Audition for contemporary compositions on Square Piano’s 2013

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Geelvinck Pianoforte Festival 2013: Composities Tafelpiano met …


Tijdens het Derde Geelvinck Pianoforte Festival van 8 tot en met 13 oktober 2013, laat Museum Geelvinck wederom hedendaagse composities voor tafelpiano met begeleiding naar keuze horen.

Componisten worden uitgenodigd een compositie te schrijven voor tafelpiano solo of waarin de tafelpiano deel van de bezetting uit maakt. Het gaat om een stuk tussen 5 tot 10 minuten. Begeleidingsinstrumenten mogen gekozen worden uit het hele spectrum van westers en niet-westers intrumentarium, evenals electronica en stem.

Het is de bedoeling de compositie uit te voeren tijdens het Geelvinck Fortepiano Festival op zondag 13 oktober.

Inzendtermijn: medio september 2013.

Hoe eerder een compositie wordt ingestuurd, hoe groter de kans op uitvoering ervan.


Geelvinck Pianoforte Festival 2013: Call for Contemporary Compositions  

From October 8 – 13 October, 2013, the Third Geelvinck Pianoforte Festival will take place at Museum Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis in Amsterdam. A second location is de Posthoornkerk

The International Concours for Square Piano Performance for young talents will take place on Friday and Saturday October 11 and 12.

On Sunday 13 October, contemporary pieces, composed specially for the square piano, will be selected and performed.


I. Call for Contemporary Compositions for Square Piano with …

Composers are invited to send in a solo or chamber composition of 5 to 10 minutes duration. Accompanying instruments might be chosen from the whole range of western or non-western instruments, including electronic devices and voice.

Please note the specific technical characteristics of the square piano: The range of most instruments of the eighteenth century does not exceed five to five and a half octaves. Broadwood square pianos et alia from around 1829 (the earliest Broadwood six octave in our collection) onwards, usually have six octaves. Also the pitch of these instruments varies from later piano’s: 415 Hz – 430 Hz, an aspect to take into account, in case the piece combines square piano with strings or wind instruments.

The score, together with a short biography  (and an audio or YouTube sample of the piece, if available) can be sent via email to: Ms. Dunya Verwey,

The deadline is mid September 2013. 

It is our strong hope that most compositions will be performed on Sunday 13 October at the Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis Museum.

The sooner a piece is sent in, the more likely it will be performed.

Audition Committee:

The compositions will be selected by an international audition committee:

  • Willem Brons (Netherlands)
  • Stanley Hoogland (Netherlands)
  • Marcel Baudet (Netherlands)
  • Christo Lelie (Netherlands)
  • Frederic Voorn (Netherlands)

 In case a work is selected by the members of the committee, it will be included in a CD with compositions of the two competitions 2011 and 2012.


II. Technical details of the square piano’s, available at the Composition Performance:

1. Buntebart & Sievers, London 1789. FF-f’’’. 5 octaves. Single action, horizontal dampers, buff, lid swell by pedal, 422 Hz

2. Roduwart, à Paris 1798. FF-f’’’. 5 octaves Single action, horizontal dampers. Buff, 422 Hz

3. Broadwood, London 1803. FF-c’’’’ 5 ½ octave. Single action, brass under dampers, 420 – 422 Hz4.Broadwood, 1821. FF-c’’’’. 5 ½ octave. Double action, 415 Hz

5. Broadwood, 1822. FF-c’’’’. 5 ½ octave. Double action. Is in fact model 1805-1810, 415 Hz

6. Broadwood, 1829. FF-f’’’’ 6 octave. Double action, 415-430 Hz

7. Joannes Baptist Duwaer, Amsterdam, 1835. FF-f’’’’. 6 octave. Double action, 430 Hz

 All Instruments are tuned in equal temperament


III. Why a Fortepiano Piano Festival?

The festival’s aim is to attract public interest to the fortepiano in general and to the square piano in particular, as an instrument, which had a progressive, even emancipatory influence on music practice at all levels of society, from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century.

The square piano now lives in oblivion. If instruments survived the hardships of time at all, they are usually in non-playable condition, standing around as decorative pieces of period furniture.

Surviving instruments, which have found a place in museums or musical instruments collections, are often untouchable; kept behind vitrines or stored in depots. Such instruments suffer from negligence by not being played on.

With this initiative, Museum Geelvinck hopes to invoke re-appreciation with experts in the music world as with the general public a like, for the square piano, with its special, delicate sonority, as one of the key instruments in the development of piano music from the late Baroque to the early Romantic period. We strive to acquire the necessary funds for the restoration of instruments, which are valuable and can still give many hours of pleasure to future generations.

Museum Geelvinck is honored to announce its co-operation with The Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival in Kuopio, Finland, 14 – 23 August 2013,


IV. Partners

  • Amsterdam Conservatorium
  • Royal Conservatorium The Hague
  • Finchcocks Museum for Musical Instruments (Kent, UK)
  • Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival (Kuopio, Finland)
  • Friends of Square Pianos
  • Young Pianists Foundation / YPF
  • Musica Antiqua Festival / MAF, Brugge 
  • Festival for Early Music, Utrecht / Oude Muziek Festival Utrecht
  • John Broadwood and Sons Ltd, Est. 1728, Pianoforte Makers