Henk Neven wins the Dutch Music Prize as his solo recital CD debut receives excellent reviews
Published: 19 April 2011
Category: Vocal & Opera
Baritone Henk Neven received the Dutch Music Prize on Saturday evening at a ceremony at Rotterdam’s De Doelen concert hall. The Dutch Music Prize ('Nederlandse Muziekprijs') is the highest honour that the Ministry of Culture can award to a classical musician and is awarded on the advice of the Dutch Music Prize Advisory Board, part of the Dutch Fund for the Performing Arts. Henk performed at the presentation of the award, singing Bach’s Kreuzstab Kantate with the Orkest van de Achttiende de Eeuw conducted by Frans Brüggen.
This same day also saw the launch of Henk’s debut solo recital CD Auf Einer Burg released on Onyx Classics. Henk chose songs by Carl Loewe that brought to life his own childhood imaginings of fairy tales and mythical landscapes, plus the intensely beautiful Eichendorff Liederkreis of Robert Schumann. He was accompanied by his regular recital partner Hans Eijsackers. The recording was supported by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust as part of the Fellowship awarded to Henk in 2009.
The disc has already received outstanding reviews from various publications. Writing in the Sunday Times, Hugh Canning wrote: "Here's a name to watch. The young Dutch baritone was made a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist two years ago and richly deserves his chance to shine on his first solo album. Neven's highly individual timbre is unlike any other lieder interpreter's: he sings with astonishing technical finesse, verbal acuity and a sense of wonder... This is an entirely fresh account of a familiar cycle, Eichendorff Liederkreis, op39, preceded by a group of Loewe ballads, steeped like Schumann's songs, in romantic nostalgia for medieval Germanic folklore. Eijsacker's virtuoso piano-playing only enhances this remarkable young singers's outstanding debut."
And De Telegraaf newspaper in the Netherlands wrote:
"An intelligent reading, a sense of dignity in the timbre, exceptional diction... Not only in [Henk Neven’s] voice but also in the interpretation there is a great sense of breadth, due to his flexible approach to the music. The dialogue between Neven and his excellent accompanist brings extra sparkle. This is a CD that you will want to hear over and over again."