Dear friends, dear music lovers,


I am delighted to present to you the programme of the Stift Festival 2017 “Invitation to the dance”! Dance is surely one of most deeply rooted aspects of human nature. So much great music was inspired by dance: spontaneous dances of joy, exuberant gipsy music, spiritual passacaglias, heavenly chaconnes, dark funeral marches, sensual tangos, outrageous devilsdances, wild Tarantellas, proud polonaises, elegant waltzes.. the list is almost endless. We can find colorful, touching, exciting, thrilling, stirring, uplifting dance inspired by music in all corners of the world.


As you have come to expect from us we seek the musical adventure and unexpected juxtapositions. With Bach’s unparalleled Chaconne as our inspiration we travel the world searching for dances that cover the entire spectrum of human emotions. The chaconne itself is said to have started life as a sensual dance in Peru, and became in Bach’s hands a towering masterpiece, magnificently touching both the sacred and the profane worlds and inspiring composers in centuries to come.

From the spirituality of Vasks and Pärt to the raw passion of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, from ‘Alt Wien’ to the thrilling, Balkan-inspired music of our wonderful Composer in Residence Isidora Zebeljan (who’s Violin Concerto I’m excited to be premiering during the festival), from Bach and Handel to the brilliant Oud improvisations of Joseph Tawadros and the unique tangos of Marcelo Nisinman; this promises to be a festival of joyful, exciting contrasts.


I’m proud to present an array of stellar musicians from all over the world, both audience favorites and new names. Artists this year hail from Argentina, Israel, Armenia, Georgia, Serbia, Romania, Australia, the US, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, South Africa and many other countries with rich traditions of dance music. Also the festival embraces the talented young artists with our Stift New Generation programme, presenting highly promising young artists both as soloists and side by side with the festival artists. And last but not least- I will rejoice sweet youth memories as a member of the first hour of the Netherlands Youth String Orchestra at our Grand Open Air Closing concert where their young musicians will perform.


You are warmly welcome in August to experience great music at close range in the uniquely intimate Stiftkerk in Weerselo, magnificent Plechelmus Basilica in Oldenzaal, the Grote Kerk in Enschede and our other atmospheric locations in beautiful, hospitable Twente!


With warm wishes,


Daniel Rowland


Artistic Director

The english version of the Programma will be available shortly. You will find the Dutch version of the Programme here