Marcel Bergmann, piano
Elizabeth Bergmann, piano
Jeroen van Veen, piano
Sandra van Veen, piano
A native of Munich, Germany, Marcel Bergmann studied musicology at the Ludwig-Maximiliams-Universität in Munich and piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover with Arie Vardi. After obtaining a Bachelors degree, Masters degree and Artist Diploma, Marcel received a scholarship from the Université de Montréal where he and his wife pursued specialized studies in duo piano with Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt. Subsequently, he completed post-graduate work in the Solistenklasse in Hannover.
For the last 15 years, Marcel has enjoyed an active musical career as a performer, composer, improviser and teacher. The broad range of musical interest and experience in both, classical and popular music has led to an output in a variety of styles and genres.
The Bavarian Television, Arte and other European broadcasting corporations, have broadcast his music for television features.
Over the past decade, he also has been involved as composer and musical director in a variety of theatre, cabaret and multimedia projects, such as Baden Rebelliert (Bruchsal, Germany, 1998, including 30 performances throughout Baden-Württemberg), Online an der Leine, which had its premiere during the EXPO 2000 in Hannover/Germany, and Der Avatar (2001).
In 2004, he was a composer-in-residence for Calgary Opera’s Let’s create an Opera programme.
In 1990 Marcel and his wife Elizabeth started to work and perform extensively as a duo piano team and have since enjoyed a successful career which has taken them to many parts of the world. This collaboration has inspired numerous compositions and arrangements for 2 pianos and piano duet, many of which appear on several CD’s the Bergmann Piano Duo has recorded.
Furthermore, Marcel has also created several works and arrangements involving two pianos and other instruments, such as Culemborg City Soundscape (together with Jeroen Van Veen). Frequent collaborations with composers, performers and writers in Europe and North America have led to a multitude of chamber music based projects, ranging from duo to sextet. In December 2005, Marcel’s Urban Pulse for two pianos was premiered as the commissioned work for The 10th Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition (past commissioned composers included Morton Gould, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom and John Corigliano). Two other pieces by Marcel for that ensemble will soon appear as part of the Canadian National Conservatory of Music’s Library Series. Marcel is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre.
In addition to frequent appearances as a duo pianist and chamber musician, he is part of the Calgary based group Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, recipient of both the 2005 and 2006 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Classical Recording. Marcel is also internationally active as a clinician, juror, and lecturer and has been involved as a collaborative pianist and vocal coach. Currently on faculty at Mount Royal College, Calgary, Marcel has also been involved in various musical activities at The Banff Centre for the Arts in recent years. In 2004/2005, Marcel and his wife served as Artistic Directors of The Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and Foundation in Miami.
A native of, Alberta, Elizabeth studied with Helmut Brauss, Patricia Parr, Jean- Eudes Vaillancourt and Arie Vardi obtaining Bachelor, Masters, Artist and Chamber music degrees. Together with her husband, she pursued specialized studies in duo piano at the Université de Montréal and later completed post-graduate work in the Solistenklasse in Hannover.
As a duo, they received first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Caltanissetta, Italy, were laureates of The 4th Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and were performing artists in Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now organization. Their recitals and concerts with orchestra have taken them to many parts of the world, including the United States, Italy, Germany, Holland, Greece and Canada, with performances at the celebrated Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Banff Arts Festival, the Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Festival and Competition, the International Two Piano Symposium and Schubertiade, Miami, the Tage für neue Musik, Darmstadt, the Braunschweiger Kammermusik Podium and at the EXPO 2000, Hannover.
They have recorded for the CBC, for several stations of the ARD in Germany and for National Public Radio in the USA and have made several CDs, which appear on the Arktos and Naxos labels. Committed to supporting the production of new Canadian repertoire, the duo has in the last years commissioned and premiered several works by Canadian composers such as Allan Gordon Bell, and John Abram. The duo regularly performs Marcel Bergmann’s own compositions as well.
Elizabeth has been on faculty at The Mount Royal College Conservatory in Calgary and has also been involved in various musical activities at the Banff Centre for the Arts. She is a member of the Calgary based contemporary group Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, recipient of the 2005 and 2006 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Classical Recording and a member of the International Piano Quartet. In the 2004-2005 season, she and her husband served as Artistic Directors of The Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and Foundation in Miami. Most recently she joined the faculty at Langley Community Music School and holds the position of Assistant Director of Programmes there. Besides her activities as a performer and teacher, she is also nationally and internationally involved as a lecturer and juror of festivals and competitions.
Jeroen Van Veen
Jeroen Van Veen (1969) started playing the piano at the age of 7. He studied at the Utrecht Conservatory with Alwin Bär and Håkon Austbö. In 1993 he passed the Performing Artists' Exam. Van Veen played with orchestras conducted by Howard Williams (Adams), Peter Eötvös (Zimmermann) in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Vienna and Budapest and in the United States with Neal Stulberg (Mozart & Bartok) and Robert Craft (Stravinsky) He played recitals in Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia & the USA.
Van Veen followed master classes with Claude Helffer, Hans-Peter & Volker Stenzl and Roberto Szidon. He was invited at several festivals; Reder Piano Festival (1988), Festival der Kunsten in Bad Gleichenberg (1992), Wien Modern (1993), Holland Dance Festival (1998) Lek Art Festival (1996-2007). Van Veen recorded for major Dutch Radio- and Television companies like AVRO, NOS, IKON, NCRV, TROS/Internet, WTBC-TV & Radio (Florida, U.S.A.) and Moscow Television. In 1992, Van Veen recorded his first CD with his brother Maarten as the internationally recognized Piano duo Van Veen. In 1995 Piano duo Van Veen made their debut in the United States. They were prizewinners in the prestigious 4th International Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition in Miami, Florida. After this achievement they toured the United States and Canada many times. The documentary "Two Pianos One Passion" (nominated with an Emmy Award 1996) follows them as a duo.
Besides performing, Jeroen teaches at the University of Utrecht, and is co-founder, member of the jury and artistic director of the International Student Piano Competition, which is held in Utrecht every two years. In 1995 Jeroen Van Veen founded Van Veen & Van Veen (Van Veen & Co.), which is a piano duo with Sandra. As such, they mainly perform music for multiple pianos by the Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt. Furthermore, in 1999 Van Veen started a concert series ‘Pianova’ in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Beside his career as a solo pianist Van Veen also partakes in the following ensembles: ‘Kunstgroep vier man op de stoep’, ‘Piano Ensemble’, ‘The International Piano Quartet’, ‘The Simeon Quartet’ ‘Piano Mania’, ‘DJ Piano’ and ‘Jeroen van Veen & Friends’.
The various compositions by Van Veen may be described as ‘Minimal Music’ with different faces, Crossovers to Jazz, Blues, Soundscape, Avant-Garde, Techno, Trance and Pop Music. Currently Mr. Van Veen is director of Van Veen Productions, Chairman of the Simeon ten Holt Foundation, Culemborg Cultural Foundation, Pianomania Foundation and Artistic Director of several music festivals in Culemborg, Utrecht and Veldhoven. He is active in the International Utrecht Student Piano Competition and the Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition. Over the last 15 years Van Veen recorded more than 40 CDs for several labels (Mirasound, Koch, Naxos, Brilliant Classics) and his own label PIANO. The two latest are an eleven Cd box with Simeon ten Holt Multiple Piano Works and a set of nine presenting the Minimal Piano Collection including his own 24 minimal preludes.
Sandra van Veen
Sandra van Veen studied with the Norwegian pianist Håkon Austbö at the Conservatory in Utrecht where she graduated in 1992. She made her debut with her husband Jeroen in a performance of Canto Ostinato during Lek Art (Culemborg). The concert was recorded live and the CD has sold in more than 40 countries worldwide. After this, many concerts and Cds followed. Sandra is very dedicated to the music of Ten Holt, but nowadays also plays other kinds of music, ranging from Carmina Burana, The Planets, Rhapsody in Blue, to Tangos and Tubular Bells for four pianos. She played the premiere of several pieces written by Dutch composers like J. Andriessen (in Russia) and Ten Holt (in Canada). Furthermore, she forms an Art group with two friends, with whom she produces theatre concerts based on different themes, for example a “Composers Life” or the “History Of The Piano”.
Sansra gave many concerts and recitals from Miami to Russian Novosibirsk. She takes part in many projects in Holland as well as abroad. She recorded 14 CDs on various labels. Several concerts and projects have been broadcast on radio, television and the Internet. In addition Sandra is a well known dedicated piano teacher as well.
Sandra van Veen is a co-founder of the Lek Art Foundation and the Simeon ten Holt Foundation, and is active as just secretary for the latter.