Monday 22nd of August

19.15 uur
Concert ‘Song of the Birds’

As an upbeat to the festival in the surroundings of Nature Museum ‘Natura Docet’ we present an ode to nature and in particular to the unique beauty of birdsong, that inspired so many composers.


‘Song of the Birds’



  • Vasks – Landscape with Birds
  • Haydn – Stringquartet in G ‘The Bird’
  • Casals – Song of the Birds

Tuesday 23rd of August

Opening Concert

Our Opening Concert:  Works by Stravinsky and Prokoffief full daring, virtuosity, humor and excitement, both inspired by the circus,  and after the interval Schubert’s glorious Octet, a magnificent work that both pushes the boundaries of virtuosity and takes us to hitherto unseen worlds.




  • Satie – Gymnopedies
  • Stravinsky – Three pieces for clarinet  & Three pieces for string
  • Prokoffief – Quintet (Trapeze) for hobo, klarinet, violin, viola and double bass
  • Schubert – Octet

Wednesday 24rd of August

Lunchconcert ‘The Free Elements’

The free elements are given free reign in this colourful Lunchtime concert. From Vivaldi’s Sea storm and Schreker’s evocative ‘The wind’ to Szymanowsky’s ravishing ‘Arethusa’ and Poulencs gorgeous Sextet this programme has many treats in store.


‘The Free Elements’


  • Vivaldi – Flute Concerto ‘La tempesta di mare’
  • Schreker – Der Wind for violin, cello, clarinet, horn and piano
  • Szymanowsky – La fontaine d’Arethuse, for violin and piano
  • Debussy – Claire de lune
  • Poulenc – Sextet

Stift New Generation: Oskar Back Concours winner Michael Foyle with Maksim Stsura, piano

Stift New Generation: Michael Foyle and Maksim Stsura


Michael Foyle was the convincing winner of the Oskar Back Dutch Violin Competition earlier this year, and the Stift Festival is delighted to present this outstanding young violinist with his regular duo partner Maksim Stsura in a programme combining Lotoslawsky’s thrilling Partita with maybe the most beloved of all Violin Sonatas, the one by Cesar Franck.

  • Lutoslawsky – Partita
  • Franck – Sonate in A

19.30 uur
Eveningconcert ‘The Gipsy Trail’

Gipsies are surely the ultimate free spirits and their boundlessly virtuosic, colourful and emotional music has inspired great composers  through the centuries, from Vivaldi to Enescu.  His Masterly Impression’s d’enfance is a hommage to his youth in the Rumanian countryside, a work of huge imagination, culminating in a majestic sunrise.


‘The Gipsy Trail’


  • Telemann – Gipsy Trio
  • Golijov – Lullaby & Doina
  • Enescu – ‘Impressions d’enfance’
  • Brahms – Pianoquartet in g-minor op. 25


21.30 – Late night candlelight ‘Gipsies and other free spirits’


  • Dinicu – Hora staccato & Ciocarlia
  • Schubert – Hungarian Song
  • Enescu – Romanian Rapsodie

Thursday 25th of August

Lunchconcert ‘Trailblazers: The Freedom to experiment’

From the painful dissonances of Purcell’s Chaconne to the great Quartet op’ 95 by Beethoven (of which the composer said it was too personal and experimental to be performed in public) and the revolutionary Bagatelles by Webern, this is a hommage to those who dare to Experiment, break through barriers and discover new musical languages.


‘Trailblazers: The Freedom to experiment’


  • Purcell – Chaconne
  • Scelsi – Quartet nr. 4
  • Ligeti – Bagatellen, for Wind Quintet
  • Webern – 6 Bagatelles for String Quartet
  • Beethoven – String Quartet op. 95 ‘Serioso’

Eveningconcert ‘Distant Light’, in collaboration with Consensus Vocalis and Klaas Stok (conductor)

Most people today no longer possess beliefs, love and ideals. The spiritual dimension has been lost. My intention is to provide food for the soul..
(Pēteris Vasks)

A spiritual evening with works of the greatest beauty and poignancy by Bach, Vasks and Pärt. Bach’s Chaconne is considered one of the greatest works of all time. Distant light is the title of the wonderful violin concerto by Vasks, a work filled with a belief in a better world, the ‘Distant light’. Together with works by Bach and Arvo Pärt this concert in the unique ambiance of the Plechelmus Cathedral promises to be a special experience.


‘Distant light’


  • Messiaen – Appel interstellair, for horn solo
  • Bach – Chaconne
  • Lubbe – Improvisation
  • Vasks – Dona Nobis Pacem for Choir and String Orchestra
  • Bach – ‘Lobet den Herrn’
  • Vasks – Distant light, for solo violin and en string orchestra
  • Vasks – Mate Saule
  • Pärt – A Tribute to Ceasar

Friday 26th of  August

13.00 uur
Lunchconcert ‘Frei aber einsam’

In this lunch time concert we hear the Scherzo from the FAE sonate, favorites by Schumann, his mentor and friend and his wonderful C minor Piano Quartet. It is said it’s tender slow movement is a love letter to Clara Schumann.


‘Frei aber einsam’ 


  • Brahms – Scherzo, from FAE sonate 
  • Schumann – Romancen, for hobo and piano
  • Schumann – Adagio & Allegro, for horn and piano
  • Brahms – Piano Quartet in c-minor op. 60

Stift New Generation: Gianni Bergamo Concours 2015 winners FLEX Ensemble

Stift New Generation: FLEX Ensemble


  • Gérard Pesson – Béatitudes
  • Piano Quartet in c-minor

19.30 uur
Eveningconcert ‘(On)vrijheid – Shostakowitch@ 110’

We pay hommage to Shostakovitch in his 110th birthday year. His second Piano Trio is work of raw emotions and wild intensity, and his magnificent, epic Piano Quintet is justly considered a masterwork. It’s slow movement is in turn a hommage to Bach, whom Shostakovitch admired above all other composers.




  • Shostakowitch – Octet
  • Shostakowitch – Piano Trio nr. 2
  • Bach –  Prelude & Fugue in d-minor
  • Shostakowitch – Piano Quintet


21.30 – Late Night Candlelight ‘Bachs Goldberg Variations’


  • Bach – Goldberg variations, version of D. Sitkovestsky for String trio

Saturday 27th of  August

Lunch and familyconcert ‘Peter and the wolf’

A colorful, joyous concert for children of all ages! Alan Ridout’s adorable ‘Fernando the bull’ and a solo by Ud virtuoso Joe Tawadros preceed Prokoffief’s much loved Peter and the wolf, in this brilliant arrangement for large ensemble.


‘Peter and the wolf’


  • Alain Ridout – Fernando the bull
  • Tawadros – Ud solo
  • Prokoffief – Peter and the wolf

‘De apotheose van de dans’

Wagner described the finale of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony as ‘the apotheosis of the dance’. In this wonderfully colorful program dance is the inspiration for composers from Vivaldi to Piazzolla, and we feature two great composer/performers  Marcelo Nisinman and Joseph Tawadros.


‘The Apotheosis of the Dance’ 


‘ Vienna, Paris, Venice, Caïro,  Buenos Aires…’


  • Beethoven – Finale from the 7th Symphony
  • Vivaldi – La Follia, for 2 violins, cello and double bass
  • Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre
  • Tarawdos – Constantinopel & Eye of the beholder, for ud and strings


‘Histoire de tango’ 


  • Piazzolla – Introduction al angel
  • Piazzolla/Nisinman – Bordel 1900, from Histoire de tango
  • Nisiman – El  Enterriano
  • Nisinman – La Cumparsita
  • Gardel/Nisinman – Quando to no estas
  • Piazzolla/Nisinman – Adios nonino
  • Piazzolla/Nisinman – Verano Porteño
  • Piazzolla – Violentango
  • Piazzolla/Nisinman – Oblivion

Final Concert

Sunday 28th of  August

Final Concert ‘Stift Open Air’

Our festive final concert! Join us around the festive open air stage in front of the Stiftkerk for an afternoon of popular masterworks by Vivaldi and Mendelssohn, plus appearances by Marcelo Nisinman and Joe Tawadros.


‘Stift Open Air’


  • Vivaldi – Concerto for 4 violins and strings
  • Tawadros – ‘Give or take’ for ud and strings
  • Piazzolla – Concierto de Nazar, for bandoneon and Strings
  • Mendelssohn – Octet in Es op. 20
You can buy tickets for each concert in our webshop.

N.B. The program is subject to changes, the SIMF foundation has the right to make these changes.