Student - March 7, 2018

WUR students treat university to a concert for birthday

Didi de Vries

Six Wageningen students will join the Dutch National Student Orchestra during their performance tomorrow night in celebration of the university’s centenary.

Left to right: Mariska Tol, Ruben Kuijpers, Sanne van Dijk, David Blankesteijn and Maarten Walraven. Fieke Lucassen is not in the picture. © Didi de Vries

The six students have had an extraordinary month. In February, they toured around Europe with the Dutch National Student Orchestra (NSO). Ten rehearsal days and twelve concerts down the line, Sanne van Dijk (oboe), Ruben Kuijpers (violin), Mariska Tol (French horn), Maarten Walraven (percussion), David Blankestijn (trumpet) and Fieke Lucassen (viola) are back on campus. Tomorrow is their last concert: in the Forum building.

The NSO has annual tours around the Netherlands, with different students participating each year. They are on the road for the entire duration of February; they start with ten days of rehearsals and then follow with ten concerts in the Netherlands. This year, NSO also performed in Austria and Slovenia. While abroad, the students stayed with host families.

Most magnificent piece
This year, the orchestra consisted of 85 students from around the Netherlands, including six from WUR. ‘The composition of the orchestra was tuned for Igor Stravinsky’s work Petrushka. It is the highlight of our repertoire, the culmination the entire concert builds up to’, Walraven explains. According to the students, it is the most magnificent piece they play.

‘In general, the performance improves after each rehearsal and concert’, Walraven says. ‘Except the fourth concert’, Van Dijk adds. ‘We had 140 first-class students of a secondary school in the audience, who thought that the piece had ended at each pause. At one point, paper airplanes flew down from the balconies. That broke everyone’s concentration.’ But according to Tol, it was still beautiful. ‘It was certainly still good, but you simply don’t play with the same feeling’, she says.

Violinist Ruben Kuijpers has joined the NSO on prior occasions. In 2016, Resource interviewed him on his passion.

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