Pianist Thomas Beijer receives the Netherlands Music Prize, the highest award for young talented musicians. The prize is awarded by the Performing Arts Fund on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
The Netherlands Music Prize committee praises Beijer (33) mainly for his qualities as a pianist and chamber musician, but also praises his versatility. Beijer is not only a pianist, he composes, arranges, improvises, presents, makes animations, draws, writes and is artistic director. The committee sees him as a ‘uomo universale’, an all-rounder.
“As a listener you hear a gifted and virtuoso pianist, but Beijer also understands the art of bringing the world of thoughts of a composer, a soul mate, to life”, the report states. “He plays the work, but also shows the story behind it. This shows not only his love for the music, but also his dedication and great empathy.”
Candidates for the prize work in a study program with musicians from the Netherlands and abroad, before the Performing Arts Fund NL nominates them.
Beijer calls the award particularly honorable and says in a response that music and art can indeed solve world problems. “Art shapes the way people think, how we interact with each other and our environment. It makes us more empathetic and noble. I firmly believe in that.”
Beijer will receive the prize on 17 February from State Secretary Gunay Uslu of Culture and Media in De Oosterpoort in Groningen. He then plays the Piano Concerto in G by the French composer Maurice Ravel with the Noord Nederlands Orkest under the direction of conductor Eivind Gullberg Jensen.
Last year trombonist Sebastiaan Kemner won the prize and a year earlier it was awarded to recorder player Lucie Horsch. Previously the prize went to established names in music such as pianist Hannes Minnaar, trombonist Jörgen van Rijen, oboist Pauline Austria, harpists Remy van Kesteren and Lavinia Meijer and violinist Janine Jansen.
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