Featured concert: Celebrated Dutch pianist Nicolas van Poucke in the Concertgebouw

Featured concert: Celebrated Dutch pianist Nicolas van Poucke in the Concertgebouw

Apr 24, 2022
Het Concertgebouw, Concertgebouwplein 10, 1071 LN
Prices from 17,50 euros

“Not many pianists manage to approach this musically and psychologically complex world with so much obviousness” (Het Parool) – with these words, the press and the audience welcomed the Schumann album of the internationally acclaimed Dutch pianist Nicolas van Poucke.

On Sunday, April 24, he presents a special programme, entirely devoted to one of his favourite composers, combining Schumann's enigmatic last composition with one of the most poetic works of his younger years.

Get a 20% discount with special promotion code: IAMEXPAT

The programme:

The programme is as follows: 

  • Gesänge der Frühe
  • Kreisleriana
  • Geistervariationen
  • Davidsbündlertänze

The performance opens with Gesänge der Frühe (Songs of the Morning) composed in October 1853, just three years before Schumann’s death. By that time, Schumann was already suffering from mental and emotional decline, and Clara Schumann wrote in her private diary: "… the dawn-songs, very original as always but hard to understand, their tone is so very strange."

Use code IAMEXPAT when booking your tickets for a 20% discount

This is followed by Kreisleriana, a very dramatic work viewed by some critics as one of Schumann's finest compositions. Originally, it was dedicated to Frédéric Chopin, but when a copy was sent to the Polish composer, "he commented favourably only on the design of the title page". The closing piece of the concert is the intimate and poetic Davidsbündlertänze opus 6 , which was an engagement gift for Clara Wieck, to become Clara Schumann, in 1840. The cycle contains his most warm-hearted and moving emotions.

The Geistervariationen (Ghost Variations), on the other hand, were composed in the dark days. Between the writing of the fourth and fifth variations on a theme that Schumann believed had been whispered to him by angels, he threw himself into the Rhine in an outburst of inner wrath. Shortly afterwards, another tragedy followed: Schumann was admitted into an institution for the mentally ill, never to go out again. The notes of the fifth variation, which he was still able to complete before recording, became his very last notes.

The pianist

Nicolas van Poucke was born in 1992 into a family of professional musicians: his father is a trumpet player and his mother a viola player.

For as long as he can remember, Nicolas has been making music together with his sister, cellist Ella van Poucke. In the season 2018-2019, they undertook their most ambitious project to date and performed Beethoven’s complete music for piano & cello in Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam and in Berlin.

In the middle of the lockdown, Nicolas embarked on a Schumann project resulting in a series of socially distanced recitals and an album for TRPTK “Nicolas van Poucke – The Schumann Collection vol. l”, released in November 2020. This received very warm reviews: “Eager, sizzling and astonishing was Robert Schumann’s Carnival by pianist Nicolas van Poucke”. (The Volkskrant)

In October 2020, Nicolas made his London debut with Chineke!  The Guardian wrote: “Chineke! gave a secure if stately account of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 with Nicolas van Poucke, an assured soloist.” Nicolas studied with David Kuyken and Jan Wijn (Conservatory of Amsterdam). Furthermore, he has received the advice of Murray Perahia, Alfred Brendel and Martha Argerich.

Special discount code

To IamExpat readers, the Concertgebouw offers a special promotion code: IAMEXPAT. All you have to do is put in this code when ordering your tickets (in the last window), which gives you a 20% discount. For more information, head over to the official website.