When it comes to the cultural exports of the Netherlands, the names that dominate are most often of a more painterly persuasian: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Vincent Van Gogh, Jan Vermeer. However, this week on Hammered! we showcase Dutch musical exports by focusing on some of the finest composers of contemporary keyboard music. In addition to the music of Q2's December Composer Portrait Louis Andriessen, we also sample works by Ton de Leeuw, Peter van Onna and Leo Smit.
Leo Smit was born in 1900 to parents of Portuguese-Jewish descent. He studied piano and composition at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and later moved to Paris where he was influenced by the works of Ravel and Stravinsky. In 1941, Smit and his wife ended up in the Jewish Schouwburg, where people were brought to be deported. In 1943, he and his wife were picked up by the Germans and transported to an extermination camp. They were murdered on April 27, 1943. He left behind a collection of solo works, chamber, orchestral and choral works.
We hope you enjoy and leave your thoughts on this week-long excursion into contemporary Dutch keyboard New Music.