Sigiswald Kuijken welcomes you to the RENEWED website of his baroque orchestra La Petite Bande!
La Petite Bande sympathises with all those who continue to search the deeper sense and content of the existence, and who feel the fascination of true Art - in all fields, of all times, of all origines and cultures..
On January 1st 2020, it was exactly three years since the Flemish Government decided to stop all subventions for La Petite Bande. With the mental support of friends and fans, and by different initiatives (also unconventional ones) my wife Marleen Thiers and I myself succeeded to keep the orchestra alive n spite of all - and this is for us a source of deep satisfaction. It requires a continuous never-ending effort , but at the same time we feel that everything which is still possible (and which we can still achieve) is a present - like life is in itself . Small is beautiful, and less is more : we learn to live with these proverbs and we are aware that all these difficulties lead us to the essential , to a deeper understanding.
Without the particular and almost daily help of our volunteer collaborator and administrator Herman Siebens, we would never be able to go on in this way. We thank him above all for his work in this situation!
In what follows, I would like to inform and explain to you a bit more about some aspects of La Petite Bande's life and projects in this year:
In 2013, when the orchestra was denied for the first time all official support, Marleen and I had the idea to find some financial reserve for the ensemble through a specific campaign which was linked to a book that I wrote intentionally for that occasion: "Bleib bei uns, Bach" (Abide with us, Bach). This book could only be obtained via a substantial donation to LPB, by choosing one out of three donation-formulas that we proposed. This action was very successful and helped the orchestra to survive - and at the same time I could share my life-long experience and insights about J.S.Bach with our audiences and all those who are interested .
During 2018 and 2019 , I have been writing again a book with a similar goal - the title of which is: "My Mozart -- His Magic Flute" . Indeed , since more than 40 years Mozart has been a like a constant ferment in my life as a musician. In his opera "The Magic Flute" he reveals himself completely...his book is obtainable up to now only in the original (dutch) version ; english, french and german translation are on the way. The subscription is open since November 2019 - elsewhere on this website you will find precise information about this.
You may know that LPB has been performing and recording between 2004 and 2012 about sixty Cantatas by J.S.Bach : one cantata for each Sunday of the liturgic calendar, plus some extras for specific feasts. Like this, Bachs cantatas became one of the leading themes of the orchestra's work.
LPB has been given the possibilty to perform during 2020 one more dozen of Bach-Cantatas which are not included in the already recorded 19 CDs. This story is quite unusual: Thomas Bauer, himself a wellknown bass singer, has been the motor behind the construction of a highy unconventional and amazing Konzerthaus in the little village of Blaibach, in the Regensburg-area; besides being a unique architectural concept, this Konzerthaus develops an impressive programmation, which includes our Bach-Cantatas as a seperate series entitled "Soli Deo Gloria". Some of the concerts will also be held in a nearby Baroque Monastery-building, and all of the cantatas will be recorded for ACCENT.
Furthermore, LPB will perform Bach's Matthew Passion 3 times in Japan, beginning November of 2020 : in Osaka, Fukuoka and Tokyo, in important concert-halls. Normally I would only accept to perform Bach's Passions during the period of the year where they belong , namely in the 40 days before Easter - but given the fact that in the East the Christian calendar is not so in-born in peoples tradition, I decided to accept these performances as an exception... We will enjoy this unique work again.
La Petite Bande's yearly Summer Academy (see information on this website) in the beautiful old village of Collevecchio (100 km north of Rome) will bring together for the nineth time singers and instrumentalists from diiferent countries and continents. Under he direction of our daughter Marie Kuijken and myself, large excerpts of Mozart's opera Idomeneo will be studied, in the light of 18th century staging... Working on this original scenic performing style with Marie, has proven to be for many singers a way of liberating body and spirit, in order to approach the inside of the piece they perform, with all its variety and richness. Also the instrumentalists can take big advantage of this work, as it opens their spirit and views as well - Besides the Idomeneo-work, a lot of baroque chamber music and more concertant repertory will be studied under my guidance.
Consulting this website you will also find all necessary information about the chambermusic concerts of the members of our Kuijken-family, often in variable combinations with colleagues who share the same spirit...
To all readers of this, I wish an inner life full of warmth and beauty ...