Carmina Burana

Successful 11th Piano Duo Festival Amsterdam: a whirlwind of extremes

It's a wrap! The eleventh edition of the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam concluded yesterday with a impressive closing concert in festival center De Duif. Over four days we listened to the extremes in piano duo music as part of the festival theme 'Where opposites meet'.

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Program festival 2023 online!

From now on the full program of the 11th Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam is online! Enjoy four days of the most beautiful, fun and surprising piano duo music in beautiful locations throughout Amsterdam. With our festival theme 'Where opposites meet' we bring our musicians, our audience and different musical styles together in unique concerts. From grand to intimate, from old to brand new. Special attention will be paid to two anniversary years: 150 years of Sergei Rachmaninoff and 100 years of Simeon ten Holt, two composers who have been of great importance for (the repertoire of) piano duo playing, but who are almost diametrically opposed in terms of musical style.

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Second Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam Spring Weekend was a success!

The second Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam Spring Weekend ended in style with the Scholtes & Janssens Piano Duo playing the enchanting Canto Ostinato.

We thank all the wonderful musicians, the venues, our partners, sponsors, Ambassadors, Friends and volunteers for an unforgettable Spring Weekend!

December 7 is the start of the 11th edition of our festival, keep an eye on our socials for a very special program this winter!


Program Spring Weekend

Jazz with the Edison Duo

Saturday, May 27 at 4 p.m. - CEC Amsterdam

Father and son Rob & Sebastiaan van Bavel, both Edison Award winners, join forces for a four-handed jazz concert. After their enthusiastically received concert at the 2016 festival, they return with a concert, improvising on classical music. Ravel becomes improvisation and Fauré swings off the piano!

Young fortepiano masters: Guy Maori and Maurits Koelmans

Saturday, May 27 at 8:30 p.m. - Oosterparkkerk

Classical highlights on fortepiano! Guy Maori and Maurits Koelmans graduated with glory from the Conservatory of Amsterdam last year. Their specialization: historical instruments. On this evening, the duo will play Johann Christian Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. DO you want to know what Beethoven's first symphony sounds like on a historical fortepiano? Then come hear this virtuoso duo on this evening!

Canto Ostinato by Pianoduo Scholtes & Janssens

Sunday, May 28 at 16:00 - DOOR Open Space

In honor of his 100th birthday, the Scholtes & Janssens Piano Duo will play Simeon ten Holt's enchanting and meditative Canto Ostinato. Dream away to this beautiful music at DOOR Open Space in Amsterdam Noord and enjoy a drink before and after on one of the first summer evenings of the year. Tickets are available here.



Winner 1st Pianoduo Festival Composition Competition announced!

Composer Niels van der Weiden (1990, photo) was unanimously declared winner of the 1st Pianoduo Festival Composition Competition last month.

The competition took place in the first half of 2022. Young composers up to the age of 35 could submit a composition sketch for a new work for piano four hands or two pianos. In early August, the jury, consisting of composer Peter-Jan Wagemans, pianist and contemporary music specialist Geoffrey Madge, Gaudeamus programmer Jonás Bisquert and Piano Duo Scholtes & Janssens, met. The jury was surprised by the many entries and the high level.

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PFA Spring Weekend great success!

From 13 to 15 May, the first Pianoduo Festival Spring Weekend took place. At no less than four special locations throughout Amsterdam, our audience could enjoy concerts and workshops.

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Program workshop announced!

On Saturday 14 May, three special amateur duos will take part in the piano duo workshop. Read more about the programme below!

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Apply for our workshop playing piano duo!

It is no secret that playing piano duo can be a great challenge. Breathing together, phrasing together, becoming one and yet remaining yourself - how do you do that? During this workshop Lestari Scholtes and Gwylim Janssens, also known as Pianoduo Scholtes & Janssens, will give you tips and tricks on how you and your duo partner can take your duo playing to the next level. This workshop gives your duo playing a boost!

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PFA at Podium Witteman

On Sunday 12 December at 16:15 hrs, the last notes of the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam 2021 sounded, played by Duo Amal in the Concertgebouw. Immediately afterwards, we hurried to De Hallen Studio's for the live broadcast of the television show Podium Witteman. We did not only bring Duo Amal, but also the two 11-year-olds Sofia Tsinman and Ziyu Shao, who could be heard during one of the 'Piano Duos of Tomorrow' concerts in De Duif.

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Covid update November 26th

The festival will continue in modified form. The concerts will take place during the day. Some concerts will also be broadcast online in the evening. The full program can be found here. Ticket buyers will be informed as soon as possible about the changes and possibilities for refunds. The festival adheres to the rules set by the government around covid, so that it remains as safe as possible for everyone. The 1.5 meter rule will be implemented at all venues.


Ticket sales online!

The 9th Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam is about to start! From 8 to 12 December we will spread our wings through Amsterdam: you can enjoy many concerts with (inter)national top duos. Ticket sales are online now! Visit our program page and get your tickets!

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SAVE THE DATE! 9th PFA: December 8-12, 2021

Now that (cultural) life is opening up again, we can also confirm the dates of the 9th Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam: put December 8-12 already in your agenda, as you'll be enjoying the best, most special and inspiring piano duos from all over the world. We can already reveal that there will be many young talents as well as internationally established duos performing, that we will also be present in other parts of the city than only the city center of Amsterdam, and that we will be offering an exciting fringe program in addition to a wide variety of concerts. Enough reasons to look forward to December!


Duo Hartsink guests at Podium Witteman

Turn on your television on Sunday evening, February 7, because Alexander and Christopher Hartsink, the winners of the 2nd Pianoduo Festival Competition, will be guests of Podium Witteman! The young duo (11 and 13 years old) will play a movement from Debussy's Petite Suite in Witteman's 'Young Heroes' section. Enjoy from 6:15 PM on NPO 2!


EXTRA Concert! PFA Pop-up concert in Kazerne Reigersbos

Join us on Sunday 13 December at the Kazerne Reigersbos, the new cultural hotspot of Amsterdam Zuidoost. During this Pianoduo Festival Pop-up concert, the Scholtes & Janssens Piano Duo will play their favourite duo works and illustrate them with personal stories. Order your tickets quickly on our program page, because there are only 30 available!


Duo Hartsink wins Pianoduo Festival Competition

After the thrilling finals of the Pianoduo Festival Competition, the jury has declared the piano duo Alexander en Christopher Hartsink as winner. They have won a performance during Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam 2021 and a masterclass from the famous Scholtes & Janssens Pianoduo. The jury praised the duo’s excellence and called them “a promising duo”. The duos Charlotte & Josephine de Loe, Eduardo Paredes Crespo & Murat Duman, en Joost Jan van Houten & Jurriaan Bos won the second, second and third prize respectively.

The Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam thanks all piano duos for their participation in the competition and congratulates the winners! The next edition of the Pianoduo Festival Competition will be held in 2022. Keep an eye out on our channels for more information.


Finalists Pianoduo Festival Competition

This morning, seven amateur piano duos performed in the preliminary round of the Pianoduo Festival Competition. The jury, consisting of Thomas Beijer, Mariana Izman and Gwylim Janssens, just announced the finalists.

This afternoon at 15:15 the following duos will compete in the finals: Joost Jan van Houten & Jurriaan Bos, Charlotte & Josephine de Loe, Alexander Hartsink & Christopher Hartsink en Eduardo Paredes Crespo & Murat Duman. We wish the duos good luck!


Enjoy our livestreams!

Enjoy the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam from home! Watch the live streams on our website and YouTube from 2 to 4 December at 8:30 PM. With Peter Beets & Cor Bakker, Pianoduo Scholtes & Janssens, the Intercontinental Ensemble and winners of the Princess Christina Jazz Competition. More information about our streams can be found here.


Thanks to all subsidizing funds!

The Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam is supported by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Sena, the Amarte Fund and the Gravin van Bylandt Foundation. We thank these funds for their support and trust!

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Additional concert with Saint Nicholas, Beth & Flo!

Additional tickets are now available for the Beth & Flo family concert on December 6th! The concert at 2:30 pm is sold out, but Sinterklaas will come along once more at 12:00 pm. Do not miss this opportunity and buy your tickets quickly.


Programme PFA 2020 online!

Dear piano duo enthusiast,

Organizing a festival in times of corona seems impossible. Protocols, one-and-a-half meter distance, constantly changing government measures, the health of our musicians, crew and the audience; all factors that we have been assessing in recent months. Besides the regular organizational and artistic challenges that come with the festival, of course. Whether or not Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam in 2020?

Yes, it is a festival!

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Throwback to PFA19!

In these difficult times of COVID-19 and the lockdown, and the 8th Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam still far away, we would like to look back at the last festival. Read the summary of the 7th PFA, which took place from 9 to 13 October 2019 here (in Dutch).


Subscribe now for the 2nd Pianoduo Festival Competition!

On Saturday morning and afternoon December 5, the 2nd Piano Duo Festival Competition for non-professional piano duos will take place. After a successful edition in 2018, in which the sisters Charlotte and Josefine de Loe were the celebrated winners, piano duos of all ages and levels can once again show their most musical side on the beautiful stage of De Duif on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam.


1st Pianoduo Festival Composition Competition

Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam presents the 1st Pianoduo Festival Composition Competition! During the festive kick-off, artistic leaders Lestari Scholtes and Gwylim Janssens presented the rules, jury members and prizes. The competition

is a co-production with Gaudeamus.

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Interview - Sergio Mastro, the Wiener Kammersymphonie: “Bach was ahead of his time”

On Thursday the 10th of October, the Wiener Kammersymphonie will open the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam together with the Scholtes & Janssens Piano Duo. Together with Sergio Mastro, cellist and artistic director of the string quintet, we look ahead on the seventh edition of the Festival in which all roads lead to Bach.

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Interview - Geoffrey Madge and Daan Vandewalle: “Bach is in the DNA of every pianist”

Geoffrey Madge and Daan Vandewalle will pay a tribute to Bach during the concert “Old & New: Modern Masters” on the 12th of October. We spoke with the pianists about Bach and his influence on the music of subsequent composers.

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Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam 2019 program announced!

The Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam will take place for the 7th time from 9 to 13 October. Five days full of concerts, lectures, workshops, Q&As, club nights and more. Imagine yourself in the world of twenty fingers on one and two pianos with the best piano duos from The Netherlands and abroad! View the full program here.


Order now your tickets for Canto Ostinato!

Dream away on the meditative sounds of Simeon ten Holt. On Saturday 12 October you will hear the Rondane Quartet playing the beautiful Canto Ostinato on not one, not two, but no fewer than four concert grand pianos. During this lounge concert of the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam, De Duif will be transformed into a dreamy world, full of beautiful, atmospheric lighting and the most beautiful music by Ten Holt. Order your tickets here.


Register now for the piano duo workshop BBB: Balance, Brilliance & Body!

Balance, clarity in ensemble playing, phrasing, playing together, posture and pedal use: all aspects of the piano duo play will be addressed during this workshop. Four selected piano duos receive a lesson from the Scholtes & Janssens Piano Duo. Do you dare to attend a public workshop to get to know the intricacies of playing piano duo? Then sign up now!

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Pianoduo Festival Competition winners announced!

After a nice preliminary round and an exciting final, the winners of the 1st Pianoduo Festival Competition were announced on Wednesday evening 10 October.

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Duo Kamil El-Ahmadieh and John (Pham) Hoang Anh: “our close friendship can be heard in our music”

The Czech piano duo Kamil El-Ahmadieh (24) and John (Pham) Hoang Anh (21) will enter the stage of the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam on the 13th of October, during a concert with the promising title ‘European super talent’. “This festival is something big”, according to the two friends. “We feel honored that we can be a part of it.”

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Duo Lechner Tiempo: “We can transform all music into a fairytale”

Karin Lechner and Sergio Tiempo will play during the closing concert of the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam 2018 on Sunday the 14th of October. “Playing as a piano duo is so much fun that we didn’t want to miss this opportunity”, the two agree. Looking ahead to the closing concert, the pianists tell about their Argentinian roots, the tango, and about the universal language of music.

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Pianoduo Festival Competition participants announced!

The registration is closed, and the tension slowly starts to rise: no less than 9 passionate piano duos enter the stage of the 1st Piano Duo Festival Competition. In the first round, at 5 PM, they try to convince the expert jury of their piano duo play. A maximum of four duos will be pass to the final, which takes place in the evening at 8 PM. Read below who all participants are.

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Interview with Duo Wolanska-Gajda: “Piazzolla just sounds better on piano and accordion”

Between concert preparations and a busy teaching schedule, the Polish piano-accordion duo Julia Wolanska-Gajda (29) and Michal Gajda (31) tell us about music, ambitions and how they formed a duo.

Michal tells: “We met when we were both playing in an music ensemble at a theater play. It was in our fifth year of our studies at the Poznan Academy of Music and we had to spent a lot of time together backstage in the theater between the performances. We started talking and found out that we were actually studying together, in the same year, in the same academy, and never spoke to each other before. From there…” “it was really magical,” adds Julia.

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Meet the jury!

The Pianoduo Festival Concours proudly presents its expert jury: Bart van de Roer (pianist, professor of piano at Codarts Conservatory, Storioni Festival), Gwylim Janssens (pianist, Scholtes & Janssens Piano Duo, Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam), Lestari Scholtes (pianist, Grachtenfestival, Vrienden van de Kamermuziek) and Marcel Baudet (pianist, Young Pianist Foundation, Menuhin School of Music)

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Apply now for the Pianoduo Festival Competition

On Wednesday 10 October the Pianoduo Festival Competition for amateur duos and conservatory students will be held for the first time in De Duif in Amsterdam. Apply now!

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Piano duo Zilan & Zhao: “Joined musicality is key”

Fall will be cheerful for the piano duo Zilan & Zhao, comprising Zilan Liang and Zhao Lei: not only because they are a part of the first lustrum of the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam, but mainly because they are the first piano duo that graduates the master’s program piano duo at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. “That feels very special,” says Zilan proudly.

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Interview Duo Gabi Sultana & Mirek Coutigny: Innovations, liberties and satisfaction

Friday 13 October 2017 is a lucky day for the connoisseur of American classical music: the Maltese-Belgian piano duo Gabi Sultana and Mirek Coutigny plays a fully American program in which they program well-known masters such as Cage and Adams alongside unknown composers such as Rzewski and Bolcom. How did they discover their love for contemporary classical music, how do they experience performing it and what do they discover in the works of Cage and Feldman?

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Interview Scholtes & Janssens Piano duo: “There’s no such thing as Organizing Festivals for dummies”

With events at no less than four locations, the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam spreads across the city center of Amsterdam in October for the fifth time, like a festive, musical, purple spot. During the busy preparations ahead of the festival, we spoke to the artistic directors Lestari Scholtes and Gwylim Janssens about the success of the festival.

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Final concert Silver & Garburg piano duo

In 2015, Sivan Silver and Gil Garburg were the festival's guests for the first time at the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam. The reactions from the audience and fellow musicians were overwhelming: Silver and Garburg recognized as one of the most special duos in the world. During the festival's fifth anniversary edition in October, the Israeli duo will again be performing at the festival.

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Registration Workshop Piano Play and Open DuoPodium open!

After many enthusiastic reactions during the previous editions, the 2017 festival will host a special day for amateur duos and students. Write down the date in your agenda: Wednesday 11 October!

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Save the date: celebrate the first anniversary with us

In the summer of 2012, the Pianoduo Scholtes & Janssens decided to fulfill a long cherished wish: a festival of their own, entirely devoted to the genre piano duo.

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