Ensemble SCALA

Ensemble SCALA is a group of seven musicians in the Netherlands which plays microtonal music only. It is founded in 2010 by the Huygens-Fokker Foundation (centre for microtonal music in Amsterdam) to experience microtonality within a spectrum (scala) of tone colors. The fact that the famous Fokker organ has become a part of the ensemble is special. The instrumentation of Ensemble SCALA is flute, clarinet, viola, microtonal guitar, Fokker organ, keyboards/Carrillo piano and percussion. The musicians are all specialists in the field of microtonal music. Together they explore the borders of the colorful possibilities of microtonality. The ensemble focuses on major microtonal systems/tunings, like the 31-tone system, the 24-tone system (or quarter-tone system), the 19-tone system and systems of just intonation, with an accent on the first system mentioned. The name of the ensemble is based on the eponymous software programme Scala for microtonal music, by Manuel Op de Coul, that has an international reputation. Ensemble SCALA has set itself a purpose to play a spectrum of new sounds whereby new work, alongside existing work from the 16th and 17th centuries, will be performed. The diverse repertoire is consisting of compositions by a.o. Giacinto Scelsi, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Peter Adriaansz, Nicola Vicentino, Steffen Krebber, Charles Delusse, Ned McGowan, Ezra Sims, Sander Germanus, Francois Grabriel Madden, Danny de Graan, René Samson, Lucio Garau, Gijsbrecht Roijé, Joachim F.W. Schneider, Arnold Marinissen, Juhani Nuorvala, etc.

The necessity to initiate Ensemble SCALA arose from the need to spread knowledge about microtonality in the Netherlands and abroad, whereby the main figurehead, the unique Fokker-organ (a 31-tone organ from 1950, based on the 31-tone tuning system - an invention of the famous physicist Christiaan Huygens in 1691, earlier already invented by composer Nicola Vicentino in 1555), could be taken while travelling. Since 2009 there is a portable Fokker organ keyboard available, which is playable too. This keyboard (earlier called the ‘mute keyboard’) has been built in 1963 just to study, but is fully equipped with MIDI technology since 2009, so it can produce sound. It can be connected to both the large acoustic Fokker organ as to a computer/laptop that produces samples of this 31-tone organ. This instrument allows Ensemble SCALA to give concerts outside the Small Hall of the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam (where the 16-meter wide Fokker-organ is installed in 2009). The portable/digital Fokker organ is a strong and solid basis for the other instruments, which in turn provide an acoustic context. Concerts with the portable Fokker organ keyboard will therefore always take place in conjunction with the ensemble, as just an unaccompanied digital Fokker organ is not desirable on stage. There is also an advantage to the use of the digital Fokker organ keyboard. Other tuning systems can be programmed under the keys of the keyboard, for example the 19-tone or 24-tone tuning, both prominent tuning systems. In this way, various kind of microtones can be played on the instrument, so a broad knowledge of the microtonality can be propagated through the concerts of Ensemble SCALA. The ensemble gave performes in Holland as well as abroad. In June 2011 Ensemble SCALA was the guest-ensemble of the congress of microtonality in Stuttgart, Germany. And in 2012 Ensemble SCALA performed during 'World of Sound' in Saint Petersburg.

Ensemble SCALA:
Raymond Honing, flute
Michel Marang, clarinet
Manuel Visser, viola
Stefan Gerritsen, microtonal guitar
Anne Veinberg, 96-tone piano/keyboards
Ere Lievonen, 31-tone organ
Glenn Liebaut, percussion
Sander Germanus, artistic director
Melle Weijters, producer

Raymond Honing, flute

Raymond Honing

Raymond Honing belongs to a new generation of musicians who dedicates his musical energy to both early and contemporary music. After obtaining three grades at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, i.e. modern flute, baroque flute and chamber music, he started to develop an interesting career with a repertoire covering three centuries of musical history. From Baroque on the one key flute, and early romantic music on the 8 key flute till contemporary music on the modern Boehm flute. As a young boy he won a second prize at the National Flute Competion and some years later several prizes at chamber music competitions like the "wettbewerb für Junge Kultur" Düsseldorf and the van Wassenaer Competition. Raymond is principal flutist in Sinfonia Rotterdam and played in ensembles like Nieuw Ensemble, Asko|Schönberg, Anima Eterna, Musikfabrik and Combattimento Consort. In 2007 he founded his own baroque ensemble La Barca Leyden with which he developed very special projects like one on microtonality in early music. He released three CD's with La Barca Leyden and was awarded the Golden Label 2012. Raymond is a energetic promoter of contemporary music. He is member of Ensemble SCALA, a unique ensemble specialized in microtonal music. Next to numerous concerts in The Netherlands he performs on stages and at festivals in France, Belgium, Germany,Tschech, Russia, Hungry, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Colombia, among others as a soloist. Since 2008 Raymond is also active as a conductor. He teaches flute methodics at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. For more information: www.raymondhoning.com

Michel Marang

Dutch clarinettist Michel Marang studied with Walter Boeykens and finished conservatory cum laude in 1987, the same year in which he also got his degree in philosophy at Amsterdam University. Hereafter he studied with Hans Deinzer (Germany) and took masterclasses with Roger Heaton (UK) and Susan Stephens (USA).

Apart from his interest and activities in classical music, theatre, and world-music, Marang specializes in contemporary music. He collaborated with many composers, including Olivier Messiaen, Morton Feldman, Edison Denisov and Karlheinz Stockhausen. With the latter he studied his monumental ‘Harlequin’, a 45 minute solo for a dancing and miming clarinettist. Over a hundred compositions were dedicated to him. In addition, Marang wrote music for several theatre productions, such as "Nicky Somewhere Else", which was very successful on Broadway.

He was a member, guest and/or soloist with all the leading new music ensembles in Holland, as well as Musikfabrik in Cologne, Contrechamps in Geneva, Aleph in Paris and Studio New Music in Moscow.
As a soloist, Michel Marang performed throughout Europe, the USA, Mexico, Russia, China, Ukraine, Estonia, India, central Asia and the Middle-East. He gave seminars at many leading institutions, including the Moscow Conservatory. Besides, Marang works as a photographer. - www.michelmarang.nl | www.photomarang.nl

Michel Marang, clarinet

Manuel Visser, viola

Manuel Visser

Violist Manuel Visser studied at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Michael Gieler and Jürgen Kussmaul. After his Master he studied ‘Postgraduate’ at the ‘Mozarteum’ in Salzburg with Prof. Peter Langgartner and had lessons with Garth Knox to specialise more in contemporary music. He received masterclasses by Nobuko Imai, Thomas Riebl and Wolfram Christ.
Manuel was prizewinner at several competitions like ’the International Competition for Young Violists’ in Slovenia and enjoys a career as chamber musician in historical informed performance and contemporary music. He plays regularly in ensemble’s like the Valerius ensemble, the Ives ensemble, ensemble Insomnio, ensemble Lucilin, Zafraan Ensemble Berlin and Anima Eterna Brugge.
He is also guest principal-violist of the ‘Orkest van het Oosten’ and ‘Orchestre de Chambre du Luxembourg’ and chambermusic-coach at the ‘Academy of Musical Talent’ in Utrecht.
Since 2010 Manuel develops as a conductor and studied orchestral conducting with Lucas Vis at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He participated in masterclasses by a.o. Jorma Panula, Charles Olivieri-Munroe with orchestras like the Philharmonie Südwestfalen, the Kammerphilharmonie Graz and the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
At the moment he conducts the orchestra of the ‘Academy Musical Talent’ which consists of the most promising musical talents of the Netherlands. More about Manuel on: www.manuelvisser.com

Stefan Gerritsen

Stefan Gerritsen is a versatile guitarist, with a repertoire ranging from early music to avant-garde.
He was awarded various times in international music competitions, both as a soloist as with Verso: the duo he forms with Panflutist Matthijs Koene. In 2006 he won second prize at the international guitar competition of Zwolle, In 2006 Verso was Topwinner of the IBla Grand Prize. They received the highest mark of the jury (9.5 ) They were also winner of the “Vriendenkrans” and Concertgebouwprijs (Amsterdam 2003) and Comradio Contempory music prize ( Barcelona 2003).
As a soloist with orchestra he performed the guitar concertos of Villa-Lobos, Vivaldi and Tedesco. Besides his solo engagements he has worked together with renowned ensembles for contemporary music, such as the Nieuw Ensemble. He also regularly performs with classical singers. In 2011 Soundboard magazine wrote: Guitarist Gerritsen is virtuosic and fluent in all of the techniques of modern guitar playing.

Recently he is involved in establishing new repertoire for guitar and choir. Composers as Roderik de Man and Gerard Beljon dedicated their compositions to this project. Stefan Gerritsen graduated from the Conservatory of Amsterdam ( Master cum laude), having studied with Lex Eisenhardt. He continued his studies with the Canadian guitar virtuoso Laura Young and received a scholarship to study with Alex Garrobé in Barcelona. Leading Dutch newspaper wrote in 2016: Stefan Gerritsen is a “ grandioze gitarist”

Stefan Gerritsen, microtonal guitar

Anne Veinberg, 96-tone piano/keyboards

Anne Veinberg

Anne Veinberg is a versatile classical pianist encompassing repertoire of a wide range of stylistic influences. She performs nationally and internationally as soloist, improviser and ensemble player.

With her keen interest in contemporary music, Anne regularly collaborates with composers and has premiered works by Felipe Ignacio Noriega , Andys Skordis , Michael Young , Anthony Leigh Dunstan , Charlie Sdraulig, Marcel Weirckx, Jos Zwaanenburg and many others. She is particularly interested in exploring works for piano and live electronics/live coding and the more theatrical contemporary piano repertoire. As a collaborative pianist, Anne has casually worked with many ensembles including Lunapark, Atlas Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble and is a member of Duo Kolthof/Veinberg, Duo Neshome, Off<>zz (livecode/piano) and of course Ensemble SCALA!

Anne completed her Masters at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam in 2012 and is undertaking a PhD trajectory through the Orpheus Institute in Ghent since September 2015. Her research investigates modes of interaction between live coding and piano playing.
Anne studies on a Yamaha grand piano, kindly on loan from the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation. The piano is part of the collection ‘Willem G. Vogelaar’. More information: www.anneveinberg.com

Ere Lievonen

Ere Lievonen is a harpsichordist, organist, pianist and fortepianist, and is specialized in historical performance practice as well as in contemporary music. He has performed in several European countries and the USA, and has given the first performances of over 200 new works. He studied in Finland and the Netherlands with teachers such as Jacques van Oortmerssen, Miklós Spányi, Jacques Ogg, Annelie de Man and Bart van Oort.

Besides giving solo concerts, Ere Lievonen is an active chamber musician and a member in several ensembles of early and contemporary music, such as Salon Eusebius and Hexnut. He is a founding member of Ensemble Ambrosius, a Finnish group that plays new music on period instruments and attained international fame with their recordings of music by Frank Zappa.

Since many years Ere has also been interested in microtonal music, which led him to become, in 2009, the organist of the 31-tone ’Fokker’ organ in the ’Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ’ concert hall in Amsterdam. Thanks to this he has become one of the foremost performers in the field of microtonal music, and hereby he has a central role within the microtonal music Ensemble Scala.
Ere is also active as a composer and arranger, and his works have been performed in several European countries, Australia and Thailand.  Check his website here: www.erelievonen.eu

Ere Lievonen, 31-tone organ

Glenn Liebaut, percussion

Glenn Liebaut

Glenn Libaut finished his master studies percussion at the Conservatory of Amsterdam in 201.1. He undertook a study in contemporary music at the Ligeti Academy, which was initiated by the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble. He played with several ensembles and music groups, like the percussion group Percossa, in which he is part of the extended ensemble.
Since 2012 he is a member of Ensemble SCALA, that focuses on microtonal music.
He teaches in Amsterdam (Muziekcentrum Zuidoost ), Muiden, Landsmeer, music school Boedijn in Hoorn (NL) and is one of the initiators of the project “Doe je ritmix!” (2010–2013) music education on schools in The Hague and Amsterdam.
Since 2005 he is active as a freelance percussionist at several orchestras and as a soloist.


(all photos on this page by Michel Marang)