Friday afternoon and evening, I had the privilige of participating in the farewell event for Jan van Eijck, including very diverse and fascinating lectures (see Workshop ).
There was also a surprise part about which Jan knew nothing in advance. Yanjing Wang and two other former PhD students of Jan presented the secretly prepared Festschrift for Jan (see Festschrift ). Also, a surprise concert took place. Heleen Verleur is Jan’s wife *and* a professional pianist and composer, and she had designed a lively program for the concert, including pieces for piano and clarinet, piano solo, piano and 1 cello, and finally piano and 2 cellos.
Heleen composed a wonderful ‘wink to Piazzolla’, the “Milonga for three”, and for this occasion she had arranged it for two cellos and piano so that Hans van Ditmarsch and I could join her in the concert. Here you can listen to the original version for violin, cello and piano: Milonga for three
The greatest experience of the day for me was the rehearsal in secret, at noon, for half an hour before the workshop attendees started dropping in. All of us had practiced individually and Hans van Ditmarsch and I had even tried a Skype rehearsal for the two cello parts, between Nancy and Groningen. But playing the piece ‘for real’, with the composer, was something wonderful! She had a great piece of advice for me: for the difficult rhythm, don’t try to count like “óne-and-two / ánd-three-eh / fóur-eh”, but silently say “ananas, ananas, kiwi”. This worked like a charm, and after the concert, some audience members said that they couldn’t believe that we had only rehearsed together for half an hour