Santtu-Matias Rouvali makes versatile debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Jenny Camilleri, from Opera Today

... Ariadne, like Verdi’s overture, combines transparent lyricism with dramatic progression. Starting out with fragile flute figures, it swells to include the full complement of strings. When the whole range of the brass comes in with a driving motif, there is sinister menace. The piece constantly changes colour and texture, making use of the…

Gloriously Rocking Chameleon

Gwendoline Thornblade, from Boston Musical Intelligencer

"Boldin dedicated the concert to the Dutch composer Theo Verbey, who died in October. His Four preludes to Infinity for oboe, violin, viola and cello came right after intermission. Each prelude recalls and recognizes the music of former times and celebrates its perpetual existence: “Mysterious” — the Second Viennese School of Schoenberg, Berg and…

Invitation to a Beheading

Roeland Haendonk, translated by Anne Hodgkinson, from Het Parool

Everything that Theo Verbey does sounds terrific. It is well constructed, always has a well-structured dramatic narrative line, and is equally well elaborated in subtle instrumental colors. Verbey uses this technical skill to make music that sounds understatedly natural, looking back with a touch of melancholy. Verbey has withdrawn to his own…

Introdans fits loosely beneath the umbrella of the Moderne Meisjes (‘Modern Girls’) program

David Levie, translated by Emma Rault, from Apeldoorn Direct

... After the interval, the caliber is maintained as the vibe becomes playful, thanks to Regina van Berkel and a functional decor in the form of a spine from prehistoric times when giant reptiles populated this Earth. She was inspired by Salvador Dali, which does not come without its risks. Introdans’ performers more than hold their own, however.…

Introdans dances fine art – anything but insipid (****)

Miriam van der Linden, translated by Emma Rault, from De Volkskrant

... Take Regina van Berkel (1969), on the other hand. She and surrealist painter Salvador Dalí are a match made in heaven. The theatrical Frozen Echo (2011) is set to the rich orchestral composition of the same name by Theo Verbey, in which high, thin notes alternate with heavy brass, timpani and a wind machine. The eyecatcher in the fascinating…

Introdans combines modernism with traditional ballet

Dick van Teylingen , translated by Emma Rault, from Theaterkrant

... The first glimpse the public gets of the third piece of the evening is truly impressive. Regina van Berkel choreographed Frozen Echo in 2011 for the Ballet am Rhein in Düsseldorf to the composition of the same name by Theo Verbey. A dinosaur spine curves across the stage, made from 70 old-fashioned tube computer monitors by set designer…

Memory of a Shape by Introdans ****

Mirjam van der Linden, from De Volkskrant

“From complex simplicity to a tidal wave of emotions” Regina van Berkel’s […] ‘Memory of a Shape’, created for ballettmainz in 2009, was the Dutch premiere of the evening. Van Berkel's approach uses ‘fractal figures,’ figures arising from the multiplication of a basic form. The choreography is set to Theo Verbey’s ‘Fractal Symphony,’ an exciting…

Unity in opposites: Verbey’s Ballade and Dutch Classical Talent

Pedro Waldenaar and Marilyn O’Brien, translated by Keyboard Translations, from Apeldoorn Direct

Vasi & Kemner: unity in opposites. The program itself is full of opposites: a succession of ballades written from circa 1300 up until a very recent piece composed in 2016: classic alternating with modern. A ballade is a piece of music with a narrative character; a form that arose in the Middle Ages. A musical journey through time unfolds…

An evening of debuts, premieres and introductions in Eindhoven

Olga de Kort, from Bachtrack

"The impressive Lumen ad finem cuniculi by the Dutch composer Theo Verbey experienced a committed, lucid and vivacious première. This energetic, as well as energizing, composition was commissioned by the orchestra to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Dutch coal mines."

An evening of debuts, premieres and introductions in Eindhoven

Olga de Kort, from Bachtrack

... The impressive Lumen ad finem cuniculi by the Dutch composer Theo Verbey experienced a committed, lucid and vivacious première. This energetic, as well as energizing, composition was commissioned by the orchestra to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Dutch coal mines. The title “Light at the end of the tunnel” has therefore…

Light at the end of the tunnel, an impression

Nico Zijlstra, translated by Keyboard Translations, from De Mijnen

It’s an image familiar to every under-grounder: lights emerging from the walkway. Lights at the end of the tunnel. Everyone with a mine history can visualize it: those dancing and rhythmically swaying lights coming from the helmets. Theo Verbey (*1959) wrote Lumen Ad Finem Cuniculi thanks to a commission from philharmonie zuidnederland (South…

Review: Brodsky Quartet & Loré Lixenberg – ‘Trees, Walls, Cities’

G. Masters, from The Oxford Culture Review

'The main focus of the evening, though, was the forty-five minute work that comprised the second half, Trees, Walls, Cities. This ‘Song Cycle for the Modern Day’ was commissioned for the 2013 City of London Festival, in collaboration with Derry’s Walled City Festival. The eight songs were named after eight international cities, with texts and…

Four-star review of The Stolz Quartet’s CD

Erik Voermans, from Het Parool

... Haikus by De Vries, 4 Preludes to infinity by Verbey and a fragment from Zuidam's 'A love unsung' are a lot more accessible, lyrical and more melodious, with a highlight being the splendid third movement, 'Religious', from Verbey's 'Preludes', in which the composer gets under the skin of seventeenth century counterpoint. Verbey also provided…

‘Dutch Masters’ from The Stolz

Mattie Poels, from Music Frames

"The Stolz Quartet (oboe and string trio) plays music from Dutch contemporary composers. New works but also compositions arranged for them of works by Maurice Ravel, Alexander Scriabin and Franz Liszt. The result is an excellent and balanced collection of 20th century music.[...]Composer Theo Verbey arranged four short piano preludes written by…

Transparent and Passionate

Stephen McLeod, from Amazon

"Berg's Lyric Suite was written around 1925. It is a work that more or less follows Arnold Schoenberg's 12-tone method with, appropriately, lyric and hyper-romantic gestures from a string quartet (original version). In 1929, Berg set three movements of the Suite for string orchestra. Somewhere around 2010, the whole work was recast for orchestral…

Jean-Guihen Queyras and Ensemble Resonanz, Berg, Lyrische Suite, Schoenberg, Verklärte Nacht

Grego Applegate Edwards, from Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

"Hearing both works in the string orchestra version in this way heightens the expressiveness of each work and, at least to me, allows us to see the similarities. [...] Queyras and Ensemble Resonanz give us soaring renditions of both works. If the "Lyric Suite" seems in the string orchestra version virtually new, it is no doubt my reaction after a…


A Recording Producer and Sound Engineer looks back on his lessons with Theo

Daan van Aalst, translated by Eileen J. Stevens, from Newsletter of the Theo Verbey Foundation

Recording Producer and Sound Engineer Daan van Aalst remembers Theo Verbey: I began my studies at the conservatory in 1998, with a course in The Art of Sound, a field that I hadn't spent much time with before then. I had grown up in a musical family, and my brother and sister were already at the conservatory. Still, I could not envision myself as…

Read More

Essay about Sestetto

Frits van der Waa, translated by Eileen J. Stevens, from Et Cetera

With its distinctive combination of flute, harp, and strings, the sound palette of Sestetto, which Theo Verbey wrote in 1998, seems decidedly French. However, the composer was undoubtedly aware of that fact, and he made an effort in the course of the work’s four movements to counterbalance this aura…

An effervescent tablet in water, Two faces of Theo Verbey’s Inversie

Patrick van Deurzen, translated by Mike Wilcox, from Mens en Melodie

Theo Verbey’s composition, Inversie (Dutch for 'Inversion'), places two groups of instruments in contrast with each other. The division reflects the double character of the material, which is tonal on the one hand and atonal on the other. The inversion of the title – turning upside down and inside out – is played out between the two…

Theo Verbey & Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Noortje Zanen

The Theo Verbey Foundation launched its new website at the beginning of this week. Reason enough for Sinfonietta to delve into its archives in search of recordings and scores of the works that this prominent Dutch composer wrote for Amsterdam Sinfonietta. We look back, along with cellist Maarten Mostert and former artistic coordinator and…

Theo Verbey on Traurig wie der Tod: ‘A composer is primarily a songwriter’

Thea Derks, translated by Thea Derks

Thea Derks interviewed Theo Verbey at the time of the live broadcast of Traurig wie der Tod on Radio4, and here is a written article in Dutch, which she translated into English on the occasion of the launch of the Theo Verbey Foundation: "Theo Verbey on Traurig wie der Tod: ‘A composer is primarily a songwriter’ – Amsterdam, 22 May 2015 The Dutch…

In memoriam Theo Verbey

Ralf Pisters, from Published in the Newsletter of the Dutch-Flemish Society for Music Theory (Vereniging voor Muziektheorie)

On 13 October 2019 Theo Verbey passed away, at the age of 60. Theo was a member of the DFSMT and, especially at the beginning of society’s existence, very involved in the its activities. He meant a great deal for Dutch music theory, above all in his role as a teacher of music theory, arranging and orchestration, a role that he fulfilled at both…

Read More

Love letter with musical notes written on a post-it

Joep Stapel, from NRC Handelsblad

This obituary in the Dutch paper NRC describes Theo Verbey's fascination for the relationship between sound and numbers. NRC: "As a child, Theo Verbey once put a math book on the piano and started playing. In retrospect, the scene has a symbolic value, because the correspondence between sound and numbers would continue to fascinate him."

A talented radical who became a masterful traditionalist

Bas van Putten, translated by Mike Wilcox, from De Groene Amsterdammer

"Composer Theo Verbey was a talented radical who became a masterful traditionalist, one of the greatest craftsmen Dutch music has ever known" "Theo Verbey was rightly heralded in the 1980s as one of the most talented young Dutch composers. His earliest pieces, including Aura (1985) and Inversie (1987) for ensemble, and Expulsie (1988-1990) for…

Death of leading Dutch composer, 60

Norman Lebrecht, from Slipped Disk

The inventive composer Theo Verbey died on October 13 after a long illness. Having made his name with a widely performed orchestration of Alban Berg’s first piano sonata, he went on to focus on intricate instrumentation in concert works that often proclaimed a historical perspective. His orchestral work, After the Great War, was premiered in the…

Theo Verbey (1959 – 2019) created euphonic music following strict mathematical principles

Guido van Oorschot, translated by Mike Wilcox, from De Volkskrant

"There was a remarkable paradox about the Dutch composer, Theo Verbey: he wrote music according to the strictest mathematical principles but his audience simply heard beautiful sound. It has been announced that Verbey died on 13 October at the age of 60, three days after the Dutch premiere of his orchestral work, After the Great War. He had been…

“Theo Verbey (1959 – 2019) was the favorite of many orchestras,” headlines Trouw

Sandra Kooke, from Trouw

(In Dutch) Twee weken geleden voerde het Residentie Orkest zijn orkeststuk ‘After the Great War’ nog uit in het Amsterdamse Muziekgebouw. En in januari zal het Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest de wereldpremière spelen van ‘Ariadne’. De cd waarop trombonist Jörgen van Rijen en dit orkest zijn werk ‘Lied’ spelen, is net uit. Midden in een druk,…