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CALEFAX RIETKWINTET

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

Calefax

Period

1985 - current

Genre

basklarinet, classical, contemporary classical music, fagot, hobo, klarinet, saxofoon

Online

Website

Calefax Rietkwintet

The Calefax Reed Quintet plays classical and contemporary music with a “pop mentality”. The musicians normally stand while performing and play by heart. The ensemble, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010, established the concept of the reed quintet. Its repertoire expands continuously with the addition of new compositions and ...
Full biography

Instruments

basklarinet, fagot, hobo, klarinet, saxofoon

Members

Oliver Boekhoorn   hobo
Ivar Berix   klarinet
Raaf Hekkema   saxofoon
Jelte Althuis   basklarinet
Alban Wesly   fagot

Former members

Lucas van Helsdingen   altsaxofoon, basklarinet
Eduard Wesly   hobo

Mentioned in the biography of

1985   Willem Van Manen
1993   Irene Maessen
1997   Ron Ford
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Biography Calefax Rietkwintet

The Calefax Reed Quintet plays classical and contemporary music with a “pop mentality”. The musicians normally stand while performing and play by heart. The ensemble, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010, established the concept of the reed quintet. Its repertoire expands continuously with the addition of new compositions and arrangements of classical works. The Calefax Reed Quintet gives some 80 concerts annually, and, by now internationally acclaimed, has a large following.

1985

For the 100th anniversary of the Barlaeus school in Amsterdam, Willem van Manen writes an opera, and four boys in the student orchestra – Raaf Hekkema and Lucas van Helsdingen (both alto saxophone), Alban Wesly (bassoon) en Eduard Wesly (oboe) – who have formed a wind quartet ask Van Manen to write a piece for them. Van Manen adds a clarinet to the ensemble and writes the 'Barlaeus Wind Quintet'. The piece is premiered on November 21, with the German teacher, Geert Kapteijns, playing the clarinet part. The ensemble calls itself Calefax, the name being a word Hekkema had seen since his childhood written on a warehouse on Bickers Island in Amsterdam.

1987

The clarinettist Ivar Berix joins the ensemble, completing the formation.

1992

Channel Classics releases the reed esemble's first CD, with Ton ter Doest's 'Circus Music', a work originally for wind quintet, featuring prominently. Ter Doest replaces one of the saxophones with a bass clarinet, played by Lucas van Helsdingen. The formation of oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet and bassoon works so well that the ensemble decides to build on it.

1994 - 1995

Lucas van Helsdingen, more a saxophonist than bass clarinettist, leaves the ensemble and is replaced by Jelte Althuis. The German label MDG offers Calefax a contract for eight CDs, the first of which, with music by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, attracts international attention.

1997

Eduard Wesly leaves the ensemble and is replaced by Oliver Boekhoorn. Calefax receives the Philip Morris Arts Award and uses a portion of the prize money to commission Wesly to arrange some of Dmitri Shostakovich's 'Preludes' and 'Fugues'.

2000 - 2001

A CD of Bach's 'The Art of the Fugue', arranged by Raaf Hekkema, is released. It is one of the most talked about CDs of the year, the 250th anniversary of the composer's death. In 2001, the ensemble wins the Kersjes van de Groenekan Prize, awarded to exceptional talents in Dutch chamber music.

2005

Calefax wins the first VSCD Classical Music Award for the best achievement in chamber music in the previous season. Some of the prize money is used to further professionalize the ensemble. Calefax releases a first live CD with the jazz bassist Tony Overwater, a recording of their performance of the 'Ellington Suites' at the North Sea Jazz Festival. On October 1, the ensemble performs before international programme makers at the Chamber Music Meeting.

2006

As a consequence of the Chamber Music Meeting, Calefax makes its first concert tour in the United States, and its relations in other countries greatly increase. Many of the ensemble's arrangements are made available internationally with the Calefax Edition publications.

2008

Calefax makes its debut at London's Wigmore Hall and is greeted by Adam Gatehouse, editor of Live Music on BBC 3, as “one of the most exciting ensembles to have come my way”.

2009

After years of work, the ensemble completes a transcription of some of Conlon Nancarrow's 'Studies for Player Piano'. This extremely complicated music is released on CD; the recording, incidentally, marks the years of the ensemble's collaboration with the pianist Ivo Janssen, who also plays on the CD. Calefax – reinforced by Janssen, the percussionist Arnold Marinissen, pianist Michiel Braam, and organist Geert Bierling – subsequently performs in Japan, the United States, Germany, Spain and England. It holds its first Encore Competition for reed quintets, now an annual event. The winner is Heleen Verleur with her composition Across. To deal with the increased activity, Calefax takes on Liesbeth Kok as manager. Together with Speeltheater Holland, the ensemble makes the children's production Amerika America.

2010

Calefax celebrates its 25th anniversary. It is a guest on the TV talkshow 'De Wereld Draait Door' [The World Keeps Turning], and the weekly magazine Vrij Nederland refers to it as “classical music's boy band”.

Discography Calefax Rietkwintet

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Calefax Rietkwintet

Audio/Video Calefax Rietkwintet

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