Friday, 22 April 2016

Erik Janssen balances between two emotions: looking back at a very successful weekend with his Spijkerpakkenband at the Flemish Open (Champion B-section) and excited about what lies ahead: working with the European Youth Brass Band. Saturday morning 23 April, early in the morning (the 7:17 train from Amsterdam) Erik travels to Lille, accompanied by the Dutch musical delegates of the EYBB.

Erik Janssen - new picture April 2016

Erik is extensive experienced in working with youth. "It is said that I work well with them. I am the conductor of the Noord Nederlands Youth Orchestra at the moment and I consider the Spijkerpakkenband as a semi-youth band. I taught music to youngsters for a long time, was conductor of the Noord Holland Youth Orchestra and was invited to conduct the Swiss Youth Brass Band in 2014. So, yes I do have a lot of experience. 

Working with young musicians is very rewarding and satisfying for me. I believe that the musical heritage starts with a proper education to youth. And I also think it is therefore regrettable that many conductors focus too much on the A-bands instead of contributing in the wellbeing of youth orchestra’s.”


What do you expect from next week?

“I think it is going to be an intense and ultimately satisfying week. A week with fun moments for all participants. A week that could be the start to them to create a personal life-long musical network. It is great to hear from former members of the EYBB that they still speak to each other. I am also very curious about the level of the musicians. I hope there are very good players. For me it is still a little uncertain what to expect … within a few days I will know more, so please ask me again!”

What can you tell us about the concert programme? One with a French twist?

"Yes it is! Together with Joe Cassells of the Music Committee of EBBA and Jean-Luc Petitprez I have compiled a programme. There has been given a commission (a euphonium concerto) for this edition to a young French Besson artist, called David Maillot.

The search for original French brass band compositions has been a great quest. People around me did not give me much hope to find something, but after delving in the French music archives I found 20 original works composed by 6 different French composers of which I am going to programme 3. I think my mission is accomplished!

We play ‘Brass Code’ by Thierry Deleruyelle, who happens to be the composer of the test piece for the Championship Division. Furthermore, I have found 2 works from Pierre-Antoine Savoyat. During the week we will decide which piece is going to be programmed for the concerts. We also play some French arrangements, for instance ‘Carnaval Romain’ (Berlioz), ‘Finale from Faust’ (Gounod) and some French 'brass chansons'. All together I believe we can present a very nice balanced programme."


What is your plan of action?

“It is the Janssen approach – I am doing it my way, like my predecessors did it their way. If that is different from the others … well, you have to tell me afterwards. My goal is to make it a little more accessible to the audience - not too formally as I thought is has been in the past. I want to convey the youthfull enthusiasm from the stage into the hall, not only by playing great music but also with their stage performance. Of course we do serious things, but it shouldn’t be too serious. We want the crowd go wild!"

Erik will provide an update on its findings later in the EYBB-week.


EYBB performances:

Tuesday 26 April         20.30    -    Conservatoire de Douai
Wednesday 27 April 20.00   -    Auditorium Saint-Nicolas à Valenciennes
Thursday 28 April 20.00   -

   Conservatoire de Roubaix
   (Final European Soloist Competition

Friday 29 April     -    Opening Ceremony
Saturday 30 April 20.30   -    Le Nouveau Siècle (at Gala Concert)
Sunday 1 May 16.30   -    Le Nouveau Siècle (Farewell Concert)

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