photo by Anton Havelaar
Verso was formed in 1997; its two members are panflute player Matthijs Koene and guitarist Stefan Gerritsen. The duo was named after the work Verso, which was written for them by the American-Dutch composer Ron Ford. Passionately and with a sense of style the duo performs classical music, as well as contemporary repertoire. Appreciation for the duo is not only expressed by the audience, but is also demonstrated by the commendations of juries at international contests and the many prizes that the duo has won: - Vriendenkrans and Concertgebouwprijs (Amsterdam 2003) - Comradio contemporary music prize ( Barcelona 2003) - Places in the finals of “The CAG music competition” (New York 2005 and 2006) - IBLA Grand Prize Top Winner Award and Piazzolla Award (Italy 2006) One of the most important goals of Verso is the creation of distinguished repertoire for panflute and guitar. So far more than 40 works have been written for this special combination. The outstanding expression of the instruments is put to use in a very broad range of styles, from Dowland, Giuliani and Piazzolla, to the newest music by Theo Loevendie, Artyum Kim, Daan Manneke, Gerard Beljon, and Louis Aguirre among others. In their programmes, the music especially written for Verso is placed next to classical compositions, which sound surprisingly authentic. Verso plays at many locations and in many different surroundings: there is the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Vredenburg in Utrecht, the Ysbreker in Amsterdam, the Institut Neerlandais in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, and also Gothic monasteries in Lleida, Spain. The duo can be expanded with the French soprano Valerie Guillorit or the Dutch soprano Marije van Stralen. Verso also looks for a deeper appreciation of sound and expression by extending the instrumentation with multimedia, like the ‘live processing’ of sound and image (see the programme of Cine ma Sonore).