The chamber music festival „Freedom“, which had taken place from 28th of april to 2nd of may in Maastricht had a special prize for the participating ensembles: A concerttrip to Bangkok, sponsored by the “Highschool for music in Silpakorn” (Thailand). They had to take part in a competition, where the six groups, ranked best, were allowed to join the festival. Additionally, they got instructions from three highly interesting famous artists. Finally, a performance competition would determine the winner, who is going to fly to Bangkok.
In this preliminary round, six ensembles were chosen: The Trio Mirus, the Etereo Trio, the Recitaand and the Eurasia Quartet, the Bonnefa Wind Quintet and the Malevich Piano Quintet. They all got lessons from Henk Guittart (Schönberg Quartet), Ursula Smith (cello, Zehetmair String Quartett, soloist), und Tamara Jongerden (coach for performance) in rehearsals, private lessons and in special workshops. The tips, tricks and suggestions from the experts were highly valuable for the groups, although they couldn´t manage to realize everything at the festival. Still, the directions for future rehearsals of the single groups were presented. Ursula Smith was mostly working on musical expression and body presence and was a big win for the Trio Mirus and the Eurasia Quartet. Tamara Jongerden helped the ensembles with their representation on stage (which is still somewhat neglected in european instrumental training). Henk Guittart could further improve musical expression due to his acribic detailwork. The level of the students from the „Conservatory Maastricht“ was high and professional, as compared to international standards. Their ensembles were ambitious and remarkably well prepared. Still, there was room for plenty of fun and sometimes everybody was just laughing.
In 2016 the festival is supposed to take place in a more eminent setting. The maxim „growing in freedom“ should be celebrated through the global power of music. People from West and East, from Germany and Limbourg should get connected through a series of concerts. The festival is supposed to pay tribute to the victims and history of the liberation of Limbourg and to celebrate freedom and liberation seventy years later in all facets. The festival is going to have its doors open for all nations and has additionally an extraordinary interesting format: Beside the concerts, masterclasses and competitions, planned lectures, exhibitions, theatre performances and readings take place. For example about worldwar II, about the jewish heritage, or about life in Maastricht / Limburg in the interwar period. Moreover, there will be political excursions as well as busrides and boattours to historic places.
But now we are curious: which ensemble has won the trip? After a fulminant performance at the closing competition concert, the price was given to the Etereo Trio, which is now going to play a concert in Bangkok. For the 2nd placed Malevich Quintet, a journey to Shengdu in China could be arranged as an additional price. They will play there on a large festival. The dean of the „Highschool for music Silpakorn“, Mister Damrih Banawitayakit, who was guest of honor at this year’s festival, remarked, that he was “deeply pleased with the cultural exchange and very positive about ideas, which may result from working together in the future”. It`s always a nice experience to see people from different cultures interchange by trying to reach their goals together and we are looking forward to a cool festival 2016 with interesting ideas, high quality ensembles and fruitful newborn connections.“