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Former Court of Appeal president composes music for transfer of rectorate

Maarten Feteris, the former president of the Court of Appeal and an alumnus of Leiden University, composed the piece ‘Intermezzo’ to mark the transfer of the rectorate during the Dies Natalis on 8 February 2021.

The composer

Alongside a career as a lawyer, Maarten Feteris continued to compose, primarily chamber music but also pieces for a larger ensemble. For instance, the music for a choir and instrumental ensemble to celebrate the opening of the new Court of Appeal building in 2016.

His other compositions include a mini opera about the Court of Appeal’s famous Lindenbaum/Cohen judgment, a judgment that marks the beginning of the training of more or less every Dutch law student. The opera was performed during the ‘100 years of Lindenbaum/Cohen’ symposium, which was co-organised by Leiden University, the University of Amsterdam and the Court of Appeal.

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Feteris wrote his Intermezzo in November 2020, when we did not know which coronavirus restrictions would be in place at the start of February: ‘To rule out all eventualities, I wrote it for a fairly small ensemble to reduce the likelihood of it not being performed because of the restrictions. The string quartet is an intimate group, but the trumpets add a dash of grandeur. On the one hand they stand for a celebratory, festive atmosphere, but on the other, their melody in the middle section is calmer and more contemplative.’

Maarten Feteris took composition lessons from Wim Thijsse while still at secondary school, and from 1977 to 1978 studied composition with the famous composer Jan van Vlijmen at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. His elective was piano lessons with Albert Brussee.

Former rector magnificus, Carel Stolker: ‘Maarten’s composition was an enormous surprise for Hester and me. It is an exquisite piece, with an unusual ensemble of string and wind instruments. It’s extra special because we at Leiden University are now much more aware of dual talents like Maarten. These are students who want to combine a programme at our university with a second one at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague or the Royal Academy of the Art The Hague. For this exceptional group of talents, Leiden University and the University of the Arts The Hague even have a joint institute.’

The musicians

The Viride Kwartet was established in April 2017 by violinists Salomé Bonnema and Iris Kengen, violist Sedna Heitzman and cellist Jurre Koopmans. They met at the School for Young Talent at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague.

Since its inception the quartet has taken part in the Orlando Festival and the Zeister Muziekdagen, and has appeared several times on the Podium Witteman TV show, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven and the Stadsschouwburg in Nijmegen. In 2018 the quartet won second prize at the national final of the Princess Christina Concours.

For the interpretation of Intermezzo, the quartet was supplemented by trumpetists Saintwa Ye and Bente Boots.

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