Publications

Reviews

Osiris Trio review on Musicframes

Mattie Poels, from Music Frames

"The Osiris Trio was established 25 years ago, in 1988. Reason for a party and for the release of the 5-cd box ’25th Anniversary Box’, with different repertoire. A fine compilation with work from Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn Bartoldi, Shostakovich and Messiaen but also from contemporary Dutch composers like Theo Loevendie, Ron Ford, Theo Verbey and…

The terror of games: RIAS Chamber Choir and Ensemble musikFabrik at Musikfest Berlin

Dan Wang, from Bachtrack

"If there were a gold medal for programming at Musikfest Berlin, it would go to last night’s concert with the RIAS Chamber Choir, Ensemble musikFabrik, and a host of other musicians, gathered under the baton of James Wood. I award the prize (if only I could!) not only for the pieces that were played, both rare and alluring (Ríkadla, a late set of…

Brodsky Quartet/Lixenberg – review

George Hall, from The Guardian

"... Antique musical references give character and a sense of direction to Theo Verbey's song based on Peter Huchel's text The Garden of Paracelsus."

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra Review

Rosemarie Frühauf, from The Epoch Times

"... The concert began with Alban Berg's Piano Sonata, Op 1: an intensive twelve minutes that seem to float along in a style between late romanticism and modernism. Theo Verbey built the architectural waves in which the work is created, with a huge orchestral force that lets the piece build up again and again, returning to a simple string quartet.…

Review: GIMF – The Brodsky Quartet – Holy Trinity Church

The Stage Dragon, from Guilford Dragon News

"...To start the second half, the wheel turned up Theo Verbey’s Spring Rain. An atmospheric gem encapsulating the weather, Verbey’s work was one of those composed especially for the Brodsky Quartet. There was no doubt about the imagery of this piece and it went down a storm . There were raindrops, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, blended with a…

Gig review: Brodsky Quartet, Royal Conservatoire, Glasgow

David Kettle, from The Scotsman

"Verbey’s Spring Rain was immediately likeable and its sudden dramatic eruptions played well to the Brodskys’ love of the theatrical... "

The Brodsky Quartet show their true musical colors at Utrecht’s Vredenburg

Kristen Huebner, from Bachtrack

"After reeling from the effects of the Shostakovich and a brief intermission mid-concert, the quartet took the stage once more to present the (their) first-ever Dutch performance of Theo Verbey’s Spring Rain. Yet another atmospheric gem capturing the most well-known facet of Dutch weather ... Sprinkled with light dropping effects and a sonorous…

Introdans in Friedrichshafen

Katharina von Glasenapp, from Swäbische Kultur

The music of the Dutchman Theo Verbey evokes yearning, being sometimes full of dark energy, sometimes fatefully haunting.

Amsterdam Sinfonietta: Debussy, Mussorgsky, Weinberg and Shostakovich

Renée Reitsma, from Bachtrack

"Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death is a work that has been orchestrated many times by great names including Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Shostakovich, which made me very curious as to what Theo Verbey’s 1994 orchestration would sound like. It stayed rather close to the original piano score (definitely more so than, for example,…

Berg Lyric Suite decrypted – Audi, Amsterdam Sinfonietta Barbican

Anne Ozorio, from Classical Iconoclast

This wasn't just another concert. It was Liebestod, a truly unique exploration of Berg's Lyric Suite. Berg's piece is a compelling work, whose mysteries were only revealed about twenty years ago when the composer's letters to his lover Hanna Fuchs-Robettin were released ... Again, it's the Lyric Suite but not quite as we're used to. This time,…

Dutch Master Triumphs on the Rhine

Marieluise Jeitschko, translated by K. Schönberg, from Tanznetz

"Regina van Berkel is one of the most outstanding Dutch choreographers. For her superb theatrical choreography, with the seemingly contradictory title "Frozen Echo", her fellow countryman, composer Theo Verbey, expanded an earlier orchestral piece into an extremely expressive triptych."

Dishes From a Recipe for Eye and Ear

Allan Kozinn, from New York Times

"...Theo Verbey’s “Man Ray — La Retour à la Raison” begins with repeating figures in the manner of 1970s Minimalism and morphs gracefully into a rich, atonal piece."

Dazzling Works: Contemporary music from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Patric Standford, from Record Box

"Theo Verbeij's LIED for trombone and orchestra seems, in fact, to be a succession of four 'songs' in which the soloist Jörgen van Rijen, the orchestra's principal trombone player and the composer's fellow Dutchman, makes his instrument sing with an overall gentleness and expressiveness that denies any popular impression of its bombast…

Berg/Verbey Sonata op. 1

Joachem Valkenburg, from NRC Handelsblad

"Theo Verbey's orchestration of Alban Berg's Sonato for piano Op.1 from 1984 sounded Mahleresque in its ability to carry one away. The beauty of sound is not only astonishing, but also serves to shine a beacon on Berg's romantic roots."

Fractal Symphony

Kees Arntzen, from Trouw

"For a composer the challenge is to write music on a complicated foundation which is for the audience immediately understandable and a pleasure to listen to . Theo Verbey has reached new heights in succeeding in this task. This work in five movements is captivating for its full 30 minute duration."

Expulsie

Paul Griffiths, from The New York Times

"By far the most substantial piece of the evening was "Expulsion" by the Dutch composer Theo Verbey. Like many other composers from the Netherlands, Mr. Verbey obviously appreciates the pulse and clarity of Stravinsky, in combination with the ruder dynamism of popular music as mediated by, again, American minimalists. But his music is unusually…

Articles

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 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…

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,…

Interview Theo Verbey: A Composer is Primarily a Songwriter

Thea Derks, translated by Eileen Stevens, from Cultuurpers

The Dutch composer Theo Verbey (Delft 1959) writes music with a sumptuous beauty of sound, through which the achievements of centuries of musical tradition can be heard. He's made a name for himself with works such as Triade for orchestra (1991) and Expulsion for large ensemble (1988), and with orchestrations of pieces by composers such as Modest…