (Frits van der Waa, CD-review)
“As CalefaXL the twelve reed players shone in a sold out music centreVredenburg (Utrecht) with new compositions and inventive arrangements.’’ (Lonneke Regter, concert review)
Only months before the CalefaXL-release, a CD with repertoire from the much praised family performance The Music Factory appeared. The Music Factory was premièred in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and has since been performed throughout The Netherlands and in the Philharmonie in Cologne. In coming seasons The Music Factory performances in the Luxembourg Filharmonie and the Wigmore Hall, London (tbc) are scheduled.
Dutch leading newspaper ‘NRC-Handelsblad’ on The Music Factory: .. ‘many captivating moments’ .. ‘family performance put together perfectly’..
Jochem Valkenburg, 28 December 2010)
For this season a recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations has been released to great acclaim.
The quintet’s Wigmore Hall debut in June 2009, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, led to immediate re-invitiations in 2011 and 2012, and thus sealed their growing reputation in the UK. Summer festivals they visited in the UK in 2010 included Buxton, Swaledale, Chester and Cheltenham, and in July 2012 include Buxton, Cambridge, Holt and Ryedale. They return to the Wigmore Hall in February 2013.