Soprano Sabra el Bahri Khatri is the first of three nominees for the Grachtenfestival Prize to present during the Meesterlijk! series at Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky. The winner of the prize will become the Artist in Residence for the next Grachtenfestival. Sabra is at home in all kinds of music and shows us a variety of styles that she would present as an Artist in Residence. From classical to Arabic music and from jazz to Jacques Brel: we will experience it all during this evening. Sabra brings along some of her favorite musicians: Sophie Hulshoff on piano, cellist Diederik Smulders, and on the qanun the young talent Mohamed-Amine el Korchi.
The concert will be presented by Ab Nieuwdorp, host of De Klassieken on NPO Klassiek and artistic advisor of the Grachtenfestival.
T. Merula (1595-1665): Hor ch'è tempo di dormire
Fairuz (*1934) and M. Rahbani (1924-2009): Saalouni el Nass,
M. Ravel (1875-1937): from Sheherazade: ‘Asie’
E. Satie (1866-1925): from Trois mélodies: 'Les anges'
M. de Falla (1876-1946): from Siete canciones populares españolas: El Paño Moruno
L. Delibes (1836-1891): Les filles de Cadix
S. Sondheim (1930-2021): Losing my mind
Fairuz (*1934): Nehna we el kamar geeran
S. Burke (1914-1980): Black Coffee
Sabra El Bahri-Khatri, soprano
Sabra El Bahri-Khatri is active as a soprano in classical music and jazz as well as musical theatre throughout Europe and has been nominated for the GrachtenfestivalPrijs 2023. She started out as a classical guitarist, but refocused on vocal practice after ten years. With guidance from her teacher, she quickly developed and secured a place as a soloist in several Belgian choirs. Earning a master's degree in music at the Tilburg conservatory resulted in several interdisciplinary collaborations with mixed media and dancers. During and after her studies, Sabra gave many solo concerts, as well as TV and radio appearances. For instance, she participated as a soloist with Cappella Amsterdam and sang several times on NPO and Podium Witteman (now Podium Klassiek).
Sabra played major roles such as the "Eufrates" from World Opera Lab's opera "Va pensiero", "Maria" from Opera Spanga's opera "After the flood" and "the girl" or Little Red Riding Hood in the opera "The girl, the hunter and the wolf" by LOD and the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. Sabra considers it important to be open-minded and innovative in her music. Any musical challenge that piques the musician's interest should be approached with discipline and focus, without preconceptions and expectations of results. The process, according to Sabra, is ultimately what makes a true artist.
Diederik Smulders, cello
As a versatile cellist, Diederik Smulders likes to have as diverse a repertoire as possible on his lectern: from baroque to jazz and from solo to orchestral works. He graduated cum laude and with distinction from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with Lucia Swarts; before that, he studied in Tilburg with cellist Paul Uyterlinde. He followed a specialization program in modern music in collaboration with the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble and the New European Ensemble. Diederik soloed in the cello concerto 'Last Words' by Martijn Padding with the Ensemble Academy conducted by Gregory Charette at the Spring Festival in The Hague and performed the world premiere of Vlad Chlek's cello concerto 'Möbius Strip' with the Brabant Chamber Orchestra. Diederik is very interested in experimenting with improvisations and playing graphic scores. Together with percussionist Ricardo Oliveira, he forms a duo with whom he uses paintings by Kandinsky as sheet music. Diederik is part of the house ensemble of De Link, a leading concert organization of newly composed music. He has premiered works by Anthony Fiumara, Stefan Prins and Thomas Larcher, among others. Diederik plays on a cello built by Annelies Steinhauer and made available by the National Musical Instruments Fund. His bow was made by L. Morizot.
Sophie Hulshoff, piano
Sophie Hulshoff (1998) started playing the piano at the age of 7. At the age of 13, she started her conservatory education in the young talent class in Arnhem (the Netherlands) at the ArtEZ Conservatory with Frank Peters and Frank van de Laar. Sophie finished her piano bachelor's degree in 2021 at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam under the tutorage of Bart van de Roer. She followed frequent lessons with pianist Julien Brocal. In the summer of 2021, she moved to Brussels to start her master's degree with pianist Julien Libeer at Luca School of Arts in Leuven. In October 2022 Sophie was admitted to program of the International Certificate for Piano Artists from the Fondation Bell’arte where she studies with the program;s founder Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri, and guests teachers such as Michel Béroff, Eugen Indjic and Jean-Philippe Collard. Sophie performed in Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Italy and Germany in piano solo and chamber music. In November 2021 she made her orchestral debut with Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Leiden Sinfonietta led by conductor Joost Geevers, followed by her debut in Rome last April with the Roma Tre Orchestra led by conductor Jan-Latham Koenig.
Mohamed-Amine El Korchi, kanun
Mohamed-Amin El Korchi is a young virtuoso kanun player from Brussels who already traveled through continents showcasing his multiple facets and playing skills. El Korchi is passionate by Arabic Andalusian music and performs regularly with bigger orchestras as well as a soloist. He was recently invited to perform with the orchestra of ‘Anna Graham and Mohssen Zeggaf’ at the Arab world institute in Paris, where music from east and west meet. He also participated in multiple concerts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Morocco and France with great artists like Francoise Atlan (classical singer), Abid Bahri (oud player) and Naziha Meftah (classical Arabic singer), Kudsi Erguner (ney player), Mohamed Briouel (master in Arabic Andalusian music) and Khalid Mohamed Ali. Adding to his experience, he attended several master classes with the famous Turkish kanun player Göksel Baktagir. Mohamed-Amine is trained in classical music, oriental and Andalusian music as well as Turkish music. He won the first prize at the conservatory of Fez in Morocco. For Mohamed-Amine, music is imbued with spirituality and playing and discovering musicians from different musical backgrounds is, for him, a multi-musical exchange.