Impressive programme on the occasion of 100 years Conservatory

Photo: Zeno Fricker Photo: Zeno Fricker

Tilburg, December 18, 2017 This article in Dutch, dit artikel in het Nederlands

For the city and the province, there is no escaping the fact that, exactly in 2018, the Tilburg conservatory will celebrate its centenary. From January till September, some 130 concerts and three festivals will take place as components of what is called the FST100 programme.

Photo: A.C. Teuns Photo: A.C. Teuns

One hundred years ago, two members of the Royal Liedertafel [song table] Souvenir des Montagnards, still existing to this very day and  well-known for its series of chamber music, paid a visit to the alderman asking him to allow them to found a conservatory.  "We still work closely together with the ‘Souvenir,” Director Department Music Raf De Keninck explains. "Okay, in this academic year we have changed the name of Conservatory into that of Academy of Music and Performing Arts (AMPA). But the bottom line is that we are a professional music academy."

The FST100 programme - an abbreviation of FEEST [party], but also of Fontys School Tilburg - aims to find connections in all possible ways,” according to Raf. "With venues throughout the province we are familiar with, or not yet, but also with schools and courses within our own institution, e.g. with ArtCoDe students performing Visual Scores in which they create images to live chamber music. The Department of Dance is going to participate in a production together with the musical ensemble Asko Schönberg."


No centenary without a present; that goes without saying. The Jubilee year takes off with ‘The Present’, Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts’ purchase of a Steinway concert grand piano model D. On 18 January, there will be a ‘ceremonial inauguration’ of this instrument by several pianists. The ‘Souvenir Series’ will officially premiere with a concert on 24 January. "It will be performed at the Concertzaal [concert hall] by the  Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, together with AMPA teacher Andreas van Zoelen. We invite all those who are involved, like former teachers, to raise a glass with us,” the Director says.

Pretty soon after that, the first festival will take place. The Contemporary Music Days: four days exclusively dedicated to contemporary music and crossovers to dance and image; it is supposed to become an annual tradition. The biggest festival will take place from 28 May to 2 June; it will open with a double concerto by Klang and Temko, two minimal music ensembles. Raf: "They will set to work with twenty of our guitar students. We will also welcome the 94-year old and world-renowned American pianist Menahem Pressler who will give a lecture, a master class and a concert. “During this week, the annual Music & Research festival will be an integral part of the programme with lectures from international researchers. In addition, the before-mentioned Visual Scores will be part of the programme. "In conclusion, a work by the composer Mauricio Kagel will be performed; it was created for variety theatre and in collaboration with our Circus students."

During the final festival, held in September, jazz will play first fiddle. It will take place outside in front of the FHK-building, in the Concertzaal, De NWE Vorst Theatre as well as in various cafés. Preparations for FST110 by a taskforce have been in full swing since last summer.

According to Raf, the Brabant Conservatory in Tilburg has always had a bit of a progressive undertone to its name.  "These extremely hard-line purists are few and far between here. There is room for an open view. This has paved the way for AMPA with a pivotal role for ensemble playing, interdisciplinarity and internationalization." This Jubilee is not about bidding farewell to the former conservatory, he says. "Anyhow, we respect the past. But we also want to demonstrate where we stand."

Photo: Bjorn Staps Photo: Bjorn Staps

The Tilburg Conservatory

The Tilburg conservatory was founded in 1918 as a division of the educational institution RK Leergangen. From 1929, it had its own accommodation in a villa at Bosscheweg (now Tivolistraat). In 1954, it became an autonomous foundation: Brabants Conservatorium en Muziekschool [Brabant Conservatory and School of Music]. In 1971, the conservatory moved to the Cenakel , the former monastery at the Kempenbaan, together with the Dance Academy. From 1984 on, the conservatory once more came under the auspices of the Leergangen. In 1996, both academies moved to the Kunstcluster [arts cluster] at the Bisschop Zwijsenstraat, as departments of Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts. In 2017, the conservatory became Academy of Music and Performing Arts (AMPA).

Source: Regionaal Archief Tilburg


More news?