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Brahms 3d portrait by Hadi Karimi

PhD Research of Johannes Leertouwer

We 11 Jan 2023 19:30 – 20:45, Performance & Presentation - Telders Auditorium,Rapenburg 73, Leiden
Th 12 Jan 2023 11:15 – 12:00, PhD Defence - Online & Rapenburg 73, Leiden

You are cordially invited to the public defence (on January 12th) and concert (January 11th) by Johannes Leertouwer of the research project entitled ‘Re-inventing the Nineteenth-Century Tools of Unprescribed Modifications of Rhythm and Tempo in Performances of Brahms’s Symphonies and Concertos.’

Research & PhD Defence

Johannes Leertouwer will defend his dissertation on January 12th at 11:15 at the Academy Building of the Leiden University.

The core of Leertouwers dissertation consists of audio recordings of Johannes Brahms’s four Symphonies and four Concertos on 8 CDs. These recordings were made during the four years of Leertouwer’s PhD research with a special project orchestra which he assembled for this purpose. The orchestral rehearsals and performances with this orchestra functioned as a laboratory in which research findings could be tested and developed. The recordings represent the results of Leertouwer’s efforts to re-invent the expressive potential of nineteenth-century expressive tools, particularly modifications of rhythm and tempo. Leertouwer presents his recordings together with films and a written part. In 18 films the work with the orchestra is documented and examples of modifications are discussed.

The final part of the dissertation is a written description of the way in which Leertouwer’s interpretations are rooted in his understanding of historical evidence of nineteenth-century performance practices.

Promotores & Co-promotor

  • Prof.dr. Marcel Cobussen and Prof. Clive Brown MA (Cantab.), MA (Oxon.), DPhil (Oxon.) Emeritus Professor of Applied Musicology (University of Leeds)
  • Dr. Anna Scott

Reading committee

  • Dr. Amy Blier-Carruthers, Royal Academy of Music, London
  • Prof.dr. Henk Borgdorff
  • Prof. Walter Frisch, Columbia University New York
  • Prof.dr. Kai Köpp, Hochschule der Künste, Bern

Performance & Presentation 11th of January

On the eve of his defence, 11 January, Johannes Leertouwer will perform Beethoven with his colleagues of the Narratio string quartet. He will also talk about how his Brahms research affected his ideas about music and performance.

Brahms programme February 2023

On Thursday February 2 in the Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden and on Friday February 3 in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ the project orchestra will perform a Brahms programme for the last time. They will perform the first symphony and the double concerto with violinist Alexander Janiczek and cellist Philip Higham.

The Conservatorium van Amsterdam is dedicating a symposium to Leertouwer’s research. The symposium will be held on Saturday February 4 from 11.00-16.00 in the Sweelinckzaal of the CvA. Speakers are Clive Brown, Marcel Cobussen and Johannes Leertouwer. CvA students will perform chamber music by Johannes Brahms and the symposium will be concluded with a round table discussion with orchestra members, students and public.

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