welcome

‘Every hour I spend at the piano I encounter beauty in art. A great many masterpieces have been written for the instrument, and they provide me with a life-long journey of discovery.’

News

24.06.2020

Empty Concertgebouw Sessions

What a strange yet exhilarating feeling to be playing in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam again. My ‘orchestra’ is the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam and violist Simone van der Giessen. For your streaming pleasure, here is an arrangement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 by an unknown contemporary of his.

04.06.2020

Goldberg Variations live!

Truly happy to announce that I will be playing live concerts again from July 1st! In the vast spaces of six monumental churches in Zwolle, Amsterdam, Breda, Naarden, Rotterdam and Groningen, I’ll be performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations, preceded by a new composition by Daan Manneke, Gedanken zu Bach, composed during the corona crisis especially for this tour. There will be a maximum of 100 tickets per concert to guarantee your safety. For the tour schedule, please refer to the calendar.

01.06.2020

Schumann with Ulster Orchestra

On February 28th I had the honourable job of playing the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Ulster Orchestra and Jac van Steen in Belfast. It turned out to be my last performance as a soloist before the lockdown. The concert was broadcast on BBC 3, and with their kind permission you can listen to a 5-minute fragment of the Concerto and the encore I played. Enjoy!

In the press

‘He doesn’t seem to try overly hard to be distinctive, but he is so nonetheless, his playing always buoyant and convincingly thought-through.’

The Guardian
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About

‘Free of bluff and swagger, in deference to the music at all times.’ – NRC

Guiding Principles
‘My overall approach to music is to take a score very seriously, which is not the same as taking it literally. Pianists from earlier days are a constant inspiration in that respect. I admire such artists as Alfred Cortot, who does not position himself between the composer and the piece, yet leaves an unmistakeable mark on the music. Wilhelm Kempff’s aural richness and trueness, for example, is an example of something I aspire to.’

Minnaar is consistently described by the critics as being able to convey musical essence in all its purity. They talk about his spontaneity and naturalness, an ease without superficiality. On his debut solo album of Rachmaninov and Ravel, Gramophone commented: ‘A convincing tonal colourist and ardent Romantic. He’s a natural talent with a bold streak.’ BBC Music Magazine proclaimed the second album their Choice of the Month, saying: ’Underlying Bach’s contrapuntal wizardry is a compelling emotional narrative’. On the third solo album, Gramophone wrote: ‘Minnaar’s identification with Fauré’s unique realm of music is complete and his deeply felt interpretations shine with clarity and infinite nuance.’

Looking back
In Spring 2019, Hannes Minnaar performed on the renowned Master Pianists Series in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; as the first Dutchman in 20 years. Hailed by the national press as an undisputed success, NRC noted his playing as ‘free of bluff and swagger’ and ‘in deference to the music at all times’.

Minnaar first gained attention as second prize winner of the Geneva International Music Competition 2008, and third prize winner at the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2010. The influence from his teachers including Jan Wijn, Jacques van Oortmerssen and Ferenc Rados, and masterclasses with Menahem Pressler profoundly informed his performance inspiration. Among conductors, Minnaar has worked with Herbert Blomstedt, Antony Hermus, Xian Zhang and the late Jirí Belohlávek. Minnaar was made a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellow in 2011, and he received the Dutch Music Award in 2016 – the highest honour bestowed upon a classical musician by the Dutch Ministry of Culture.

Vitally important to Minnaar’s musical raison d’être is his work with the Van Baerle Trio, founded together with violinist Maria Milstein and cellist Gideon den Herder in 2004. Nominated by Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, they were ECHO Rising Stars 2013–14.

The 250th anniversary of Beethoven has been a major focus for Minnaar over these last seasons both in performance and recordings. Here too, the critical acclaim is widely supported. Of the complete Piano Concertos with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jan Willem de Vriend, the Emperor Concerto was a recommended recording on BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library. It was said to have ‘passion, drama, vital rhythms, transparency, and, more important: a celebration of unity, with pianist and orchestra continually sparking off each other.’ On a recent release of piano trios, containing the famous Archduke, Gramophone concluded: ‘Chamber music performances in the best sense: modest in proportion but rich in insight.’

Looking forward
The 2020–21 season will see Hannes Minnaar premiere a new solo work of Dutch composer Robert Zuidam. He will make international recital debuts in the USA and the UK as well as touring the Netherlands and Belgium in recital and concert. Welcomed back to the Concertgebouw every season, Minnaar will be soloist with the Residentie Orchestra and its chief conductor Anja Bihlmaier. Autumn 2020 will see the release of his much anticipated next solo disc, Nox, based on a nocturnal theme, with the new work of Zuidam complemented by Schumann and Ravel.

For more information on Hannes Minnaar and the upcoming season, please refer to the official biography in the Press Kit. The kit also contains high resolution pictures, please credit the photographer.

download press kit

Calendar

August 6, 2020

Thursday 8:00 pm

Amsterdam, NL

De Waalse Kerk

Bach – Goldberg Variations

and Manneke ‘Gedanken zu Bach’

August 15, 2020

Saturday 5:00 pm

Zaandam, NL

Muziekhaven

Van Baerle Trio

Beethoven & Saint-Saëns

August 15, 2020

Saturday 8:00 pm

Zaandam, NL

Muziekhaven

Van Baerle Trio

Beethoven & Saint-Saëns

August 16, 2020

Sunday 3:30 pm

Amsterdam, NL

Beurs van Berlage

Van Baerle Trio

Beethoven & Saint-Saëns

August 16, 2020

Sunday 8:15 pm

Amsterdam, NL

Beurs van Berlage

Van Baerle Trio

Beethoven & Saint-Saëns

Music videos

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 4

In an arrangement for piano and string quintet, with the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam and violist Simone van der Giessen. Empty Concertgebouw Sessions, 24 June 2020

Van Baerle Trio – Beethoven’s ‘Archduke’ Piano Trio

Andante cantabile from Piano Trio nr.7 Opus 97

Bach/Busoni – Nun komm der Heiden Heiland BWV 659

A live recording

Grieg – Piano Concerto in A Minor

With Limburgs Symfonie Orkest & Otto Tausk. A live recording from AVROTROS Klassiek Zondagochtend Concert. 2 September 2012, Concertgebouw Amsterdam

Bach/Liszt – Prelude and Fugue in A Minor

A VPRO Vrije Geluiden live recording