SNAAR FESTIVAL IS BACK!
In 2022 Merel started a new festival on Music and Science called SNAAR (referring to strings and String Theory in Dutch). The Festival will celebrate its second edition on June 15th 2024 at TivoliVredenburg Utrecht: TICKETS. This year’s theme is DNA. Currently most programming is in Dutch but stay up to date through this newsletter if you are interested.
Violinist Merel Vercammen graduated cum laude from the Royal College of Music in London. She received prizes at the London Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, the National Competition of the Foundation for Young Musical Talent of the Netherlands and the Princess Christina Concours. Merel has performed throughout the world and played in renowned concert halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and Wigmore Hall in London.
Merel had her first violin lessons when she was five years old and began studying at the HKU Utrecht Conservatory under Eeva Koskinen at the age of fifteen. At the Royal College of Music in London, she earned a Bachelor of Music as well as a Master of Performance, under Jan Repko. She then proceeded to study under Ilya Grubert at the Santa Cecilia Music Foundation in Portogruaro, Italy. Furthermore, she has followed masterclasses by Josef Rissin, Lewis Kaplan, Daniel Hope, Alina Ibragimova and Zakhar Bron. Her debut album Symbiosis with Russian pianist Dina Ivanova came out on Gutman Records in March 2019, and has been very well received in the (inter)national press.
As a soloist, Merel has performed in violin concertos by Beethoven, Brahms and Otto Ketting, the last of whom conducted his own work. In 2017, she premiered a violin concerto by composer Mathilde Wantenaar, written especially for her. In addition, she has developed an interactive performance about music and the brain and engages in improvisation. In September 2019, Merel released her second album, The Zoo, which contains free improvisations with eight duo partners.
Merel plays a violin made by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume in Paris around 1845 and a 19th-century Franz Albert Nürnberger bow, kindly made available on loan to her by the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation (NMF).
“Fascinating and imaginative”
– BBC Music Magazine on The Boulanger Legacy, ****
“Merel Vercammen and Dina Ivanova are especially perceptive rhythmically, drawing out the overtly Franco-Belgian languido elements of the first movement most persuasively. The way they allow the flux and pull of the music to work is a winning element of their performance”
– Jonathan Woolf, Music Web International
“Vercammen und Ivanova beweisen im rechten Moment Sinn für Entschleunigung und delikate Tongebung, trumpfen vor allem mit einem Jugendfeuer auf, das Francks Sehnsuchtsmelodien lodern lässt: eine furiose Einspielung.”
– Christoph Irrgeher, Wiener Zeitung
“Die Aufnahme von Francks Sonate gehört in jedem Fall zu den stimmigsten und reflektiertesten, zudem stringentesten und musikalischsten, welche die letzten Jahre erschienen sind.”
– Oliver Fraenzke, The New Listener
“Overwhelming, moving and unbelievably virtuoso. Such characterizations are not common for a debut CD, but it is impossible not to fall for this recording.”
– Gert Jan Oosterum, Reformatorisch Dagblad.
“An impressive debut recording […]
Certainly two of the album’s primary selling-points are Vercammen’s tone and technique. The clear, sweetly singing tone she coaxes from her violin is a major reason for the recording’s impact.”
– Textura (Canada)
★★★★ in BBC Music Magazine
A great review for The Boulanger Legacy in BBC Music Magazine! “A fascinating and imaginative line-up”
Review Wiener Zeitung
A shared review in the Wiener Zeitung with Argerich and Barenboim – incredible! “Das klangschöne, homogene Duo hat sich auf die Spuren der Schwestern Boulanger…
Interview & ★★★★★ in Dutch press
Merel was interviewed by Thea Derks on the new album. The interview appeared on print at “De Nieuwe Muze” magazine in The Netherlands last month,…
Review from Textura Canada
A really nice review from Canada! “The duo’s passionate rendering of Le Grand Tango (1982) by Piazzolla (1921-92) shows that they’re more than up to…
Review from Pizzicato Magazine
A very positive review on The Boulanger Legacy from Luxembourg: “Still young in years, they nevertheless know how to add a personal touch to their…
Dutch violinist Merel Vercammen and Russian pianist Dina Ivanova release a new album of works for violin and piano by the Boulanger sisters, Bernstein, Bacewicz,…
New single out now!
Next week marks Piazzolla’s 100th birthday. To celebrate, Merel Vercammen and Dina Ivanova will release their rendition of his Le Grand Tango (which he wrote…
★★★★ for the Utrecht Improvisation Walk
Maartje Stokkers from De Volkskrant wrote a nice review about our second Improvisation Walk (De Utrechtse Improvisatiewandeling – muziek & dans) which took place on the 8th…
New EP: Silent City
I’m happy to announce my new Live EP ‘Silent City’ with cellist Maya Fridman is out NOW! We recorded the EP, which includes works by…
Dutch National News
Merel made the Dutch national news (NOS Journaal) yesterday by playing three concerts for 30 people at the main hall (capacity 2000 people) of TivoliVredenburg…
Livestream from De Doelen
Pianist Rembrandt Frerichs and I were invited to perform a lunchtime concert via livestream in an empty main hall of De Doelen in Rotterdam! We played a…
Merel performed at Dutch TV Show Podium Witteman on the 8th of March and you can now watch both performances on youtube: “Ik dacht dat…
Symbiosis in De Volkskrant album top 40
Symbiosis ended on number 27 in the top 40 best albums (all genres) of 2019 at Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant! Billie Eilish became the number one….
st. Aegtenkapel, Amersfoort
Jongste Componistendag: new compositions with Wilco Oomkes, accordeon
Fagottet van Pynarello. Part of Merel's Artistic Residency at Noorderkerkconcerten. 14:00
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